Enjoying a patent wall

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Let me tell you about a recent delightful experience.  I was in Manhattan, got to the building where my client Sendyne is located, and  stepped out of the elevator when I reached the floor that I wanted.  I was greeted by Sendyne’s Patent Wall (photograph above, click to enlarge).  What a treat!  You can see how important patents are to this company.  And if you get up close to the plaques, you can see that each patent lists my firm as the “attorney, agent or firm”.  Very gratifying!

I then had the pleasure of sitting down with two of Sendyne’s inventors to discuss some of their most recent inventions.  Barring some surprise, within a year or two we will probably add a few more plaques to this Patent Wall.

USPTO will be closed on December 24, will reopen as usual on December 26

The President has signed an executive order dated December 19, 2018 closing most federal government offices (including the USPTO) on Monday, December 24, 2018.  This of course raises the usual question whether or not the closure constitutes “a federal holiday in the District of Columbia”.  To answer this question, Director Iancu has issued a statement dated Friday, December 21, 2018 deeming the closure to be such a federal holiday.

This means that any response that would be due at the USPTO on December 22, 23, 24, or 25, 2018 will be timely if it is filed on Wednesday, December 26, 2018.

The US entered a partial shutdown of the federal government a few hours ago, and it would thus be natural to wonder whether this might affect the USPTO, for example when the Office would be scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, December 26.  Here is what the USPTO web site says:

… the USPTO remains open for business as normal. This is possible because the agency has access to prior-year fee collections, which enables the USPTO to continue normal operations for a few weeks. Should the USPTO exhaust these funds before a partial government shutdown comes to an end, the agency would have to shut down at that time, although a small staff would continue to work to accept new applications and maintain IT infrastructure, among other functions.

WIPO DAS portal now functions for US designs

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I am delighted to be able to report that the WIPO DAS portal now functions as it should for US designs.

This raises many questions, which I will try to answer:

  • What do you mean it “now functions”?  Did it not function before?
  • As a design practitioner in the US, should I perhaps be a bit embarrassed that I had not noticed that it was not functioning before?
  • As a design practitioner outside the US, should I perhaps be a bit embarrassed that I had not noticed that it was not functioning before?
  • Okay I give up.  What exactly is the WIPO DAS portal, what is its connection with US designs, and why do I need to know about it?

Finally, what is there about this WIPO DAS portal that would protect me, as a practitioner in an Office of Second Filing, from a risk of professional liability due to a lost priority claim due to failure to timely provide a certified copy?  Yes, I call this “the single most important point in this blog article“.  If you would like to eliminate this particular category of risk to yourself when handling such filings, then scroll down to the place in the article where I discuss this.

Continue reading “WIPO DAS portal now functions for US designs”

The importance of SAOSIT

Those who file patent applications relying upon Article 4 of the Paris Convention should pay attention to the requirement that the second application needs to have its applicant be the same applicant or successor in title with respect to the applicant in the first application.  This gives rise to the initialism SAOSIT.  (It’s not an acronym — see this blog article.)

And there are some patent offices that take the position that the “cleanup” paperwork that brings about the “or successor in title” situation is paperwork that needs to have been executed chronologically prior to the filing of that second application.  I am told by practitioners in the UK and in EPO that this time relationship needs to be satisfied for either of those Offices.

One of the places where this comes up is with the filing of a provisional as discussed here.

Oh, yes, and if anybody wonders, I am the person who coined the initialism SAOSIT.  I think I coined it about six years ago.

Another reason why I am glad we use VOIP.MS telephone service

At our firm we use VOIP.MS for our outbound telephone service and for most of our inbound telephone service.  VOIP.MS is one of the several companies these days that makes it easy to dump the traditional landline telephone services and make use of voice over IP.  As I have discussed in previous blog articles, it is astonishing how much money one can save and it is astonishing what powerful features can be implemented in one’s telephone system, using voice over IP.  There are a bunch of reasons why we felt good about having selected VOIP.MS for most of our voice over IP services.

But today’s blog article talks about a new and different reason why we feel good about having selected VOIP.MS.  They noticed that someone in the Gaza strip had snuck into our PBX and had placed several telephone calls to mobile phones in Albania.  They proactively shut off the international calling on the trunk that had been passing these calls, and they dropped an email to us letting us know.  This was at 9AM on a Sunday.   Continue reading “Another reason why I am glad we use VOIP.MS telephone service”

The smart consumer will consider using GoodRX.com

A few months ago I needed to get a prescription filled, and my doctor said “you might want to consider using GoodRX.com“.  My doctor suggested that when I got to the pharmacy, I should pull out my smart phone, open a web browser, visit the web site GoodRX.com, type in the name of the drug, and show the screen to the pharmacist.

I followed the doctor’s suggestion and I was astonished at what happened next.  The list price for the drug (thank goodness I only needed it once, for a problem that thankfully was not very serious and thankfully went away promptly!) was slightly over $100.  With my health insurance it was around $70.  Using the information on the screen of my smart phone, the price dropped to $20.  I paid the $20, took the drug, the problem went away, and I realized I had better blog about GoodRX.

So what’s the deal?  Is it a scam?  Does it always work?  Is it somehow illegal?  Is there some catch?  When a person gets this price reduction, are they somehow paying for this by revealing private information to Facebook or something? Continue reading “The smart consumer will consider using GoodRX.com”

Today is the day – USPTO pulls the plug on PDX with respect to Korean patent office

As I blogged here, today is the day that USPTO has pulled the plug on PDX in connection with KIPO (the Korean patent office).

For US design filers whose cases claim priority from Korean cases, this is welcome news.  Simply use Form PTO/SB/38 to ask USPTO to retrieve your electronic certified copy from the KIPO.  Be sure to include the DAS access code provided to you by Korean counsel.

For any US case claiming priority from a Korean utility or design application, the Best Practice nowadays is to set up an “alert” in DAS for the application, and to obtain a Certificate of Availability in DAS for that application, all the while checking that US is listed among the Offices to which the application is available.

Can you pass the DAS quiz?

Now what remains is for USPTO to do the same (pulling the plug) for the PDX relationship with EPO.

Starting now, when you as US counsel send instructions to Korean counsel to file utility or design cases claiming priority from your US cases, be sure to pass along the DAS access code (which is the PAIR confirmation code).  Also set up an “alert” in DAS for the US priority application, and also send a Certificate of Availability to Korean counsel.

Starting now, when Korean counsel sends instructions to you to file utility or design cases in the US that are claiming priority from Korean cases, Korean counsel should pass along the DAS access code.  Korean counsel should also send a Certificate of Availability to you.