The USPTO publishes statistics on the size of the backlog for the various art units. Which design art units have the worst backlogs?
There’s a ghost art unit at the USPTO. It has patent applications assigned to it, but it has no Examiners. If you have the bad luck to have one of your patent applications assigned to this ghost art unit, the application will never get examined. At least, it will never get examined for so long as it sits in this art unit.
At our firm we try to track the FOAPs — first office action predictions — for our pending patent applications. We try to keep track of which art units are bogged down and which ones take up new applications sooner. We stumbled upon the existence of this ghost art unit when we kept noticing that some of our pending applications had no FOAP at all.
The USPTO has made some preparations for the eventual accession by the USPTO to the Hague Agreement. One preparation is picking the new “series code” (my blog here) that USPTO will use to denote that a US application came from Hague. Another preparation is a new search functionality in PAIR, as you may see in the screen shot.
Those whose practice includes “inbound” Madrid Protocol trademark applications are accustomed to the series code “79”. When you see a USPTO application number that starts with “79” you know that it is a trademark application number and that it came to the USPTO from the International Bureau of WIPO. Someone who filed a Madrid Protocol trademark application (in a place other than the USPTO) must have designated the US.
Now the USPTO has picked the series code that it will use for Hague Agreement applications.
(See update posting here.)
The Hague system, as most readers know, is the one-stop shopping system for filing applications to protect industrial designs around the world. It is somewhat of a counterpart in the industrial design world to the PCT (for utility patents) and Madrid Protocol (for trademarks). What is the progress of the US toward the Hague system? When will people in the US actually be able to file Hague applications? When will people around the world be able to designate the US when they file Hague applications? Continue reading “US progress toward the Hague Agreement”
The Canadian parliament has taken up a bill which, if enacted, would permit Canada to join the Hague Agreement (one-stop filing of applications for protection of industrial designs) and the Patent Law Treaty.
There has also been some progress in Canada toward eventually joining the Madrid Protocol (one-stop filing of applications for protection of trademarks).
There are a lot of annoying things about an email that says “see attached letter”. I’ll basically just be ranting in this posting. Feel free to skip it.
I should emphasize first that if somebody is paying my firm to do work, I will cheerfully receive any and all “attached letters” that they wish to send. The non-US patent firm that has sent me dozens of patent applications to be filed in the US can send any email in whatever way they want to sent it.
What I am talking about is the non-US intellectual property firms, and the service providers (annuity services for example) that are receiving money from my firm. These are the people I am complaining about when I say I am annoyed by an email that says “see attached letter”.
Why am I annoyed by this?
The Republic of Korea has joined the Hague Agreement.
(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.
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.