Bits and Bytes by Dennis Crouch

PTO Funding:

  • PTO Funding: The US Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (i.e., the Congressional Super-Committee) is unlikely to come to any agreement before its statutory deadline of November 23, 2011. The result is that the PTO’s allowed expenditures will likely be reduced in the resulting across-the-board cuts.
  • PTO Funding: Senator Kyl had pushed for a USPTO-funding provision in the Super-Committee agreement that would give the agency full authority to spend fees collected. However, that result is unlikely even if an agreement is eventually reached.
  • PTO Funding: As expected, the PTO received a rush of filings in the days leading up to the 15% fee hike on September 26, 2011. The PTO will not be allowed to spend that money because those payments were received in FY2011 and because the PTO had already collected more than its $2.09 billion authorization. Thus, for FY2011, $209 million in fee-revenue will be kept by the Treasury and spent on other governmental programs. The “reserve fund” was not established until the start of FY2012.

Dispute Resolution:

  • Dispute Resolution: Professor S.I. Strong and I both recently joined the Patent Mediation Task Force of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution. The Patent Mediation Task Force is chaired by Manny Schecter of IBM. Our Task Force is focusing on both addressing particular hurdles that patent litigation presents for the mediation process and promoting mediation as a valuable tool resolving and narrowing patent disputes.
  • Dispute Resolution: I am also happy to announce that I recently joined University of Missouri’s Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution as a Senior Fellow.

iPad App:

  • iPad App: The folks at Cooper Legal have developed a Patent Portal App for searching for and viewing patents and patent applications.
  • iPad App: Tom Brow has developed an iPad app for logging in to EFS-web and PrivatePAIR.  The app securely transmits your PKI certificate and password to a remote server, which logs you in, then discards the certificate and password.  EFS and PrivatePAIR can then be used as usual, with no further server involvement.  Brow is looking for testers in the private beta.