New USPTO Tool Aims to Help IP Newbies Identify Their Rights

“A new company with a patent increases its sales by a cumulative 80 percent more than companies that do not have a patent.” – USPTO

IP IdentifierAt the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) event in Naples, Florida, on Wednesday, January 18, USPTO Director Kathi Vidal announced that the Office has a new tool, called the Intellectual Property (IP) Identifier, intended to assist those “less familiar with IP” in identifying what IP they have and what rights they need to protect it. The tool also provides basic information on patents, trademarks, trade secrets and copyright.

Vidal said in a press release Wednesday that anyone “considering starting a business or trying to grow one” should use the tool and that “it’s another example of our work to bring more people into the innovation ecosystem to increase American competitiveness, grow the economy, and solve world problems.”

According to the press release, the tool includes two “modules”: The Basic IP Identifier and the Advanced IP Identifier. The Basic option allows users to easily identify what IP they have while the Advance option delvers further into specific types of IP and additional resources. The Office is also still working on a third module, “Managing your IP assets.”

IP Identifier

The USPTO launched its Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) initiative in November 2022, to “inspire women and tap their potential to meaningfully increase equity, job creation, and economic prosperity.” The initiative is a collaborative effort with the United States Department of Commerce focused on connecting women with each other, support networks, and funding sources. Additionally, it includes a new online hub that provides important information to assist aspiring women entrepreneurs.

According to the USPTO, registered IP rights greatly increase a company’s overall value:

“When used as collateral, a company’s first patent increases venture capital funding by 76 percent over three years and increases funding from an initial public offering by 128 percent. It can also help serve as a recruiting tool: The approval of a startup’s first patent application increases its employee growth by 36 percent over the next five years. Further, protecting your IP can also increase your market share – a new company with a patent increases its sales by a cumulative 80 percent more than companies that do not have a patent.”

The WE initiative and the new tool are part of the USPTO’s efforts to expand innovation opportunities for women in the United States. Women make up a much smaller portion of IP holders than their male counterparts, with  only 13% of patents being held by women, according to a USPTO report.

In July of last year, the USPTO also announced a number of other initiatives to help first-time patent filers and under-resourced inventors.

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Author: dashadima 


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Join the Discussion

7 comments so far.

  • [Avatar for George]
    January 27, 2023 12:21 pm

    . . . a ‘valid and ‘strong’ patent that is! The rest are worthless and a huge waste of money (like 95%). Wonder how much is wasted getting patents and trying to enforce them every year? Must be in the billions of dollars (that could be put to much better use in actual R&D).

  • [Avatar for George]
    January 27, 2023 12:17 pm

    Rights???? LOL! They have no RIGHTS anymore, unless they are ‘already rich’ (especially thanks to the AIA). It’s (once again) survival of the richest & most powerful now! The 1800’s . . . now those were the days for American inventors (and what created the industrial revolution . . . while spreading the wealth to 1000’s more inventors and ordinary people)! Congress, the PTO and Europe screwed that all up now. Too late to go back too. The Europeans should have adopted our earlier and proven system, not the other way around! Bad decision by Congress! They caved to multi-national ‘monopolies’.

  • [Avatar for Eric Berend]
    Eric Berend
    January 23, 2023 08:37 am

    I am (or was…) an Inventor son of an Inventor. My father, David E. Berend, brought the Voltra, an electric car design in both fully-electrified and ‘hybrid’ versions to the 1961 New York Auto Show. This was at a time when there were four major-market Auto Shows in the world. There are six now worldwide, for about the past thirty years.

    The Voltra was presented in a frame and power-plant working model that had passed its engineering proof-of-concept trials, having produced fuel usage of 66 and 68 miles per gallon. It was constructed with a tubular frame of dimensions that would fit a Lotus Elite (Type 14). The ‘hybrid drive’ model would today, be recognized as being nearly identical in its fundamental technology as a Toyota Prius or similar automobile.

    Most of his inventing work was directed towards improvements of lead-acid batteries and in particular, advances in electrolytes to expand effective operating temperature range and power output. I also recall being shown a sound recorder device in a Bakelite box approximately the size of a loaf of bread, where there was no reliance on phonographic discs or drums, as had been the standard with vinyl records and albums for musical recording.

    Having grown up during the 1960’s to early 1970’s and seeing my father’s struggles to succeed that often challenge inventors, I was for quite some time, not well motivated to pursue inventing; until certain innovative ideas occurred to me. I could not see these ideas simply die through apathy or neglect, and so I found myself engaging in the invention process, much as my father had, before me.

    He passed away in 2014. His sound recording invention, died with him.

    It has been at least five years since I paid much attention to the patent space, having seen the handwriting on the wall as to the exploitation and abuses of trust recently imposed on American Inventors. Prior to that time, I was earnestly engaged in invention and development of four inventions, including an electrical power generation plant design with a potential to substantially replace most conventional fuel-fired plants, that outputs ‘steady state’ baseload; much as with a coal or natural gas powered plant.

    In the face of some of the most powerful and corrupt entities in the world, dedicated to plundering my inventions and burying even mere credit for my inventions, I, as with many other U.S. inventors, abhor the current U.S. patenting process and its chicanerous traps, and therefore refuse to disclose or take on any more risk of invention theft and heartbreak, and have moved on to other pursuits in my life.

    It should be quite clear by now, that I am far from alone in this response to the plunder of our genius works by domestic and international legal, legislative and ‘BigTech’ interests which for about two decades now, have steadfastly eviscerated patent protections for Inventors, in a grotesque mockery of the U.S. Constitution’s Article I, Section 8, Clause 8.

    Since that time, other exigencies and interests have brought me to certain relevant experiences in civil litigation, including protracted motion practice, while acting in my own interest. There, I was subjected to a modest cross-section of the disdain and chicanery that the vast majority of the legal profession, as well as many judges, regard those of us representing our interests pro se. Certain dirty tricks, that denizens of ‘the society of the Esquires’, would seldom if ever, perpetrate upon their colleagues.

    Such disdain permeates the treatment of Inventors in the U.S.A. by the industrial and legal interests described above, today; and for at least the past 20 years. One only need examine the actual text of the AIA where the practice and application of BRI at the USPTO, violates the clearly stated intent of Congress in modifying and updating aspects of the patent re-examination procedures.

    In the negotiations precedent to the enactment of the AIA, Broadest Reasonable Interpretation was justified on the basis that in the establishment of re-exam before the USPTO, the inventor is allowed unlimited revision of claims; whereas before the PTAB, only an option to cancel a disputed claim, is allowed. And this, at the sole behest of the ALJ presiding over any given PTAB procedure.

    As it now stands, U.S. Invetors have been reduced to legal beggars in the land our forefathers fought for.

    Whatever objections there have been about the manifest un-Constitutionality of PTAB ALJ’s not being founded in Article III yet wielding Art. III powers, the above swindle upon U.S. inventors is at the very heart of the differences between court and PTAB proceedings.

    Even though this point was explicated prior to the enactment of the AIA, this fundamental aspect has since, been blithely ignored. Whatever other problems or deceptions the AIA introduced, without recognizing, addressing and correcting this unlawful abuse of applicable process, the central modus operendi of the PTAB and the attendant USPTO practices, will remain antagonistic to Inventors’ interests and continue to effectively and thoroughly discourage our involvement in the current manifestly treacherous U.S. patent system.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    January 22, 2023 11:38 am

    O/T yet clearly germane:

    My fellow innovators, time yet again to stand up and be counted. Here’s the comment I submitted earlier today (Sunday) concerning:

    Please join me. There’s only a few days left:

    Close the Patent Office and send everyone home.

    If even of handful of these “ideas” were to be implemented, that’s all that will be left to do.

    The fact is this: There is nothing wrong with how U.S. patents are obtained. Nothing.

    The problem instead is with those entities which hate patents; doing everything they can to stop innovators from doing what innovators were able to do for the first 200+ years of America – protect their innovations with U.S. patents.

    These include but are not limited to SCOTUS, half the judges of the CAFC, and rampant innovation-stealers including FAANG / Big Tech.

    Patent-haters the Patent Office can do nothing about. Absolutely nothing.

    Including with any of the posited innovation-toxic “ideas.”

    In addition, if even a handful of these unnecessary “ideas” are enacted, you’re going to see a fully and completely justified and understandable mass resignation of the already over-worked and under-appreciated Examiner-corp the likes of which can’t even be imagined.

    The only Examiners left “keeping the lights on” will be those who are close to retirement.

    Everyone else will bolt for jobs and careers where their knowledge, experience, and hard work are respected. As they rightly expect and deserve.

    And who in their right mind would want to start a career working for such an agency?

    As for patent “robustness,” What does that even mean? How is it defined? What’s the criteria for obtaining it? Could you spot a “robust” patent out of a handful of patents?

    The fact is, the term is nothing more than patent-hating, politician-and-infringer-driven hand-waving and dust-kicking.

    A straw man.

    A red herring.

    A lie.

    It’s no more useful or helpful in the patent realm than is “abstract.”

    We have met the enemy, and the enemy is us.

    For our sake, and more importantly, for the sake of America, we must not let them win.

    We must not.

  • [Avatar for George]
    January 21, 2023 06:36 pm

    Don’t believe anything the USPTO tells you folks! It’s all propaganda and ‘feel good’ stuff. Most of what they do now is very destructive for inventors and destroys the motivation to invent anything, especially for women who may be tempted to try it! Just not worth it anymore (keep that money for your kid’s education).

    The monopolies of the world just take what they want now, often with the approval and even ‘help’ of the PTO! Didn’t used to be that way. But that’s called the power of money and lobbying, folks. And it works great too!

  • [Avatar for George]
    January 21, 2023 06:27 pm

    Nothing will change! Not even enough to make a 5% difference. You’ll see. In 10 years little will change and we’ll have even fewer people (especially women) wanting to get into inventing (just to get ripped off).

    That’s because women aren’t STUPID and gullible, like men are. They still think they can invent a light bulb or telephone and get instantly rich by doing it.

    Women know better about how the world really works! They know it’s better to be a patent lawyer who gets real money, than someone who tries to get rich with patents! They know it’s better to be a brain surgeon, pilot, or lawyer than a lowly ‘inventor’ who no one respects or gives a damn about, not even their own government. As far as the government & PTO are concerned, inventors can die in a gutter, along with other ‘useless dreamers’!

    Just ask yourself if the PTO ever ‘checks up on’ American inventors to find out how they’re doing. Do they ever send out surveys to them? Do they have a ‘customer complaint’ department? Do they ever have an inventor appropriation day? How about discounts for ‘frequent inventors’? No? LOL!

    Hey, Congress & PTO, America doesn’t deserve to have inventors anymore!!!

  • [Avatar for George]
    January 21, 2023 06:14 pm

    LOL!!! They don’t care about ‘inventor rights’! Just # of patents issued! Validity be damned! Enforcement be damned! Since the AIA passed they actually HELP companies ‘defend’ against patent rights.

    The AIA was written & paid for by big corporations & monopolies who don’t want to EVER have to buy or licence anything they just want to take and be able to use, to increase their profits & the PTO & Congress answers to THEM now, not the American inventor! The PTO doesn’t help inventors ‘protect’ their supposed U.S. IP ‘rights’, they never have!

    Now the PTO issues mostly ‘legally worthless’ pieces of paper (and not even that anymore, unless you pay them to). Patents are now just ‘ethereal’ and ‘decorative’ things, that people can collect & hang on their walls for $20K a pop, if somehow they think that’s ‘fun’, because it’s sure not profitable (or patent lawyers would do it too) !

    Let’s see how long our economy (and society) lasts by continuing to do that. When inventors go extinct, society will go extinct too. Might take another 50-100 years, but that time is rapidly coming. Who wants to keep innovating for free, after everything becomes public domain as soon as it’s disclosed? What percentage of the population ‘invents’ anything now, by the way? 0.01% (if that)? One in 50,000?

    And corporate inventors don’t get anything more for their contributions either – they just get the same ‘fixed’ salary no matter what they come up with (like a cure for cancer or fusion energy). They get NADA extra, for anything they do – that’s just for the CEO and stockholders to get.

    So, screw our corporate owned and controlled Congress & PTO! They are already destroying important and ‘breakthrough’ innovations in this country. But, if you’re happy with more groundbreaking INVENTIONS(?), like ‘Bunch-O-Balloons’, we should be just fine, folks . . . until China eats our lunch (and dinner too).

    Were that it was 1823, rather than 2023 for inventors again! No AIA back then! No PTAB to f*ck things up for everybody! Even ex-slaves (with no money) could become rich with JUST ONE invention back then and with JUST ONE patent, needing no enforcement actions at all (instead of the 10-20 patents you’d need today). That’s because patent lawyers didn’t make that much back then, but inventors still could! Not anymore. How many successful (and/or rich) independent inventors do people personally know today? How many famous ones?

    I don’t know ANY!!! To me, they already seem to be extinct (and now when being self-employed is becoming more and more important too). Ironically, being an ‘inventor’ should be THE thing to be (since computers and AI still can’t do that).

    The USPTO is no longer a friend to startups and entrepreneurs that’s for sure! They’re clearly controlled by (and protect) the big corporations and monopolies of this this world, who own everything else too (especially politicians).