Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Acting Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Q. Todd Dickinson will chair hearings designed to obtain views of the public on issues associated with the identification of prior art, particularly in the examination of software patents. The term prior art generally describes all information that can be used to show that an invention is not patentable because the technology is not new and/or the subject matter is obvious to someone having ordinary skill in the art to which the subject matter pertains. Patent examiners and applicants share the responsibility of ensuring that pertinent prior art is considered during patent examination. Software patents have been criticized for containing too few references to related nonpatent literature. The full hearing notice can be found on the agency's website at www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/sol/notices/priorart.htm.
Who: Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Acting Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Q. Todd Dickinson
What: Patent and Trademark Office Hearings on Issues Related to the Identification of Prior Art
When: Monday, June 28, 1999 at 9 a.m. until all witnesses are heard
Nob Hill Room
55 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA