February 26, 2010

On Wednesday, February 24, 2010, the European Patent Office (EPO) announced that it has organized a "Patent Statistics for Decision Makers 2010" conference with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This conference, to be held from November 17-18, 2010 in Vienna, Austria, has a noted goal "to discuss advances in the analysis of patent information in the context of the current economic landscape, and in light of changes within the patent system and its use by applicants," aiming to bring together "the latest thinking on issues relevant to companies and policy-makers," including patent quality, patent valuation, R&D investment decisions, functions of the international patent system, and patent fee review, to name a few. An initial conference webpage is available HERE, with a page dedicated to a conference call for papers on these and other topics available HERE. According to the EPO, papers submitted for consideration will be reviewed by several individuals, including representatives from companies, universities, and foreign and international patent offices.

February 25, 2010

The USPTO has recently launched "Inventors Eye," a bimonthly publication providing information to the independent inventor community. The first issue, available HERE, includes several articles of interest, including "Patent Reform: Good for Independent Inventors and Small Businesses," which is an open letter from USPTO David Kappos, and an article from Ronald Jacks of the Office of the Solicitor entitled "Protect Your Innovation: Avoid Scams." Additional articles are included in this first issue, along with a link the USPTO’s "Independent Inventors" webpage, available HERE, which has several links and information for those independent inventors seeking to obtain general patent information. This first issue also provides a mechanism to subscribe so that subsequent issues will be sent directly to you by e-mail.

February 24, 2010

On February 18, 2010, the USPTO announced that it has introduced a new "Trademark Feedback mailbox" so that the public can directly contact the USPTO "with complaints, compliments, or other feedback" in connection with trademark operations. According to the press release (available HERE), "[s]uch an e-mail does not constitute an official filing in connection with trademark applications or registrations, and will not become part of the official record," and that sending an e-mail to the trademark feedback address "does not provide a basis to request suspension of an application or appeal and will not stay the period for replying to an Office action, filing a notice of appeal, or submitting any other filing that is due to the USPTO." Additional methods for contacting the USPTO regarding various matters are included within the press release.

February 23, 2010

While reviewing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website for updated content, I came across a few resources that may be of help to you now or in the future.

1. Directory of Intellectual Property Offices (available HERE): WIPO has provided an alphabetical listing of national intellectual property offices across the globe, with detailed contact information and direct website links to each office.

2. Free Publications (available HERE): WIPO provides a number of publications, many of which in several languages, on its website free of charge, including "Traditional Knowledge & Indigenous Peoples," issues of WIPO Magazine, and WIPOs Development Agenda, to name a few.

3. WIPO Handbook on Industrial Property Information and Documentation (available HERE): This Handbook, separated into eight parts, is "the authoritative source of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standards, Recommendations and Guidelines in the field of industrial property information and documentation," providing "information on various matters concerning patent, trademark and industrial design documentation."

February 22, 2010

The USPTO announced on Thursday, February 18, 2010, that its planned examiner count system revisions announced September 30, 2009, have taken effect. According to the USPTO Press Release (available HERE), "[t]he count system is the methodology for determining the amount of time in which a patent examiner is expected to complete a patent examination and the credit that is given for each stage of an examination," and that "[t]hese changes, announced in conjunction with the Patent Office Professional Association (POPA), the union that represents patent examiners, place emphasis on complete and thorough initial examination, and are expected to decrease redundancy and encourage quicker resolution of issues in the patent application process." The count revisions, according to the USPTO, are to address improved working conditions (incentivizing examiners to produce "high-quality" first actions), provide more time for the examiners while decreasing credits on RCEs, and providing process changes to "increase work credit certainty for examiners, increase fairness to applicants, and balance the load on IT systems." Additional details are provided in the announcement itself.

February 18, 2010

My firm, Ice Miller LLP, has recently launched The Ice Loop, a blog focusing on the Internet, technology, and various social media aspects of the law. This blog, maintained by the firm’s Internet, Technology and Social Media practice, includes articles on several topics, including blogs & social media, business & e-commerce, data security, intellectual property (for which I am a contributor), privacy & free speech, and various client news and events. The Ice Loop is available at www.theiceloop.com, and is linked directly from this blog as well. Please do share any comments you may have regarding The Ice Loop by either commenting on this post or by using the contact link available on The Ice Loop.

February 17, 2010

As recently highlighted by The Smoking Gun (article link HERE), Nicole Polizzi, aka "Snooki" of Jersey Shore fame, has filed an intent to use U.S. Trademark Application for the mark SNOOKI. This application (serial no. 77/929,985, application link HERE), was filed on February 7, 2010, and covers two classes, namely IC 016 ("Printed matter, namely books"), and IC 041 ("Entertainment in the nature of personal appearances by a television personality"). This application follows a December 28, 2009 filing by Marc Sorrentino’s company in connection with his brother Michael Sorrentino, aka "The Situation" also of Jersey Shore fame, who filed U.S. trademark application serial no. 77/901,546 (application link HERE) for a stylized version of THE SITUATION, covering one class of goods (IC 025 for "[c]lothing, namely, t-shirts and underwear). This latter application was formally filed by applicant Naughty Limited, LLC, an adult business owned by The Situation’s brother Marc according to The Smoking Gun (article link HERE).

I did a bit of searching, and I see that at least one other Jersey Shore cast member has joined the trademark mix. Paul Delvecchio, Jr., aka DJ Pauly D, has filed two applications for the mark DJ PAULY D. The first application (serial no. 77/929,322, available HERE) was filed on February 5, 2010, and covers "entertainment in the nature of disc jockey services" in IC 041. The second application (serial no. 77/929,416, available HERE), was also filed on February 5, 2010, and covers various entertainment services featuring DJ Pauly D in IC 041. As of this blog post, no publicly available U.S. trademark application has been filed by Jenni "JWoww" Farley, but I do see that someone did file a stylized version of JWOW - JESUS WALKED ON WATER back in 2002 (serial no. 78/109,685, available HERE).

February 16, 2010

IP Australia, the intellectual property office of Australia, has issued a number of news announcements in February, 2010, relating to various IP matters. The general news page (entitled "What’s new," available HERE), is routinely updated to provide updates to patent practitioners and those generally interested in IP matters before that office. The first news announcement this month was on February 1st, providing a link to the detailed response from Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) regarding an inquiry to report on the enforcement of plant breeder’s rights in Australia. On February 8th, IP Australia reported that the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research launched "Commercialisation Australia," which is a "new initiative to assist researchers, entrepreneurs and innovative companies to convert ideas into successful commercial ventures," with "[u]p to $50,000 will be available to firms to access specialist business advice and services including intellectual property management." On February 9th, an update regarding Australia’s Peer-to-Patent pilot project was issued, noting that since its launch in December, the reviewer community provided 27 prior art references and 57 comments relating to Australian patent prosecution. On February 12th, IP Australia announced a new survey (available online or by phone) with the goal of creating "a user focused website which is easy to use and makes finding information simple." Any feedback provided to IP Australia will be confidential, so if you are interested in completing the survey, please click HERE (managed by SurveyMonkey).

February 15, 2010

On Friday, February 12, 2010, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has launched a new intellectual property task force to combat the increasing prevalence of IP crimes. As referenced within a recent PC World article (available HERE), "The task force will work closely with the recently established White House Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), which has the responsibility of drafting a strategic plan on IP for President Barack Obama's administration." According to Holder, "[t]he rise in intellectual property crime in the United States and abroad threatens not only our public safety but also our economic well-being," and "[t]he Department of Justice must confront this threat with a strong and coordinated response." According to a NationalJournal.com article (available HERE), "[t]he department said the new task force emerged out of a White House meeting hosted by Vice President Biden in December, which included Holder and other members of the president's Cabinet as well as executives from the movie studios, record companies, book publishers and television networks."

February 12, 2010

On Wednesday, an article on NationalJournal.com (link HERE) discussed a term that many of us had not heard before - "cyber-insurance." The concept seems to make sense - when you are at a potential risk of loss or damage to your property, and insurance is available to cover that loss or damage, insurance coverage at least worth considering. As noted within the article, "[t]o prepare American companies for the costly fallout of hacks, as recently experienced by Google's operations in China, a market for cyber-insurance has been taking root and is extending coverage to keep companies and customers safe in cyberspace." Although an economist in 2002 predicted the cyber-insurance market to reach $2.5B by 2005 (which appears to only be closer to $0.5B as referenced in the article), more and more companies, starting with a number of large financial institutions, have been utilizing cyber-insurance. Rob Knake, an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, is quoted in the article as saying "[t]he real cyber-weapons aren’t worms or viruses - they’re the people," and that "[y]ou’re not going to be able to defend against people who work against you while you sleep."

As referenced within the NationalJournal.com article, "Basic cyber-insurance covers hazards such as unauthorized Web site access, online libel, data privacy loss and repairs to company databases after system failures. Broader plans covering costs to notify customers of IT failures and loss of income from site failure are starting to be more widely offered. If intellectual property were insured and that data was hacked, the custom claim would be collected, and the insurer might arrange funding for tech support to secure the systems that were exploited."

Have you or your company considered cyber-insurance? Please feel free to share your thoughts/experiences by way of comment on this blog post.

February 11, 2010

If you have recently visited the USPTO’s website and searched for anything patent-related, you already know that the USPTO is looking to hire several patent examiners. From the USPTO’s Patents webpage (link HERE), you can click the "JOBS" logo in the middle of the page to go to USAJOBS, a website run by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which lists available Federal positions. The USPTO jobs on USAJOBS (link HERE) will lead to a description of "Patent Examiner (*General)", which references "Many vacancies - Alexandria, VA" for such a position, ranging from nearly $70k to just over $90k/yr, plus benefits, depending on experience. The asterisk regarding the vacancies covers the following disciplines: "Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Ceramic Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, General Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Metallurgy, Pharmacology, Physics, Chemistry, Food Technology, Textile Technology, and Computer Science," which includes a number of technical areas having the highest application backlogs.

February 10, 2010

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) recently announced a number of updates to its website and the type of information that is available to the public. On February 1, 2010, the CIPO announced (link HERE) that the Canadian Patents Database, available HERE, now contains patent abstract text in English and French, which are both official languages as received under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Two days later, on February 3rd, the CIPO announced HERE that the Trade-marks Opposition Board (TMOB) will allow CIPO website users to electronically file requests for extensions of time and statements for opposition as received by that office. In addition, the TMOB will be updating its website "to provide summaries of featured decisions as well as improved access to all final decisions rendered in section 45 and opposition proceedings." A list of the CIPO’s recent announcements is available HERE on CIPO’s website.

February 09, 2010

On Monday, February 8, 2010, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released statistics for 2009, comparing the numbers to prior years in connection with Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent application filings. These statistics (available HERE on WIPO’s website) show a general decrease in PCT application filings of 4.5% when comparing 2009 to 2008, noting that several East Asian countries actually had more PCT filings over 2008. For example, PCT applications filed from China were up nearly 30% over 2008, with Japan and the Republic of Korea also showing increases in 2009. On the other end, the United States had a noted drop of 11.4%, Germany decreased 11.2%, Canada fell 11.7%, and Sweden had a 11.3% decrease in PCT filings in 2009 as compared to 2008. When looking at the number of applications filed, the United States had the most PCT filings (45,790), followed by Japan (29,827), Germany (16,736), the Republic of Korea (8,066), and China (7,946) being the top five filing countries. Additional statistics are available for all PCT countries, the top filing companies, and by technology area within the announcement link above.

February 05, 2010

It was announced last week that gaming company Konami and trading card manufacturer Upper Deck have settled their dispute regarding counterfeit Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. Last year Konami sued Upper Deck after learning that Upper Deck had been manufacturing and distributing hundreds of thousands of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards without permission by the holder of Yu-Gi-Oh! rights, Konami. As noted within the recent BloggingStocks article (link HERE), Konami was seeking $50 to $150 million in damages from Upper Deck. According to the New York Post (article link HERE), Upper Deck CEO Richard McWilliams took the Fifth during trial, but as part of his company’s settlement with Konami, Upper Deck has admitted that it willfully counterfeited the trading cards. According to Wikipedia, Yu-Gi-Oh! originated as a manga cartoon back in 1996, and has grown to several spin-off television series, comic books, movies, and games, as well as trading cards (website link HERE) spanning several dozen series.

February 04, 2010

On Monday, David Kappos announced President Obama’s FY 2011 budget request for the USPTO of just over $2.3 billion. According to the USPTO announcement (available HERE), this budget request will support a new five-year plan to achieve certain USPTO objectives, including reducing pendency periods and the current patent application backlog, improving patent quality, enhancing IP protection and enforcement, global IP policy leadership, and a boost in its IT infrastructure. Kappos, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director USPTO, stated that "[i]ntellectual property is America’s competitive advantage in the 21st Century global economy and will play a central role in our long-term economic growth," and that "[w]e will continue to take steps to make the USPTO more efficient, and drive to reduce the unacceptably long pendency periods that hinder the creation of new businesses and new jobs." An interim increase for certain patent fees is also contemplated, which will raise an additional fee amount of $224 million above the projected almost $2.1 billion in fee collections during FY 2001.

February 03, 2010

It was recently announced that China received more than 976,000 patent applications last year, representing a nearly 18% increase in the number of applications received by the State Intellectual Property Office of the Peoples Republic of China (SIPO) in 2008. As referenced in the China Daily news article (link HERE), that total represents a combination of patent rights of invention, utility model, and design patent applications, and represents a net increase of the 22% increase in Chinese domestic applications (approximately 90% of all applications filed) and nearly a 11% decrease in foreign applications (the other 10% of applications filed). For those interested in statistics relating to Chinese applications and patents, the SIPO offers a detailed Statistics webpage (link HERE) containing monthly statistics for the last four years.

February 02, 2010

On Thursday, the USPTO announced an interim procedure for certain patentees to request a patent term adjustment (PTA) calculation in view of the recent Federal Circuit decision in Wyeth v. Kappos. This announcement (press release available HERE and formal interim procedure notice available HERE) provides patentees who have received their patents within 180 days from submission of USPTO Form PTO/SB/131 (available HERE in .pdf form from the USPTO) with the opportunity to request a free PTA calculation without the need to pay the typical fee involved with the same. This request window will end on March 2, 2010, as the USPTO expects that its software used to calculate PTA will be updated by then. As noted within the USPTO press release, "[a]n applicant is entitled, subject to certain conditions and limitations, to patent term adjustment if (1) the USPTO fails to take certain actions during the examination and issue process within specified time frames; (2) if the USPTO fails to issue a patent within three years of the actual filing date of the application; and (3) for delays due to interference, secrecy order, or successful appellate review." Form PTO/SB/131 is literally one page long (excluding instructions and privacy notices), and requires only the basic patent information to be included therein. If you decide to use this procedure, please share some feedback via comment to this blog post.

February 01, 2010

The World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") and the International Telecommunications Union ("ITU") will jointly be hosting an Accessibility Workshop this week with an objective to "promote awareness on accessibility and encourage webmasters within the United Nations system and other International Organizations to implement accessibility in their daily work." This Workshop (details available HERE on WIPO’s website) will include discussions on accessibility from companies such as Yahoo and Adobe, as well as training sessions on testing for accessibility and training on understanding and using the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium and the Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) specification. A list of presenters is available HERE, and a program for the four days (February 2-5, 2010) is available online HERE.

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.

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