It’s easy to gripe when the USPTO does something, or proposes to do something, that makes it harder to get a patent or harder to register a trademark. But it’s only fair to recognize those times when USPTO gets things right by making something easier or better. As a recent example, the USPTO got it right when it relaxed certain requirements for getting a patent application onto Track I. And the USPTO got it right when it relaxed rules for CPAs in design patent applications. Now USPTO has proposed rules which would make it easier (and cheaper) to get and renew a trademark registration.
What USPTO should do — make patent assignments viewable
USPTO, in response to pressure from the White House and from big companies that are recipients of cease-and-desist letters, recently published proposed rules with a stated goal of promoting transparency in ownership of patents. There are many things wrong (blog) with the proposed rules. But there is a simple thing that the USPTO could do to promote transparency in ownership of patents that would not require rulemaking at all — make patent assignments viewable.
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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.
Intellectual property in pop culture — “Silicon Valley” on HBO
Today the followers of the HBO series Silicon Valley (yes, me among them) saw the third episode. In this episode, we encounter at least two intellectual property issues.
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For those filing at WIPO, a time zone change
The US and Europe do not agree on when to start and when to stop Daylight Saving Time. The US started DST on March 9, 2014, and Europe started DST today, March 30. This is important for US filers who file things at WIPO.
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USPTO is closed today, Monday, March 17
USPTO is closed today, Monday, March 17 as a snow day.
Anything that you might have needed to file today to meet a USPTO due date may be postponed until tomorrow, Tuesday March 18. But there are some things to watch out for.
Best Practice: using USPTO’s Financial Profile system
USPTO has many e-commerce systems that are well known to practitioners and applicants — EFS-Web for e-filing patent documents, TEAS for e-filing trademark documents, ESTTA for e-filing TTAB documents to name three examples. But I find it remarkable how few practitioners and applicants know anything about USPTO’s Financial Profile system. The Financial Profile system is (or should be) a central part of the bookkeeping workflow for any patent firm or trademark firm and for any corporate patent department or corporate trademark department.
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USPTO will be closed Monday, March 3
USPTO will be closed Monday March 3.
Anything that you might have needed to file on Monday March 3 to meet a USPTO due date may be postponed until Tuesday March 4.
Monitoring the international trademark filings of your competitors
Many companies, and many trademark practitioners, are unaware of an extremely helpful service which the World Intellectual Property Organization makes available free of charge. The Madrid Electronic Alert (“MEA”) system is a free-of-charge “watch service” designed to inform anyone interested in monitoring the status of particular Madrid Protocol (international) trademark applications. This is particularly helpful for monitoring Madrid Protocol trademark filings of competitors and adversaries.
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USPTO’s trademark Post Registration Division
The first US trademark application I ever filed on behalf of a client was in 1996. In the seventeen years that have passed since then, I’ve seen ups and downs in various parts of the trademark office. Many parts of the trademark office do very well. But this post observes a few lapses in the Post Registration Division (“PRD”).
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