A very poorly designed USPTO form

click to enlarge

(Update:  A letter got sent on February 22, 2020 to the Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO, asking the USPTO to reformat this form.  See blog post.)

Which patent form on the USPTO web site is the most poorly designed?  Just now the form at the top of my list of poorly designed forms is Form PTO/SB/38, the Request to Retrieve Priority Applications. Continue reading “A very poorly designed USPTO form”

Comfort food

click to enlarge

One way to purchase postage stamps from the US Postal Service is in coils of 100.  Just today in our office we purchased and placed into service this plastic dispenser for such a coil.  It is simple and elegant in its simplicity.   This dispenser replaces our expensive postage meter which we got rid of some time ago (blog article). 

This dispenser offers a sense of nostalgia, because it looks just like a dispenser that was in my home when I was a child.  For me, it’s in the category of comfort food.

How the non-DOCX penalty will work for non-English filings?

USPTO published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking some months ago, proposing to hit the filer with a $400 if the filer files a patent application in a format other than Microsoft Word word processor format.  (USPTO says “DOCX” but realistically the only way a filer can get USPTO’s system to work accurately is to generate the word processor file with Microsoft Word, and even then, only with Microsoft Word for Windows, in a very recent version of the software.) 

I published two comments (here and here) explaining some of the reasons why I feel the USPTO got it wrong on this.  And I joined seventy-two other patent practitioners in signing a comment that explored in quite some detail some of the things that USPTO got wrong on this. 

I imagine most of us nowadays have started at least trying to e-file in DOCX, just to try to find out how bad it is so that we can get ready for how bad it will be when USPTO starts charging the $400 penalty.  And recently I realized that there is a very interesting fact pattern that I am quite confident that no one at the USPTO thought about at all when it promulgated this Rule — the fact pattern where the initial filing is in a non-English language. Continue reading “How the non-DOCX penalty will work for non-English filings?”

Viet Nam joins the Hague Agreement

click to enlarge

Recently I blogged that Samoa joined the Hague Agreement on October 2, 2019 and that Israel joined the Hague Agreement on October 3, 2019.  Somehow I overlooked that just a few days earlier, on September 30, 2019, Viet Nam joined the Hague Agreement.

The Hague system will enter into force for Viet Nam on December 30, 2019.

As of December 30, 2019, companies and designers from Viet Nam can begin using the Hague System to protect their industrial designs. The applicant can pursue protection in many countries through a single international application and a single set of fees.

Likewise from December 30, 2019, those located outside of Viet Nam will be able to seek design protection in Viet Nam through the Hague System.

I had blogged on October 21, 2017 that Viet Nam was getting ready to join the Hague Agreement and indeed now it has happened.

Viet Nam joined the Patent Cooperation Treaty on March 10, 1993 and joined the Madrid Protocol on July 11, 2006.   Viet Nam thus completes the trifecta of membership in all three international intellectual property filing platforms.

The two-letter code for Viet Nam is “VN”.

Samoa Joins the Patent Cooperation Treaty

click to enlarge

On October 2, 2019, Samoa deposited the Instrument of Accession to the Patent Cooperation Treaty with the International Bureau of WIPO. This means that the PCT will come into force for Samoa on January 2, 2020.

This brings to 153 the number of member States for the PCT.

Samoa already belongs to Madrid Protocol.  Samoa has joined the Hague Agreement at the same time as the PCT.  So on January 2, 2020 Samoa will achieve the trifecta for international filing mechanisms.

The two-letter code for Samoa is “WS”.

Samoa joins the Hague Agreement

click to enlarge

On Wednesday, October 2, 2019 Samoa deposited its Instrument of Accession to the Hague Agreement.

The Agreement will enter into force in Samoa on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

This brings to 72 the number of contracting parties to the Hague Agreement.

As of January 2, 2020, companies and designers from Samoa can begin using the Hague System to protect their industrial designs. The applicant can pursue protection in many countries through a single international application and a single set of fees.

Likewise from January 2, 2020, those located outside of Samoa will be able to seek design protection in Samoa through the Hague System.

Samoa will join the Patent Cooperation Treaty on January 2, 2020 and joined the Madrid Protocol on March 4, 2019.   Samoa will thus complete the trifecta of membership in all three international intellectual property filing platforms.

The two-letter code for Samoa is “WS”.

Israel joins the Hague system


On Thursday, October 3, 2019 Israel deposited its Instrument of Accession to the Hague Agreement.

The Agreement will enter into force in Israel on Friday, January 3, 2020.

I blogged back on October 21, 2017 that Israel was going to join Hague Real Soon Now, and finally it has happened.

This brings to 73 the number of contracting parties to the Hague Agreement.

As of January 3, 2020, companies and designers from Israel can begin using the Hague System to protect their industrial designs. The applicant can pursue protection in many countries through a single international application and a single set of fees.

Likewise from January 3, 2020, those located outside of Israel will be able to seek design protection in Israel through the Hague System.

Israel joined the Patent Cooperation Treaty on June 1, 1996 and joined the Madrid Protocol on September 1, 2010.   Israel has thus completed the trifecta of membership in all three international intellectual property filing platforms.

The two-letter code for Israel is “IL”.

Does this check box ever actually work?

click to enlarge

USPTO says that if you check this box, the second authentication factor will not be not needed during signin for the next 24 hours.

This is, of course, false.  Or more accurately, it is almost always false.  The check box does occasionally save the USPTO customer from having to carry out two-factor authentication when logging in to a USPTO system.  But usually it does not work. Continue reading “Does this check box ever actually work?”