USPTO Director David Kappos speaks at Inventors Conference Luncheon, November 2009
The United States Patent and Trademark Office and co-sponsor the National Inventors Hall of Fame will host the 15th Annual Independent Inventors Conference. The Independent Inventors Conference provides an opportunity to learn about patents, trademarks and gather tips from experienced inventors and industry experts. The conference will be held November 4-5, 2010 in Alexandria, VA, at the USPTO campus. A pre-conference workshop will be held on November 3, 2010 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., and is included with registration for anyone interested in learning patent basics and how they protect inventions. This workshop is for beginners and is a good foundation for the conference if you are new to the area of inventing or patent law. Breakout sessions that will be held over the two day conference include discussion of patents, patent searching, claim drafting, trademarks, trademark searching, obviousness and tips for seasoned inventors.
Washington and Munich (October 25, 2010) — The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) have agreed to work toward the formation of a joint patent classification system. Unlike other major patent document classification systems, the U.S. patent classification system is not based on the International Patent Classification (IPC) system because it predates the IPC. One of the goals of the partnership is to align the U.S. and the EPO classification systems with the IPC, which is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. The jointly developed classification system will be more detailed than the IPC to improve patent searching. As a result, the two offices would move closer to eliminating the unnecessary duplication of work between the two offices, thus promoting more efficient examinations, while also enhancing patent examination quality.
I was sitting in a ball room earlier today at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in Washington, DC as a member of the press covering the AIPLA Annual Meeting. The Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos spoke about the Future of America’s Innovation Economy: Progress and Challenges at the USPTO. The format of his presentation was in the form of a Question and Answer session, moderated by Q. Todd Dickinson, himself a former Director of the USPTO and the current Executive Director of the AIPLA. There were hundreds of professionals in attendance, including many patent attorneys, patent examiners and judges. There were yellow cards on our table that we were asked to fill out before lunch that would allow us to ask questions of the Director during the session.
Chief Judge Paul Michel addresses the audience at his retirement party.
On Tuesday, October 19, 2010, I attended the retirement dinner and reception of the Honorable Chief Judge Paul R. Michel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington DC. As fate would have it, I got lost on my way to the party. Even though I thought I gave myself plenty of time to get there, I arrived right before dinner. Upon arriving I spotted David Kappos, the Director of the USPTO. I introduced myself and was very warmly welcomed. I had the distinct pleasure of sitting with David Kappos during dinner, in between him and Todd Dickinson, Executive Director of the AIPLA. Among others at our table were Matt Rainey of Intellectual Ventures, LLC, the Honorable Judge Edward Damich of the United States Court of Federal Claims and the Honorable Judge Pauline Newman of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. After dinner the celebration began with a video featuring numerous speakers and a toast. What follows is a recap of the evening’s events, as well as some quotes on the record from several distinguished guests that were at the event to celebrate with Chief Judge Michel.
Giant blow-up Michelin Tire Man outside the Madison Building on the campus of the Trademark and Patent Office
On Friday, October 15, 2010 and again on Saturday, October 16, 2010, the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USTPO) played host to the National Trademark Expo. That is no typo or clerical error. Director Kappos, who was introduced by Lynne Beresford, the Commissioner for Trademarks, started the day with an address and began by welcoming everyone to the United States Trademark and Patent Office — the USTPO. Kappos said: “in the spirit of the day, I am delighted to be the Director of the United States Trademark and Patent Office…” As you can imagine, the trademark enthusiasts in the room erupted in laughter and the day was off to a good start, with a friendly and fun tone set right out of the box. Later in the day when I spoke with Director Kappos he told me he cut his prepared remarks down because as he looked out at the audience full of children he could just imagine they were all wanting the talking to be over and the day to begin. The kids couldn’t wait to go see the trademark characters walking about the building.
Yesterday David Kappos, the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, wrote on his blog an article titled Reflections on the USPTO Dashboard. Largely the article discusses the statistical reporting of the USPTO, and provides a look back at fiscal year 2010 and offers some comparisons to fiscal year 2009. One paragraph in particular captured my interest:
Overall in FY 2010, the allowance rate increased to 45.6%, compared to an allowance rate of 41.3% in FY 2009. In addition, actions per disposal decreased to 2.42 from 2.73 in FY 2009. Furthermore, as a result of a concerted campaign to begin turning the tide on our backlog, the patent application backlog dropped from 718,835 at the end of FY 2009, to 708,535 at the end of FY 2010. Pretty remarkable considering that application filings were up about 4%, that our examiner workforce shrunk and we were unable to authorize overtime for most of the year due to funding challenges, and that we affirmatively gave our examiners *more* time to examine each application as a clear signal that quality is our first priority.
In this edition of News, Notes & Announcements, happy birthday wishes to IPWatchdog.com for celebrating our 11th year online and a heartfelt thank you to all our readers. Additionally, the TiVo patent used to sue Echostar, the litigation at question in the en banc review at the Federal Circuit, survives reexamination at the USPTO. Professor Thomas Field (UNH) publishes the 21st edition of his IP casebook, which is now online in royalty free version; the USPTO is hosting the National Trademark Expo this Friday and Saturday on campus in Alexandria; the USPTO is hosting the 15th Annual Independent Inventors Conference on November 4-5, 2010, and I will be there teaching two sessions of patent claim drafting; US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visits the USPTO and the AIPLA will host is Annual Meeting next week.
Kappos says quality patent examination is top priority
Yesterday the United States Patent and Trademark Office announced the adoption of new, more comprehensive procedures for measuring the quality of patent examination. The new measurement procedures were crafted by a joint USPTO-Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) Task Force after consultation with the intellectual property community and the public, and according to the Adoption of Quality Metrics document patent blogs were also reviewed for ideas, thus it would seem that the USPTO has left no stone unturned in an effort to find a better way to measure patent examination quality.
Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos announced on Friday, October 1, 2010, that effective immediately the USPTO is reorganizing its operational structure to strengthen the agency’s management, communications and policy functions in accordance with the goals set forth in its 2010-2015 Strategic Plan. This plan, which according to the USPTO website is now available in final form, was completed with input from our public advisory committees, stakeholders, the public, and employees. According to the USPTO website, “The plan is designed to strengthen the capacity of the USPTO, improve the quality of patents and trademarks issued and shorten the time it takes to get a patent. The plan as fully implemented will enhance and accelerate the innovation and job growth needed to transform the U.S. economy, foster competitiveness and drive the creation and growth of U.S. businesses”
In this edition of News, Notes & Announcements, the mother of all patent trolls, Acacia Research Corporation, scores two more licensing agreements, one with IBM the other with US Cellular. Samsung Electronics and Stanford Law School are combining forced to co-sponsor a patent prize for excellent writing about patent law, with real money awarded to the winner and runners-up; $10,000 and $5,000 respectively. AIPLA announced that David Kappos will give the keynote speech at the annual meeting on Thursday, October 21, and Judge Gajarsa will speak on Friday and Chief Judge Rader will participate in a panel on the amicus process. The Wall Street Journal is reporting about new challenges to cookies tracking our every move online, and BIO is the charter sponsor of a new weekly public affairs television program called BioCentury This Week, which premiered yesterday and is available on the web.
Todd Dickinson discussed Three Track at USPTO on 7/20/10
My interview with Q. Todd Dickinson, the current Executive Director of the AIPLA and former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the Patent and Trademark Office, took place on August 19, 2010, in a conference room at AIPLA headquarters. In part 1 of the interview we learned about Dickinson’s background and early career that eventually found him Director of the USPTO, the American Inventors Protection Act and his philosophical approach toward allowing patent applications. In part 2 of the interview we discussed average pendency and ways to bring it down, as well as a detailed discussion about patent reform, which Dickinson told me was not dead, and which has turned out to be prophetic indeed. See Bipartisan Group of Senators Urge Action on Patent Reform. In this final installment of the interview we discuss how current USPTO Director David Kappos is doing, whether his honeymoon period will ever end, whether there is any concern he will burn-out, and we discuss the AIPLA position on Three Track, plus the usual fun questions at the end.
Earlier this week USPTO Director David Kappos announced on his blog the USPTO Data Visualization Center and the Patents Dashboard. During my behind the scenes tour of the Patent Office in July 2010, I attended a meeting on the Visualization Center and the Patents Dashboard, and was favorably impressed with what the Patent Office is trying to accomplish. In a word – transparency; that is what the USPTO is attempting to accomplish . Director Kappos takes seriously the Obama Administration mantra and wants to provide the public with access to as much or as little data as desired. The Visualization Center shows graphics that look much like a speedometer, which is where the Patents Dashboard moniker comes from, but the data is also available for those who want to see the numbers and figures used to create the easy to understand graphics. In fact, during my time at the USPTO, Director Kappos continually would say that he wants to allow anyone who is interested to drill down as much as they desire, including to the raw data level if they want.
Washington – On Tuesday, August 10, President Barack Obama signed into law P.L. 111-224 that gives the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) the authority to spend an additional $129 million of the fees the agency will collect in Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. Due to an improving economy and increased patent examination productivity, the agency projects it will collect nearly $200 million more than its FY 2010 appropriation of $1.887 billion.
David Kappos told CBS the biggest problem is the backlog and the PTO needs more money. "It's no taxpayer dollars at all-- all the fees we collect come from patent applicants."
Straight from the “it’s about time” department comes breaking word that the so-called popular press are finally identifying the most under reported news story of this recession. The United States Patent and Trademark Office is foundering and it needs more money in order to do its job. That alone ought to be newsworthy, but add the fact that the Patent Office is the one agency of government with the ability to recognize assets out of whole cloth and have industry organically grow as a direct result and without ANY taxpayer dollars. The fact that the Patent Office can without any taxpayer dollars directly influence and creation of new, high paying jobs makes it virtually criminal that the elite press, who has reported on virtually every angle of this recession, has ignored the engine that could get us out of this mess.
On July 19, 2010, I was granted behind the scenes access to observe the United States Patent and Trademark Office. From 11am to 7pm I trailed David Kappos, the Under Secretary for Commerce for Intellectual Property and the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. My hosts for the day were primarily Peter Pappas, Chief Communications Officer and Senior Advisor to Kappos, and one of his top lieutenants, Jennifer Rankin Byrne. As I went through the day I met members of the Senior Staff, some of whom I already knew and others who I was meeting for the first time, and sat in on a series of meetings with Director Kappos.
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. The treatise is continuously updated to address relevant Federal Circuit and Supreme Court decision impacting patent drafting.
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