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Okay three’s a pattern.  Now we are up to the third time in recent days that I am writing a blog article directed to some particular word that I think is interesting.  We talked about “regolith” and we talked about “orthostat“.  Today’s word is “anosmia”. Anosmia is a word that we sort of wish we did not need to be reminded of in these difficult times the summer of 2020. But that can’t be helped.  And it is a word that relates to the thing that is in the box in the image at the right.  Here we go … Continue reading “Anosmia”

Two years after we asked for it — Patentcenter now has “last 40 ack receipts”

(Update:  I spoke too soon when I said USPTO finally got around to bringing the “last 40 ack receipts” feature of EFS-Web into Patentcenter.  See blog article and blog article.)

USPTO released Patentcenter for alpha testing in the summer of 2018.  Patentcenter, it is recalled, is the system that USPTO intends will replace PAIR and EFS-Web.  Eventually USPTO will shut down PAIR and EFS-Web.  USPTO has said from the beginning that one of its design imperatives for Patentcenter has been and is that every function and feature of PAIR and EFS-Web will be replicated into Patentcenter.  One of the important features of EFS-Web is “last 40 acknowledgment receipts”.

Our firm was among the first alpha testers of Patentcenter.  And one of the first issues that we raised with the Patentcenter developers in 2018 was that Patentcenter failed to provide “last 40 ack receipts”.  

On November 20, 2019 Jeff Ingerman pointed out this problem with Patentcenter in Ideascale.  You can see it here.  This was idea number 383.  It received two up-votes.  But that did not lead to USPTO providing that function in Patentcenter.  This offers a reminder of how useless Ideascale has been.

Then USPTO made Patentcenter open to all users.  I launched the Patentcenter listserv and one of the earliest topics discussed was the need for this feature.  I launched the Patentcenter feature request page and this feature got listed as FR4.  

On May 10, 2020 the USPTO took a step toward providing this feature, as I described here.  USPTO added an item in a drop-down list, an item that clearly was intended eventually to lead to “last 40 ack receipts”.  Back in May if you were to click on that link you would reach a “404 page not found” error.

But now USPTO has quietly turned on the “last 40 ack receipts” feature in Patentcenter.

I have three reactions to this development.

First, my first reaction is yes, of course it is a good thing that the Patentcenter developers finally did get around to replicating this EFS-Web feature into Patentcenter.  Many EFS-Web users rely on it and use it a lot, and this will help some of those users in their transition to Patentcenter.

Second, and I mean this as a very serious question, why did it take two years for the Patentcenter developers to get around to doing this?  It speaks poorly for the USPTO that the USPTO so directly ignored it when the alpha testers pointed out this omission in 2018, and it speaks poorly for the USPTO that the USPTO likewise ignored it when a beta tester pointed out this omission in autumn of 2019 in Ideascale.  It is unfortunate that what it took to get the Patentcenter developers to take this seriously was the formation of a listserv of 150 power users, and for the listserv to apply pressure at a very high level within the USPTO.

Thirdand I also mean this very seriously, I feel it is very poor customer relations that I had to find out completely by accident that the USPTO finally got around to turning on this feature.  It would be a matter of common courtesy for the USPTO to respond to the listserv to let the listerv know that the USPTO had gotten around to releasing this feature, and thus that FR4 could be closed.  I learned of this only because one of the listserv members stumbled upon the newly turned-on feature, and posted to the listserv to report it.

A Madrid Protocol thing that USPTO needs to do as Office of Origin

Hello, readers in the US.

You know those notifications that you receive from WIPO about your Madrid Protocol cases?  Those notifications from WIPO about your Madrid cases that do not tell you your attorney docket number?  

Don’t you wish that each such notice would tell you your attorney docket number?  Don’t you get very tired of having to go on a treasure hunt every time you receive such a Madrid notice from WIPO, to try to figure out what the attorney docket number is?

Maybe you wonder if there is some good reason why such notices do not tell you your attorney docket number.

There is a reason.  If you’d like to know, read on.  Continue reading “A Madrid Protocol thing that USPTO needs to do as Office of Origin”

Another good word to save up: orthostat

I guess two is not quite enough for a pattern, we need three for a pattern.  But here is a second word that has something to do with rocks.  A good word to save up because someday, and I promise this, life will be back to normal and there will be cocktail parties and salon dinners and stuff.  We already talked about a word relating to rocks, namely “regolith” (blog article).  Here is another good word to save up: 


What is an “orthostat”? Continue reading “Another good word to save up: orthostat”

A good word to save up: regolith

When I was in college, long before most readers of this blog were born, I was a double major in physics and mathematics.  There was a fairly predictable path of eight physics courses over four years for the physics major, and a fairly predictable path of eight math courses over four years for the math major.  Not much room for other things.  In my case I came within a couple of credits of also earning a triple major in philosophy.  But I did not quite get there.

Conspicuously absent from my four-year course of study was geology.  At the college that I attended there was a geology course that was part of the physics department.  There was never room in my packed course schedule for that geology course.  That course had a counterpart at many colleges and universities, I later learned, and at many schools it was somewhat condescendingly nicknamed “rocks for jocks”, the course that a student might sign up for as a way of satisfying a requirement for getting a certain minimum number of science credits if the student otherwise was not going to find it very easy to satisfy that requirement.

Decades have passed and over and over again I have been reminded how much I missed by never having taken that geology course, or any other geology course.  Pretty much all I knew was that there are three kinds of rocks:  sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous.  That was it.  Which brings me around to the word “regolith”.  What does “regolith” mean? 

A chief reason why I think about words like this is that I keep hoping that life will eventually return to normal and there will be things like cocktail parties and salon dinners where people can talk about stuff and learn new things from each other.  Yes by now I have despaired that this return to normalcy would happen in 2020, but maybe in 2021?  2022?  Anyway, what does “regolith” mean?

Continue reading “A good word to save up: regolith”

Austrian Patent Office joins DAS

I am delighted to be able to report not only that the Austrian Patent Office has joined DAS, but that it will be participating as an Accessing Office in every way that it is possible to participate, and it will be participating as a Depositing Office in every way that it is possible to participate.

This participation will commence October 1, 2020.

The new Madrid Application Assistant

(Update:  At the end of this article which I posted yesterday, I described a programming mistake in the newly released MAA software from WIPO.  I wondered how long it would take for WIPO to get it fixed.   Not even 24 hours have passed and already I received an email from a nice person at WIPO letting me know that they had fixed the problem.  I tested and indeed it has been fixed.)

WIPO has just announced its new Madrid Application Assistant.  Here is how WIPO describes it:

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has launched the Madrid Application Assistant, which automatically records all the information required to complete an international application.

The Madrid Application Assistant is the latest improvement to the service level of the Madrid Registry as part of WIPO’s drive to enhance the creation and management of trademark rights under the Madrid System.

You can see Information Notice No. 53/2020 and you can see a “learn more” page about the Madrid Application Assistant.

What exactly is this new Madrid Application Assistant?  What is the problem, if any, for which the new Madrid Application Assistant is the solution?  Who can use this tool?  Is it a good idea to use this tool?  Can applicants in the United States use this tool?  How will this new tool affect US trademark practitioners?  I will try to answer these questions.  Continue reading “The new Madrid Application Assistant”