USPTO could be nicer to PDX and DAS users

(Further update:  We win!  As you can see here, the Commissioner answered our letter.  The USPTO says it will stop the foot-dragging on retrieval of electronic certified copies.)

(Update:  A letter got sent on February 22, 2020 to the Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO, asking the USPTO to stop its foot-dragging on retrieval of electronic certified copies from DAS and PDX.  See blog post.)

If you fail to get your certified copy of your foreign priority application into the hands of the USPTO by sixteen months, you’ve lost your priority claim and will have to file a petition to get it back.  Suppose you try to do this electronically and inadvertently get it wrong?  USPTO’s present policy is to wait until past sixteen months to let you know.  That’s not nice, and USPTO needs to change its policy.

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A blog with a name – “Ant-like Persistence”

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.

Design Day 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 will be Design Day 2014.  This is an all-day program, free of charge, at the USPTO in Alexandria, Virginia.

Design Day is a very special annual event, co-sponsored by the USPTO, the IP Section of the American Bar Association, the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), and the Industrial Designers Society of America.

Topics presented will include:

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A little-known USPTO initiative to reduce the backlog

As we all know, USPTO has set up many initiatives in recent years to try to reduce the qdppbacklog of unexamined patent applications.  Many practitioners are familiar with most of these initiatives.  It seems, however, that very few patent practitioners are aware of an initiative announced recently by the USPTO.  The initiative, called QDPP or “Quick Disposal Pilot Program”, will essentially instantly eliminate approximately two percent of the backlog, and should lead to some applications being allowed very quickly.

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USPTO relaxes rules for CPAs in design patent applications

The AIA rules published August 14, 2012 gave a patent applicant a free pass on handing in the signed inventor declaration late, indeed extremely late.  The 2012 rules permitted the applicant to postpone handing in the declaration until as late as the time of allowance.

But not for CPAs (continued prosecution applications) from design patent applications.  Due to an oversight in the 2012 AIA rulemaking, this free pass was not extended to CPAs in that rulemaking.  On March 5, 2014 the USPTO published a rule change correcting the oversight and extending the free pass to CPAs.

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Important upcoming industrial design events

A number of recent developments have forced practitioners, even those who never thought that design patents were important, to pay attention to design patents.  The Apple v. Samsung litigation, in which a jury verdict of nearly a billion dollars was awarded to Apple, largely on its design patents.  The imminent accession of the US to the Hague Agreement, which will permit US filers to use the Hague process as a one-stop-shopping way to file for design protection in many countries at once.

Here are some important upcoming events in this area:

Those practitioners who wish to join in discussions with other practitioners about developments in industrial design protection may wish to subscribe to the Industrial Designs listserv.