United States Patent and Trademark Office

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce that serves a fundamental role in the U.S. intellectual property system by issuing patents and registering trademarks.... more +
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce that serves a fundamental role in the U.S. intellectual property system by issuing patents and registering trademarks.    less -
News & Analysis as of

PTO Announces Current and Anticipated "Quick-Fix" Changes to PTAB Practice

On Friday, March 27, Director Lee issued a statement on the PTO Blog, indicating several current and proposed “quick-fix” rule changes. Immediate changes include nearly doubling the number of pages for a motion to amend to up...more

Patent Term Adjustment in the Post-RCE Period

We know from Novartis v. Lee that a patent application does not earn “B delay” type Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) from the time an RCE is filed until a Notice of Allowance is issued, but an application still can earn PTA for...more

A Disclaimer for Disclaimers at the USPTO

You know that feeling when you’ve nearly crossed the finish line? You have done the work, put in the time, and the only step left is to run through the tape. There can be similar moments with trademark applications,...more

Draeger Medical Systems Files For Declaratory Judgment Against My Health

On March 19, 2015, Draeger Medical Systems, Inc. (“Draeger”) filed a Declaratory Judgment action against My Health, Inc. (“My Health”). The complaint alleges that My Health sent a cease and desist letter to Draeger that...more

Tips for Effectively Organizing PTAB Appeals Brief – Claim Grouping

Filing an appeal brief with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) can be an effective way to advance prosecution and secure allowable claims. Last November, we summarized Tips for Writing Effective PTAB Briefs to help...more

USPTO Urged to Revise Interim §101 Guidance to Require Examiners to Present a Proper Prima Facie Case Supported by Factual...

As previously reported, on December 15, 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a document titled “2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility” (Interim Guidance). This Interim Guidance was...more

Protecting food industry innovations as the scope of patentable subject matter narrows

Strong intellectual property increases the value of a company. Copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets are some avenues to protect intellectual property, but understanding when they’re available and understanding...more

Use of Service Marks in Commerce: Making Good on Your Promises

In order to register a service mark—a trademark used to promote and sell services, as opposed to goods—with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the owner of the service mark must be using the mark in...more

IP Alert: Brand Owners Must Consider Whether to Pay Hefty Fees to Preempt Gripers and Extortionists from Registering...

.SUCKS - Make no mistake—the new generic top level domains (gTLDs) are big business. Witness Google’s purchase last month, at auction, of the .APP gTLD for $25 million. Nearly 550 new gTLDs have been delegated, with...more

Global Initiatives to Accelerate Examination of Cleantech Patent Applications

In an effort to promote the development and commercialization of technologies that conserve natural resources or reduce negative environmental impact, patent offices around the world have adopted programs to expedite the...more

USPTO Refuses to Register Marks Associated with Eric Garner

Last month, I wrote about trademark profiteering, concluding that attempts to monetize rallying cries by registering them as trademarks almost always fail. The USPTO proved me correct this month, when it denied two separate...more

Medical Device Industry Organizations Support STRONG Patents Act

(March 3, 2015) Mark Leahey, President and CEO of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA), issued a statement regarding the Support Technology and Research for Our Nation’s Growth (STRONG) Patents Act of 2015. ...more

United States Patent and Trademark Office Final Patent Term Adjustment Rules

On January 9, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published its final rules implementing changes to patent term adjustment (PTA), in view of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit...more

USPTO Issues Final Rule in View of Novartis v. Lee

Earlier this year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a final rule in the Federal Register (80 Fed. Reg. 1346) to revise the rules of practice to implement the Federal Circuit's decision in Novartis AG v. Lee. ...more

Recent IPR Guidance From a Trio of Forums

As inter partes review (IPR) practice continues to develop and practitioners feel their way around the edges, the last month brought helpful guidance from a trio of forums: the Federal Circuit, the Central District of...more

The Plant Variety Protection Act—An Increasingly Important Form of Intellectual Property Protection for Plants

As part of their treaty obligations in establishing International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), member countries have enacted laws that provide ‘‘Plant Breeders’ Rights’’ for protecting the...more

PTAB Excludes Documents Corroborating Publication Date as Hearsay but Admits Librarian Testimony - Toyota Motor Corporation v....

In a final written decision, the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent (PTO) Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) granted in part the patent owner’s motion to exclude certain documents purporting to corroborate the...more

Deputy Director Provides Keynote at PTO Day

One day after the U.S. Senate confirmed her nomination as Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Deputy Director Michelle Lee provided the luncheon address at the 25th Annual Conference on USPTO Law and Practice...more

Failure to Name All Real Parties in Interest May Cause Termination of a Proceeding After Institution - Atlanta Gas Light Co. v....

Addressing the issue of identification of all real-parties-in interest in a petition, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO’s) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) vacated a decision to institute inter partes...more

Three Point Shot - February 2015

Will Johnny Be Good, or Will Name Games Go up in Flames? Johnny Gaudreau, left wing for the Calgary Flames, is attempting to high-stick potential interlopers by locking up rights to his now-popularized nickname – Johnny...more

Advertising Alone Does Not Demonstrate Use of a Service Mark in Commerce for Purposes of Obtaining a Federal Registration

Here’s a common scenario: Your business has come up with an idea for a new service offering, and you or your marketing department has created the perfect brand for it. Now what? Because you have a great relationship...more

Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 — and Functional Too?

Welcome to another edition of newly filed configuration trademark applications at the USPTO, here is the latest; it is quite a specimen: The question for the day though is whether the claimed mark actually functions...more

Trends in Trademarks

With more than 3,000 breweries in the United States and nearly 2,000 more in some phase of planning, the likelihood of trademark infringement increases with each passing IPA related pun. Some disputes are settled in a very...more

USPTO Releases Examples for Interim Examination Guidelines for Determining Patent Eligibility Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

On January 27, 2015, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) released examples to supplement the 2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility (the interim guidelines), which were released in December 2014. ...more

USPTO Launches Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative

In a notice published in the Federal Register last month (80 Fed. Reg. 6475), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that it is launching a comprehensive and enhanced patent quality initiative. As part of this...more

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