Posts in Government

An Interview with the Acting Commissioner for Patents

Just over two weeks ago I wrote an article explaining that quality review at the USPTO was changing for the better.  Shortly after this article published I received a telephone call from the Office of Public Affairs at the USPTO.  We chatted about this article and one thing lead to another and ultimately I spoke with Acting Commissioner for Patents,…

IBM Seeks Patent on Time Management of Meetings

Last week an IBM patent application covering an allegedly unique system and method for enhancing productivity.  I typically do not get interested in the bizarre, wacky, ridiculous patent applications that are published because all that is required to have a patent application published is the filing of something, no matter how ridiculous, and the payment of the filing fee.  My…

Pooley Nominated as Deputy Director General for Patents

Some reports had suggested that James Pooley of Morrison Foerster was on a short list to be named the next Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property (a.k.a. Director of the PTO), but I can now confirm that Pooley will not be the next Director of the PTO.  President Obama has nominated Pooley to become the next deputy director general for…

Obama Pledges 3% of GDP to Science Research

Just about 10 days ago, on April 27, 2009, President Barack Obama gave a speech at the National Academy of Sciences.  In this speech the President pledged “3 percent of our GDP to research and development.”  With a GDP of $14,075.5 billion, that would equate to research spending of $422 billion.  As  you can imagine, this announcement was received with…

Vaccine Patent Politics and The Swine Flu

It would appear as if the swine flu virus, known in the scientific community as the H1N1 virus (so named because of the surface proteins), is not going to be as virulent as some feared it could be. According to Peter Palese, the Chairman of the Department of Microbiology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, who wrote an article in…

House Judiciary Committee Balks at Senate Patent Bill

Talk about turn of events.  Earlier today I posted an article regarding how patent reform legislation is not certain because it is conceivable that there will not be enough votes for the bill on the floor of the Senate.  As I was writing that post the House Judiciary Committee was holding hearings on patent reform, and the hearing did not…

Nominating Randall Rader for PTO Director

As we continue to wait for President Barack Obama to select the next Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property (a.k.a. the Director of the USPTO), I feel compelled to make yet another nomination.  As some may know, since September 2008, I have periodically nominated various people who I thought would make a good choice for the next PTO Director, including…

Uncertain Future for Patent Reform Legislation

As of today, legislative patent reform efforts are working their way through Congress. We are further along the road to legislative reform than at any point in time over the last 4 years, but the ultimate outcome is still not certain. The Senate Judiciary Committee has reported out a version of patent reform, so there is a real expectation that…

USPTO Schedules Written Patent Bar Exam for July

Those familiar with the patent bar exam will remember that just under five (5) years ago, on July 26, 2004, the Patent Bar Exam moved to a computer-based, virtually on-demand exam, which is available at a Prometrics testing site near you.  Prior to this change the patent bar examination was administered twice a year using examination booklets and multiple choice…

BPAI Judges Get Patent Attorney Clerks

About two weeks ago I received an anonymous letter from “A concerned observer” regarding the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI).  I realize that anonymous tips can be dubious, but the more I write about the Patent Office the more anonymous tips I get, and the more anonymous comments are made to various posts.  Some of the comments and…

Federal Circuit Grants USPTO, GSK and Tafas More Time

Last Thursday I wrote regarding the USPTO, GlaxoSmithKline and Dr. Tafas jointly requesting an extension of time within which to either request reconsideration or rehearing en banc of the Federal Circuit’s decision in the claims and continuations saga.  This morning I learned that the Federal Circuit has granted the requested extension of time, so the parties have until the end…

USPTO Patent Quality Review Changing for Better

Earlier today I heard a rumor from an exceptionally reliable source regarding the United States Patent and Trademark Office efforts to reform patent quality review.  Quality review, or QR for short, has become an anchor around the neck of patent examiners, and more than any other single issue has lead to the astronomical backlog of patent applications now facing the…

The 65 Year Old Integrated Radio Patent Strategy

Yesterday I wrote about how the growing backlog of applications at the United States Patent and Trademark Office has caused the average time a patent application remains pending to rise to ridiculous levels. Some have contacted me to suggest that I am dead wrong to imply that the problem is getting worse given that the number of patent application is…

USPTO, Tafas & GSK Request Extension for Reconsideration

I just received word that the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Dr. Triantafyllos Taffas and SmithKline Beecham Corporation (i.e., GlaxoSmithKline) filed a joint request for an extension of time to request either reconsideration or rehearing en banc at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  The motion seems to be primarily provoked by the government who…

USPTO Backlog: Patent Pendency Out of Control

The average pendency of U.S. patent applications is out of control.  Everyone involved in the industry knows this to be true, but it might be easy to forget just how bad it is at times.  Like so many patent attorneys and agents, I did not practice during the Reagan years.  While I have over 10 years of experience as a…