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An IPWatchdog Year in Review: Looking Back at 2011

Posted: Sunday, Jan 1, 2012 @ 8:30 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 7 comments

It was another exciting year for us here at IPWatchdog, and before anything else we want to thank all of our readers for continuing to make us one of the top intellectual property blogs.

If the vote tally on the ABA Journal mobile website is correct, it looks as if congratulations are in order for PatentlyO and Professor Dennis Crouch.  We were in the lead going into the last day of voting, but a strong surge by the PatentlyO faithful couldn’t be match by our own late surge.  Nevertheless, it is a great honor to be recognized by the American Bar Association as one of the top 100 legal blogs.  For three years now we have been in the top 100, which really continues to fuel the drive to excel.  Sometimes you go long stretches not knowing whether what you are doing matters, and then someone will send a note, you will hear that a particular article has stirred debate in the industry or that folks at the ABA are noticing and know who you are.  The intellectual property community and the patent community specifically, are lucky to have a bunch of excellent citizen journalists and commentators, and it is humbling to be considered one of the best.

The Top 20 Articles of 2011

Posted: Saturday, Dec 31, 2011 @ 4:13 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | Comments Off

It is New Years Eve, which means it is time to take stock by looking back at the past year, remembering, learning and becoming energized with ideas, thoughts and plans for the next year.

At we had a splendid 2011.  Our number of readers has again grown year to year.  During 2011 we averaged over 71,000 unique visitors a month, compared with 67,640 unique visitors a month during 2010. During 2011 we also published 447 articles, including 98 guest contributions, 34 articles by Renee QuinnThe Social Media Diva and 292 articles (or interviews) by me.  The remaining posts were largely press releases from the USPTO or AIPLA.

What follows is a look at the top 20 articles (in terms of traffic) published by during 2011.  Thank you for reading!  We look forward to another great year in 2012!

Top 10 Social Networking Resolutions for Business in 2012

Posted: Friday, Dec 30, 2011 @ 4:48 pm | Written by Renee C. Quinn | 2 comments

When it comes to social media and business these days it seems that, “Everyone is doing it.”  In fact, you may have already dabbled in social media a bit yourself.  The question is are you really doing all you can do to make the most out of your social media strategy?  Are you taking advantage of the various available platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites? Are you ready to take control and tap into the power of social media?

One of the best things about social media is that you don’t need to have a big marketing budget to benefit from the different ways that social media can propel your business.  But you do need to be committed and have a strategy. If you are not going to hire a consultant to assist you, then you will need to invest the time to do things yourself, which is fine so long as you actually do it!

Since we are nearing the end of 2011, in order to get you motivated moving into 2012, I thought I would share with you a list of “Social Media Resolutions” that you should consider implementing in your 2012 marketing and brand building social media campaigns.

Recent Patent Related Federal Register Notices

Posted: Thursday, Dec 29, 2011 @ 2:21 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 1 Comment »

At this time of the year many attorneys and agents are not paying all that much attention to the rules and requests for comments coming out of the Patent Office. Truthfully, with the number of changes that have taken place under the Kappos run Patent Office and the enormity of the America Invents Act many patent attorneys, including myself, are worn out!  Add to that the typical end of the year matters for clients and our own businesses and it is easy to miss announcements in November and December.

With that in mind I thought I would take this opportunity to try and bring everyone up to speed on the various patent related announcements and notices in the Federal Register that were published in November 2011 and December 2011.  I am told that more are on the way in January 2012.  I can’t wait!

Facial Recognition Technology Raising Privacy Concerns

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 28, 2011 @ 6:27 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 10 comments

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comments on the issues raised at a recent FTC workshop exploring facial recognition technology and the privacy and security implications raised by its increasing use. The December 8, 2011, public workshop, “Face Facts: A Forum on Facial Recognition Technology,” focused on the current and future commercial applications of facial detection and recognition technologies, and discussed current uses of these technologies, possible future uses and benefits. Now the focus shifts to the potential harms, namely the numerous potential privacy and security concerns.

Facial detection and recognition technologies have been adopted in a variety of new contexts, ranging from  online social networks to automobiles to Automatic Teller Machines and must more. Indeed, there are a variety of facial recognition innovations already patented and many with patent pending status.  A search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office database for the term “facial recognition” within the Abstract of an issued patent or published patent application returns 181 results.

14 Ways to Exploit the Power of Social Media for Business

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011 @ 6:47 pm | Written by Renee C. Quinn | 5 comments

Having a brand is not just for big corporations and well-known products. Big businesses, small businesses, law firms, entrepreneurs and anyone else wanting to make a name for themselves can do so by building a brand. The way you portray your business, your products and yourself; in other words your image, is your brand.

Thanks to social media everyone has the ability to connect with like-minded individuals all over the world. But if you want to exploit social media you need to have an effective strategy. It does not take an enormous amount of time each day. In fact with only 15 minutes per day, you can really make quite an impact.  Like everything you hope to succeed with in life, it does take planning and forethought.

Here are suggestions on how you might be able to use social media to develop your brand, monitor quality, engage customers, expand upon ideas and connect with others within your industry.

USPTO Administrator for Policy and External Affairs – Albert Tramposch – Rejoins AIPLA as Deputy Executive Director

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011 @ 5:28 pm | Written by AIPLA | 2 comments

Albert Tramposch

ARLINGTON, VA – The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) is pleased to announce that Albert Tramposch, Administrator for Policy and External Affairs at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), will resume his former post as AIPLA Deputy Executive Director for International and Regulatory Affairs, beginning January 16, 2012.

“We are delighted that Al is rejoining the AIPLA, and commend him for generously dedicating a portion of his career to public service at the USPTO,” said AIPLA Executive Director Todd Dickinson. “We are very fortunate to have someone of Al’s talent and background returning to our Senior Staff, where he has proven himself to be a great asset to the Association and its members.”

A Manufacturing Strategy for 2012: Keeping Jobs & IP in the U.S.

Posted: Monday, Dec 26, 2011 @ 1:32 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 2 comments

Several weeks ago, on December 11, 2011, U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson set out his vision for how the Department of Commerce can best partner with the business community to support President Obama’s jobs agenda.  If the past is any indication of the future, President Obama and it senior team will do whatever they can leading into the new year to jump start the economy and get Americans back to work.

At his speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Commerce Secretary Bryson outlined his top three priorities to help American businesses “build it here and sell it everywhere,” focusing on supporting advanced manufacturing, increasing our exports, and attracting more investment to America from all over the world.  The key to emerging from the Great Recession is, of course, manufacturing.  Manufacturing jobs have left the U.S. in favor of more business friendly climates in other countries, taking with them U.S. jobs and U.S. intellectual property.  But moving into a Presidential election year will government be able to do anything that is at all likely to help?