Daylight saving time and WIPO

Keep in mind that Switzerland will turn off daylight saving time today.  Those who are filing documents at the International Bureau — documents that need a same-day filing date — should check to make sure they know what time it is in Switzerland as of today.

For US filers, keep in mind that the US will not turn off DST today.  The US will turn off DST a week from now.

US filers who are getting ready to file a document at the IB should thus pay close attention during this next week to what time it is in Switzerland.

The practical effect for most US filers is that for the next week, you get an extra hour to e-file.  For example if you are in the Mountain Time Zone, normally you rush to file by 4PM if need a same-day filing date at the IB.  But for the next week you can file as late as 5PM and you will still get a same-day filing date at the IB.

Those who are e-filing in ePCT can readily check any time to see what time it is in Geneva, because at the top of any ePCT user screen it says what time it is in Geneva.  Here is a screen shot.  For example right now it is 4:44 AM Mountain Time and as you can see it is 11:44 AM in Geneva.

What filing date you get when you e-file at RO/IB?

What we are all accustomed to is that when we are picking a Receiving Office for the filing of a new PCT application, a substantial drawback of RO/IB is that we have to worry about the time zone.  For the US-based filer who is selecting between RO/US and RO/IB, the typical difference is six hours.  A filer in the Mountain Time Zone, for example, who is rushing to get a same-day filing date would need to e-file by 10PM if e-filing in RO/US but would typically need to e-file by 4PM if e-filing in RO/IB.

What I did not realize, until quite recently, is that things are quite different when one is e-filing a Hague application (in other words, an international design application rather than an international patent application). Continue reading “What filing date you get when you e-file at RO/IB?”

Can some design people in Chile and Spain and India and Korea help?

So by now there are six Depositing Offices in the DAS system for purposes of electronic certified copies of design applications. The six Depositing Offices are:

  • Chile (National Institute of Industrial Property)
  • China (Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration)
  • Spain (Spanish Patent and Trademark Office)
  • India (Indian Patent Office)
  • South Korea (Korean Intellectual Property Office)
  • US (United States Patent and Trademark Office)

I have successfully obtained Certificates of Availability for design applications in two of these six Offices, namely China and the US.  You can see exemplary Certificates here:

I would be grateful if a practitioner in Chile were to provide to me a DAS access code for a design priority document from Chile, and if a practitioner in Spain were to provide to me a DAS access code for a design priority document from Spain, and if a practitioner in India were to provide to me a DAS access code for a design priority document from India, and if a practitioner in Korea were to provide to me a DAS access code for a design priority document from Korea.  I suppose the way to do it would be to select a design document that is already a matter of public record, because it is already published or issued.  I would also need the application number and filing date.  I would then be able to obtain a Certificate of Availability and this would provide an opportunity to test out this aspect of the DAS system.

Thank you!

At the Design Patent Symposium 2018

click image to enlarge

It is delightful to attend the Design Patent Symposium 2018, sponsored by Banner & Witcoff, Ltd., Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C., and George Washington University Law School. This symposium is taking place right now in the NEA building at 1201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC, having begun thus morning at 8:30 AM and continuing through the day to a reception ending at 6:00 PM.

It is a fascinating program (brochure here), with industrial designers, people from the USPTO, people from WIPO, and patent practitioners.  For those who were not able to attend, the presentation materials may be downloaded here.

Learn about some advanced PCT in New York on November 8

There’s a special opportunity to learn some advanced PCT in Manhattan on November 8.  Yours truly is the instructor.

The course is Patent Administration II: Building on a Solid Foundation, a sequel to Patent Resources Group’s trusted course for patent support professionals.  Early registration pricing is available through October 22.  For more information or to register, click here.

This course is intended for patent Support Professionals who have taken PRG’s Patent Administration:  A Foundation for Success course or who have at least 3 years’ experience. It is a four-day course and I will be teaching day 4, including these topics:

  • Knowing when and how to file PCT Declarations with a PCT Application
  • Leveraging use of the Patent Prosecution Highway with PCT
  • Use of the new Collaborative Search and Examination program in PCT
  • Using ePCT to send SFD’s (subsequently filed documents) to International Searching Authorities
  • Advanced use of the WIPO DAS (document access service) including Certificates of Availability and setting up Alerts

This program includes an office-by-office discussion of the various PCT Declarations such as declaration number 2 (entitlement to file) and declaration number 3 (entitlement to claim priority).  So far as I know, no PCT course has ever until now treated PCT Declarations in such detail.  This is a unique and first-time opportunity for patent support professionals to learn really advanced patent topics including really advanced PCT topics.

Latest news on Mexico and Hague Agreement

These days it is pretty interesting to keep track of the growth of the Hague Agreement (the international filing system for industrial designs).  Since a year ago there had been whispers (blog article October 21, 2017) that Mexico was going to join the Hague Agreement Real Soon Now.  And then came the new successor NAFTA agreement (see blog article of October 2, 2018) which sets forth that Mexico must join Hague by no later than the date of entry into force of the new NAFTA agreement.

Richard Stockton
Richard Stockton

Anyway just now I was delighted to hear from Rich Stockton, who is chair of the AIPLA Industrial Designs Committee, about this particular topic.  He reports that he met recently with some higher-up folks at the Mexican patent office.  They told him that they expect the Mexican legislature will approve the implementing legislation during the current session and that no other major legislative steps remain other than depositing the instrument of accession (and then waiting the requisite three months for the accession to take effect).

He thus tells me that it looks to him as though Mexico will officially join the Hague system in the first few months of 2019.

This is, of course welcome news, and the accession of Mexico to the Hague system will be a welcome development.

The ideal data projector

click for manufacturer’s information page

When you use a presentation screen at a hotel, you can pay a few hundred dollars a day to rent a projector from a hotel.  Or you can pay an A/V contractor to set up a projector.  What I realized when I was setting up my recent PCT Seminar in Redwood City, California is that you can buy a projector and a screen and throw them away at the end of the meeting and it costs less money than renting.

What I also learned is that there are some really nice projectors available nowadays, such as this Epson 1781W projector.  I’ve decided I will simply bring this projector with me every time I present at any meeting in the future.

What we are all accustomed to is having to bring our notebook computer with us to a meeting, finding the lectern, finding a fat cable, and connecting the cable to our computer.  The cable runs to the projector and has been duct-taped to the floor so that it is not a trip hazard.  The cable might be a VGA cable or it might be an HDMI cable.  Years ago the projector’s input was always VGA and the computer’s output was always VGA.  In more recent times more and more projectors do not have a VGA input;  instead the input is HDMI.  Some computers have an HDMI output.  More and more notebook computers do not have a video output at all and instead the user must bring along an adapter that adapts USB to the desired output such as VGA or HDMI.  In my experience there is only about a 50-50 chance that the adapter I brought with me to a meeting location (VGA or HDMI) will turn out to match the type of cable at the lectern.  (You would think I would always remember to bring both kinds of adapters.  Yeah right!)  The A/V contractors sometimes plan ahead and carry a full range of adapters that convert VGA to HDMI and HDMI to VGA and so on.  Of course what also happens is that the display screen image quality often suffers due to awkward interpolation conversions between the screen resolution of the source (the notebook computer) and the destination (the native resolution of the imaging device in the projector).

I have attended many a meeting where the first five or ten minutes of meeting time gets lost while everyone sits around as the presenter fumbles to try to get his or her computer to talk nicely with the cable and with the data projector.

What’s so nice about this Epson 1781W data projector?  Well, a bunch of things.  One thing is that it is thin and light compared with a lot of data projectors.  It weighs only about four pounds (about 1.8 kilograms).  It is only about 2.1 inches (about 5.3 centimeters) tall.

Still another nice thing about this projector is a feature that it has in common, I guess, with a lot of today’s generation of data projectors.  You can shine it on a wall and no matter how awkward the angle that it hits the wall, the projector can “keystone” the image in an automatic way, by which we mean that the projector can change what it projects so that instead of a trapezoid, what appears on the display area is a rectangle.  Not only that, however, with this projector you can point it at your display area and the projector will resize itself as needed to match the actual dimensions of your display area.  I guess there must be a digital camera built into the projector.  The projector shoots a sophisticated test pattern onto the display area and, I guess, it takes a photograph and analyzes the photograph and works out how to change what it projects onto the display area so that it will be a nice rectangle that fills the display area fully without spilling over.

In one test I pointed the projector toward a large wall area framed by a couple of potted plants.  The projector worked out exactly how to size the image so as to exactly fill the area between the two potted plants, almost but not quite touching the two potted plants.  It noticed where the potted plants were.

Another nice thing about this projector is that if you like, you could just put your presentation slides on a USB drive and plug the drive into a USB port on the projector, and use a remote control to click through the slides.  What I mean is that you don’t even need to connect your computer to the projector.  The only cable you need to connect to the projector is a power cable.  Isn’t that nice!

Still another nice thing is that if you do feel that you need to connect your computer to the projector, you still do not need to use a cable to do it.  You can connect the projector to wifi, and connect your computer to the same wifi, and use an app on the computer to cast the screen of the computer to the screen of the projector.  This is very convenient.  This is what I did for my recent PCT Seminar in Redwood City, California.

click to enlarge

One thing to watch out for is that in most hotels, they set up the wifi so that any two devices connected to the hotel’s wifi are blocked from communicating with each other.  Any device that is connected to the hotel’s wifi is only permitted to connect to the Internet.  So the hotel wifi is no good for permitting this kind of data projector to connect to your computer.  So you have to use your own wifi hot spot or your own wifi router.

My personal favorite is the GL.iNet GL-AR750 travel router (at right) which is the size of a deck of playing cards and has every nice feature you could want in a wifi router, for a mere $45.  But there are many very nice travel routers these days that would be well suited to such a purpose.  This router is what I used with this projector for the recent PCT Seminar.

Oh and if you are stubborn and you actually want to use an HDMI cable with this Epson projector, you can.  The projector does have an HDMI port.  I just cannot imagine you would want to do this, since the other approaches are so much smarter.