6 Replies to “USPTO’s new “welcome letters””

  1. I filed a new trademark application today and got an electronic trademark filing receipt that has photos of Kathi Vidal and Derrick Brent, along with a link to the welcome letter and pages of single-spaced instructions geared toward pro se applicants.

    I’m somewhat embarrassed at the having the photos in there. Conjures a false level of personal attention by the people in the photos. I’m not sure the purpose. I often associate superfluous government photos as a sign the person is going to run for office and is building a brand. (See what I did there??)

    If the letters are meant primarily for pro se applicants. the USPTO needs to realize they don’t read that stuff. Too much text, which is a complaint about TEAS I’ve submitted for years. And do attorneys send that verbose receipt to clients and expect them to read it? I don’t.

  2. Sandra’s comment above just answered my question — I was wondering where these welcome letters go when a practitioner files the application. Sounds like they go to the practitioner, which is pretty dumb. Also, the time to convey some of the information in the letter to a pro se applicant (e.g., info about small and micro entities) is BEFORE the application is filed.

    I also like how the patent letter does not even hint that there is a certain level of skill involved in preparing/prosecuting a patent application, and the applicant might want to seek the services of a registered practitioner. Instead, the letter suggests that it’s a piece of cake, and that the USPTO is here to help you get a patent! LOL.

  3. Whilst these letters are quite horrifying to practitioners not in the US, there does seem to be a movement amongst many patent offices to try and encourage private individuals to “have a go themselves without the assistance of any specialists”. Personally, it seems extremely dangerous to encourage the general populace to file something, mark it ‘patent pending’ and assume that everything will be OK.

    At least (for the moment) the UKIPO and the EPO always add a statement to the effect that advice should at least be considered by contacting an attorney and web links provided to the relevant professional bodies.

    Back to your USPTO letters, I know that you have the advantage of a large US market but there are other countries out there where even small/micro entities may benefit from a larger global outlook and some countries are not so pro-patentee or willing to overlook minor inconsistencies and mistakes.

  4. I am sure the USPTO is aware that pro se inventors file patent applications that are terrible, not worth much of anything because they don’t understand how to create the asset or navigate the process so 75% or more simply waste their money. That being said, there should really be a bullet to warn pro se inventors to hire a professional.

  5. That is exactly the reason that the UKIPO & EPO include a warning to inventors to consider contacting an attorney – if individual inventors file “rubbish patents” it not only costs the inventor more money, but it also clogs up the limited time & money resources of patent office staff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *