Posts Tagged: "Department of Commerce"

The Administration’s Draft ROI Report: A Promising Roadmap for Accelerating Tech Transfer

After months of anticipation, the just released draft paper Return on Investment Initiative to Advance the President’s Management Agenda: Unleashing American Innovation signals that the Administration is serious about addressing a wide range of long neglected issues undermining effective technology commercialization.The paper, generated under the leadership of Commerce Under Secretary Walter Copan, who heads the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is “a discussion document”  based on feedback from a series of public meetings and written comments for improving the return on investment from $150 B spent annually on government-supported R&D… The suggested action is to “authorize scientists and engineers at Federal Laboratories to engage in entrepreneurial activities that support technology transfer and commercialization.”… The report effectively addresses a wide variety of problems in the system. Many have lingered for decades but the government lacked the leadership and the will to address them. It looks like that may be ending. That’s a good thing for American taxpayers.

House Subcommittees Hold Hearing on Space Situational Awareness and Space Traffic Management

A joint hearing of the House Subcommittee on Strategic Forces and the House Subcommittee on Space was recently convened to discuss the responsibilities of various U.S. government agencies on space situational awareness (SSA) and space traffic management (STM) efforts. The hearing occurred just days after the administration of President Donald J. Trump issued Space Policy Directive-3 (SPD-3) to set a new national space policy to address issues related to both SSA and STM including tracking the existence of space debris, encourage commercial activities in space and improve the national security of the United States in a world where foreign powers are increasing their presence in space.

Increasing the ROI from the Federal Labs

The biggest complaint about federal labs is it’s too hard to complete deals. Many federal labs must run pending agreements through byzantine departmental procedures. Companies wonder what’s taking so long and are surprised when negotiated points come back altered… One reason why universities outperform the labs is that many academic licensing officers come from the private sector. They understand the pressures companies are under to complete agreements.

Commerce Secretary ready to push update to tech transfer laws to ensure greater commercialization

Secretary Ross gave an unequivocal endorsement of Bayh-Dole specifically, and more generally saying laws need to be updated to address business and technology realities of today, and to enable more companies to license federally funded technologies and take advantage of federally funded research in order to launch high-tech start-ups, create jobs, and grow the economy. “Our practices, policies, regulations, and laws all need to be updated to assure that technology transfer commercialization in the large-scale production and manufacture of innovative technologies occurs within the US,” Ross said. “We must address growing trade imbalances by producing in America the innovative products that the rest of the world needs to buy.”

USPTO Director Andrei Iancu Discusses Patentability of Algorithms, PTAB Proceedings at Senate Judiciary Committee

Sen. Harris followed up by asking whether algorithms were mathematical representations of laws of nature. “You’re getting right to the heart of the issue,” Iancu said. What Iancu said after that should be a major breath of fresh air to inventors and patent owners frustrated by Section 101 validity issues in the wake of Alice and Mayo: “This is one place where I believe courts have gone off the initial intent. There are human-made algorithms, human-made algorithms that are the result of human ingenuity that are not set from time immemorial and that are not absolutes, they depend on human choices. Those are very different from E=mc2 and they are very different from the Pythagorean theorem, for example.”

Senate Schedules Andrei Iancu Confirmation Vote for February 5

On Monday, February 5, 2018, the United States Senate will hold a confirmation vote on Andrei Iancu, President Trump’s pick to become the next Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

USPTO to Remain Open in spite of Government Shutdown

Regardless of any government shutdown, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will continue normal operations. Unlike other agencies, the USPTO has access to fees collected and will be able to continue normal operations for at least a few weeks, according to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

Senate confirms dozens of Trump nominees, including new IP Czar

Vishal Amin was confirmed to be the IP enforcement coordinator at the White House and Peter Davidson was confirmed to be general counsel at the Commerce Department. Amin had been a lawyer for Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) working on the AIA and then for Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) working on the Innovation Act. Therefore, Amin has been in the middle of IP legislation since President Obama took office in January 2009. Before that he worked in the Bush White House and Commerce Department on patent reform and IP issues.  Amin generally favors the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and going after patent trolls.

Andrei Iancu: The man who may be the next USPTO Director

If the Washington, DC rumor mill is correct Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will soon announce that Andrei Iancu will be the next Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Sources say an announcement could come as early as the beginning of July. Still, it has been difficult to determine whether those within the rumor mill, which have been in complete agreement on Iancu being the pick, is well informed or simply echoing what everyone else is saying. Regardless, at this point too many indicators are pointing toward Iancu being the pick, with rumors also circulating that he is currently being vetted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Status of USPTO Regulatory Reform Task Force Uncertain

What I do know is that the Department of Commerce has created a Regulatory Reform Task Force and that the USPTO will participate on that Commerce Department Regulatory Reform Task Force in some unexplained and rather ambiguous capacity. I have still not been provided the name of any USPTO appointed Regulatory Reform Officer, nor have I been provided the names of any individuals who have been appointed to any USPTO Regulatory Reform Task Force. If you read the comment I received on the record from the USPTO together with the USPTO belief that this comment moots my FOIA request it seems clear that the USPTO will not be forming its own Regulatory Reform Task Force and will not be appointing a Regulatory Reform Officer. Unfortunately, all attempts to get the USPTO to confirm on the record that they will not be forming a Regulatory Reform Task Force and will not be naming a Regulatory Reform Officer have failed.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross interviews candidates for USPTO Director

Michelle Lee’s days seem numbered at the Patent Office. According to credible sources, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has been interviewing perspective candidates for the position of Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). One of the individuals receiving an interview this week was Phil Johnson, former Vice-President for Intellectual Property Strategy & Policy for Johnson & Johnson, and a past President of the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

Trump FY 2018 budget cuts $1.5 billion from Commerce, how much will come from the USPTO?

With a proposed budget of $7.8 billion and $1 billion in cuts to identify, questions arise about where those cuts will come. Is the USPTO budget safe?Will the cuts be across the board cuts with the USPTO being asked to account for 35% of the $1 billion, which would reduce the USPTO budget to $2.967 billion for FY 2018? According to a chart prepared by the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) Association, the largest single fee diversion came in 2011 when $209 million was diverted from the USPTO. If the USPTO must cut its budget by some $350 million that would far and away be the largest single year fee diversion in the history of the U.S. patent system.

Nominations Sought for National Medal of Technology and Innovation

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking nominations for the 2017 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medal is presented each year by the President of the United States and is this country’s highest award for technological achievement. The deadline for nominations is April 7, 2017.

USPTO diverts funds to Commerce Department as user fee increases are prepared

In a shocking revelation, Frank Murphy, Acting Chief Financial Officer, explained that the USPTO has been and will continue to make payments to the Department of Commerce under the shared services initiative, which is now known as “enterprise services.” Not only are these payments to Commerce potentially (or perhaps likely) in violation of the America Invents Act (AIA), but they are being made at a time when the USPTO is suffering revenue shortfalls and is preparing to increase user fees. According to Murphy, the final fees rule will be submitted to the Administration soon, with fee increases likely by September.

Michelle Lee seems to be USPTO Director, but Commerce Department Declines Comment

Michelle Lee seems to still be Director. She is signing patents and Federal Register Notices, but both Commerce and USPTO decline comment on her status… Presumably at some time we will be told who is the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but until then that information is being protected as if it is a State secret. Information on who is running the USPTO seems to be on a need to know basis and I guess the public just doesn’t need to know.