Director's Blog archive

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LEAP to chambers event at the USPTO

Help us LEAP forward with PTAB assistance for practitioners and inventors

Opportunity in the innovation community is for everyone. Only when every inventor and entrepreneur has an equal chance to bring their new ideas and products to the global marketplace does our nation truly thrive.

5 min read
graphic representing artificial intelligence

AI and inventorship guidance: Incentivizing human ingenuity and investment in AI-assisted inventions

The new Inventorship Guidance for AI-Assisted Inventions provides instructions to determine whether the human contribution to an innovation is significant enough to qualify for a patent when AI also contributed.

8 min read
Director Vidal poses with two local entrepreneur and business owners at China IP roadshow event

Support for protecting and enforcing your IP in China

Protecting and enforcing intellectual property (IP) rights in China has been an essential part of our agency efforts to strengthen the global IP system.

3 min read
Commissioner for Patents Vaishali Udupa and Under Secretary Vidal sit on stage and speak to an audience

Improving our service to America’s innovators

As part of our modernization efforts to provide more extensible technology and functionality, the Patent Center system will fully replace EFS-Web and Private PAIR.

3 min read
USPTO Director Vidal and Kim Tignor talk about the importance of creators participating in the IP economy

Tips on taking control of your creative IP

Working to strengthen the IP ecosystem through new laws, policies, practices and collaborations also impresses upon our youth, women across the globe, and our military the importance of protecting IP.

6 min read
Commissioner for Patents Vaishali Udupa standing at podium speaking to an audience

Latest updates on artificial intelligence and intellectual property

When it comes to AI, there is enormous potential for our country and for solving world problems—but there are significant risks as well. To shape the future of AI, we must act quickly, but also thoughtfully.

6 min read
Trademark Search interface showing the search results for "USPTO"

What to expect from our new trademark search system (and why we’re replacing TESS)

Although TESS has served us well, its long tenure is ending in November. We now have an opportunity to provide a more stable, modern search experience that can grow and adapt to the needs of the trademark community.

2 min read
Two audience members stand and speak to Kathi Vidal and Dave Gooder

How the domicile address requirement advances our trademark anti-fraud efforts

We recently issued an examination guide to clarify steps examining attorneys must take to evaluate the validity of a trademark applicant’s “domicile address” as included in their application. Learn about why it's important.

3 min read
Six leaders from top five intellectual property offices sit side by side with their right leg crossed over their left

Working globally to address climate change through sustainable innovation

Director Vidal hosted the leaders of the largest IP offices in the world and then led the USPTO delegation to the 64th Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO. Both gatherings focused on how to support sustainable innovation.

5 min read
USPTO staff Alford Kindred and Harry Kim share entrepreneurship resources with military personnel and spouses at Hanscom Air Force Base

Supporting our military community

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo joined Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Kathi Vidal for a workshop and resource fair for military personnel, spouses, and veterans.

4 min read
Parkiha Mehta views new technology at NOAA laboratory

Patenting innovation in climate science

Parikha Mehta has spent the last four months focused on the intersection of intellectual property and climate and environmental technologies while on an employee exchange at NOAA from the U.S Patent and Trademark Office.

4 min read
Cartoon of various people conducting business

Our plan for the future

We're excited to announce the publication of our 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, shaped by comments from our employees, public advisory committees, IP industry groups, and the public.

2 min read
Director Vidal with service members, military spouses, and veteran entrepreneurs at MacDill Air Force Base on March 29

Ready, set, compete! How we’re helping veterans and military family members innovate and start new businesses

Many of America’s outstanding innovators and leaders are veterans. Skills gained from service, including teamwork, integrity, and being organized, disciplined, adaptable, and focused, prepare them well for entrepreneurship.

6 min read
Deputy Director Brent discussed USPTO resources, including the Patent Pro Bono Program, in a fireside chat with Leshell Hatley

Patent Pro Bono Program expands and reaches underserved populations with free legal services

We've been on a nationwide tour to share information about our Patent Pro Bono Program and other free services for entrepreneurs, so that we can help bring new entrepreneurs and inventors into the innovation ecosystem.

4 min read
Winners of the NPADC 2023 pose for a photo

Announcing the winners of the 2023 National Patent Application Drafting Competition

On April 14, law students gathered from around the country in the exciting final round of the National Patent Application Drafting Competition (NPADC) at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

3 min read
Image text says as director of the united states of patent and trademark office

Don’t miss it! Join us for World Intellectual Property Day

Every year on April 26, we join intellectual property (IP) organizations from across the globe to celebrate World Intellectual Property (IP) Day. This year’s theme is “Women and IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity.”

4 min read
Decorative AI inventorship graphic

With artificial intelligence speeding the innovation process, what does that mean for invention and a properly balanced patent system?

Artificial intelligence is one of the most powerful technologies of our generation, presenting big opportunities and risks. At the USPTO, we're working on the responsible introduction of AI into our workflow and government.

3 min read
Kathi Vidal speaks on a conference stage, sitting with two other people, with logo for the ARPA-E energy innovation summit in the background

One year of bringing innovation to impact

If 2022 was about listening and gathering the input and data to make meaningful, sustainable change, 2023 is about action. As set forth in our draft 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, the USPTO is advancing five strategic goals.

12 min read
Trademarks for Humanity graphic

New Trademarks for Humanity awards competition: Branding a better future

The USPTO is launching the first-ever Trademarks for Humanity awards competition. The inaugural competition seeks to recognize those who are trying to solve environmental challenges and the importance of their trademarks.

3 min read
Debbie Stephens portait

Spotlight on Debbie Stephens: Driving change and modernization in information technology systems

Debbie Stephens, Deputy Chief Information Officer for the USPTO, has served at the agency for more than 30 years in multiple leadership roles. She has worked to improve electronic processing of patent applications.

4 min read
Group of teachers looking up with their hands held high

Apply by March 31 to the USPTO’s National Summer Teacher Institute!

Are you a teacher looking to equip your students with the confidence to solve real world problems? Attend the USPTO’s National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property.

3 min read
Rice harvest at a farm in Texas

Increasing transparency, boosting competition, and supporting innovation can deliver better choices for farmers in the seed marketplace

The Biden-Harris Administration, including the USDA and the USPTO, recognizes the importance of innovation in the seed and agricultural space.

4 min read
female at a workbench creating fading into a male opening the door of a business

Free resources inventors and entrepreneurs need to know about

Do you know about the free resources the USPTO offers for inventors and entrepreneurs? From free legal assistance to patent and trademark boot camps, each of our programs provides one-on-one assistance.

4 min read
A handwritten list of inventors and patents which includes the name “James Wormley,” alongside a typed list of patents and inventors that includes the name “Miss M.E. Benjamin.”

Beyond Baker’s list: Black innovation then and now

Learn how the inventors on Baker’s List have been changing the world for generations as creators, disruptors, and trailblazers in their respective industries, and how Black excellence in invention continues today.

5 min read
A mix of kids and adults sit in lecture style room with laptops on their desk while a woman speaks at a podium

EquIP HQ: Empowering students and teachers with invention and intellectual property skills

EquIP HQ is the USPTO’s newest invention education resource. The online platform, created by and for the USPTO, provides free tools to teach students real-world invention and intellectual property (IP) skills.

4 min read
James Wilson

Black History Month: Advocating for and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion at the USPTO

This blog post is part of a series showcasing the diverse African American leaders from across the U.S. Department of Commerce in honor of Black History Month.

4 min read
Deputy Director Brent meets with businesses at CES 2023

Connecting entrepreneurs with government resources at CES

In early January, Deputy Director Derrick Brent attended CES for the first time ever. As a fan of gadgets, technology, and innovation, the experience was amazing. It was a chance to see today and a chance to see tomorrow.

4 min read
James West works with students in his lab at MIT

Help our nation honor the innovators who have inspired you

To recognize top innovators, we are currently accepting nominations for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI), our nation's highest honor for technological achievement.

3 min read
Quarterly TPAC meeting in July 2022

USPTO’s Trademark Public Advisory Committee: Where we’ve been and where we’re headed

The USPTO’s Trademark Public Advisory Committee's (TPAC) role is to provide input to the Director of the USPTO on the management, policy, goals, performance, budget, and user fees related to trademark operations.

5 min read
Director Vidal visited Garey High School in Pomona, California to congratulate students

The Unleashing American Innovators Act: Promoting inclusive innovation under the new law

The USPTO has been working feverishly to unleash America’s potential. Since April 2022, we expanded our pro bono efforts, focused on outreach and impact, and are working on ways to better support those new to innovation.

8 min read
Person typing on a laptop and submitting documents

Top three helpful tips for filing patent applications as you move to DOCX format

The USPTO is moving to DOCX, which will provide quick feedback to applicants to correct applications before they hit the examiner’s desk and allow communication between different countries' intellectual property systems.

5 min read
Patents for Humanity COVID logo

Recognizing life-saving COVID-19 innovations

It’s a privilege to announce the five winners of our Patents for Humanity: COVID-19 category competition. We recognize them for responding rapidly to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic with game-changing technologies.

5 min read
Department of Commerce graphic for Native American Heritage Month

Increasing representation of Native Americans in STEM and innovation

Read about efforts to increase Native American representation in STEM. DOC agencies, including the USPTO, also offer resources to support all innovators, including those in underrepresented communities like Native Americans.

4 min read
Headshots of young people smiling

See yourself at the USPTO: Find a student program for you

The future of our country hinges on our youth. To help them succeed, we provide high school, college, and law students with unique opportunities to leverage their innate skills while building new ones for continued growth.

6 min read
Glass door of the USPTO director's suite

Jumpstart your career with LEAP!

Over two years ago, the USPTO introduced the Legal Experience and Advancement Program (LEAP) to provide the next generation of patent practitioners with hands-on experience before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

3 min read
Department of Commerce Hispanic Heritage Month graphic

Hispanic inventors and entrepreneurs bring new technologies to market

This month, the U.S. Department of Commerce is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic communities. Here are three stories of Hispanic entrepreneurs and innovators that help fulfill the promise of America for all.

4 min read
2022 Hispanic Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program logo

Register for the 2022 Hispanic Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program

Join the (USPTO's free, online 2022 Hispanic Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program on Wednesday, October 12 from 1-4 p.m. ET, where successful Hispanic innovators will discuss their creative and business journeys.

2 min read
Technical worker in an automotive industry setting takes notes in her binder

Standard essential patent policy and practices: We want to hear from you!

Technical standards have brought many benefits to society, from the phones in our pockets to the computer networks that support our communications with colleagues and family.

3 min read
Shop Smart and Stay Safe logo

Go for Real: An innovative USPTO partnership helping young consumers avoid dangerous fakes

As America’s Innovation Agency, the USPTO is working to change the narrative around purchasing counterfeit products and informing consumers about the dangers and consequences of purchasing counterfeit goods.

5 min read
Director Vidal addresses WIPO General Assembly

Advancing U.S. interests abroad

The Biden Administration is strengthening international engagement and economic growth by working in partnership with other countries to enhance resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, fairness, and competitiveness.

5 min read
Individuals looking at new technology

Call for collaboration with stakeholders

We are working to improve our processes, technology, and training. Each and every one of us is committed to providing the best service possible for all innovators and entrepreneurs, from pro se to experienced.

6 min read
Patent Public Search tool

Patent Public Search tool – a streamlined way to search all U.S. published patent applications

As part of our ongoing effort to modernize and streamline our systems, we unveiled an all new Patent Public Search (PPUBS) tool. PPUBS is a free online search tool for all U.S. published patent applications and patent grants.

3 min read
Close up of a scientist wearing a face mask, hair net, and goggles while running an experiment in a laboratory

Duty of disclosure and duty of reasonable inquiry promote robust and reliable patents, drive competition and economic growth, and bring life-saving drugs to the American people

The important contributions developed by the U.S. pharmaceutical industry, such as nearly eradicating diseases like smallpox, polio, measles, and meningitis, have been made possible because of our strong patent protection.

3 min read
Collage from Council for Inclusive Innovation meeting on November 30

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and the USPTO’s Council for Inclusive Innovation expand innovation to promote jobs and U.S. prosperity

To unlock the potential of every American and promote economic prosperity, we must not only protect innovation, we must tap into communities traditionally underrepresented in the innovation ecosystem.

6 min read
Engineering, technology, and biology illustrations seen within three separate lightbulbs

Providing clear guidance on patent subject matter eligibility

Stakeholders generally agree that the law on patent eligibility needs to be clear, predictable, and consistently applied. This will allow innovators to attract investment and collaborations to bring more innovation to impact.

6 min read
Blodgett's Hotel

The search for lost X-patents

In December 1836, a catastrophic fire at the United States Patent Office destroyed records of American innovation kept since the earliest days of the Republic. We call patents from this era (1790-1836) “X-patents.”

3 min read
Glass door of the USPTO director's suite

Modernizing the management of patent applications with Patent Center

On August 1, we will replace the Public Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) tool with Patent Center, a new, unified system with a user-friendly interface for electronically filing and managing patent applications.

3 min read
A hand organizes medical pills from their package into a weekly personal pill organizer

The Biden Administration is acting to promote competition and lower drug prices for all Americans

President Biden is helping Americans protect and preserve their health and live with the dignity of knowing that they can care for themselves and their loved ones.

5 min read
Woman with glasses smiling and looking at an electronic tablet

Safeguarding the trademark community against fraud with identity verification

Starting August 6, 2022, the USPTO is taking the important and necessary step of requiring all trademark filers to verify their identities as a condition for filing electronic trademark forms.

3 min read
Martine Rothblatt and team with 3D printed lung

Celebrating LGBTQ+ Inventors and Entrepreneurs

This month, the U.S. Department of Commerce is celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and paying tribute to the many LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and innovators who help fulfill the promise of America for all.

3 min read
Women examines a hardhat inside a glass display

Visit the reopened National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

The National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum is now open to the public! Located at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, there's something for everyone inside the walls of this tribute to American innovation.

5 min read
PTAB proceedings collage showing woman speaking at podium while audience is actively engaged and another of a man speaking at podium

PTAB Pro Bono Program: Helping inventors obtain legal counsel for PTAB proceedings

The USPTO is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications from qualified inventors for free legal assistance in ex parte appeal proceedings through the PTAB Pro Bono Program.

3 min read
Decorative artificial intelligence graphic

Incentivizing and protecting innovation in artificial intelligence and emerging technologies

To build on our efforts to engage with stakeholders on artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies (ET), we are forming a partnership with the AI and ET communities, bringing them together to share their insights.

3 min read
Close up of a person's holding an earth globe

Doing our part to mitigate climate change: fast-tracking green innovations

Through programs like the Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program, we're working to incentivize and expedite clean energy technologies that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.

4 min read
Kavita Shukla smiles while holding a basket of vegetable seed packs

Celebrating Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander inventors and entrepreneurs

The U.S. Department of Commerce celebrated Americans from Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. Here are three stories of inspiring AANHPI entrepreneurs and innovators.

4 min read
Director Vidal meets with the World Intellectual Property Organization

Just getting started

Since I was sworn in a little over a month ago, we at USPTO have hit the ground running. I wanted to share an update with you.

9 min read
People sitting together listening to a person speaking through a microphone

Three upcoming events for inventors and entrepreneurs you won’t want to miss

USPTO hosts InventionCon, Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, and Proud Innovation events for aspiring or established innovators.

4 min read
Digital background of computer files flying in the air with "Take advantage of DOCX filing now!'

You spoke, we listened: easing the transition to DOCX

To address concerns that the new DOCX format might result in conversion discrepancies, through December 31, 2022, applicants may upload a backup PDF version of their application with their DOCX version for no extra cost.

3 min read
Cover of paper on article of manufacturing

Protecting design innovations in new and emerging technologies

The USPTO released a summary of comments received on whether the USPTO’s interpretation of the “article of manufacture” requirement for design patents should be reevaluated.

3 min read
USPTO's Joyce Ward presents Temple Grandin with her inventor trading card

USPTO highlights trailblazing women inventors in collectible cards

In honor of Women’s History Month, read inspiring stories of notable women innovators who have made lasting contributions to our nation’s history, economy, and way of life.

4 min read