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Patent Prosecution & Strategic Counseling

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MPEP §2103(VI) states that when a rejection is imposed, the “Office action should clearly communicate the findings, conclusions and reasons which support them.”  Examiners commonly satisfy this requirement by citing one or more prior art references allegedly teaching each of the limitations of a claim.
A variety of options are available to applicants to speed up patent application examination at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 
U.S. patent law elevates the importance of “the inventor” to an extent unseen in the rest of the world.  Unlike many other countries, ownership of patent applications in the United States initially vests in the inventors listed on the application.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a new Automated Interview Request (AIR) Form that allows practitioners to submit an online request for an interview with an examiner.  The online form allows applicants to request an interview at any time without calling the examiner over the phone and leaving a message, which is a common practice now.
Authorship is the currency of academia, and principle investigators are often generous with technicians and collaborators when listing authors on a paper.  However, the identification of an “inventor” has legal significance in the U.S. and cannot be applied to those who have not made an inventive contribution. 
While design patents are gaining wider attention—thanks in part to the highly-publicized litigation involving Samsung and Apple—they still remain an underutilized form of intellectual property (IP) protection. This blog discusses the benefits of design patent protection, and what is required to obtain a design patent.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced this week that the Global Dossier program has expanded to include access to more patent applications worldwide.

Software is Still Patent Eligible

February 16, 2017| Advisory

In recent years, software patents have come under fire from legislation (the American Invents Act) that has generally made patents easier to invalidate, and from court decisions (the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank1 and its progeny) that have made computer-implemented inventions more vulnerable to subject matter eligibility challenges.
The latest trend in patent examiner prior art searches is pushing examiners to use the Scientific and Technical Information Center (STIC) Program to use more foreign patents and foreign non-patent literature during patent prosecution.
The Clarity of the Record Pilot program is an ongoing and evolving program that is part of an attempt by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to produce high-quality patents as part of the Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative (EPQI).
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently released a Performance and Accountability Report (PAR) for the 2016 fiscal year, evaluating a variety of programs at the USPTO and detailing ongoing goals of the USPTO. 
On January 16, 2017, the European Unified Patent Court (UPC) announced that a Preparatory Committee is currently working under an assumption that the Provisional Application Phase (PAP) of the UPC will presumably begin in May 2017, and the UPC can become operational in December 2017.
As 2017 begins and IP strategies are being developed for the new year, it is a good time to reflect on what IP issues were prominent in 2016. According to the many readers of Global IP Matters, hot topics included navigating the waters of patent prosecution, subject matter eligibility under § 101, and the Defend Trade Secrets Act.
The USPTO has published its notice of proposed rulemaking for the FY 2017 patent fee schedule in the Federal Register. The USPTO proposes fee increases to recover its estimated costs for patent operations and achieve its strategic goals of optimizing patent quality and timeliness and increasing international efforts to improve IP policy, protection, and enforcement.
On October 28, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register proposing revisions to the materiality standard for the duty to disclose information in patent applications and reexamination proceedings in light of Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co., 649 F.3d 1276 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (en banc).
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) introduced the Ombudsman Program on April 6, 2010 with the ostensible goal of advancing patent applications that have stalled during the examination process.
On November 2, 2016 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a memo to Examiners on its stance on subject matter eligibility in response to the McRO and BASCOM Federal Circuit decisions, previously discussed at Global IP Matters.
Several recent court decisions have shed light on the patent agent privilege, and now the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking to weigh-in on the issue.
We’ll start with the first question a patent attorney might ask you: Have you told anyone about your invention?

IP for Start-ups: Part VI

July 19, 2016| Blog

In our sixth "IP for Start-Ups” video, “Getting the Correct Named Inventors on a Patent”, Mike discusses the importance of including all of the inventors on a patent and why it's important to name anyone who has a reasonable proximity to the invention.

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