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June 29, 2000
#00-41

CONTACT:
Brigid Quinn
703-305-8341

Press Release, 00-41

SPTO to Hold Roundtable Meeting on Computer-Implemented Business Method Patent Initiatives

As part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) recently announced business method patent initiative, the USPTO is holding a roundtable meeting, on Thursday, July 27, 2000, to discuss the history behind computer-implemented business method patents and to identify ways to improve the USPTO’s current examination approach to computer-implemented business method patent applications.

On March 29, 2000, the USPTO announced the business method patent initiative, which includes industry outreach and quality programs. The industry outreach programs encompass the establishment of a customer partnership with industry, the convening of a roundtable forum, and an effort to obtain industry feedback on prior art issues. The quality programs encompass steps to enhance the technical training of examiners, revise the examination guidelines and examples, and expand current prior art search activities.

"The number of patent applications related to computer-implemented business methods continues to grow, doubling in the last year, demonstrating that business method patents play an important role in this growing industry," says Q. Todd Dickinson, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. "In an effort to enhance the quality of the examination of business method patent applications, the USPTO is interested in working to identify ways to improve current business operations and solve business methods related issues," continues Dickinson.

Members of the public are invited to attend the roundtable meeting or to participate as a panelist in the roundtable discussion to be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Crystal City Sheraton Hotel, 1800 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Va, 22202. Registration for both participatns and attendees closes on July 7, 2000. For more information, please see the federal register notice at www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/sol/notices/roundtbl.html.

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