At the present time, very few US PCT filers pick ISA/IL. So this fee increase will not affect very many US PCT filers.
Today the search fee paid by a US filer for the Russian patent office as International Searching Authority increases from $449 to $482. (I first reported this here on March 17, 2017.)
Filers who use EFS-Web to file in RO/US, or who use PCT-SAFE or ePCT to file in RO/IB, will not need to worry about getting this right. Each of those e-filing systems has already been updated today to reflect the new fee.
Those who, like me, often record assignments at the USPTO are accustomed to the steps that are required to e-file in EPAS (electronic patent assignment system) and ETAS (electronic trademark assignment system). The steps include identifying the assignor and the assignee, and then comes the step of entering the properties for which the assignment is being recorded. I am delighted to be able to report that USPTO has made this very user friendly for an assignment that applies to many properties. Continue reading
I have blogged here (in 2015) and here (in 2014) about the need for USPTO to implement SSL (secure sockets layer or “https://”) on all of its external-facing web sites. I have reminded the USPTO that there is an executive order from the White House directing all US government agencies to do this. USPTO was very slow to comply, but has made some progress. One of the last web sites that USPTO managed to migrate to SSL was the Public PAIR web site.
Recently came the disappointing news that USPTO made plans to roll back the functionality of the Public PAIR web site. In a posting on April 3, 2017, USPTO said:
The USPTO will be performing maintenance on the Public Patent
Application Information Retrieval (Public Pair) beginning at 12:01
a.m., Friday, April 21 and ending at 2 a.m., Friday, April 21 ET.
During the maintenance period, Public PAIR will be unavailable.
Immediately after the maintenance, users will only be able to access
Public PAIR through URLs beginning with HTTP, such as
http://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair. Past URLs using HTTPS to
access Public Pair, such as
https://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair, will no longer work.
Now comes an announcement on April 24, 2017:
HTTPS access to Public PAIR
The USPTO’s public facing legacy systems, such as Public PAIR, were not designed to support HTTPS protocol. The agency has worked hard to enhance these legacy systems to support HTTPS. Following the agency’s April 11, 2017 deployment of HTTPS to Public PAIR, some public users reported errors accessing Public PAIR. A decision was made to back-out the new HTTPS capability while the agency investigated a resolution to the issue. We expect to implement a fix and restoration of the HTTPS protocol in the next few weeks. The USPTO is sorry for any inconvenience.
There’s just no excuse for this. People who administer web sites are well aware that there are off-the-shelf solutions for adding SSL functionality to any legacy web site. There are modestly priced commercial boxes (simple boxes that you connect between the web server and the Internet) to do this. For those who cannot afford a modestly priced commercial solution, there are off-the-shelf open-source solutions that run on a simple inexpensive Linux box. These solutions do not require any modification to the legacy system, and they do not slow down the user access data rates.
Let’s hope USPTO does a Google search or two and learns how to do this.
As I mentioned in a blog post on March 17, the search fee that a a US PCT filer would pay for the Russian patent office will increase on May 1, 2017. The search fee, presently $449, will increase to $482.
This offers an opportunity to save a little money. If you are a US filer, and you were thinking about filing a PCT application in which you choose ISA/RU, and you were thinking of filing the PCT application on May 1, just file it instead a day early on April 30. This will save $33 in fees.
You may recall my blog post of March 25, 2017 entitled “USPTO thinks there is such a thing as a “provisional patent”?” I wrote:
It will be interesting to see if, after the posting of this blog article, the USPTO revises its home page to delete the mention of a “provisional patent”.
|Here is the front page of the USPTO web site before my blog post:|
|Here is how the USPTO revised the front page after my blog post:|
A couple of years ago I taught a webinar called Get Patents Fast! The point of this webinar was to enumerate and compare and contrast the various initiatives at the USPTO for getting a patent fast.
Last week a colleague at a New England patent firm asked if she could get her patent application made “special” by filing a petition under 37 CFR § 1.102 showing that the invention would “contribute to the … conservation of energy resources.” She’s right that Rule 102 says that you can do that. But as it turns out, you can’t really do that, as I will explain. Oddly, in a few months it may once again be possible to do that, as I will also explain. Continue reading
As I mentioned in a February 18, 2017 blog post, USPTO has proposed to scrap the Accelerated Exam (AE) program (see the January 12, 2017 Federal Register notice). There’s an oddity about how the USPTO went about implementing AE in the first place that means that scrapping AE would have a peculiar consequence, namely to bring back three ways of making applications “special” that had been unavailable (from a practical point of view) for the past decade. I will explain. As best I can see, nobody at the USPTO, nor any of the handful of commenters in response to this Federal Register notice, has thought about this peculiarity. Continue reading
Recently in the Design Listserv a Paris Convention question arose. The question was, under Article 4 of the Paris Convention, could a design application claim priority from an earlier utility application? It’s a good question and if you have any thoughts about this, I urge you to join that listserv and share your thoughts.
But what prompts this blog article is the acronym “TYFNIL”. A listserv member pointed out that even if the Office examining the design application were to find nothing wrong with such a priority claim, the owner of the design protection would never really know for sure where they stood until TYFNIL. What does that mean? Continue reading
Over on the EFS-Web listserv (the email discussion group for patent filers at the USPTO) there was an interesting discussion recently. A number of USPTO customers (frequent patent filers at the USPTO) were talking about USPTO’s bad habit of bouncing inventor declarations that have nothing wrong with them.
It would not be so bad if USPTO were to do its bouncing promptly after the inventor declaration is filed. In that case, if indeed there were actually something wrong with the inventor declaration, it would be a realistic goal to round up a fresh signature from the inventor.
Instead, the USPTO waits until allowance to mail the “Notice Requiring Inventor’s Oath or Declaration” (Form PTOL-2306). The Notice states that there is some real or imagined defect in the inventor declaration that was filed back when the patent application was filed in the first place. In a very large percentage of cases, there is not actually anything wrong with the inventor declaration. Continue reading