The USPTO announced the 2004 top 10 private sector patent recipients. Listed below are the 10 corporations receiving the most patents for inventions in 2004, along with their 2003 ranking. Note that tech companies continue to outpace any of the bio-pharma companies in patent filings given the number of big companies that have shrinking pipelines. […]

The USPTO’s Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) sytem now lists expirations due to failure to pay maintenance fees. Expired patents now have a status of "Patent Expired Due to Non-Payment of Maintenance Fees Under 37 CFR 1.362".  Patents can, of course, expire in other ways.  If a patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer relative […]

Jon Dudas, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, announced three new Deputy Commissioners for Patents, effective January 21, 2005. Joseph Rolla, currently a director in Technology Center 2600 (telecommunications), has been named Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy. In his new position, Mr. Rolla […]

The U.S. Congress passed a bill raising patent-filing fees in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 enacted on December 8, 2004.  The new system’s basic filing fee, search fee and examination fee add up to more costs for applicants, but the most significant change may be the fee hike for each claim beyond the first 20 […]

An article in the IEEE publication, Spectrum, calls for "a radical cure for the ailing U.S. patent system." As proof, they cite the fact that a small grocery and catering company in Michigan received cease and desist letter from the J.M. Smucker Co. The letter accused Albie’s of violating Smucker’s U.S. Patent No. 6,004,596 by […]

The USPTO posted an update on the TC1600 Restriction Practice Action Plan announced on October 6, 2003.  This plan is to improve quality and respond to customer needs by establishing best practices related to restrictions on the number of inventions and/or claim sets in biotechnology, pharmaceutical and organic chemistry patent applications examined in Technology Center […]

If you haven’t seen it, the USPTO offers a little guide on filing a provisional application for a patent. Besides giving a brief overview of the history, purpose and filing date requirements, it offers a nice list of cautions about their use.  As patent attorneys soon find out, inventors hear about provisional patent applications and […]

As a result of a recent change to the Public PAIR (Patent Application Information Retrieval),  most provisional applications that are relied upon for their earlier filing dates in U.S. patent application publications or U.S. patents are now available to the public over the Internet. Exceptions mainly include provisional applications with filing dates prior to 1997. […]