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The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking nominations for the 2018 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medal is the country's highest award for technological achievement and is presented by the President of the United States.

The medal is awarded to individuals, teams (up to four individuals), companies or divisions of companies for their outstanding contributions to America's economic, environmental and social well-being. The medal highlights those who have made a national impact through technological innovation, commercialization, and/or strengthening the nation’s technological workforce. The medal also seeks to inspire future generations of Americans to prepare for and pursue technical careers to keep America at the forefront of global technology and economic leadership.

The USPTO administers the medal program on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. Detailed information about the nomination guidelines, sample letters of recommendation, and link to the nomination form is available on the NMTI webpage. All nominations must be completed in the nomination portal by midnight (ET), April 6, 2018. Nominations of candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged.

For more information about the award and nomination process, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The White House announced the latest recipients of the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation—our Nation’s highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology. The new awardees will receive their medals at a White House ceremony early next year.

“Science and technology are fundamental to solving some of our Nation’s biggest challenges,” President Obama said. “The knowledge produced by these Americans today will carry our country’s legacy of innovation forward and continue to help countless others around the world. Their work is a testament to American ingenuity.”

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. The President receives nominations from a committee of Presidential appointees based on their extraordinary knowledge in and contributions to chemistry, engineering, computing, mathematics, and the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980 and is administered for the White House by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the Nation’s technological workforce. A distinguished independent committee representing the private and public sectors submits recommendations to the President.

The new recipients are listed below.

National Medal of Science

  • Dr. Armand Paul Alivisatos, University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, CA
  • Dr. Michael Artin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA
  • Dr. Albert Bandura, Stanford University, CA
  • Dr. Stanley Falkow, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA
  • Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY
  • Dr. Rakesh K. Jain, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, MA
  • Dr. Mary-Claire King, University of Washington, WA
  • Dr. Simon Levin, Princeton University, NJ
  • Dr. Geraldine Richmond, University of Oregon, OR


National Medal of Technology and Innovation

  • Dr. Joseph DeSimone, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Carbon3D, CA
  • Dr. Robert Fischell, University of Maryland at College Park, MD
  • Dr. Arthur Gossard, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Dr. Nancy Ho, Green Tech America, Inc. and Purdue University, IN
  • Dr. Chenming Hu, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • Dr. Mark Humayun, University of Southern California, CA
  • Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, University of Connecticut, CT
  • Dr. Jonathan Rothberg, 4catalyzer Corporation and Yale School of Medicine, CT


For more information, visit: www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/ip-programs-and-awards

The U.S. Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host an Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting Wednesday, July 8, 2015 on the Alexandria campus. Additive manufacturing, sometimes called "3D printing," refers to a group of new technologies that create objects from 3D computer models, usually by joining thin materials, layer upon layer. The meeting will serve as a forum for sharing ideas, experiences, and insights between individual users and representatives from the USPTO.

Additive manufacturing is used in the fields of jewelry, footwear, architecture, engineering and construction, automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, education, geographic information systems, civil engineering, and many others.

Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting
July 8, 2015 from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. ET

USPTO Campus, Madison North Auditorium
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


Speaker will include:

  • Peer Munck, CEO and Founder of 3Discovered
  • Marcus Worsley, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Blake Johnson, Princeton University
  • Dwight Dart, University of Virginia


Space is limited and registration will be done on a first-come first-served basis. Please RSVP by e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by telephone to Jill Warden at (571) 272-1267 or Veronica Ewald at (571) 272-8519 to confirm your attendance.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Smithsonian Institution have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) establishing a five-year collaboration to develop programs and exhibitions showcasing American innovation. Some upcoming joint efforts will include a major new intellectual property (IP) exhibition at the National Museum of American History, as well as an Innovation Festival and educational programs at the Smithsonian’s American Art and National Air and Space museums. The first joint event as part of the MOA will be a weekend festival at the National Air and Space Museum November 1-2, 2014.

The USPTO has a rich history of collaboration with the Smithsonian on education programs, curation, and exhibition design and fabrication. Educating the public about the importance of intellectual property rights and protections with the various program offerings and the diverse venue options provided by the Smithsonian also supports the USPTO’s mission of promoting IP literacy. The USPTO will contribute up to $6.4 million to this new collaboration.

“We look forward to implementing this new arrangement with the Smithsonian and conducting forums where innovators of all ages can interact and learn about the patent process while also inspiring future generations of American creativity,” said Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee.

“Through this collaboration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, we will create, over the next five years, programs and exhibitions that celebrate American ingenuity and innovation,” said Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough.

The Innovation Festival at the National Air and Space Museum in November will feature breakthrough patented American technology developed by corporations, academic institutions, the federal government, and the independent inventor community. The festival will also include innovation-related programs and hands-on educational events. Additional details will be released once confirmed.

For more information, visit: www.smithsonian.com/innovate

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it will host seven roadshows across the country between September 16 and October 9, 2014, to increase understanding of the First Inventor to File (FITF) provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA). The public meetings will serve as an opportunity for USPTO subject matter experts and stakeholders to discuss the FITF provisions and updates since its implementation in March 2013.

The USPTO specifically wants to broaden public knowledge of the FITF provisions and assist understanding of the provision’s administrative processes to aid inventors and their representatives in the filing and prosecuting of patent applications under the FITF system. At each roadshow, panelists will discuss FITF statistics to date, the applicability of the FITF provisions on patent applications filed today, the FITF statutory framework and its exceptions, and AIA evidentiary declaration practice useful to invoke these exceptions. The experts will present a variety of sample scenarios to illustrate both the applicability of the FITF provisions as well as tips for prosecuting applications filed under the FITF provisions.

The roadshow series will begin on September 16 and run through October 9, 2014, with stops in Concord, New Hampshire; Madison, Wisconsin; Dallas, Texas; Silicon Valley, California; and Atlanta, Georgia, as well as on USPTO campuses in Alexandria, Virginia, and Denver, Colorado. The roadshows in Alexandria on September 23 and Denver on October 2 will be webcast live through the USPTO website. The roadshow events are free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, visit: www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/roadshow.jsp

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is extending the nominations deadline for the 2014 National Medal of Technology and Innovation. The medal is presented each year by the president of the United States and is this country’s highest award for technological achievement. The deadline is being extended to allow nominators more time to complete and compile the necessary paperwork.

The medal is awarded annually to individuals, teams, companies, or divisions of companies for their outstanding contributions to America’s economic, environmental, and social well-being. By highlighting the national importance of technological innovation, the medal also seeks to inspire future generations of Americans to prepare for and pursue technical careers to keep America at the forefront of global technology and economic leadership.

The USPTO administers the medal program on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce. All completed nominations must be submitted to the USPTO by 5 p.m. (ET), June 2, 2014.

For more information or to submit a nomination, visit: www.uspto.gov/about/nmti/guidelines.jsp

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host an Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital model. The technology is growing in use, including in such fields as jewelry, footwear, architecture, engineering and construction, automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries.

The meeting will serve as a forum for sharing ideas, experiences, and insights between stakeholders and the USPTO. Industry representatives will also provide an overview of the application of additive manufacturing in different technologies. Individual opinions are sought from varying participants, and the meetings are intended to be informal in nature. These partnership groups are formed with full recognition of the USPTO’s responsibility under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), and are not established as FACA compliant committees.

What:
Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting

When:
April 9, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT

Where:
USPTO Campus, Madison North Auditorium
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA  22314

Space is limited and registration will be done on a first-come first-served basis. Please RSVP by e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or by telephone to Jill Warden at (571) 272-1267 or Veronica Ewald at (571) 272-8519 to confirm your attendance.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today published final rules of practice implementing the first-inventor-to-file provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA).  The provision, one of the hallmarks of the AIA, is a major step towards harmonization of the U.S. patent system with those of the United States’ major trading partners, allowing greater consistency in the prosecution and enforcement of U.S. patents. The AIA also includes safeguards to ensure that only an original inventor or his assignee may be awarded a patent under the first-inventor-to-file system. The first-inventor-to-file provision of the AIA goes into effect on March 16, 2013, and represents the final implementation of the changes mandated by the AIA.

The USPTO also published final examination guidelines setting forth the agency’s interpretation of how the first-inventor-to-file provision alters novelty and obviousness determinations for an invention claimed in a patent application.  In particular, the agency’s final examination guidelines inform the public and patent examiners how the AIA’s changes to the novelty provisions of law alter the scope of what is prior art to a claimed invention and how the new grace period operates.

“Migration to a first-inventor-to-file system will bring greater transparency, objectivity, predictability, and simplicity to patentability determinations and is another step towards harmonizing U.S. patent law with that of other industrialized countries,” said Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO Teresa Stanek Rea.

Prior to the passage of the AIA, the USPTO was the only national patent office using a “first-to-invent” system. First-inventor-to-file complements USPTO’s existing efforts toward greater harmonization with foreign counterparts. One result of these efforts is the Cooperative Patent Classification system launched on January 1st of this year, a common classification system that will enhance the examination capabilities of both the USPTO and the European Patent Office. Another such effort is USPTO’s ongoing coordination with the world’s largest patent offices--the so-called Tegernsee Group dialogues. The USPTO currently is seeking comment on these initiatives.

The AIA authorizes derivation proceedings before the USPTO, which will ensure that a person will not be able to obtain a patent for an invention that he or she did not actually invent.  The AIA also creates a one-year grace period, which will ensure that the patentability of an invention is not defeated by the inventor’s own disclosures, disclosures of information obtained from the inventor, or third party disclosures of the same information as the inventor’s previous public disclosures. The new micro-entity (75%) discounts for patent applicants also make it more affordable than ever for independent inventors to seek patents.

The USPTO will provide more information on the first-inventor-to-file final rules and examination guidelines at a public training session to be held on Friday March 8, 2013 at the USPTO’s headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.  The training session will also be webcast.

For more information, visit: www.uspto.gov/AmericaInventsAct

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host a Medical Device Technology Partnership Meeting on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 designed to bring the medical device and biotechnology stakeholders together to share ideas, experiences and insights on best practices and provide a forum for discussion on how the USPTO can improve and expand its relationship with medical device technology stakeholders. The meeting, sponsored by Technology Centers 3700 and 1600, will include discussions on the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system, and 101 subject matter eligibility.

Combined Medical Device & Biotechnology Partnership Meeting
January 29, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m. EDT

USPTO Campus, Madison North Auditorium
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA  22314

Space is limited and registration will be done on a first-come first-served basis.

For more information, visit: www.uspto.gov/about/contacts/phone_directory/pat_tech/TC_3700_MEDICAL_PARTNERSHIP.jsp

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host an Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at the Alexandria campus. Additive manufacturing, sometimes called “3D printing,” refers to a group of new technologies that create objects from 3D computer models, usually by joining thin materials, layer upon layer. In addition to serving as a forum for users sharing ideas, experiences, and insights in the emerging field, the meeting will elicit discussions on how the USPTO can improve and expand its relationship with individual users.

Additive manufacturing is used in the fields of jewelry, footwear, architecture, engineering and construction, automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, education, geographic information systems, civil engineering, and many others. Representatives from 3D Systems, Sratasys and MakerBot will also be on site to provide an overview of the application of additive manufacturing in different technologies and demonstrations of 3D printers.

Additive Manufacturing Partnership Meeting
January 23, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT

USPTO Campus, Madison North Auditorium
600 Dulany Street
Alexandria, VA  22314

Space is limited and registration will be done on a first-come first-served basis. Please RSVP by e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,  or by telephone to Jill Warden at (571) 272-1267 or Veronica Ewald at (571) 272-8519 to confirm your attendance.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced that it has chosen the Terminal Annex Federal Building as the site for its Dallas-Fort Worth regional satellite office. The Terminal Annex Federal Building is located along the southern edge of Dealey Plaza in Dallas and is close to public transportation. The office will operate as a place for small businesses and entrepreneurs to navigate the patent process, meet with examiners, and access USPTO’s comprehensive search databases. The office will also support job creation and stimulate the local economy.

In July, the USPTO announced plans to open a regional office in the Dallas area, along with satellite offices in Denver, and the Silicon Valley region of California. The satellite offices are part of an ongoing effort to create new economic opportunities and to serve regional entrepreneurs more efficiently by getting them the patents they need to attract capital, activate their business plans, and help create more good-paying jobs.

“The Dallas-Fort Worth area is exceedingly rich in engineering talent, patent applicants, and patent grants, and boasts an above average population of potential Veteran employees. This office location positions us well to serve the broad innovation community throughout the Central time zone and the South,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “We are already underway identifying leadership who know the unique contours of the business landscape to staff the new satellite offices. The USPTO is committed to making certain that American businesses and entrepreneurs have all of the resources they need to grow, create jobs and compete globally.”

The USPTO worked with the General Services Administration (GSA) to select a location in the Dallas-Fort Worth region that is centrally located, affordable, and well suited to the agency’s needs. It also needed to have a strong economic impact on the region, be the best fit for the community, be the most cost-effective, and provide a great place to work for employees, while helping the USPTO fulfill its core mission. The Terminal Annex Federal Building was not only the most affordable, but met all federal regulations for leasing space, while providing the agency flexibility on a move-in date. The building will be leased at a rate well below market price, and the USPTO will partner with GSA to construct its space in the building as quickly as possible.

The Dallas-Fort Worth office will be modeled after the USPTO’s first satellite office in Detroit, which opened in July and is on pace to have more than 100 patent examiners and 20 administrative patent judges on board by the end of its first year of operation. Also in July, the USPTO announced that its Denver office will be located in the Byron G. Rogers Federal Building in central Denver.

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011, signed into law by President Obama in September, requires the USPTO to establish at least three regional satellite locations by September 2014 as part of a larger effort to modernize the U.S. patent system.

For more information, visit: www.uspto.gov

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced its call for exhibitors for the 2013 Innovation Expo, to be held on the agency’s Alexandria, Va. campus, June 20-22, 2013.

Free and open to the public, the Expo will feature patented and trademarked technologies that have made demonstrable contributions to America’s competitiveness and standard of living. A limited number of slots will be awarded on a rolling basis until exhibition space is filled, and the agency is encouraging early applications. The deadline for applications is February 13, 2013.

“This Expo is the first of its kind for the USPTO,” said Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director David J. Kappos. “It will give exhibitors the opportunity to showcase their technology and engage the public, while highlighting the importance of the USPTO’s mission to promote and protect the fruits of American innovation.”

Exhibitors will be selected by an independent committee made up of representatives from the National Academy of Inventors, the United Inventors Association of America, Edison Nation, the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.

For more information, visit: www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/innovationexpo/IE2013_main.jsp

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the start of two new regional pro bono patent programs in California and the District of Columbia—the result of the USPTO’s cooperative efforts with the California Lawyers for the Arts and the Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA).

The California program, run by California Lawyers for the Arts, will provide legal assistance to individuals and businesses throughout the region that might otherwise be unable to afford solid patent protection. The FCBA’s program will provide services to individuals and businesses in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

“With these programs, qualifying independent inventors will have greater access to intellectual property counsel,” said Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director David J. Kappos. “The inventors stand to benefit from the improved access, and our examiners benefit by receiving better quality applications that they can examine more efficiently and effectively.”

The America Invents Act, signed into law by President Obama last year, tasked the USPTO to partner with intellectual property (IP) law associations and others to establish pro bono programs for financially under-resourced independent inventors and small businesses. The primary role of the USPTO in these partnerships is to offer insight, guidance, and training assistance to help lawyers provide the best possible IP legal advice to their clients.

This week, the FCBA also assumed the role as the “National Clearing House” for pro bono patent assistance, serving America’s innovator community by collecting information from interested individuals and businesses, providing an initial eligibility screening based on financial need and other factors, and forwarding the information on eligible applicants to a regional pro bono organization so a suitable attorney can be matched with the applicant.

The USPTO will assist partners like the FCBA and state IP law associations by providing an online application portal for pro bono program assistance, including an application, invention disclosure form, online seminar, and searchable list of programs in the various states.

To date, the USPTO has successfully helped create four pro bono programs across the nation and is partnering with other IP law associations to help an additional 10 get started by the end of 2013. Individuals and businesses interested in applying for pro bono patent assistance should visit the FCBA’s pro bono website, which includes request forms for applicants and patent attorneys interested in volunteering for pro bono patent assistance.

For more information, visit: www.fedcirbar.org/olc/pub/LVFC/cpages/misc/pto.jsp

The U.S. Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) today announced early publication of a classification system meant to speed the patent granting process for applicants to both Offices. The Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system and finalized CPC definitions are now available in advance of the January 1, 2013, official launch. The CPC is a joint USPTO-EPO project aimed at developing a common classification system for technical documents in particular patent publications, which will be used by both offices in the patent granting process.

“This is an important milestone for the USPTO and EPO as we continue to eliminate duplication of work between the two Offices,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos.

“The EPO and the USPTO have every reason to be proud of what they have achieved in the remarkably short space of time since the agreement that initiated the project was signed on October 25, 2010,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. “In less than two years, we have finalized and published a joint scheme incorporating the best classification practices of both offices, which will align our patent procedures more closely and deliver major efficiency gains. In the process, the CPC will be a stepping stone towards a more general harmonization of the world's patent systems.”

The CPC system, which includes approximately 250,000 classification symbols based on the International Patent Classification (IPC) system, will enable users to conduct efficient prior art searches and incorporate the best classification practices of both the U.S. and European systems. It will also enhance efficiency through work-sharing initiatives designed to reduce unnecessary duplication of work.

Since October 2010, the USPTO and EPO have worked jointly to develop the CPC. The results of their work are now being made available through a CPC launch package that includes the complete CPC system, any finalized CPC definitions and a CPC-to-IPC concordance.

The CPC definitions will be available for every CPC subclass and contain a description of the technical subject matter covered in the subclass. Eventually, each CPC subclass will have a corresponding CPC definition that will be continuously maintained. The CPC-to-IPC concordance will help users find the relevant IPC area on which the CPC is based.

For more information, visit: www.cooperativepatentclassification.org

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new rule that—for the first time in the history of U.S. patent law—allows third parties to submit relevant materials to patent examiners in any given examination. Submission of proposed prior art helps examiners determine whether the innovation in the application is patentable. The new provision, 35 U.S.C. 122(e), was implemented under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) on September 16th and applies to any pending application.

Today, efforts are already underway in the private sector to crowdsource the identification of prior art.  One such initiative, utilizing input from the USPTO, is a newly launched social network known as Ask Patents by Stack Exchange, in which subject-matter experts volunteer to suggest prior art for given applications, as well as to offer their input on the proposed value of those suggestions from others.

“By inviting third party contributions for the first time since the inception of our nation’s intellectual property system, we’re able to expand the scope of review for applications, bolster the library of prior art in key areas like software patents, and advance the administration’s ongoing commitment to transparent processes and open government,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “We encourage our nation’s innovators to assist us as we build a 21st Century intellectual property system based on sound patents that will drive our economy and create jobs.”

The submission by third parties of prior art—the library of published patents, applications, or other publications in a specific technology area—allows the USPTO to tap directly into the U.S. innovation community. Submissions provide a fuller, more exhaustive scope of materials for examiners to review in determining the novelty of a given application. This new mechanism will help ensure that truly novel and non-obvious innovations obtain the intellectual property protection they deserve.

For more information, visit: www.uspto.gov

Friday, 21 September 2012 11:46

Historic Patent Reform Implemented by USPTO

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The most significant reform to the U.S. patent system in more than a century took a major step forward, as numerous provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 went into effect. The new rules will spur innovation and economic growth by streamlining the patent application process and introducing new procedures to ensure patent quality. Seven reforms to U.S. patent law went into effect one year after the signing of the bipartisan patent reform legislation on September 16, 2011.

Some of the new rules are as follows:

  • Three new administrative trial provisions--inter partes review, post-grant review, and the transitional program for covered business method patents—will offer third parties timely, cost-effective alternatives to district court litigation to challenge the patentability of an issued patent. Additional information on third party submissions can be found here.
  • The supplemental examination provision allows applicants to submit additional information relevant to the patentability of an issued patent to the Office in a new procedure that may protect the patent from an inequitable conduct charge.
  • The inventors oath and declaration provision that for the first time allows assignee filing of a patent application.
  • The citation of prior art and written statements provision will enable the Office to treat the claims in a patent consistent with how a patent owner represents its claims to the courts or in other Office proceedings.

“These new AIA provisions now in effect give us tools to deliver cutting-edge technologies to the marketplace sooner, further reducing the backlog of patent applications, and getting high-quality patents issued faster,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “And that will translate into opportunity, growth, and jobs for large and small innovators across America.”

At 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, September 16, members of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) stayed open for 24 straight hours, accepting petitions requesting a variety of legal reviews. With the new rules in effect, the PTAB came into being, having been reconstituted by the AIA from the previous review board, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences.

The USPTO has also created new means of contact for the public to access assistance or information about the new AIA provisions: via 1-855-HELP-AIA or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

A number of AIA provisions have already begun the implementation process, adjustments that enabled the USPTO to immediately hire new examiners, institute new patent acceleration tools, and aggressively modernize its IT infrastructure The AIA also instructed the USPTO to open new satellite offices, and the USPTO is moving forward on opening offices in Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, and Silicon Valley. The USPTO opened a Detroit satellite office in July.

Other provisions of the AIA will go into effect on March 16, 2013, including the shift to a first-inventor-to-file system harmonizing the U.S. system with most industrialized nations. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has been published proposing the new rules and the final rule for the new Derivation Proceeding to ensure that the first inventor to file obtains the patent has already been published.

For more information, visit: www.uspto.gov

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is making its patent and trademark examining manuals more accessible to the public through a new, user-friendly search tool. The Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) and Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) search tools, work like an Internet search engine.

The new tools are part of a larger, agency-wide effort to better connect innovators to the USPTO’s many free resources and to make the agency’s procedures as transparent as possible. Individuals will be able to navigate through the manuals using a table of contents, or perform searches by typing words in a search box. Search results will be ranked by relevance and search terms highlighted in the body of the document. Sections of the manual can be printed or exported to PDF using typical browser functionality. The primary benefit of the new system to users and the USPTO is that the manuals can be updated within hours, rather than months.

For more information, visit: tmep.uspto.gov or mpep.uspto.gov

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) opened a new Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) today at the Western Illinois University Libraries in Macomb, Ill., to better serve the intellectual property (IP) needs of the public.

“PTRCs are the face of the USPTO on a local level,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “They promote innovation and entrepreneurship and help ensure that potential filers have access to the resources they need as they begin their quest for commercial success.”

Currently, PTRC-designated libraries can be found in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. This network of more than 80 public, academic, state, and special libraries assists a variety of customers including inventors, IP attorneys/agents, business people, researchers, entrepreneurs, students, and historians.

In addition to offering free electronic services and resources to support the IP needs of local and state patrons, the Western Illinois University Libraries PTRC will employ USPTO-trained librarians to provide customer assistance on the use of the agency’s patent and trademark databases and public seminars on IP topics for novice and experienced users.

The modern PTRC network has its foundations in the 1800s when Congress provided printed copies of patents to libraries for use by the public. The USPTO established training support and membership standards for these diverse libraries in 1977.

For a list of current PTRC libraries and locations, visit: www.uspto.gov/ptrc

Monday, 10 September 2012 10:17

USPTO To Implement New Patent Quality Process

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The U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced today that it is creating a new proceeding designed to ensure the first person to file a patent application is actually the true inventor. Part of the Office’s implementation of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), the rule for derivation proceedings will take effect on March 16, 2013, eighteen months after the AIA’s enactment. The final rule will publish Tuesday, September 11th, in the Federal Register.

The new proceeding will ensure that a person will not be able to obtain a patent for an invention that he or she did not actually invent.  If a true inventor is not the first to file, the true inventor may challenge the first applicant’s right to a patent by demonstrating that the first application is claiming an invention derived from the true inventor.  The derivation proceeding addresses the shift of the U.S. patent system from a first-to-invent to a first-inventor-to-file system. The USPTO currently is seeking comment on its proposed rules for implementing first-inventor-to-file, which will also go into effect on March 16, 2013. Derivation proceedings will be conducted by the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

“Our historic shift to a first-inventor-to-file system reduces legal costs, improves transparency, and allows us to harmonize our patent system with the rest of the world, all of which will help U.S. innovators and strengthen our economy,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. “This derivation proceeding will ensure that under a first-inventor-to-file system, the inventor is always the one who obtains the patent. We’re pleased to release this final rule to the public months in advance of its implementation, to allow stakeholders greater time to prepare.”

The final rule is based on public comment the USPTO received after issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in February, 2012, as well as a series of public forums held across the country. In light of the comments, the Office has made appropriate modifications to the proposed rules to provide greater clarity and a more timely and efficient process.

For more information, visit: www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/Derivation_Proceedings.pdf

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host two public events next week to provide information on and receive public input regarding the Office’s continuing implementation of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). The events are part of ongoing USPTO outreach efforts to gather public feedback on its continuing implementation of the AIA.

Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director David Kappos will participate in both events, joined by several senior USPTO officials. An in-person roundtable addressing the upcoming shift to a first-inventor-to-file system will be held Thursday, Sept. 6, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Va. It is open to the public and will be webcast. A separate webinar will be held Sept. 7 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. to discuss all aspects of the AIA.

At the roundtable on Sept. 6, USPTO leaders will discuss proposed rules and examination guidelines to implement the first-inventor-to-file provision. The USPTO currently is seeking public comment on its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for that implementation.

The AIA, signed into law by President Obama in September 2011, is the most significant reform to the U.S. patent system in more than a century. It is speeding up the patent process so innovators and entrepreneurs can bring their new inventions to market even faster, thereby spurring innovation and competition, creating jobs, and growing the U.S. economy. Most of the rules the USPTO is implementing for the AIA go into effect Sept. 16, 2012.

For more information, visit: www.uspto.gov/news/pr/2012/12-54.jsp

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a proposal to amend the rules of practice in patent cases to implement the “first-inventor-to-file” provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). The first-inventor-to-file provision converts the United States patent system from a “first to invent” system to a first inventor to file system. The first-inventor-to-file provision, which takes effect March 16, 2013, also alters the scope of available prior art to apply against a claimed invention in determining the novelty and obviousness of the claimed invention.

In addition to amending the rules of patent practice, the USPTO is proposing examination guidelines to inform the public and patent examiners of its interpretation of the first-inventor-to-file provision of the AIA. The guidelines likewise are intended to advise the public and patent examiners how the changes introduced by the first-inventor-to-file provision impact the sections of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure pertaining to novelty and obviousness.

“The first-inventor-to-file provision of the America Invents Act, one of its hallmarks, brings greater transparency, objectivity, predictability, and simplicity in patentability determinations,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director David Kappos. “At the same time, the provision brings the United States closer in harmonizing our patent law with those in other countries around the globe.”

The first-inventor-to-file proposed rules and guidelines published in the Federal Register have a public comment period that runs until October 5, 2012. The USPTO also plans to discuss the proposed rules and guidance at a series of “roadshows” scheduled to occur in Alexandria, Va.; Atlanta, Ga.; Denver, Colo.; Detroit, Mich.; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, Calif.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and New York, N.Y., this September.

Further information about the proposed rules and guidelines may be found in the Federal Register Notice: www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/first-inventor-to-file_proposed_rules.pdf

Further information about the “roadshows” may be found on the AIA micro-site available at: www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/roadshow.jsp

In their efforts to promote harmonization in the field of patents, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have launched a dedicated website for the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) initiative.  CPC is a joint project aimed at developing a classification scheme for inventions that will be used by both offices in the search and examination of patent applications.  The launch of the website highlights the progress of this collaborative effort over the year since the Offices agreed to work toward formation of a joint patent classification system.

The website, www.cpcinfo.org, will contain detailed information about the new classification scheme.  The website will serve as an informative resource on the progress of the project for our staff and for other patent offices worldwide, industry and the user community.

"The launch of the CPC website one year after the signing of the agreement is a first significant achievement on the way to greater harmonization in the patent system. The innovation market is a global market, and in order to efficiently support it with a quality-based patent system, it is essential that patent offices in the large economic regions align the procedures and tools", said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "The new classification system not only benefits both offices, it will also make it easier for innovators to use the wealth of information contained in patent documents. It is an important part of our commitment to offering better services to innovators and industry," he said.

"The development of a common basis for classifying inventions is a further step forward in bringing the European and the United States' patent systems closer together," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, David Kappos. "This comes at an opportune time when the United States has introduced a major reform of the patent system in an effort to better align with the rest of the world," he said. "The project is also a stepping stone towards harmonizing the patent procedures of all the major patent offices around the globe," he added.

The CPC will be a detailed IPC based scheme that will enable patent examiners to efficiently conduct thorough patent searches.  CPC will incorporate the best classification practices of both the US and European systems. The Offices also believe that the CPC will enhance efficiency and support work sharing initiatives with a view to reduce unnecessary duplication of work.

The two offices plan to start using the new scheme on 1 January 2013.

As part of a series of programs complementing The Great American Hall of Wonders exhibition, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Smithsonian American Art Museum will sponsor a free, two-day Inventors Symposium on October 27-28 in the museum’s Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium.

The first day will focus on the recently enacted America Invents Act and its impact on independent inventors and small businesses.  Senior USPTO officials will provide important information about patents, trademarks and intellectual property protection. Thursday’s program will conclude with a networking reception.

Friday’s session will focus on how to start and grow a business including such topics as manufacturing, marketing, and licensing.  The program will also feature government officials discussing programs designed to assist and support independent inventors and small business entrepreneurs. The day will conclude with a docent guided tour of The Great American Hall of Wonders exhibition.

WHAT: Free Inventors Symposium

WHEN: Oct. 27-28, 2011

WHERE: Smithsonian American Art Museum – Nan Tucker McEnvoy Auditorium (8th and G Streets, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004)     

The Inventors Symposium is a free event however registration is recommended.  Seating is limited so register early at: events.invent.org/invsym

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