• Ex Parte Appeals: PTO Deputy Director Russ Slifer writes on the new expedited appeal program. Slifer writes that the “current average pendency of an ex parte appeal at the PTAB is approximately 30 months” while the goal for the expedited program is 6-months.
  • Enhanced Patent Quality: Valencia Martin Wallace is the PTO’s Deputy Commissioner for Patent Quality and is spearheading the Office’s Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative.  Wallace reports that the PTO received more than 1,100 comments and suggestions with regard to the initiative. More to come on that front.
  • Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC): The Department of Commerce and USPTO are seeking nominations to fill vacancies on the PTO’s official advisory board known as PPAC.  (Fed. Reg. Notice).  Nominations can be sent to   For some reason, the USPTO continues to reject my nomination – Dennis.

15 thoughts on “USPTO News

  1. 4

    Who but the large corporation can play the patent game anymore? The switch has been thrown and the deck is stacked against the inventor.

    For example, what are the metrics on successful 37 CFR 1.116 filings after the Examiner has cited a new reference?

  2. 3

    Dennis, I quote:

    The Public Advisory Committee members … are chosen to represent the interests of diverse users of the United States Patent and Trademark Office with respect to patents, in the case of the Patent Public Advisory Committee… Members must represent small and large entity applicants located in the United States in proportion to the number of applications filed by such applicants. The Committees must include individuals with “substantial background and achievement in finance, management, labor relations, science, technology, and office automation.”

    How do you qualify?

    1. 3.1

      Last I heard, Universities qualify as small entities…and Missouri is in the United States….and running a website involves at least technology and office automation…..

      1. 3.1.1

        The part about representing applicants still must be met, Les.

        As far as I know, teaching and running a blog does not count as actually representing applicants.


          Using BRI, represent includes speak for…. There is no reason Dennis couldn’t speak for Universities or his University.


            You do not reach the “R” in BRI.

            Question without snark: you are not an attorney, are you?

            I ask because you seem to want to expand a very real legal relationship of representation beyond any sense of understanding what is involved with an actual client/attorney relationship.

    2. 3.2

      office automation

      What, you didn’t realize that Dennis is actually a robot? 😉

    3. 3.3

      Ned – Thanks for this question. Some thoughts:

      I do believe that I could serve as a beneficial addition to the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC). As you know, I have a deep and longstanding interest supporting a strong and viable patent system and I also have a firm belief that ongoing improvements at the USPTO serve as the key long-term solution to a viable and well respected patent system.

      Here at the University of Missouri, I am a law professor and also co-director of our Center for Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship. I spend much of my time working both inside and outside of the university to both understand and overcome the difficulties faced by entrepreneurs and start-up companies when interacting with the U.S. and international patent system. In practice, I have represented both the largest and smallest entities and continue to have regular discussions with innovators, business leaders, prosecutors, litigators, examiners and judges on the boons and pitfalls of the patent system. At Princeton, I earned a certificate in “engineering management,” which was the closest that Princeton had to a business degree and I have past experience with finance, management, and automation.

      – Dennis

      1. 3.3.1

        Dennis, “well respected” seems to be key.

        When the Patent Advisory Committee is exclusively memberred by users (applicants), one can expect that such a board will principally advise to obtain more patents, faster, and cheaper. Issues such as whether issued patents are valid would seem of lesser importance to such an assembly. I am not surprised that the PTO has never taken patent quality seriously.

        But, there is little doubt that there was a period, perhaps back in the ’90s, where the patent office itself lead the way to patent business methods and computer implemented junk. Was this about the same time that the Advisory Committee was created. I would not be surprised.

        But, as we all know, the PTO has been issuing large volumes of what at best can be described as junk that bewilders the public, and enrages at least some member of the Federal Circuit to read their opinions in Bilksi. What did the Advisory Committee have to say about all this public ridicule?

        I think the Advisory Committee needs to be restructured to include well- educated professors such as yourself, and further include representatives of industry who are recent victims of bad patents. who might better comment on patent quality.


            …and the sixth paragraph (of what?) is a means to end IPRs how…?

            Maybe if you had a “specification” at all, you might get to apply your “claim.”


  3. 1

    “For some reason, the USPTO continues to reject my nomination – Dennis.”

    Lol self-nomination or who did you nominate?

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