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.
- Happy Birthday IPWatchdog.com! – On Sunday, October 10, 2010, we celebrated our 11th anniversary online. We are on pace to have our best year ever, averaging 66,499 unique visitors per month. Through the first three-quarters of 2010 we have had 598,495 monthly unique visitors and are on pace to have close to 800,000 monthly unique visitors and serve up well over 10,000,000 pages . I have also had the privilege of conducting a number of exclusive interviews with some of the major newsmakers in our industry, including USPTO Director David Kappos, Federal Circuit Chief Judge Rader, Federal Circuit Chief Judge Michel (ret.), former USPTO Director Todd Dickinson, former USPTO Director Nick Godici, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry and others. I have some more interviews lined up and will continue to work to create high quality content as we advance through 2010 and into 2011. I want to take this opportunity to thank all our readers for making us one of the most popular destinations on the Web for intellectual property news and analysis.
- TiVo patent emerges from Reexamination – On October 6, 2010, TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ: TIVO), a leader in advanced television services including digital video recorders (DVRs) announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office had affirmed the claims in US Patent No. 6,233,389, which is at issue in Tivo, Inc. v. EchoStar Corp., the appeal at the Federal Circuit that will be heard en banc by the Court on November 9, 2010. Upon the decision of the Patent Office TiVo offered the following statement: “We are pleased that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has reaffirmed the validity of all claims of the Time Warp Patent at issue in the second reexamination of the patent at the request of EchoStar. This decision by the PTO is final and not appealable by EchoStar. Today’s decision further validates our IP and brings us closer to ending EchoStar’s ongoing infringement. Moreover, we remain confident that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will uphold and enforce an injunction against EchoStar’s ongoing willful infringement of the Time Warp Patent.”
- U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Visits USPTO – On October 6, 2010, Commerce Secretary Garry Locke visited the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Va., to congratulate USPTO Director David Kappos and the agency’s staff on its accomplishments during the 2010 fiscal year, which ended September 30. Locke thanked employees for their efforts toward reducing the patent backlog and recognized the agency’s innovative approaches to help bring the USPTO into the 21st century to foster innovation, ingenuity and creativity. “Innovation is the leading driver of economic growth and high-paying jobs,” Locke said. “So as part of the team that’s been encouraging innovation since our nation’s founding over 200 years ago, everyone here has a big job to do, an important job.”
In his address to employees, Locke applauded the patent team for bringing the backlog down to approximately 708,000 despite an increase of 4 percent in patent filings this year. “I’m here today to applaud you for setting a goal of bringing the number of pending patent applications down below 700,000 – and for the outstanding effort the team has put into making it happen,” Locke said. “That speaks to leadership, commitment, and a lot of hard, hard work.”
- Fundamentals of Intellectual Property: Cases & Materials – Professor Thomas Field of the University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center) has published the 21st revision of his IP law casebook, which he provides online in a royalty-free version for noncommercial reproduction. In addition to comparative coverage of patents, copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks, brief attention is given to domain names and rights of publicity. Remedies are considered pervasively. Preemption and speech issues are treated separately as well. Professor Field also has a royalty free e-casebook titled Introduction to Administrative Process: Cases & Materials available free online as well.
- National Trademark Expo – The United States Patent and Trademark Office will be hosting the National Trademark Expo this Friday, October 15, 2010, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, October 16, 2010, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the USPTO campus at 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia. There will be exhibitors, trademark characters, themed displays, and educational seminars to illustrate the vital role trademarks play in the global economy. The event is FREE and is billed as educational fun for you, your family, and your group.
- 15th Annual Independent Inventors Conference – The 15th Annual Independent Inventors Conference, co-sponsored by the United States Patent Trademark Office (USPTO), and Invent Now® will be held in Alexandria, VA at the US Patent and Trademark Office campus on November 4 – 5, 2010. A pre-conference workshop (November 3, 2010 from 5pm – 7pm) is included with your 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. Presenters will include the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, David Kappos, Commissioner for Patents, Robert L. Stoll, National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductee, Art Fry, co-inventor of Post-It® Notes and yours truly, Gene Quinn, who will give two presentations on claim drafting for inventors. Registration is now open for this 2-day event. The fee is $120 per person for both days. The registration fee includes all sessions and presentations, morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch for both days and a networking reception Thursday evening. The networking reception is sponsored by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).
- AIPLA Annual Meeting – The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) will be holding their Annual Meeting next week from October 21st through 23rd at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. Members of the media are invited to attend and can access the press registration form online, which needs to be returned via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to 703-415-0786. David J. Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, will be the keynote speaker at the AIPLA Annual Meeting Thursday Luncheon on October 21st. In a departure from AIPLA’s usual format, following his remarks, Director Kappos will engage in a Q&A discussion with Todd Dickinson, AIPLA Executive Director. Mr. Dickinson will be asking his own questions as well as questions submitted by others in the weeks leading up to the Annual Meeting.