The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) dictates that at least three satellite offices be opened by the USPTO in three years. The Detroit satellite office was the first of four selected by the USPTO to increase outreach, improve retention and recruitment of patent examiners, decrease the patent application backlog and improve the quality of examination.

It is claimed to be the first stage of the USPTO’s Nationwide Workforce Program, which has been working to recruit more experienced patent professionals with the intention that these individuals will be more productive and have a higher retention rate.

The city of Detroit was selected as an important national innovation center with a high percentage of scientists and engineers in the workforce. In politico-speak, that means politicians are not going to get re-elected without throwing something towards the unemployment rate in Detroit (which spiked at 27.8% in 2009 and now runs 21.1% after dipping to 15.8% in May).

I guess technically they did help with employment.  Director Kappos anticipates the Detroit office having 100 patent examiners and 20 judges on site there by next summer.  But, with a population of 713,777 and a population of 4,296,250 for the six-county metro area, will 120 jobs amount to much?

The USPTO Satellite Office in Detroit will provide access to the Agency’s public electronic patent and trademark collections with a public search room. That means that the Detroit office has two public workstations available for conducting searches that have the same access requirements and print capabilities as identical public workstations in USPTO’s Public Search Facility.  Video conferencing equipment is also available for use for patent application interviews.

Are satellite offices the answer?  And what was the question?  I can’t help but feel like this is too little, too late.  It’s like proposing to open up US Postal Service branch offices now that that everything is moving to digital.  Seems like a lot more could have been accomplished by just giving every examiner a web cam and allowing video Skype calls.

 What do you think?

The USPTO also recently announced that it plans to establish three more satellite offices in (1) Silicon Valley, California, (2) Dallas, Texas, and (3) Denver, Colorado by September 2014.

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“We are complying with Congress’ mandate to set fees at a level that enables the USPTO to recover the actual costs of the services it provides, while enabling us to implement all of the provisions of the Act.”
~Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and
Director of the USPTO David Kappos

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it is taking steps to raise fees for patent applcicants. The Office published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register seeking public input on proposed patent fees, including reductions to fees for new procedures and programs created by the broadly bipartisan Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) that allow robust reviews of issued patents, and provides discounts to individual inventors and small businesses.

The public has 60 days after this notice of proposed rulemaking to comment on the proposed fees before the USPTO sets the final rule (Sunday, November 25, 2012). The PTO would then revise the fees as needed and the new fees would go into effect “at least 45 days” after that.  The office has said that it was targeting implementation of the new fee structure sometime in February 2013.

Fees are currently set by statute. The AIA directed the USPTO to set these fees on a cost-recovery basis and to seek public and stakeholder input in setting those fees, a change widely supported by businesses, entrepreneurs, and educational institutions.

According to the USPTO, the proposed fees are at least 22 percent lower for a routine patent process—i.e., filing, search, examination, publication, and issue fees—than the current fee schedule. The current proposed fees also are lower than those originally proposed by the USPTO in February.

With the publication of the NPRM, the USPTO is opening a 60-day comment period in which the public can provide input on the latest proposal. Following the comment period, the Office will prepare the final fee-setting rule, which would go into effect no less than 45 days after it is published in the Federal Register. Further information about the NPRM for proposed fees is here.

The proposed fees also will enable the USPTO to implement a discounted fee structure that provides 75% savings on many patent fees for micro entities, primarily individual inventors and small entrepreneurial ventures. Also included in the proposed fees is an expansion of the existing 50% discount for small entities.

New rules and procedures mandated under the AIA go into effect on September 16, 2012, including three new administrative trial processes. Under the AIA, those reviews must be completed by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) within one year of filing. The proposed fees introduced in the NPRM reduce the cost recovery fee amounts effective on September 16, 2012.

Along with the 60-day comment period, the USPTO will seek feedback at eight public hearings in the month of September. These events, called AIA Roadshows, will include a presentation on the proposed fee schedule, with an opportunity for questions and comments from the public. The first three of the Roadshows will also be webcast.

The proposal would raise the total fees for patent application filing, search, and examination from $1,250 for a large entity to $1,600, a 28 percent increase, but still represents only about 42 percent of the PTO’s cost of providing those services.  The PTO originally proposed higher fees for RCEs from $930 to $1,700.  After complaints, the agency now would allow a first RCE for $1,200, while keeping the $1,700 fee for the second and subsequent RCEs.

The combined notice of appeal and appeal brief cost would be lowered from its current level of $1,240 to $1,000.  However, the appeal filer would incur an additional $2,000 fee if the examiner does not withdraw the rejection and the applicant files an appeal brief.

The publication fee was eliminated and the issuance fee proposed at $960 is almost a 50 percent reduction from the current fee.   A fee to correct inventorship was retained but is now proposed to be $1,000.

Total fees for the three maintenance stages–at 3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 years–would be $11,600, an increase of 45 percent above the current total payment.

For non-press inquiries about the NPRM, please contact Michelle Picard, USPTO Senior Advisor for Financial Management, at (571) 272-9200.

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“The objective of ArchPatent is providing the simplest, most intuitive USPTO search tool.” ~Tony Rainoldi

ArchPatent is a new service for searching U.S. patent information.  It offers a number of tools for searching for patents and then refining search results according to various parameters. The basic service is free or you can upgrade to ArchPatent Pro to unlock additional, premium features.

I’ve been trying out this new service and with ArchPatent, you can do a Quick Search or an Advanced Search of multiple patent fields simultaneously.  You can search for the full patent text by keyword or by patent number, title, inventor, assignee, examiner, and attorney. You can put together complex search strings using Boolean logic, proximity and wildcard operators, and keyword stemming.

A quick search of the word “metabolite” brings up a search result of 29365 patents.  Change that typing Metabolite into the assignee field and the search brings up US Pat. Nos. 6,207,651, 5,563,126, 6,297,224 and 5,795,873, all assigned to Metabolite Laboratories, Inc.  But, type in Metabolite into the complete assignee records field and it pulls up an additional patent, US 6,528,496, which was assigned after issue.

Typing an asterisk (*) tells ArchPatent that you have a truncated search term and want to find all instances that include that information. In this case, you can type *469 into the “Grant or Application Number” field – this will return all patents numbers containing “469”.

What seems to make ArchPatent convenient is the ability to search within results without having to go back and start over.  Once you’ve entered a search, you can use filters to begin to narrow the search results in various ways to get you only the results you need.  You can filter by US Classification, Original Assignee, Reassignee, Current Assignee, Examiner, Agent, Applicant and Most Referenced.

The only downside is that applying filters — at least the times I have used the service — sometimes seems to hang and takes longer than my limited patience can tolerate.  The service seems to still be a work in progress with some features marked “Coming Soon” and not yet available.

Another convenient feature is the Personal Workspace.  As you are working with searches, you can keep track of your work by saving patents and searches to a custom workspace. You have the ability to go back over past searches, which have been automatically saved. Access to workspaces is free with basic registration.

ArchPatent Pro subscribers are able to track changes to the patent database as the USPTO publishes new patent applications and issued grants. You can set an alert for a keyword, patent classifications, a competitor’s name or even set one to look for changes to assignment records.

You can download full patent images as PDFs.  ArchPatent links cited references to individual patent detail pages and to patents referencing a particular patent since it was granted.

The ArchPatentPro version adds some useful fields but costs $39.99/month or $239.88/year.  With the Pro version, you can see all the results (not just the top 10) and you get special features like being able to export the results into a .csv spreadsheet file.  You can choose the columns to include in the export including the patent number, invention title, issue date, filing date, current assignees, assignees at issue, applicants, and a link to the AchPatent Detail Page.

You can try out ArchPatent at:

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Patexia is offering a $5000 prize to the winner of a research contest involving charge pumps in voltage controlled oscillators. The goal is to find relevant, published material pre-dating a certain patent. This is a chance to win money, to tackle a real problem, to showcase your technical skills, and to gain visibility in the industry (maybe).

The prior art hunters are looking for previously undiscovered references (see: patent and prior art basics and tips for Patexia’s prior art contests) including patents and non-patent literature (English and foreign language) that can help invalidate US patent 5,825,640, which relates to a charge pump circuit used in a Phase Locked Loop (PLL) block as part of a RF receiver system. The best submission is guaranteed to receive the prize.

One of the key features of this design is the presence of a charge conduction path (transistors 42 and 43 in the following circuit diagram) to discharge the parasitic capacitance of nodes 38 and 39 into the discharge node of 45 and as a result reduce the error current in the output. The charge conduction path is enabled only on one transition edge of the input pulse and is disabled on the other transition edge of the input pulse to isolate the node from the output.

Participate now.

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Join your fellow innovators at the Texas Regional Independent Inventors Conference in Austin as the next stage of the America Invents Acts goes into effect. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), National Inventors Hall of Fame and the University of Texas at Austin invite you to get practical advice from successful inventors, entrepreneurs and intellectual property experts. Meet and network with your creative colleagues.

Space is limited, so click here to register early.

The conference will be held September 14-15 at the University of Texas at Austin in the Thompson Conference Center located at 2405 Robert Dedman Drive, Austin, Texas. Presentations and workshops will be conducted by senior USPTO officials, Supervisory Patent Examiners, Trademark staff attorneys and a limited number of one-on-one advisory sessions will also be available, with guaranteed slots for the first 20 registrants.

Presenters will include:

Robert Metcalfe, 2007 National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee
Karen C. Parker, Director and International Trade Specialist, Austin U.S. Export Assistance Center
John Calvert, Acting Associate Commissioner for Patents Office of Innovation Development
 Elizabeth Dougherty, Director of Inventor Education, Outreach and Recognition, Office of Innovation Development
Darnell Jayne, Supervisory Patent Examiner, Technology Center 3600
Catherine Cain, Trademark Staff Attorney

Afternoon breakout sessions will focus on the America Invents Act (AIA), patent and trademark basics, searching sessions for patents and trademarks, and advanced patent prosecution.

A networking reception will be held on Friday evening, September 14.

Again, space is limited, so click here to register early, guarantee your advice session, and view the conference agenda.

The registration fee is $80 per person ($70 for seniors or students) and includes all sessions and presentations, morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch both days and the networking reception.

Keynote and plenary speakers will be announced soon, so follow updates on the conference at and on Twitter at@USPTOEvents.

If you have questions about the conference agenda contact the Office of Innovation Development at 866-767-3848.

If you have questions about registration contact the National Inventors Hall of Fame at 330-849-6929.

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podcast_100Legal IQ recently conducted an interview with Dave McAllister, Director of Open Source at Adobe Systems about the latest Open Screen developments.  McAllister offers some exclusive reflections on his work with Steve Jobs:

“He honestly was one of the most futuristic geniuses I’ve ever seen, able to figure the directions for the broad-based consumer and the high-end prosumer.”

Dave talks to Mikk Putk, of IP Insiders, about the risks when tying open innovation to business strategies and how it affects intellectual property protection (IP): “If we’re going to release a technology as open source we also expect, Adobe’s belief is that we are making the directly related patents that we hold on that available for others to use.”

Dave then speaks to Stephen Jenei, of Patent Baristas, about the ongoing Apple v. Adobe/Flash Player v. HTML5 dispute and the future of Flash and open development at Adobe : “Flash and the Flash platform, which includes Adobe AIR, have moved to providing unique capabilities to marketplaces that are interested in advanced features. So we’re seeing Flash continue to innovate, but move the standard capabilities off to other platforms.”

Please click here for the full interview mp3 and transcript

This interview was conducted ahead of Legal iQ’s 6th Annual Global Patent Congress

To attend, please register online, call +44 207 036 1300 or email

About IQPC

IQPC provides business executives around the world with tailored practical conferences, large scale events, topical seminars and in-house training programs, keeping them up-to-date with industry trends, technological developments and the regulatory landscape. IQPC produces more than 1,500 events annually around the world, and continues to grow. IQPC leverages a global research base of best practices to produce an unrivalled portfolio of conferences.


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The BIO 2012 convention in Boston, which ran June 18-21 in Boston pulled down a fair number of tweets in the process.

Here are some we noticed:

Mike SpearMike Spear ‏@mikesgene
@erinatbio #bio2012 payed off for us. BIORadio gave me a chance to speak with researchers and gov’t funders we haven’t tracked down at home.

BIO Intl ConventionBIOIntl Convention‏@BIOConvention
Chris Yochim of @AstraZeneca on the #BIO2012 Academic Zone: academic & research institutions build alliances w industry

Sanofi USSanofi US ‏@SanofiUS
We were glad to be there! RT @2ecreative: Who blew #BIO2012 away? @SanofiUS because they showed up!

BIO Intl ConventionBIO Intl Convention ‏@BIOConvention
@Biogen_Idec_MS promotes science to grades 6-12 in #Boston community see students working in pharmacogenomics #BIO2012

Rob WrightRob Wright ‏@RfwrightLSL
Does Bio International Deliver On Its Claims? #bio2012 #biotech #pharma

Erin LeeErin Lee ‏@ErinatBIO
Does #bio2012 deliver on its claims? Save the date for #bio2013 April 22-25 in Chiacgo

BIO Intl ConventionBIO Intl Convention ‏@BIOConvention
Did you miss one of the 800 speakers, 125 sessions, or 14 topics? Catch them after #BIO2012 – order session recordings:

MedImmuneMedImmune ‏@MedImmune
MedI’s Atul Saran gives a deeper look into collaboration between Medi/ @AstraZeneca & @Amgen on @PharmaTV at #BIO2012

Nature BiotechnologyNature Biotechnology ‏@NatureBiotech
Blog: Comparing development costs in China vs. the US #BIO2012

Erin LeeErin Lee ‏@ErinatBIO
Interesting article about women in biotech (from Wisconsin!) #bio2012

Patricia BeggiatoPatricia Beggiato ‏@MommyBeggiato
amazing conference RT“@SDFatBIO: @MommyBeggiato Great to meet you in Boston! Thanks for joining us for #BIO2012. Keep in touch!”

Stephanie FischerStephanie Fischer ‏@SDFatBIO
#BIO2012 benefits Boston even after it ends, thanks to Convention Center initiative to donate leftover swag to charity:

Helen FilipeHelen Filipe ‏@helenfilipe
Following up with great connections made at @BIOConvention#bio2012 Thank you! Had some sereserendipitous moments

Liz at BIOLiz at BIO ‏@LIZatBIO
‘Speed dating’ spurs bio deals – #BIO2012

BIO Intl ConventionBIO Intl Convention ‏@BIOConvention
Can you smell the beer? Stop by the Beantown Bar in the North Lobby #bio2012

Mass ConventionMass Convention ‏@MassConvention
@BostonInsider estimates BIO will bring $25 million to $27 million to Boston hotels, restaurants and other facilities:

Robin DeacleRobin Deacle ‏@RobinDeacle
Favorite BIO tweet «@johnnyhooper My new @keen kicks are proving to be great trade show shoes. @bioconvention @okbio #bio2012»

LillyPadLillyPad ‏@LillyPad
The #BIOTech Industry is close to a TRILLION dollar industry around the world. That’s a big number. #BIO2012

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podcast_100Neil Bowering, Project Manager, IP Easy access, University of Glasgow, joins bloggers Stephen Jenei, of Patent Baristas and Mikk Putk of IP Insiders, to discuss Easy Access IP.

In this exclusive interview, Neil gives some background about the Easy Access IP system, why the University of Glasgow set it up, achievements to date, membership figures, types of IP that have been put into the initiative and what has been achieved through the Easy Access campaign.

Mikk Putk asks Neil to expand upon why the Easy Access IP system was set up as a free of charge service and how authors are rewarded; whilst Stephen Jenei questioned in regards to licencing – how the University defines the Technology.

This interview was conducted in conjunction with the upcoming Global Patent Congress, which will take place from 24th-26th September in Copenhagen, Denmark. For more information please email or call 0800 652 2363.

Please click here to listen to the podcast.

Please click here to read the transcript.

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