On Monday, July 19, 2010, I was granted behind the scenes access to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and was allowed to follow USPTO Director David Kappos throughout the day as he went from meeting to meeting. Nearly 18 months has passed since, and we have just entered what could be the final year of the Obama Administration, so it seemed as if the timing was right to once again sit and chat with the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property.
I requested an interview through proper channels and it was arranged to take place at the USPTO on the 10th floor of the Madison Building in Director Kappos’ office. The interview took place on Thursday, December 22, 2011. The title Kappos 2.0 is how I have referred to this follow-up series. In the initial series spawned three different articles; one about what I observed as a day in the life of Director Kappos, the interview with Director Kappos and an article about Kappos’ Senior Management Team. In addition to what will be a three-part interview with Director Kappos, the Kappos 2.0 series will also entail in depth interviews with some of Kappos’ Senior Management Team, so stay tuned through the first quarter of 2012 for more.
The breaking news from the United States Patent and Trademark Office today is that Peter Pappas, who has been the Director of Communications at the USPTO, will be assuming the role of Chief of Staff of the USPTO as part of a restructuring of the Kappos leadership team.
In the Director's Office, July 2010. L to R: Drew Hirshfeld, Peter Pappas and Director David Kappos.
Effectively immediately Pappas is the new Chief of Staff and the immediate past Chief of Staff, Drew Hirshfeld, will assume the role of Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, which for a long time has been a key role within senior management at the USPTO.
Those familiar with the USPTO senior management remember that initially Director Kappos appointed Rob Clarke to serve as Chief of Staff. After several months Clarke needed to step aside for personal reasons. Clarke is now on the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. At the time Clarke stepped aside Hirshfeld, who had just been appointed Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, was tapped to become the new Chief of Staff. Thus, Hirshfeld returns to assume the management position he only briefly held before agreeing to take on the responsibilities of Chief of Staff.
Lechleiter, Foreman, Kullman, Mathews, Hyndman, Leahy, Smith, Goodlatte, Watt, Moran, Poppy, Kappos and Blank Smile while Obama signs the America Invents Act into Law.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of being present at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology to witness President Obama sign into law the America Invents Act.
President Obama started by commending the students of what he called “One of the best high schools in the country.” He mentioned that; “We have an exhibit of some of the projects that you guys are doing, including the fist high school student satellite, a wheel chair controlled by brain waves, robotics and more.” He made the crowd smile when he jokingly said; “I am hoping that I will learn something just by being close to you; through osmosis. I already feel smart just standing here.”
USPTO Director David Kappos will present U.S. Pat. No. 8,000,000 at Sept. 8, 2011 ceremony at the Smithsonian.
Earlier today the Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today issued U.S. Patent No. 8,000,000. The 8 million patent was issued to Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., for a visual prosthesis apparatus that enhances visual perception for people who have gone blind due to outer retinal degeneration. The invention uses electrical stimulation of the retina to produce the visual perception of patterns of light. The product – the Argus® II – is currently in U.S. clinical trials and has received marketing approval in Europe.
The USPTO has known which patent would be No. 8,000,000 for at least three weeks, and the Office is planning for the occasion with a special ceremony to be held on September 8, 2011. The USPTO notified Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. that it would receive U.S. Patent No. 8,000,000 via Issue Notification sent July 27, 2011.
A comment to the aforementioned article caught my attention and captured my imagination. Mikk (@ comment 2) jested saying: “Very interesting, we can start bidding when we will see US Patent No. 9,000,000…” This got me to thinking — when exactly can we expect U.S. Patent 9,000,000 to issue? Then my mind wandered to Office pools and I heard the immortal words of Fred Flintstone: “Bet, bet, bet, bet, bet….” So I thought it might be a little fun to engage in some speculation.
So let the speculation begin on when U.S. Patent No. 9,000,000 will be issued! I pick Tuesday, May 24, 2016.
You hear a lot these days about the need to protect Intellectual Property and capture innovation, but you don’t hear much about the traditional expense involved. There’s a reason for that: given the constantly evolving, “wild west” nature of today’s technical frontier, it is often prohibitively expensive for the little guy to cover all the bases and keep up with all the changes. Small businesses have had few options for affordable, comprehensive preparedness on the IP front, and in the wake of the recession, you’re likely to hear a lot more about the need to cut legal spending than you are about performing more audits and hiring more lawyers.
Companies are beginning to tackle this paradox by practicing the word on the lips of everyone from David Kappos (Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO) to Robert L. Stoll (Commissioner for Patents, USPTO), to business leaders, to even President Obama – innovation. But what good is innovation in and of itself? The innovation our leaders want demands adequate protections in place to turn those promising innovations into business assets.
Earlier this week two key House Republican leaders, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is Chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, was joined by Congressman Harold Rogers (R-KY), who is Chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, wrote Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) explaining that they oppose provisions in House patent reform legislation H.R. 1249 that would allow the Patent and Trademark Office to keep and use the fees collected to run the agency. See House Republicans Oppose an Adequately Funded Patent Office. This is an extremely myopic and ill conceived notion. The Patent Office is unlike other government agencies in that it is completely funded by user fees, takes absolutely no taxpayer funds and provides a valuable service for a fee.
Given that House Republicans seem to fear an adequately funded Patent Office I got to thinking — What could they be afraid of? With that in mind, here are the top 10 things that House Republicans just might be afraid of as they seek to oppose an adequately funded Patent Office. Can you hear the black helicopter squad swirling overhead, conspiracy theories in hand?
How to Write a Patent Application is a must own for patent attorneys, patent agents and law students alike. A crucial hands-on resource that walks you through every aspect of preparing and filing a patent application, from working with an inventor to patent searches, preparing the patent application, drafting claims and more.
Without hesitation I recommend One Simple Idea and think it should be required reading for any motivated inventor. There is so much to like about the book and so much that I think author Stephen Key nails dead on accurate. The book is educational, information and inspirational. For the $14 cover price it is essential reading.
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