USPTO to Hold Inventors Conference in Austin, TX – Sept. 14-15

By Gene Quinn
August 18, 2012

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold the Texas Regional Independent Inventors Conference on September 14-15, 2012 in the Thompson Conference Center located on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. Co-hosted by Invent Now® and the University of Texas at Austin, this conference will provide inventors and innovators with educational information relating to patents and trademarks.  Presentations will be from intellectual property experts, as well as USPTO officials.

Inventors who attend these USPTO sponsored inventor conferences will receive practical advice from successful inventors, experienced practitioners and USPTO officials.  The registration fee is $80 per person ($70 for seniors or students) and includes all sessions and presentations, morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch both days and the networking reception.  If you can get to Austin, Texas, on September 14 and 15 you will get far more out of this conference than the price of enrollment.  Having been involved several times with the conference when it is held in Alexandria, Virginia, I can say first hand that this event is excellent, informative and educational.  I highly recommend it for inventors and business people who need to become more familiar with patents and trademarks.

Conference highlights include presentations, workshops, and one-on-one advisory sessions conducted by senior USPTO officials and others who will inform and answer questions about patents and trademarks.  Keynote speakers will be announced shortly.


Presenters confirmed so far include:

  • Robert Metcalfe (2007 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee)
  • Karen C. Parker (Director and International Trade Specialist, Austin U.S. Export Assistance Center, U.S. Commercial Service-Austin, U.S. Dept. of Commerce)
  • John Calvert (Acting Associate Commissioner for Patents, USPTO Office of Innovation Development)
  • Elizabeth Dougherty (Director of Inventor Education, Outreach and Recognition, USPTO Office of Innovation Development)
  • Darnell Jayne (Supervisory Patent Examiner, USPTO Technology Center 3600)
  • Catherine Cain (Trademark Staff Attorney, USPTO)

Space is limited and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more, including how to register, by visiting If you have questions about the conference contact the USPTO’s Office of Innovation Development at 866-767-3848.

One thing that makes the Conference so beneficial is the opportunity to sit down and have one-on-one time with experts who donate their time to help. The schedule has time throughout the day for one-on-one sessions, and you frequently see inventors and industry experts in the halls chatting or grabbing coffee together. Above is from the 15th Annual Conference.

Topics & Sessions Include:

35 USC 103 – What is Obvious? – One of the most difficult questions in patent law is deciding how closely an invention can be to prior inventions and still be patentable. It’s a question that every independent inventor should ask before they file an application. Recent Supreme Court and Federal Circuit decisions have changed the framework for answering this question. This presentation provides a discussion of some of these decisions and will provide insight to the independent inventor in answering this question.

John Calvert, USPTO Inventors Assistance Program, will teach claim drafting at the Conference

Claim Drafting for Beginners– Now that you understand the basics of the patent process, learn how to properly define your invention in a claim. The basics of claim drafting will be presented. Learn how to write claims through a structured approach. Understand how terms and their relationship will help you to build a well written claim. Find out how to review and revise a claim so that it provides a broadly claimed invention. Find out the difference between independent and dependent claims and why there is a difference.

Advanced Claim Drafting – Take the next step in claim drafting. Understand how prior art can influence your claim drafting. Learn how to write claims of varying scope. Learn how to write claims that cover more than one embodiment to broaden your patent coverage.

Advanced Tips for the Seasoned Inventor – This session will cover complex prosecution topics including declaration practice under rules 37 CFR 1.131 and 1.132 in order to overcome prior art references, the filing of terminal disclaimers in order to overcome double patenting rejections, requests for pre-appeal conferences, formalities required in order to file an appeal, and the procedure to revive an abandoned application.

American Inventors Act (AIA) How It Will Impact You – Learn about the American Invents Act and how it may affect you as an inventor. This is the biggest change in Patent Law since 1952 and offers many benefits for inventors. Some of the changes have been argued for and against. Find out what the changes really are all about and when they will be implemented.

Local Resources In Your Area – Although you will be hearing from local resources in the California area, these resources are actually located throughout the country and available to inventors everywhere. The USPTO’s Patent and Trademark Depository Librarians and the Inventors Forum, a local inventors group, will provide information about their respective resources.

One-on-One with the Experts – Thursday evening and Friday morning we have allotted time for you to sit down with an expert and have 15 minutes of consultation free!

Patent Searching and Navigating the USPTO Web site – In this session you will learn how to conduct a patent search. Supervisory Patent Examiners from the United States Patent and Trademark Office will provide tips and guidance that can help you search out those related patents.

Patents – Utility and Designs – In this session, you will learn why patents exist and how they protect inventions. Expert presenters from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will offer a detailed explanation of patent application filing requirements; forms required and associated filing fees. These experts will also review provisional applications, utility and design applications will be discussed.

Trademark Applications – Trademarks will explore the groundwork you need to apply for the trademark that will identify your invention for the public. It will cover the definition of a mark that can be registered and the federal law that is the basis of the registration system. It will also give you a thumbnail sketch of the trademark registration process from new application workflow through post-registration maintenance.

Trademark Searching – In this session, you will learn how to conduct a trademark search. A USPTO Trademark attorney will provide tips and guidance that can help you search out those problems that could ultimately sink your business.

Women and Minority Business – This session is designed with women and minority entrepreneurs in mind! The process of obtaining and protecting your IP can be a challenging one; come and learn about resources available from the USPTO, other government agencies and local associations directed to helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses in today’s world.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 2 Comments comments.

  1. David August 21, 2012 12:30 pm

    I Funny, I’m registered for this. Was that wrong and naive, too? ;-P

  2. Gene Quinn August 21, 2012 1:09 pm


    God help the USPTO and presenters at the Inventors Conference if you show up with your anti-patent zealotry and irrational ignorance.