President Obama in the East Room of the White House. All smiles to start the ceremony. 11-17-2010
Earlier this evening President Barack Obama awarded National Medals to 16 distinguished scientists and engineers in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House. I was in attendance as a member of the press, which was an extraordinary experience. I will write about my behind the scenes look at what I experienced in the days to come, and tomorrow we will have complete coverage of President Obama’s remarks at the ceremony.
I probably broke all kinds of press rules by clapping throughout the ceremony. I probably should have remained stoic, but the men and women who were on the stage with President Obama are the true rock stars of our industry and I just could not bring myself to do anything other than applaud them for their achievements.
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos announced today that the deadline for filing petitions under the USPTO’s Green Technology Pilot Program, which allows for expedited processing of patent applications related to green technology, is being extended through December 31, 2011. The program was originally set to expire on December 8, 2010, but has been successful enough to warrant an extension. In fact, since the pilot program began in December 2009, a total of 790 petitions have been granted to green technology patent applicants, with 94 patents having already been issued.
Director Kappos explains the USPTO IT systems are "too fragile" to give access to more patent data.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is collecting $1 million per day that it is not allowed to use, thanks to the fact that Congress recessed for the elections without passing a budget for fiscal year 2011. What that means is that the Patent Office is frozen in place with a budget that restricts the amount of funds that the Patent and Trademark Office can use. Thus, they are taking in the work and only capable of using a portion of the fees collected for operations. That means there is a $1 million per day national innovation tax being imposed because Congress refuses to let the Patent Office keep the money it collects for services to be rendered.
John Calvert, Administrator of the Inventors Assistance Program at the USPTO, teaching claim drafting
On Thursday and Friday, November 4-5, 2010, the United States Patent and Trademark Office held its annual Independent Inventors Conference. This marked the 15th time the USPTO has held the conference and it was once again an extremely successful event. A well deserved tip of the hat goes to John Calvert (pictured left) who is the Administrator of the Inventors Assistance Program at the USPTO, and Cathie Kirik (who assists John with Inventors Assistance). Both John and Cathie work tirelessly on behalf of inventors every day and together make sure the program is successful year in and year out.
PTO Director Kappos says the Patent Office will keep issuing gene patents.
On Monday evening, November 1, 2010, David Kappos, Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, told the Dow Jones news service: “The USPTO at the present time is maintaining the status quo. We’re continuing with current procedures as they are.” This could set up a contentious and public policy battle between the United States Department of Commerce and the United States Department of Justice. This battle of agency titans — DOJ v. DOC — comes as a result of the Department of Justice filing an amicus brief in The Association of Molecular Pathology v. The United States Patent and Trademark Office, which actually does not take the side of the USPTO, but rather says that what the USPTO is doing is wrong. Thus, in an extremely odd twist the DOJ is supporting the plaintiffs’ against the United States Patent Office.
At 7:30, Friday evening, October 22, 2010, many of those who had attended the AIPLA Annual Meetinghad gathered outside of the ballroom where a black tie preferred dinner was to be served. It was a very well attended event, I would venture to guess maybe 300 or so. Many of the top names in intellectual property were in attendance including David Kappos, Chief Judge Randall Rader, Q. Todd Dickinson and Chief Judge Paul Michel. The ball room was eloquently decorated and a small jazz band played through the beginning of dinner. I sat one table over from Judge and Mrs. Michel, Judge and Mrs. Rader and Q. Todd Dickinson.
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.