USPTO Fee Increase – October 5, 2012

by Dennis Crouch

Preissuance Submissions: A Description of the Relevance to Examination but Not an Explanation

by Dennis Crouch

Post Grant and Inter Partes Reviews Now Being Filed

by Dennis Crouch

Guest Post by Dr. Jeffrey Lefstin on USPTO’s Proposed First-to-File Rules

This morning the patent office published its proposed rules relating to the transition to a "first-to-file" system (available here).  Below, Dr. Jeffrey Lefstin of the Hastings College of the Law offers his initial thoughts on this important set of proposed rules. - Jason

The USPTO’s Proposed Fees: Understanding Context and Keeping Sight of the Big Picture

Guest Post by Rick D. Nydegger. Mr. Nydegger is the former Chair of the Patent Public Advisory Committee and a Past President of the AIPLA.

BPAI Appeals Cyclic Decision Making

By Dennis Crouch

Commissioner Stoll to Leave the USPTO

USPTO has announced that Patent Commissioner Robert (Bob) Stoll is stepping down from his post after 29 years at the Patent Office where he served as a patent examiner, supervisory patent examiner (SPE), executive assistant to USPTO Director Bruce Lehman, director of the USPTO Office of Enforcement, Dean of Training and Education, and finally Commissioner for Patents since 2009. Stoll is expected to move to a private sector job after he steps down at the end of the calendar year.

Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

Where Will the Patent Satellite Offices Open!

Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

Where Will the Patent Satellite Offices Open!

USPTO Hiring and Paying More for Administrative Judges

The USPTO’s new Patent Trial and Appeal Board is taking over a backlog of over 24,000 pending ex parte appeals.  The Board has had some difficulty in hiring and retaining top administrative patent judges.  One element of the America Invents Act is to boost the salary schedule of USPTO’s administrative judge so that it is only constrained by the USPTO Director’s salary schedule — currently $165,000. However, unlike the USPTO Director, Administrative Judges will also be eligible for overtime pay.

USPTO Patent Grants: A Second Perspective

In yesterday's post, I wrote that the USPTO had granted more utility patents in 2010 than in any other year in history – 31% more than in 2009. The ramp-up is not due to increased hiring of examiners. (The USPTO was in the midst of a hiring freeze for much of 2010). Likewise, the ramp-up is not explained by increased patent application filings. (Although there has been a small increase in filings, the large backlog buffers the output rate from input fluctuations). I suspect that the ramp-up is largely due to changes implemented by USPTO director David Kappos and Patent Commissioner Robert Stoll after the departure of former PTO Director John Dudas and Interim Director John Doll. The former regime focused on the PTO's role of denying "bad" patents from issuance. The new regime has modified that approach and instead looks to issue right-sized patents.

USPTO Patent Grants

The USPTO issued more utility patents in calendar year 2010 than in any year in history. The 2010 total – just shy of 220,000 issued patents – is a 31% increase over 2009. The previous record was set in 2006 with about 173,000 issued utility patents.  The dramatic rise in issuance rate is not tied directly to an increase in filings (although there has been a small increase in new application filings).  Rather, the increase appears to be the result of administrative changes instituted by USPTO Director David Kappos who took office mid-year 2009 after being nominated by President Barack Obama.

USPTO Patent Grants

The USPTO issued more utility patents in calendar year 2010 than in any year in history. The 2010 total – just shy of 220,000 issued patents – is a 31% increase over 2009. The previous record was set in 2006 with about 173,000 issued utility patents.  The dramatic rise in issuance rate is not tied directly to an increase in filings (although there has been a small increase in new application filings).  Rather, the increase appears to be the result of administrative changes instituted by USPTO Director David Kappos who took office mid-year 2009 after being nominated by President Barack Obama.

Happy New Year!

By Jason Rantanen

Happy New Year!

By Jason Rantanen

Patently-O bits and bytes in its

USPTO's Deputy Director Sharon Barner has announced her resignation. Deputy Director Barner has been Director Kappos's second-in-command since October of 2009. Prior to joining the USPTO, Barner was a senior partner at the Foley law firm in Chicago. She has not announced publicly whether she will return to private practice. Barner is leaving government service with a number of important accomplishments in-hand and without any major scandal on her tail. She remains a likely candidate for a potential nomination to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit if another opening arises during President Obama's time in office. Congratulations Deputy Director Barner!

Patently-O bits and bytes in its

USPTO's Deputy Director Sharon Barner has announced her resignation. Deputy Director Barner has been Director Kappos's second-in-command since October of 2009. Prior to joining the USPTO, Barner was a senior partner at the Foley law firm in Chicago. She has not announced publicly whether she will return to private practice. Barner is leaving government service with a number of important accomplishments in-hand and without any major scandal on her tail. She remains a likely candidate for a potential nomination to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit if another opening arises during President Obama's time in office. Congratulations Deputy Director Barner!

USPTO Proposes New Rules Intended to Streamline Appeals to the BPAI

In recent years, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI or Board) has seen a tremendous influx in the number of appeals being filed and a growing backlog of cases to be decided.  In response, the Office is struggling for ways to streamline the appeal process without sacrificing decision quality.

Guest Post on USPTO/EPO Joint Patent Classification System

PatentLawImage023Guest Post by Anthony Trippe, Chair of PIUG –  The International Organization for Patent Information Professionals.  I asked Mr. Trippe to provide his perspective as a professional search specialist on the USPTO/EPO joint classification announcement.