USPTO doubles down on demanding to know where you sleep at night

Hello folks.  It will be recalled that the Commissioner for Trademarks has shown an extremely strong interest in knowing where you sleep at night, if you happen to be an applicant in a trademark application.  And in a brief filed yesterday at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Commissioner has now doubled down on demanding to know where you sleep at night.  Continue reading “USPTO doubles down on demanding to know where you sleep at night”

How clamp-on DC ammeters work

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I imagine many readers of this blog have some idea how a clamp-on AC ammeter works.  You have some wire with AC current in it, and you open the jaws of a clamp-on meter and you close them around the wire.  The alternating current makes a constantly changing magnetic field around the wire.  It is a fairly realistic goal for the jaws to capture basically all of the lines of (constantly changing) magnetic flux surrounding the wire.  If you have the luxury of being able to assume that the frequency is known (and depending on the continent where you are located, this may well be a safe assumption), you can proceed in a very straightforward way to design a simple and inexpensive and quite accurate AC ammeter. I have had this Micronta (Radio Shack) meter (seen at right) in my tool kit for some fifty years now, and it has served me very well.

But nowadays there are clamp-on DC ammeters. A wire carrying a DC current does not (by definition it does not!) generate any changing magnetic field!  A traditional meter like the one described above has nothing to measure if it is clamped onto a wire containing a DC current.   How can a clamp-on DC ammeter possibly measure a (perhaps constant) DC current? Continue reading “How clamp-on DC ammeters work”

The 2022 Toteboards are now published

The 2022 US utility patent, US design patent, US plant patent, and US trademark registration toteboards are now published.  You can see them here:

I am grateful as always to the hundreds of firms that contributed their numbers to these toteboards.

Last day to get in your numbers for the 2022 toteboards!

Today is the last day to get in your numbers for the 2022 toteboards.  Click here to get in your numbers.

Here is what we have so far:

    • For the US utility patent toteboard — over fifty firms responding, representing over thirty thousand issued US utility patents.
    • For the US trademark registration toteboard — over fifty firms responding, representing over ten thousand granted US trademark registrations.
    • For the US design patent toteboard — over forty firms responding, representing over four thousand issued US design patents.
    • For the US plant patent toteboard — over three firms responding, representing over twenty-five US plant patents.

Get your numbers in.  The response forms will stop taking responses at the close of business today, Tuesday, January 24, 2023.

USPTO harmed a Patentcenter screen

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For four years now, the “applications” table in Patentcenter has had a standard column “attorney docket number”.  There have been many things wrong with the USPTO’s default design of this “applications” table from the outset, as will be reviewed below.  But one of the handful of things that the USPTO did not get wrong in its default design for the “applications” table was that it provided the attorney docket number.  Imagine, then, the disappointment in the user community when, on January 16, 2023, the USPTO abruptly eliminated the “attorney docket number” column from the “applications” table.  Continue reading “USPTO harmed a Patentcenter screen”

Not ready with complete details for your patent application? file a provisional!

I wonder if this language on the USPTO’s Patentcenter web site is bad legal advice?  The e-filing system asks “Not ready with complete details for your patent application?”  And the answer the USPTO gives is that if you are “not ready with complete details” then what you should file is a provisional patent application.  Continue reading “Not ready with complete details for your patent application? file a provisional!”

The best kind of charity

The religious scholar Maimonides from 900 years ago (Wikipedia article) wrote about lots of things including the best kinds of charity.  He fingered a telltale:  what if the donor gives anonymously?   The anonymous gift of charity is the highest kind of charity, said this religious scholar.

Which brings me to the strong emotions that I felt as I read a flurry of recent news stories about a fellow in a rural part of Alabama who did not have very much money, but who (after his recent death, it comes out for the first time) had been dropping by a local pharmacy for some ten years and had been handing the pharmacist a $100 bill each month with instructions that the money should be applied toward prescriptions for people who could not afford their drug prescriptions.

One of his very strict instructions to the pharmacy was that nobody was to be told where the money came from. Continue reading “The best kind of charity”