April 30, 2008

Yesterday the European Patent Office (EPO) announced that it has made the current Oral proceedings calendar available from the EPO website. As noted within the EPO announcement (link below), one "can search for oral proceedings by patent application number, date or location," and that "[t]he extended search enables you to combine fields such the name of the applicant(s) or proprietor(s) and opponent(s) or representative(s). " The EPO further notes that "[n]o advance registration is necessary when attending public oral proceedings at the European Patent Office…," but space limitations in certain cases may limit the number of people who may attend on a "first come, first served" basis. A direct link to the calendar itself is provided below.

EPO Announcement: LINK
Oral Proceedings Calendar: LINK

April 29, 2008

On Monday, the USPTO announced its latest Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program, the latest being an initiative with the European Patent Office (EPO). According to the USPTO announcement (link below), “[t]he Patent Prosecution Highway will leverage fast-track patent examination procedures already available in both offices to allow applicants to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently,” and “[i]t also will permit each office to exploit the work previously done by the other office and reduce duplication.” This program will benefit applicants having applications filed with the USPTO and the EPO where at least one allowable claim exists, as an applicant may then request that the application with the allowed claim be “fast tracked” for examination with the remaining claims in the other patent office. As noted within the EPO announcement (link below), Alison Brimelow, President of the EPO, stated that “[b]eing prepared to “utilize” work is both rational and essential if the patent system is to keep its head above water,” and that “[e]xploring the implications of projects like PPH is very important.” Additional information on this and other joint patent office initiatives may be found at the Website of the Trilateral Co-operation (link below).

USPTO Announcement: LINK
EPO Announcement: LINK
Website of the Trilateral Co-operation: LINK

April 25, 2008

The USPTO recently announced two new features to its Trademark Electronic Search System (“TESS”). The first feature (image list) allows drawings of marks to appear in three columns on search results, whereby the “Image List” button can be clicked after a search to enable this new feature. Users can toggle back and forth from the mark drawings to the document display for the mark selected by the user. The second feature allows for multiple searches to be conducted at once, so long as the search logic is separated by semicolons. A user performing a multiple search will result with an intermediate “Multiple Searches” screen, whereby the user can select the specific search result to review. Additional details on these two new features are provided in the first link below.

USPTO Announcement: LINK

April 23, 2008

Last week, the USPTO announced its latest educational effort, the i-©®eaTM Curriculum. As noted by the USPTO (link below), the launch of this new curriculum is to “inspire[] students to be creative and teach[] them about the value of patents, trademarks, and copyrights, as well as the importance of respecting other’s intellectual property,” and is “a valuable resource for teachers to introduce students to the inventive process through cross-curricular activities, inspirational stories of young inventors, and practical hands-on patent and trademark searching on the Internet.” Jointly developed by the USPTO and i-SAFE, an organization focusing on internet safety education, the i-©®eaTM is available through the i-LEARN video training modules, is offered free of charge, and is available to schools in all 50 states. For more information on this new initiative, please see the USPTO announcement and the links below.

USPTO Announcement: LINK
i-SAFE Website: LINK
i-©®eaTM Curriculum Website: LINK
i-Learn Training Module Website: LINK

April 22, 2008

As reported by The Smoking Gun, the New England Patriots, after falling one win shy of a perfect football season last year, appear to continue moving forward with their trademark applications for “19-0” and “19-0 The Perfect Season.” These two pending applications (U.S. Trademark Application Nos. 77/374,670 and 77/374,613, links below) were filed last January by the Kraft Group LLC (One Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA) in anticipation of the Patriots potential perfect season, and although last year may not have been the year, perhaps the Patriots are anticipating this coming season to be perfect. As noted by The Smoking Gun, “a Patriots lawyer recently amended the original filings to correct a typographical error, a clear indication that the organization remains committed to securing the marks (perhaps Bill Belichick & Co. are anticipating perfection in the 2008 season).” The proposed amendments were filed on April 11th to correct “toy bans” in the description of goods for each mark to “toy banks,” showing that these applications continue to get some attention by the Patriots organization. The only NFL team (to date) to have a perfect regular season coupled with a Super Bowl victory was the 1976 Miami Dolphins, finishing the season 17-0-0 (see the “Perfect Season” entry in Wikipedia, link below). With the current 16 game regular season schedule, coupled with a first round bye, a current NFL perfect season would be 19-0.

The Smoking Gun Article: LINK
“19-0” Application: LINK
“19-0 The Perfect Season” Application: LINK
Wikipedia Entry: “Perfect Season”: LINK

April 17, 2008

Earlier this week, the USPTO announced the introduction of its new “Financial Profile” system from the USPTO website to provide “customers with secure, fast, and convenient access to payment history information anytime” from the internet. According to the USPTO, the Financial Profile system will help “with reconciling your payment activities by providing detailed transaction information and reports for all fees paid to the USPTO,” whereby upon registration, a user may utilize any number of payment types, view and print detailed transaction information, view, print, and download monthly statements, and perform specific searches based upon an attorney docket number, an application number, a transaction type, and/or a payment amount. Additional information regarding the new Financial Profile system, including a direct link to the system, is provided below.

USPTO Announcement: LINK
Financial Profile Webpage: LINK

April 16, 2008

It was announced late last week that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has entered into two agreements to advance intellectual property education in Mexico. The two agreements, entered into with the Technological Institute of Monterrey and the University of Guadalajara, are expected to increase patent filings from those two institutions and provide the faculty and students with additional insight into IP protection in Mexico. According to the WIPO press release (link below), the Technological Institute of Monterrey has over 100,000 students “and specializes in applied sciences and technical fields, including biotechnology, business administration and education,” while the University of Guadalajara has a similar student population and is known throughout Mexico for its law and medical programs. The WIPO has noted that “[t]his is the first time a formal relationship is established between the WIPO Academy and academic institutions in Latin America and marks an important milestone in human resources development and capacity building in the region.” Additional information on these WIPO efforts, as well as background on the two Mexican educational institutions, is provided in the links below.

WIPO Press Release:
Technological Institute of Monterrey Website: LINK
University of Guadalajara Website: LINK

April 14, 2008

On Tuesday, April 15th, the USPTO will be hosting its next live online chat for independent inventors. This chat, to be held from 2:00 to 3:00PM EST, will include a number of senior officials from the USPTO answering questions in a continuing effort by the USPTO to “promote and protect America’s independent inventors,” with the effort including “educating inventor-entrepreneurs about the risks of working with invention development companies.” There was one previous online chat this year (February 28th), and links to it and other chat transcripts from 2004 forward are available on the USPTO website (link below). The USPTO has also prepared an alphabetical topic list from prior transcripts, providing the questions and answers from earlier chats for each individual topic. Those independent inventors interested in participating in the upcoming online chat should access the USPTO homepage prior to 1:30PM on Tuesday, where instructions will be provided starting at 10:00AM.

Earlier Chat Transcripts: LINK
Alphabetical Topic List: LINK
Chat Participation Login Webpage: LINK
USPTO Homepage: LINK

April 10, 2008

Opening today and running through Saturday, the USPTO is hosting its National Trademark Expo at the main atrium of the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia. According to the USPTO announcement, several speakers, including Jon Dudas (Under Secretary for Intellectual Property at the USPTO), Lynne Beresford (the Commissioner for Trademarks at the USPTO), and William Euille (the Mayor of the City of Alexandria) will provide comments regarding the impact of trademarks in the United States. A dozen exhibitors, including Microsoft Corporation, NASCAR, Caterpillar, UPS, and others (see list link below), will provide interactive displays “that illustrate the vital role trademarks play in the global economy.” The initiatives of the federal government to combat counterfeiting will also be discussed during the Expo. The Expo will be available from 10:00AM to 6:00PM until Saturday.

National Trademark Expo Press Release: LINK
Exhibitor List: LINK

April 09, 2008

The USPTO has issued a number of news releases in the past week – here is a brief summary of several notable ones.

The International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has informed the USPTO that the search fee required by the European Patent Office (EPO) when the EPO acts as the International Searching Authority (ISA) has increased to $2,496.00 as of April 1, 2008. The current fee when the USPTO acts as the ISA is $1,800.

PCT Update News Release (PDF): LINK
Current USPTO Fee Schedule: LINK

The USPTO and the Intellectual Property Office of Australia have announced its new Patent Prosecution Highway initiative to “leverage fast-track patent examination procedures already available in both offices to allow applicants in both countries to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently.”

USPTO/IP Australia News Release: LINK

The USPTO has announced that it will be holding its 2008 Business Methods Partnership Meeting on May 29, 2008, from 1-5PM at the USPTO Madison Auditorium (South) in Alexandria, Virginia. According to the news release, “[s]ubject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101, and other topical legal issues will be addressed by the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy.”

2008 Business Methods Meeting Announcement: LINK

April 07, 2008

In response to the “data-mining” of USPTO Public PAIR data by a number of online organizations, the USPTO will be hosting a webcast on Wednesday, April 30th, to discuss a more permanent fix to this bandwidth problem. As you may have experienced, and has been discussed previously on the DDIP blog, access to Public PAIR was sporadic because of a number of entities engaging in “bulk downloads of massive amounts of data” strained the Public PAIR system. According to the USPTO article (link below), the implementation of the reCAPTCHA system (requiring a user to enter a two-word verification code to access the data) is a “short-term response” and not a “long-term solution to bulk download.” This webinar, starting at 3:00PM Eastern time, will include a period when participants can provide their own input and suggestions as to how to permanently solve the problem. In addition to the webinar, the USPTO has set up an e-mail account (PAIR_webcast@uspto.gov) to receive questions regarding the Public PAIR data-mining problem for discussion on the 30th.

USPTO Announcement (PDF): LINK
USPTO Webinar Registration Webpage: LINK

WIPO Press Releases

WIPO General News

Patent References

Click HERE to search issued U.S. Patents

Click HERE to search published U.S. Patent Applications

Click HERE to browse the MPEP (E8r6 in HTML and PDF, and E8r7 in PDF)

Click HERE to search patent assignments recorded with the USPTO

Click HERE to search Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations (rev. 7/1/08)

Click HERE to browse Title 35 of the U.S. Code

Click HERE to view current USPTO fees


Copyright 2006-2010, Mark Reichel. The Daily Dose of IP is my personal website, and I am not providing any legal advice or financial analysis. Any views expressed herein should not be viewed as being the views of my employer, Ice Miller LLP. Any comments submitted to this blog will not be held in confidence and will not be considered as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Information submitted to this blog should be considered as being public information, and the submitter takes full responsibility for any consequences of any information submitted. No claims, promises, or guarantees are made or available regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information contained in this blog or otherwise available by searching from or linking away from this blog.

EPO Updates

Trademark References

Click HERE to search issued and pending U.S. Trademarks

Click HERE to search TTAB proceedings (via TTABVUE)

Click HERE to search trademark assignments recorded with the USPTO

The DDIP Author

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.

Click HERE to view my full professional bio at Reichel IP LLC.


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