How to be unwise when naming your firm

One of the dumbest things that you can do when you are naming your intellectual property firm, it turns out, is picking a name that is more than 35 characters in length.  If you make this mistake, it means you often can’t get paid. 

A related dumb thing is arranging to have a street address that exceeds 35 characters in length.  This, too, might mean that you can’t get paid.

It turns out that there is a simple and quick fix for this problem, as I will mention at the end of this blog article.

Continue reading “How to be unwise when naming your firm”

Why the word “mobile” in that odd USPTO notice yesterday?

Yesterday the USPTO posted a very odd notice telling all of its customers who use Time-base One-Time Password apps for two-factor authentication that between now and May 1, 2022, they need to discard their existing Secret Code Number and get a new Secret Code Number.  As I blogged yesterday (blog article) the notice is strikingly close to being content-free, explaining almost nothing about what it is trying to say.  Alert reader Gerry Peters posted a comment to my blog article that made me realize that not only was the USPTO notice nearly content-free, but it also used the word “mobile” in an extremely awkward way.  Gerry pointed out that a succinct writer could simply have used the two-word phrase “authenticator app” throughout the USPTO notice, and that instead the writer went to the special point of inserting the word “mobile” no fewer than seven times into the notice, forming the three-word phrase “mobile authenticator app” all seven times.  

Gerry pointed out that most users of USPTO systems like PAIR and EFS-Web and Patentcenter and TEAS (all of which require the use of two-factor authentication) almost certainly do not log in on a mobile phone but instead log in on a desktop or notebook computer.  Gerry pointed out, correctly, that the everyday shorthand phrase that most people use as a substitute for the accurate but rather longer phrase “Time-base One-Time Password app” is simply the two-word phase “authenticator app”.  Gerry wondered whether the seven-time insertion of “mobile” into the phrase was merely a sort of nervous tic, a completely unnecessary addition of a throwaway word, or whether the three-word phrase seemingly so carefully constructed and so consistently employed from the top to the bottom of the USPTO notice might have some significance.  Maybe for example the need for users to go through this complicated process of discarding an existing Secret Code Number and getting a new Secret Code number is limited to that subset of users who use mobile devices for logging in at the USPTO?  

Having read Gerry’s comment, and having given the matter quite a bit of thought, I conclude two things.    Continue reading “Why the word “mobile” in that odd USPTO notice yesterday?”

Why you are forced to do yet another setup of your USPTO authenticator app settings

Many of us use an authenticator app such as Authy or Google Authenticator as our way of doing two-factor authentication when logging in at the USPTO.  Many of us recall the USPTO crash of about a year ago (blog article), that forced us to do another setup of our USPTO authenticator app settings.  Now comes a strikingly content-free announcement from the USPTO that we must all do yet another setup of our USPTO authenticator app settings.  Why is it, exactly, that we must do this?  I think I figured it out.  Continue reading “Why you are forced to do yet another setup of your USPTO authenticator app settings”

The latest on the Commissioner for Trademarks wanting to know where trademark applicants sleep at night

It is by now a couple of years ago that the Acting Commissioner for Trademarks promulgated a rule requiring each trademark applicant to reveal to the Trademark Office where he or she sleeps at night.  Not simply the state where he or she sleeps at night, not just the city where he or she sleeps at night, but the exact street address where he or she sleeps at night.  I call this the “where you sleep at night” rule.  Yesterday there was yet another development on the “where you sleep at night” rule.  Continue reading “The latest on the Commissioner for Trademarks wanting to know where trademark applicants sleep at night”

Time of day at IB returns to normal for US filers

On March 13 I blogged that US filers filing documents at the International Bureau needed to pay extra close attention to what time it is in Switzerland.  The reason is that in the US, Daylight Saving Time happened on March 13.  But it did not happen on that day in Switzerland.  This meant that for the past two weeks, a US-based filer in (for example) the Mountain Time zone would be able to e-file in the IB as late as 5PM and still get a same-day filing date.  This differed from the usual drop-dead time of 4PM.

Today (March 27, 2022) is the day that Daylight Saving Time happens in Switzerland. The consequence of this is that the time difference between the US filer’s time zone and the time at the IB is back to normal.  So for a US-based filer in the Mountain Time zone, the drop-dead time returns today to the usual 4PM.

This change affects for example a US-based filer filing a PCT application at the RO/IB, and it affects the US-based filer filing a design application in the IB’s Hague Agreement e-filing system.  It also affects the US-based filer filing documents at the IB relating to the Madrid Protocol, such as for example a Subsequent Designation.

Most readers of my blog will appreciate that the correct terminology is not “Daylight Savings Time” but “Daylight Saving Time”.

Many readers will also appreciate that EU has been trying for the past two years to get rid of this clock-changing.  There have also been largely feckless efforts in various states of the US to bring an end to this clock-changing. I personally would like it if the place where I am located, and the places where patent and trademark offices are that I care about, would all bring an end to clock-changing.

Filing at the International Bureau and Daylight Saving Time

It’s that time of year again.  The time of year when it is important to keep track of the fact that Daylight Saving Time is different in Switzerland from the way it is in the United States.  This is important because you might be in the US, and you might be e-filing some document with the International Bureau of WIPO. For the next two weeks (until March 27), the drop-dead time for e-filing a document at the IB is an hour later than usual.  Usually, to get a same-day filing date at the IB, an American filer would have to complete the e-filing by 4PM Mountain Time (which is midnight in Geneva).  But for the next two weeks, you get an extra hour.  You could complete the e-filing by as late as 5PM Mountain Time and it would still be a same-day filing date.

This might affect you because you are e-filing a PCT patent application at RO/IB.  This might affect you because you are e-filing a Hague Agreement design application at the IB.  This might affect you because you are paying a set of Madrid Protocol renewal fees at the IB.  Or maybe you are filing an Article 19 amendment or a Demand at the IB.

Most readers of my blog will appreciate that the correct terminology is not “Daylight Savings Time” but “Daylight Saving Time”.

Many readers will also appreciate that EU has been trying and trying to bring this to an end.  There have also been largely feckless efforts in various states of the US to bring an end to this clock-changing. I personally would like it if the place where I am located, and the places where patent and trademark offices are that I care about, would all bring an end to clock-changing.

Foolishness in the design of USPTO’s TEAS system

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Article 6quinquies of the Paris Convention provides a filing path by which certain kinds of trademark applicants in the USPTO can rely upon previous filings outside of the US.  This path is sometimes called a “44e” path, from section 44(e) of the Lanham Act (15 USC § 1126).  An applicant making use of this filing basis is required to provide to the USPTO a copy of a registration certificate from the applicant’s home country (a country outside of the US).  The way this gets done these days is by means of the e-filing system called TEAS.  And the design of the TEAS system for this function is foolish, as I will describe. The foolish thing is that the TEAS system pukes on certified copies of registration certificates from the EUIPO. Continue reading “Foolishness in the design of USPTO’s TEAS system”

The toteboards get mentioned

It was fun to see the 2021 trademark registration toteboard getting mentioned on social media within mere minutes of when the toteboard got posted.  You can see it here on LinkedIn:

Cantor Colburn LLP is proud to be top ranked in 2021 for patents and trademarks:  #4 for utility patents,  #5 for design patents, and  #6 for trademarks.

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We also thank Harrity & Harrity, LLP Analytics for patent data and Carl Oppedahl’s Ant-like Persistence Toteboards for trademark data.