USPTO to Hold California Independent Inventors Conference

John Calvert, USPTO Inventors Assistance Program, will teach claim drafting at the Conference

The United States Patent and Trademark Office will host an Independent Inventors Conference from August 12 – 13, 2011, in Pasadena, California. This California Regional Conference will be the west coast equivalent to the Independent Inventors Conference that has been held at the campus of the USPTO in Alexandria, Virginia in previous years. The purpose for having this Pasadena Regional Conference is to try and bring the USPTO to other parts of the country and give inventors from a variety of locations the opportunity to interact with USPTO Officials without the need to travel to Alexandria.

Senior USPTO officials, successful inventors, including National Inventor Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Gary Michelson, and intellectual property experts will be on hand to provide practical advice and information for both novice and seasoned inventors. Congressman Adam Schiff, a member of both committees with oversight of issues related to intellectual property protection and the USPTO, the will be the opening speaker August 12. Teresa Stanek Rea, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO, will deliver a keynote address at the luncheon on August 12. Mark Hatch, CEO of TechShop and Louis Foreman, Chief Executive of Enventys® and producer of Everyday Edisons will also deliver keynote addresses for attendees.

Simply stated, if you are a serious inventor you need to go to this Conference.  Last year there were inventors who came to the USPTO campus for the two-day event from all over the East Coast, and those that I talked to thought it was well worth their time and money.  Where else are you going to be able to meet Senior USPTO officials and talk to them one-on-one?  There will be patent examiners and trademark examining attorneys present to answer your questions.  Local intellectual property attorneys will give their time to participate in teaching sessions, as well as giving free consultations to attendees to answer questions.  Even if you have to travel to California and stay in a hotel for a couple nights you will get far more out of the Conference than you will spend.  I understand money is tight, but serious inventors, whether they are newbies or old pros, will gain a tremendous amount of valuable information and personal connections by attending the Conference.

One thing that makes the Conference so beneficial is the opportunity to sit down and have one-on-one time with experts who donate their time to help. The schedule has time throughout the day for one-on-one sessions, and you frequently see inventors and industry experts in the halls chatting or grabbing coffee together. Above is from the 15th Annual Conference.

The registration fee is $120 per person. The fee for seniors and student is $115. The registration fee includes all sessions and presentations, morning and afternoon refreshment breaks, lunch both days and a networking reception on August 12. A pre-conference workshop on August 11 from 5-7 pm is included in the registration fee. It will cover the basics of the patent process. If you cannot attend, the session on basics will be repeated as a breakout session on August 12.

Last year I participated in the Independent Inventors Conference in Alexandria, Virginia, giving presentations on Basic Claim Drafting and Advanced Claim Drafting. Those topics, and many others are back on the agenda for this Pasadena Conference.  Session topics include:

  • 35 USC 103 – What is Obvious? – One of the most difficult questions in patent law is deciding how closely an invention can be to prior inventions and still be patentable. It’s a question that every independent inventor should ask before they file an application. Recent Supreme Court and Federal Circuit decisions have changed the framework for answering this question. This presentation provides a discussion of some of these decisions and will provide insight to the independent inventor in answering this question.
  • Advance Claim Drafting – Take the next step in claim drafting. Understand how prior art can influence your claim drafting. Learn how to write claims of varying scope. Learn how to write claims that cover more than one embodiment to broaden your patent coverage.
  • Advanced Tips for the Seasoned Inventor – This session will cover complex prosecution topics including declaration practice under rules 37 CFR 1.131 and 1.132 in order to overcome prior art references, the filing of terminal disclaimers in order to overcome double patenting rejections, requests for pre-appeal conferences, formalities required in order to file an appeal, and the procedure to revive an abandoned application.
  • American Inventors Act (AIA) How It Will Impact You – Learn about the American Invents Act and how it may affect you as an inventor. This is the biggest change in Patent Law since 1952 and offers many benefits for inventors. Some of the changes have been argued for and against. Find out what the changes really are all about and when they will be implemented.
  • Claim Drafting for Beginners – Now that you understand the basics of the patent process, learn how to properly define your invention in a claim. The basics of claim drafting will be presented. Learn how to write claims through a structured approach. Understand how terms and their relationship will help you to build a well written claim. Find out how to review and revise a claim so that it provides a broadly claimed invention. Find out the difference between independent and dependent claims and why there is a difference.
  • Local Resources In Your Area – Although you will be hearing from local resources in the California area, these resources are actually located throughout the country and available to inventors everywhere. The USPTO’s Patent and Trademark Depository Librarians and the Inventors Forum, a local inventors group, will provide information about their respective resources.
  • One-on-One with the Experts – Thursday evening and Friday morning we have allotted time for you to sit down with an expert and have 15 minutes of consultation free!
  • Patent Searching and Navigating the USPTO Web site – In this session you will learn how to conduct a patent search. Supervisory Patent Examiners from the United States Patent and Trademark Office will provide tips and guidance that can help you search out those related patents.
  • Patents – Utility and Designs – In this session, you will learn why patents exist and how they protect inventions. Expert presenters from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will offer a detailed explanation of patent application filing requirements; forms required and associated filing fees. These experts will also review provisional applications, utility and design applications will be discussed.
  • Trademark Applications – Trademarks will explore the groundwork you need to apply for the trademark that will identify your invention for the public. It will cover the definition of a mark that can be registered and the federal law that is the basis of the registration system. It will also give you a thumbnail sketch of the trademark registration process from new application workflow through post-registration maintenance.
  • Trademark Searching – In this session, you will learn how to conduct a trademark search. A USPTO Trademark attorney will provide tips and guidance that can help you search out those problems that could ultimately sink your business.
  • Women and Minority Business – This session is designed with women and minority entrepreneurs in mind! The process of obtaining and protecting your IP can be a challenging one; come and learn about resources available from the USPTO, other government agencies and local associations directed to helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses in today’s world.

If you have questions about the conference please call 571 272 8850.  To register visit:

If you have questions about registration or difficulty registering please contact Invent Now at 330-849-6929.

Quite a nice spread was put out for the networking reception at the Independent Inventors Conference in November 2010.


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One comment so far.

  • [Avatar for Rich Tornai]
    Rich Tornai
    September 4, 2011 01:54 am

    Please notify me of upcomming events and any events related to funding.

    Thank you