Malawi joins Madrid Protocol

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On September 25, 2018, the Government of Malawi deposited its instrument of accession to the Madrid Protocol with WIPO’s Director General, making Malawi the 102nd member of the Madrid System, which now covers 118 countries. The Protocol will enter into force for Malawi on December 25, 2018.

Starting from December 25, a trademark owner in Malawi can file a Madrid Protocol application to pursue protection in one or more Offices outside of Malawi.  And starting from that date, a trademark owner outside of Malawi can file a Subsequent Designation to Malawi (or can file a new Madrid Protocol application designating Malawi).

It is recalled that the Patent Cooperation Treaty entered into force on January 24, 1978, initially with 18 contracting states.  But perhaps not all readers appreciate that Malawi was one of those initial 18 contracting states for the PCT!  Saying this differently, Malawi was more trendy, modern, and up-to-date about the PCT than most of the 152 present-day members of the PCT.  Nobody joined PCT sooner than Malawi!

The two-letter code for Malawi is “MW”.

It turns out there’s a name for this: lorem ipsum

When you file a PCT application in a Receiving Office other than the RO/IB, the Receiving Office will consider whether it is “competent” to handle that particular PCT application.  If the RO determines that it is non-competent, it will transfer the application to the RO/IB for further processing.  (The application does not lose its filing date;  the RO/IB will honor the filing date that had been given to the application by the first RO.)

Each RO determines its own conditions for “competency”.  In the case of RO/US, the two ways that the RO might decide that it lacks competency as to a particular PCT application are:

    • no applicant identified in the Request is either a resident or citizen of the US, or
    • the application is not in the English language.

Either of these situations will prompt RO/US to transfer a particular PCT application to the RO/IB.

But what, the long-suffering blog reader may ask at this point, does all of this have to do with “lorem ipsum“?  Yes, those are today’s fun questions — the interesting question “what is lorem ipsum?” and the even more interesting question “what does lorem ipsum have to do with Receiving Office procedure under the Patent Cooperation Treaty?” Continue reading “It turns out there’s a name for this: lorem ipsum”

How the “new, safer and simpler log-in” works at the USPTO?

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I’ve received many questions from people who have tried to use the “new, safer and simpler log-in” for PAIR and EFS-Web.  (See the big blue footer that now appears whenever you try to use PAIR.)  Here’s what one very experienced USPTO customer asked me:

Last week I set up two-factor authentication with MyUSPTO, following the USPTO’s instructions.  Recently the big blue banner started appearing and I figured I had better start using the newer, safer and simpler log-in.  So today I needed to e-file form SB39 in one of my cases.  This is my time to try out the newer, safer and simpler log-in, right?  I logged in at the USPTO web site using my MyUSPTO user ID and password.  So far, so good.  Over on the right side, it says “File patents with EFS Web”.  So now that I have logged in, I click there and I reach the “unregistered e-filers” page.  There are some links but none of them will get me to the “registered” EFS-Web.  Finally I give up on MyUSPTO and I click on the old-fashioned link on the upper left and I click on “eFile (registered)” and that got me to the familiar old Entrust Java Applet page.  I e-filed my form SB39.

When that was done I went back to the MyUSPTO home page again hoping to figure out how I might have gotten to the “registered” EFS-Web page.  What did I miss?

I’ll explain. Continue reading “How the “new, safer and simpler log-in” works at the USPTO?”

Being smart about TOTP (time-based one-time password)

A long time ago the way to log in was with a user ID and password.  Then people started using two-factor authentication (2FA or “something you have, and something you know”).  USPTO’s particularly poor choice for 2FA was the Entrust Java Applet.  After a while some organizations started using a text message on a cell phone as the second factor.  This turns out to be a really poor choice as well because it is very easy to hack.

The smart way to do this nowadays is TOTP (time-based one-time password).  For most people the way you do this is to install an authenticator app onto your smart phone, and you scan a QR code.  The app displays a six-digit code that changes every thirty or sixty seconds.  The code is the second factor.

The point of this article is to invite you to consider smarter ways to do TOTP. Continue reading “Being smart about TOTP (time-based one-time password)”

Things you need to do today if you are a USPTO patent practitioner

You’ve received the scary emails from USPTO, and the scary pop-up messages in PAIR, saying that “you will need to use a newer, safer, and simpler log-in … beginning in October 2018”.

There are some things that you really need to do now (if you have not already done so) if you are a USPTO patent practitioner.  Each human being in your office needs to get a MyUSPTO user ID and password (if he or she has not already done so).  Each human being in your office needs to set up TOTP with that user ID (if he or she has not already done so).  And you need to attend some upcoming webinars in which USPTO will try to explain all of this very clearly.

I’ll explain. Continue reading “Things you need to do today if you are a USPTO patent practitioner”

Oppedahl Patent Law Firm LLC listservs are working again

I am delighted to be able to report that the Oppedahl Patent Law Firm LLC listservs are working again.  Just now I successfully migrated the listservs from a previous hosting provider to a new hosting provider.

If you are a member of one or more of the listservs, you should have received one or more test emails in recent minutes, letting you know that the listservs are working again. Continue reading “Oppedahl Patent Law Firm LLC listservs are working again”

Industrial Designs and more test cars

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It’s test car time of year again for Summit County, Colorado.  Here are ten of the approximately sixty camouflaged cars swarming around the streets and highways and the mountains of Colorado this week.  They are testing next year’s car models to see how they perform in the thin air at an elevation of 9000 feet (2700 meters) or higher.

It’s not only that camouflage wrap is laid onto the cars.  There are also fake body panels and bumps and contours taped into place under the camouflage wrap.

This is all to protect the industrial designs — postponing for as long as possible the day when a competitor will get to see exactly what next year’s models look like.

One month remaining to sign up for PCT seminar in Silicon Valley

One month remains, folks, to sign up for my PCT seminar that will take place in Silicon Valley, California, on October 16-18, 2018.

This will be a unique learning opportunity for practitioners and paralegals alike who wish to learn about the Patent Cooperation Treaty, or who wish to refresh their knowledge of the PCT, or who wish to learn how to use ePCT, or who wish to bring themselves up to date about PCT developments. Continue reading “One month remaining to sign up for PCT seminar in Silicon Valley”