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USPTO Patent Experience Externship Program

Posted: Friday, Apr 4, 2014 @ 11:29 am | Written by JobOrtunities™ Help Wanted | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Government, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, JobOrtunities™ Help Wanted Section, Patents, USPTO

Serving the economic interests of America for more than 200 years. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is responsible for granting US intellectual property rights for patents and trademarks and providing inventors exclusive rights over their discoveries. It’s an effort that contributes to a strong global economy, encourages investment in innovation, and cultivates an entrepreneurial spirit in the 21st century. The USPTO is seeking applications for the unpaid Patent Experience Externship Program (PEEP). PEEP offers opportunities in the areas of engineering, science, and law.

The program is intended to give students an opportunity to experience what it’s like to work at PTO, as well as interact with experts in several disciplines, explore opportunities and develop or enhance personal and professional skills.

This is an 8-10 week summer program. There will be two entry on duty dates, one on May 27th, 2014, and the other on June 9th, 2014. You will be notified of your entry on duty date if you are selected and made a formal offer to participate.





Microsoft Mood Ring? Seeks Patent on Mood Activated Device

Posted: Friday, Apr 4, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Microsoft, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

The computing world has been dominated by a handful of corporations over the past few decades, one of the most recognizable being the Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, WA. This company is a major developer of personal computers, computer electronics and computer software used all over the world. In the past few weeks, Microsoft made a major move into computing software for iOS devices by releasing a Microsoft Office app for the iPad. In another move towards creating software for device manufacturers, Microsoft also recently launched its Enterprise Mobility Suite, allowing an organization to administrate network resources among employee devices, whether they’re running on Android, Windows or iOS software. Interestingly, Microsoft may be making a move into the world of wearable technology with its purchase of $150 million worth of related intellectual property from the Osterhout Design Group, a designer of wearable computing technologies for military and governmental organizations.

Here at IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we’re stopping back into the offices of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to uncover the most recent inventions coming out of the facilities of the Microsoft Corporation. Our readers will be interested to find out about the various software technologies being created for both business and personal activities, as well as a few novel pieces of computer hardware.

We start today with a long look at the featured patent application, which describes a hardware device capable of determining a person’s mood from various sensors and inputs. In what you might consider a modern day evolution of the mood-ring, this device is capable of representing a person’s mood and stress levels. The system works by using biometric data signals indicative of mood from a variety of sources, including a heart rate monitor, galvanic skin monitor, camera or microphone.





USPTO Creates New Office of International Patent Cooperation

Posted: Thursday, Apr 3, 2014 @ 2:43 pm | Written by U.S.P.T.O. | No Comments »
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Posted in: Government, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, USPTO

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the creation of a new Office of International Patent Cooperation (OIPC).  The OIPC will be led by Mark Powell who will serve as USPTO’s first Deputy Commissioner for International Patent Cooperation and report directly to the Commissioner for Patents Margaret (Peggy) Focarino.  The establishment of the OIPC reflects USPTO’s strong commitment to work with global stakeholders and intellectual property (IP) offices to develop means to increase quality and create new efficiencies within the complex processes of international patent rights acquisition, and its commitment toward global patent harmonization, which both protects America’s ideas and makes it easier to do business abroad.

“The establishment of the Office of International Patent Cooperation reflects the USPTO’s strong commitment to the IP community in improving the international patent system,” said Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Michelle Lee. “It will allow us to increase certainty of IP rights while reducing costs for our stakeholders and moving towards a harmonized patent system.”





Patents, Drugs and the Moral High Ground

Posted: Thursday, Apr 3, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 9 comments
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Posted in: Anti-patent Nonsense, Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Pharmaceutical

Recently I had a frustrating morning dealing with a particular anti-patent “do-gooder” who seemingly thinks that everything wrong with the world today is because of the patent system. As is typical with this type of zealot, he intentionally misrepresented what Dr. Kristina Lybecker wrote in her recent article titled Compulsory Licenses Won’t Solve a Healthcare Crisis. Then this ignorant fellow turned on me to say that I supported 9,000 people a day dying in order to preserve patent rights. As you can see, this fellow is not a deep thinker, and not at all capable of honest debate, but isn’t that the case with all those who hate the patent system?

This level of asinine attack would hardly be worthy of my time if it were only the ranting of one particular lunatic, but sadly there are many people who seem to believe that the greater good can be served by stripping pharmaceutical companies of their patent rights and allowing generic drug manufacturers to make the latest drugs in the name of a health crisis. As if preventing a corporation from making money will lead that corporation to simply shrug and start all over again only to have rights stripped away again after billions of dollars of further investment.

The average cost of drug development by a major pharmaceutical company is at least $4 billion per drug, but can be as high as $11 billion per drug. Of course, as is self-evident to anyone capable of critical analysis, no drug company is going to invest billions of dollars to take a drug from laboratory idea to market reality if at the end of the successful trip generic drug manufacturers are allowed to ignore patent rights and immediately start making cheap versions of the patented drug. The generics didn’t have to do any research or engage in the costly and time intensive FDA approval process.





The PTAB Kiss of Death to University of Illinois Patents

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 2, 2014 @ 11:59 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 22 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, Government, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Trial and Appeal Board, Patents, Post Grant Procedures, USPTO

Micron Technologies recently achieved complete victories in three inter partes reviews (IPRs) filed against three University of Illinois patents. The patents now lost by the University of Illinois are U.S. Patent Nos. 5,872,387, 6,444,533, and 6,888,204.

The case dates back to December 2011, when the University of Illinois— at the time, an academic partner with Micron— sued Micron in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois. The complaint alleged patent infringement of the three aforementioned patents, which pertain to the use of deuterium in the fabrication of semiconductor devices. In August 2012, the district court granted Micron’s request for a stay of litigation in anticipation of filing IPR petitions under the then recently effective provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA), which went into effect in September 2012. Micron’s three IPRs against the University patents were filed on October 2, 2012, making them among the first petitions to be filed under the new post-grant review procedures.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) held each claim of the University of Illinois’ semiconductor patents unpatentable, and as a result ordered each claim cancelled. See IPR2013-00005, IPR2013-00006 and IPR2013-00008. The PTAB also found in Micron’s favor on every instituted ground of rejection, including a four-way obviousness rejection of one of the claims in a challenged patent – claim 10 of the ’204 patent.





Overstock Prevails, Patent Trolls Defeated

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 2, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 11 comments
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Litigation, Patent Troll Basics, Patent Trolls, Patents

Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK) recently announced that plaintiffs in two patent infringement lawsuits dismissed their cases against the company without any settlement or any money paid.

“They just walked away,” said Patrick M. Byrne, Overstock.com chairman and CEO. “Patent trolls find us unappetizing. While we have the highest respect for intellectual property rights, we don’t settle abusive patent suits—we fight.”  Byrne added, “You can’t fork over your lunch money today, and expect a bully to leave you alone tomorrow. Patent trolls understand a bloody nose and in the long run, it’s the asymmetrical response that pays off. It is only right that we take this opportunity to make explicit this litigation strategy. As Dr. Strangelove says, ‘What’s the point of having a Doomsday Device if you don’t tell anyone about it?’”





Nominations Deadline Extended for National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Posted: Tuesday, Apr 1, 2014 @ 11:13 am | Written by U.S.P.T.O. | No Comments »
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Posted in: IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, USPTO

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is extending the nominations deadline for the 2014 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medal is presented each year by the president of the United States and is this country’s highest award for technological achievement. The deadline is being extended to allow nominators more time to complete and compile the necessary paperwork.

The medal is awarded annually to individuals, teams, companies, or divisions of companies for their outstanding contributions to America’s economic, environmental, and social well-being. By highlighting the national importance of technological innovation, the medal also seeks to inspire future generations of Americans to prepare for and pursue technical careers to keep America at the forefront of global technology and economic leadership.





Compulsory Licenses Won’t Solve a Healthcare Crisis

Posted: Tuesday, Apr 1, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Dr. Kristina Lybecker | No Comments »
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Posted in: Dr. Kristina Lybecker, Guest Contributors, India, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Pharmaceutical, TRIPS

The WTO-negotiated Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) was the first international trade agreement to incorporate intellectual property law.  Though the Agreement remains controversial, the TRIPS Agreement struck an important balance between the long term benefits intellectual property rights generate through knowledge creation and short term costs resulting from market exclusivity.  The TRIPS Agreement introduced more predictability into the international trade environment, and also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes in a systematic way.  As with many international agreements, however, future viability lies in fair and uniform adherence to the agreed-upon principles.

To date, the most contentious aspect of the TRIPS Agreement is the IP protection surrounding pharmaceutical products.  The debates are vitriolic, pitting the long term incentives to innovate against the immediate public health needs of society.  In particular, innovators and public health advocates disagree on the use of compulsory licensing to address public health emergencies.   The concern over public health emergencies and the periodic need to increase access to existing medications led WTO Member States to adopt the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS agreement and public health. The Doha Declaration emphasizes that the TRIPS Agreement should not be interpreted as preventing countries from taking extraordinary actions relative to intellectual property in the event of a public health emergency. One of the extraordinary measures authorized to give governments more flexibility to address a public health crisis is compulsory licensing.