- Grant Rate: The USPTO’s high patent grant numbers continue. The past two weeks respectively rank Nos. 1 and 2 in terms of the most patents granted in a single week in US history.
- USPTO Application Exchange: The USPTO has announced that it is opening its “application exchange program” to all applicants. Any applicant with at least two pending applications can “receive expedited review of one application in exchange for withdrawing an unexamined application.” For 2010, the program will be limited to 15 applications per entity. Applicants with questions may contact Pinchus Laufer (Office of the Associate Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy) Pinchus.Laufer@uspto.gov.
- PTO/DOJ/FTC Workshop on May 26th at the USPTO. The FTC’s work and report on problems in the patent system has been a driving force behind many of the proposed patent reform initiatives over the past several years. Later this month, the FTC will be joining the PTO and DOJ for a workshop on the role of intellectual property in competitive markets. Particular topics include PTO Reform (quality and timing); Permanent Injunctions and the ITC; and Standard Setting. Webcast available. [Link]
- Ombudsman Program: The PTO has implemented a new ombudsman program intended to help applicants who feel that the ordinary prosecution process has broken-down. [Link] I would like to hear any comments on the value of the program.