Washington - The Commerce Department's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold a public roundtable on Wednesday, November 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at its campus in Alexandria, Va. The meeting is being held to evaluate current work sharing efforts and to develop proposals for additional work sharing agreements among partnering patent offices.
"International filings have increased dramatically in recent years," noted Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos. "To address this challenge, we must make work sharing programs work, and I am committed to expanding them to prevent the USPTO from duplicating the efforts of our overseas partner offices."
Inventors and companies are increasingly seeking intellectual property protection for their inventions both at the USPTO and in patent offices abroad. Typically, applicants must file different applications for their inventions in each country in which they wish patent protection which leads to multiple searches and examinations. This redundancy creates inefficiencies and causes delay in processing, additional costs for applicants, and results in the patent offices around the world duplicating a substantial amount of work. The USPTO and foreign patent offices now face a growing backlog of pending applications, and applicants must wait longer times for an application to be examined. Through work sharing, an office eliminates the redundancy by utilizing the work already done by another office thereby expediting the patent examination process.
Nicholas Godici, executive advisor at Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, will moderate the meeting. Panel participants include Q. Todd Dickinson, executive director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association; Edward Kazenseke, representing Microsoft Corporation; Hans Sauer, associate general counsel for intellectual property at the Biotechnology Industry Organization; Bijan Tadayon, representing small or individual companies, inventors and entrepreneurs; and others.
The USPTO plans to make the roundtable available via webcast. Webcast information will be available on the USPTO's Internet Web site before the roundtable. The written comments and list of the roundtable participants and their associations will be posted on the USPTO's Internet Web site after the meeting.
For more information, see Federal Register notice: www.uspto.gov/about/offices/opa/74fr54028.pdf