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Kappos Senate Hearing Scheduled for July 29, 2009

The Senate Judiciary Committee has announced that the confirmation hearing for David Kappos, who is President Barack Obama’s nominee to be Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, will be held on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 at 10:00 am Eastern Time in the in Room 226 of the Senate Dirksen…

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…

Obscure Patent: Testicular Implants for a Dog

US Patent No. 5,868,140 Issued February 9, 1999 This patent covers a method and apparatus for implantation of a testicular prosthetic device, with the patient being a pet, such as a dog!  I am not going to say much about this one. The patent speaks for itself. I don’t know whether this is or should be patentable, but it seems…

GQ Picks: Stuff Worth Reading Vol. 3

I am in sunny Southern California this week teaching a patent bar review course at Whittier Law School.  Typically when I am on these trips it is a little more difficult to get substantive articles written.  In the mornings while John White lectures I am available to answer questions for students enrolled in the course, and try and keep up…

Gates Hurricane Patents Discussed in USA Today

Today in the Science section of USA Today, page 6D, an article titled Hurricane-calming technology?  Gates has plan appeared.  I was interviewed by Dan Vergano at USA Today yesterday regarding the various patents filed by Bill Gates, which I also wrote about in an article titled Bill Gates Seeks Patent on Hurricane Prevention.  The USA Today’s article was a good…

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…

Howard Dean Supports Strong Protection for Biologics

Last week, on July 8, 2009, former Presidential Candidate, former Vermont Governor and former Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean stepped into the health reform debate, discussing in an Op-ed piece published by TheHill.com. It is not surprising that Dean, who is a Medical Doctor and politician, would attempt to let his positions on health reform be known.…

Seven Ideas for Reducing Foreign Filing Costs

Many of the patent owners, their IP departments and patent attorneys we speak to are under budget pressure. This is especially the case in the essential – but relatively high-cost – area of international patent protection. A recession might last a year or two, but patents last for twenty years. It’s therefore a delicate balancing act to reduce costs whilst…

Bill Gates Seeks Patent on Hurricane Prevention

William H. Gates, III, of Redmond, Washington (US) is known to most throughout the world as Bill Gates, the genius behind Microsoft Corporation.  Gates is presently the Chairman of Microsoft, having transitioned out of the day-to-day leadership role on June 27, 2008, a role that allows him an opportunity to spend more time on health and education work sponsored by…

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…

On the Road: Bilski Examiner Interview and CNN

I spent the better part of last week in Washington, DC conducting Examiner interviews for some of my clients that have pending software patent applications. The great news is that I believe we now have a handle on the ever changing Bilski ruling. I know it sounds like a misstatement to say that the Bilski ruling is ever-changing, but apparently,…

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…