e-filing at WIPO — back to normal

For the past three weeks the situation for e-filing at WIPO has been that the local time to e-file so as to get a same-day filing date in Switzerland has been different from usual.  But today the people in Switzerland have turned their clocks forward.  So things are back to normal.

For example if you are in the Mountain time zone, once again as of today you will be counting toward 4PM local time to get a same-day filing date in Switzerland.  (For the past three weeks the answer was 5PM.)

IP firm user guide to Afex

In several recent posts I blogged about Afex.com, a provider of international wire transfer services.  By now we have migrated nearly all of our international wire transfer activity away from previous vendors and over to Afex.  The user documentation for Afex is, said charitably, extremely limited.  The documentation seems to assume that the reader is already an extremely experienced user of legacy wire transfer services, such that the reader only needs to learn a few things about Afex to be able to do all of the things that the reader already knew how to do with a legacy wire transfer service.  What’s more, the documentation does almost nothing to explain how you would actually use the system if you are an intellectual property firm.

If you already have service set up with some wire transfer service provider, it would be very tempting to stick with what you know and are familiar with.  But as I mentioned here and here, many of the legacy service providers really charge quite a lot, both in bank fees and in currency exchange rate fees, compared with what Afex charges.  So it might be smart to start using Afex.  The problem being that the documentation is so poor.

With this in mind, I have written a user guide that draws upon our experience using Afex.com to pay foreign IP firms and foreign IP offices (e.g. WIPO, KIPO) and using Afex.com as a way to receive bank wires from foreign IP firms.  You can see it here.  Please post comments and suggestions below.

Configuring your VOIP devices for secure connections

I recently blogged (here) that one of the best VOIP service providers, VOIP.MS, recently added a beta-test feature permitting high quality encryption in the connection between your telephone equipment and the VOIP.MS equipment.  The connection is called a “SIP trunk”, which has two ends — one end is at VOIP.MS’s server and the other end is at your own equipment, which might be a PBX, a desktop telephone, an analog telephone adapter, or a VOIP app that runs on your smart phone.

It is super easy to turn on the encryption at the server end — it is a matter of one mouse click at the web page of VOIP.MS.

Turning on the encryption at your own equipment might be a bit more difficult.  The main point of today’s post is that I have written a set of knowledge base articles explaining how to do this with each of three VOIP devices, namely:

The seventh annual US Design Patent Toteboard is out

It is my honor to post the seventh annual US Design Patent Toteboard.  This toteboard lists the firms that obtained the most US design patents in 2018.

As I look at this list, I see many firms which were doing design patent law long before it was trendy.

First place went to Banner & Witcoff.  Banner & Witcoff has been in first place for seven years in a row (since the very first US design patent toteboard).

Second place went to Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch.  Birch, Stewart has been in the top ten for the past six years.

(My firm was in nineteenth place.)

You can see the other 2018 toteboards here.



Ninth Annual E-Trademarks Listserv Reception Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in Boston

Will you be in Boston at the time of the INTA meeting?  I already told you to save the date (February 17, 2019 blog post) for the E-Trademarks reception.  Now the venue and time of day are also set.

The Ninth Annual E-Trademarks listserv reception will take place on Tuesday, Mary 21, 2019.  This will be at The Black Rose (restaurant web site).  The event will run from 6PM to 9PM.

Add to Calendar
05/21/2019 06:00 PM
05/21/2019 09:00 PM
e-Trademarks listserv reception
for members of the listserv and their guests
The Black Rose, 160 State Street, Boston, MA 02109

This reception is for members of the E-Trademarks listserv, and for guests of members of the listserv.

Please RSVP here.

click to enlarge

We are renting out the entire second story of the restaurant (photo at right).  Here is the location of the event.

There is one other important event during this time that you need to know about:  Meet the Bloggers XV.


Securing your telephone calls

At the time of the Cold War, if you wanted to have an extremely secure communication over an insecure communications channel, the only choice was to have somehow arranged an earlier secure communication over a secure channel.  The iconic image of a diplomatic courier handcuffed to a briefcase was no mere icon.  For many years at the height of the Cold War, the State Department distributed special phonograph disks to US embassies around the world containing the audio equivalent of the “one-time pads” that were used for secure encryption of character-based messages.  The briefcase containing the phonograph disk counted as the “earlier secure communication over a secure channel” that permitted a later secure communication over an insecure channel such as an international telephone call or a radio communication.  You can read about this program, called SIGSALY, in this Wikipedia article.  By now in 2019 you can have telephone calls that are nearly as secure as the SIGSALY communications, and there is no need for any “earlier secure communication over a secure channel”. And the equipment that you will use is inexpensive when compared with the prodigiously expensive SIGSALY equipment. Continue reading “Securing your telephone calls”