USPTO Monthly Review -- November 2017

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monthly review

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

united states patent and trademark office

November 2017

Leadership Blogs

Something Spooky This Way Comes – Strange, Weird and Unsettling IP

Creepy IP team

Americans will spend an estimated 9.1 billion dollars on Halloween this year, and yet many trick-or-treaters remain unaware that this holiday is crawling with countless examples of intellectual property (IP), from the registered trademarks protecting the candy you eat and the costumes you wear, to the utility and design patents behind the tools to carve pumpkins or manufacture Halloween decorations. As in past Octobers, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) uses social media as a fun and timely way to educate the public about the importance of IP and how it impacts their everyday lives.

Read the blog by the Department of Commerce.

Spotlight on Commerce: Juan Valentin, Education Program Advisor, USPTO

Education and outreach event

I started my career as a patent examiner, putting my engineering degree from Clarkson University to good use, examining patent applications in the field of optical measuring and testing devices. Two key events in my life were the catalysts that set me on my current career path. The first took place about five years into my USPTO career when a friend invited me to Langdon Elementary School in D.C. to make slime with third graders. This was for a program called RESET that takes volunteers and matches them with local elementary schools to do hands-on science and engineering activities with the students. My life was changed that day. I was hooked, first as a volunteer, then as an activity lead, then as a team lead who developed new activities and was responsible for finding new volunteers.

Read the blog by Juan Valentin, Education Program Advisor, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

USPTO and Denver Startup Week – What’s the Connection?

Molly Kocialski

Today’s small businesses and entrepreneurs are faced with many decisions as they pursue their dreams of creating and building their own businesses. While raising funds from investors or applying for loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) or other lenders, they are also formulating business plans, identifying the right business partners, hiring technical help, finding manufacturing assistance, and developing an overseas marketing strategy. In short, the “to do” list is long and ever-evolving. There are also intellectual property concerns to consider. What should my brand be? Do I need a patent? How do I protect my products and services from competitors? The USPTO can help answer many of these questions, and one venue where we are able to reach and assist a lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs is at local and regional “startup weeks.”

Read the blog by Director of the Rocky Mountain Regional U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Molly Kocialski.


Trademark Public Advisory Committee Quarterly Meeting

TPAC meeting

On October 31, the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) held its quarterly meeting. The TPAC reviews the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees of the USPTO with respect to trademarks, and advises USPTO leadership on these matters.

To learn more about the October Trademark Public Advisory Committee Quarterly Meeting, watch the archived Livestream.


Patent Quality Chat: Examiners Provide Their View on Prepared Applications

Patent Quality chat

Deputy Commissioner for Patent Quality Valencia Martin Wallace held the 10th Patent Quality Chat in the 2017 webinar series on October 12 titled “Examiners Provide Their View on Prepared Applications.”

The USPTO recently completed an application readiness survey by polling examiners to investigate attributes which are integral to a patent application, that enhance the ability of examiners to efficiently and effectively do their job. Particular features in filed specifications, claims and IDS documents were considered; and examiners across disciplines and experience levels commented on how these features helped or hindered their review of patent applications. Speakers Jim Dwyer, Director, Office of Patent Quality Assurance, and Martin Rater, Chief Statistician, Office of Patent Quality Assurance, discussed the survey results and heard ideas about how the USPTO can help improve the quality of incoming patent applications.

Patent Quality Chat is a monthly, lunchtime webinar series designed to provide information on patent quality topics and to gather public input. The next Patent Quality Chat will be held on November 14 and will focus on how an examiner’s work product is reviewed.

To learn more about the October Patent Quality Chat, watch the archived Livestream or view the presentation slides

USPTO In the News


Patent Office to Limit Serial Validity Attacks, Matal Says
Peter Leung, BloombergBNA

Joseph Matal Speaks to Independent Inventors
Randy Landreneau and Wayne Rasanen, IPWatchdog

For USPTO, security is part of the software code
Jason Miller, Federal News Radio

Celebrate Halloween With These Spooooooky Patents
Eleanor Cummins, Slate

#CreepyIP in time for Halloween
International Trade Association, Select USA Digest 

We’re the creators of #CreepyIP, a celebration of weird and spooky patents and trademarks, AMA!

Maryland, Iowa teams face off in Collegiate Inventors Competition: BTN LiveBIG
John Tolley, Big Ten Network

2017 Rising Star Awards: Laura Larrimore
Federal Computer Week

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