Sometimes the USPTO gets it right

What happens so often is that the USPTO gets things wrong about the PCT process.  For example the USPTO seems so often to go out of its way to avoid giving any credit, let alone full faith and credit, to the work done by the International Searching Authority when it searches and examines a patent application.  So here is a refreshing example of the USPTO getting it right.

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Posted in PCT |

Where to send a USPTO patent petition?

In the old days (meaning, before e-filing at the USPTO became possible), the practitioner who was filing a petition would simply drop the petition in the mail, directed to the USPTO generally.  Someone in the USPTO mail room would look at each petition, and would pick where exactly within the USPTO to direct the petition so that it might be considered and decided.

Then the Internet happened and a decade later, the USPTO reacted to the Internet by setting up EFS-Web.  In EFS-Web the burden of figuring out where exactly within USPTO a patent-related petition would be directed got shifted away from USPTO mail room personnel and onto the e-filer.  The choices from which the patent e-filer might pick include:

  • Petition for review by the Office of Petitions
  • Petition for review by the PCT legal office
  • Petition for review by the Technology Center SPRE

When you are e-filing a petition, how should you pick where to send your petition?

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I just learned about another IP blog …

It’s been around for some time, but I only learned about it the other day … the Brandaide blog.  A blog that is all about creating, building, and protecting your brand.

A new category of walking-corpse US patents?

One of the scariest things for a US patent practitioner is the thought of being held responsible for a patent that turns out to have been a “walking corpse”. A patent that everybody thought was a normal patent and it turns out that there is some defect that means it was never actually a patent at all.

My favorite category of “walking-corpse” patent had, until now, been the patent that was granted on a patent application in which the applicant made a non-publication request, and then did foreign filing, and failed to timely rescind the non-publication request. The rules say that such a patent application is deemed abandoned some 46 days after the foreign filing happened. But probably nobody involved at the time knew that the status of the application was “abandoned”. Not the Examiner, not the USPTO employee who cheerfully collected the Issue Fee and mailed out the ribbon copy of the granted patent. Least of all the practitioner who forgot about rescinding the non-pub request and who triumphantly handed the ribbon copy of the patent to the client. Likely as not, the first time this defect would get noticed is at litigation time.

Anyway until now that was my favorite example of a “walking corpse” US patent. But it looks like maybe there’s now a new category of walking-corpse US patents.  Continue reading

MTB XI – the photographs

Last night was Meet the Bloggers XI.  Yes, the eleventh annual reception.  Henry’s Pub, the same restaurant in San Diego where the first and original Meet the Bloggers took place ten years ago, was closed to the public for the night for this special event.  Meet the Bloggers XI In this exterior shot of the restaurant you can see maybe half of the people who attended this reception.

20150504_211441 In this shot you can see Erik Pelton giving out some of the door prizes.

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“out of the office until May 8th”?

Send an email today to a trademark practitioner located anywhere in the world, and likely as not you will receive an automatic reply like this:

Hello. I am out of the office until May 8 with limited access to email.  If this matter is urgent please contact my assistant so-and-so …

The reason, of course, is that the email recipient is in San Diego right now.  As am I.  If you are in San Diego and want to see me this week, the best way to do it is to drop by one of these two receptions.