Posts in International

Using the Patent Prosecution Highway for Faster Patents

Hardly a month passes without there being yet another Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) announcement from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The PPH is lauded by the USPTO with great frequency, and for good reason. But what exactly is the PPH and how do you use it to your benefit? Through the end of June 2011 there have been only 6,657 PPH requests, with upwards of 40,000 registered and practicing patent attorneys or agents in the United States, which means there is not a lot of collective experience with the PPH despite the obvious advantages.

Global Innovation Index 2011 – Switzerland Ranks First

According to INSEAD, Switzerland is the most innovative country in the world, gaining three spots from its position in last year’s GII. Sweden and Singapore follow in the 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively. This year’s rankings include six European economies (including Finland 5th, Denmark 6th, the Netherlands 9th and the United Kingdom 10th), two Asian (including Hong Kong, SAR, China 4th) and two North American economies (the United States 7th and Canada 8th) in the top 10.

EPO Again Tops Patent Quality List

The EPO was ranked first for patent quality among the world’s five largest patent offices for the second consecutive year in a survey of corporate and private practice IP professionals conducted jointly by Thomson Reuters and Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine. The annual benchmarking survey, published in the June issue of the magazine, finds that the EPO leads by a wide margin in terms of perceived patent quality, and has even improved its position over last year.

USPTO Announces Three Patent Prosecution Highway Pilots

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has just announced the expansion of the PCT-PPH pilot program with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), as well as two new PPH pilot programs; a new pilot project for the Patent Prosecution Highway with the Nordic Patent Institute (NPI) based on NPI’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) work products and a new pilot project for the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) with the Israel Patent Office (ILPO).

IP in the Real World: What a Bunch of Characters!

IP concerns range from highbrow to hilarious. It’s time to wake up, do your due diligence, and make sure you have the comprehensive IP protection you need in place when you start a business so you can stay on track creatively without fear of being derailed. Securing IP protection should now be at the top of your “to-do” list – not just an afterthought.

USPTO and Sweden Partner on Patent Prosecution Highway

PPH will permit each office to benefit from the PCT work previously done by the other office, which reduces the examination workload and improves patent quality. The expedited examination in each office allows applicants to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently in each country. The PCT-PPH program will use international written opinions and international preliminary examination reports developed within the framework of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

United States to Commemorate World Intellectual Property Day

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will belatedly commemorate World Intellectual Property Day on Thursday, May 5, 2011, in a ceremony at the Rayburn House Office Building in the House Judiciary Committee hearing room. The event will take place starting at 4:00 pm. Secretary Locke’s remarks will begin at approximately 4:10 pm, and he is expected to highlight the importance of intellectual property protection and enforcement to the U.S. economy, celebrating the 11th anniversary of World Intellectual Property Day. World Intellectual Property Day is April 26, 2011, each year.

US, Europe Debate Embryonic Stem Cell Patents and Research

Earlier today the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia vacated the preliminary injunction issued by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia preventing the federal government from funding stem cell research. Meanwhile, the patenting of stem cells is also currently under attack in Europe. According to European Union Advocate General M. Yves Bot, stem cells have the capacity to evolve into a complete human being and, therefore, must be legally classified as human embryos and must be excluded from patentability on moral grounds. But is it really moral not to perform research that many believe could hold promising cures for such diseases as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s?

Ranting on Congress: Not a Happy World IP Day in the US

Did World Intellectual Property Day sneak up on you again this year? How could you let that happen? At a time when the United States Congress seems hell bent on destroying the patent system by inadequately funding the United States Patent and Trademark Office we really should celebrate something that seems to be functioning, so why not celebrate the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the innovation policies of nations who are stealing research and development away from the United States? What a tragedy that the World has better innovation policies than the United States.

WIPO: International Trademark Filings Rise 12.8% in 2010

International trademark activity recovered during 2010, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which received 39,687 applications under the 85-member Madrid System for the International Registration of Trademarks (“the Madrid system”). This increase in application from 2009 to 2010 represents a 12.8% rate of growth. Growth was the largest for the Republic of Korea (+42.2%), China (+42%), Italy (+38.7%), United States of America (+29.6%), European Union (+26.9%) and Japan (+20.2%).

WIPO 2010 ADR Report: Cybersquatting Hits Record Level

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently announced that the number of cybersquatting cases has reached an all time high. In 2010, trademark holders filed 2,696 cybersquatting cases relating to some 4,370 domain names with the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) under procedures based on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). This spike in the number of domain name disputes caused by cybersquatting represents an increase of 28% over the 2009 level and of 16% over the previous record year, 2008.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property in China

The China Road Show is a series of two-day China IP events that the USPTO is hosting across the country to help educate businesses about the realities of piracy and counterfeiting—which cost the American economy approximately $250 billion annually. Day 1 is largely devoted to understanding the patent, trademark and copyright laws in China, as well as enforcement of those rights. Day 2 of the seminar will address § 337 Infringement Investigations by the International Trade Commission (ITC), the challenges presented by counterfeiting and piracy on the Internet and the development of global IP strategies even for small businesses.

Intellectual Property Protection in China is NOT an Oxymoron

Believe it or not, Patents are enforceable in China. Trademarks are enforceable in China. Copyrights are enforceable in China. The devil is in the details. Certainly if you are trying to enforce your patent against a company in the boondocks far west of Chengdu, and that company happens to be the largest employer in the district, then you are going to have problems. No one can / should tell you differently. However, can you tell me with a straight face that these same problems would not occur in the US if the situation was reversed – where a foreigner is asserting a patent against a local, respected employer in a rural area of the US?

An Exclusive Interview with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke

During my interview with Secretary Locke we spoke about patent reform efforts in the United States Senate, what patent reform might look like from the House of Representatives, his management style and how to motivate individuals to achieve transformative change. Secretary Locke strikes me as a thoughtful person, extremely energetic, motivated to succeed and the type of person we need in government. His CEO-like approach to running the Department of Commerce and in working together with both political appointees and career employees has transformed the Patent Office, and he will be missed. I’m sure he will make an excellent Ambassador, but have to wonder about the future of the Department of Commerce and the Patent Office. Whoever becomes the next Secretary of Commerce has some big shoes to fill.

The 2011 Global Patent and IP Trends Indicator

The survey assesses the impact of the U.S. economy on global IP strategies for 2011, and is available for free to anyone interested in the results. The survey includes a number of interesting findings, including among these are that 88% of respondents say they were in favor of a European Wide Patent System (which isn’t surprising really), only 19% of respondents said they filed fewer patent application in 2010 (which probably contradicts the convention wisdom of many) and 46% of respondents brought work in house in 2010 (which might not bode well for firms heavily leveraged on work from large corporations).


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