Patently-O Bits and Bytes

  • Funding: The Senate has also passed the PTO funding bill (H.R. 5874) that restores $129 million of fee-collected income to the PTO. The bill specifically provides “For an additional amount for `Salaries and Expenses’ of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, $129,000,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, That the sum herein appropriated from the general fund shall be reduced as offsetting collections assessed and collected pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1113 and 35 U.S.C. 41 and 376 are received during fiscal year 2010, so as to result in a fiscal year 2010 appropriation from the general fund estimated at $0: Provided further, That during fiscal year 2010, should the total amount of offsetting fee collections be less than $2,016,000,000, this amount shall be reduced accordingly.”  The President will sign the bill shortly.
  • The PTO is expected to use the money to hire and train additional examiners and upgrade its information technology system.
  • Gene Quinn — the IPWatchDog — is posting a series of interesting interviews:

11 thoughts on “Patently-O Bits and Bytes

  1. It would be common sense to award Malcolm the non sequitur of the day award for his post above.

    Reply
  2. Meet Kevin Pezzi, nominee for the Grand Wizard of the Patent Teebxggers:

    link to mediamatters.org

    Dr. Kevin Pezzi is a prolific inventor and website creator. Among his “over 850 inventions” and schemes are a “Cranberry Freshness Sorting Machine,” a “Mosquito Motel” and an “Insect Inn” (because “not everyone likes staying in a motel”), and a guide to “penile enlargement techniques.” According to his Big Government bio, his next big invention will be a “robotic chef” that works via touch screen.

    ROTFLMAO.

    Unfortunatelyl, this wingnut does not appear to have filed on any of these alleged inventions, thus disqualifying him from the contest.

    Reply
  3. Public Searcher DIP:Almost immediately after that, certain chemical people became senior management. They didn’t understand why so many resources were being used on a useless tool like classification when the computers made that type of search style outdated. Everytime a budget needed to be cut, classification and reclassification were cut.

    A perfect example of “common” sense in action and a better testimonial of why “common sense” must be applied from a PHOSITAs viewpoint and not a judge’s, I would not be able to even make up.

    Reply
  4. 6,

    The PTO is reaping what it sowed with regard to classification. And believe me, I’m on your side about this stuff! For the mechanical and electrical stuff, classification is the primary tool for spot-on results (too bad it’s the ECLA schedule you need to use much of the time).

    Here is how the downward spiral occured, as told to me by your leaders at the PTO…

    When we went 100% computerized back in the late 90′s, the chemistry people immediately had an order of magnitude efficiency increase in their searching. (Chemicals have specific IUPAC/CAS/Chemspider/whatever names and registration numbers.)

    Almost immediately after that, certain chemical people became senior management. They didn’t understand why so many resources were being used on a useless tool like classification when the computers made that type of search style outdated. Everytime a budget needed to be cut, classification and reclassification were cut.

    Unfortunately, this occured at the same time as the explosion in patent applications. So now we’re stuck with things like Class 709 which is an unholy mess. And worst of all, we have 50% of the examiner workforce trained to not use classification, because it’s never been a useful tool for them in it’s dilapidated state.

    Hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel. Stoll talks a mean game about fixing classification. Marti Hearst was brought on board to do just that, though her fix will be a new fangled “faceted” system rather than the weird semi-outline we currently have. And the reclassifications has been outsourced in huge volumes this year. (Do a search on Class 1, subclass 1 to see how many references are in reclass on any given day.)

    Reply
  5. As 6 says, “meh

    Only growing by 200-500 references with all those (close to what, One Miiiiilliion applications awaiting – with pinkie in mouth) – that sounds, if anything, a bit light.

    Stop the whining 6 and get back to work.

    Besides, doncha know that PHOSITAs can use any art that solves a similar problem – so you should be expanding your class searches anyways.

    Reply
  6. D if you want to run an interesting article sometime, run an article about how overcrowded subclasses are getting. Tiny subclasses are all too often becoming “large” subclasses, and “large” subclasses are becoming “huge” subclasses.

    When the classification system is not maintained the PTO, and thus, your “community” will pay dearly for it in quality and also probably in pendency to a degree.

    All too often I’m “updating” my searches lately only to find that my subclass searches will have grown by 200-500 references in a half a year to a year.

    That is a result of bad classification on the examiner end (at issue and at Pregrant pub stage) and even more poor (or nonexistant) reclassification projects.

    Reply
  7. Dennis,

    Thanks for posting about the interviews that Gene Quinn has done. But those interviews are more than just interesting, they inform us of how the key decision-makers (former and current Federal Circuit CJs, plus the current Director of the USPTO) in our patent vineyard think and how they view/carry out their role. That’s worth quite a bit to us “mere mortals.”

    Reply
  8. Anyone know which IT systems in particular are in line for updating?

    Backlog reduction via hiring sounds like disbursement plan #1, but I’m curious what comes second…

    PAIR, E-filing, EAST, Website? Pretty much every system they have should be on the chopping block, but what order?

    Reply

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