Who is the Director of the USPTO?

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, by statute, any issued US patent or US trademark registration must be “signed by the Director”.   So the question “who is the Director?” is not an idle question.

As of today (screen shot at right), the Department of Commerce web site still lists the position of Director as “vacant”.

Yesterday’s issued US patents and US trademark registrations bore Michelle Lee’s signature, just as on Tuesdays before.


Patents and trademark registrations “shall be signed by the Director”

(Corrected thanks to David Boundy, as to which Director succeeded which.)

Normally the statutory requirement that a patent issued by the USPTO, or a trademark registration certificate issued by the USPTO, “shall be signed by the Director” (35 U.S. Code § 153 and 15 U.S. Code § 1057) is sort of boring.  But just now, the USPTO expressly refuses to say who is the Director of the USPTO.  What does this mean for patents and trademark registrations that have issued on recent Tuesdays? Continue reading

Behind the scenes in PAIR and EFS-Web

One of the important listservs that all US patent practitioners should subscribe to is the PAIR listserv.  This is a listserv designed, oddly enough, for users of PAIR.  Earlier today, alert listserv member William B. Slate posted a screen shot from PAIR showing that the “search by customer number” menu was missing.  And he’s right.  It was missing.  Later it returned in PAIR.  William’s posting to the listserv prompted me to say a few words about how PAIR actually works and why it is actually cause for astonishment any time that PAIR actually works. Continue reading

A documentary on industrial design

Netflix has a delightful documentary series on industrial design.  You can read about it on the Netflix web site and you can see the official Netflix trailer.  Here is an Engadget review.

First of the 2016 Tote Boards posted

The 2016 Design Patent Toteboard has been posted.

The response periods for the 2016 Utility Patent and 2016 Trademark toteboards is being extended from January 20 to January 23.

Several well-known firms that do trademark prosecution have not yet responded.  If you know someone at one of these firms, you might want to pass along a reminder to them.  These include:

Tomorrow will be a federal holiday

In the EFS-Web listserv, alert listserv member Michele Cimbala points out that tomorrow will be a federal holiday in the District of Columbia for purposes of filings at the USPTO.

You can see this on the USPTO web site.

Anything that was due to be filed tomorrow, January 20, 2017 will be timely if filed the following Monday, January 23, 2017.

Get your numbers in for the 2016 design patent toteboard

A year ago I published the 2015 Design Patent Toteboard.  Now it’s time to finalize and publish the 2016 Design Patent Toteboard.

The goal of this toteboard is to list the firms that helped clients to obtain US design patents in 2016.  It will rank the firms according to the number of US design patents obtained.  Respondents are asked to report only US design patents for which the firm is listed on the front page of the granted patent.  Please respond by January 15, 2017.

To respond, click here.