It’s easy to gripe when the USPTO does something, or proposes to do something, that makes it harder to get a patent or harder to register a trademark. But it’s only fair to recognize those times when USPTO gets things right by making something easier or better. As a recent example, the USPTO got it right when it relaxed certain requirements for getting a patent application onto Track I. And the USPTO got it right when it relaxed rules for CPAs in design patent applications. Now USPTO has proposed rules which would make it easier (and cheaper) to get and renew a trademark registration.
USPTO, in response to pressure from the White House and from big companies that are recipients of cease-and-desist letters, recently published proposed rules with a stated goal of promoting transparency in ownership of patents. There are many things wrong (blog) with the proposed rules. But there is a simple thing that the USPTO could do to promote transparency in ownership of patents that would not require rulemaking at all — make patent assignments viewable.
About two months ago I launched this blog. It took me a while, but now I have picked a name for the blog. The alert reader will recall Learned Hand’s (perhaps backhanded) compliment to patent practitioners, citing their “ant-like persistence” (Lyon v. Boh, 1 F.2d 48, 50 (S.D.N.Y.1924). With a nod to those patent practitioners who at the start of the twentieth century exhibited the ant-like persistence that inspired Learned Hand to write this colorful phrase, I hereby dub this the “Ant-like Persistence” blog.