Webinar: Reducing malpractice risk with $400 non-DOCX penalty that will start on January 17, 2024

Updates on January 18, 2024.

Webinar duration.  The webinar on January 16, 2024 was scheduled to last as long as two hours.  The webinar finished at one hour and twenty minutes, when I was displaying the results of the second poll.  Unfortunately my Internet connection dropped at that moment.   That is when the webinar ended.  If you were logged in at 2:20PM Mountain Time, then it means you did not miss anything.

CLE accreditation.  As detailed below, we requested CLE accreditation for the state of Colorado.  We did this on January 4.  When Monday, January 15 arrived with no word back from the accreditation agency (the Colorado Supreme Court), we telephoned the agency, reaching voice mail.  We left a detailed message.  When Tuesday, January 16 (the day of the webinar) arrived with no word back from the agency, we telephoned again, reaching voice mail.  We left a detailed message.

When Wednesday, January 17 arrived with no word back from the agency, we telephoned again.  Eventually we reached a human being.  The human being granted the accreditation.  You can see the accreditation here:  https://cletrack.coloradosupremecourt.com/courseinfonb?coursecode=1817013.  You can download a Notice of Accreditation which states that the accreditation was granted on January 17, 2024.

Attendees seeking CLE credit for the state of Colorado are invited to use the online self-reporting system along with the Course Code 839470 to obtain the CLE credit.

The USPTO is sticking with its scheduled plan to start imposing its $400 non-DOCX penalty on January 17, 2024 (or January 18, depending on which USPTO announcement you believe).  Starting on that day, the practitioner that wishes to file a patent application in which the trusted PDF format controls will have to pay the $400 penalty to do so.  Starting on that day, the practitioner that wishes to avoid having to pay the $400 penalty will be forced to proceed with the controlling document being a risky Microsoft Word file that was constructed by the USPTO during the e-filing process, and that is non-identical to the Microsoft Word file that the practitioner actually uploaded to Patent Center.  A Federal Register notice dated June 6, 2023 communicated this penalty.

The malpractice risks that will be forced upon the practitioner on January 17 are nearly without bound, and the risks relating to any particular patent application extend for decades into the future, for at least as long as the granted patent remains in force.

What exactly are the risks connected with the DOCX filing path?  What can the practitioner do, starting on January 17, to try to reduce these malpractice risks? What are Best Practices, going forward, for dealing with the $400 penalty and the DOCX filing path?  Attend a webinar in which these questions are discussed in depth.

Who should attend?   Our target audience is patent attorneys.  If the DOCX filing path in a particular patent application were to lead some day to a malpractice claim, it is the attorney who would have to deal with it.  In an office where some patent office e-filing tasks are carried out by paralegals, it is the attorney who is responsible to train and supervise those paralegals in their work.

Patent paralegals are welcome to attend.  But please try to convince your patent attorney boss to attend as well, because he or she really needs to attend for all of the reasons mentioned above.

Who is the presenter?    Your professor is Carl Oppedahl, a partner in Oppedahl Patent Law Firm LLC (“OPLF”). Carl Oppedahl He has spent more than twenty years writing and prosecuting patent applications for clients.  Carl’s firm sponsors the Patent Practice listserv, an email discussion group for US patent practitioners with hundreds of members in the US and in other countries.  Carl’s law degree is from Harvard.

Here’s what some attendees had to say about a recent seminar presented by Carl:

  • “This was the best value I’ve experienced in a legal seminar. The amount of relevant material for the time spent was tremendous.”
  • “I liked the whole seminar; Carl is very engaging; good instructor!”
  • “The seminar was very worthwhile.”

When?  The webinar will take place on Tuesday, January 16 starting at 1:00 PM Mountain Time.  Please schedule 120 minutes for this webinar.

How do I register for this webinar?   To register, click at right.

What is the cost?  The registration fee is $99 per login location.  This covers multiple attendees at a single login location.   The registration fee provides one login link for one login location.

Can I use one login link at multiple locations?  The login link is specific to you, and it won’t work if two or more people try to log in using that link.  The webinar platform tries to block this.  Please just do the right thing and pay as many registration fees as the number of login locations that you plan to use.

Some firms try to use a high-tech solution to somehow log in one attendee on a webinar and to try to broadcast the webinar video and audio to multiple firm or employee location.  This almost never works.  The webinar platform tries to block this, and firms that try to do this usually end up with video dropouts and audio dropouts.  Please just do the right thing and pay as many registration fees as the number of login locations that you plan to use.

Will presentation materials be available?  Yes, we will make presentation materials available as a PDF download, shortly before the webinar.   It will also be possible to download the presentation materials during the webinar, from the webinar platform.  The materials will include a UCOA (uniform certificate of attendance).

Will the webinar system give me an “add to calendar” link?  We are glad you asked this question.  The answer is “yes”.  And you absolutely should use the “add to calendar” function, for at least two reasons:

    • You might not be in the Mountain Time zone.  If so, you might get mixed up about adding an hour or subtracting an hour for your own time zone.  The “add to calendar” function automatically takes your time zone into account.
    • The calendar entry will contain your login link.  This means that when the day comes for you to log in at the webinar, you will not need to scramble around trying to figure out how to log in.  Instead, you can simply click on the login link in your calendar.

Are the webinars CLE-accredited?   Our webinars cost very little compared to the cost of most commercial attorney CLE webinars.  Part of how we keep the cost down is by avoiding the burdensome and expensive paperwork and filing and reporting and record-keeping requirements imposed by most states to gain CLE accreditation.

Colorado.  We will be requesting accreditation for the state of Colorado, and if you wish to seek CLE credit with the Colorado Supreme Court after attending the webinar, it is up to you (not us) to do the needed online filing with the Colorado Supreme Court.

States other than Colorado.  We will provide a Uniform Certificate of Attendance (“UCOA”) to each attendee. In the past, attendees have sometimes found that they can get CLE credit in their own state (other than Colorado) through their own efforts, using the UCOA. We are unable to offer assurances that this will work. In any event if you do receive CLE credit in your state, it will be because you yourself handed in the UCOA and did whatever else your state requires for CLE credit.  Please do not ask us for assistance in getting such credit.

What if I miss the webinar?  Can I get my money back?  No, you do not get your money back if you miss the webinar.  The best way to deal with it if you realize that you are going to miss the webinar is to make the login link available to some colleague who can attend.

What if I find that I will not be able to attend the webinar?  Can I cancel my registration and get a refund?  No, there are no refunds for this webinar.  The best way to deal with it if you realize that you are going to miss the webinar is to make the login link available to some colleague who can attend.

Another option, although we do not recommend it, is to wait until the eleventh hour and then register for the webinar.  There are at least two reasons not to do this:

    • First, the webinar platform only permits a fixed number of people to attend.  If you wait until the eleventh hour, it might turn out that you cannot register because all of the registration slots are already taken.
    • Second, you might forget to register, and then you would miss the webinar.

Will a recording be available?   We do not have any present plan to make a recording available for later viewing.