Six-month-old PPH petition granted — coincidence?

Saturday, March 21, 2015 is the day that I blogged about a PPH petition that had been outstanding in the Office of Petitions since September 12, 2014.  I don’t know if it is sheer coincidence … but the Office of Petitions considered the petition on Monday, March 23 (and granted it).

So as of now our oldest not-yet-ruled-upon PPH petitions were filed November 5 and November 13.  This is still an unreasonable delay within the Office of Petitions, but not as bad as the six-month-plus delay in the case that just got its petition granted.


Six months and counting …

We have a case in which we filed a PCT-PPH petition on September 12, 2014.  We are now into our seventh month of waiting for the Office of Petitions to rule on the petition.  I’ve blogged about this problem at the USPTO before, here and here and here and here.  It does not promote science and the useful arts to have PPH petitions sitting untouched for such a long time.  Nor does it serve the goals of the PCT-PPH programs to have petitions sitting untouched for such a long time.

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Is it copending if you filed it on the day the parent issued?

[As noted in the comments below, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed.  Same-day filers are safe.]

I’ve always assumed that if I manage to get my continuation or divisional application filed on the very day that the parent application issues, that’s good enough.  The domestic benefit under 35 USC § 120 will work.  Right?

Alert reader David Berry drew my attention to a February 11, 2015 ruling by Judge Richard G. Andrews in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware in a summary judgment motion in the case of Immersion Corp. v. HTC Corp. civil action 12-259.  The ruling suggests that when the USPTO grants a patent, it does so at about 12:01 AM on the Tuesday, and that a would-be continuation or divisional application filed after 12:01 AM on that Tuesday would lack copendency under 35 USC § 120.

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What it costs to prepare a US provisional patent application?

A potential client will sometimes ask:

what’s your fee for filing a provisional patent application?

or sometimes the question will be:

what does it cost to apply for a provisional patent?

Or, by far the worst telephone call to receive in this general category is the potential client who cheerfully explains that he or she has prepared a draft provisional patent application, that the subject matter is “simple” and so the document should not require very long to review, and can I please just “touch it up” and file it with the USPTO?  The caller makes clear that whatever bargain-basement price I would have charged to draft a provisional patent application, the caller expects me to quote a still smaller price to merely “touch up” the document.

When this happens, generally I politely refer the potential client elsewhere, but when pressed I will sometimes answer along these lines …

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Speaking at AIPLA’s Patent Prosecution Boot Camp

I’ll be speaking this April at the AIPLA Patent Prosecution Boot Camp.  This two-day seminar is tailored to new practitioners (those having less than two years of experience), or others who want to learn the basics of patent application preparation and prosecution. This seminar includes instructional sessions and hands-on claim drafting workshops.

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How to minimize service disruption with a notebook computer

(See followup article here.)

These days my notebook computer is absolutely mission critical for me.  If my notebook computer were to fail and if it were to take some days to get it repaired, the loss of use of the computer for those days would be a really big problem.  Fortunately, a few years ago I figured out how to reduce any service disruption due to a computer failure to just about zero.

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