February 12, 2009

On Friday, February 13th, the USPTO will be providing to the public, via webcast, the public sessions of the next Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) meeting. The actual meeting, held at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA, will commence at 9:30am local time and will continue to 3:00pm, with a public stream of the event available at a specific USPTO webpage (link provided below). According to the USPTO announcement (also linked below), the meeting will begin with a discussion of specific action items within the 2008 PPAC annual report, including the following (directly quoted/reproduced from the announcement itself):

A. Definitions of a "quality" issued patent, "quality" patent application and "quality" patent prosecution and examination.
B. Revisions to the current information disclosure statement requirements (e.g., Rules 1.98 and 1.99), including the ramifications of the Inequitable Conduct theory on any proposed rules.
C. Pre-examination interviews.
D. Nationwide USPTO workforce.
E. USPTO/University pilot program to offer loans to qualified engineering students willing to become examiners.
F. Market-based examination model.
G. Full utilization of foreign prior art searches and expanded IPC search capability.

The afternoon session will continue the same discussion and include details as to what the PPAC seeks to accomplish in 2009.

In addition to the webcast, if you are interested in listening to the event via listen-only conference call, dial-in instructions are provided within the USPTO announcement link provided below.

USPTO Announcement: LINK
Webcast URL: LINK
2007 PPAC Annual Report (PDF): LINK
2008 PPAC Annual Report (PDF): LINK
2008 PPAC Annual Report Scorecard (PDF): LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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