USPTO Monthly Review - August 2017

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monthly review

The USPTO's review of major activities
and initiatives in July

united states patent and trademark office

August 2017

Leadership Blogs

New Report Presents Viewpoints on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility

Joe Matal

This week, the USPTO published a new report synthesizing public comments on an important question for innovators in a wide variety of industries: What are the appropriate boundaries of patent eligible subject matter?

Between 2010 and 2014, four opinions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court — Bilski, Mayo, Myriad, and Alice — significantly affected patent eligibility law. Following these rulings, the USPTO provided updated guidance to patent examiners, initiated a nationwide conversation on patent subject matter eligibility through a series of events and roundtables, and has now published a report presenting what we have learned from the public on this important issue. Some have raised concerns that the heightened bar for patent subject matter eligibility that resulted from these decisions has undermined the ability of intellectual property (IP) intensive industries to secure rights and investments in their innovations. Others have applauded the rulings for providing a useful tool in flushing out patents on technologies that they feel should not be patentable.

Read the blog by Joe Matal, Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.

3D Printing – a New Industry Made in America

Additive Manufacturing Partnership meeting

Increasingly, we’re seeing the products of additive manufacturing  better known as 3D printing  all around us: in retail stores, in classrooms, and even in medical technologies.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) received over 8,000 patent applications last year alone in the field of additive material technologies. These represent a range of products  from household items to prosthetics  that are being manufactured with 3D printing and are having a positive impact on people’s lives and the economy.

One of the founding minds in 3D printing is National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee Charles Hull. Troubled how long it could take to create a prototype of a new device or tool, he created stereolithography in the 1980s, the first commercial rapid prototyping technology, now known as 3D printing. In recent years, the growth and popularity of 3D printers has skyrocketed, as they are increasingly being used by small businesses, hobbyists and entrepreneurs because of their speed and accuracy. There is now even a 3D printer on the International Space Station

Read the blog by the Department of Commerce.

Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – 5 Years Supporting Innovation

Christal Sheppard

When the USPTO set out to open regional offices, our goals were to create hubs of innovation and creativity, protect and foster American innovation in the global marketplace, help businesses cut through red tape, and create hundreds of jobs in the local communities. As we celebrate Detroit’s five year anniversary today, we’re happy to report that we’ve done just that.

The Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office in Detroit led the way as our first regional office. A variety of factors led us to choose Detroit, including an international border, multiple world class universities where we could recruit patent examiners, an economy that had seen its share of hardship, and a creative and innovative environment. Not long after the Midwest Regional Office opened, we followed up with three more regional offices, in Denver, San Jose, and Dallas. 

Read the blog by Joe Matal, Performing the Functions and Duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and Christal Sheppard, Director of the Midwest Regional Office.

Events

Technology Center 2600 Customer Partnership Meeting

TC 2600 event

USPTO and Technology Center 2600 held the Inaugural Customer Partnership Meeting (CPM), July 13, 2017, at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The CPM built upon the partnership between USPTO internal and external stakeholders to ensure that the agency provides patents of the highest quality. The CPM provided more transparency, consistency, and information on the training process and procedures of Technology Center 2600 (TC 2600).

To learn more view the agenda or watch the presentation slides.

Patent Quality Chat: “Latest Updates in USPTO’s Work Sharing Efforts”

Patent quality chat

Deputy Commissioner for Patent Quality Valencia Martin Wallace held the seventh Patent Quality Chat in the 2017 webinar series on July 11 on the USPTO’s Work Sharing Efforts.

Speakers Mark Powell, Deputy Commissioner for International Patent Cooperation, and Daniel Hunter, Director for International Work Sharing, Planning and Implementation in the Office of International Patent Cooperation, discussed various programs aimed at improving quality and efficiency of prosecution globally. They highlighted in particular, the USPTO’s Collaborative Search Pilot Program (CSP), Access to Relevant Prior Art project, and Global Dossier.

Patent Quality Chat is a monthly, lunchtime webinar series designed to provide information on patent quality topics and gather your input.

To learn more about the July Patent Quality Chat, watch the archived video or view the presentation slides.

USPTO In the News

Newspaper

Dr. Christal Sheppard: Detroit USPTO office marks 5th anniversary
Federal News Radio

Office Marks 5 Years in Detroit, 10,000 Patents Granted
Associated Press 

Camp Invention inspires kids to invent, tackle science
Laura Weiss, Wesport News

Camp Invention puts STEM in summer learning”
Ricki Barker, Richmond Register

Section 101 Report from the USPTO
Dennis Crouch, Patently-O

Launched July 8, 2017: New USPTO Rules to Clear “Deadwood” in the Federal Trademark Registry
JD Supra

Important Links