Posts in USPTO

Kappos Nomination Unanimously Forwarded to Full Senate

Earlier today the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance the nomination of David Kappos, former Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for IBM, to be Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property, a job that also comes with the title of Director of the Patent and Trademark Office.  The vote in the Judiciary Committee was unanimous, with all Democrats and Republicans…

Inequitable Conduct Ruling Gives Pleading Rules Real Teeth

Dr. Chris Mammen On August 4, 2009, the Federal Circuit decided Exergen Corp. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., Case Nos. 2006-1491, 2007-1180 (Fed. Cir. 2009). In a post to this blog several months ago, I argued that Congress, the Supreme Court or the Federal Circuit should reform the doctrine of inequitable conduct this year, to rein in the resurgent…

Patent Quickie: Getting a Quick Patent Can Help

It is no longer news that the United States Patent Office is hopelessly behind, and many inventors and the companies they work for are waiting extraordinary periods of time to even get a patent examiner to pick up their patent applications for a substantive review. This has caused many inventors to indefinitely have their dreams, hopes and aspirations put on…

Suggestions for Fixing the US Patent System

In order to jump start a constructive debate I throw out the following nine suggestions that would, in my view, assist in solving the patent crisis that we are in; a crisis that could easily lead to the irrelevance of the US patent system as a whole. 1. Revise the Examiner Quota System This is not the first time I…

David Kappos Shines at Senate Confirmation Hearing

To start the confirmation proceedings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced David Kappos this morning with a lengthy and impressive recitation of Kappos’ credentials and experience.  He started out with IBM as an engineer after graduating with highest honors from the University of California Davis with a degree in electrical and computer engineering, and moved to…

The Time for Talk has Passed, So Lets Get Started

About 18 months ago while I was at PLI headquarters in New York City teaching a Patent Bar Review Course, my friend Bob Spar suggested that my view of Patent Office rulemaking was not helpful and in fact was part of the problem and that patent attorneys are at least as responsible for the state of the patent system as…

Patent Reform Dead Now and for the Future

Once upon a time I used to not get worked up at all about proposals for patent reform, because after all they almost always didn’t seem to go through, or even if they did what was passed was hardly what was suggested. Then, my good friend John White told me several years ago that this time patent reform was going to…

Another KSR Retrospective

On that fateful day some 27 months ago, April 30, 2007 to be precise, the United States Supreme Court decided that the well established and functional bright line rule for obviousness was too rigid.  No longer must there be a teaching, motiviation or suggestion to render an invention unpatentable for obviousness reasons.  No in this new brave world we need…

Will USPTO Money Run Out Before FY 09 Ends?

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 at 6:59pm Pacific Time The last presentation at the NAPP Annual Conference is presently ongoing, with William Smith of Woodcock Washburn giving a presentation regarding hot topics before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. Smith is a former member of the Board while at the USPTO. His presentation is a good one, and sobering…

KSR Day at the NAPP Conference in San Diego

I am still in San Diego, California at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Patent Practitioners, which is being held at the Embassy Suites Hotel, which is roughly across the street from the U.S.S. Midway.  The conference has been a good one with some excellent presentations.  This morning there was a Bilski presentation, and since then we have…

Bipartisan Questioning of Patent Reform in US Senate

Today I am in San Diego, California at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Patent Practitioners. I will be speaking later this afternoon regarding the status of Patent Office rulemaking and providing an update of Patent Rules that were implemented over the last year, so I have patent rulemaking and patent reform on the mind. Thus, when I…

Chasing Unicorns: Ramblings on Deferred Examination

I am writing this article from 32,000 feet as I fly across country to teach the PLI Patent Bar Review Course in Costa Mesa, California, which is just inland from Newport Beach, and not far from Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach, places I would rather be than almost anywhere else in the world, although Hawaii and New Hampshire are very…

Examiner Interview Changes Favor In Person Meeting

Last week I was at the Patent Office interviewing a case along with Mark Malek, who was in town from Florida to talk firm business, look for office space and interview some patent agents regarding coming to work with us.  The interviews lined up for this trip were all “Bilski-related,” in that the CAFC decision in In re Bilski was…

Solving the Patent Crisis and PTO Budget

I am extremely encouraged by the fact that the US Patent Office seems to be increasingly coming under the direction of those who have a sincere desire to see the system succeed and be better.  I think Acting Commissioner Peggy Focarino is making real progress with important initiatives, I think it is a step in the right direction for President…

Help Arrives! Nick Godici Returns to Patent Office

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke yesterday announced the appointment of former USPTO official and long-time patent professional Nicholas P. Godici as a special advisor to the USPTO.  On announcing the return of Godici, Secretary Locke said: “I’m counting on Nick to use his decades of experience to help us strengthen the management of the USPTO and identify the areas most…