AIA Blog

DISCLAIMER: This blog provides updates and information about various AIA related issues. However, for complete information on the requirements for a particular type of AIA filing, please consult the relevant statute and rules for the respective AIA provision.

Monday Sep 10, 2012

USPTO Establishes Patent Ombudsman Program for Small Business Concerns

From Janet Gongola, Patent Reform Coordinator:

The America Invents Act requires the USPTO to establish and maintain a Patent Ombudsman Program for Small Business Concerns using its existing resources.  The AIA specifies that the program provide support and services relating to patent filings for small business concerns and independent inventors and be available by September 16, 2012.  In accordance with the AIA, the USPTO has established such a program to be known as the Program for Small Business Concerns: 

Program for Small Business Concerns

In forming the new Program for Small Business Concerns, the USPTO has combined the efforts of the existing Office of Innovation Development and the existing Patents Ombudsman Program.  This new Small Business Concerns program will provide through the two offices a full range of services at all stages of the patent process, including before an application is filed, while an application is pending at the USPTO, and after a patent has issued.  Here is more information about the Office of Innovation Development and the Patents Ombudsman Program:

Friday Apr 06, 2012

USPTO Establishes Method to Study Applicant Diversity Per AIA

From: Director David Kappos

The America Invents Act requires the USPTO to establish methods for studying the diversity of patent applicants, such as race, gender, veteran status, age, economic status, education, and geography (for individuals) as well as revenue, number of employees, and geography (for companies).  The AIA mandates that the USPTO have the methods in place by March 16, 2012.  To meet our statutory mandate, on March 16, 2012, the Agency released its method for studying applicant diversity:

Diversity of Applicant Methodology

In short, the Agency will follow a two-fold approach.  First, we are partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to match diversity information for U.S. patent applicants.  The Census Bureau will produce aggregate information by group, for example, percentage of U.S. patent applicants who are female, as opposed to information on an individual U.S. patent applicant.  Second, the Agency will publish a Request for Information in the Federal Register inviting public comment on how the Agency might extend its methods to capture diversity information for foreign patent applicants, along with several other pertinent questions.  Once the Agency has completed its two-fold approach, we will then decide what further steps may be needed as we are committed to better understanding and reporting diversity information through this project.

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