USPTO Monthly Review -- October 2017

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monthly review

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

united states patent and trademark office

October 2017

Leadership Blogs

Patents for Humanity Awards Now Open for Applications

Joe Matal

Patents for Humanity, the USPTO’s top honor for patent owners and licensees who use game-changing technology to meet humanitarian needs, is now accepting applications for the 2017 – 2018 cycle. Anyone who owns or licenses a U.S. patent or patent application is eligible. Winners receive an acceleration certificate to expedite proceedings at the USPTO, as well as public recognition of their work.

Patents for Humanity recognizes inventions that address global development issues such as medicine, nutrition, sanitation, energy, and living standards. We invite innovators of all kinds to tell their stories of helping underserved communities through the power of technology. Individuals, corporations, nonprofits, small businesses, academic institutions, and government agencies are all welcome to apply.

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.


Patent Quality Chat: “How Can the Patents Ombudsman and Pro Se Assistance Programs Work For You?”

Pro Se resources slide

Deputy Commissioner for Patent Quality Valencia Martin Wallace held the ninth Patent Quality Chat in the 2017 webinar series on September 12 on How Can the Patents Ombudsman and Pro Se Assistance Programs Work For You?”

The Patents Ombudsman Program provides assistance to applicants and attorneys throughout the patent application process, and the Pro Se Assistance Program offers support for applicants filing patents without the assistance of a registered patent attorney or agent.

Speakers Mindy Bickel, Associate Commissioner for Innovation Development, and Cassandra Downs, Management/Program Analyst, Patents Ombudsman Program, discussed how both programs function at USPTO headquarters and across the country. They shared statistics on the two programs and highlighted useful tools and resources, such as the first office action estimator, MyUSPTO, and a patent application checklist.

For further information, visit the Patents Ombudsman Program and the Pro Se Assistance Program pages of the USPTO website.

Patent Quality Chat is a monthly, lunchtime webinar series designed to provide information on patent quality topics and gather your input. The next Patent Quality Chat will be held on October 12.

To learn more about the September Patent Quality Chat, view the presentation slides.

STEM in 30: Building a Better Mousetrap and Inventing the Airplane: All About Patents

STEM in 30 still frame

Elizabeth Dougherty, Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition joined the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on September 20 for another installment of STEM in 30, an interactive classroom program consisting of 30-minute live webcasts that engage middle school students in STEM topics ranging from WWI airplanes to rovers on Mars. Ms. Dougherty presented on “Building a Better Mousetrap and Inventing the Airplane: All About Patents” where she discussed the importance of innovation and value of intellectual property.

To learn more watch the archived YouTube video.

USPTO In the News


Wilbur Ross: Some countries want a free ride on U.S. intellectual property

PTO Seeks Applications for Patents for Humanity Program
Tony Dutra, Bloomberg

Ask the CIO: Online Chat with John Owens, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Federal News Radio

John Owens’ advice to other agency CIOs: learn to live within government constraints and embrace failure
Tajha Chappellet-Lanier, Fedscoop

PTAB Chief Judge Discusses Post-grant Review Statistics at IPO Meeting
Kevin Noonan, Patent Docs

Advice for Young Inventors
Gene Quinn, IP Watchdog 

Important Links