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|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print Table of Contents 1408 OG 216|
|November 25, 2014||Volume 1408||Number 4|
|Patent and Trademark Office Notices||Page|
|• Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Information||1408 OG 217|
|• Notice of Maintenance Fees Payable||1408 OG 220|
|• Notice of Expiration of Patents Due to Failure to Pay Maintenance Fee||1408 OG 221|
|• Patents Reinstated Due to the Acceptance of a Late Maintenance Fee from 10/27/2014||1408 OG 251|
|• Reissue Applications Filed||1408 OG 252|
|• Requests for Ex Parte Reexamination Filed||1408 OG 254|
|• Notice of Expiration of Trademark Registrations Due to Failure to Renew||1408 OG 255|
|• 37 CFR 1.47 Notice by Publication||1408 OG 262|
|• Registration to Practice||1408 OG 263|
|• Patent Public Advisory Committee Annual Report 2014||1408 OG 264|
|• Trademark Public Advisory Committee Annual Report 2014||1408 OG 265|
|• Errata||1408 OG 266|
|• Certificates of Correction||1408 OG 271|
|• Summary of Final Decisions Issued by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board||1408 OG 273|
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 217|
|Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Information|
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) Information For information concerning PCT member countries, see the notice appearing in the Official Gazette at 1393 O.G. 58, on August 13, 2013. For information on subject matter under Rule 39 that a particular International Searching Authority will not search, see Annex D of the PCT Applicants' Guide. European Patent Office as Searching and Examining Authority The European Patent Office (EPO) may act as the International Searching Authority (ISA) or the International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) for an international application filed with the United States Receiving Office or the International Bureau (IB) as Receiving Office where at least one of the applicants is either a national or resident of the United States of America. However, the use of the EPO is restricted. The EPO will not act as an ISA for applications with one or more claims directed to a business method. For the definition of what the EPO considers to be precluded subject matter in the field of business methods, see PCT Applicants's Guide, Annexes D(EP), E(EP) and the Official Notices (PCT Gazette) dated May 6, 2010, page 94 (http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/official_notices/index.html). The EPO will act as an IPEA only if it also acted as the ISA. The search fee of the European Patent Office was decreased, effective January 1, 2013, and was announced in the Official Gazette at 1385 O.G. 176, on December 25, 2012. Korean Intellectual Property Office as Searching and Examining Authority The Korean Intellectual Property Office may act as the ISA or the IPEA for an international application filed with the United States Receiving Office or the International Bureau (IB) as Receiving Office where at least one of the applicants is either a national or resident of the United States of America. The announcement appears in the Official Gazette at 1302 O.G. 1261 on January 17, 2006. The search fee of the Korean Intellectual Property Office was increased, effective January 1, 2013, and was announced in the Official Gazette at 1385 O.G. 176, on December 25, 2012. Australian Patent Office as Searching and Examining Authority The Australian Patent Office (IP Australia) may act as the ISA or the IPEA for an international application filed with the United States Receiving Office or the International Bureau (IB) as Receiving Office where at least one of the applicants is either a national or resident of the United States of America. The announcement appears in the Offical Gazette at 1337 O.G. 265, on December 23, 2008. However, the use of IP Australia is restricted. IP Australia will not act as an ISA for applications with one or more claims directed to the fields of business methods or mechanical engineering or analogous fields of technology as defined by specified areas of the International Patent Classification System, as indicated in the Official Gazette at 1337 O.G. 261 on December 23, 2008, in Annex A to the agreement between the USPTO and IP Australia. IP Australia will act as an IPEA only if it also acted as the ISA. The search fee of IP Australia was decreased, effective September 1, 2013, and was announced in the Official Gazette at 1393 O.G. 170, on August 27, 2013. The Federal Service on Intellectual Property, Patents & Trademarks of Russia as Searching and Examining Authority
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 218|
The Federal Service on Intellectual Property, Patents & Trademarks of Russia (Rospatent) may act as the ISA or the IPEA for an international application filed with the United States Receiving Office or the International Bureau (IB) as Receiving Office where at least one of the applicants is either a national or resident of the United States of America. The announcement appears in the Official Gazette at 1378 O.G. 162, on May 8, 2012. The search fee of Rospatent was increased, effective January 1, 2013, and was announced in the Official Gazette at 1385 O.G. 176, on December 25, 2012. Fees The fee for filing a request for the restoration of the right of priority was changed, effective March 19, 2013, and was announced in the Federal Register on January 18, 2013. The transmittal fee for the USPTO was changed to include a basic portion and a non-electronic filing fee portion, effective November 15, 2011, and was announced in the Federal Register on November 15, 2011. Search fees for the USPTO were changed, effective January 12, 2009, and were announced in the Federal Register on November 12, 2008. International filing fees were increased, effective January 1, 2013, and were announced in the Official Gazette at 1385 O.G. 176, on December 25, 2012. The schedule of PCT fees (in U.S. dollars), as of September 1, 2013, is as follows: International Application (PCT Chapter I) fees: Transmittal fee Basic Portion $240.00 Non-electronic filing fee portion for international applications (other than plant applications) filed on or after 15 November 2011 other than by the Office electronic filing system - Other than a small or micro entity $400.00 - Small Entity $200.00 - Micro Entity $200.00 Search fee U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as International Searching Authority (ISA) - Search fee $2,080.00 - Supplemental search fee, per additional invention (payable only upon invitation) $2,080.00 European Patent Office as ISA $2,419.00 Korean Intellectual Property Office as ISA $1,167.00 IP Australia as ISA $2,084.00 Federal Service on Intellectual Property, Patents & Trademarks of Russia (Rospatent) as ISA $217.00 International fees International filing fee $1,419.00 International filing fee-filed in paper with PCT EASY zip file or electronically without PCT EASY zip file $1,312.00 International filing fee-filed electronically with PCT EASY zip files $1,206.00 Supplemental fee for each page over 30 $16.00
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 219|
Restoration of Priority Filing a request for the restoration of the right of priority under § 1.452 - Other than a small or micro entity $1420.00 - Small Entity $710.00 - Micro Entity $355.00 International Application (PCT Chapter II) fees associated with filing a Demand for Preliminary Examination: Handling fee $213.00 Handling fee-90% reduction, if applicants meet criteria specified at: http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/fees/fee_reduction.pdf $21.30 Preliminary examination fee USPTO as International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) - USPTO was ISA in PCT Chapter I $600.00 - USPTO was not ISA in PCT Chapter I $750.00 - Additional preliminary examination fee, per additional invention (payable only upon invitation) $600.00 U.S. National Stage fees (for international applications entering the U.S. national phase under 35 U.S.C. 371) can be found on the USPTO's Web site (www.uspto.gov). October 1, 2013 ANDREW H. HIRSHFELD Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy United States Patent and Trademark Office
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 220|
|Notice of Maintenance Fees Payable|
Notice of Maintenance Fees Payable Title 37 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 1.362(d) provides that maintenance fees may be paid without surcharge for the six-month period beginning 3, 7, and 11 years after the date of issue of patents based on applications filed on or after Dec. 12, 1980. An additional six-month grace period is provided by 35 U.S.C. 41(b) and 37 CFR 1.362(e) for payment of the maintenance fee with the surcharge set forth in 37 CFR 1.20(h), as amended effective Dec. 16, 1991. If the maintenance fee is not paid in the patent requiring such payment the patent will expire on the 4th, 8th, or 12th anniversary of the grant. Attention is drawn to the patents that were issued on November 15, 2011 for which maintenance fees due at 3 years and six months may now be paid The patents have patent numbers within the following ranges: Utility Patents 8,056,144 through 8,060,943 Reissue Patents based on the above identified patents. Attention is drawn to the patents that were issued on November 13, 2007 for which maintenance fees due at 7 years and six months may now be paid The patents have patent numbers within the following ranges: Utility Patents 7,293,295 through 7,296,299 Reissue Patents based on the above identified patents. Attention is drawn to the patents that were issued on November 11, 2003 for which maintenance fees due at 11 years and six months may now be paid. The patents have patent numbers within the following ranges: Utility Patents 6,643,844 through 6,647,548 Reissue Patents based on the above identified patents. No maintenance fees are required for design or plant patents. Payments of maintenance fees in patents may be submitted electronically over the Internet at www.uspto.gov. Click on the "Site Index" link at the top of the homepage (www.uspto.gov), and then scroll down and click on the "Maintenance Fees" link for more information. Payments of maintenance fees in patents not submitted electronically over the Internet should be mailed to "United States Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 979070, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000". Correspondence related to maintenance fees other than payments of maintenance fees in patents is not to be mailed to P.O. Box 979070, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, but must be mailed to "Mail Stop M Correspondence, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450". Patent owners must establish small entity status according to 37 CFR 1.27 if they have not done so and if they wish to pay the small entity amount. The current amounts of the maintenance fees due at 3 years and six months, 7 years and six months, and 11 years and six months are set forth in the most recently amended provisions in 37 CFR 1.20(e)-(g). To obtain the current maintenance fee amounts, please call the USPTO Contact Center at (800)-786-9199 or see the current USPTO fee schedule posted on the USPTO Internet web site. At the top of the USPTO homepage at www.uspto.gov, click on the "Site Index" link and then scroll down and click on the "Fees, USPTO" link to find the current USPTO fee schedule.
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 221|
|Notice of Expiration of Patents Due to Failure to Pay Maintenance Fee|
Notice of Expiration of Patents Due to Failure to Pay Maintenance Fee 35 U.S.C. 41 and 37 CFR 1.362(g) provide that if the required maintenance fee and any applicable surcharge are not paid in a patent requiring such payment, the patent will expire at the end of the 4th, 8th or 12th anniversary of the grant of the patent depending on the first maintenance fee which was not paid. According to the records of the Office, the patents listed below have expired due to failure to pay the required maintenance fee and any applicable surcharge. PATENTS WHICH EXPIRED ON October 8, 2014 DUE TO FAILURE TO PAY MAINTENANCE FEES Patent Application Issue Number Number Date 6,460,190 09/871,798 10/08/02 6,460,199 09/962,077 10/08/02 6,460,202 09/707,869 10/08/02 6,460,212 10/005,395 10/08/02 6,460,213 09/633,563 10/08/02 6,460,215 09/822,400 10/08/02 6,460,218 09/734,131 10/08/02 6,460,221 09/718,202 10/08/02 6,460,222 09/881,307 10/08/02 6,460,237 09/782,429 10/08/02 6,460,242 09/647,611 10/08/02 6,460,253 09/622,729 10/08/02 6,460,254 09/691,111 10/08/02 6,460,266 09/428,610 10/08/02 6,460,269 09/800,144 10/08/02 6,460,270 09/780,394 10/08/02 6,460,276 09/147,876 10/08/02 6,460,282 09/042,863 10/08/02 6,460,285 09/767,984 10/08/02 6,460,286 09/860,076 10/08/02 6,460,294 09/579,601 10/08/02 6,460,300 09/727,850 10/08/02 6,460,302 09/490,505 10/08/02 6,460,304 09/287,257 10/08/02 6,460,306 09/436,317 10/08/02 6,460,310 09/670,088 10/08/02 6,460,313 09/565,161 10/08/02 6,460,315 09/907,780 10/08/02 6,460,319 09/797,063 10/08/02 6,460,322 09/639,659 10/08/02 6,460,324 09/632,564 10/08/02 6,460,330 09/762,206 10/08/02 6,460,331 09/729,688 10/08/02 6,460,336 09/557,887 10/08/02 6,460,337 09/806,623 10/08/02 6,460,338 09/994,093 10/08/02 6,460,343 09/161,104 10/08/02 6,460,345 09/712,318 10/08/02 6,460,350 09/774,461 10/08/02 6,460,365 09/924,273 10/08/02 6,460,366 09/924,311 10/08/02 6,460,367 09/839,087 10/08/02 6,460,369 09/753,424 10/08/02 6,460,374 09/451,516 10/08/02 6,460,375 09/499,998 10/08/02 6,460,380 09/787,336 10/08/02 6,460,384 09/829,955 10/08/02
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 222|
6,460,385 10/007,090 10/08/02 6,460,389 09/625,715 10/08/02 6,460,399 09/712,034 10/08/02 6,460,413 09/808,833 10/08/02 6,460,418 09/838,120 10/08/02 6,460,422 09/699,480 10/08/02 6,460,433 09/529,437 10/08/02 6,460,437 09/878,809 10/08/02 6,460,439 09/185,544 10/08/02 6,460,445 10/038,424 10/08/02 6,460,447 09/499,931 10/08/02 6,460,453 09/989,639 10/08/02 6,460,467 09/858,222 10/08/02 6,460,473 09/701,555 10/08/02 6,460,477 09/676,191 10/08/02 6,460,484 09/848,075 10/08/02 6,460,489 09/836,945 10/08/02 6,460,499 09/761,353 10/08/02 6,460,509 09/495,118 10/08/02 6,460,522 09/738,091 10/08/02 6,460,529 09/776,919 10/08/02 6,460,531 09/706,626 10/08/02 6,460,533 09/934,509 10/08/02 6,460,537 09/437,047 10/08/02 6,460,539 09/667,406 10/08/02 6,460,541 09/707,531 10/08/02 6,460,542 09/753,511 10/08/02 6,460,545 09/797,148 10/08/02 6,460,550 09/734,152 10/08/02 6,460,551 09/430,345 10/08/02 6,460,552 09/166,819 10/08/02 6,460,553 09/646,494 10/08/02 6,460,554 09/942,138 10/08/02 6,460,557 09/697,868 10/08/02 6,460,559 09/775,080 10/08/02 6,460,563 08/705,321 10/08/02 6,460,565 09/351,798 10/08/02 6,460,569 09/430,951 10/08/02 6,460,578 09/731,807 10/08/02 6,460,583 09/660,229 10/08/02 6,460,588 09/463,883 10/08/02 6,460,590 09/704,777 10/08/02 6,460,595 09/511,529 10/08/02 6,460,596 09/693,957 10/08/02 6,460,607 09/467,804 10/08/02 6,460,611 09/728,273 10/08/02 6,460,626 09/911,985 10/08/02 6,460,629 09/987,481 10/08/02 6,460,633 09/559,612 10/08/02 6,460,638 09/968,159 10/08/02 6,460,639 09/592,946 10/08/02 6,460,643 09/595,011 10/08/02 6,460,646 10/098,858 10/08/02 6,460,649 09/784,957 10/08/02 6,460,652 09/701,198 10/08/02 6,460,654 10/029,882 10/08/02 6,460,659 09/732,466 10/08/02 6,460,662 09/946,985 10/08/02 6,460,663 09/762,862 10/08/02 6,460,665 09/831,716 10/08/02 6,460,679 09/678,995 10/08/02 6,460,681 09/585,011 10/08/02 6,460,682 09/869,037 10/08/02 6,460,702 09/962,511 10/08/02 6,460,705 09/635,181 10/08/02 6,460,710 09/591,914 10/08/02
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 223|
6,460,715 09/554,856 10/08/02 6,460,721 09/495,831 10/08/02 6,460,729 09/798,991 10/08/02 6,460,741 09/429,103 10/08/02 6,460,744 09/799,255 10/08/02 6,460,745 09/832,279 10/08/02 6,460,753 09/703,292 10/08/02 6,460,764 09/852,278 10/08/02 6,460,766 09/527,995 10/08/02 6,460,775 09/824,113 10/08/02 6,460,778 09/505,004 10/08/02 6,460,783 09/920,119 10/08/02 6,460,788 09/600,532 10/08/02 6,460,792 09/657,525 10/08/02 6,460,797 09/212,540 10/08/02 6,460,805 09/645,919 10/08/02 6,460,817 09/541,528 10/08/02 6,460,820 10/012,648 10/08/02 6,460,830 09/704,737 10/08/02 6,460,842 09/674,615 10/08/02 6,460,845 09/630,616 10/08/02 6,460,847 09/884,610 10/08/02 6,460,850 09/861,146 10/08/02 6,460,866 09/693,521 10/08/02 6,460,868 09/420,601 10/08/02 6,460,873 09/655,068 10/08/02 6,460,875 09/665,754 10/08/02 6,460,887 09/730,565 10/08/02 6,460,889 09/200,475 10/08/02 6,460,890 09/803,362 10/08/02 6,460,896 09/714,276 10/08/02 6,460,897 09/930,282 10/08/02 6,460,902 09/697,051 10/08/02 6,460,904 09/510,297 10/08/02 6,460,905 09/564,570 10/08/02 6,460,918 09/688,930 10/08/02 6,460,921 09/794,241 10/08/02 6,460,938 09/542,268 10/08/02 6,460,939 09/101,380 10/08/02 6,460,940 08/336,173 10/08/02 6,460,942 09/171,582 10/08/02 6,460,943 08/313,983 10/08/02 6,460,947 09/538,824 10/08/02 6,460,949 09/725,953 10/08/02 6,460,953 09/793,776 10/08/02 6,460,955 09/508,130 10/08/02 6,460,956 09/096,586 10/08/02 6,460,961 09/842,184 10/08/02 6,460,963 09/708,467 10/08/02 6,460,964 09/726,963 10/08/02 6,460,965 09/858,497 10/08/02 6,460,966 09/938,710 10/08/02 6,460,969 09/819,594 10/08/02 6,460,971 09/798,757 10/08/02 6,460,973 09/550,803 10/08/02 6,460,985 09/430,400 10/08/02 6,460,990 09/728,049 10/08/02 6,460,992 08/637,569 10/08/02 6,460,993 09/862,582 10/08/02 6,461,001 09/839,129 10/08/02 6,461,009 09/797,450 10/08/02 6,461,013 09/586,029 10/08/02 6,461,017 09/444,222 10/08/02 6,461,020 09/934,592 10/08/02 6,461,021 09/670,749 10/08/02 6,461,027 09/609,244 10/08/02
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 224|
6,461,032 09/758,697 10/08/02 6,461,035 09/834,789 10/08/02 6,461,036 09/413,131 10/08/02 6,461,037 09/261,611 10/08/02 6,461,040 09/378,448 10/08/02 6,461,055 09/833,100 10/08/02 6,461,059 09/800,502 10/08/02 6,461,062 09/902,039 10/08/02 6,461,065 09/757,566 10/08/02 6,461,066 09/726,947 10/08/02 6,461,074 09/852,096 10/08/02 6,461,077 09/505,701 10/08/02 6,461,079 09/763,197 10/08/02 6,461,088 09/853,523 10/08/02 6,461,090 09/404,217 10/08/02 6,461,096 08/647,879 10/08/02 6,461,097 09/675,318 10/08/02 6,461,099 09/688,565 10/08/02 6,461,107 09/818,312 10/08/02 6,461,119 09/786,658 10/08/02 6,461,132 10/095,334 10/08/02 6,461,137 09/303,207 10/08/02 6,461,138 09/767,725 10/08/02 6,461,140 09/355,721 10/08/02 6,461,142 09/180,488 10/08/02 6,461,146 09/714,562 10/08/02 6,461,152 09/682,818 10/08/02 6,461,155 09/919,399 10/08/02 6,461,162 09/585,784 10/08/02 6,461,168 09/742,266 10/08/02 6,461,169 09/849,506 10/08/02 6,461,170 09/859,903 10/08/02 6,461,171 09/820,685 10/08/02 6,461,183 10/035,576 10/08/02 6,461,184 09/742,442 10/08/02 6,461,194 09/418,975 10/08/02 6,461,195 09/803,559 10/08/02 6,461,196 09/804,538 10/08/02 6,461,217 09/633,047 10/08/02 6,461,218 09/780,250 10/08/02 6,461,221 09/724,763 10/08/02 6,461,224 09/540,974 10/08/02 6,461,240 09/480,667 10/08/02 6,461,249 09/801,168 10/08/02 6,461,252 09/124,362 10/08/02 6,461,256 09/897,662 10/08/02 6,461,257 09/877,949 10/08/02 6,461,258 09/888,318 10/08/02 6,461,262 09/778,796 10/08/02 6,461,265 09/497,023 10/08/02 6,461,271 09/814,101 10/08/02 6,461,282 09/501,392 10/08/02 6,461,292 09/502,092 10/08/02 6,461,296 09/510,537 10/08/02 6,461,297 09/785,612 10/08/02 6,461,300 09/928,179 10/08/02 6,461,304 09/667,176 10/08/02 6,461,312 09/668,224 10/08/02 6,461,319 09/774,979 10/08/02 6,461,321 09/853,511 10/08/02 6,461,322 09/651,700 10/08/02 6,461,326 09/696,852 10/08/02 6,461,333 09/530,380 10/08/02 6,461,339 09/643,338 10/08/02 6,461,342 09/727,041 10/08/02 6,461,343 09/367,904 10/08/02
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 225|
6,461,348 09/384,122 10/08/02 6,461,360 09/560,716 10/08/02 6,461,361 09/302,726 10/08/02 6,461,375 09/445,646 10/08/02 6,461,378 08/825,445 10/08/02 6,461,386 09/572,816 10/08/02 6,461,387 09/507,483 10/08/02 6,461,389 09/646,454 10/08/02 6,461,394 09/719,543 10/08/02 6,461,407 09/725,566 10/08/02 6,461,415 09/644,495 10/08/02 6,461,417 09/645,712 10/08/02 6,461,427 09/859,826 10/08/02 6,461,429 09/565,798 10/08/02 6,461,432 09/415,850 10/08/02 6,461,436 09/977,612 10/08/02 6,461,446 09/381,289 10/08/02 6,461,448 09/570,671 10/08/02 6,461,451 09/736,594 10/08/02 6,461,453 09/589,646 10/08/02 6,461,472 09/962,775 10/08/02 6,461,479 09/202,765 10/08/02 6,461,480 09/622,040 10/08/02 6,461,487 09/431,424 10/08/02 6,461,490 09/626,775 10/08/02 6,461,491 09/589,329 10/08/02 6,461,497 09/145,189 10/08/02 6,461,501 09/854,089 10/08/02 6,461,506 09/538,682 10/08/02 6,461,513 09/574,509 10/08/02 6,461,522 09/518,162 10/08/02 6,461,528 09/699,114 10/08/02 6,461,535 09/452,722 10/08/02 6,461,538 09/736,327 10/08/02 6,461,546 09/559,714 10/08/02 6,461,548 09/488,238 10/08/02 6,461,551 09/346,386 10/08/02 6,461,552 09/485,735 10/08/02 6,461,554 09/440,283 10/08/02 6,461,556 09/741,468 10/08/02 6,461,559 09/536,285 10/08/02 6,461,574 09/756,829 10/08/02 6,461,575 09/309,921 10/08/02 6,461,576 09/657,003 10/08/02 6,461,579 09/555,384 10/08/02 6,461,592 09/612,955 10/08/02 6,461,609 08/790,491 10/08/02 6,461,616 09/659,026 10/08/02 6,461,618 09/355,398 10/08/02 6,461,636 09/673,069 10/08/02 6,461,639 09/783,810 10/08/02 6,461,640 08/967,619 10/08/02 6,461,642 09/486,689 10/08/02 6,461,643 09/862,063 10/08/02 6,461,648 09/929,269 10/08/02 6,461,651 09/669,708 10/08/02 6,461,654 09/653,001 10/08/02 6,461,656 09/771,417 10/08/02 6,461,659 09/439,208 10/08/02 6,461,662 09/733,080 10/08/02 6,461,667 09/542,720 10/08/02 6,461,671 09/808,598 10/08/02 6,461,681 09/757,056 10/08/02 6,461,684 09/965,923 10/08/02 6,461,685 09/790,466 10/08/02 6,461,687 09/804,315 10/08/02
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 226|
6,461,690 09/825,262 10/08/02 6,461,696 09/498,674 10/08/02 6,461,697 08/701,068 10/08/02 6,461,699 09/680,688 10/08/02 6,461,701 09/464,034 10/08/02 6,461,702 09/268,763 10/08/02 6,461,708 09/372,736 10/08/02 6,461,711 09/614,456 10/08/02 6,461,716 09/344,161 10/08/02 6,461,728 09/751,143 10/08/02 6,461,731 09/698,129 10/08/02 6,461,732 09/529,707 10/08/02 6,461,733 09/550,879 10/08/02 6,461,734 09/245,142 10/08/02 6,461,735 09/757,474 10/08/02 6,461,737 09/734,554 10/08/02 6,461,744 09/736,142 10/08/02 6,461,745 09/829,045 10/08/02 6,461,749 09/818,661 10/08/02 6,461,750 09/406,816 10/08/02 6,461,770 09/630,675 10/08/02 6,461,786 09/589,293 10/08/02 6,461,788 09/638,065 10/08/02 6,461,792 09/637,885 10/08/02 6,461,794 09/371,977 10/08/02 6,461,800 09/537,311 10/08/02 6,461,804 09/688,368 10/08/02 6,461,815 09/315,674 10/08/02 6,461,816 09/350,969 10/08/02 6,461,820 09/753,362 10/08/02 6,461,827 09/423,104 10/08/02 6,461,834 09/212,663 10/08/02 6,461,839 09/749,035 10/08/02 6,461,841 09/986,536 10/08/02 6,461,845 09/597,877 10/08/02 6,461,851 09/479,275 10/08/02 6,461,854 08/411,560 10/08/02 6,461,860 09/769,609 10/08/02 6,461,861 09/444,403 10/08/02 6,461,865 09/065,894 10/08/02 6,461,866 09/711,891 10/08/02 6,461,870 09/910,701 10/08/02 6,461,882 09/880,976 10/08/02 6,461,883 09/676,946 10/08/02 6,461,884 09/755,764 10/08/02 6,461,892 09/757,968 10/08/02 6,461,900 09/981,438 10/08/02 6,461,903 09/874,293 10/08/02 6,461,910 09/708,063 10/08/02 6,461,911 09/808,983 10/08/02 6,461,914 09/942,208 10/08/02 6,461,917 09/888,862 10/08/02 6,461,923 09/639,816 10/08/02 6,461,924 09/847,639 10/08/02 6,461,926 09/934,461 10/08/02 6,461,937 09/479,442 10/08/02 6,461,943 09/707,348 10/08/02 6,461,947 09/657,358 10/08/02 6,461,954 09/929,408 10/08/02 6,461,957 10/026,708 10/08/02 6,461,960 09/875,624 10/08/02 6,461,962 09/650,647 10/08/02 6,461,968 09/362,994 10/08/02 6,461,971 09/489,497 10/08/02 6,461,973 09/535,256 10/08/02 6,461,982 08/807,831 10/08/02
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 227|
6,461,983 09/372,631 10/08/02 6,461,984 09/535,156 10/08/02 6,461,991 09/601,001 10/08/02 6,461,999 09/820,150 10/08/02 6,462,004 09/779,073 10/08/02 6,462,020 09/189,130 10/08/02 6,462,024 09/614,122 10/08/02 6,462,027 09/347,959 10/08/02 6,462,031 09/738,483 10/08/02 6,462,038 09/648,684 10/08/02 6,462,040 09/907,909 10/08/02 6,462,041 09/495,120 10/08/02 6,462,047 09/744,859 10/08/02 6,462,050 09/916,745 10/08/02 6,462,056 09/380,202 10/08/02 6,462,059 10/095,392 10/08/02 6,462,064 09/498,347 10/08/02 6,462,067 09/707,343 10/08/02 6,462,068 09/644,305 10/08/02 6,462,070 08/812,606 10/08/02 6,462,072 09/157,566 10/08/02 6,462,073 09/899,641 10/08/02 6,462,075 09/748,599 10/08/02 6,462,077 09/899,713 10/08/02 6,462,079 09/999,545 10/08/02 6,462,081 09/720,675 10/08/02 6,462,082 09/965,348 10/08/02 6,462,083 10/010,316 10/08/02 6,462,084 09/853,392 10/08/02 6,462,092 09/990,811 10/08/02 6,462,095 09/529,528 10/08/02 6,462,097 09/822,409 10/08/02 6,462,101 09/949,734 10/08/02 6,462,108 09/620,170 10/08/02 6,462,112 09/886,276 10/08/02 6,462,121 09/759,216 10/08/02 6,462,125 09/464,946 10/08/02 6,462,127 09/743,116 10/08/02 6,462,130 09/531,164 10/08/02 6,462,132 09/756,290 10/08/02 6,462,133 09/852,112 10/08/02 6,462,134 09/743,123 10/08/02 6,462,139 09/437,618 10/08/02 6,462,146 09/681,379 10/08/02 6,462,148 09/297,203 10/08/02 6,462,158 09/638,893 10/08/02 6,462,163 09/808,653 10/08/02 6,462,167 09/831,917 10/08/02 6,462,172 09/497,435 10/08/02 6,462,174 09/891,035 10/08/02 6,462,177 09/053,374 10/08/02 6,462,178 09/442,349 10/08/02 6,462,182 09/616,658 10/08/02 6,462,188 09/061,154 10/08/02 6,462,191 09/615,877 10/08/02 6,462,197 09/819,581 10/08/02 6,462,198 09/545,622 10/08/02 6,462,199 09/716,359 10/08/02 6,462,203 09/941,078 10/08/02 6,462,204 09/963,022 10/08/02 6,462,225 09/741,868 10/08/02 6,462,228 09/582,121 10/08/02 6,462,233 09/555,294 10/08/02 6,462,243 09/951,570 10/08/02 6,462,247 08/679,889 10/08/02 6,462,262 09/849,011 10/08/02
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 228|
6,462,264 09/361,498 10/08/02 6,462,270 09/836,996 10/08/02 6,462,276 09/755,929 10/08/02 6,462,278 09/948,344 10/08/02 6,462,280 09/866,380 10/08/02 6,462,283 09/390,024 10/08/02 6,462,285 09/827,111 10/08/02 6,462,290 09/986,428 10/08/02 6,462,303 09/739,469 10/08/02 6,462,307 09/613,828 10/08/02 6,462,308 09/448,683 10/08/02 6,462,313 09/785,447 10/08/02 6,462,314 09/704,343 10/08/02 6,462,317 09/848,787 10/08/02 6,462,331 09/318,409 10/08/02 6,462,343 09/768,081 10/08/02 6,462,347 09/406,849 10/08/02 6,462,352 09/514,183 10/08/02 6,462,356 09/869,157 10/08/02 6,462,359 09/814,980 10/08/02 6,462,361 09/662,587 10/08/02 6,462,362 09/711,506 10/08/02 6,462,366 09/481,674 10/08/02 6,462,370 09/945,159 10/08/02 6,462,372 09/973,094 10/08/02 6,462,373 09/725,564 10/08/02 6,462,375 10/109,873 10/08/02 6,462,377 09/781,497 10/08/02 6,462,378 09/427,541 10/08/02 6,462,379 09/311,309 10/08/02 6,462,385 09/447,991 10/08/02 6,462,391 09/686,885 10/08/02 6,462,394 09/312,373 10/08/02 6,462,422 09/865,760 10/08/02 6,462,424 09/705,735 10/08/02 6,462,425 09/429,635 10/08/02 6,462,428 09/929,077 10/08/02 6,462,434 09/738,829 10/08/02 6,462,436 09/373,942 10/08/02 6,462,439 09/529,692 10/08/02 6,462,443 09/761,712 10/08/02 6,462,448 09/609,855 10/08/02 6,462,457 09/749,062 10/08/02 6,462,458 09/840,465 10/08/02 6,462,459 09/596,989 10/08/02 6,462,460 09/844,218 10/08/02 6,462,462 09/265,095 10/08/02 6,462,464 09/985,270 10/08/02 6,462,465 09/525,099 10/08/02 6,462,476 09/338,469 10/08/02 6,462,477 09/888,706 10/08/02 6,462,483 09/442,765 10/08/02 6,462,485 09/808,227 10/08/02 6,462,494 09/533,143 10/08/02 6,462,500 09/593,763 10/08/02 6,462,502 09/413,244 10/08/02 6,462,503 09/703,808 10/08/02 6,462,505 09/677,969 10/08/02 6,462,511 09/722,859 10/08/02 6,462,513 09/659,934 10/08/02 6,462,514 09/879,102 10/08/02 6,462,519 09/874,690 10/08/02 6,462,521 09/908,007 10/08/02 6,462,523 09/937,142 10/08/02 6,462,528 09/577,239 10/08/02 6,462,533 09/723,869 10/08/02
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 229|
6,462,536 09/446,034 10/08/02 6,462,537 09/925,481 10/08/02 6,462,544 09/695,506 10/08/02 6,462,548 09/902,364 10/08/02 6,462,573 09/527,576 10/08/02 6,462,578 09/482,149 10/08/02 6,462,587 09/824,221 10/08/02 6,462,588 09/541,238 10/08/02 6,462,589 09/990,751 10/08/02 6,462,591 09/882,420 10/08/02 6,462,605 09/707,287 10/08/02 6,462,611 10/029,299 10/08/02 6,462,612 09/894,151 10/08/02 6,462,614 09/766,839 10/08/02 6,462,631 09/783,773 10/08/02 6,462,666 08/433,548 10/08/02 6,462,671 09/175,859 10/08/02 6,462,695 09/945,375 10/08/02 6,462,701 09/718,180 10/08/02 6,462,711 09/822,262 10/08/02 6,462,712 09/910,895 10/08/02 6,462,715 09/813,364 10/08/02 6,462,721 09/915,505 10/08/02 6,462,725 09/549,341 10/08/02 6,462,732 09/899,306 10/08/02 6,462,738 09/466,540 10/08/02 6,462,741 09/365,078 10/08/02 6,462,745 09/961,463 10/08/02 6,462,764 09/802,403 10/08/02 6,462,768 08/981,959 10/08/02 6,462,770 09/064,667 10/08/02 6,462,775 09/265,462 10/08/02 6,462,777 09/114,489 10/08/02 6,462,782 09/468,087 10/08/02 6,462,789 09/277,158 10/08/02 6,462,792 09/718,412 10/08/02 6,462,794 09/414,481 10/08/02 6,462,802 09/234,120 10/08/02 6,462,805 09/874,519 10/08/02 6,462,806 09/750,063 10/08/02 6,462,807 09/572,560 10/08/02 6,462,810 09/525,164 10/08/02 6,462,814 09/526,979 10/08/02 6,462,816 09/621,423 10/08/02 6,462,830 08/624,807 10/08/02 6,462,832 09/576,276 10/08/02 6,462,833 09/258,097 10/08/02 6,462,834 09/019,194 10/08/02 6,462,835 09/353,997 10/08/02 6,462,839 09/276,249 10/08/02 6,462,844 09/236,326 10/08/02 6,462,856 09/584,543 10/08/02 6,462,857 09/761,316 10/08/02 6,462,858 09/783,529 10/08/02 6,462,862 09/962,170 10/08/02 6,462,866 09/506,287 10/08/02 6,462,869 09/701,666 10/08/02 6,462,873 09/617,033 10/08/02 6,462,892 09/717,341 10/08/02 6,462,894 09/784,354 10/08/02 6,462,895 09/794,022 10/08/02 6,462,907 09/369,420 10/08/02 6,462,913 09/670,265 10/08/02 6,462,919 09/442,798 10/08/02 6,462,920 09/220,300 10/08/02 6,462,924 09/940,793 10/08/02
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 230|
6,462,934 09/758,705 10/08/02 6,462,936 09/806,467 10/08/02 6,462,949 09/633,060 10/08/02 6,462,952 09/870,686 10/08/02 6,462,961 09/705,612 10/08/02 6,462,963 10/076,008 10/08/02 6,462,968 09/955,962 10/08/02 6,462,974 09/963,642 10/08/02 6,462,978 09/947,507 10/08/02 6,462,983 09/825,627 10/08/02 6,462,991 09/878,915 10/08/02 6,462,992 09/764,717 10/08/02 6,462,996 09/943,011 10/08/02 6,462,999 09/906,649 10/08/02 6,463,007 09/934,691 10/08/02 6,463,009 09/644,738 10/08/02 6,463,014 09/236,073 10/08/02 6,463,017 09/581,407 10/08/02 6,463,018 09/355,006 10/08/02 6,463,035 09/223,319 10/08/02 6,463,037 09/167,262 10/08/02 6,463,038 09/214,952 10/08/02 6,463,044 09/204,362 10/08/02 6,463,070 09/407,588 10/08/02 6,463,071 09/136,104 10/08/02 6,463,084 09/971,796 10/08/02 6,463,090 09/596,516 10/08/02 6,463,101 09/271,431 10/08/02 6,463,111 09/865,324 10/08/02 6,463,113 08/869,627 10/08/02 6,463,118 09/751,074 10/08/02 6,463,120 09/775,114 10/08/02 6,463,132 08/426,972 10/08/02 6,463,134 09/631,228 10/08/02 6,463,137 09/316,042 10/08/02 6,463,148 09/685,033 10/08/02 6,463,152 09/257,740 10/08/02 6,463,161 09/982,261 10/08/02 6,463,165 09/277,848 10/08/02 6,463,173 08/550,435 10/08/02 6,463,176 08/893,929 10/08/02 6,463,177 09/186,343 10/08/02 6,463,178 09/242,348 10/08/02 6,463,179 09/574,136 10/08/02 6,463,181 09/749,493 10/08/02 6,463,185 09/275,062 10/08/02 6,463,186 09/684,283 10/08/02 6,463,189 09/513,777 10/08/02 6,463,192 09/794,319 10/08/02 6,463,196 10/022,565 10/08/02 6,463,206 09/612,323 10/08/02 6,463,207 09/383,159 10/08/02 6,463,208 08/996,346 10/08/02 6,463,210 09/638,003 10/08/02 6,463,212 09/507,584 10/08/02 6,463,213 09/702,734 10/08/02 6,463,221 09/760,756 10/08/02 6,463,222 09/516,294 10/08/02 6,463,224 09/620,838 10/08/02 6,463,226 09/818,737 10/08/02 6,463,229 09/809,167 10/08/02 6,463,236 09/874,290 10/08/02 6,463,239 09/723,789 10/08/02 6,463,241 09/842,342 10/08/02 6,463,247 09/591,502 10/08/02 6,463,251 09/860,594 10/08/02
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 231|
6,463,252 09/894,401 10/08/02 6,463,253 09/738,437 10/08/02 6,463,256 09/795,625 10/08/02 6,463,264 09/459,273 10/08/02 6,463,266 09/477,720 10/08/02 6,463,273 09/309,528 10/08/02 6,463,274 09/427,887 10/08/02 6,463,294 09/401,130 10/08/02 6,463,306 09/033,742 10/08/02 6,463,317 09/081,319 10/08/02 6,463,319 09/151,798 10/08/02 6,463,321 09/773,732 10/08/02 6,463,329 09/629,999 10/08/02 6,463,335 09/518,352 10/08/02 6,463,338 09/408,669 10/08/02 6,463,341 09/326,441 10/08/02 6,463,350 09/084,308 10/08/02 6,463,353 09/372,280 10/08/02 6,463,370 09/696,936 10/08/02 6,463,372 09/633,142 10/08/02 6,463,373 10/046,990 10/08/02 6,463,384 09/852,900 10/08/02 6,463,397 09/706,516 10/08/02 6,463,403 09/460,565 10/08/02 6,463,406 08/650,585 10/08/02 6,463,420 09/498,464 10/08/02 6,463,424 09/064,722 10/08/02 6,463,432 09/365,184 10/08/02 6,463,437 09/464,117 10/08/02 6,463,438 08/253,933 10/08/02 6,463,457 09/648,986 10/08/02 6,463,458 08/681,682 10/08/02 6,463,469 09/484,334 10/08/02 6,463,475 09/484,647 10/08/02 6,463,488 09/332,526 10/08/02 6,463,489 09/383,490 10/08/02 6,463,495 09/280,311 10/08/02 6,463,501 09/422,595 10/08/02 6,463,504 09/436,072 10/08/02 6,463,512 09/772,279 10/08/02 6,463,520 08/811,005 10/08/02 6,463,527 09/380,571 10/08/02 6,463,529 08/797,036 10/08/02 6,463,540 09/266,190 10/08/02 6,463,545 09/411,796 10/08/02 6,463,554 09/156,179 10/08/02 6,463,558 09/301,543 10/08/02 6,463,562 09/585,836 10/08/02 6,463,565 09/477,435 10/08/02 6,463,583 09/289,150 10/08/02 6,463,585 09/054,419 10/08/02 PATENTS WHICH EXPIRED ON October 3, 2014 DUE TO FAILURE TO PAY MAINTENANCE FEES Patent Application Issue Number Number Date 7,114,188 10/913,661 10/03/06 7,114,191 11/216,334 10/03/06 7,114,192 10/629,282 10/03/06 7,114,195 11/201,062 10/03/06 7,114,196 10/830,815 10/03/06 7,114,201 10/489,769 10/03/06 7,114,202 11/135,748 10/03/06 7,114,211 10/901,076 10/03/06
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 232|
7,114,213 10/911,829 10/03/06 7,114,218 11/208,875 10/03/06 7,114,233 10/687,990 10/03/06 7,114,243 10/178,633 10/03/06 7,114,244 10/676,144 10/03/06 7,114,245 10/082,094 10/03/06 7,114,248 10/435,701 10/03/06 7,114,250 10/858,167 10/03/06 7,114,252 10/871,717 10/03/06 7,114,258 10/957,101 10/03/06 7,114,269 10/447,003 10/03/06 7,114,274 10/892,146 10/03/06 7,114,279 10/979,521 10/03/06 7,114,280 10/711,850 10/03/06 7,114,281 10/246,326 10/03/06 7,114,291 10/947,622 10/03/06 7,114,292 11/028,564 10/03/06 7,114,296 09/984,668 10/03/06 7,114,304 10/600,616 10/03/06 7,114,326 10/683,446 10/03/06 7,114,334 10/883,310 10/03/06 7,114,347 10/694,699 10/03/06 7,114,348 11/252,816 10/03/06 7,114,358 10/752,265 10/03/06 7,114,359 10/415,926 10/03/06 7,114,376 10/776,552 10/03/06 7,114,377 10/626,021 10/03/06 7,114,380 10/502,278 10/03/06 7,114,391 11/016,887 10/03/06 7,114,393 10/512,047 10/03/06 7,114,397 10/799,053 10/03/06 7,114,400 11/098,309 10/03/06 7,114,401 10/920,863 10/03/06 7,114,404 10/674,963 10/03/06 7,114,418 10/942,194 10/03/06 7,114,433 11/045,304 10/03/06 7,114,434 10/514,124 10/03/06 7,114,437 10/985,669 10/03/06 7,114,438 10/860,719 10/03/06 7,114,441 10/884,315 10/03/06 7,114,459 10/953,315 10/03/06 7,114,461 10/951,368 10/03/06 7,114,464 11/282,677 10/03/06 7,114,467 11/328,210 10/03/06 7,114,470 11/080,486 10/03/06 7,114,472 11/157,904 10/03/06 7,114,476 11/160,492 10/03/06 7,114,482 10/419,550 10/03/06 7,114,486 11/214,476 10/03/06 7,114,493 11/009,924 10/03/06 7,114,503 10/435,942 10/03/06 7,114,504 10/427,893 10/03/06 7,114,505 10/513,868 10/03/06 7,114,506 10/783,276 10/03/06 7,114,516 10/683,264 10/03/06 7,114,525 10/652,103 10/03/06 7,114,530 10/471,294 10/03/06 7,114,532 10/851,076 10/03/06 7,114,535 10/650,490 10/03/06 7,114,537 10/332,289 10/03/06 7,114,549 10/990,037 10/03/06 7,114,550 10/212,680 10/03/06 7,114,551 10/796,050 10/03/06 7,114,566 10/279,220 10/03/06 7,114,572 10/758,639 10/03/06 7,114,593 10/627,089 10/03/06
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 233|
7,114,596 10/425,278 10/03/06 7,114,602 10/752,558 10/03/06 7,114,603 11/001,077 10/03/06 7,114,610 10/850,323 10/03/06 7,114,614 10/464,101 10/03/06 7,114,618 10/699,739 10/03/06 7,114,625 10/240,450 10/03/06 7,114,628 10/992,064 10/03/06 7,114,636 10/397,710 10/03/06 7,114,640 10/302,819 10/03/06 7,114,662 10/741,281 10/03/06 7,114,665 11/336,233 10/03/06 7,114,669 10/917,640 10/03/06 7,114,670 10/981,977 10/03/06 7,114,672 10/392,078 10/03/06 7,114,673 10/440,156 10/03/06 7,114,675 10/443,244 10/03/06 7,114,679 10/677,411 10/03/06 7,114,688 10/469,230 10/03/06 7,114,693 09/676,362 10/03/06 7,114,700 10/934,314 10/03/06 7,114,707 10/473,498 10/03/06 7,114,710 10/934,684 10/03/06 7,114,713 11/191,638 10/03/06 7,114,716 10/671,556 10/03/06 7,114,720 10/631,608 10/03/06 7,114,723 10/877,014 10/03/06 7,114,724 10/880,476 10/03/06 7,114,725 10/802,281 10/03/06 7,114,728 10/902,413 10/03/06 7,114,738 11/159,195 10/03/06 7,114,742 10/973,316 10/03/06 7,114,743 10/762,199 10/03/06 7,114,752 10/688,422 10/03/06 7,114,756 10/880,421 10/03/06 7,114,759 11/247,573 10/03/06 7,114,760 10/973,625 10/03/06 7,114,761 11/197,435 10/03/06 7,114,765 11/166,181 10/03/06 7,114,776 11/140,171 10/03/06 7,114,782 10/855,116 10/03/06 7,114,791 10/409,677 10/03/06 7,114,792 10/661,485 10/03/06 7,114,793 10/778,036 10/03/06 7,114,796 11/087,556 10/03/06 7,114,798 10/676,256 10/03/06 7,114,799 10/888,418 10/03/06 7,114,800 10/806,654 10/03/06 7,114,806 11/037,518 10/03/06 7,114,810 10/876,967 10/03/06 7,114,811 10/951,795 10/03/06 7,114,814 11/328,082 10/03/06 7,114,815 11/330,100 10/03/06 7,114,823 10/622,600 10/03/06 7,114,825 10/962,035 10/03/06 7,114,846 10/815,922 10/03/06 7,114,848 10/887,274 10/03/06 7,114,853 10/934,083 10/03/06 7,114,855 11/014,793 10/03/06 7,114,860 10/736,756 10/03/06 7,114,861 11/124,038 10/03/06 7,114,871 10/626,899 10/03/06 7,114,872 10/119,579 10/03/06 7,114,882 10/784,427 10/03/06 7,114,883 10/492,145 10/03/06 7,114,884 11/195,362 10/03/06
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 234|
7,114,899 10/761,360 10/03/06 7,114,900 10/929,701 10/03/06 7,114,913 10/496,779 10/03/06 7,114,922 10/914,096 10/03/06 7,114,925 10/880,657 10/03/06 7,114,936 09/865,589 10/03/06 7,114,939 10/370,006 10/03/06 7,114,946 10/649,834 10/03/06 7,114,952 10/465,298 10/03/06 7,114,965 10/496,518 10/03/06 7,114,976 11/229,169 10/03/06 7,114,977 11/025,646 10/03/06 7,114,978 11/064,279 10/03/06 7,114,981 11/227,353 10/03/06 7,114,982 11/037,185 10/03/06 7,114,985 11/181,990 10/03/06 7,114,997 10/963,904 10/03/06 7,114,998 11/044,907 10/03/06 7,115,000 11/209,602 10/03/06 7,115,005 11/026,069 10/03/06 7,115,007 10/416,076 10/03/06 7,115,011 11/188,720 10/03/06 7,115,012 10/642,292 10/03/06 7,115,014 10/933,926 10/03/06 7,115,016 11/293,419 10/03/06 7,115,018 11/103,018 10/03/06 7,115,039 09/942,610 10/03/06 7,115,042 10/618,528 10/03/06 7,115,044 10/934,008 10/03/06 7,115,066 10/361,868 10/03/06 7,115,069 10/712,683 10/03/06 7,115,072 10/072,258 10/03/06 7,115,075 10/966,077 10/03/06 7,115,077 11/053,414 10/03/06 7,115,082 10/846,492 10/03/06 7,115,086 10/923,308 10/03/06 7,115,088 11/147,950 10/03/06 7,115,099 10/651,516 10/03/06 7,115,103 10/641,833 10/03/06 7,115,113 11/368,885 10/03/06 7,115,117 10/370,266 10/03/06 7,115,122 09/505,354 10/03/06 7,115,127 10/358,130 10/03/06 7,115,130 10/810,230 10/03/06 7,115,141 09/971,580 10/03/06 7,115,144 10/792,399 10/03/06 7,115,151 10/966,411 10/03/06 7,115,153 11/032,046 10/03/06 7,115,159 10/713,134 10/03/06 7,115,162 11/010,309 10/03/06 7,115,167 10/079,269 10/03/06 7,115,177 10/021,684 10/03/06 7,115,178 11/416,715 10/03/06 7,115,182 10/868,714 10/03/06 7,115,192 10/309,725 10/03/06 7,115,193 10/467,809 10/03/06 7,115,197 10/443,481 10/03/06 7,115,199 10/903,997 10/03/06 7,115,206 10/684,463 10/03/06 7,115,211 10/916,386 10/03/06 7,115,212 10/455,744 10/03/06 7,115,213 10/984,837 10/03/06 7,115,223 10/637,984 10/03/06 7,115,227 10/925,372 10/03/06 7,115,234 10/315,512 10/03/06 7,115,236 10/467,926 10/03/06
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 235|
7,115,248 10/820,653 10/03/06 7,115,249 10/482,542 10/03/06 7,115,253 10/030,983 10/03/06 7,115,263 11/068,088 10/03/06 7,115,267 10/776,172 10/03/06 7,115,281 10/616,240 10/03/06 7,115,285 10/798,997 10/03/06 7,115,288 10/453,862 10/03/06 7,115,296 10/636,770 10/03/06 7,115,302 10/847,589 10/03/06 7,115,305 10/356,299 10/03/06 7,115,307 10/788,193 10/03/06 7,115,312 11/080,757 10/03/06 7,115,313 10/776,868 10/03/06 7,115,320 10/506,705 10/03/06 7,115,324 10/652,404 10/03/06 7,115,332 10/395,119 10/03/06 7,115,343 10/708,535 10/03/06 7,115,344 10/777,060 10/03/06 7,115,346 10/674,786 10/03/06 7,115,350 10/785,402 10/03/06 7,115,351 10/383,222 10/03/06 7,115,355 10/707,451 10/03/06 7,115,357 10/827,627 10/03/06 7,115,362 11/287,522 10/03/06 7,115,364 08/510,521 10/03/06 7,115,365 09/325,189 10/03/06 7,115,372 10/256,987 10/03/06 7,115,376 10/825,074 10/03/06 7,115,379 10/397,559 10/03/06 7,115,381 09/400,492 10/03/06 7,115,388 10/798,158 10/03/06 7,115,389 11/008,203 10/03/06 7,115,392 10/127,551 10/03/06 7,115,403 09/571,553 10/03/06 7,115,405 11/228,079 10/03/06 7,115,409 09/327,563 10/03/06 7,115,413 09/155,452 10/03/06 7,115,418 10/199,918 10/03/06 7,115,420 10/220,612 10/03/06 7,115,427 10/925,438 10/03/06 7,115,432 10/627,645 10/03/06 7,115,437 10/935,947 10/03/06 7,115,442 10/892,417 10/03/06 7,115,457 11/147,556 10/03/06 7,115,459 11/283,012 10/03/06 7,115,470 10/840,803 10/03/06 7,115,474 10/866,137 10/03/06 7,115,476 11/201,264 10/03/06 7,115,481 10/686,084 10/03/06 7,115,490 10/423,943 10/03/06 7,115,497 10/183,407 10/03/06 7,115,505 10/822,413 10/03/06 7,115,515 11/208,793 10/03/06 7,115,516 09/974,535 10/03/06 7,115,517 10/674,700 10/03/06 7,115,523 10/391,071 10/03/06 7,115,526 10/101,076 10/03/06 7,115,528 10/425,514 10/03/06 7,115,529 10/629,011 10/03/06 7,115,534 10/847,891 10/03/06 7,115,539 10/753,451 10/03/06 7,115,542 10/748,913 10/03/06 7,115,557 10/225,237 10/03/06 7,115,558 10/433,485 10/03/06 7,115,559 10/489,082 10/03/06
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 236|
7,115,563 10/447,770 10/03/06 7,115,567 10/245,120 10/03/06 7,115,571 10/048,302 10/03/06 7,115,574 10/015,055 10/03/06 7,115,576 10/481,597 10/03/06 7,115,577 11/023,825 10/03/06 7,115,578 10/885,374 10/03/06 7,115,579 09/845,623 10/03/06 7,115,580 09/980,953 10/03/06 7,115,581 10/144,391 10/03/06 7,115,584 10/351,170 10/03/06 7,115,591 10/464,928 10/03/06 7,115,599 10/432,572 10/03/06 7,115,603 10/494,204 10/03/06 7,115,604 10/450,304 10/03/06 7,115,605 10/818,074 10/03/06 7,115,608 10/380,784 10/03/06 7,115,611 10/978,155 10/03/06 7,115,615 10/344,678 10/03/06 7,115,618 10/812,343 10/03/06 7,115,619 10/398,767 10/03/06 7,115,620 10/282,540 10/03/06 7,115,623 10/480,378 10/03/06 7,115,628 10/483,913 10/03/06 7,115,631 10/195,974 10/03/06 7,115,650 09/937,032 10/03/06 7,115,655 10/510,923 10/03/06 7,115,657 10/332,464 10/03/06 7,115,671 10/159,982 10/03/06 7,115,675 10/841,334 10/03/06 7,115,677 10/496,163 10/03/06 7,115,678 10/144,768 10/03/06 7,115,680 10/848,355 10/03/06 7,115,681 10/482,897 10/03/06 7,115,683 10/473,915 10/03/06 7,115,684 10/541,925 10/03/06 7,115,695 10/482,872 10/03/06 7,115,704 10/897,028 10/03/06 7,115,707 10/665,184 10/03/06 7,115,712 09/725,324 10/03/06 7,115,717 10/478,056 10/03/06 7,115,720 10/615,484 10/03/06 7,115,722 09/194,164 10/03/06 7,115,724 10/208,483 10/03/06 7,115,730 09/528,682 10/03/06 7,115,731 11/027,399 10/03/06 7,115,734 10/151,754 10/03/06 7,115,738 09/805,296 10/03/06 7,115,741 10/237,153 10/03/06 7,115,743 11/009,237 10/03/06 7,115,749 11/259,397 10/03/06 7,115,750 10/088,771 10/03/06 7,115,753 10/637,280 10/03/06 7,115,756 10/875,670 10/03/06 7,115,762 10/884,844 10/03/06 7,115,763 10/273,049 10/03/06 7,115,765 10/505,201 10/03/06 7,115,777 10/516,054 10/03/06 7,115,780 10/497,379 10/03/06 7,115,782 10/516,454 10/03/06 7,115,786 10/503,498 10/03/06 7,115,788 10/870,984 10/03/06 7,115,794 10/849,082 10/03/06 7,115,797 10/388,005 10/03/06 7,115,799 10/652,731 10/03/06 7,115,803 10/933,322 10/03/06
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 237|
7,115,806 10/963,322 10/03/06 7,115,831 10/505,023 10/03/06 7,115,834 10/605,018 10/03/06 7,115,835 11/183,518 10/03/06 7,115,843 11/041,221 10/03/06 7,115,848 10/953,646 10/03/06 7,115,863 09/616,076 10/03/06 7,115,868 10/883,990 10/03/06 7,115,874 10/637,490 10/03/06 7,115,877 10/855,563 10/03/06 7,115,885 10/684,115 10/03/06 7,115,894 10/887,580 10/03/06 7,115,898 10/512,244 10/03/06 7,115,902 09/499,619 10/03/06 7,115,905 10/889,134 10/03/06 7,115,912 10/324,963 10/03/06 7,115,919 10/104,779 10/03/06 7,115,929 10/822,062 10/03/06 7,115,953 11/049,661 10/03/06 7,115,964 11/134,391 10/03/06 7,115,979 10/954,144 10/03/06 7,115,989 10/923,957 10/03/06 7,116,005 11/059,157 10/03/06 7,116,012 10/630,496 10/03/06 7,116,017 11/067,919 10/03/06 7,116,019 11/029,978 10/03/06 7,116,029 10/894,688 10/03/06 7,116,030 10/513,135 10/03/06 7,116,036 10/909,062 10/03/06 7,116,050 10/700,399 10/03/06 7,116,052 10/831,090 10/03/06 7,116,055 10/818,664 10/03/06 7,116,058 10/998,550 10/03/06 7,116,062 11/096,643 10/03/06 7,116,063 10/900,081 10/03/06 7,116,064 10/789,662 10/03/06 7,116,067 10/979,348 10/03/06 7,116,073 11/200,835 10/03/06 7,116,093 10/768,470 10/03/06 7,116,105 11/095,520 10/03/06 7,116,119 11/059,164 10/03/06 7,116,122 11/041,331 10/03/06 7,116,124 10/327,246 10/03/06 7,116,125 10/898,219 10/03/06 7,116,127 10/640,736 10/03/06 7,116,138 11/045,043 10/03/06 7,116,150 10/868,515 10/03/06 7,116,152 11/031,546 10/03/06 7,116,153 10/842,571 10/03/06 7,116,157 10/898,647 10/03/06 7,116,161 10/939,369 10/03/06 7,116,163 10/903,901 10/03/06 7,116,179 10/970,245 10/03/06 7,116,190 11/023,880 10/03/06 7,116,191 11/072,855 10/03/06 7,116,198 10/936,957 10/03/06 7,116,201 11/296,262 10/03/06 7,116,205 10/799,065 10/03/06 7,116,209 10/487,597 10/03/06 7,116,213 10/718,924 10/03/06 7,116,214 10/942,718 10/03/06 7,116,242 10/306,077 10/03/06 7,116,259 10/847,783 10/03/06 7,116,264 11/185,298 10/03/06 7,116,276 11/092,187 10/03/06 7,116,280 10/986,965 10/03/06
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 238|
7,116,284 09/726,022 10/03/06 7,116,289 10/362,693 10/03/06 7,116,293 09/876,584 10/03/06 7,116,302 09/342,236 10/03/06 7,116,305 10/160,953 10/03/06 7,116,306 10/438,917 10/03/06 7,116,311 10/435,256 10/03/06 7,116,319 10/440,229 10/03/06 7,116,325 11/076,139 10/03/06 7,116,345 10/726,594 10/03/06 7,116,349 10/907,498 10/03/06 7,116,350 10/716,972 10/03/06 7,116,355 09/673,381 10/03/06 7,116,356 10/222,470 10/03/06 7,116,369 09/497,154 10/03/06 7,116,371 10/952,790 10/03/06 7,116,373 10/705,450 10/03/06 7,116,378 09/923,920 10/03/06 7,116,395 10/877,315 10/03/06 7,116,396 10/944,783 10/03/06 7,116,405 10/897,082 10/03/06 7,116,415 10/872,032 10/03/06 7,116,420 10/713,675 10/03/06 7,116,421 10/384,598 10/03/06 7,116,425 10/607,840 10/03/06 7,116,433 09/514,649 10/03/06 7,116,434 09/921,556 10/03/06 7,116,436 10/100,340 10/03/06 7,116,450 10/621,777 10/03/06 7,116,462 10/468,873 10/03/06 7,116,464 11/028,547 10/03/06 7,116,474 11/183,855 10/03/06 7,116,477 10/404,523 10/03/06 7,116,479 09/909,661 10/03/06 7,116,483 11/122,555 10/03/06 7,116,490 11/213,688 10/03/06 7,116,493 10/952,282 10/03/06 7,116,495 11/144,231 10/03/06 7,116,500 11/247,166 10/03/06 7,116,502 11/044,915 10/03/06 7,116,503 09/592,393 10/03/06 7,116,506 11/208,307 10/03/06 7,116,508 11/044,298 10/03/06 7,116,515 11/003,029 10/03/06 7,116,520 10/235,578 10/03/06 7,116,521 11/208,184 10/03/06 7,116,531 10/915,272 10/03/06 7,116,534 10/611,557 10/03/06 7,116,543 10/448,822 10/03/06 7,116,552 11/045,266 10/03/06 7,116,558 10/477,318 10/03/06 7,116,560 10/995,259 10/03/06 7,116,563 11/133,902 10/03/06 7,116,566 10/271,337 10/03/06 7,116,568 11/188,962 10/03/06 7,116,576 10/957,058 10/03/06 7,116,579 10/851,517 10/03/06 7,116,591 11/089,286 10/03/06 7,116,594 10/933,706 10/03/06 7,116,598 11/084,037 10/03/06 7,116,604 10/790,222 10/03/06 7,116,617 10/241,254 10/03/06 7,116,618 11/126,674 10/03/06 7,116,633 09/825,941 10/03/06 7,116,635 10/178,225 10/03/06 7,116,644 09/993,339 10/03/06
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 239|
7,116,645 11/087,764 10/03/06 7,116,647 09/889,000 10/03/06 7,116,649 10/006,754 10/03/06 7,116,650 10/115,016 10/03/06 7,116,676 09/976,155 10/03/06 7,116,715 10/114,268 10/03/06 7,116,718 10/242,320 10/03/06 7,116,733 10/139,368 10/03/06 7,116,735 09/984,685 10/03/06 7,116,741 10/009,770 10/03/06 7,116,742 10/055,120 10/03/06 7,116,746 10/235,957 10/03/06 7,116,750 11/004,277 10/03/06 7,116,751 10/817,129 10/03/06 7,116,757 10/994,112 10/03/06 7,116,769 10/374,117 10/03/06 7,116,775 10/329,707 10/03/06 7,116,777 10/117,438 10/03/06 7,116,778 10/260,696 10/03/06 7,116,779 08/993,271 10/03/06 7,116,790 10/467,316 10/03/06 7,116,797 10/023,062 10/03/06 7,116,814 10/256,008 10/03/06 7,116,819 09/935,677 10/03/06 7,116,822 10/611,489 10/03/06 7,116,842 10/258,153 10/03/06 7,116,855 10/879,094 10/03/06 7,116,856 10/901,173 10/03/06 7,116,863 10/819,271 10/03/06 7,116,865 10/315,766 10/03/06 7,116,867 10/483,507 10/03/06 7,116,868 11/220,850 10/03/06 7,116,873 10/853,020 10/03/06 7,116,882 10/521,211 10/03/06 7,116,884 10/440,254 10/03/06 7,116,890 09/891,061 10/03/06 7,116,892 10/257,219 10/03/06 7,116,897 09/942,617 10/03/06 7,116,900 11/183,326 10/03/06 7,116,904 10/103,896 10/03/06 7,116,905 10/108,734 10/03/06 7,116,907 09/248,103 10/03/06 7,116,913 10/958,277 10/03/06 7,116,949 10/685,481 10/03/06 7,116,952 10/682,589 10/03/06 7,116,955 10/253,245 10/03/06 7,116,971 10/232,104 10/03/06 7,116,974 10/426,046 10/03/06 7,116,983 10/852,181 10/03/06 7,116,984 09/830,816 10/03/06 7,116,991 09/826,908 10/03/06 7,116,992 09/601,132 10/03/06 7,117,006 09/969,995 10/03/06 7,117,007 10/660,080 10/03/06 7,117,024 10/047,787 10/03/06 7,117,043 10/402,675 10/03/06 7,117,056 11/120,018 10/03/06 7,117,063 11/240,178 10/03/06 7,117,064 11/358,793 10/03/06 7,117,073 10/895,332 10/03/06 7,117,079 10/361,485 10/03/06 7,117,081 10/687,662 10/03/06 7,117,090 10/930,003 10/03/06 7,117,096 10/153,159 10/03/06 7,117,107 11/064,494 10/03/06 7,117,110 10/902,838 10/03/06
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 240|
7,117,128 10/854,836 10/03/06 7,117,145 09/692,725 10/03/06 7,117,150 09/871,368 10/03/06 7,117,157 09/532,533 10/03/06 7,117,160 09/474,643 10/03/06 7,117,162 09/151,666 10/03/06 7,117,163 09/594,652 10/03/06 7,117,169 09/853,976 10/03/06 7,117,171 09/492,133 10/03/06 7,117,185 10/439,374 10/03/06 7,117,201 10/102,353 10/03/06 7,117,204 10/728,169 10/03/06 7,117,207 10/660,103 10/03/06 7,117,209 10/402,699 10/03/06 7,117,217 10/276,357 10/03/06 7,117,221 10/339,419 10/03/06 7,117,226 09/726,023 10/03/06 7,117,228 09/810,548 10/03/06 7,117,231 09/994,544 10/03/06 7,117,237 10/375,995 10/03/06 7,117,242 09/886,672 10/03/06 7,117,249 09/697,088 10/03/06 7,117,270 10/199,439 10/03/06 7,117,271 09/774,117 10/03/06 7,117,291 10/787,240 10/03/06 7,117,292 10/822,394 10/03/06 7,117,297 10/443,747 10/03/06 7,117,300 10/281,814 10/03/06 7,117,314 10/822,702 10/03/06 7,117,315 10/603,093 10/03/06 7,117,321 10/614,219 10/03/06 7,117,324 10/273,653 10/03/06 7,117,336 10/232,691 10/03/06 7,117,338 10/650,105 10/03/06 7,117,354 09/620,722 10/03/06 7,117,370 10/077,864 10/03/06 7,117,397 09/723,768 10/03/06 7,117,402 10/286,450 10/03/06 7,117,406 10/390,759 10/03/06 7,117,417 10/630,302 10/03/06 7,117,423 10/423,846 10/03/06 7,117,434 09/893,788 10/03/06 7,117,444 09/768,466 10/03/06 7,117,454 10/693,150 10/03/06 7,117,459 10/719,774 10/03/06 7,117,464 10/368,837 10/03/06 7,117,466 10/665,273 10/03/06 7,117,468 10/229,170 10/03/06 7,117,470 10/684,211 10/03/06 7,117,492 09/823,755 10/03/06 7,117,500 10/251,230 10/03/06 7,117,512 10/146,477 10/03/06 7,117,531 09/922,945 10/03/06 7,117,535 10/022,225 10/03/06 PATENTS WHICH EXPIRED ON October 5, 2014 DUE TO FAILURE TO PAY MAINTENANCE FEES Patent Application Issue Number Number Date 7,805,769 11/683,834 10/05/10 7,805,772 11/233,926 10/05/10 7,805,773 11/716,796 10/05/10 7,805,778 11/845,782 10/05/10 7,805,781 12/454,391 10/05/10
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 241|
7,805,783 11/891,384 10/05/10 7,805,787 11/577,624 10/05/10 7,805,789 12/380,422 10/05/10 7,805,792 11/566,983 10/05/10 7,805,810 11/716,114 10/05/10 7,805,816 11/607,840 10/05/10 7,805,821 11/841,455 10/05/10 7,805,829 11/037,358 10/05/10 7,805,836 11/939,644 10/05/10 7,805,840 10/509,568 10/05/10 7,805,846 12/407,995 10/05/10 7,805,847 12/357,675 10/05/10 7,805,849 12/316,704 10/05/10 7,805,850 11/556,569 10/05/10 7,805,853 11/469,364 10/05/10 7,805,855 12/654,985 10/05/10 7,805,863 10/990,591 10/05/10 7,805,872 12/222,398 10/05/10 7,805,879 11/937,181 10/05/10 7,805,882 11/414,931 10/05/10 7,805,885 11/018,237 10/05/10 7,805,888 10/374,760 10/05/10 7,805,892 11/791,628 10/05/10 7,805,894 11/608,646 10/05/10 7,805,910 11/060,587 10/05/10 7,805,926 11/797,026 10/05/10 7,805,936 12/405,180 10/05/10 7,805,950 11/925,396 10/05/10 7,805,953 11/463,037 10/05/10 7,805,959 11/598,802 10/05/10 7,805,960 11/551,146 10/05/10 7,805,966 12/542,013 10/05/10 7,805,977 11/510,881 10/05/10 7,805,987 12/229,027 10/05/10 7,805,988 11/626,461 10/05/10 7,805,992 11/729,129 10/05/10 7,806,002 12/054,964 10/05/10 7,806,008 12/137,559 10/05/10 7,806,010 12/048,497 10/05/10 7,806,016 11/095,237 10/05/10 7,806,028 11/313,045 10/05/10 7,806,031 10/018,609 10/05/10 7,806,052 12/318,084 10/05/10 7,806,053 11/501,659 10/05/10 7,806,059 11/843,630 10/05/10 7,806,064 12/322,814 10/05/10 7,806,066 12/315,828 10/05/10 7,806,070 12/127,344 10/05/10 7,806,086 11/944,688 10/05/10 7,806,088 11/989,642 10/05/10 7,806,101 12/586,635 10/05/10 7,806,102 12/586,636 10/05/10 7,806,105 11/910,882 10/05/10 7,806,110 11/900,421 10/05/10 7,806,117 11/422,770 10/05/10 7,806,124 11/221,224 10/05/10 7,806,128 11/986,631 10/05/10 7,806,129 10/838,919 10/05/10 7,806,160 11/909,672 10/05/10 7,806,167 11/767,014 10/05/10 7,806,174 12/528,608 10/05/10 7,806,204 12/260,800 10/05/10 7,806,205 12/425,648 10/05/10 7,806,207 12/329,354 10/05/10 7,806,225 12/278,062 10/05/10 7,806,231 11/973,540 10/05/10
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 242|
7,806,241 11/523,500 10/05/10 7,806,245 11/950,685 10/05/10 7,806,247 11/306,326 10/05/10 7,806,261 12/397,305 10/05/10 7,806,264 12/433,865 10/05/10 7,806,266 11/717,308 10/05/10 7,806,271 12/257,375 10/05/10 7,806,279 11/793,964 10/05/10 7,806,280 11/888,533 10/05/10 7,806,281 11/843,769 10/05/10 7,806,287 11/189,327 10/05/10 7,806,291 11/389,496 10/05/10 7,806,295 10/564,315 10/05/10 7,806,304 12/322,052 10/05/10 7,806,305 11/703,954 10/05/10 7,806,308 11/521,047 10/05/10 7,806,310 12/185,051 10/05/10 7,806,312 11/551,754 10/05/10 7,806,335 11/980,078 10/05/10 7,806,336 11/980,192 10/05/10 7,806,340 11/448,153 10/05/10 7,806,342 11/488,167 10/05/10 7,806,350 11/868,240 10/05/10 7,806,353 11/568,305 10/05/10 7,806,354 11/892,520 10/05/10 7,806,355 12/012,284 10/05/10 7,806,357 11/483,271 10/05/10 7,806,358 11/999,214 10/05/10 7,806,359 12/175,284 10/05/10 7,806,379 12/501,918 10/05/10 7,806,395 11/667,409 10/05/10 7,806,403 12/275,828 10/05/10 7,806,405 12/280,240 10/05/10 7,806,406 12/270,383 10/05/10 7,806,425 12/289,052 10/05/10 7,806,427 10/550,814 10/05/10 7,806,429 11/814,733 10/05/10 7,806,434 11/978,295 10/05/10 7,806,437 12/115,099 10/05/10 7,806,438 12/094,062 10/05/10 7,806,441 11/477,082 10/05/10 7,806,443 11/894,382 10/05/10 7,806,449 11/469,185 10/05/10 7,806,453 11/968,424 10/05/10 7,806,456 12/082,655 10/05/10 7,806,457 12/369,741 10/05/10 7,806,461 11/742,624 10/05/10 7,806,464 11/694,317 10/05/10 7,806,471 11/487,478 10/05/10 7,806,473 11/284,253 10/05/10 7,806,480 12/180,719 10/05/10 7,806,484 12/272,925 10/05/10 7,806,485 12/214,192 10/05/10 7,806,498 12/324,811 10/05/10 7,806,499 10/586,750 10/05/10 7,806,500 12/493,224 10/05/10 7,806,505 12/116,929 10/05/10 7,806,513 12/188,209 10/05/10 7,806,514 11/878,112 10/05/10 7,806,527 11/839,594 10/05/10 7,806,529 12/056,617 10/05/10 7,806,536 12/548,935 10/05/10 7,806,540 12/064,696 10/05/10 7,806,545 11/716,143 10/05/10 7,806,546 11/784,426 10/05/10 7,806,549 12/007,969 10/05/10
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 243|
7,806,552 12/331,420 10/05/10 7,806,554 12/043,409 10/05/10 7,806,557 11/987,154 10/05/10 7,806,579 11/749,332 10/05/10 7,806,603 11/631,383 10/05/10 7,806,611 12/103,709 10/05/10 7,806,612 11/634,052 10/05/10 7,806,616 11/752,211 10/05/10 7,806,617 11/733,597 10/05/10 7,806,618 11/281,318 10/05/10 7,806,620 09/806,304 10/05/10 7,806,622 12/064,040 10/05/10 7,806,626 12/353,960 10/05/10 7,806,628 10/550,869 10/05/10 7,806,637 12/238,164 10/05/10 7,806,642 11/579,735 10/05/10 7,806,644 11/587,537 10/05/10 7,806,649 12/277,393 10/05/10 7,806,659 11/827,078 10/05/10 7,806,664 10/818,800 10/05/10 7,806,679 12/345,989 10/05/10 7,806,688 11/636,153 10/05/10 7,806,689 12/342,081 10/05/10 7,806,712 12/159,975 10/05/10 7,806,726 11/898,489 10/05/10 7,806,728 12/436,934 10/05/10 7,806,734 12/760,290 10/05/10 7,806,745 11/017,138 10/05/10 7,806,781 11/775,933 10/05/10 7,806,787 12/489,183 10/05/10 7,806,795 12/213,530 10/05/10 7,806,800 11/656,021 10/05/10 7,806,808 12/333,309 10/05/10 7,806,815 12/220,762 10/05/10 7,806,830 11/158,521 10/05/10 7,806,840 11/606,842 10/05/10 7,806,848 11/507,797 10/05/10 7,806,852 11/396,847 10/05/10 7,806,860 12/093,775 10/05/10 7,806,862 12/114,634 10/05/10 7,806,866 11/134,044 10/05/10 7,806,874 11/747,641 10/05/10 7,806,876 11/748,749 10/05/10 7,806,878 11/873,884 10/05/10 7,806,883 11/333,135 10/05/10 7,806,895 11/745,314 10/05/10 7,806,907 10/261,155 10/05/10 7,806,908 11/968,494 10/05/10 7,806,920 11/524,836 10/05/10 7,806,922 11/026,748 10/05/10 7,806,935 11/361,733 10/05/10 7,806,937 10/298,198 10/05/10 7,806,943 12/598,878 10/05/10 7,806,960 11/800,855 10/05/10 7,806,964 12/215,633 10/05/10 7,806,966 12/005,297 10/05/10 7,806,980 11/322,088 10/05/10 7,806,995 11/384,631 10/05/10 7,806,998 12/016,241 10/05/10 7,807,000 10/975,122 10/05/10 7,807,004 11/966,941 10/05/10 7,807,020 11/574,634 10/05/10 7,807,025 11/597,231 10/05/10 7,807,036 11/669,214 10/05/10 7,807,052 12/263,097 10/05/10 7,807,064 11/689,389 10/05/10
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 244|
7,807,066 11/660,993 10/05/10 7,807,076 10/493,277 10/05/10 7,807,078 11/912,186 10/05/10 7,807,079 11/030,036 10/05/10 7,807,086 10/904,509 10/05/10 7,807,089 11/390,425 10/05/10 7,807,096 11/434,438 10/05/10 7,807,106 11/975,893 10/05/10 7,807,119 11/573,749 10/05/10 7,807,123 11/336,811 10/05/10 7,807,127 11/417,294 10/05/10 7,807,133 12/216,449 10/05/10 7,807,134 11/959,947 10/05/10 7,807,150 10/795,578 10/05/10 7,807,154 10/579,203 10/05/10 7,807,161 11/755,671 10/05/10 7,807,168 12/100,008 10/05/10 7,807,170 11/559,713 10/05/10 7,807,184 10/565,183 10/05/10 7,807,201 11/751,476 10/05/10 7,807,202 11/983,522 10/05/10 7,807,204 11/893,059 10/05/10 7,807,220 10/566,194 10/05/10 7,807,228 10/576,277 10/05/10 7,807,234 11/197,554 10/05/10 7,807,246 10/457,791 10/05/10 7,807,251 11/972,204 10/05/10 7,807,253 11/084,916 10/05/10 7,807,271 12/749,591 10/05/10 7,807,278 11/388,991 10/05/10 7,807,285 10/820,955 10/05/10 7,807,294 11/631,489 10/05/10 7,807,317 12/216,844 10/05/10 7,807,322 11/317,500 10/05/10 7,807,323 11/783,469 10/05/10 7,807,324 11/521,933 10/05/10 7,807,332 12/105,685 10/05/10 7,807,333 11/573,895 10/05/10 7,807,334 11/127,095 10/05/10 7,807,335 11/144,857 10/05/10 7,807,336 11/468,080 10/05/10 7,807,338 11/548,920 10/05/10 7,807,358 11/496,073 10/05/10 7,807,364 11/681,695 10/05/10 7,807,369 11/912,961 10/05/10 7,807,377 10/960,855 10/05/10 7,807,379 11/449,869 10/05/10 7,807,384 12/137,832 10/05/10 7,807,388 11/967,558 10/05/10 7,807,395 10/135,827 10/05/10 7,807,399 12/501,967 10/05/10 7,807,411 11/805,247 10/05/10 7,807,412 11/930,021 10/05/10 7,807,413 12/131,311 10/05/10 7,807,415 11/509,364 10/05/10 7,807,421 11/194,564 10/05/10 7,807,426 10/586,337 10/05/10 7,807,430 12/074,543 10/05/10 7,807,451 10/542,189 10/05/10 7,807,453 11/794,265 10/05/10 7,807,455 10/543,633 10/05/10 7,807,457 10/432,989 10/05/10 7,807,494 10/474,472 10/05/10 7,807,497 11/826,048 10/05/10 7,807,513 12/647,631 10/05/10 7,807,515 12/086,628 10/05/10
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 245|
7,807,518 12/081,633 10/05/10 7,807,525 12/538,186 10/05/10 7,807,526 11/928,615 10/05/10 7,807,531 12/453,551 10/05/10 7,807,538 11/898,295 10/05/10 7,807,545 11/670,636 10/05/10 7,807,552 12/147,920 10/05/10 7,807,555 11/870,794 10/05/10 7,807,562 12/256,221 10/05/10 7,807,568 12/257,143 10/05/10 7,807,570 12/482,763 10/05/10 7,807,573 12/284,094 10/05/10 7,807,574 11/801,657 10/05/10 7,807,578 11/875,250 10/05/10 7,807,589 11/585,943 10/05/10 7,807,604 11/914,048 10/05/10 7,807,605 10/981,388 10/05/10 7,807,624 11/649,950 10/05/10 7,807,636 11/512,934 10/05/10 7,807,640 11/689,037 10/05/10 7,807,648 11/544,278 10/05/10 7,807,658 11/400,021 10/05/10 7,807,660 11/728,346 10/05/10 7,807,663 11/198,511 10/05/10 7,807,669 12/266,096 10/05/10 7,807,672 11/705,709 10/05/10 7,807,673 12/095,762 10/05/10 7,807,677 11/884,224 10/05/10 7,807,684 11/487,885 10/05/10 7,807,685 11/823,377 10/05/10 7,807,688 12/202,984 10/05/10 7,807,690 12/234,116 10/05/10 7,807,692 11/922,628 10/05/10 7,807,694 11/487,038 10/05/10 7,807,698 11/917,355 10/05/10 7,807,700 11/819,607 10/05/10 7,807,705 12/118,591 10/05/10 7,807,720 12/011,888 10/05/10 7,807,723 11/792,873 10/05/10 7,807,725 10/569,809 10/05/10 7,807,728 11/793,494 10/05/10 7,807,731 12/100,928 10/05/10 7,807,732 11/668,546 10/05/10 7,807,751 12/266,784 10/05/10 7,807,760 12/021,542 10/05/10 7,807,764 12/491,314 10/05/10 7,807,774 11/390,630 10/05/10 7,807,775 11/391,495 10/05/10 7,807,776 11/816,047 10/05/10 7,807,782 11/446,587 10/05/10 7,807,793 11/493,692 10/05/10 7,807,800 10/580,781 10/05/10 7,807,803 10/613,736 10/05/10 7,807,804 11/244,678 10/05/10 7,807,830 12/418,354 10/05/10 7,807,833 11/740,115 10/05/10 7,807,834 11/195,758 10/05/10 7,807,838 12/064,747 10/05/10 7,807,843 12/007,776 10/05/10 7,807,846 12/311,284 10/05/10 7,807,855 11/576,479 10/05/10 7,807,856 11/667,461 10/05/10 7,807,862 10/952,376 10/05/10 7,807,869 11/445,450 10/05/10 7,807,870 10/540,063 10/05/10 7,807,872 10/333,006 10/05/10
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 246|
7,807,881 11/588,811 10/05/10 7,807,920 11/928,154 10/05/10 7,807,927 12/209,604 10/05/10 7,807,928 12/291,214 10/05/10 7,807,944 10/523,392 10/05/10 7,807,945 11/263,212 10/05/10 7,807,957 11/739,793 10/05/10 7,807,967 12/164,735 10/05/10 7,807,976 12/379,751 10/05/10 7,807,981 12/067,182 10/05/10 7,807,987 11/805,045 10/05/10 7,807,991 10/558,259 10/05/10 7,807,996 11/545,462 10/05/10 7,807,997 11/896,688 10/05/10 7,807,998 12/232,486 10/05/10 7,808,003 12/285,351 10/05/10 7,808,011 10/805,424 10/05/10 7,808,018 11/941,096 10/05/10 7,808,020 11/869,171 10/05/10 7,808,021 12/036,907 10/05/10 7,808,025 11/957,511 10/05/10 7,808,030 11/595,913 10/05/10 7,808,031 11/822,470 10/05/10 7,808,039 12/099,879 10/05/10 7,808,045 12/767,548 10/05/10 7,808,054 12/153,250 10/05/10 7,808,056 11/907,327 10/05/10 7,808,066 12/249,933 10/05/10 7,808,082 11/559,571 10/05/10 7,808,083 11/663,924 10/05/10 7,808,099 12/115,809 10/05/10 7,808,104 11/919,292 10/05/10 7,808,106 12/118,671 10/05/10 7,808,120 11/795,661 10/05/10 7,808,121 12/584,267 10/05/10 7,808,127 12/185,306 10/05/10 7,808,132 12/281,818 10/05/10 7,808,135 11/857,184 10/05/10 7,808,142 11/451,499 10/05/10 7,808,152 12/593,008 10/05/10 7,808,158 11/973,993 10/05/10 7,808,168 12/106,713 10/05/10 7,808,171 11/766,825 10/05/10 7,808,174 11/722,708 10/05/10 7,808,179 12/314,385 10/05/10 7,808,180 10/557,685 10/05/10 7,808,182 11/832,193 10/05/10 7,808,188 11/797,854 10/05/10 7,808,190 11/432,431 10/05/10 7,808,203 11/730,684 10/05/10 7,808,214 11/686,314 10/05/10 7,808,224 12/097,861 10/05/10 7,808,227 11/821,602 10/05/10 7,808,234 11/988,215 10/05/10 7,808,252 11/955,390 10/05/10 7,808,257 10/595,541 10/05/10 7,808,259 11/861,559 10/05/10 7,808,261 12/184,617 10/05/10 7,808,268 12/178,245 10/05/10 7,808,277 12/233,419 10/05/10 7,808,280 12/472,744 10/05/10 7,808,284 10/585,338 10/05/10 7,808,287 12/161,945 10/05/10 7,808,352 12/398,560 10/05/10 7,808,358 12/428,714 10/05/10 7,808,359 11/254,758 10/05/10
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 247|
7,808,363 12/321,507 10/05/10 7,808,366 11/137,490 10/05/10 7,808,376 12/136,370 10/05/10 7,808,394 11/868,090 10/05/10 7,808,397 11/822,272 10/05/10 7,808,426 12/152,124 10/05/10 7,808,431 12/005,271 10/05/10 7,808,432 12/356,872 10/05/10 7,808,436 11/573,208 10/05/10 7,808,439 12/205,785 10/05/10 7,808,446 11/495,353 10/05/10 7,808,452 11/662,494 10/05/10 7,808,461 11/059,660 10/05/10 7,808,465 11/551,817 10/05/10 7,808,474 11/638,534 10/05/10 7,808,475 11/786,675 10/05/10 7,808,477 11/325,091 10/05/10 7,808,484 11/755,058 10/05/10 7,808,495 11/338,821 10/05/10 7,808,501 11/485,866 10/05/10 7,808,515 11/444,409 10/05/10 7,808,517 11/823,902 10/05/10 7,808,526 11/398,150 10/05/10 7,808,541 10/597,250 10/05/10 7,808,549 10/568,609 10/05/10 7,808,550 11/148,418 10/05/10 7,808,558 11/799,345 10/05/10 7,808,561 10/584,419 10/05/10 7,808,577 12/038,340 10/05/10 7,808,605 11/568,390 10/05/10 7,808,606 12/166,386 10/05/10 7,808,610 10/853,659 10/05/10 7,808,653 12/469,914 10/05/10 7,808,657 11/770,105 10/05/10 7,808,661 11/190,917 10/05/10 7,808,670 11/744,210 10/05/10 7,808,673 11/371,434 10/05/10 7,808,687 11/866,029 10/05/10 7,808,704 11/964,584 10/05/10 7,808,706 11/053,998 10/05/10 7,808,711 12/364,614 10/05/10 7,808,718 12/387,001 10/05/10 7,808,720 11/965,118 10/05/10 7,808,729 12/292,266 10/05/10 7,808,730 11/801,073 10/05/10 7,808,733 11/926,801 10/05/10 7,808,738 12/212,238 10/05/10 7,808,745 11/781,327 10/05/10 7,808,755 11/945,286 10/05/10 7,808,760 11/787,864 10/05/10 7,808,768 12/210,671 10/05/10 7,808,771 12/343,957 10/05/10 7,808,778 11/709,885 10/05/10 7,808,779 12/325,764 10/05/10 7,808,781 12/120,094 10/05/10 7,808,783 12/036,572 10/05/10 7,808,785 12/081,157 10/05/10 7,808,788 11/824,019 10/05/10 7,808,790 12/368,341 10/05/10 7,808,791 12/409,515 10/05/10 7,808,796 11/852,888 10/05/10 7,808,801 11/759,237 10/05/10 7,808,802 11/850,998 10/05/10 7,808,814 12/219,238 10/05/10 7,808,829 11/765,531 10/05/10 7,808,856 12/143,430 10/05/10
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 248|
7,808,860 11/985,524 10/05/10 7,808,863 10/832,921 10/05/10 7,808,866 11/551,924 10/05/10 7,808,870 11/632,848 10/05/10 7,808,873 12/719,112 10/05/10 7,808,874 12/719,119 10/05/10 7,808,876 12/143,167 10/05/10 7,808,879 11/148,140 10/05/10 7,808,880 11/549,969 10/05/10 7,808,894 11/937,748 10/05/10 7,808,901 12/268,041 10/05/10 7,808,904 10/991,970 10/05/10 7,808,916 11/275,356 10/05/10 7,808,921 11/804,700 10/05/10 7,808,932 10/507,559 10/05/10 7,808,933 12/337,368 10/05/10 7,808,968 10/767,520 10/05/10 7,808,975 11/293,909 10/05/10 7,808,976 11/907,848 10/05/10 7,808,984 11/483,713 10/05/10 7,808,990 12/180,451 10/05/10 7,809,004 12/102,133 10/05/10 7,809,005 12/154,045 10/05/10 7,809,008 12/049,266 10/05/10 7,809,011 11/098,614 10/05/10 7,809,029 11/629,520 10/05/10 7,809,036 11/936,605 10/05/10 7,809,039 12/409,693 10/05/10 7,809,051 11/659,679 10/05/10 7,809,053 10/957,344 10/05/10 7,809,054 11/405,997 10/05/10 7,809,069 11/652,934 10/05/10 7,809,071 11/968,423 10/05/10 7,809,073 11/578,610 10/05/10 7,809,093 10/882,938 10/05/10 7,809,097 11/376,287 10/05/10 7,809,103 11/756,027 10/05/10 7,809,104 11/599,018 10/05/10 7,809,113 11/905,911 10/05/10 7,809,120 11/452,174 10/05/10 7,809,121 09/886,046 10/05/10 7,809,134 11/742,151 10/05/10 7,809,146 11/421,619 10/05/10 7,809,147 11/418,375 10/05/10 7,809,165 11/626,974 10/05/10 7,809,172 11/267,418 10/05/10 7,809,191 11/656,002 10/05/10 7,809,195 12/251,340 10/05/10 7,809,210 11/609,821 10/05/10 7,809,213 12/268,556 10/05/10 7,809,221 11/743,627 10/05/10 7,809,239 11/268,009 10/05/10 7,809,240 10/134,633 10/05/10 7,809,255 11/783,146 10/05/10 7,809,259 11/187,859 10/05/10 7,809,262 11/760,107 10/05/10 7,809,277 12/070,288 10/05/10 7,809,281 10/562,147 10/05/10 7,809,310 11/578,394 10/05/10 7,809,329 11/700,517 10/05/10 7,809,340 12/127,159 10/05/10 7,809,347 12/142,551 10/05/10 7,809,375 10/845,950 10/05/10 7,809,376 11/289,174 10/05/10 7,809,380 12/393,211 10/05/10 7,809,397 11/801,944 10/05/10
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 249|
7,809,408 11/617,343 10/05/10 7,809,415 12/269,322 10/05/10 7,809,444 11/802,400 10/05/10 7,809,455 11/972,460 10/05/10 7,809,469 12/071,931 10/05/10 7,809,498 11/575,438 10/05/10 7,809,516 11/836,786 10/05/10 7,809,520 11/935,262 10/05/10 7,809,524 12/182,523 10/05/10 7,809,525 11/830,896 10/05/10 7,809,527 11/952,554 10/05/10 7,809,541 12/070,054 10/05/10 7,809,542 11/745,085 10/05/10 7,809,543 11/621,184 10/05/10 7,809,546 11/799,294 10/05/10 7,809,547 11/324,052 10/05/10 7,809,552 12/051,973 10/05/10 7,809,581 10/007,002 10/05/10 7,809,596 11/514,472 10/05/10 7,809,599 11/276,190 10/05/10 7,809,605 11/391,019 10/05/10 7,809,612 11/242,338 10/05/10 7,809,626 11/794,636 10/05/10 7,809,647 11/044,448 10/05/10 7,809,655 10/664,481 10/05/10 7,809,666 11/635,918 10/05/10 7,809,677 11/350,822 10/05/10 7,809,704 11/453,744 10/05/10 7,809,709 11/786,990 10/05/10 7,809,718 12/008,886 10/05/10 7,809,726 10/506,634 10/05/10 7,809,730 11/930,905 10/05/10 7,809,732 10/628,407 10/05/10 7,809,734 12/136,767 10/05/10 7,809,736 11/919,262 10/05/10 7,809,737 10/645,623 10/05/10 7,809,743 12/051,920 10/05/10 7,809,749 12/211,903 10/05/10 7,809,753 10/398,955 10/05/10 7,809,754 11/069,721 10/05/10 7,809,814 10/775,173 10/05/10 7,809,815 11/265,476 10/05/10 7,809,819 11/837,266 10/05/10 7,809,821 11/913,193 10/05/10 7,809,825 10/839,660 10/05/10 7,809,830 10/882,320 10/05/10 7,809,838 11/297,211 10/05/10 7,809,852 10/152,763 10/05/10 7,809,853 11/423,311 10/05/10 7,809,866 10/216,611 10/05/10 7,809,870 11/873,858 10/05/10 7,809,879 09/670,063 10/05/10 7,809,896 12/255,045 10/05/10 7,809,902 10/350,296 10/05/10 7,809,911 12/263,802 10/05/10 7,809,916 11/863,901 10/05/10 7,809,935 11/502,600 10/05/10 7,809,952 12/047,276 10/05/10 7,809,958 11/877,009 10/05/10 7,809,965 12/133,729 10/05/10 7,809,971 11/760,889 10/05/10 7,809,985 11/863,950 10/05/10 7,809,995 11/793,512 10/05/10 7,809,997 11/806,226 10/05/10 7,810,000 11/559,436 10/05/10 7,810,005 11/982,075 10/05/10
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 250|
7,810,007 10/578,655 10/05/10 7,810,016 11/593,012 10/05/10 7,810,033 11/931,108 10/05/10 7,810,048 11/413,059 10/05/10 7,810,054 12/041,729 10/05/10 7,810,060 12/132,714 10/05/10 7,810,065 11/844,861 10/05/10 7,810,066 11/866,699 10/05/10 7,810,087 12/132,468 10/05/10 7,810,099 10/870,374 10/05/10 7,810,104 11/784,045 10/05/10 7,810,108 11/466,068 10/05/10 7,810,113 11/401,385 10/05/10 7,810,135 11/968,673 10/05/10 7,810,150 11/965,414 10/05/10 7,810,152 10/141,549 10/05/10 7,810,158 11/013,598 10/05/10
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 251|
|Patents Reinstated Due to the Acceptance of a Late Maintenance Fee from 10/27/2014|
Patents Reinstated Due to the Acceptance of a Late Maintenance Fee from 10/27/2014 Patent Application Filing Issue Granted Number Number Date Date Date 5,838,116 08/632,297 04/15/1996 11/17/1998 10/31/2014 6,175,159 09/062,720 04/20/1998 01/16/2001 10/27/2014 6,263,884 09/525,601 03/14/2000 07/24/2001 10/27/2014 6,297,680 09/540,748 03/31/2000 10/02/2001 10/27/2014 6,302,475 09/634,359 08/09/2000 10/16/2001 10/31/2014 6,403,530 09/748,501 12/20/2000 06/11/2002 10/28/2014 6,458,062 09/928,050 08/13/2001 10/01/2002 10/29/2014 6,571,245 09/239,412 01/28/1999 05/27/2003 10/27/2014 6,761,639 10/312,469 12/23/2002 07/13/2004 10/30/2014 6,813,021 09/767,919 01/24/2001 11/02/2004 10/29/2014 6,824,794 10/159,135 05/31/2002 11/30/2004 10/29/2014 6,836,175 10/638,304 08/12/2003 12/28/2004 10/27/2014 6,872,184 09/865,339 05/25/2001 03/29/2005 10/27/2014 6,945,946 10/150,693 05/17/2002 09/20/2005 10/31/2014 6,960,945 10/848,710 05/17/2004 11/01/2005 10/27/2014 7,017,940 10/502,852 01/13/2005 03/28/2006 10/28/2014 7,028,437 10/346,892 01/17/2003 04/18/2006 10/30/2014 7,044,215 10/856,471 05/28/2004 05/16/2006 10/29/2014 7,076,999 11/010,162 12/13/2004 07/18/2006 10/30/2014 7,077,602 11/040,828 01/20/2005 07/18/2006 10/28/2014 7,085,057 10/686,894 10/15/2003 08/01/2006 10/28/2014 7,105,006 10/641,101 08/15/2003 09/12/2006 10/29/2014 7,112,790 10/898,532 07/23/2004 09/26/2006 10/31/2014 7,203,657 09/655,520 09/05/2000 04/10/2007 10/27/2014 7,233,305 10/746,333 12/23/2003 06/19/2007 10/30/2014 7,287,285 10/459,774 06/13/2003 10/30/2007 10/30/2014 7,423,208 11/837,931 08/13/2007 09/09/2008 10/27/2014 7,441,534 10/543,744 07/29/2005 10/28/2008 10/27/2014 7,609,289 10/950,240 09/27/2004 10/27/2009 10/27/2014 7,647,774 11/100,197 04/05/2005 01/19/2010 10/31/2014 7,694,774 11/657,210 01/25/2007 04/13/2010 10/27/2014 7,700,131 11/183,726 07/18/2005 04/20/2010 10/31/2014 7,726,348 11/278,155 03/31/2006 06/01/2010 10/29/2014 7,739,172 10/919,426 08/16/2004 06/15/2010 10/27/2014 7,739,183 10/859,859 06/03/2004 06/15/2010 10/27/2014 7,783,363 11/876,644 10/22/2007 08/24/2010 10/31/2014 7,794,965 10/579,369 05/15/2006 09/14/2010 10/30/2014 7,800,485 11/875,331 10/19/2007 09/21/2010 10/27/2014 7,802,807 12/046,211 03/11/2008 09/28/2010 10/27/2014 7,809,875 12/164,678 06/30/2008 10/05/2010 10/29/2014 7,822,634 11/772,026 06/29/2007 10/26/2010 10/29/2014
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 252|
|Reissue Applications Filed|
Reissue Applications Filed Notice under 37 CFR 1.11(b). The reissue applications listed below are open to public inspection by the general public through the Image File Wrapper (IFW) system (http://portal.uspto.gov/external/portal/pair) on the USPTO internet web site (www.uspto.gov), and copies may be obtained by paying the fee therefor (37 CFR 1.19). 5,852,651, Re. S.N. 14/494,121, Sep. 23, 2014, Cl. 379/056, CELLULAR COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM WITH SECTORIZATION, Larry G. Fischer, et al., Owner of Record: ADC Telecommunications, Inc., Shakopee, MN, Attorney or Agent: Jay Wahlquist, Ex. Gp.: 2649 6,544,120, Re. S.N. 14/515,490, Oct. 15, 2014, Cl. 463/020, GAMING MACHINE, Leonard H. Ainsworth, Owner of Record: Ainsworth Game Technology, Newington, AU, Attorney or Agent: Paul C. Craane, Ex. Gp.: 3714 7,240,846, Re. S.N. 14/505,994, Oct. 03, 2014, Cl. 235, IC CHIP AND INFORMATION PROCESSING TERMINAL, Shigeru Arisawa, et al, Owner of Record: SONY CORPORATION, Tokyo, Japan, Attorney or Agent: Christopher M. Tobin, Ex. Gp.: 2876 7,381,649, Re. S.N: 14/466,636, Aug. 22, 2014, CL: 438, STRUCTURE FOR A MULITIPLE-GATE FET DEVICE AND A METHOD FOR ITS FABRICATION, HUNG-Wei CHEN, et.al, Owner of Record: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.4., Attorney or Agent: Roger C. Knapp, Ex. GP.: 2823 7,565,167, Re. S.N. 14/486,511, Sep. 15, 2014, Cl. 455/550.100, LOW-COST NETWORK SYSTEM BETWEEN A BASE STATION CONTROLLER AND A BASE TRANSCEIVER STATION, AND METHOD FOR TRANSMITTING DATA BETWEEN THEM, Kyeong-Soo Lee, et al., Owner of Record: KT Corporation, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, KR, Attorney or Agent: David Lee, Ex. Gp.: 2642 7,769,646, Re. S.N: 14/325,207, Jul. 07, 2014, CL: 705, EFFICIENT WORK FLOW SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR PROCESSING TAXPAYER SOURCE DOCUMENTS, David A. WYLE, Owner of Record: SurePrep, LLC, Attorney or Agent: John H. Platt, Ex. GP.: 3687 8,154,921, Re. S.N.: 14/231,564, Mar. 31, 2014, Cl.: 365, DYNAMIC AND ADAPTIVE OPTIMIZATION OF READ COMPARE LEVELS BASED ON MEMORY CELL THRESHOLD VOLTAGE DISTRIBUTION, Nima Mokhlesi, et al, Owner of Record: Sandisk Technologies Inc., Attorney or Agent: Tyler Thorp, Ex. Gp.: 2827 8,168,820, Re. S.N: 14/464,444, Aug. 20, 2014, CL: 562, DEUTERATED CATECHOLAMINE DERIVATIVES AND MEDICAMENTS COMPROMISING SAID COMPOUNDS, Rudolf-Giesbert Alken, Owner of Record: BDD Berolina Drug Development GMBH, Attorney or Agent: Dennis A. Bennett, Ex. GP.: 1621 8,174,895, Re. S.N.: 14/231,585, Mar. 31, 2014, Cl.: 365, PROGRAMMING NON-VOLATILE STORAGE WITH FAST BIT DETECTION AND VERIFY SKIP, Changyuan Chen, et al, Owner of Record: Sandisk Technologies Inc., Attorney or Agent: Tyler Thorp, Ex. Gp.: 2827 8,248,961, Re. S.N: 14/464,641, Aug. 20, 2014, CL: 370, COMMUNICATION APPARATUS AND COMMUNICATION LAYER ROLE DECIDING METHOD, Kenichi FUJII, Owner of Record: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha, Attorney or Agent: Michael Nornberg, Ex. GP.: 2714 8,258,186, Re. S.N: 14/458,919, Aug. 13, 2014, CL: 514, PHARMACEUTICAL FOR ORAL DELIVERY COMPRISING MGBG AND METHODS OF TREATING DISEASE, John Mckearn, et. al., Owner of Record: Pathologica LLC, Attorney or Agent: Cynthia Hathaway, Ex. GP.: 1629 8,289,494, Re. S.N. 14/515,011, Oct. 15, 2014, Cl. 349/193, BIREFRINGENT POLYMER FILM WITH NEGATIVE OPTICAL DISPERSION, Owain Llyr
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 253|
Parri, et al., Owner of Record: Merck Patent GMBH, Darmstadt, DE, Attorney or Agent: Harry Shubin, Ex. Gp.: 2871 8,292,027, Re. S.N. 14/515,267, Oct. 15, 2014, Cl. 181/294, COMPOSITE LAMINATE FOR A THERMAL AND ACOUSTIC INSULATION BLANKET, Llewellyn Bentley Richardson III, et al., Owner of Record: E I Du Pond De Nemours and Company, Wilmington, DE, Attorney or Agent: Steven C. Benjamin, Ex. Gp.: 2837 8,293,931, Re. S.N. 14/521,774, Oct. 23, 2014, Cl. 552, 7-N-SUBSTITUTED PHENYL TETRACYCLINE COMPOUNDS, Mark L. Nelson, et al, Owner of Record: Trustees of Tufts College, Boston, MA, Attorney or Agent: Dana M. Gordon, Ex. Gp.: 1628 8,295,091, Re. S.N. 14/522,209, Oct. 23, 2014, Cl. 365/185, NONVOLATILE SEMICONDUCTOR MEMORY DEVICE, Kiyotaro Itagaki, et al., Owner of Record: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba, Tokyo, JP, Attorney or Agent: Ronald Rudder, Ex. Gp.: 2827 8,301,975, Re. S.N. 14/527,483, Oct. 29, 2014, Cl. 714/758, STRUCTURED LOW-DENSITY PARITY-CHECK (LDPC) CODE, Michael Livshitz, et al., Owner of Record: BlackBerry Limited, Waterloo, CA, Attorney or Agent: Michael E. Cox, Ex. Gp.: 2112 8,320,182, Re. S.N: 14/335,639, Jul. 18, 2014, CL: 365, NONVOLATILE SEMICONDUCTOR MEMORY DEVICE, Ryouhei KIRISAWA, Owner of Record: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba, Attorney or Agent: Eckhard H. Kuesters, Ex. GP.: 2824 8,408,546, Re. S.N. 14/242,438, Apr. 01, 2014, Cl. 273/142, METHOD OF ASSIGNING A TEMPORARY BANKER FOR A GAME OF CHANCE, Mark Hamilton Jones, Owner of Record: INAG, Inc., Paradise, CA, Attorney or Agent: John S. Artz, Ex. Gp.: 3711 8,456,592, Re. S.N. 14/481,423, Sep. 09, 2014, Cl. 349/065, BACKLIGHT UNIT AND LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY INCLUDING THE SAME, Wangseop Go, et al., Owner of Record: LG Electronics Inc., Seoul, KR, Attorney or Agent: Paul H. Kang, Ex. Gp.: 2871 8,485,383, Re. S.N: 14/313,658, Jun. 24, 2014, CL: 220, CONTAINER FOR HOLDING FOODS AND DRINKS, Edward L. Taufer, Owner of Record: Edward L. Taufer, Attorney or Agent: Paul A. Taufer, Ex. GP.: 3781 8,660,888, Re. S.N. 14/516,353, Oct. 16, 2014, Cl. 705/037, SYSTEM, COMPUTER-IMPLEMENTED METHOD, AND NON-TRANSITORY, COMPUTER-READABLE MEDIUM TO DETERMINE RELATIVE MARKET VALUE OF A SALE GROUP OF LIVESTOCK BASED ON GENETIC MERIT AND OTHER NON-GENETIC FACTORS, Leland Leachman, et al., Owner of Record: Leachman Cattle of Colorado, LLC, Fort Collins, CO, Attorney or Agent: Jeffrey S. Whittle, Ex. Gp.: 3693 8,725,557, Re. S.N. 14/516,372, Oct. 16, 2014, Cl. 705/007, SYSTEM, COMPUTER-IMPLEMENTED METHOD, AND NON-TRANSITORY, COMPUTER-READABLE MEDIUM TO DETERMINE RELATIVE MARKET VALUE OF A SALE GROUP OF LIVESTOCK BASED ON GENETIC MERIT AND OTHER NON-GENETIC FACTORS, Leland Leachman, et al., Owner of Record: Leachman Cattle of Colorado, LLC, Fort Collins, CO, Attorney or Agent: Jeffrey S. Whittle, Ex. Gp.: 3623
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 254|
|Requests for Ex Parte Reexamination Filed|
Requests for Ex Parte Reexamination Filed 6,702,719, Reexam. C.N. 90/013,350, Requested Date: Sep. 23, 2014, Cl. 482/008, Title: EXERCISE MACHINE, Inventor: Michael Wayne Brown et al., Owners of Record: Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., Logan, UT, Attorney or Agent: Maschoff Brennan, Park City, UT, Ex. Gp.: 3993, Requester: PATENT OWNER 6,955,680, Reexam. C.N. 90/013,343, Requested Date: Sep. 25, 2014, Cl. 606/169, Title: COUPLING VIBRATION ULTRASONIC HAND PIECE, Inventor: Yuichirou Satou et al., Owners of Record: Stryker Corporation, Kalamazoo, MI, Attorney or Agent: Stryker Corporation, Kalamazoo, MI, Ex. Gp.: 3993, Requester: Jason D. Voight, Washington, DC 8,777,786, Reexam. C.N. 90/013,349, Requested Date: Sep. 22, 2014, Cl. 473/578, Title: LIGHTED NOCK, Inventor: Larry R. Bay, Owners of Record: Clean-Shot Archery, Inc., Kent, WA, Attorney or Agent: Skaar Ulbrich Macari, PA., Minneapolis, MN, Ex. Gp.: 3993, Requester: Sergey Vernyuk, Emerson Thomson & Bennet, LLC., Akron, OH
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 255|
|Notice of Expiration of Trademark Registrations Due to Failure to Renew|
Notice of Expiration of Trademark Registrations Due to Failure to Renew 15 U.S.C. 1059 provides that each trademark registration may be renewed for periods of ten years from the end of the expiring period upon payment of the prescribed fee and the filing of an acceptable application for renewal. This may be done at any time within one year before the expiration of the period for which the registration was issued or renewed, or it may be done within six months after such expiration on payment of an additional fee. According to the records of the Office, the trademark registrations listed below are expired due to failure to renew in accordance with 15 U.S.C. 1059. TRADEMARK REGISTRATIONS WHICH EXPIRED October 31, 2014 DUE TO FAILURE TO RENEW Reg. Number Serial Number Reg. Date 1,828,157 74/402,640 03/29/1994 2,827,022 76/429,347 03/30/2004 2,827,540 76/517,049 03/30/2004 3,196,923 79/008,423 01/09/2007 3,401,956 79/008,676 03/25/2008 3,401,957 79/010,678 03/25/2008 3,401,958 79/014,553 03/25/2008 3,401,959 79/015,737 03/25/2008 3,401,961 79/016,319 03/25/2008 3,401,962 79/016,382 03/25/2008 3,401,963 79/016,680 03/25/2008 3,401,964 79/018,606 03/25/2008 3,401,965 79/018,881 03/25/2008 3,401,966 79/018,910 03/25/2008 3,401,967 79/020,731 03/25/2008 3,401,969 79/020,746 03/25/2008 3,401,971 79/020,939 03/25/2008 3,401,973 79/022,292 03/25/2008 3,401,974 79/022,370 03/25/2008 3,401,977 79/023,752 03/25/2008 3,401,978 79/023,753 03/25/2008 3,401,979 79/023,755 03/25/2008 3,401,981 79/024,282 03/25/2008 3,401,983 79/024,794 03/25/2008 3,401,984 79/024,929 03/25/2008 3,401,986 79/025,392 03/25/2008 3,401,989 79/025,997 03/25/2008 3,401,990 79/026,022 03/25/2008 3,401,991 79/026,090 03/25/2008 3,401,993 79/026,180 03/25/2008 3,401,995 79/026,896 03/25/2008 3,401,996 79/027,037 03/25/2008 3,401,997 79/027,126 03/25/2008 3,401,998 79/027,204 03/25/2008 3,402,000 79/027,961 03/25/2008 3,402,001 79/028,020 03/25/2008 3,402,003 79/028,038 03/25/2008 3,402,004 79/028,212 03/25/2008 3,402,005 79/028,606 03/25/2008 3,402,010 79/029,202 03/25/2008 3,402,011 79/029,210 03/25/2008 3,402,015 79/029,732 03/25/2008 3,402,017 79/030,333 03/25/2008 3,402,019 79/030,498 03/25/2008 3,402,020 79/030,565 03/25/2008
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 256|
3,402,021 79/030,638 03/25/2008 3,402,022 79/030,755 03/25/2008 3,402,023 79/031,143 03/25/2008 3,402,026 79/031,256 03/25/2008 3,402,028 79/031,407 03/25/2008 3,402,029 79/031,565 03/25/2008 3,402,030 79/031,566 03/25/2008 3,402,031 79/031,746 03/25/2008 3,402,033 79/032,283 03/25/2008 3,402,034 79/032,367 03/25/2008 3,402,036 79/032,682 03/25/2008 3,402,037 79/032,686 03/25/2008 3,402,040 79/032,870 03/25/2008 3,402,041 79/032,915 03/25/2008 3,402,043 79/033,142 03/25/2008 3,402,044 79/033,204 03/25/2008 3,402,046 79/033,356 03/25/2008 3,402,052 79/033,872 03/25/2008 3,402,055 79/034,015 03/25/2008 3,402,056 79/034,088 03/25/2008 3,402,057 79/034,297 03/25/2008 3,402,058 79/034,337 03/25/2008 3,402,062 79/034,503 03/25/2008 3,402,063 79/034,522 03/25/2008 3,402,064 79/034,536 03/25/2008 3,402,065 79/034,570 03/25/2008 3,402,070 79/034,847 03/25/2008 3,402,071 79/034,884 03/25/2008 3,402,072 79/034,900 03/25/2008 3,402,073 79/034,929 03/25/2008 3,402,074 79/034,988 03/25/2008 3,402,075 79/035,001 03/25/2008 3,402,076 79/035,013 03/25/2008 3,402,077 79/035,057 03/25/2008 3,402,078 79/035,094 03/25/2008 3,402,079 79/035,156 03/25/2008 3,402,082 79/035,361 03/25/2008 3,402,086 79/035,496 03/25/2008 3,402,087 79/035,548 03/25/2008 3,402,088 79/035,553 03/25/2008 3,402,092 79/036,011 03/25/2008 3,402,093 79/036,024 03/25/2008 3,402,094 79/036,323 03/25/2008 3,402,095 79/036,363 03/25/2008 3,402,097 79/036,467 03/25/2008 3,402,098 79/036,477 03/25/2008 3,402,099 79/036,492 03/25/2008 3,402,104 79/036,963 03/25/2008 3,402,105 79/037,026 03/25/2008 3,402,108 79/037,136 03/25/2008 3,402,109 79/037,142 03/25/2008 3,402,110 79/037,265 03/25/2008 3,402,111 79/037,320 03/25/2008 3,402,112 79/037,433 03/25/2008 3,402,113 79/037,560 03/25/2008 3,402,115 79/037,617 03/25/2008 3,402,116 79/037,754 03/25/2008 3,402,117 79/037,884 03/25/2008 3,402,118 79/037,929 03/25/2008 3,402,120 79/038,093 03/25/2008 3,402,121 79/038,094 03/25/2008 3,402,123 79/038,511 03/25/2008 3,402,124 79/038,648 03/25/2008 3,402,128 79/038,985 03/25/2008 3,402,129 79/039,128 03/25/2008 3,402,130 79/039,209 03/25/2008
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 257|
3,402,131 79/039,374 03/25/2008 3,402,133 79/039,497 03/25/2008 3,402,134 79/039,647 03/25/2008 3,402,136 79/039,858 03/25/2008 3,402,137 79/039,877 03/25/2008 3,402,138 79/040,000 03/25/2008 3,402,140 79/040,264 03/25/2008 3,402,141 79/040,286 03/25/2008 3,402,142 79/040,421 03/25/2008 3,402,144 79/040,460 03/25/2008 3,402,146 79/040,510 03/25/2008 3,402,147 79/040,634 03/25/2008 3,402,148 79/040,675 03/25/2008 3,402,149 79/040,724 03/25/2008 3,402,150 79/040,860 03/25/2008 3,402,151 79/040,870 03/25/2008 3,402,153 79/040,998 03/25/2008 3,402,154 79/041,001 03/25/2008 3,402,155 79/041,007 03/25/2008 3,402,159 79/041,195 03/25/2008 3,402,160 79/041,260 03/25/2008 3,402,162 79/041,334 03/25/2008 3,402,163 79/041,501 03/25/2008 3,402,164 79/041,566 03/25/2008 3,402,167 79/041,701 03/25/2008 3,402,170 79/041,818 03/25/2008 3,402,172 79/042,451 03/25/2008 3,402,173 79/042,620 03/25/2008 3,402,174 79/042,685 03/25/2008 3,402,175 79/042,686 03/25/2008 3,402,178 79/043,057 03/25/2008 3,402,181 79/043,758 03/25/2008 3,402,183 79/043,816 03/25/2008 3,402,184 79/043,912 03/25/2008 3,402,185 79/043,942 03/25/2008 3,402,189 79/044,344 03/25/2008 3,759,624 79/975,102 03/25/2008 767,104 72/166,775 03/24/1964 1,271,433 73/283,677 03/27/1984 1,271,536 73/385,090 03/27/1984 1,828,082 74/314,878 03/29/1994 2,828,128 75/465,610 03/30/2004 2,828,132 75/519,982 03/30/2004 2,826,777 75/622,885 03/30/2004 2,826,782 75/651,795 03/30/2004 2,828,150 75/757,358 03/30/2004 2,828,156 75/852,339 03/30/2004 2,826,794 75/882,835 03/30/2004 2,828,651 75/883,709 03/30/2004 2,826,799 75/914,758 03/30/2004 2,826,801 75/933,448 03/30/2004 2,828,174 76/004,815 03/30/2004 2,828,653 76/011,395 03/30/2004 2,828,181 76/022,037 03/30/2004 2,828,182 76/024,917 03/30/2004 2,828,191 76/058,994 03/30/2004 2,828,193 76/064,085 03/30/2004 2,828,204 76/098,473 03/30/2004 2,828,209 76/109,823 03/30/2004 2,828,214 76/128,110 03/30/2004 2,828,217 76/147,396 03/30/2004 2,826,843 76/177,186 03/30/2004 2,828,235 76/193,920 03/30/2004 2,826,848 76/196,604 03/30/2004 2,828,660 76/199,325 03/30/2004 2,828,241 76/211,745 03/30/2004
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 258|
2,826,852 76/213,247 03/30/2004 2,826,853 76/213,332 03/30/2004 2,828,249 76/225,375 03/30/2004 2,828,252 76/226,409 03/30/2004 2,828,253 76/226,412 03/30/2004 2,828,257 76/229,665 03/30/2004 2,826,860 76/233,381 03/30/2004 2,826,861 76/236,082 03/30/2004 2,828,263 76/236,223 03/30/2004 2,828,268 76/246,050 03/30/2004 2,826,869 76/264,691 03/30/2004 2,828,277 76/268,336 03/30/2004 2,828,282 76/283,059 03/30/2004 2,828,667 76/289,866 03/30/2004 2,828,283 76/292,972 03/30/2004 2,828,285 76/296,256 03/30/2004 2,826,888 76/306,667 03/30/2004 2,828,294 76/310,575 03/30/2004 2,828,296 76/316,518 03/30/2004 2,828,303 76/328,562 03/30/2004 2,828,314 76/346,023 03/30/2004 2,828,320 76/354,601 03/30/2004 2,826,913 76/356,082 03/30/2004 2,828,673 76/356,970 03/30/2004 2,828,326 76/360,154 03/30/2004 2,826,920 76/376,447 03/30/2004 2,826,921 76/377,966 03/30/2004 2,828,677 76/380,658 03/30/2004 2,828,358 76/388,064 03/30/2004 2,828,362 76/396,146 03/30/2004 2,826,949 76/399,689 03/30/2004 2,828,373 76/411,921 03/30/2004 2,828,375 76/412,964 03/30/2004 2,826,989 76/416,428 03/30/2004 2,826,990 76/416,501 03/30/2004 2,826,993 76/418,634 03/30/2004 2,828,388 76/424,953 03/30/2004 2,827,010 76/426,077 03/30/2004 2,828,389 76/426,578 03/30/2004 2,827,024 76/429,716 03/30/2004 2,827,025 76/429,718 03/30/2004 2,828,398 76/432,769 03/30/2004 2,828,399 76/434,010 03/30/2004 2,828,400 76/435,414 03/30/2004 2,827,042 76/435,465 03/30/2004 2,827,049 76/437,320 03/30/2004 2,827,090 76/445,768 03/30/2004 2,827,092 76/445,957 03/30/2004 2,828,428 76/447,605 03/30/2004 2,827,105 76/449,168 03/30/2004 2,827,114 76/450,281 03/30/2004 2,827,128 76/453,040 03/30/2004 2,827,147 76/455,176 03/30/2004 2,827,149 76/455,426 03/30/2004 2,827,153 76/456,034 03/30/2004 2,827,161 76/456,739 03/30/2004 2,828,441 76/457,360 03/30/2004 2,828,442 76/457,370 03/30/2004 2,827,178 76/458,622 03/30/2004 2,827,179 76/458,634 03/30/2004 2,828,445 76/460,137 03/30/2004 2,827,188 76/460,479 03/30/2004 2,827,203 76/462,642 03/30/2004 2,827,206 76/463,119 03/30/2004 2,827,218 76/464,323 03/30/2004 2,827,231 76/465,062 03/30/2004
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 259|
2,828,688 76/466,887 03/30/2004 2,828,689 76/466,888 03/30/2004 2,828,690 76/466,891 03/30/2004 2,828,691 76/466,892 03/30/2004 2,828,692 76/466,893 03/30/2004 2,828,693 76/466,895 03/30/2004 2,827,250 76/467,235 03/30/2004 2,827,257 76/467,826 03/30/2004 2,827,269 76/468,910 03/30/2004 2,827,274 76/469,392 03/30/2004 2,827,279 76/470,779 03/30/2004 2,827,285 76/471,522 03/30/2004 2,827,286 76/471,633 03/30/2004 2,827,300 76/473,307 03/30/2004 2,827,315 76/476,318 03/30/2004 2,827,317 76/476,337 03/30/2004 2,828,460 76/478,560 03/30/2004 2,828,461 76/478,632 03/30/2004 2,827,329 76/478,699 03/30/2004 2,827,332 76/479,045 03/30/2004 2,827,357 76/487,756 03/30/2004 2,827,360 76/488,238 03/30/2004 2,827,363 76/489,672 03/30/2004 2,827,364 76/489,762 03/30/2004 2,827,371 76/492,340 03/30/2004 2,827,373 76/492,780 03/30/2004 2,827,398 76/500,213 03/30/2004 2,828,699 76/502,082 03/30/2004 2,827,412 76/502,823 03/30/2004 2,827,415 76/502,946 03/30/2004 2,827,418 76/503,104 03/30/2004 2,827,420 76/503,106 03/30/2004 2,827,422 76/503,254 03/30/2004 2,827,425 76/504,038 03/30/2004 2,827,430 76/504,919 03/30/2004 2,827,431 76/505,119 03/30/2004 2,827,434 76/505,510 03/30/2004 2,827,439 76/506,098 03/30/2004 2,828,700 76/508,797 03/30/2004 2,827,459 76/509,016 03/30/2004 2,827,461 76/509,292 03/30/2004 2,827,462 76/509,335 03/30/2004 2,827,463 76/509,338 03/30/2004 2,827,464 76/509,341 03/30/2004 2,827,465 76/509,342 03/30/2004 2,827,466 76/509,343 03/30/2004 2,827,473 76/509,875 03/30/2004 2,827,489 76/511,843 03/30/2004 2,827,496 76/512,791 03/30/2004 2,827,497 76/512,873 03/30/2004 2,827,498 76/512,926 03/30/2004 2,827,499 76/512,927 03/30/2004 2,827,514 76/513,650 03/30/2004 2,827,521 76/514,940 03/30/2004 2,827,545 76/518,474 03/30/2004 2,827,546 76/518,493 03/30/2004 2,827,548 76/518,840 03/30/2004 2,827,555 76/520,631 03/30/2004 2,827,556 76/520,632 03/30/2004 2,827,557 76/520,633 03/30/2004 2,827,565 76/975,403 03/30/2004 2,828,467 76/975,929 03/30/2004 2,828,704 76/976,071 03/30/2004 2,828,470 76/976,312 03/30/2004 2,827,575 76/976,433 03/30/2004 2,827,580 78/026,838 03/30/2004
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 260|
2,827,585 78/039,558 03/30/2004 2,828,482 78/051,960 03/30/2004 2,828,483 78/052,498 03/30/2004 2,827,592 78/054,807 03/30/2004 2,828,493 78/080,356 03/30/2004 2,828,498 78/083,107 03/30/2004 2,827,602 78/086,476 03/30/2004 2,828,503 78/087,066 03/30/2004 2,827,610 78/097,484 03/30/2004 2,828,514 78/097,905 03/30/2004 2,828,516 78/099,013 03/30/2004 2,828,517 78/099,015 03/30/2004 2,828,522 78/101,404 03/30/2004 2,827,634 78/114,996 03/30/2004 2,827,642 78/120,830 03/30/2004 2,828,545 78/121,111 03/30/2004 2,827,651 78/123,564 03/30/2004 2,827,658 78/126,958 03/30/2004 2,828,550 78/131,584 03/30/2004 2,827,682 78/134,446 03/30/2004 2,827,685 78/135,648 03/30/2004 2,828,565 78/142,822 03/30/2004 2,827,704 78/143,463 03/30/2004 2,828,568 78/143,726 03/30/2004 2,828,570 78/146,972 03/30/2004 2,827,709 78/147,411 03/30/2004 2,827,713 78/148,308 03/30/2004 2,828,582 78/151,969 03/30/2004 2,827,723 78/152,293 03/30/2004 2,827,724 78/152,344 03/30/2004 2,827,728 78/153,184 03/30/2004 2,827,731 78/154,014 03/30/2004 2,827,740 78/157,386 03/30/2004 2,827,741 78/157,442 03/30/2004 2,828,592 78/158,410 03/30/2004 2,828,712 78/161,555 03/30/2004 2,827,753 78/161,871 03/30/2004 2,827,755 78/162,508 03/30/2004 2,827,772 78/168,281 03/30/2004 2,827,778 78/169,750 03/30/2004 2,827,781 78/171,039 03/30/2004 2,827,788 78/171,970 03/30/2004 2,827,798 78/173,516 03/30/2004 2,827,800 78/173,680 03/30/2004 2,828,610 78/174,774 03/30/2004 2,827,830 78/179,727 03/30/2004 2,828,616 78/182,205 03/30/2004 2,827,844 78/182,597 03/30/2004 2,828,620 78/186,500 03/30/2004 2,827,856 78/187,921 03/30/2004 2,828,718 78/191,778 03/30/2004 2,827,869 78/193,075 03/30/2004 2,827,881 78/197,071 03/30/2004 2,827,889 78/200,369 03/30/2004 2,827,891 78/200,984 03/30/2004 2,827,892 78/200,985 03/30/2004 2,827,893 78/201,173 03/30/2004 2,828,635 78/204,891 03/30/2004 2,827,906 78/206,353 03/30/2004 2,827,914 78/210,968 03/30/2004 2,827,916 78/211,221 03/30/2004 2,827,925 78/214,150 03/30/2004 2,827,935 78/217,710 03/30/2004 2,827,951 78/222,926 03/30/2004 2,827,952 78/223,014 03/30/2004 2,827,954 78/223,614 03/30/2004
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 261|
2,827,956 78/224,156 03/30/2004 2,827,966 78/226,397 03/30/2004 2,827,985 78/231,305 03/30/2004 2,827,988 78/231,879 03/30/2004 2,827,997 78/233,019 03/30/2004 2,828,017 78/236,745 03/30/2004 2,828,025 78/238,342 03/30/2004 2,828,040 78/241,575 03/30/2004 2,828,048 78/242,916 03/30/2004 2,828,058 78/244,353 03/30/2004 2,828,068 78/247,296 03/30/2004 2,828,073 78/248,596 03/30/2004 2,828,074 78/248,622 03/30/2004 2,828,075 78/248,623 03/30/2004 2,828,076 78/248,636 03/30/2004 2,828,077 78/248,654 03/30/2004 2,828,078 78/248,670 03/30/2004 2,828,079 78/248,890 03/30/2004 2,828,083 78/249,214 03/30/2004 2,828,089 78/249,997 03/30/2004 2,828,091 78/250,156 03/30/2004 2,828,093 78/250,344 03/30/2004 2,828,101 78/251,745 03/30/2004 2,828,102 78/251,869 03/30/2004 2,828,105 78/253,178 03/30/2004 2,828,118 78/263,902 03/30/2004 93,158 71/070,741 08/26/1913
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 262|
|37 CFR 1.47 Notice by Publication|
37 CFR 1.47 Notice by Publication Notice is hereby given of the filing of an application with a petition under 37 CFR 1.47 requesting acceptance of the application without the signature of all inventors. The petition has been granted. A notice has been sent to the last known address of the non-signing inventor. The inventor whose signature is missing (Erdinc OZTURK) may join in the application by promptly filing an appropriate oath or declaration complying with 37 CFR 1.63. The international application number is PCT/US2011/063328 and was filed 05 December 2011 in the names of Erdinc OZTURK, Vindoh GOPAL, Gilbert M. WOLRICH, Wajda K. FEGHALI, James D. GUILFORD, Deniz KARAKOYUNLU, Martin G. DIXON, and Kahraman D. AKDEMIR, for the invention EFFICIENT MULTIPLICATION, EXPONENTIATION AND MODULAR REDUCTION IMPLEMENTATIONS. The national stage application number is 13/994,782 and has a 35 U.S.C. 371(c)(1), (c)(2) and (c)(4) date of 26 June 2014. 37 CFR 1.47 Notice by Publication Notice is hereby given of the filing of an application with a petition under 37 CFR 1.47 requesting acceptance of the application without the signature of the inventor. The petition has been granted. A notice has been sent to the last known address of the non-signing inventor. The inventor whose signature is missing (Neil Marshall) may join in the application by promptly filing an appropriate oath or declaration complying with 37 CFR 1.63. The international application number is PCT/EP2012/002827 and was filed on 05 July 2012 in the name of Neil Marshall for the invention entitled "SYSTEM COMPRISING A CONTAINER FOR A LIQUID AND AN INSERT". The national stage application number is 14/122,544 and has a date of 29 September 2014 under 35 U.S.C. 371(c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(4). 37 CFR 1.47 Notice by Publication Notice is hereby given of the filing of an application with a petition under 37 CFR 1.47 requesting acceptance of the application without the signatures of two of the joint inventors. The petition has been granted. A notice has been sent to the last known addresses of the non-signing inventors. The inventors whose signatures are missing (David Mayer and Timothy McDonald) may join in the application by promptly filing an appropriate oath or declaration complying with 37 CFR 1.63. The international application number is PCT/US2011/060772 and was filed on 15 November 2011 in the name of David Mayer et al for the invention entitled "SYSTEM AND METHODS FOR EDUCATION THROUGH PATIENT SAFETY EVENT REPORTING". The national stage application number is 13/885,108 and has a date of 05 June 2014 under 35 U.S.C. 371(c)(1), (c)(2), and (c)(4). 37 CFR 1.47 Notice of Publication Notice is hereby given of the filing of an application with a petition under 37 CFR 1.47 requesting acceptance of the application without the signature of the inventor. The petition has been granted. A notice has been sent to the last known address of the non-signing inventor, Denise KELLY. The inventor whose signature is missing may join in the application by promptly filing an appropriate oath or declaration complying with 37 CFR 1.63. The international application number is PCT/GB2012/051686 and was filed 13 July 2012 in the name of Denise KELLY for the invention entitled BACTERIAL STRAINS ISOLATED FROM PIGS. The national stage number is 14/232,475 and has a 35 U.S.C. 371(c) date of 17 October 2014. 37 CFR 1.47 Notice of Publication Notice is hereby given of the filing of a national stage application with a petition under 37 CFR 1.47 requesting acceptance of the application without the signature of all inventors. The petition has been granted. A notice has been sent to the last known address of the non-signing inventor. The inventor whose signature is missing (Gerald Lou Corum) may join in the application by promptly filing an appropriate oath or declaration complying with 37 CFR 1.63. The international application number is PCT/US2012/028820 and was filed on 12 March 2012 in the names of Janis Zakis, Daniel Clay Voit and Gerald Lou Corum entitled MULTI-SURFACE HEAT EXCHANGE WITH VACUUM CAPABILITY AND MAGNETIC SCRAPERS. The national stage application is assigned number 14/004,638 and has a 35 U.S.C. 371(c) date of 03 July 2014.
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 263|
|Registration to Practice|
Registration to Practice The following list contains the names of persons seeking for registration to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Final approval for registration is subject to establishing to the satisfaction of the Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline that the person seeking registration is of good moral character and repute. 37 CFR § 11.7 Accordingly, any information tending to affect the eligibility of any of the following persons on moral ethical or other grounds should be furnished to the Director of Enrollment and Discipline on or before December 12, 2014 at the following address: Mail Stop OED United States Patent and Trademark Office P.O. Box 1450 Alexandria VA 22314 Ahn, Hyungsoo, 861 Ridgewater Drive, Chula Vista, CA 91913 Ahn, Sejin Quinn, McKenna Long & Aldridge, 4435 Eastgate Mall, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92121 Chang, Hsun-Hsien, 77 Pond Avenue, Apartment 804, Brookline, MA 02445 Davies, Christopher Jeffrey, 55 Littleton Road 17E, Ayer, MA 01432-1776 Haadee, Jameelah Iman, Patterson Thuente, P.A., 431 South 7th Street, Unit 2634, Minneapolis, MN 55415 Letourneau, Guy Louis, 56930 South Morse Road, Warren, OR 97053 Levitt, Andrew Eric, 2106 East Mockingbird Lane, Midland, MI 48642 Lim, Hyesuk, Lowe Hauptman & Ham, LLP, 2318 Mill Road, Suite 1400, Alexandria, VA 22314 McLean, Meghan Meredith, 2016 Pepper Way, San Jose, CA 95133 Meeker, Charles Ashley, Workman Nydegger, 60 E. South Temple, Suite 1000, Salt Lake City, UT 84111 Messina, Christopher James, 108-37 71st Avenue, Apartment 10J, Forest Hills, NY 11375 Morgan, Max Scott, Volpe and Koenig, P.C., 30 S. 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-4009 Rutherford, Jay William, Snow Crest Chemicals, 2500 Klondike Court, Missoula, MT 59808 Sand, Callie Jenna, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear, 2040 Main Street, 14th Floor, Irvine, CA 92614 Smiley, Beth Louise, 6 Clarence Road, Wayland, MA 01778 Sole, Laura Brianne, 9428 Colonade Drive, Vienna, VA 22181 Vezeris, James A., 180 Washington Street Apt. 3, Jersey City, NJ 07302 Weiner, Ethan Mark, 2525 Stuart Street. Apt. 302, Berkeley, CA 94705 Wong, Richard Ling-Yuen, Fish & Richardson P.C., 601 Lexington Avenue, 52nd Floor, New York, NY 10022 October 29, 2014 WILLIAM R. COVEY Deputy General Counsel for Enrollment and Discipline and Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 264|
|Patent Public Advisory Committee Annual Report 2014|
PATENT PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE OF THE UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
|November 3, 2014|
Voting Committee Members:
Louis J. Foreman
Enventys / Edison Nation
Esther M. Kepplinger
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Wayne P. Sobon
University of South Florida
Arent Foxx LLP
Christal A. Sheppard
University of Nebraska
Jake Technology, Inc.
Robert D. Budens
Patent Office Professional
Vernon Ako Towler
National Treasury Employees
Union (NTEU, Local 243)
National Treasury Employees
Union (NTEU, Local 245)
It is my pleasure and privilege to present you with the 2014 Annual Report of the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Fiscal Year 2014 was another year of great change and progress at the USPTO, including the appointment in January 2014 of Michelle Lee as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. We congratulate you on your decision to nominate Ms. Lee to be Director of the USPTO as her continued leadership will provide stability and ensure continued progress through the remainder of your term.
For the USPTO, FY 2014 was a year of recovery from the budget cuts resulting from FY 2013 sequestration that forced delays to major initiatives. Access to fees in FY 2014, largely because of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), allowed the Agency to make excellent progress in a number of areas, including Information Technology (IT) infrastructure initiatives, hiring of patent examiners and judges, and ongoing efforts to reduce patent pendency and the application backlog.
Throughout the year, fees collected tracked above the appropriated level, with the Agency (Office) netting an excess of $129 million that became the first deposit into the Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund (PTFRF) that was established by the AIA to ensure all fees paid by USPTO customers can be used by the Agency to cover operations and expenses. The Agency plans to submit a reprogramming notification for these funds that will allow it to access them. It is critical that the Agency be able to access all fees paid to it.
The PPAC supported FY 2013 fee increases to fund an operating reserve that would sustain USPTO funding and allow the Agency to make critical and long-overdue improvements to its IT infrastructure and hire the requisite number of examiners to meet pendency goals. The stable funding environment is now supporting the Agency as it prepares to institute a major new initiative called Building a World Class Patent Quality System. The new initiative has three supporting pillars: first, to provide the best work products and services at every stage of the patent process; second, to improve the customer experience with an emphasis on excellent customer service; and third, to engage the public in partnership to educate and seek input. The Agency will use a number of roadshows in early 2015 to educate stakeholders and the public about the initiative and gain support for it.
The linkage between IP and the U.S. economy is clear. For American innovation to continue to thrive, we must have a strong patent system that encourages innovation, attracts investors, grows our economy and creates good jobs. The ability to patent, and thereby protect an invention, is the necessary incentive for inventors and innovative companies to assume the financial risk and investment to bring new products and services to market. And, as you are well aware, a strong, technologically supported Agency is vital to its ability to provide timely high quality examinations of patent applications that result in strong patents being issued that support our economy and stimulate innovation around the world.
Thank you for taking the time to review this report. We welcome any questions you or your staff have about it.
Louis J. Foreman
Patent Public Advisory Committee
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Enclosure: Patent Public Advisory Committee Fiscal Year 2014 Annual Report
|cc:||The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee|
|The Honorable Robert W. Goodlatte, Chairman, House Judiciary Committee|
|The Honorable Charles E. Grassley, Ranking Minority Member, Senate Judiciary Committee|
|The Honorable John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Minority Member, House Judiciary Committee|
|The Honorable Howard Coble, Chairman, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet|
|The Honorable Jerrold Nadler, Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet|
|The Honorable Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce|
|Michelle K. Lee, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office|
|Margaret Focarino, Commissioner for Patents|
Table of Contents
|C.||REQUESTS FOR CONTINUED EXAMINATION|
|G.||PATENT TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD|
|I.||INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND WORK SHARING|
|J.||USPTO OUTREACH INITIATIVES|
|B.||SALARIES AND EXPENSES FUND|
|C.||THE PATENT AND TRADEMARK FEE RESERVE FUND|
|D.||BIENNIAL FEE REVIEW|
|E.||FISCAL YEAR 2014|
|F.||FISCAL YEAR 2015|
|B.||MISSION OF THE OCIO AND STRATEGIC IT OBJECTIVES|
|C.||IT MODERNIZATION AT THE USPTO|
|D.||OCIO PROGRESS IN FY 2014|
|III.||REQUESTS FOR CONTINUED EXAMINATION|
|B.||EXAMINER HIRING AND RETENTION|
|C.||EFFECTS OF UNCERTAINTY VERSUS STABILITY IN BUDGETS ON HIRING|
|D.||INITIATIVES TO INCREASE EXAMINATION CAPACITY|
|B.||WORK PRODUCTS AND SERVICES|
|B.||DETERMINING OPTIMAL PENDENCY|
|VII.||PATENT TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD|
|E.||AIA ROUNDTABLES AND FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICE|
|F.||OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL’S REPORT|
|B.||WHITE HOUSE EXECUTIVE ACTIONS|
|IX.||INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND WORK SHARING|
|A.||THE CREATION OF THE OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL PATENT COOPERATION|
|B.||SUBSTANTIVE PATENT LAW HARMONIZATION|
|C.||TECHNICAL AND PROCEDURAL HARMONIZATION: WORK SHARING AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION PROGRAMS|
|X.||USPTO OUTREACH INITIATIVES|
|B.||INVENTORS CONFERENCES AND WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURSHIP SYMPOSIUMS|
|C.||USPTO REGIONAL OFFICE OUTREACH|
|D.||SUPPORTING INVENTOR ORGANIZATIONS|
|F.||PRO BONO PROGRAM AND BAR ASSOCIATION ENGAGEMENT|
|G.||TRAINING MATERIALS AND WEB-BASED SUPPORT|
|H.||IP ASSESSMENT TOOL/SMALL BUSINESS EDUCATION|
|I.||UNIVERSITY OUTREACH/TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER|
|K.||PRO SE PILOT PROGRAM|
|LOUIS J. FOREMAN, CHAIRMAN|
|ESTHER M. KEPPLINGER, VICE CHAIR|
|WAYNE P. SOBON|
|VALERIE LANDRIO MCDEVITT, J.D., MST|
|CLINTON H. HALLMAN, JR.|
|A. CHRISTAL SHEPPARD, Ph.D., J.D.|
The Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC or Committee) thanks the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office), and in particular, Deputy Under Secretary Michelle Lee, for the assistance and positive atmosphere enabling our committee to interact effectively and efficiently with the employees of the USPTO. Throughout the year, all personnel of the USPTO provided unfettered access to the information requested by the PPAC in the role as advisors. They regularly provided detailed information allowing us to better understand the complex issues facing the USPTO and permitted constructive discussions of options, constraints, and upcoming initiatives for our consideration and comment.
The PPAC thanks all of the employees of the USPTO for their assistance over this year and for the efforts made by all to improve the system and provide a world class patent office. The leadership at the USPTO has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence throughout all of our interactions and we commend their efforts to continually provide better service, quality, information, and interactions with the public. This positive atmosphere translated to more productive interactions with the PPAC and the public in numerous venues. The USPTO continued to demonstrate transparency by holding public meetings and issuing requests for comment on various proposed changes, actions which can only provide better results. We are grateful to the management of the USPTO and the examiners’ union, POPA, for the assistance we have received in fulfilling our roles as members of the PPAC. We look forward to our continuing interactions with the USPTO.
FY 2014 was a year of recovery from the budget cuts stemming from sequestration in FY 2013, resulting in delays to projects and improvements. The USPTO has made excellent progress during FY 2014, accomplishing improvements in a number of areas, largely due to increased access to fees compared to FY 2013. Sequestration in FY 2013 had necessitated significant cuts in the IT initiatives and hiring, but during FY 2014, these projects were begun again to continue the critical IT initiatives and pendency reduction efforts targeted by the USPTO.
Throughout FY 2014, fee collections tracked above the appropriated level. At the end of the fiscal year, the Office collected $129 million of patent fees above the appropriated level, which is the first deposit into the Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund (PTFRF) established by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) in 2013 to ensure that all fees paid by customers of the USPTO were available to the Office to cover operations and related expenses of the Office only. The USPTO is planning to submit a reprogramming notification for these funds, which will be the USPTO’s first opportunity to access funds deposited in the PTFRF. Of paramount importance to the PPAC is the access to all fees paid to the USPTO, including those fees deposited in the PTFRF. We supported fee increases in FY 2013 to fund an operating reserve to support sustainable funding and to allow the USPTO to make critical, long-overdue improvements to the IT infrastructure and to hire examiners to provide the necessary manpower to meet the pendency targets. It is crucial that all of that increased fee revenue remain with the USPTO and be made available for use in achieving these critical improvements. The linkage between intellectual property (IP) and the U.S. economy is clear, and a strong, technologically-supported USPTO is vital to maintaining the ability of the USPTO to provide timely, quality examination resulting in patents of value in the world marketplace.
The PPAC holds quarterly meetings at the USPTO to address patent-related matters. These meetings are announced in advance, are open to the public, are Web cast, and have telephone call-in numbers so interested persons can provide real-time feedback and ideas. We encourage members of the public to submit comments and questions via telephone, e-mail, or via the PPAC Web site. The Committee also participates in hearings, roundtables, and other publically announced events to obtain input regarding matters of significance to the USPTO and the innovation communities.
The Committee has several standing subcommittees to address topical areas that are focused upon issues that require action over time. The subcommittees consist of up to four members. Subcommittees meet informally from time to time, either in person or via teleconferences. The topical areas discussed in detail below represent matters of ongoing interest to the USPTO and the Committee. Topical area subcommittees interact with USPTO personnel to obtain information, engage in in-depth discussions, and provide suggestions to assist the Office.
Members of the subcommittees have greatly appreciated the high level of cooperation and trust afforded by Office personnel. For this trust, the Committee sincerely thanks Deputy Director Michelle Lee, Commissioner Focarino, and other Office personnel for helping to create a very positive, effective working relationship for the benefit of the entire user community.
Brief descriptions of the PPAC’s activities and how those have furthered the Strategic Plan are below. More detailed descriptions are provided in the individual sections.
The USPTO continues its efforts toward establishing a sustainable funding model that provides the Office with a reliable and sustainable source of funding. The Office is 100% user fee funded and thus must operate like a business, providing services and charging fees projected to cover the cost of the services. Projecting fees is a constant challenge, as it requires the Office to predict user behavior often years in advance. The Office must take into account changes in global economic conditions, possible legislative and judicial changes, and potential Presidential Directives. Each of these, in addition to many other factors, has elastic effects on demand for the services of the Office and thus the funds available to the Office.
The USPTO requested access to $3,071 million of user fees ($2,808 million of which are patent fees) in its FY 2014 President’s Budget. Congress appropriated the Office $47 million less than the initial request, $3,024 million. Throughout FY 2014, fee collections tracked above the appropriated level. At the end of the fiscal year, the Office collected $129 million of patent fees above the appropriated level.
For FY 2015, the USPTO’s appropriation bill is congressionally marked at $3,458 million. The Office estimated FY 2015 fee collections in the FY 2015 President’s Budget of $3,442 million. Priorities for the upcoming fiscal year are stated to be a continuation of FY 2014 with additional focus on information technology updates.
The USPTO is committed to being responsive to the chilling effect on innovation of high user fees. In FY 2014, the USPTO finalized a policy prescribing the process for biennial reviews of the agency fee structure and will engage in a biennial fee review at the start of FY 2015. The PPAC commends the Office for undertaking these reviews to re-evaluate whether fees are commensurate with the Office’s projected needs.
Recommendations: While we commend the changes that the AIA imparted, we cannot ignore the continuing financial uncertainty that the Office is subjected to annually.
The PPAC is very concerned regarding the PTFRF that was established by the AIA for deposit of fees collected by the Office above the appropriated level. The first deposit into the PTFRF was made this fall. This will be the first test of whether the USPTO will indeed have access to all user fees regardless of whether the fees are in excess of the Office’s congressionally-approved appropriations and will be the first test of whether the language of the AIA fulfills its stated purpose.
Due to continued uncertainty, the PPAC again urges 1) the Administration to prevent the application of any future sequestrations of, or revenue diversions from, the Office and 2) Congress to consider removing the Office from the appropriations process.
The PPAC will continue to monitor and consult with the USPTO as the appropriation and biennial fee review processes continue. We are confident that the USPTO will continue its outreach to all stakeholders, including the PPAC, to ascertain the appropriate fee schedule going forward.
In FY 2014, the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) accelerated the pace of information technology (IT) development after sustaining drastic cuts during the prior year’s sequestration. The Office significantly increased the IT budget this year in order to allow for the resumption of key initiatives such as Patents End-to-End and to continue to upgrade its aging IT infrastructure. The OCIO resumed hiring, engaged new contractors, restarted tabled projects, and increased IT spending by 71% (an increase of about $262 million) from FY 2013 to FY 2014. The jump in spending this year was largely due to the restoration of funding for projects that had been brought to a dead stop in April 2013 during sequestration. This resulted in progress on work that had been deferred or delayed during the previous year’s budget cuts. However, because of the latency in hiring and resuming projects that was noted in our previous report, the Office is still recovering from 2013 and the IT infrastructure is still at risk.
Further increases in IT spending are planned for FY 2015 in order to continue with projects that were put on hold during FY 2013, hire qualified staff to support new technologies as they are phased in, and maintain mission-critical systems as the transition is gradually made to a new infrastructure. The OCIO expects IT spending to taper and in fact plans lower spending in FY 2017 and beyond, as the new systems take over and the Office no longer has to bear the costs of supporting both the legacy systems and new technologies. The OCIO currently projects a spending increase of 18% in the IT budget for FY 2015 over FY 2014 with a return to FY 2014 spending levels within three years.
As the PPAC has reported in previous years, the Office has undertaken a set of modernization initiatives to drive these objectives, with a portfolio known as “Patents End-to-End” (PE2E) as its mainstay. PE2E, as its name indicates, is a set of IT systems aimed at streamlining the processing of patent documents and actions from their inception to their downstream archiving. In addition to offering opportunities for enhancements to patent quality (for example, through better search capabilities, collaboration among examiners and offices, and consistency in office actions), the PE2E portfolio comprises part of the Office’s need to upgrade an aging IT infrastructure, a challenge faced by all large-scale organizations.
In FY 2014, the OCIO revived dozens of projects that had been de-funded or had funding reduced during the budget cuts of FY 2013. This entailed selecting and engaging new contractors to perform highly skilled technical work, as well as hiring over 100 new IT employees. Because of the timing of bringing on and training new people and deploying them to projects, some of the projects that had been delayed could not be resumed until late in the year. However, as of the time of this report, the OCIO is on track in terms of recovering ground lost during the previous year. Nearly every delayed project has been at least restarted. Additionally, the IT staff has met the ongoing requirements of the AIA and international systems such as Cooperative Patent Classification and Global Dossier. The OCIO has also done a commendable job of stabilizing legacy systems that could not be upgraded.
The PPAC notes that, while considerable progress has been made, the Office is still using an IT infrastructure for mission-critical operations that is out of date. The main transaction-handling system for the Office, the Patent Application Location and Monitoring system, and the search tools used by examiners, for example, are both built on proprietary technological designs from the 1980s. These examples illustrate that, while the IT funding situation has improved and work is progressing with deliberate speed, the PPAC points to the ever urgent need for aggressive development in IT at the same time as it is pleased with the improvements in funding and commends the OCIO for progress during FY 2014. This means that in the coming years the Office will be required to bear the increased costs of continuing to support its legacy systems as it moves forward with new projects and replacing its aging infrastructure step by step.
Recommendations: The restoration of funding in FY 2014 for projects curtailed in FY 2013 has helped the OCIO to recover, but the Office is still behind in terms of IT modernization efforts and must continue to move forward aggressively. The PPAC recommends that the USPTO continue to provide increased funding for IT, protect IT from future cuts, continue to modernize IT systems and replace legacy systems, expand support for the global IT community, and continue to upgrade and expand links with stakeholders.
The PPAC is pleased to report that progress was made during FY 2014 in reducing the backlog of requests for continued examination (RCEs) to 46,441 as of October 1, 2014.
Following the move of RCEs from the examiner’s amended docket to the special continuing docket, the backlog of RCEs ballooned from about 17,000 in October of 2009 to over 110,000 in March of 2013; however, focused attention on RCEs had reduced the backlog to 78,272 at the end of September 2013. Further implementation of initiatives of the RCE Leveling Plan, which was developed from input gathered from a series of roundtables and focus sessions around the country, provided continued progress towards reducing the backlog of RCEs. Additionally, the efforts moved the oldest RCEs resulting in 52% of the RCEs being over four months from filing on October 1, 2014, compared to 73.4% of the RCEs on October 1, 2013. This is a commendable achievement.
Two programs instituted by the USPTO, the After Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 (AFCP 2.0) and Quick Path Information Disclosure Statement (QPIDS), have shown some positive results. QPIDS has allowed applicants to have new prior art considered by the USPTO without the need for an RCE. From 2,241 processed QPIDS requests during FY 2014 (as of August 7, 2014), 1,934 continued on to issue without an RCE.
The USPTO provided the Patent Application Initiatives Web site to the public and internally to the examiners to provide a single online location where applicants and examiners can compare the advantages of various patent programs available to applicants during specific stages of prosecution. The USPTO is commended for the establishment of this useful tool.
Recommendations: The PPAC recommends exploring an avenue for resolution of issues in prosecution other than an appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, such as permitting applicant participation in the pre-appeal brief conference or the appeal conference that would permit an interview with multiple primary examiners in addition to the examiner of record. The PPAC also recommends that the Office place RCEs on the amended docket or establish a goal of four months to completion of an action. The PPAC recommends that the AFCP 2.0 be made permanent and that efforts be made for more consideration of amendments after final. The PPAC recommends providing the opportunity for the entry of two responses as a matter of right in each application and/or providing an option for paying for the consideration of one more amendment after a final rejection to reduce the need for appeals or filing of RCEs.
The sequester in FY 2013 severely limited the Office’s ability to hire new examiners; however, with a stable budget and greater certainty moving forward, the Office has been able to increase the number of new hires in FY 2014 and return to its hiring goals for FY 2015 and beyond. The impact of stable funding resulted in the hiring of 964 new examiners in FY 2014 and a goal of adding between 400-600 new examiners in FY 2015. Furthermore, the Office saw a decrease in the attrition rate between FY 2013 and FY 2014. In FY 2013, the attrition rate was 3.94%, and in FY 2014 that rate decreased to 3.39%, a nearly 14% decrease during a time where there is an improving economy and higher job demand. This is largely due to the positive work environment that resulted in the Office being named the #1 Best Place to Work in the Federal Government in FY 2013.
In addition to the first satellite office in Detroit, Michigan, there is now a permanent satellite office open in Denver, Colorado, and temporary offices in Silicon Valley, California, and Dallas, Texas. A total of 137 examiners and 47 judges have been hired with an additional 112 examiners expected to be hired for these offices in FY 2015.
Currently, 59.4% of eligible examiners and 47.3% of all examiners work remotely in the hoteling program.
Efforts at attracting and maintaining a skilled corps of examiners is critical to effective examination of applications, reducing patent pendency, and reducing backlog.
Recommendations: The PPAC strongly recommends that the Office be provided stable funding to hire enough examiners to maintain appropriate levels in FY 2015 and beyond.
The PPAC recommends that the Office continue to support, promote, and expand the Patents Hoteling Program and telework programs, both of which permit examiners to work from remote locations. It also strongly recommends that the USPTO continue to put systems in place to properly manage these programs to measure productivity and monitor potential abuse.
Additionally, the PPAC recommends continuing to target experienced IP professionals for the available new examiner positions and to advance geographical expansion of the workforce and telework initiatives to attract a larger pool of well-qualified candidates and further enhance retention of experienced examiners for an entire career.
The issuance of high quality patents with a reasonable pendency remains the most important priority for the USPTO. The Office made positive strides in addressing both patent quality and pendency during FY 2014.
The USPTO made positive strides in patent quality during FY 2014. The USPTO has identified at least three facets to world class patent examination quality: (i) providing the best work products and services at every stage of the patent process; (ii) improving stakeholder experience with the USPTO based on excellent customer service; and (iii) engaging stakeholders in partnership to educate and seek input. With respect to work products and services, the USPTO undertook efforts in FY 2014 to improve the measurement of patent examination quality through various initiatives including emphasizing quality early in the examination process, expanding information collected during the review of examiners’ work product, and feeding review data back into the examination process at the earliest stage. In the legal training area, the USPTO has implemented a multi-phased legal refresher training program for all examiners that focuses on evaluating functional claiming and improving the clarity of the examination record. With respect to technical training, the USPTO is expanding its Patent Examiner Technical Training Program to provide more patent examiners with direct access to experts from industry and academics. In addition, the USPTO is expanding ways for the public to help examiners determine whether an invention is patentable by finding relevant prior art through the use of crowd sourcing.
The customer service/applicant experience continued to be a main focus for the USPTO. In FY 2014, the USPTO continued to provide all examiners with interview practice training. The USPTO continued its focus on the independent inventor community by developing a pilot program that dedicates a team of specially trained patent examiners to examine pro se filed applications and work with pro se applicants during prosecution. The USPTO’s customer support call centers continue to provide patent information and services to applicants and the public, including independent inventors, small businesses, and university-affiliated inventors.
A patent ombudsman program continued to enhance the USPTO’s ability to assist applicants, such as independent inventors and small businesses, or their representatives with issues that arise during patent application prosecution. Moreover, the USPTO continued to conduct customer satisfaction surveys to measure satisfaction of applicants and practitioners with patent examination quality.
In the public outreach/education area, the USPTO has formed several partnerships with the stakeholder community to provide opportunities to bring stakeholders and the USPTO together to share ideas, feedback, experiences, and insight on patent related issues arising in specific technology areas. In addition, the USPTO held a public forum in May 2014 to receive public feedback on the USPTO’s subject matter eligibility guidance.
The USPTO is committed to continuing to measure patent quality and refine the metrics utilized for the measurement, including finding a suitable set of measurements to replace/supplement the current patent quality index and engaging stakeholders on how best to gauge and improve patent quality. In FY 2014, the PPAC participated in initial discussions to review the quality index and related initiatives. The PPAC supports these efforts and looks forward to continued work with the Office on these initiatives.
Recommendations: The PPAC commends the Office for adopting the three-facet approach and other programs aimed at advancing world class patent examination quality. However, the PPAC recommends that the USPTO continue to provide training to examiners to have them conduct a complete initial search and to correctly apply the prior art to the claims. With respect to training, the PPAC recommends that the claim interpretation training section focus on, among other things, the “broadest reasonable interpretation standard” for interpreting claims.
The PPAC requests that the USPTO continue to review the examination process to consider ways to avoid a patent application from going to “final” status prematurely. For example, examiners should issue a second non-final office action if the prior art references cited in the second office action were not previously cited in the first office action if only minor changes were made in an amendment in response to the first non-final office action. In addition, the USPTO should consider ways to improve the quality of final rejections and find ways to increase consideration of after-final amendments. The USPTO should consider further changes to the AFCP 2.0.
The USPTO has been reviewing its patent quality composite index. The PPAC recommends that the USPTO use the actual numbers in determining patent quality during the different stages of the examination process, not report the numbers as a percentage of a goal or combining them into a single index that might inadvertently hide important data. The PPAC recommends against the continued reliance on the quality composite index as a bellwether of patent quality because the index may be misleading to the public.
The USPTO continued to make improvements to decrease pendency to first action and total pendency during FY 2014, achieving 27.4 months for total pendency and 18.4 months for pendency to first action. The increase in first action pendency from 18.2 in FY 2013 stems from a change in the RCE count system and examiner training, in particular for the adoption of the Cooperative Patent Classification.
Instrumental to these gains was a focus on moving the oldest new applications, hiring new examiners, and several initiatives implemented by the USPTO, including Track One, AFCP 2.0, and the Patent Prosecution Highway.
Recommendations: The PPAC recommends that the USPTO establish targets aligned with the congressionally-established Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) timeframes of 14-4-4-4-36 to reduce the amount of PTA granted in patents. Especially important is the establishment of a goal for completion of an action in RCEs, either as amended applications or four months from filing.
The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) continued to make positive strides in 2014. At the end of FY 2014, the Board included 214 judges. Each of the satellite offices includes PTAB judges.
The backlog of ex parte appeals pending at the Board stood at 25,658 applications as of September 30, 2014. The backlog averaged about 25,800 applications for the year. The trend was relatively flat for the year, with the peak reaching 26,208 applications in January 2014, and the lowest levels reaching 25,594 in July 2014. The Board continues to implement a per curiam process, whereby certain appeals can be decided based on arguments by the examiners or appellants in the written record. The Board has affirmed or affirmed-in-part 67%, reversed 30%, and remanded or dismissed about 3% of the examiner’s decisions.
The PTAB continued to be busy with inter partes review (IPR) and covered business method (CBM) filings in FY 2014, receiving a peak of 190 IPR/CBM petitions in June 2014. As of September 30, 2014, the Board received 2,082 total petitions since the inception of the AIA: 1,841 IPR proceedings, 233 CBM proceedings, two post-grant review (PGR) proceedings, and six derivation proceedings. The majority of the petitions were in the electrical/computer software area. In particular, the petition filings by area of technology were: 71.6% electrical/computer software; 15.6% mechanical; 6.8% chemical; 5.6% biotechnology/pharmaceutical; and 0.4% design.
The PTAB made significant outreach efforts in 2014. In particular, the PTAB hosted eight roundtables around the country in April and May 2014 to share information about the AIA trials. In addition to the eight PTAB roundtables, the USPTO issued a Federal Register notice dated June 27, 2014, titled Request for Comments on Trial Proceedings Under the America Invents Act Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The Federal Register notice included two parts, one directed to non-rule comments and a second directed to 17 questions posed by the PTAB to elicit feedback with respect to certain AIA trial rules.
Recommendations: The PPAC recommends that the PTAB remain vigilant in hiring PTAB judges and explore other ways to handle the increased AIA workflow and to decrease the ex parte appeals backlog.
With respect to the AIA’s requirement that the PTAB issue a written decision within a one-year period of granting the petition to institute, the PPAC notes that the AIA requires only a “good cause” showing to go beyond the one-year timeframe. Consequently, in appropriate cases, the PPAC believes that the PTAB should not be reluctant to exceed the one-year threshold if there is “good cause” for doing so.
With respect to the PTAB’s claim amendment procedures, the PPAC recommends that the USPTO be more flexible in the PTAB claim amendment practice to make such amendments more available to patent owners.
The PPAC recommends that the USPTO implement pilot programs to expedite review of the pending ex parte appeals. The pilot programs may include allowing the patent owner or an anonymous third party to pay a fee to expedite the review of the pending appeal and changing the pre-appeal brief and/or appeal conference program to allow applicants to participate in the review.
While the past few years have been focused on the passage and implementation of the AIA, the majority of legislative activity in the current year seems focused primarily on alleged patent litigation abuse. Both the White House and Congress proposed a number of both administrative and legislative actions to address various issues raised concerning abusive litigation tactics. While sometimes ascribed pejoratively to “patent trolls” or “non-practicing entities,” the PPAC notes that a consensus seems to be forming that it is less the status of a particular company, rather than the particular abusive actions taken, that bears the most fruitful attention.
The PPAC has continued to work closely with the Office as it reviewed and enacted the particular recommended administrative changes and will continue to do so. The PPAC was concerned this past year that these new mandates were placed on the Office, even as a significant amount of its funding was taken away under sequestration. The PPAC also remains concerned that the implementation of any such administrative actions must be carefully and thoughtfully tailored to attack exactly the right sorts of abuses, without unduly burdening patent applicants or preventing the rightful assertion of patent rights, which, after all, provide lawful rights to exclude others from practicing new, non-obvious, and useful inventions.
Recommendations: The PPAC will continue to monitor and consult with the USPTO as the legislative and administrative processes address allegedly abusive activities. The PPAC recommends that the USPTO ensure that any proposed administrative changes are appropriately and narrowly targeted for any such alleged abuse without unduly harming our overall patent system, the smooth operation of the examination process, the quality of patents issued, or the overall costs and burdens to applicants.
The PPAC was concerned that the Office of Management and Budget made the determination that USPTO user fees were also subject to sequestration. The PPAC recommends that the USPTO continue to work with the Administration and Congress to ensure that the USPTO has access to all of its fees.
The PPAC supports the creation of the Office of International Cooperation (OIPC) and its efforts to focus and provide a unified message regarding the USPTO’s global initiatives. The PPAC further believes that having such a coordinated group of USPTO representatives under the OIPC should somewhat lessen the impact of future budget cuts on the USPTO regarding global initiatives.
The PPAC supports the efforts made by the USPTO in its international cooperation and work sharing initiatives among multiple patent offices and encourages the continued development and expansion of these efforts, particularly, for example, the Patent Prosecution Highway Program, the Global Dossier Initiative, software search tools and databases, such as Common Citation Document and Global Patent Search Network, and the implementation of the Hague Agreement.
Recommendations: The PPAC recommends that the USPTO direct much more education, outreach, resources, and training to the user community to showcase the benefits of these important global initiatives. Additionally, the PPAC encourages much greater outreach to a varied audience of entities and groups from the user community for insight and input regarding current and future USPTO global initiatives. Finally, the PPAC recommends that the USPTO diligently review its efforts on an annual basis to ensure that the initiatives promote the overall objectives of harmonization and international work sharing and reduce duplication of efforts by patent offices as well as internally within the USPTO, while at the same time promoting best practices to improve timeliness and quality.
In addition to the robust outreach activities conducted by the other outreach teams at the USPTO, the Office of Innovation Development (OID) oversees the Office’s efforts to support American innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation. Often working closely with other U.S. Government officials and agencies, the OID designs and implements outreach assistance programs to a wide range of stakeholders including independent inventors, women, small business concerns, university affiliates, minorities, and other underserved communities.
The OID also assists the Office’s educational outreach programs that promote IP protection and the valuable role it plays as a key driver of the American economy. These programs are designed to educate the public about intellectual property in general as well as the specifics of the patent application process, including the intricacies of patent prosecution and post-grant patent issues. The post patent grant education includes the importance of patents and other forms of intellectual property in starting, building, and growing a business.
In addition, the OID and the Office of Education and Outreach work collaboratively on the development and delivery of educational materials, activities, and programs to promote intellectual property for students, educators, and young inventors and innovators of all ages, including a particular focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, also known as STEM.
The USPTO has restored and continues to expand its outreach activities to the inventor community now that the budget constraints due to sequestration have been lifted.
Recommendations: The PPAC commends the Office on the significant outreach efforts to the entire user community from women entrepreneurs and independent inventors, to bar associations and national organizations. The PPAC recommends that the Office continue to provide resources and outreach to all groups within the user community.
The USPTO continues its efforts toward establishing a sustainable funding model that provides the Office with a reliable and sustainable source of funding. The Office is 100% user fee funded and thus must operate like a business, providing services and charging fees projected to cover the cost of the services. Projecting fees is a constant challenge, as it requires the Office to predict user behavior often years in advance. The Office must take into account changes in global economic conditions, possible legislative and judicial changes, and potential Presidential Directives. Each of these, in addition to many other factors, has elastic effects on demand for the services of the Office and thus the funds available to the Office.
Notwithstanding these challenges, the USPTO does an excellent job of creating yearly budgets and updating the budget calculations throughout the fiscal year as conditions change. Most years, the USPTO’s actual collections are within 5% of projected collections. Even so, in order to effectively manage the elasticity of demand, the Office must maintain two essential funds, the Salaries and Expenses Fund and the Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund.
Additionally, the USPTO is committed to being responsive to the chilling effect on innovation of high user fees. In FY 2014, the USPTO finalized a policy prescribing the process for biennial reviews of the agency fee structure and will engage in a biennial fee review at the start of FY 2015. We commend the Office for undertaking these reviews to re-evaluate whether fees are commensurate with the Office’s projected needs. We are particularly pleased with the outreach by the Office to the user community in July 2014 for input regarding pendency goals, which could have a direct effect on funding needs going forward. The stakeholder voice is essential to the legitimacy of the outcome.
The Operating Reserve within the Salaries and Expenses fund enables the USPTO to sustain operations by absorbing costs as necessary in response to temporary changes in economic and operating environments.
Annually, Congress authorizes the USPTO to spend a designated amount of the fees it collects. The USPTO appropriation is available until expended. This permits the USPTO to carry forward the unobligated (unspent) fees for use in subsequent years. These unspent fees are set aside as an operating reserve, often referred to as carryover, and remain in the USPTO’s appropriation account maintained in the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The USPTO demonstrated the importance of an operating reserve receiving full access to its fee collections at the beginning of FY 2014 (October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2014). For the first 16 days of the fiscal year, there was no enacted appropriations bill. Without the passage of an appropriations bill, most federal agencies did not have authorization to expend public funds. As a result, the majority of the Federal Government shut down for 16 days. However, with sufficient prior fiscal year carryover funding available in its operating reserve, the USPTO was able remain open and fully operational during this time, despite a lapsed appropriation of funds. The USPTO collected approximately $146 million in patent fees during the shutdown period. The ability of the Office to continue its mission, collect fees, and provide service to its fee-paying customers and public during the shutdown is a clear example of the importance of ensuring access to all of the fees the USPTO generates.
The USPTO is finalizing a policy to detail the process for assessing the optimal operating reserve size and to evaluate and maintain the operating reserve over time. The operating reserve policy will apply to unspent fees originally planned for spending for annual operating requirements and both planned and unplanned fee surpluses. The policy will provide guidance on establishing the size of the reserve, maintaining the established level, and roles and responsibilities.
The Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund (PTFRF) was established by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) in 2013. This fund was enacted to ensure that all fees paid by customers of the USPTO to the Office for services rendered or to be rendered were available to the Office to cover operations and related expenses of the Office only, including supporting an operating reserve as described above. In the past, more than $1 billion of user fees paid to the Office were instead unavailable to the Office. This fund is essential because, as additional work comes in, so will additional funds to cover the additional work. Without access to the additional funds, the Office must manage the additional load using fees paid by other users to the system (robbing Peter to pay Paul). The PTFRF fund is intended to ensure that the Office is authorized to deposit all fees collected in excess of appropriated (projected) fee level in the PTFRF. In such an eventuality, the USPTO can then access the deposited funds when needed by submitting a reprogramming notification to Congress.
The Office collected $2,897 million in Patent fees in FY 2014, $129 million more from users for additional work beyond that which was projected by the Office. These additional funds are expected to become available to the Office after Congress reviews the Office’s request to retain these funds. These funds will be used for a variety of purposes including reducing the current patent application backlog, decreasing patent pendency, improving patent quality and customer service, and upgrading the Office’s patent business information technology capabilities and infrastructure by building an operating reserve to mitigate the risk for incidents such as those discussed previously. Most importantly, these funds are slated to go toward implementing a sustainable funding model. The PPAC strongly encourages that the promise made to the Office in the AIA, for the Office to retain these funds, be fulfilled.
The Office finalized a policy prescribing the process for biennial reviews of the agency fee structure this year and will engage in a biennial fee review at the start of FY 2015, pending the outcome of a patent pendency review with stakeholders. The review will include an examination of how well the current fee schedule supports achievement of the Office’s strategic goals and objectives and fee structure philosophy. The review, conducted at least once every two years, includes the consideration of potential changes to USPTO fees, including the establishment of new fees, the removal of fees, and adjustments to current fees. The outcome of a biennial fee review could result in proposed regulatory actions to adjust fees to levels that will sustain desired operating levels for the long term.
The USPTO requested access to $3,071 million of user fees ($2,808 million of which are patent fees) in its FY 2014 President’s Budget. Congress appropriated the Office $47 million less than the initial request, $3,024 million. Of the appropriated amount, the USPTO has apportioned $2,768 in patent fees. Throughout FY 2014, fee collections tracked above the appropriated level. At the end of the fiscal year, the Office collected $129 million of patent fees above the appropriated level, which is the first deposit into the PTFRF. The USPTO is planning to submit a reprogramming notification for these funds, which will be the USPTO’s first opportunity to access funds deposited in the PTFRF.
The USPTO began the fiscal year reacting to the impact from a number of funding challenges and implementation of provisions of the AIA experienced in FYs 2012 and 2013. Sequestration and uncertainty over the implementation of a new patent fee schedule affected operations in FY 2013, which required adjustments to budget plans in FY 2014. The USPTO collected lower patent fee revenue than it originally planned in the FY 2013 President’s Budget due to the changes reflected in the new patent fee schedule. In addition, sequestration was implemented against total collections, which further impacted available resources in FY 2013. The USPTO took action by reducing planned obligations through a minimal hiring approach, which delayed plans to reach targeted pendency goals, deferred major IT spending, and cut other discretionary projects. With prudent fiscal management, the USPTO moved forward on a number of spending priorities to support the strategic plan objectives and goals. These priorities include patent pendency and backlog reduction, investments in information technology, completing implementation of the AIA, enhancing quality of patent examination by maintaining and improving quality measurement, and opening its second permanent satellite office in Denver, CO.
Additionally, the USPTO implemented certain fee adjustments in December 2013 to align with the Patent Law Treaty and lowered issue and publication fees in January 2014 as part of the inaugural FY 2013 Patent Fee Setting and Adjusting rule.
The USPTO’s appropriation bill is congressionally marked at $3,458 million. The Office estimated FY 2015 fee collections in the FY 2015 President’s Budget of $3,442. Priorities for the upcoming fiscal year are a continuation of FY 2014 focuses, to include: reducing patent pendency and the backlog of unexamined patent applications, while working with stakeholders to refine long-term pendency goals that will meet the needs of both the Office and the IP community; opening an additional satellite office in San Jose, CA; continuing the transition to a sustainable funding model, which includes building the operating reserve and conducting the biennial fee review; enhancing patent and trademark quality by maintaining and improving quality measurement and improving the quality of patent and trademark examination; increasing the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) ability to provide timely and high quality decisions; and ensuring optimal information technology service delivery to both employees and stakeholders by transitioning to next generation technology and services.
In response to concerns identified in the House FY 2015 CJS Appropriation Report language regarding the USPTO’s IT infrastructure, the Office, with congressional authority, plans to increase IT spending above the planned level identified in the FY 2015 President’s Budget. The resulting impact on increased fiscal year spending may reduce the estimated operating reserve level in FY 2015.
FY 2014 has been a great year financially for the USPTO. However, it is as important now as ever to emphasize that a consistent funding stream and full access to fees for this 100% user-fee-funded agency is essential to the operation of the Office.
The PPAC is also very concerned regarding the PTFRF that was established by the AIA. The first deposit into the PTFRF was made this fall. This will be the first test of whether the USPTO will indeed have access to all user fees regardless of whether the fees are in excess of the Office’s congressionally-approved appropriations. This will be the first test of whether the language of the AIA fulfills its stated purpose.
While we commend this step forward, we cannot ignore the continuing financial uncertainty that the Office is subjected to annually. As such, the PPAC again urges 1) the Administration to prevent the application of any future sequestrations of, or revenue diversions from, the Office and 2) for Congress to consider removing the Office from the appropriations process.
The PPAC will continue to monitor and consult with the USPTO as the appropriation and biennial fee review processes continue. We are confident that the USPTO will continue its outreach to all stakeholders, including the PPAC, to ascertain the appropriate fee schedule going forward.
In this Section of the report, the PPAC describes the information technology (IT) initiatives undertaken by the USPTO and the continued progress made this year in supporting the Office’s overall objectives and strategic goals. Under the direction of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), the USPTO selects, integrates, implements, and maintains information technology in support of improving patent quality, reducing pendency and backlog, advancing IP leadership in the United States and internationally, and building and maintaining a 21st century work environment.
In FY 2014, the OCIO accelerated the pace of IT development after sustaining drastic cuts during the prior year’s sequestration. The Office significantly increased the IT budget this year in order to allow for the resumption of key initiatives such as Patents End-to-End and to continue to upgrade its aging IT infrastructure. The USPTO resumed hiring, engaged new contractors, restarted tabled projects, and increased IT spending by 71% (an increase of about $262 million) from FY 2013 to FY 2014. The jump in spending this year was largely due to the restoration of funding for projects that had been brought to a dead stop in April 2013 during sequestration. This resulted in progress on work that had been deferred or delayed during the previous year’s budget cuts. However, because of the latency in hiring and resuming projects that was noted in our previous report, the USPTO is still recovering from the sequestration and the IT infrastructure remains at risk.
Further increases in IT spending are planned and are necessary for FY 2015 and FY 2016 to continue projects that were put on hold during FY 2013, hire qualified staff to support new technologies as they are phased in, and maintain mission-critical systems during the transition to a new infrastructure. These additional incremental costs are needed not only to complete the long-delayed modernization of the Office’s aging infrastructure, but also at the same time to support the increasing demands of a growing, distributed workforce, improved global work sharing and internationalization, ongoing threats to system stability and security, and increased automation and streamlining of filings and processes—in essence, the OCIO is “changing the wheels” as the vehicle is not only still moving but increasing in speed.
The OCIO expects IT spending to taper and in fact plans lower spending in FY 2017 and beyond, as the new systems take over and the Office no longer has to bear the costs of supporting both the legacy systems and new technologies. Baseline IT spending in the out years is still expected to be higher than FY 2012 or FY 2013 (during sequestration) due to higher labor costs and a much larger examiner corps; however, the spending profile reflects the projected cost-effectiveness of IT spending once the legacy systems are retired.
Total USPTO IT Spend (in $1000s)
OCIO Total Non-Comp
In alignment with the USPTO’s overall strategic goals of improving patent quality and reducing pendency, the OCIO is responsible for deploying and maintaining modern IT systems and infrastructure that improve quality and efficiency, for example, by helping examiners to work productively and effectively and by supporting communication and coordination with the user community and international stakeholders.
As the PPAC has reported in previous years, the Office has undertaken a set of modernization initiatives to drive these objectives, with a portfolio known as “Patents End-to-End” (PE2E) as its mainstay. PE2E, as its name indicates, is a set of IT systems aimed at streamlining the processing of patent documents and actions from their inception to their downstream archiving. At its core, PE2E implements an advanced data architecture based on open, text-based industry standards such as the Extensible Markup Language, or XML, moving away from proprietary, image-based approaches that are behind some of the USPTO’s legacy data-handling systems. In addition to offering opportunities for enhancements to patent quality (for example, through better search capabilities, collaboration among examiners and offices, and consistency in office actions), the PE2E portfolio comprises part of the Office’s need to upgrade an aging IT infrastructure, a challenge faced by all large-scale organizations.
In FY 2014, the OCIO revived dozens of projects that had been de-funded or had funding reduced during the budget cuts of FY 2013. This entailed selecting and engaging new contractors to perform highly skilled technical work, as well as hiring over 100 new IT employees. Because of the timing of bringing on and training new people and deploying them to projects, some of the projects that had been delayed could not be resumed until late in the fiscal year. However, as of the time of this report, the OCIO is on track in terms of recovering ground lost during the previous year. Nearly every delayed project has been at least restarted. Additionally, the IT staff has met the ongoing requirements of the America Invents Act and international initiatives such as Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) and Global Dossier. The OCIO has also done a commendable job of stabilizing legacy systems that could not be upgraded.
In its strategic plans and budget requests throughout recent years, the Office has noted the need to modernize its aging IT infrastructure and systems, as well as pointing out the potential costs to stakeholders of having out-of-date systems (due to potential inefficiencies and downtime) along with the opportunities for improvements (due to collaboration and improved workflow and examination practices). As noted above, the OCIO has launched a number of mission-critical initiatives to improve IT infrastructure, processes, and systems.
The PPAC recognizes that the approximately $262 million increase in IT funding for FY 2014 over the reduced $368 million expenditure in FY 2013 was a necessary and positive increment. It must be acknowledged, however, that this funding has simply put the Office back on the right track as far as IT is concerned and that continued and even faster progress must be made in order to overcome the deficiencies that have been repeatedly stated in these reports and in the Office’s plans and budget requests. FY 2014 has been a year of recovery—the current situation shows the harm that was done as the result of budget cuts and uncertainty, along with the improvements that may come from stable funding and budget clarity. Given the inertia that must be overcome in restaffing, restarting projects, replanning in the face of new conditions and requirements, and programming and testing complex systems, it will take years more for the Office to get to where it should be in terms of IT systems modernization.
The Patent Application Location and Monitoring system (PALM) is an excellent example of an aging USPTO mission-critical system. PALM is the backbone database and transaction processing system that records and tracks actions related to patent applications throughout the Office. It was designed for mainframe computers in the 1980s, and, while it has been updated on various occasions, it has not been replaced. Key portions of PALM were slated for modernization at the onset of the PE2E investment, but these portions are still maintained as legacy products because of the cutbacks to PE2E mentioned above along with the higher priority given to other projects discussed here, such as CPC, One Portal Dossier, and Global Patent Search Network (GPSN). The longer legacy replacements and enhancements wait, the more resources are required simply to keep obsolete systems running and the greater the risk of serious system failure.
Other examples of aging mission-critical systems include those used for prior art searching during examination. Examiners currently use search systems known as EAST (Examiner Automated Search Tool), WEST (Web-based Examiner Search Tool), and a set of external databases often referred to as NPL (Non-Patent Literature), as well as some of the same facilities available to all through the Internet. The Office-specific tools, upon which examiners rely most heavily for patent searching, were built upon a proprietary framework developed by a company then known as BRS Search. Like PALM, this custom framework was state of the art during the 1980s and was slated for replacement with the PE2E search framework, which uses current open source software. The new PE2E search facility was tested in 2012 and used in 2013 for Chinese-language patents as part of the GPSN project, but its development and deployment to examiners was put on hold during the FY 2013 budget cuts. Work on this initiative has resumed, but this is another instance where the Office is still behind and playing catch-up. Efficient and effective search is clearly a crucial part of examination: as noted elsewhere in this report, the PPAC notes that conducting a thorough and effective search early in the examination process is a key goal in improving quality in examination processes and work product. The PPAC is concerned that a growing examiner corps is being tasked to undertake an increasing number of prior art searches at a time when the supporting systems are basically unchanged from where they were when the USPTO recommended their upgrade years ago.
These examples illustrate that, while the IT funding situation has improved and work is progressing with deliberate speed, the PPAC notes the ever urgent need for aggressive development in IT at the same time that it is pleased with the improvements in funding and commends the OCIO for progress during FY 2014.
Since our last report, the PPAC has noted that substantial progress has been made in the following areas.
1. Patent Examination Tools & Infrastructure
The Patent Examination Tools & Infrastructure projects include a set of integrated workflow, case management, and viewing and search tools to help examiners work productively and effectively. Some examples of the new functionality included in these tools are advanced claims management (including claims tree and claims analysis), reference management, and the ability to search within a pending patent application. During FY 2014, upgrades to the Examination Tools included an enhanced viewing tool compliant with the electronic Desktop Application Navigator (eDAN) docket viewer currently used by the examiner corps. These enhancements included uploading and viewing references and information disclosure statements (IDS) as well as note taking and workflow planning. Complete parity with eDAN, as well as release to the complete corps of examiners and supervising patent examiners, is planned during the next year.
2. Global IT Systems
a. Cooperative Patent Classification
Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) harmonizes patent classification system between the European Patent Office and the USPTO. Because CPC differs from the systems previously used at the USPTO, additional technical resources are needed to search across CPC patent classes, as well as to assign CPC codes to patents. Work on CPC in FY 2014 included a Classification Allocation Tool to assist examiners in cooperatively assigning patent classes, as well as a Transfer & Search Assistance Tool to help transfer applications, two additional steps toward automating the reclassification of patents according to CPC.
b. Global Dossier and One Portal Dossier
Global Dossier is a set of projects to facilitate global work sharing by transmitting patent data from the USPTO to its overseas partners, as well as provide access to patent data from other IP5 offices (representing, outside of the United States, China, Korea, Europe, and Japan). One Portal Dossier is a part of the Examiner Tools & Infrastructure component of the PE2E portfolio, through which examiners will be able to view non-USPTO patent dossiers using the same viewers that help to process U.S. applications. During the coming years, the Office plans to offer public access to foreign dossiers, such as that currently available through the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system.
The PPAC believes that IT development and modernization efforts at the OCIO have produced valuable results in support of the USPTO’s mission. In last year’s report, the PPAC recommended a large budget increase for IT and further recommended protecting critical IT projects from budget cuts. The USPTO and the Administration granted IT a large increase for FY 2014 and have planned further increases for the future, with the understanding that IT spending will be reduced as legacy systems are replaced. Progress must continue in the following areas:
|1. Continue to provide increased funding|
As discussed above, the dramatic mid-year cuts in FY 2013 significantly compromised mission-critical IT systems at the Office and derailed modernization efforts aimed at improving quality and reducing pendency, among other strategic objectives. In order to reverse this and have a chance at catching up, significant increases in the IT budget were required for FY 2014. Stable funding is envisioned during the coming years due to the greatly improved budget situation at the USPTO. The Office must continue to invest in IT systems and to guard against the kind of events that led to the disruptions in IT projects and modernization during the previous year.
|2. Continue to modernize IT systems and replace legacy IT systems|
While the OCIO has made great progress in stabilizing IT systems, some of the systems, particularly PALM, continue to be obsolete, resulting in threats to the organization as every system failure leads to productivity losses from a growing workforce dependent on electronic systems. The Office must move forward aggressively with its efforts to modernize these systems and replace legacy systems as necessary. For the next two years, at least, this means that the Office will bear the high cost of maintaining a number of legacy systems at the same time that it invests in projects that will ultimately replace these systems. Additionally, the Office must hire new technical staff that are skilled in current technologies at the same time that it pays for the specialized skills required to maintain systems that are out-of-date. This is an expensive situation to be in, but the PPAC sees no alternative for the Office but to pay the price of finally moving to a current-day IT environment, particularly for the infrastructure that supports the work of examiners and the fee-paying user community. Once the price is paid, system development and maintenance should progress more efficiently and IT budgets as a percentage of total operations should decline significantly.
|3. Expand support for the global IT community|
Technology support for globalization, such as One Portal Dossier and CPC, continued to be bright spots for the OCIO in FY 2014. These projects must continue, since these efforts are centerpieces of harmonization activities with the other key patent offices and with stakeholders of our global trading partners, as the USPTO moves forward with its vision of leading the world in IP protection and policy.
|4. Continue to upgrade and expand links with stakeholders|
While much of this report has focused on the role of IT in support of workforce productivity and effectiveness, the OCIO also plays a significant part in stakeholder service and in expanding links with the nation’s and world’s IP community. Certain efforts, such as Text2PTO and enhancements to the USPTO’s Web site, were scaled back in FY 2013 and must pick up again in the future. Additionally, the Office should examine all customer-facing systems as part of ongoing quality initiatives and IT work should be slated to continue to improve these systems. The PPAC further recommends that the Office expand its engagement with the user community (for example, in its work on Text2PTO) to educate the public and make the most of the benefits of streamlined, text-based systems for the user community, such as in enhanced searching and easier compliance.
Requests for continued examination (RCEs) have become a necessary part of examination for many patent applications because it has become increasingly difficult to reach agreement on allowable subject matter with current compact prosecution processes and a single opportunity to modify claim language following rejections based on the prior art. In many cases, in order to further pursue the invention, the filing of an RCE has now become more or less essential. This represents a cost to applicants, but the bigger negative consequence of an RCE is the delay experienced in the middle of a “continued examination.” Thus, RCEs continue to represent a problem for applicants in being both a vehicle and impediment to the goal of receiving a patent for their inventions. Through a series of initiatives developed by the Patents RCE team, led by Commissioner for Patents Peggy Focarino and Deputy Commissioner for Patent Operations Andrew Faile, significant inroads into the backlog of RCEs was made during FY 2013 and continued during FY 2014 in reducing the backlog of RCEs.
Following the move of RCEs from the examiners’ amended docket to the special continuing docket, the backlog of RCEs ballooned from about 17,000 in October of 2009 to over 110,000 in March of 2013, as can be seen in the chart below. During FY 2013, in cooperation with the PPAC, the USPTO held a series of roundtables and focus sessions around the country and from the input, developed a number of initiatives, which were divided into Phase 1 for fast implementation and Phase 2 for later implementation. The PPAC was a key participant and supporter of these roundtables and sessions. Changes made to the count system and focused attention on examining RCEs led to a reduction in the backlog of RCEs to 78,272 at the end of FY 2013 (September 2013). Continued efforts and implementation of Phase 2 of the RCE Leveling Plan provided further reductions to 46,441 at the end of FY 2014. These are impressive achievements.
As a result of the move of RCEs from the amended docket to a continuing new case docket, the time between filing of the RCEs and the first office action rose from about two to three months previously, to one to two years in FY 2013, representing a truly significant gap in the prosecution of “continued examination,” leading to increased applicant frustration and dissatisfaction. Stemming from the implementation of the RCE Leveling Plan, Phases 1 and 2, the time to completion of an action has shortened. As the RCEs were completed, the overall age of the RCEs awaiting an action has been reduced. The following chart shows the distribution of the RCE backlog by age as compared between October 1, 2013, and August 6, 2014. It can be seen that significant progress has been made in all ages of the RCEs with the oldest RCEs specifically being targeted. This also represents an achievement worthy of praise. However, it can be seen that approximately 24,150 RCEs (52%) of the total are older than four months, an improvement from the 73.4% as of October 1, 2013. Consequently, because RCEs technically are amended applications and Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) begins accruing at four months from the RCE request, all RCEs older than four months will receive PTA of varying amounts of time when actions are completed on them. Of real concern, there still seem to be about 1,700 applications more than 24 months old awaiting an action. As a public policy matter, the public should have certainty about when they will be able to utilize patented technology. Granting PTA should be an unusual event; it should not occur in large numbers of applications. The Office eliminated a deadline for completing RCEs with the move of RCEs from the amended docket, and as a consequence, significant delays in the prosecution have occurred. This is particularly problematic because, when an RCE is requested, an abandonment is counted and the pendency for that application is captured in the Traditional Total Pendency numbers. However, the pendency for the continued examination of the RCE is not included in the Traditional Total Pendency statistics. It is captured only in RCE pendency and Traditional Total Pendency including RCEs statistics reported only on the USPTO Patent Dashboard. To provide real “continued examination” in RCEs, the applications must be picked up for examination quickly and an established goal for completion of an action is essential. RCEs are amended applications and should be treated consistently as such. They should be returned to the amended docket. If that cannot be arranged, in the short term a goal of four months absolute for completion of RCEs would, at least, align with the congressionally-mandated PTA timeframe for completion of amended applications.
The reductions in the overall RCE backlog have resulted in reductions in the backlog of RCEs per examiner in each Technology Center (TC). According to the chart below, one can see reductions in all TCs. It is noted, however, that significant differences exist among the TCs for how many RCEs occur per examiner. An examination of what drives these differences might assist in reducing the need for RCE filings.
For the past few years, the USPTO has been seeking input from the PPAC and the public and developing initiatives to improve processes, reduce the backlog of RCEs, and find ways to reduce the need for filing RCEs. These programs, including the AFCP 2.0, QPIDS, and Phase 1 of the RCE Leveling Plan, have shown some success. The backlog of RCEs has been dramatically reduced and QPIDS has allowed applicants to obtain consideration of references cited in an IDS after payment of the issue fee in many situations without requiring the filing of an RCE, as shown in the statistics below. These positive outcomes are applauded.
A preliminary External Survey of the AFCP 2.0 provided encouraging responses in being somewhat or very effective in advancing prosecution and 62% of the respondents stated that the pilot was likely to reduce the likelihood of filing an RCE. Perception is valuable, but an actual evaluation of those applications in which the AFCP 2.0 was requested and their outcomes would assist in the evaluation of this pilot. It could be determined in what percentage of the applications the amendment was entered and in what percentage of the applications an RCE was subsequently filed.
A new Web page initiated by the USPTO during FY 2014 is the Patent Application Initiatives (PAI) program. It is a single online location where applicants and examiners can compare the advantages of the patent programs available to applicants during various stages of prosecution. It provides detailed information that can be used to evaluate the various programs and is displayed as both a timeline as well as a matrix (grid) to provide different ways of considering the programs. Since the external launch in September of 2013, the Web page has received over 35,000 visitors. The internal site was launched in June of 2014 to include additional examiner information, including items such as time codes reported by examiners on their time sheets. This tool is a very valuable consolidated view of what programs might be available to an applicant at any point in time and represents a major step forward in presenting a picture of the many programs which have been developed. The PPAC recommends the use of the tool and congratulates the USPTO on its creation.
In conjunction with the AFCP 2.0, additional training was provided to examiners, which may assist in making that program more effective.
Some additional initiatives that are being developed include internal USPTO advanced training in after final practice and compact prosecution, how to effectively review an application, how to better identify allowable subject matter, and continuing one-on-one training for those examiners with a large number of RCEs. Additionally, the USPTO is targeting claim construction training for practitioners. All of these training initiatives should provide value and assist in the reduction of RCEs. The effort does take actions from both the examiners and the practitioners to speed prosecution to conclusion. It is believed that both examiners and practitioners could benefit from training on claim construction. Practitioners could benefit from a better understanding of how examiners view claims in the broadest reasonable interpretation, and examiners could benefit from training about what is a broadest reasonable interpretation.
Significant progress has been made on RCE backlogs and much creative thinking has been advanced by the RCE team—Andrew Faile (Deputy Commissioner for Patents), Remy Yucel, Dan Sullivan, Bonnie Eyler, and Kathy Matecki—with support and encouragement by the management of the USPTO, Michelle Lee (Deputy Under Secretary) and Peggy Focarino (Commissioner for Patents). These continuing efforts are vital to providing success and represent a constructive dialog with both the PPAC and the public in finding programs and solutions that assist applicants and the USPTO.
The reduction in the RCE backlog from a high of 110,000 in March of 2013 to 46,441 at the end of FY 2014 represents a significant achievement, and the PPAC applauds this effort and result. Implementation of various programs, including the AFCP 2.0, PAI, and QPIDs, demonstrates leadership and flexibility in identifying multiple approaches to the problem. Continuing to find ways to improve and modify the initiatives, along with new ones, is critical to the successful reduction of RCEs. The deployment of the PAI to educate the public on the availability of the multitude of programs is especially noteworthy. Continued training for examiners, supervisors, and practitioners to increase understanding of proper rejections and how to work together more effectively can only assist these efforts.
The progress to date is worthy of praise, but there are always ways to make additional improvements, and the PPAC looks forward to continuing the dialog with the USPTO and providing help and suggestions to find ways to get to allowance faster and reduce the need for RCEs.
The PPAC recommends that RCEs be returned to the amended docket because they are actually amended applications, not new applications. Alternatively, because PTA begins accruing at four months, the USPTO should set a goal for completion of RCEs within four months of filing. This should not be an average but rather a goal for completion of all RCEs within that timeframe. PTA should not be granted in these applications, and efforts should be made to reduce the gap in prosecution in the “continued examination” applications. Additionally, RCEs should be segregated from the serialized filings and identified separately in the count of new applications because, in fact, they are not new applications but continued prosecution under the same serial number.
The PPAC recommends that the AFCP 2.0 be made permanent and that efforts be made for the consideration of more amendments after final. For example, an amendment incorporating two dependent claims into an independent claim should not be considered as requiring a new search. While that exact claim was not previously presented, it is hard to understand how the concepts of those claims were not searched and art relevant to each claim was not uncovered in most situations. Encouraging the entry of modest amendments to the claims would help reduce the need for RCEs.
The PPAC recommends providing more alternatives rather than the filing of RCEs during prosecution. Increasingly, applications require more than one response in order to reach allowable subject matter. Providing the opportunity of the entry of two responses as a matter of right in each application and/or providing an option for paying for the consideration of one more amendment after a final rejection could assist both applicants and the USPTO.
The PPAC recommends that the USPTO permit applicants to participate in an interview in the pre-appeal brief conference and/or the appeal conference. It is believed that having the opportunity to make arguments in person in real time to respond to positions taken by the Office would reduce the need for RCEs and appeals to the PTAB. Also, it seems that even more understanding by the Office and practitioners of the invention and prior art occurs when there are supervisors present in the interviews, leading to more significant advancement of the prosecution towards agreement. Thus, providing these interview opportunities with the examiner, a supervisor, and in some instances, another senior person, would assist the USPTO and applicants in finding resolution in the cases without the need for an RCE or appeal. This is a desired outcome from all perspectives. It appears that the investment of more time for these interviews would pay dividends in the reduction of overall work for examiners and the PTAB, making it a wise investment. A pilot with a fee could be developed for such a program to test the outcomes.
The USPTO should evaluate the count system and what behaviors it is incentivizing. For example, since the change in counts that now provides credit for the completion of a final rejection, has the incidence of final rejections increased? Are there ways to incentivize more consideration of amendments after final to offset the incentives (more counts for examiner production available in the RCE) that may push for the filing of an RCE? How often do final rejections cite new prior art identified by examiners, particularly prior art which was also applicable to the claims as filed?
The PPAC recommends that efforts be made to target and examine the oldest RCEs, particularly the large number older than 24 months.
The value in an organization comes from its people, and the Office has been fortunate to have been able to build and retain a workforce of dedicated examiners. The sequester in 2013 severely limited the Office’s ability to hire new examiners; however, with a stable budget and greater certainty moving forward, the Office has been able to increase the number of new hires in FY 2014 and return to its hiring goals for 2015 and beyond. During FY 2013, due in significant part to budget constraints, only 559 new examiners were hired instead of a planned 1000, representing a significant decrease from the 1507 new examiners hired during FY 2012. Furthermore, the planned hiring of 1500 examiners in FY 2014 had been reduced in the President’s Budget to 250. The impact of stable funding resulted in the hiring of 964 new examiners in FY 2014 and a goal of adding 400-600 new examiners in 2015. Furthermore, the Office saw a decrease in the attrition rate between 2013 and 2014. In FY 2013, the attrition rate was 3.94%, and in 2014 that rate decreased to 3.39%, a nearly 14% decrease during a time where there is an improving economy and higher job demand. This is largely due to the positive work environment that resulted in the Office being named the #1 Best Place to Work in the Federal Government in 2013 (see http://www.uspto.gov/news/pr/2013/13-40.jsp).
The Office continues to look for examiners with previous patent experience. The Office anticipated that such experienced patent professionals would require less training and thus would have the ability to start examining patent applications sooner. Of the 868 new examiners hired, 33 are experienced patent professionals. Over the past three years, the Office has added 232 experienced examiners to the Corps.
In 2012, the first Satellite Office in Detroit, Michigan, opened for business. In addition to the first satellite office in Detroit, Michigan, there is now a permanent satellite office open in Denver, Colorado, and temporary offices in Silicon Valley, California, and Dallas, Texas. The hiring holds that were placed on these new offices during the sequester have been lifted and a total of 137 examiners and 47 judges have been hired. An additional 112 examiners are expected to be hired for these offices in 2015:
2015 Expected Hire
The PPAC recommends continuing to target experienced patent professionals for the available new examiner positions and to advance distributed workforce initiatives to attract a larger pool of well-qualified candidates and further enhance retention of experienced examiners for an entire career.
After hiring only 538 examiners in 2013, the Office, due to stable funding, was able to hire an additional 964 examiners in 2014, of which 33 were experienced IP professionals. The attrition rate decreased from 3.94% to 3.39% and can be attributed largely to the positive work environment. By comparison, the attrition rate just five years ago (FY 2009) was 6.3% (5.6% excluding transfers and retirees). While the Office continues to focus on a number of initiatives to increase retention and employee satisfaction, it is also important to note that the attrition rate is historically lower during more challenging economic conditions. Accordingly, the PPAC recommends that the Office continue to focus on initiatives to further reduce attrition and keep experienced, productive examiners.
New Hire Goal
Total Number of
The PPAC believes that it is important to continue to hire examiners and maintain the low attrition rates to allow the examiner ranks to grow to appropriate levels. The Office has set a revised goal of hiring 400-600 examiners in FY 2015, to enable it to reduce the backlog and meet its continued operating goals.
Attracting and maintaining a skilled corps of examiners is also effective in reducing the learning curve of examination of applications and reducing backlog. The PPAC strongly recommends that the Office be provided stable funding to hire enough examiners to maintain appropriate levels in FY 2015 and beyond.
Funding, and specifically the sequester, had a substantial impact on hiring during FY 2013.
Roughly 80% of the Office’s budget is non-discretionary (payroll and overhead), and the Office’s ability to react to the sequester was therefore limited. As a result, during FY 2013, the Office needed to significantly reduce its hiring goals. Only 538 new examiners were hired in FY 2013, falling far short of the original goal of hiring 1500 new examiners. In addition, there were no hires in three of the four new satellite offices, nor were there any plans to hire for these offices in FY 2014.
With stable funding in place for FY 2014, a dramatic improvement was achieved, resulting in 964 new examiners hired, including 137 examiners hired for the satellite offices.
Illustrated below is the impact of hiring on pendency to first action:
In light of the recent budget constraints, the Office has instituted and furthered a number of initiatives to make the most of its current Examiner Corps. Several of these initiatives are described below:
|1. Develop Hiring of Experienced Patent Professionals|
During FY 2010, the Office initiated a new hiring model to encourage individuals with previous patent experience to apply for a position as a patent examiner. This model was intended to place more emphasis on recruiting candidates with significant patent experience while previous hiring focused more on technical background/experience. The hope is that experienced patent professionals would require less training and thus would have the ability to start examining patent applications sooner.
Since 2010, the Office has consistently been able to hire experienced patent professionals. In FY 2014, the Office added 33 on top of the 199 it had already hired in the past two years. Since this program began, the Office has added 388 new examiners with previous patent experience. The PPAC encourages the Office to continue with this program.
|2. Target Overtime and Backlog Areas|
The Office has used overtime and awards as an efficient way to manage its workload and reduce the backlog of applications in addition to new examiner hires. With stable funding in FY 2014, the Office was able to use overtime to help reduce the backlog. The PPAC believes that continued judicious use of overtime and incentives can be helpful in reducing the backlog of applications.
|3. Nationwide Workforce|
The Office has been successful in developing a nationwide workforce. The USPTO’s workforce consists of employees that work at locations other than the Alexandria headquarters, thus allowing employees to choose where they desire to live. This segment of USPTO employees either participates in the Patents Hoteling Program (PHP) or works from the USPTO satellite offices in Detroit, Denver, Silicon Valley, or Dallas.
There are currently 3,897 examiners that participate in the PHP. This group is comprised of two segments: employees whose worksite is within 50 miles from the Alexandria campus and those with a worksite greater than 50 miles from the Alexandria campus. Currently, 59.4% of eligible examiners and 47.3% of all examiners work remotely in the hoteling program. This represents a slight increase over 2013.
The PPAC recommends that the Office continue to support, promote, and expand the PHP, which permits examiners to work from remote locations. It also strongly recommends that systems be put in place to properly manage this program to measure productivity and monitor potential abuse.
Further, the PPAC continues to support the Telework Enhancement Act Pilot Program (TEAPP) that provides more flexibility regarding employee travel requirements. TEAPP began in January 2012, and participation was limited to 25% of full-time teleworkers (hotelers). In July 2013, the TEAPP Oversight Committee reached agreement with the three bargaining units to expand the participation level in the pilot program to 25% of all employees eligible for the PHP (i.e., GS12 and above). As of the end of the third quarter, the 25% of eligible employees represented 1,605 participation slots for TEAPP. The Office currently has 1,547 participants and 58 slots remaining to be assigned.
|4. New Programs|
New programs allow employees to take law school courses and technical courses to enhance their legal and technical knowledge and allow examiner opportunities to visit companies to gain technical knowledge in their areas of expertise, which enhances their patent examination duties, and ongoing technical and legal development for examiners has been reduced.
The PPAC recommends that the Office continue to receive stable funding to allow for the hiring of 400-600 new examiners in FY 2015. The PPAC believes that the insufficient hiring due to inadequate funding in previous years has had an impact on the Office, but that a return to stable funding will allow the Office to restore hiring goals and move the Office forward towards reducing the backlog. Additionally, the PPAC recommends continuing to target experienced IP professionals for the available new examiner positions and to advance geographical expansion of the workforce and telework initiatives to attract a larger pool of well-qualified candidates and further enhance retention of experienced examiners for an entire career.
The issuance of high quality patents with a reasonable pendency remains the most important priority for the USPTO. Stakeholders must be able to rely on the validity of issued patents. Applicants benefit from timely decisions and from obtaining patent rights while the invention is commercially viable in the marketplace.
The USPTO made positive strides in patent quality during FY 2014. The USPTO has identified at least three facets to world class patent examination quality: (i) providing the best work products and services at every stage of the patent process; (ii) improving stakeholder experience with the USPTO based on excellent customer service; and (iii) engaging stakeholders in partnership to educate and seek input. Below is a list of quality improvement initiatives that directly relate to each of these three facets.
|1. Quality Assurance|
The USPTO undertook efforts in 2014 to improve the measurement of patent examination quality through various initiatives. The USPTO is renewing its focus on reducing re-work by emphasizing quality early in the examination process, expanding information collected during the review of examiners’ work product, and feeding review data back into the examination process at the earliest stage. For example, the USPTO is increasing the number of focused reviews conducted by the Office of Patent Quality Assurance and is measuring the impact of training in order to continue to refine and improve examiner training. The USPTO is also evaluating and refining the Patent Quality Composite measure. As part of this effort, the USPTO will hold a series of roadshows in the future to gather stakeholder input regarding refining patent quality measures to better reflect current goals and meet stakeholder needs.
|2. Legal Training|
The USPTO has implemented a multi-phased legal refresher training program for all examiners that focuses on evaluating functional claiming and improving the clarity of the examination record. During the past year, the USPTO has completed four training modules related to functional claiming and is currently implementing the fifth training module. Over the next several months, the USPTO plans to provide examiners with additional legal refresher training on claim interpretation and written description compliance to ensure consistency in the examination of applications and to promote clear and complete written records that will lead to higher quality issued patents.
|3. Technical Training|
The USPTO is expanding its Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP) to provide patent examiners with direct access to experts from industry and academics who can share their technical knowledge on prior art and industry standards in areas of emerging and established technologies. The expansion of the PETTP includes simplifying the process to solicit and review training offers from experts and developing a publicity campaign to enhance awareness of, and increase participation in, the PETTP.
|4. Crowd Sourcing Prior Art|
The USPTO is expanding ways for the public to help examiners determine whether an invention is patentable by finding relevant prior art through the use of crowd sourcing. Based on stakeholder input, the USPTO has implemented a multi-faceted approach that includes: (i) evaluating the AIA third-party prior art submission process to determine how to increase volume and improve the quality of these submissions; (ii) updating examiner guidance and training to empower examiners to more effectively use crowd sourcing to locate prior art; and (iii) employing a Presidential Innovation Fellow to research how crowd sourcing can most effectively be used to improve patent quality. The USPTO’s crowd sourcing program will expand ways for the public to help examiners determine whether an invention is patentable by finding relevant prior art. This program is a worthy initiative.
|5. Glossary Pilot Program|
The USPTO launched a Glossary Pilot Program in June 2014 designed to enhance claim clarity in software-related patent applications by gauging the use of glossaries by applicants.
|6. Information Technology Systems|
The USPTO has undertaken a series of modernization initiatives to update aging infrastructure and extensively improve its information technology (IT) systems. The key component of this plan is a project called Patents End-to-End (PE2E), which is a set of IT systems aimed at streamlining the processing of patent documents and actions from their inception to their downstream archiving. PE2E will provide opportunities for enhancements to patent quality through improved search capabilities and consistency in office actions.
|1. Interview Training|
Since 2012, the USPTO has provided examiners with annual interview practice training. In 2014, the USPTO continued this training to promote discussion between examiners and applicants to ensure that issues that arise during prosecution are resolved as effectively and efficiently as possible.
|2. Pro Se / Pro Bono Program|
The USPTO is developing a pilot program that will dedicate a team of specially trained patent examiners to examine pro se filed applications and work with pro se applicants during prosecution. In addition, the USPTO is planning to allocate additional staff dedicated to assisting pro se applicants in preparing and filing patent applications. As explained in more detail in the Pro Bono Program and Bar Association Engagement section of this report, the USPTO also hired a pro bono coordinator to expand the Pro Bono Program, which helps pro se applicants secure an attorney to represent them before the USPTO, to all regions in the United States.
|3. Customer Support Call Centers|
The USPTO has numerous call centers that provide patent information and services to applicants and the public, including independent inventors, small businesses, and university-affiliated inventors. The call centers assist stakeholders with questions relating to how to file a patent application, fees, prosecution-related issues, petitions, and publishing. Employees at these call centers regularly undergo customer service training to ensure stakeholders are provided the highest quality customer service. A representative from the USPTO’s call centers spoke at multiple PPAC meetings in 2014.
|4. Patents Ombudsman Program|
This program enhances the USPTO’s ability to assist applicants, such as independent inventors and small businesses, or their representatives with issues that arise during patent application prosecution. More specifically, when there is a breakdown in the normal application process, including before and after prosecution, the Patents Ombudsman Program can assist to ensure the application is on the right track. The PPAC supports the use of the Patents Ombudsman Program as it enhances the USPTO’s ability to assist applicants with issues that arise during patent application prosecution. The PPAC is in the process of requesting information from the USPTO with respect to how often this program is used. Stakeholders have raised concerns of retribution from examiners if applicants involve the Patent Ombudsman and complain about the quality or speed of patent prosecution.
|5. Customer Satisfaction Surveys|
The USPTO conducts multiple surveys to measure satisfaction of applicants and practitioners with patent examination quality and to gather feedback from stakeholders on how well the USPTO is meeting the needs of the users it serves. Feedback from these surveys helps the USPTO make the necessary adjustments to continue to provide high quality service to its stakeholders.
|1. Stakeholder Partnerships/Outreach|
The USPTO has formed several partnerships with the stakeholder community to provide opportunities to bring stakeholders and the USPTO together to share ideas, feedback, experiences, and insight on patent related issues arising in specific technology areas. For example, during the past two years, the USPTO held well-attended Software Partnership meetings covering topics on functional claiming, glossaries, prior art, and crowd sourcing. The USPTO has also conducted outreach meetings with a number of trade associations, business groups, advocacy organizations, and other interested parties to provide an update on how the White House’s Executive Actions are being implemented and to facilitate discussions related to patent reform.
|2. Roadshows and Other Public Meetings|
The USPTO held a public forum in May 2014 to receive public feedback from organizations and individuals on the USPTO’s recently issued subject matter eligibility guidance. The USPTO also conducted roundtables on the AIA trials (see http://www.uspto.gov/ip/boards/bpai/ptab_aia_trial_roundtables_2014.jsp) and roadshows on AIA FITF (see http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/roadshow.jsp). As noted above, the USPTO plans to hold multiple roadshows over the coming months to collect stakeholder input on refining patent quality measures to better reflect current goals and meet stakeholder needs.
The PPAC commends the Office for adopting the three-facet approach and other programs aimed at advancing world class patent examination quality. However, the PPAC continues to remain concerned with the quality of examination as some stakeholders do not believe that examiners conduct a complete, initial search based on the scope of the claims in the initial patent applications. In addition, stakeholders have expressed concern that, even if a complete search is conducted by an examiner, the examiner is not properly applying the art to the application’s claims. Therefore, the PPAC recommends that the USPTO continue to provide training to examiners to have them conduct a complete initial search and to correctly apply the prior art to the claims.
The PPAC commends the additional examiner training being provided by the USPTO and recommends that the claim interpretation training section focus on, among other things, the “broadest reasonable interpretation standard” for interpreting claims.
The PPAC requests that the USPTO continue to review the examination process to consider ways to avoid a patent application from going to “final” status prematurely. For example, examiners should issue a second non-final office action if the prior art references cited in the second office action were not previously cited in the first office action if only minor changes were made in an amendment in response to the first non-final office action. In addition, the USPTO should consider ways to improve the quality of final rejections and ways to increase the consideration of after-final amendments. The USPTO should consider further changes to the AFCP 2.0 as it appears that a significant number of examiners are not considering the after-final amendment and are simply issuing an advisory action as a matter of course.
With respect to the USPTO’s Glossary Pilot Program, the program is relatively new, so the PPAC has not been able to determine its effectiveness. However, the PPAC recommends that the USPTO continue to improve claim clarity through additional training and proper application of the patent laws including Section 112.
The USPTO has been reviewing its patent quality composite index. The PPAC recommends that the USPTO use the actual numbers, rather than a percentage of the established target, in determining patent quality during the different stages of the examination process. The PPAC recommends against the continued reliance on the quality composite index as a bellwether of patent quality because the index may be misleading to the public. For example, the USPTO’s Dashboard includes eight quality-related measures, one of which is directed to a quality index report score of 91.3%, which would lead the public to believe an extremely high quality level is being maintained. The PPAC notes that, in more than 35% of applications that have been finally rejected and undergo review in the pre-appeal or appeal conference, the applications are either allowed or reopened for further prosecution. This means that the USPTO determined that, in more than 35% of applications going to pre-appeal and/or appeal conference, the quality of examination by the initial examiner was insufficient. This insufficiency is not reflected in the 91.3% quality index score provided by the USPTO on the Dashboard. Said another way, it is difficult to reconcile such a high quality index with the significant number of final rejections that are overturned leading into the appeal process.
Patent pendency continues to be a topic of great interest to both the PPAC and the user community. During FY 2014, Average First Action Pendency decreased to 18.9 months and Average Total Pendency decreased to 27.5 months. The chart below shows the history of both these measures through August 31, 2014.
Both pendency measures have showed a sustained, significant decrease since FY 2010 with a recent bump up in First Action Pendency, likely resulting from a change to the RCE count scheme and time taken for additional training, such as training for the implementation of CPC, for the examining corps. The USPTO is to be commended for the decrease seen in pendency during the last three years.
The USPTO is currently in the early stages of conducting a biennial review of fees charged for services provided to the public. An important driver of the level of those fees will be the targets established for both Average First Action Pendency and Average Total Pendency in that those measures can drive staffing levels and other agency resource requirements. Increasing or decreasing pendency targets, whether they are close to being met or not, will for at least some period of time drive staff levels, assuming that there are no funding disruptions to USPTO operations. Further, pendency levels are of significant importance to those who pursue patents because the time spent obtaining patents can have a significant impact on the success and continued operation of small and growing businesses for which quality IP assets are critical to continued market funding.
Complicating the process of determining optimal patent pendency is the fact that patent seekers will have a broad spectrum of desires when it comes to how long each of them wants to wait to obtain a patent. In some technologies and markets, business desire to have a patent grant as quickly as possible. In others there is not as much pressure in this regard and, in fact, some business may be happy to have some amount of delay in the process of having a patent granted. The PPAC recognizes that balancing the interests of such a wide range of customer goals is challenging.
It is worth noting here that the term “patent pendency” in the mind of stakeholders means the total amount of time measured from the day a patent application is filed to the day a patent is granted. The pendency data provided to the public by the USPTO is a quite different measure. The Average Total Pendency measures the time to the initial final disposition of an application, which could be a final rejection or abandonment, and very often is not a granted patent. For example, the Traditional Total Pendency statistics do not include the pendency of RCEs. While the PPAC commends the USPTO on its efforts to make the pendency statistics and the link between pendency and staffing much more transparent to the PPAC during the past fiscal year, there is an ongoing need to align the pendency statistics published by the USPTO with the user community’s understanding of what these pendency statistics actually mean.
The current pendency goals of 10 months average first action pendency and 20 months average total pendency were established in the USPTO’s 2010-2015 Strategic Plan. These goals have served the public well in that we have seen significant reductions of both kinds of pendency. As part of the USPTO’s new 2014-2018 Strategic Plan, the USPTO is seeking stakeholder input on the definition of optimal patent pendency targets through a Request for Comments on Optimum First Action and Total Patent Pendency published in the Federal Register on July 9, 2014 (“the Request for Comments”). The deadline for submitting written comments addressing this issue was September 8, 2014. The PPAC commends the USPTO for seeking this input from stakeholders regarding an issue that is of great interest to everyone that pursues patents.
The PPAC had endorsed the goals of 10 months First Action Pendency and 20 months Average Total Pendency. However, averages translate to differing results from one technology area to another with some higher and some lower than the target, depending on the staffing and application levels. This means that many applications will not achieve the stated pendencies even though the USPTO on average will meet the targets, leading to uncertainty and frustration from some applicants. Consequently, the PPAC believes different targets may be more appropriate than the arbitrary 10 and 20 months current goals.
The PPAC believes a focus on the targets established by Congress in the American Inventors Protection Act (AIPA) has a number of benefits, including a reduction in the amount of PTA granted in patents. The PTA provisions of the AIPA set up examination timeframes referred to as “14-4-4-4-36,” as explained in more detail in the Request for Comments. Because transparency and increased certainty assist agencies and the public, focusing on reducing PTA is a good approach and also good public policy. These congressionally-mandated timeframes target most timeframes of prosecution and would help drive the examination of most applications. Prioritizing the examination of applications based on the amount of PTA that would accrue would ensure handling of all applications without allowing the targeting of any area or type of application while other applications are allowed to develop significant backlogs as occurred with the RCEs. These AIPA targets also would provide greater certainty to applicants and the public for actual expectations on examination timeframes. Granting PTA should be the exception, not a routine event. An overall focus on reducing the amount of PTA is suggested.
The PPAC looks forward to reviewing with the USPTO the comments received in response to the Federal Register notice and supports efforts to reduce patent pendency where it makes sense and does not have a deleterious effect on patent quality. The PPAC also would like to provide its input for some of the questions contained in the Request for Comments. First, the Request for Comments asked if First Action Pendency or Total Pendency targets should be met by nearly all applications rather than the current approach, which measures average pendency. For example, a pendency goal could be established that would be met by 90% or 95% of all applications. The PPAC generally supports this as a potential approach because meeting such a goal may likely result in an average pendency that is improved over that observed today. It is believed that combining percentages, such as 90% or 95% of applications, with the AIPA PTA timeframes would be improved goals. In addition to ensuring that X% of applications will receive a first action within 14 months, these targets should include an upper limit for achievement of the targets. For example, there should also be a target, such as, no more than 5% of the applications will receive a first action later than 18 or 22 months. Similar targets should be set for Traditional Total Pendency of three years including X% of applications completed within three years and an upper limit of no more than X % being completed within four years. These targets should be adjusted after two years to improved performance.
Addressing another question posed by the Request for Comments, the PPAC believes that a single pendency target is desirable for all Technology Centers. It is natural that some TCs will tend to have different average pendency than others for any number of understandable reasons; however, that difference is better addressed by targeted resource allocation or other pendency steps to address particular TCs. The PPAC does not believe that stakeholders who operate in technology areas where patent prosecution is perhaps inherently more complicated than others should have to live with a different, less desirable pendency goal. A difference in pendency between TCs that is not significant is likely an acceptable state of affairs.
However, a fruitful step towards both reducing PTA and pendency would be to reduce the backlog of RCE applications whose waiting time has been a significant contributor to granted PTA. Even though RCEs are amended applications, they do not appear on the examiner’s amended dockets and currently do not have a set time goal for examination. PTA begins to accrue four months after the request for an RCE. The USPTO should return RCEs to the amended docket or at the very least establish a goal for examining RCEs. This goal could align with the PTA goal of completing amended applications within four months. This would better serve applicants in continuing the discussion with the examiner in a more timely fashion and assist the USPTO in maintaining a more manageable backlog of RCEs.
There is also a potential concern arising from a reduction in first action pendency to 10 months relating to increasing uncertainty in the patenting process. This concern includes the potential for the existence of “hidden” prior art if office actions are issued before patent applications are published. The PPAC believes that this concern is valid one and that this issue should be taken into account in the setting of any new first action pendency goal.
The USPTO has launched multiple initiatives to address the growing backlog of RCE applications, which efforts should all help improve patent pendency, including the following:
|●||After Final Consideration Pilot|
|●||Track One (Prioritized Examination)|
|●||Patent Prosecution Highway|
The PPAC commends the USPTO for supporting these initiatives and reiterates its recommendations concerning them as outlined in the FY 2013 PPAC annual report as well as the comments/recommendations contained in the RCE section of this report. The PPAC urges the USPTO to continue to investigate new avenues for promoting these programs to the stakeholder community and looks forward to supporting this effort going forward.
The PPAC urges the USPTO to publish pendency data that actually reflects the entirety of time required from the date of filing to the time a patent grants. Current Traditional Total Pendency does not take into account the oftentimes very long period required for action on RCEs. The USPTO should also report the Traditional Total Pendency including RCEs in their numbers, rather than just on the Web site Dashboard.
The PPAC recommends the establishment of a goal for the completion of RCEs of four months absolute, rather than an average, to provide reduced PTA, faster service for the increased fees now charged for RCEs, and more certainty on timing of examination.
The PPAC recommends establishing pendency goals linked to the PTA timeframes established by Congress and focusing on reducing PTA overall. This is good public policy and provides more concrete expectations for the timing of examination of applications.
The PPAC looks forward to working with the USPTO to review the input from the Request for Comments and develop initiatives that address patent pendency. These steps will be closely tied to initiatives directed to improving patent quality and addressing the RCE backlog.
The AIA established the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) on September 16, 2012. The Chief Judge of the PTAB is James Donald Smith. The Board’s responsibilities include: reviewing adverse decisions from examiners upon applications for patents pursuant to section 134(a); reviewing reexamination appeals pursuant to section 134(b); conducting derivation proceedings pursuant to section 135; and conducting covered business method (CBM) patent reviews, inter partes review (IPRs), and post-grant reviews (PGRs) pursuant to section 18 of the AIA and chapters 31 and 32 of Title 35, United States Code. The Board also continues to decide patent interferences pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 135.
At the end of FY 2014, the Board includes 214 judges. Each of the satellite offices includes PTAB judges. More specifically, the Dallas office has 11 judges, the Silicon Valley office has 19 judges, the Denver office has nine judges, and the Detroit office has eight judges. The placement of these satellite offices around the country has expanded the ability of the Board to employ qualified individuals to meet the growing workload faced by the PTAB. The Board continues to review candidates and plans on hiring additional judges in FY 2015. The PTAB Web site includes helpful links to an administrative patent judge recruiting brochure and to allow applicants to apply on line.
The backlog of ex parte appeals pending at the Board stands at 25,658 applications as of September 30, 2014. The backlog averaged about 25,800 applications for the year. The trend was relatively flat for the year, with the peak reaching 26,208 applications in January 2014 and the lowest levels reaching 25,594 in July 2014. The Board will need to “think out of the box” when it comes to considering new ways to decrease this backlog. In addition, according to current statistics on the PTAB Web site for FY 2013, the average pendency of an ex parte appeal is 36 months from filing the notice of appeal to final written decision. This pendency is simply too long.
The Board continues to implement a per curiam process, whereby certain appeals can be decided based on arguments by the examiners or appellants in the written record. These per curiam decisions are shorter and generally disposed faster than other appellate decisions. In FY 2012, the PTAB issued 142 per curiam decisions; in FY 2013, the PTAB issued 136 per curiam decisions; in FY 2014, the PTAB issued 122 per curiam decisions. The PPAC recommends continued use of per curiam decisions, but emphasizes that the written record must sufficiently explain the facts and law in the case.
The Board has affirmed or affirmed-in-part 67%, reversed 30%, and remanded or dismissed about 3% of the examiner’s decisions. These statistics are consistent with the affirmance, reversal, and remand/dismissal rates of previous years. In addition, the PPAC is encouraged by the low numbers of remands and dismissals, which indicate that the Patent Examining Corps provides complete examiner’s answers to the PTAB.
As of September 30, 2014, the Board received 2,082 total petitions since inception of the AIA: 1,841 IPR proceedings, 233 CBM proceedings, two PGR proceedings, and six derivation proceedings. The majority of the petitions were in the electrical/computer software area. In particular, the petition filings by area of technology were: 71.6% electrical/computer software; 15.6% mechanical; 6.8% chemical; 5.6% biotechnology/pharmaceutical; and 0.4% design. With respect to IPRs and CBMs, patent owners have submitted 1,057 preliminary responses and waived their rights to submit a preliminary response in 265 cases. The PPAC is pleased with the patent owner’s usage of preliminary responses and waivers as these options were not available in ex parte and inter partes reexamination proceedings. In addition, 236 petitions have been settled in FY 2014. The PPAC also finds the use of settlements encouraging as this option was not available in ex parte and inters partes reexamination proceedings. Lastly, the PTAB has issued 129 final written decisions in IPR proceedings and 13 in CBM proceedings.
The PTAB continued to be busy in FY 2014, receiving a peak of 190 IPR/CBM petitions in June 2014. A comparison of the number of PTAB petitions to district court filings involving patent litigations in 2013 highlights this point. The PTAB received 1,494 petitions from September 2013 to September 30, 2014; in all of 2013, 1511 complaints were filed in the Eastern District of Texas, 1335 in the District of Delaware, 408 in the Central District of California, and 248 in the northern District of California. The number of PTAB filings in FY 2014 was 1,494, thereby putting the PTAB ahead of all but one of the federal district courts in terms of patent disputes that they are handling.
The PPAC commends the PTAB for its outreach efforts in 2014. In particular, the PTAB hosted eight roundtables around the country in April and May 2014 to share information about the AIA trials including statistics, lessons learned, and techniques for successful motions practice. The Board received feedback about the trials and featured a panel discussion to elicit public input. At each roundtable, administrative patent judges participated and were available for questions and conversation.
The eight locations and dates that the PTAB Roundtables were held include:
|i.||Alexandria, VA, April 15, USPTO Headquarters;|
|ii.||New York City, NY, April 17, New York Law School;|
|ii.||Chicago, IL, April 22, Chicago Public Library;|
|iv.||Detroit, MI, April 24, Cooley Law School;|
|v.||Silicon Valley, CA, April 29, Santa Clara University;|
|vi.||Seattle, WA, May 1, University of Washington;|
|vii.||Dallas, TX, May 6, Dallas Bar Association; and|
|viii.||Denver, CO, May 8, Colorado Bar Association.|
The USPTO recorded the Alexandria, VA Web cast and made it available on the PTAB Web site at https://new.livestream.com/uspto/PTABAIA. The PPAC found this helpful and supports the continuation of recording and making available the roundtables, Web casts, and other public meetings on the USPTO Web site.
In addition to the eight PTAB roundtables, the USPTO issued a Federal Register notice dated June 27, 2014, titled Request for Comments on Trial Proceedings Under the America Invents Act Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The Federal Register notice included two parts, one directed to non-rule comments; and a second directed to 17 questions posed by the PTAB to elicit feedback with respect to certain AIA trial rules. Comments from the public were due on September 16, 2014. The USPTO extended this deadline to October 16, 2014.
In an effort to ensure stakeholders understood the June Federal Register notice, Ms. Gongola and Vice Chief Judge Scott Boalick reviewed the notice and 17 questions therein during a Webinar on July 29, 2014. The Webinar was very helpful.
In response to stakeholders’ concerns at the PTAB roundtables, the PTAB posted an article on its Web site dated May 5, 2014, titled “How to Make Successful Claim Amendments in an AIA Trial Proceeding.” This article was posted on the PTAB Web site in response to the PPAC’s and stakeholders’ concerns that only one claim amendment has been allowed by the PTAB in two years.
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General (OIG), released a report on July 28, 2014. In the report, the OIG reported that it conducted an investigation into allegations provided by anonymous whistleblowers that PTAB paralegals were receiving pay for time not worked over a prolonged period of time. The PPAC discussed this report with Chief Judge Smith before and during the August PPAC meeting. The PPAC appreciates the changes that the Office has made in response to this report, as well as in response to a July 10, 2013, USPTO investigative report on this matter, and looks forward to further updates from the USPTO and the PTAB on progress in this area.
The PPAC applauds the PTAB for the work it has done since the passage of the AIA in September 2011. As evidenced by the record 190 IPR/CBM petitions filed in June 2014, the PTAB proceedings have quickly become a critical aspect of the U.S. patent system. This is especially true in light of recent statistics indicating that more than 80% of the PTAB proceedings involve patents that are involved in parallel district court litigation. The PTAB is extremely busy, not only with new petitions being filed but also with pending cases that need active involvement from the PTAB judges. The pending cases also include ex parte and former inter partes reexamination appeals.
A primary challenge facing the PTAB is hiring additional PTAB judges to handle the increased AIA trials’ workflow while allowing judges to continue working on ex parte appeals. The USPTO has been able to handle this effectively because the USPTO has the money to hire the additional judges. As a result, although the AIA petitions have increased significantly, the PTAB has not exceeded the one-year time period from the institution of the PTAB decision to issuing the final written opinion in any AIA trials. In addition, the ex parte appeals backlog continued to decrease in 2014. The PPAC commends the PTAB for these achievements but recommends that the PTAB remain vigilant in hiring PTAB judges and explore other ways to handle the increased AIA workflow and to decrease the ex parte appeals backlog.
Stakeholders will be anxiously awaiting the PTAB’s response to the feedback received during the PTAB roundtables and comments with respect to the June 2014 Federal Register notice. The PPAC looks forward to playing a constructive role in this process. The Federal Register notice listed 17 questions related to the PTAB rules. During the PTAB roundtables, the PTAB placed particular emphasis on question 14 as it is related to the one-year period for the PTAB to issue a final written decision. The PPAC notes that the AIA requires only a “good cause” showing to go beyond the one-year timeframe; the “good cause” standard is much lower than, for example, an “exceptional” standard. For this reason, the PPAC does not believe the PTAB should be reluctant to exceed the one-year threshold if there is “good cause” for doing so. Based on the concerns raised with multiple proceedings in questions 7-13 of the Federal Register notice, it appears that there are several cases currently before the PTAB involving multiple proceedings. If this is true, the complexity of such multiple proceedings may be “good cause” to expand the timeframe past the one-year period.
The PPAC also notes that question two of the Federal Register notice is related to the PTAB claim amendment practice. We commend the PTAB for providing the helpful presentations and mock teleconferences with the PTAB judges during the PTAB roundtables with respect to the PTAB claim amendment practice. In addition, the PPAC recognizes that the PTAB provided an article on its Web site from Vice Chief Judge Boalick on May 5, 2014, titled “How to Make Successful Claim Amendments in an AIA Trial Proceeding.” However, even after taking into consideration these laudable efforts, the PPAC remains concerned that only one motion to amend has been granted in two years. We recommend that the USPTO be more flexible in the PTAB claims amendment practice to make such amendments more available to patent owners.
With respect to ex parte appeals, the PPAC is pleased that the backlog continues to decline. However, the average pendency of such appeals is three years from filing the notice of appeal. This pendency is simply too long.
The USPTO has successfully used pilot programs during the past couple of years to determine if some procedural changes are beneficial to the patent process. The PPAC recommends that the USPTO consider implementing some pilot programs to expedite review of the pending appeals. The pilot programs may include allowing the patent owner or anonymous third party to pay a fee to expedite the review of the pending appeal and changing the pre-appeal brief and/or appeal conference program to allow applicants to participate in the review.
Legislative activity in the latter part of the 113th Congress (2013-14) focused on consideration of proposals to address allegedly abusive patent infringement litigation practices and the mass mailing of vague settlement demand letters to main street businesses.
The House passed H.R. 3309, the “Innovation Act,” introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte, on a bipartisan vote of 325–91 on December 5, 2013. The comprehensive bill, as passed, included provisions that would:
|●||Heighten pleading requirements|
|●||Require patent owner litigants to disclose the “Real Party in Interest”|
|●||Enhance fee-shifting under 35 USC 285|
|●||Create a Manufacturer’s Stay Provision|
|●||Limit discovery before Markman claim construction hearings|
|●||Direct the Judicial Conference to consider/issue rules related to discovery|
|●||Clarify law as it relates to treatment of intellectual property in bankruptcy cases|
|●||Extend term of patent cases pilot from 10 to 20 years|
|●||Require various studies|
|●||Direct the USPTO to develop educational resources for small business|
|●||Change Post-Grant estoppel provision when appealing to the Federal Circuit|
|●||Make technical changes and clarifications relating to “Inventor’s Oath or Declaration,” patent term adjustment and double patenting.|
Senate action on a companion bill, S. 1720, the “Patent Transparency and Improvements Act,” stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Leahy, the sponsor of bill, announced on May 21, 2014, that the bill would be removed from the committee’s legislative agenda. The bill had been scheduled for committee consideration on May 22, 2014. In his statement announcing the removal, Chairman Leahy cited the inability to achieve the “broad bipartisan support” necessary to get a bill through the Senate. He added that “Regrettably, competing companies on both sides of this issue refused to come to agreement on how to achieve that goal.”
The primary areas of disagreement among stakeholders focus on patent infringement litigation issues involving: heightened pleading requirements; limits on discovery; and a fee-shifting loser pays attorney’s fees system. Many high tech firms and other businesses pushed for strong reforms along these lines, arguing it would reduce abusive patent litigation practices, while other high-tech companies (including smaller firms and start-ups and others), drug companies, universities and others objected to some of the proposed reforms, concerned that they went too far, and would serve to devalue patents and make it harder for patent owners to enforce and/or license their patent rights.
Chairman Leahy indicated in his statement that there would be a path for passage of the bill in 2014 “if stakeholders are able to reach a more targeted agreement that focuses on the problem of patent trolls.” Given Sen. Leahy’s action and the tight congressional schedule for the rest of the year, it is unlikely that a comprehensive legislation moves forward in this Congress.
However, it is possible that narrowly crafted legislation addressing abusive “demand letters” may move forward. A draft bill, captioned “Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters (TROL) Act,” was approved by a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on July 10, 2014. Similar provisions are contained in S.2049, the “Transparency in the Assertion of Patents Act,” which is currently stalled in the Senate Commerce Committee.
There has been significant activity at the state level on the abusive demand letter issue. More than a dozen states have adopted legislation to regulate bad-faith patent demand letters and comparable legislation is pending in another dozen states. State Attorneys General have already commenced enforcement actions pursuant to the new laws.
The White House announced in June 2013 a number of targeted executive actions and legislative priorities arguably to improve the patent system and protect innovators from frivolous litigation and threats of litigation. The executive actions included steps intended to ensure transparency as to patent ownership, tightening patent examiner review standards, helping small entities cope with settlement demands and litigation threats, and expanding educational outreach.
In February 2014, the White House reported on the progress made on the initial executive actions and announced three additional executive actions. The new actions, being implemented by the USPTO, involve exploring a series of measures to make it easier for the public to provide information about relevant prior art in patent applications, including refinements to the third-party submission program and effective use of crowd-sourced prior art; more robust technical training for examiners by technologists and engineers from industry and academia; and expansion of patent pro bono and pro se assistance programs to those innovators who lack the resources necessary to file and prosecute their patent applications.
The PPAC has responded to proposed actions by the USPTO regarding these executive actions and provided its guidance about them. The PPAC has expressed concerns that any changes to the obligations of applicants be balanced and reasonable, and not impose difficult burdens that do not result in real improvements in either transparency of ownership or quality of eventually issued patents.
On July 30, 2014, USPTO Deputy Director Michelle K. Lee testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet at a hearing titled “U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: The America Invents Act and Beyond, Domestic and International Policy Goals.” Deputy Director Lee provided a written statement that addressed a wide range of the USPTO’s programs, initiatives and other efforts to serve America’s innovators.
|●||H.R. 3309, “Innovation Act” (Rep. Goodlatte, R-VA-6) – comprehensive bill passed by House on 325-91 vote on 12/5/13.|
|●||H.R. 3349, “Innovation Protection Act” (Rep. Conyers, D‐MI‐13) – introduced 10/28/2013 – Provides the USPTO with full access to all fee collections.|
|●||S. 1612, “Patent Litigation Integrity Act” (Sen. Hatch, R‐UT) – introduced: 10/30/2013 – Requires fee shifting and bonding for plaintiffs in certain circumstances.|
|●||S. 1720, “Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013” (Sen. Leahy, D‐VT) – introduced 11/18/2013 – comprehensive companion bill to H.R. 3309 as passed by House.|
|●||S. 2049, “Transparency in Assertion of Patents Act” (Sen. McCaskill, D‐MO) – introduced 2/26/2014 – Addresses abusive patent “demand” letters.|
|●||H.R. ___, “Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters (TROL) Act” ‐ Draft Bill (Rep. Terry, R‐NE‐2) ‐ draft bill adopted at subcommittee on June 10, 2014 – Addresses abusive patent “demand” letters.|
|●||H.R. 4763, “Trade Protection Not Troll Protection Act” (Reps. Cardenas, D‐CA‐29 & Farenthold, R-TX‐27) – introduced 5/29/2014 – ITC Reforms; narrowing “domestic industry” requirement.|
The PPAC will continue to monitor and consult with the USPTO as the legislative and administrative processes address patent quality issues and potentially abusive patent assertion activities. The PPAC recommends that the USPTO continue to engage decision makers to make sure that any proposed administrative changes are appropriately crafted and narrowly targeted without unduly harming our overall patent system, the smooth operation of the examination process, the quality of patents issued, or the overall costs and burdens to applicants. Further, the USPTO should work within the Administration and with Congress to ensure that it has access to all future fee collections regardless of any government-wide sequestration or other limitation.
In April 2014, the USPTO announced the creation of the Office of International Patent Cooperation (OIPC). The establishment of the OIPC reflects the USPTO’s strong commitment, in concert with the stakeholder community, to make current and future improvements to the complex and costly international patent filing system.
While there have been great successes in the USPTO’s international cooperative activities over many years, including, for example, the implementation of the Patent Prosecution Highway system on a global scale, new demands (legal, procedural, and technical harmonization and reform) required this consolidation of efforts into a single organization within the USPTO. The formation of the new unit will allow for consolidated and dedicated resources from within the USPTO for addressing international initiatives. In turn, we look to the OIPC to create a cohesive and strategic approach with regard to such initiatives while at the same time seeking feedback and input from the stakeholder community.
Progress continues in the study of substantive patent law harmonization topics by the Tegernsee Group (“the Group”). Formed in July 2011 during a meeting held in Tegernsee, Germany, the Group is comprised of leaders and representatives from the patent offices of Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as from the European Patent Office (EPO). The Group agreed to undertake a fact finding study of four topics: 1) grace period; 2) 18 month publication; 3) the prior art effect of secret prior art; and 4) prior user rights, so as to identify areas of difference and convergence between the various patent offices. In June 2014, the Group published the “Consolidated Report on the Tegernsee User Consultation on Substantive Patent Law Harmonization” (“June 2014 Report”), which merged the results of the European surveys (i.e., Denmark, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the EPO) and summarized and analyzed the results of the user consultations in the United States, Japan and Europe on the topics set forth above. The adoption of the June 2014 Report marks the end of an intensive work cycle of fact-finding and user consultations with the Group currently on hiatus pending further developments.
In order to take advantage of the momentum created by the Group and its fact finding, the USPTO will host a roundtable on the topic of “International Harmonization of Substantive Patent Law” in late 2014. Past studies and experiences indicate that the most relevant aspects of substantive patent law for work sharing purposes are those related to patent searching and the application of prior art during the examination process. Accordingly during the planned roundtable, the USPTO will be seeking views from the user/stakeholder community regarding the following patent examination-related issues: (i) definition and scope of prior art; (ii) grace period; and (iii) standards for the assessment of novelty and methodology for applying non-obviousness/inventive step.
|1. IP5 Evolution|
Recognizing the continuing evolution and growth of initiatives, a forum of the five largest patent offices (i.e., EPO, JPO, KIPO, SIPO, and USPTO (known collectively as IP5)) agreed to a program management model proposed by the USPTO. The model formalizes basic project management principles across the program which, until the adoption of this agreement, was inconsistently applied. A key element of the model requires stakeholder benefits to be clearly defined for each of the projects and calls for periodic assessment to ensure those benefits are being achieved. The assessment will be done by the Program Managers who represent the executive leadership of the IP5 offices. This seemingly simple change will ensure that resources dedicated to the program are commensurate with the value they deliver.
In June 2014 in Busan, Republic of Korea, the Deputy Heads of the IP5 offices met to discuss continued IP5 co-operation with a focus on the following initiatives:
|●||The IP5 Patent Harmonization Experts Panel agreed to the following three issues for study: (i) unity of invention; (ii) information disclosure requirements; and (iii) written description matters.|
|●||A new IP5 Quality Working Group was formed with its scope and mandate of work being determined during the fall of 2014.|
|●||The IP5 offices are working to unify their positions on improvements to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system.|
Another significant topic that was addressed by the representatives was the ongoing planning and development of the Global Dossier initiative, which is discussed in further detail below.
|2. Global Dossier Initiative|
The Global Dossier initiative is a set of business services that will give users/stakeholders secure, online, one-stop access to and management of dossier information of all applications that comprise a “family” and that have been filed in multiple patent offices by establishing a common user interface to each patent office’s electronic dossier system. However, the Global Dossier is not a single IT application or system. Rather, it can be viewed as a collection of services designed to meet the business needs of multiple users/stakeholders of the patent systems of the IP5 offices. Examples of such services being developed include:
|a. Access to IP5 Offices’ Dossier Information – One Portal Dossier|
The IP5 offices achieved the initial milestone of providing IP5 offices’ examiners access to the dossier information of all offices, with the next steps to be completed in the near future. The IP5 offices are currently accessing the USPTO’s file wrapper information, and USPTO examiners will have access to the dossiers of other offices with the limited deployment of PE2E to a small number of examiners scheduled for the fall of 2014. Full deployment to all examiners is currently scheduled for summer 2015.
The current schedule for public access to this information is shown in the table below:
1st half of 2015
1st half of 2015
2nd half of 2015
A “Providing Office” allows the dossier information to be made available to the other patent offices and to the public. An “Accessing Office” retrieves the dossier information from the Providing Office and allows its end-users to refer to it.
|b. Cross-filing Service|
The IP5 offices are in the beginning stages of defining the next service, facilitation of cross-filing, which is a high priority for U.S. users/stakeholders. The goals of cross-filing include the simultaneous submission of patent documents into all participating Offices, the ability to file all documents electronically from a single portal, auto-population of common information, and simplification and harmonization of most administrative filing functions. All parties recognize that this is a very complex service with legal, business, and technical challenges. The IP5 offices have been working with their respective industry groups and stakeholders to develop user requirements in advance of the next IP5 Working Group 2 (IT-related projects) and Global Dossier Taskforce meetings scheduled for January 2015 in Beijing, China.
The USPTO is also committed to expanding the number of patent offices participating in the Global Dossier. One means of expansion that the USPTO is exploring is to link One Portal Dossier with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Centralized Access to Search and Examination (CASE) system. The CASE system provides dossier information for a group of patent offices known as the Vancouver Group, which is comprised of the IP offices of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. The JPO has already initiated a pilot linkage to the CASE system and according to recent correspondence with the Vancouver Group, SIPO and the Israel Patent Office are participating in testing. The patent offices of Singapore, New Zealand, Vietnam and Mongolia have also joined the CASE system.
As the USPTO places more resources in the planning and development of the Global Dossier, more focus will be needed regarding global technology harmonization among the patent offices as well as greater input and feedback from the user/stakeholder community. While the Global Dossier Task Force created by the IP5 offices for stakeholder input regarding the Global Dossier has provided initial guidance, the USPTO’s OIPC needs to expand its own efforts for broader outreach to the stakeholder community regarding this important initiative.
|3. Common Citation Document|
The Common Citation Document (CCD) is a tool initially proposed by the Trilateral Industry, and was launched in November 2011 at the 29th Trilateral Conference. The CCD displays a consolidated listing of references that have been cited in related international patent applications. The CCD is an example of the IP5 offices’ cooperative efforts. While the CCD was developed and is maintained by the EPO, the value of the tool requires the participation of multiple international patent offices, including the USPTO, engaged in the exchange of citation data.
A major goal of the CCD tool is to facilitate international work sharing by improving search and examination efficiency. The CCD is located on a publicly available Web site (http://ccd.fiveipoffices.org/CCD-2.0.4/) and was recently incorporated into the Examiner’s Toolkit thereby allowing the USPTO examiners to perform compact and comprehensive prosecution.
|4. Patent Prosecution Highway|
Since July 2006, the USPTO has partnered with several other offices in Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programs. The PPH enables an applicant who receives a positive ruling on patent claims from one participating patent office to request accelerated prosecution of corresponding claims in another participating patent office thereby allowing the applicant to obtain a patentability decision in the second patent office more quickly. Furthermore, the PPH promotes patent application processing efficiency by allowing the examiner in the patent office of the later examination process to benefit from the search and examination results from the patent office of the earlier examination process, thereby reducing workload and duplication of efforts.
A reduction in the number of office actions, lower costs, higher issuance rates and faster examination and prosecution are several of the advantages realized by users and are the factors driving the growth of the PPH. As of July, 2014, the number of PPH requests reached 25,000 and the USPTO is receiving approximately 650 requests per month, a 13% increase over the previous fiscal year. The chart below shows new PPH requests by month since January 2010 and demonstrates the program’s continuing growth and acceptance by the patent user community.
As the work sharing benefits provided by the PPH became more apparent, participation in the PPH program in its various forms has grown rapidly. However, modifications to the PPH program were not universally implemented by the different participating patent offices, and consequently, the administration of multiple PPH programs, each having particular requirements, became increasingly cumbersome. Recognizing the need and opportunity for greater efficiency, the USPTO and several other patent offices have consolidated and replaced existing PPH programs with the goal of streamlining the PPH process for both patent offices and applicants. This has been accomplished through the launch of a new, centralized PPH framework called the “Global PPH.”
The Global PPH Pilot was successfully launched in January 2014 by 17 patent offices: JPO (Japan), KIPO (Korea), UKIPO (United Kingdom), CIPO (Canada), IP Australia, DKPTO (Denmark), NBPR (Finland), ROSPATENT (Russia), HIPO (Hungary), SPTO (Spain), PRV (Sweden), INPI (Portugal), ILPO (Israel), NPI (Nordic), NIPO (Norway), IPO (Iceland) and the USPTO.
The USPTO also participates in the IP5 offices’ PPH Pilot program (“IP5 Pilot”). The IP5 Pilot started at the same time as the Global PPH Pilot and is virtually identical in most respects. The major difference is that EPO and SIPO in the IP5 Pilot will only accept work products from the other IP5 offices as a basis to enter the IP5 Pilot. From the USPTO’s point of view, PPH requests in the Global PPH Pilot and the IP5 Pilot are handled in the same way.
The USPTO also has bilateral PPH agreements with nine other patent offices including APO (Austria), SIC (Columbia), IPOCZ (Czech Republic), DPMA (Germany), IMPI (Mexico), NRIP (Nicaragua), IPOPH (Philippines), IPOS (Singapore) and TIPO (Taiwan).
|b. Patent Cooperation Treaty – Work Sharing|
Since its inception in FY 2011, PCT-PPH has become a contributing force to the increased growth of the overall PPH program. For over one year, the majority of new PPH requests at the USPTO have been filed via the PCT-PPH work sharing route. The USPTO continues on its expansion strategy and in January 2014 most of the USPTO’s PCT-PPH agreements were superseded by the Global and IP5 PPH programs.
The USPTO has recently concluded the second phase of a Collaborative Search and Examination Pilot Program (“CSE Pilot Program”) with KIPO and EPO. In the CSE Pilot Program, examiners from the three patent offices worked together to create a single, high quality PCT search report and written opinion. The CSE Pilot Program was also used to test the feasibility of establishing such a system on a permanent basis.
It was the opinion of the participating USPTO examiners that the quality of the final International Search Reports and the Written Opinions of the International Searching Authority in 67% of the patent applications reviewed was greatly improved by making the final work product more complete and by providing confidence in the work product by the first examiner. Feedback directly received from these examiners in administering the CSE Pilot Program supports the conclusion that collaboration across patent offices helps to increase the confidence in the final work product across the offices. The IP5 offices are currently developing the framework for a third phase of the CSE Pilot Program.
|5. Outsourcing PCT Searches|
Over the last several years, outsourcing of PCT searches to third party vendors has enabled the USPTO to become a world leader in overall PCT timeliness. The USPTO is attempting to maintain the progress made over the last several years, notwithstanding funding cuts dictated by the overall budget situation during FY 2013. Particularly, these budgetary cuts have impacted the USPTO’s ability to fully outsource all of their incoming international applications to these third party vendors during the second half of FY 2013. These cuts in outsourcing resulted in a substantial backlog of international PCT applications waiting to be searched. While full funding was restored to the international PCT outsourcing initiative at the beginning of FY 2014, the USPTO’s Chapter I timeliness for the searching of international PCT applications filed with the USPTO continues to be affected while the backlog is being worked through by the third party vendors. Additionally, the USPTO has seen an increase in the number of ISA/US Chapter I filings as a result of the small and micro-entity search fee change that went into effect in January 2014. This increase has put an additional strain on the backlog of international PCT applications, which is expected to be eliminated by the end of CY 2014.
|6. PCT – Systemic Improvement|
The USPTO, in conjunction with the United Kingdom IP Office, has continued to pursue implementation of the “PCT 20/20” plan to improve the PCT process. To date, two of the PCT 20/20 proposals have been adopted: (i) mandatory top-up searches in Chapter II; and (ii) public availability of the written opinion of the Searching Authority at the time of international PCT application publication.
The IP5 offices recently agreed to strengthen communication and coordination in development of the PCT. The Offices agreed to prioritize four areas of work: (i) work sharing between International Authorities and national Offices; (ii) standards to improve accessibility to international PCT documents and facilitate their utilization; (iii) collaboration to enhance the quality of international searches and preliminary examinations under the PCT; and (iv) utilization of the PCT by small and medium enterprises and individual users.
As part of the IP5 offices’ coordination on PCT improvements, the USPTO agreed to consolidate all the recent PCT improvement plans (e.g., the WIPO’s PCT Roadmap, KIPO’s PCT 3.0, etc.) and review the implementation status of components of those plans at the next IP5 Working Group 3 meeting in Beijing, China in October 2014.
|7. Cooperative Patent Classification|
Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) is a classification system that the USPTO and the EPO developed collaboratively and which they manage jointly. Before the development of CPC, the USPTO and EPO each had their own classification systems, USPC and ECLA, respectively. CPC incorporates various elements of each of those classification systems and its structure is similar to that of another system, the International Patent Classification (IPC), which is administered by the WIPO. CPC has a greater number of subdivisions than IPC and is more efficient for patent searching.
The USPTO is currently transitioning from the USPC system to CPC. This shift, which began in November 2013, is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. Implementation of CPC at the USPTO requires extensive patent examiner training (approximately 1.1 million hours total, with about 868,000 hours already completed). The training is designed to help patent examiners to conduct effective searches using CPC and to categorize applications and granted patents accurately.
While costly, the transition to CPC is an investment in the future of intellectual property. The implementation of CPC will result in many benefits for both patent applicants and the IP community in general, including: enhanced examination efficiency and quality; improved access to more documents from patent offices around the world; improved navigation and understanding; facilitated work sharing on patent applications filed in multiple patent offices; improved consistency of classified search results across patent offices; and adaptive and actively maintained classification schemes.
|8. Global Patent Search Network|
As a result of a cooperative effort between the USPTO and SIPO, Chinese patent documentation is now available for search and retrieval from the USPTO Web site via the Global Patent Search Network (GPSN) database located at http://gpsn.uspto.gov. Launched in June 2013, this searching tool enables examiners and the public to search Chinese patent documents in English or Chinese languages. The data available includes full-text native language Chinese patent documents and their corresponding English machine translations. Also available are full document images of Chinese patent documents. Users can search documents, including published applications, granted patents, and utility models from 1985 to 2012 in the GPSN. There are plans to add additional international patent collections in the future.
|9. Overall USPTO PCT Statistics|
Table 3 below shows the data for PCT procedures through July 2014.
Mailing of ISR/WO within 18 months of priority
Mailing of IPER within 30 months of priority
Based on the anticipated effects of sequestration on the USPTO, the ISR mailing times for FY 2014 showed a decline from the previous year based on the reduction in funding to this third party contracted work. Although the USPTO anticipated the impact to timeliness would follow a pattern similar to that of the reduction in FY 2011, there was clearly a greater impact on timeliness due to sequestration. It is anticipated that the timeliness of ISR mailings will continue to be impacted through FY 2014 and into FY 2015 while the USPTO completes the hiring of third party contractors so as to return to previous work outputs.
|10. Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs|
The United States is currently working through the final steps for accession to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (“the Agreement”). The USPTO has drafted final rules associated with expected accession to the Agreement taking into account public comments received in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published in the Federal Register in November 2013. The last remaining steps for the United States to become a member of the Hague Union are for the United States to deposit its instrument of ratification with the WIPO in Geneva, Switzerland and for the USPTO to publish Final Rules associated with the Agreement. The Agreement will have effect in the United States after the requisite delay period from deposit of the instrument of ratification as set forth in the Agreement (e.g., three months or a longer time as set forth in the U.S. instrument of ratification). Title I of the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 (the Hague related changes to Title 35 of the United States Code) and the USPTO rules (once published) are all expected to be timed to take effect on the same date on which the Agreement takes effect in the United States which is projected in FY 2015.
Over the past year, the PPAC has seen a dramatic increase of activity with regard to international initiatives and programs based on the creation of the OIPC and the return to full funding of the USPTO. The PPAC supports the creation of the OIPC and its efforts in focusing the USPTO’s initiatives globally. The PPAC also believes that the creation of the OIPC will provide a more unified message of the USPTO’s initiatives to other patent offices and the user community. Additionally, having the OIPC in place should somewhat lessen the impact of future budget cuts on the USPTO since there is now a coordinated group of USPTO representatives dedicated to addressing the USPTO’s global initiatives.
The PPAC supports the efforts made by the USPTO in its international cooperation and work sharing initiatives among multiple patent offices and encourages the continued development and expansion of these efforts. While the PPH program is an excellent example of the USPTO’s efforts to share initiatives and resources among many patent offices, the USPTO needs to direct much more education, outreach and resources to the user community to showcase the benefits of the program, which should in turn increase usage of the PPH program. Such education and outreach would also benefit future global patent initiatives, such as the Global Dossier initiative. Further, more effort should be focused on outreach and training for the user community regarding any new software search tools and databases, such as the CCD and GPSN, as well as upcoming rule changes, such as the implementation of the Hague Agreement.
Additionally, the PPAC encourages much greater outreach to a varied audience of entities and groups from the user community for insight and input regarding current and future USPTO global initiatives. Finally, the PPAC recommends that the USPTO diligently review its efforts on an annual basis to ensure that the initiatives promote the overall objectives of harmonization and international work sharing and reduce duplication of efforts by patent offices as well as internally within the USPTO, while at the same time promote best practices to improve timeliness and quality.
The PPAC again commends the USPTO with regard to its international initiatives and programs during the past year and continues to offer its encouragement, support, guidance and assistance for FY 2015.
In addition to the outreach activities conducted by the other offices of the USPTO (highlighted earlier in this report related to issues such as AIA implementation), RCEs, and substantive examination, the Office of Innovation Development (OID) oversees the USPTO’s efforts to support American innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation. Often working closely with other U.S. Government officials and agencies, the OID designs and implements outreach assistance programs to a wide range of stakeholders including independent inventors, women, pro se applicants, small business concerns, university affiliates, minorities, and other underserved communities.
The OID also assists the Office’s educational outreach programs that promote IP protection and the valuable role it plays as a key driver of the American economy. These programs are designed to educate the public about intellectual property in general as well as the specifics of the patent application process, including the intricacies of patent prosecution and post-grant patent issues. The post patent grant education includes the importance of patents, and other forms of intellectual property, in starting, building, and growing a business.
The OID employs a variety of tools and techniques to quantify the reach of its programming and direct assistance with stakeholders. Some examples of these techniques and tools are maintaining logs of stakeholder’s direct calls and emails to the OID staff, the volume of participants to in-person and Web casted programming and use of Google® analytics to measure hits to the OID Web pages and Web information provided.
The OID sponsors regional and national events to educate small business concerns and independent inventors on the patent and trademark processes and on IP business strategies, recent events listed at www.uspto.gov/inventors/events. For these events, the USPTO provides IP expertise to the participants, including supervisory patent examiners to conduct breakout sessions and one-on-one assistance, and trademark presenters to provide education on the trademark process. Symposiums dedicated to fostering women entrepreneurs are also offered.
In FY 2014, the USPTO was able to conduct its annual Independent Inventors’ Conference in Alexandria at the USPTO in August and the OID’s annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium at the University of Denver in June. Both events were well attended by the independent inventor community and viewed as providing significant educational benefit.
Saturday Seminars, serving as a direct link for inventor’s questions and education, were offered quarterly at the Elijah J. McCoy Detroit satellite office and will soon be offered at the Denver satellite office. The Saturday Seminars for FY 2014 were held on Saturday, December 7, 2013, April 12, 2014, and July 19, 2014. For the December seminar, the OID staff joined by Web cast, in combination with on-the-ground Detroit staff, to offer a half day of educational programming for attendees. The April and July seminars were full day events with the OID staff on the ground working in combination with Detroit USPTO personnel and invited local speakers. Planning for outreach support to the Silicon Valley and Dallas satellite offices is underway and currently occurring on an ad hoc as needed basis.
The OID has also, in combination with the Innovation and Outreach Coordinator for the New York Region, hosted a Saturday Seminar and school education program in Brooklyn, New York. This two day event in May 2014 (Friday for students, Saturday for inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs, and makers) offered attendees basic IP information, hands-on learning, and local resources. Similar collaborative programming was conducted at Columbia University in September 2014.
The USPTO also participates in outreach initiatives with inventor organizations throughout the United States. These are typically non-profit inventor organizations that assist inventors and innovators with the patent process. Many of these may eventually go on to start a business based on their inventions.
In FY 2014, the OID supported inventor, entrepreneur, and maker organizations and audiences by providing speakers and resources for organizational events as appropriate. The OID staff attended the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago, Illinois to provide direct outreach and education to show attendees, particularly independent inventors located in the “Inventor’s Corner” area of the show. The show itself is attended by over 40,000 visitors and includes a student design competition. The OID representatives provided direct assistance and mentoring to those students selected as top finalists in the student design competition. The OID staff additionally participated in the White House Maker Faire and as well as the regional Maker Faire in Silver Spring, Maryland and the World’s Maker Faire in New York, NY.
Additionally, the OID sent a staff member to the America Makes program review in the spring of 2014. America Makes is focused on helping the United States grow capabilities and strength in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing. The staff member presented to members on the importance of IP protection in the United States and internationally and educated attendees on the tools available to the community to help advance their patent application through the Office.
In an effort to expand its assistance to minority and underserved communities, the Office is currently working to build and strengthen partnerships with organizations, such as the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the Economic Development Agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, national professional organizations, and national and local educational institutions. In FY 2014, the OID staff participated at national and local events hosted by a majority of those organizations identified above. Participation with these organizations was often conducted in conjunction with the USPTO Office of Education and Outreach or the USPTO Global Intellectual Property Academy.
Particularly noteworthy is an on-going series of Webinars conducted collaboratively by the USPTO and the MBDA. FY 2014 Webinars were conducted for three consecutive days in both April and August 2014 and more are scheduled for FY 2015. As an example, over 1,000 persons registered for the August 2014 Webinar series.
It is noted that the Pro Bono Program, as of June 2014, was spearheaded by the USPTO’s Office of the Under Secretary. To summarize, in section 32, of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, Congress called upon the USPTO to assist financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses by working to establish pro bono programs across the country. In a February 2014 Executive Action, President Obama tasked the USPTO with dedicating educational and financial resources to assist inventors who lack legal representation and to expand the existing pro bono programs. The USPTO appointed the first-ever Pro Bono Coordinator in July 2014, a position within the Office of the Under Secretary. The Pro Bono Team, consisting of the Coordinator, an attorney, and a program analyst, assists in expanding current programs and targeting states in which to begin new programs. In addition, the Pro Bono Team helps to ensure the functionality of all pro bono programs and will soon utilize various forms of publicity to announce new openings of programs and other vital information to inventors, volunteer attorneys, and practitioner groups.
Right now, nine patent pro bono “hubs” exist around the country, which provide patent attorney services to inventors in 20 states. The Pro Bono Team is working steadily towards ensuring coverage in all 50 states by the end of this year. An additional 15 states are due to be launched in the near future, with the Michigan program kicking off on November 18, 2014, at the Detroit Regional Office. While metrics maintained by the various regional hubs have not always been consistent, moving into the coming year, uniform reporting requirements will be implemented so that the volume and success of the various programs can be measured.
The USPTO has several Web sites available to assist independent inventors and pro se applicants such as: www.uspto.gov/inventors/proseprobono, for those inventors that are either filing on their own behalf (pro se) or are seeking free or greatly reduced services from patent professionals; www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/iip, which provides “plain language” information about the patent and trademark processes and resources available through the USPTO; and www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/informational_videos.jsp, which provides a series of videos located on the USPTO’s AIA micro-site to provide straightforward education to independent inventors and entrepreneurs explaining important changes resulting from the recently enacted America Invents Act. The Office is continuing to develop these pages to make them dynamic as rules change and to develop additional training material content. The Office also provides a dedicated email address for inventors and small businesses to submit questions at: IndependentInventor@uspto.gov and distributes an emailed monthly newsletter, The Inventors Eye (www.uspto.gov/inventors/independent).
While the USPTO does not investigate complaints or participate in any legal proceedings against invention promoters/promotion firms, under the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999, the USPTO will provide a public forum for the publication of complaints concerning invention promoters/promotion firms. The Office has developed a brochure to provide guidance to the inventor community on things to look out for and steps to take in hiring invention assistance providers.
In collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology / Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Office has created a tool for use by small businesses that will allow them to self-assess their IP assets. The tool is a Web-based questionnaire that asks small business owners pertinent questions about products and/or services offered, created, or sold by their business providing a semi-custom report according to the specific responses to the questions answered. In FY 2013, the OID continued to refine the IP Assessment Tool and develop background materials for use in combination with the tool. Additionally, the OID staff continues to strengthen ties with the Small Business Administration.
The OID continues its work with the National Science Foundation (NSF), Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grantees in conjunction with Trademarks, and the Global Intellectual Property Academy. At the NSF grantee conferences, the OID presents basic information on patents and provides one-on-one consultation to grantees. In addition to working with the SBIR/STTR program administered by the NSF, the OID has begun a broader approach to all SBIR/STTR programs. The OID has attended and presented at the National SBIR/STTR Conference. The national conference draws in attendees from the 11 participating federal agencies. These agencies work with 15,000 firms, spend $21 billion in research funds, and represent over 400,000 scientists and engineers.
The OID staff is also currently participating in the National Institutes of Health Centers for Accelerated Innovation (NCAI) Program which is a $31.5 million, seven year initiative to create an integrated, systematic, and comprehensive approach to moving basic science discoveries through early stage technology development to ultimate commercialization to advance the prevention and management of cardiovascular, pulmonary, sleep and hematologic disorders. Launched in September 2013, each Center participating in the program is a multi-partnered consortium of research performing institutions and includes: Boston Biomedical Innovation Center, Cleveland Clinic Innovation Accelerator and University of California Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration & Development Center for Accelerated Innovation. The OID staff participates in regular meetings in order 1) to share each of the NCAI program’s objectives and operational plans, 2) to provide resources to the Centers, and 3) to discuss the strategic needs for national coordination and knowledge dissemination, program evaluation and NCAI sustainability.
The Office has long played a role in IP educational outreach to universities; initial efforts were directed to where the USPTO had a well-established recruiting effort with nearby universities. In conducting university outreach, lectures targeted engineering students, business and entrepreneurship students, student organizations, and the university’s technology transfer office. At many universities, the USPTO also provided lectures to faculty and staff about the state of IP protection in the current environment. The USPTO and the Association of University Technology Managers also partnered to seek judges for the Patents for Humanity program. In addition, during FY 2014 the Office frequently collaborated with the National Academy of Inventors and InventNow in reaching out to university patent holders and collegiate inventors.
The Office frequently works with museums seeking information, assistance, education, and exhibits. In FY 2014, the USPTO began a new long term collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, thus replacing the former agreement pertaining to the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building. Going forward, the OID is working in conjunction with the Smithsonian in developing programs and exhibits for the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It is anticipated that additional creative, educational, and intellectual support and collaboration will be provided and take place across other Smithsonian venues and programs on an ad hoc basis. Through this collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, the USPTO will also participate with the Smithsonian Institution’s cable channel and innovation Web site available at www.Smithsonian.com.
The Office continues its efforts to further expand outreach and assistance seeking opportunities to collaborate with like-minded organizations and events to share IP education and information in its efforts to support American innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation. In FY 2014, the OID participated in the 2014 World IP Day Celebrations hosted by the American Intellectual Property Law Association.
The USPTO is developing, for an FY 2015 implementation, a pro se pilot program. Under executive leadership in Patents and the OID staff, the pro se pilot program is designed to operate as two distinct but complimentary “shops:” the pro se assistance shop and the pro se examination shop. These shops will respectively assist pro se applicants prior to filing and during examination. The pro se assistance shop, located in the OID and staffed by the OID and designated detailee staff will assist pro se applicants in understanding the patent process, filing requirements, and patent searching. The pro se examination shop will be an art unit of examiners selected to examine pro se applications, from the current backlog of applications, for a majority of their examination time. This pilot program is scheduled to run for FY 2015 with the possibility of being extended at the end of FY 2015 for a second year.
The PPAC commends the USPTO on its expansion of outreach efforts to reach an ever growing number of the public and stakeholder community. The PPAC recommends that the USPTO continue to grow its programs in this area to disseminate information concerning innovation and the USPTO’s role and avenues for assistance and information.
LOUIS J. FOREMAN, CHAIRMAN
Louis Foreman is founder and Chief Executive of Enventys, an integrated product design and engineering firm. He is also CEO of Edison Nation. Louis graduated from The University of Illinois with a Bachelors of Science degree in Economics. His interest in starting businesses and developing innovative products began while a sophomore with his first company founded in his fraternity room. Over the past 20 years Louis has created nine successful start-ups and has been directly responsible for the creation of over 20 others. A prolific inventor, he is the inventor of 10 registered U.S. Patents, and his firm is responsible for the development of well over 500 more. The recipient of numerous awards for entrepreneurial achievement, his passion for small business extends beyond his own companies. Louis is an adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, teaching at Queens University, Johnson & Wales University and The McColl School of Business.
Louis is a frequent lecturer and radio / TV guest on the topics of innovation, intellectual property, and small business creation, and is frequently invited by national trade associations to be a featured speaker on the topic of innovation.
In addition to being an inventor, Louis is also committed to inspiring others to be innovative. Louis is the creator of the Emmy® Award winning PBS TV show, Everyday Edisons, and serves as the Executive Producer and lead judge. The show is filming its fifth season and appears nationally on PBS. In 2007, Louis became the publisher of Inventors Digest, a 28 year old publication devoted to the topic of American Innovation. In 2009, his first book, The Independent Inventor’s Handbook, was published by Workman Publishing.
Louis serves on the Board of Directors of the James Dyson Foundation, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, Ventureprise, New Dominion Bank, and the Intellectual Property Owners Educational Foundation. Most recently, Louis was appointed by Small Business Administration Administrator, Karen Mills, to serve a three year term on the National SBDC Advisory Board.
ESTHER M. KEPPLINGER, VICE CHAIR
Esther Kepplinger is Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s Chief Patent Counselor. Her responsibilities include serving as the firm’s liaison to the USPTO, ensuring that all of its patent filings are conducted in the most efficient and defensible manner, and enhancing the firm’s inter partes USPTO practice. She also serves as an expert witness on USPTO practices and procedures. Prior to joining the firm in 2005, Esther served as deputy commissioner for patent operations in the USPTO in Alexandria, Virginia, for five years. As deputy commissioner, she oversaw the nation’s patent-examination process, with all the patent examiners in the United States reporting to her. Esther managed a budget of $700 million and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the country’s seven patent technology centers, including about 4,500 people.
Esther also played a pivotal role in establishing the policies and strategic direction of the patent examining corps, helping to implement the USPTO’s goals for improving quality and efficiency of service. With the USPTO since 1973, Esther has held a variety of other positions, including patent examiner and supervisor for a biotechnology art unit and group director for the chemical and materials engineering group. While at the USPTO, Esther received a number of awards, including the Presidential Rank Award in 2002 and the Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 1998, 2004, and 2013.
WAYNE P. SOBON
Wayne P. Sobon, Vice President and General Counsel of Inventergy, Inc. is responsible for Inventergy’s overall legal operations. Wayne was most recently Vice President and Chief IP Counsel for Rambus Inc., responsible for Rambus’ global IP development program. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Wayne received his B.S. degree in physics and B.A. degree in German Studies from Stanford University in 1984 and his J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1992. Since receiving his law and business degrees, Wayne worked at several Silicon Valley law firms, most recently Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich LLP (now DLA Piper), where he was a partner specializing in patent prosecution, litigation and general IP counseling. Wayne served as Associate General Counsel, and Director of Intellectual Property for Accenture from 2000 to 2011.
Wayne is a frequent speaker and lecturer on IP issues, is President Elect of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, a member of the USPTO’s PPAC, a member of the board of Invent Now.org of the National Inventor Hall of Fame, and a prior member of the board of the Intellectual Property Owners Association.
VALERIE LANDRIO MCDEVITT, J.D., MST
Valerie Landrio McDevitt is the Associate Vice President at the University of South Florida, Technology Transfer Office. USF recently ranked 12th world-wide for granted U.S. patents among all universities; and within the Top 20 for executed licenses and options in the United States, and Top 15 in the United States for number of startup companies among individually reporting universities.
Prior to joining USF, Valerie served as assistant patent counsel and a research chemist for Bausch & Lomb Pharmaceuticals. She also participated in the American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship program and worked as a science advisor with a House subcommittee in Washington, D.C.
Valerie received her BS in Chemistry from Siena College in Loudonville, New York, MST in Chemistry at the University of Florida,and a JD at Emory University School of Law. She is a certified licensing professional through LES, a registered technology transfer professional through ATTP, a member of the Georgia and Florida bars, and is admitted to practice before the Federal Patent and Trademark Office.
CLINTON H. HALLMAN, JR.
Clinton Hallman is the Chief Patent Counsel for Kraft Foods Group, Inc. He has responsibility for patent matters at Kraft and manages a staff with counsel in the Chicago area. His time at Kraft has involved a variety of experiences including major litigation matters, business divestures, and IP strategy development. Prior to working at Kraft he was a patent counsel at the Altria Group for several years where he was responsible for patent prosecution, opinion work and significant client counseling. His responsibilities there included a stint at an Altria subsidiary that was created to market technology developed for the tobacco industry in other areas such as medical devices, fuel injector technology and alloys. Clinton has had a stint in private practice at a small IP boutique where he handled patent, trademark and copyright matters working with companies in the textiles and furniture industries.
Clinton got his start in intellectual property at Mobil Oil Corporation where he worked as a project engineer and construction manager for several years before joining the office of patent counsel. His patent work at Mobil included support of the plastics division of Mobil Chemical.
Clinton served as an officer in the U.S. Navy having been commissioned in 1977. His service was all sea duty with most of that time assigned to the engineering departments of the ships on which he served.
Clinton is a 1977 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is a 1994 graduate of the George Mason University School of Law in the Patent Track. He is admitted to practice in Illinois (Corporate), North Carolina and Virginia. He is a member of the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, and the American Bar Association. He sits on the board of directors of the Greater Chicago Food Depository the Intellectual Property Association of Chicago and the Loyola Academy Sailing Club.
Clinton is married and has two sons, ages 27 and 21. He lives and works in the suburbs north of Chicago, IL.
Marylee Jenkins is a partner at Arent Fox LLP and head of the New York Office’s Intellectual Property Group. She has extensive experience in all aspects of IP matters and counsels a diverse international client base that includes Fortune 500 companies, not-for profit organizations, and small businesses. She counsels clients on disputes and strategies, portfolio enforcement and management, e-commerce, and software development and protection on issues involving computers and the Internet. Throughout her career, Marylee has devised unique and innovative solutions to complex IP matters for clients across the globe.
On protection and enforcement matters, Marylee has routinely prosecuted domestic and foreign patent applications in the electrical, electromechanical and computer industries, including computer hardware and software, Internet and computer-related technologies, telecommunication, and information and financial systems. In addition, she provides counseling and opinion work on trademark selection, clearance, prosecution, registration, brand management and enforcement and represents clients in IP and bankruptcy litigations and in patent appeals, reexaminations and reissues and trademark oppositions and cancellations before the USPTO.
Marylee has been a member of the USPTO’s PPAC since February 2013. She is a past Chairperson of the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law and is a past President of the New York Intellectual Property Law Association. She is currently serving again as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Marylee is a member of John Marshall Law School’s Intellectual Property Law Advisory Board and was a member of Columbia Engineering School’s Engineering Council for several years.
Marylee holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science, a B.S. in physics from Centre College of Kentucky and a J.D. from New York Law School. Marylee is admitted to the bars of New York, Connecticut, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. Supreme Court and is registered to practice before the USPTO.
A. CHRISTAL SHEPPARD, Ph.D., J.D.
Assistant Professor Sheppard joined the University of Nebraska faculty in 2011, after over two decades of Science and Intellectual Property Law and Policy experience. She is an Assistant Professor and co-founded a program of Concentrated Study in Intellectual Property law at the Law College.
Dr. Sheppard began her career as a scientist earning a M.S. and Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan. After receiving a J.D. from Cornell University Law School and interning with Judge Radar at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, she was a practicing attorney at the law firm of Foley & Lardner earning extensive experience in patent prosecution, client patent counseling and ligation. She then served in the Office of the General Counsel of the United States International Trade Commission working on Section 337 matters, arguing before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 2005, Dr. Sheppard also completed Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Education for Senior Managers in Government program.
Her successful career in IP law and policy included her tenure as Chief Counsel on Patents and Trademarks for the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary where she was integral in many endeavors including the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the most comprehensive change to this nation’s IP laws in over 60 years.
In April of 2012, Dr. Sheppard testified before the United States Congress House Committee on the Judiciary at the hearing “International Patent Issues: Promoting a Level Playing Field for American Industry Abroad.” She has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones News Wire, Fox Business, the Chicago Sun Times and Politico.
Peter Thurlow is a patent attorney and partner at Jones Day law firm in New York. He has significant experience in all aspects of domestic and international patent prosecution, including post-grant reissue, ex parte, and inter partes reexamination proceedings. As a patent prosecution attorney, his experience includes drafting, filing, and prosecuting United States patent cooperation treaties and international patent applications. Mr. Thurlow provides litigation support for patent litigation in the District Courts, the International Trade Commission, and before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Mr. Thurlow is the current chairperson of the Patent Law Committee for the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA). Mr. Thurlow has been active in the implementation of the America Invents Act, representing the NYIPLA’s views before the USPTO. Mr. Thurlow received his bachelor’s degree in marine engineering from the United States Merchant Marine Academy; his master’s in business administration from Pace University in New York; and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School. Mr. Thurlow is serving his first term as a PPAC member.
Dr. Jacobs is the founder and president of Jake Technologies, Inc., a technology service company focused on strategic technology development, product evaluation, and advising corporate counsel and law firms on issues related to intellectual property. Prior to founding Jake Technologies, Inc., Dr. Jacobs held leadership positions as chief technology officer, Primus Technology Solutions; president and chief operating officer, and chief technology officer, AnswerLogic, Inc.; managing vice president, electronic commerce, director of product marketing, and director of media information technologies, SRA International, Inc.; president and chief executive officer, IsoQuest, Inc.; and as a computer scientist at General Electric. Dr. Jacobs received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in applied mathematics at Harvard University; and his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. He currently teaches Information Architecture at the University of Maryland in College Park. Dr. Jacobs is serving his first term as a member of the PPAC.
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 265|
|Trademark Public Advisory Committee Annual Report 2014|
TRADEMARK PUBLIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT 2014
UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
|II.||Discussion of Specific Issues|
|A.||Trademark Operations Performance|
|1. Performance Statistics|
|2. Quality and Training|
|3. Initiatives Completed in FY2014|
|4. Ongoing Initiatives|
|5. RFC on changing Good/Services to Reflect New Technology|
|6. Nice Agreement|
|7. Outreach Initiatives|
|8. International Matters|
|B.||IT and E-Government Issues|
|1. Trademark Next Generation (TMNG)|
|2. Trademark Legacy Improvements and Programs|
|3. Business Priorities and Wish List|
|C.||Budget and Funding Issues|
|1. Effects of the 2013 Sequester|
|2. Trademark Registration/Renewal Fees|
|3. USPTO Use of Activity-Based Information System Accounting|
|4. Office of the Chief Information Officer|
|5. Office of Policy and International Affairs|
|D.||Trademark Trial and Appeals Board|
|1. Precedential Decisions|
|2. Performance Statistics|
|3. Oppositions and Cancellation Proceedings|
|4. Pendency and Inventory Goals|
|5. Final Decision and Overall Average Pendency|
|6. Contested Motions|
|7. ActiveInter Parties Cases Pending Under “Old Rule”|
|8. TTAB Leadership and Staffing|
|9. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manuel of Procedures (TBMP)|
This is the fifteenth annual report of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee (“TPAC”). This report reviews the trademark operations of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) for the fiscal year (FY) ending September 30, 2014. TPAC’s mission, which is specified in enabling legislation, 35 U.S.C. § 5(b)(1) and (d)(1), is “to represent the interests of diverse users” of the USPTO and to “review the policies, goals, performance, budget, and user fees” of the USPTO with respect to trademarks.
Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 5(d)(2), this report is submitted within 60 days following the end of the federal FY and is transmitted to the President, the Secretary of Commerce and the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives. This report is submitted for publication in the Official Gazette of the USPTO. The report will be available to the public on the USPTO website, www.uspto.gov.
Members of TPAC. As of the end of FY2014, the following individuals were members of TPAC:
|●||Jody Haller Drake, Partner, Sughrue Mion, LLC, Washington, D.C. (term ends December 6, 2014)|
|●||Ray Thomas, Jr., Owner, Law Office of Ray Thomas, Jr. PLLC, Washington, DC (term ends December 6, 2014)|
|●||Linda McLeod, Partner, Kelly IP, New York, New York (term ends December 6, 2014)|
|●||Kathryn Barrett Park (Vice Chair), Chief Global Executive Brand Counsel, General Electric Corporation, Fairfield, Connecticut (term ends December 6, 2015)|
|●||Dee Ann Weldon-Wilson, Trademark Counsel, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Irving, Texas (term ends December 6, 2015)|
|●||Maury M. Tepper, III (Chair), Member, Tepper & Eyster, PLLC, Raleigh, North Carolina (term ends December 6, 2015)|
|●||Anne H. Chasser, Strategic Advisor, Wolfe, Sadler, Breen, Morasch & Colby, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio (term ends December 6, 2016)|
|●||Deborah Hampton, Intellectual Property Manager, New York, New York (term ends December 6, 2016)|
|●||William G. Barber, Member, Pirkey Barber, PLLC, Austin, Texas (term ends December 6, 2016)|
In addition to the above voting Members, the following people are non-voting TPAC members representing the membership of USPTO unions:
|●||Harold Ross of the National Treasury Employees Union (“NTEU”) Chapter 243.|
|●||Howard Friedman of NTEU Chapter 245.|
|●||Tamara Kyle of the Patent Office Professional Association.|
In keeping with recent years, Trademark Operations continued to meet and to exceed performance goals during FY 2014. TPAC commends the dedicated leadership of Commissioner for Trademarks, Deborah Cohn and her leadership team, as well as the hard work of numerous Examining Attorneys, Interlocutory Attorneys, Law Instrument Examiners and others in Trademark Operations. TPAC in particular wishes to thank Commissioner Cohn, who will retire at the end of calendar year 2014, for her long and highly successful career as a public servant and for her exemplary leadership of Trademark Operations. Commissioner Cohn has made significant contributions to the success of Trademark Operations, and her leadership will be missed.
TPAC is pleased to note that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) continues the positive trends reflected in last year’s Annual Report and is now on track to maintain pendency of cases at levels reflected in its performance goals. Chief Judge Gerard Rodgers, with continuing cooperation and assistance from Group Director Meryl Hershkowitz from Trademark Operations, has implemented organizational changes that have improved efficiency and output.
The Office of the Chief Information Officer is continuing its progress on the design of a new, integrated IT system for Trademarks, known as Trademarks Next Generation (“TMNG”), and TPAC is pleased to see the introduction of new systems that are being used internally for examination of trademark applications. During FY 2015, we look forward to the introduction of more external-facing systems that will benefit those who file trademark applications and who utilized the USPTO’s databases. TPAC notes, however, that the development of TMNG continues to take significantly longer and to cost significantly more than originally anticipated, and we remain watchful of the significant investment of User Fees to develop these systems. TPAC is pleased that OCIO continues to seek input and recommendations from Trademark Operations, and this cooperative approach helps to guide the development process.
TPAC has noted the growth of certain programs, including the IP Attaché Program. While these programs are generally well-received and can benefit trademark owners, TPAC looks forward to developing better communication with stakeholders, to help to guide the utilization of this resource, and to better tracking of the activities of IP Attachés, to help to manage the investment of Trademark User Fees.
The Office of Chief Financial Officer (“OCFO”) continues to provide excellent information and to support and assist Trademark Operations and other USPTO divisions in the monitoring and allocation of Trademark User Fees. TPAC appreciates the thorough and responsive approach of OCFO and its significant contributions to successful management of Trademark Operations.
Trademark Operations Performance:
Results for FY 2014 demonstrated a continued, extremely high level of performance by the USPTO’s Trademark Organization, with great transparency. Quality, pendency, filing, and registration data are updated quarterly throughout the year and available on the Trademark Dashboard on the USPTO website.
Increase in Applications. Trademark application filings continued an upward trend, increasing by nearly 5 percent compared to a year ago. This follows the record set last fiscal year when applications increased 4.5 percent. New applications are on target to increase this fiscal year to 455,017 classes.
Balanced Disposals.The Office continued to maintain very high productivity levels, as it has for the past several years. There were 909,604 total Balanced Disposals, slightly less than the Trademark Operations goal of 913,000. A Balanced Disposal means one of three actions has occurred (i) a first Office Action has issued, (ii) the application has been approved for publication after examination or (iii) the application has been abandoned.
Total Office Disposals. Total Office Disposals, which mean the number of applications that either resulted in registration or abandonment were 429,869 for FY 2014, up 6 percent from FY 2013.
Average First Action Pendency in Target Range. Average First Action Pendency was 3 months in FY 2014, falling squarely within the Trademark Operations target range of 2.5 to 3.5 months. In fact, First Action Pendency remained within this target range at all times during FY 2014. First Action Pendency is the time between the filing of a trademark application and the substantive review of that application by the USPTO (which usually results in either an Office Action or a Notice of Publication). The range that Trademark Operations has set for its target represents a balance between maintaining an appropriate inventory of work for the Examining Attorney corps and the desire to provide a reliably fast response to trademark applicants. TPAC supports this range, and applauds Trademark Operations for consistently working within the range over the last several years.
Average Total Pendency. The average time between the filing of a trademark application and final disposition of that application, whether by registration, abandonment or issuance of a Notice of Allowance continued to remain at historically low levels. For FY 2014, Average Total Pendency was at an all-time low of 9.8 months, if suspended or inter partes cases are excluded, and 11.3 months if all cases are included. (An application is suspended in cases where the outcome of another matter must be determined before further action on the application can be taken. This can occur if there is a previously-filed application still under examination. An inter partes case is where there is an opposition or cancellation proceeding before the TTAB.) These results are due in part to the progress made from greater acceptance of electronic filing and in particular use of TEAS Plus applications, which now make up 39 percent of new filings and more than 33 percent of new classes. Electronic filing and communications, which promotes more efficient and cost effective processing, now comprises 80.7 percent of all applications processed to disposal.
Overall. Trademark Operations substantially met or exceeded ALL of its quantitative performance goals for FY 2014, continuing the trend that has been consistent under the leadership of Commissioner Cohn throughout her tenure. TPAC congratulates Commissioner Cohn on yet another stellar performance in FY 2014; her leadership has been exemplary. TPAC also commends the dedicated staff throughout Trademark Operations for these outstanding results, which are of huge benefit to the public served by the USPTO.
|2.||Quality and Training.|
Although Trademark Operations has consistently performed at a very high level, the emphasis on qualitative, in addition to quantitative measures has continued under Commissioner Cohn’s leadership, as she has raised the bar by constantly seeking to improve the qualitative review of applications, so that the Trademark Register accurately reflects the substantive rights of trademark owners. Thus, Trademark Operations has made great progress towards setting and achieving high quality standards. All quality targets are being met, evidence that specialized training, online tools, and enhanced communication efforts are proving effective. The USPTO has worked with members of the IP community through user groups to conduct reviews of Office Actions in order to validate and define evaluation metrics for quality review standards.
|a.||Compliance Rate. Examination quality is measured by evaluating random samples of applications at two different points during the examination process. This measurement is known as the compliance rate, or the percentage of actions or decisions that have been determined to have been made correctly, with no deficiencies or errors. The first point of review looks at Initial Office Actions that reject applications for registration or raise other issues regarding formalities that require correction to the application. The second point of review takes place at “final disposition” of an application, either by a final refusal to register or a decision to approve\ the application for publication. The goal at both points is to determine whether the Examining Attorney’s decisions and written Office Actions comport with bases of refusal under the Lanham Act. The goal for FY 2014 was 95.5 percent compliance for first Office Actions and 97 percent for final disposition. For FY 2014, Trademark Operations surpassed both goals, achieving a First Office Action compliance rate of 95.8 percent, and a final disposition compliance rate of 97.2 percent.|
|b.||Exceptional Office Action. The “Exceptional Office Action” is a standard with four distinct criteria: the appropriateness of the likelihood of confusion search, the quality of the evidence provided, the clarity of the writing, and the quality of the decision making. In FY 2014, Trademark Operations far exceeded its goal of 28%, with 43 percent of all first Office Actions meeting the criteria for the Exceptional Office Action.|
|c.||Examination Guides. Examination Guides provide a useful means of directing Examining Attorneys how to deal consistently with developing areas or with areas that have proven problematic or difficult. During FY 2014, Trademark Operations issued several important Examination Guides.|
|i.||gTLD Examination Guide: Examination Guide 1-14, entitled “Applications for MarksComprising gTLDs for Domain-Name Registry Operator and Registrar Services” was published earlier this year. The guide concerns applications for marks comprising generic top-level domain names (gTLDs) for domain name registry operator and registrar services. In light of the ICANN initiative designed to introduce new gTLDs, some of which may have significance as source identifiers, the guide sets forth conditions under which such marks may be registered.|
|ii.||Geographic Certification Mark Examination Guide: Examination Guide 2-14,entitled “Geographic Certification Marks” was recently published. The guide describes the application requirements for geographic certification marks, explains the analysis for determining whether a mark functions to certify regional origin, discusses the relevant considerations for Section 2(d) likelihood-of-confusion determinations involving geographic certification marks, and provides examples illustrating some of the concepts covered.|
|i.||Best Practices Presentation: Examining Attorneys received a presentation on the best practices of the best performing examining attorneys in the Office. The objective as to communicate and share tips and work habits of these Examining Attorneys to other Examining Attorneys.|
|ii.||Right of Publicity Presentation: An attorney from the NFL Players’ Association gave presentation at the USPTO in April on the right of publicity. CLE credit was given to attendees.|
|iii.||Identification Crafting Bootcamp Training: Examining Attorneys completed training with a focus on constructing acceptable identifications.|
|iv.||Trademark Attorney Training Day: On May 29th, Trademark Operations held a day of legal and examination training, including a number of CLE classes. The event served the dual purpose of promoting employee engagement as many people who work remotely came to the office to attend the sessions and reconnect with colleagues. The event was considered a huge success by the large number of attorneys that attended.|
|v.||INTA Industry Day: On July 29th, representatives from “Big Data” technology firms came to the USPTO to discuss the nature of their industry and specific issues affecting trademark examination. CLE credit was provided for attendees.|
|3.||Initiatives Completed in FY2014|
|a.||TMEP Updates: The USPTO issued updates to the Trademark Manual of Examination Procedure (TMEP) in October, 2013 and April, 2014.|
|b.||Enhanced Official Gazette (eOG): The new eOG was launched in September, 2013. The USPTO based the initial design on input from external users and is in the process of incorporating new and enhanced features for both internal and external users that are now possible in an all-electronic format. New search features and publication of multimedia (sensory) marks are the most prominent changes so far.|
|c.||Electronic Suggestion Tool: This communication tool for comments on TMEP and examination guides allows both internal and external customers to provide commentary using this tool and view comments made by others. The USPTO encourages submission of comments in this manner and has taken them into consideration for all examination guides issued in 2014 as well as revisions to the TMEP.|
|a.||Pilot Program to Review Post-Registration Specimens: The USPTO continued to address issues related to potential inaccuracies in the identifications of goods and services on the register. For the past two years it has conducted a limited pilot program where additional specimens were requested in connection with Section 8 and Section 71 Affidavits of Continued Use. The Office has published a report based on a high percentage of cases reviewed and completed, and is following up with discussions with stakeholders about future actions. TPAC stresses the importance of an accurate use-based register, and the Committee looks forward to continuing to work with Trademark Operations to identify measures to improve the accuracy and integrity of the Register.|
|b.||ID Manual Enhancements: Trademark Operations continued to work with user groups (INTA, IPO) to update and improve entries in the Identifications and Classifications Manual. User groups are currently focusing on three areas: Social Media, Finance, and Computer Terminology. IT enhancements, including an ID Checker feature and better explanatory notes for entries are in the works.|
|c.||Fee Reduction: The USPTO has issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that would offer lower-cost fee options for filing electronic applications and renewals of registrations. The fee reduction is possible due to efficiencies that have reduced the cost of providing some services. The proposed reduction maintains an Operating Reserve sufficient to manage operations and address long term investments.|
|Under the proposal, trademark application filing fees and renewal fees would be reduced by 15 to 25% depending on how the application is filed. The USPTO proposes to reduce the fee for an application filed using the regular TEAS application form by $50 to $275 per class if the applicant authorizes e-mail communication and agrees to file all responses and other documents electronically during the prosecution of the application. This option will be known as a TEAS Reduced Fee (“TEAS RF”) application. The USPTO also proposes to reduce by $50 the fee for a TEAS Plus application to $225 per class and reduce by $100 the fee for TEAS renewal of a registration to $300 per class.|
|The proposed fee reductions will reduce processing costs and promote efficiency for the USPTO and for its customers. Lower fees benefit new and existing businesses, providing lower costs for those seeking and maintaining federal registrations to protect their investment.|
|The proposal will also further a USPTO strategic objective to increase the end-to-end electronic processing of trademark applications by offering additional electronic application processing options and promoting online filing, electronic file management, and workflow. Implementation is scheduled for January 2015 following completion of the rulemaking process and changes to TEAS forms.|
|TPAC applauds Trademark Operations on both realizing increased efficiencies for the trademark community through the strategic development and implementation of electronic processing and on providing trademark owners with cost-saving alternatives for filing trademark applications and renewing trademark registrations.|
|5.||RFC on Changing Goods/Services to Reflect New Technology:|
|Some stakeholders have requested that they be allowed to change identifications of goods and services at the Post Registration stage due to evolution in technology that has affected products and services through the years. The USPTO issued a Request for Comments to solicit more public input on this subject and held a roundtable discussion at the USPTO on April 11th. Next steps will include a proposal by the USPTO, which will be published for public review and comment.|
|The USPTO posted its proposals for changes to the 10th edition, 2015 version of the Nice Agreement. Proposals were developed based on inconsistencies noticed in the Alphabetical List, questions raised by Trademark Operations and the public on proper classification of new items and services, and clarifications to Class Headings and Explanatory Notes to provide more guidance and justification for classification practice. Proposals may be viewed on WIPO’s NIVILO e-Forum found at http://web2.wipo.int/nef/. The comment period for proposals ended December 31, 2013. The staff of ID/Class will be drafting and posting comments on the proposals of other members.|
|a.||Expansion of Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program|
|The USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline launched the Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program in 2008. The program expanded in 2010 and further expanded in 2012. On July 30th, the USPTO announced further expansion of the program for Fall 2014. The latest expansion resulted in 15 law schools being added to the trademark-track of the program. Currently, a total of 45 law schools participate in the program, 39 of which practice trademark law.|
|The Student-Attorneys are permitted, under the supervision of a duly certified Faculty Supervisor, to assist clients on a pro bono basis with intellectual property matters before the USPTO. To date, over: i) 1,400 Student-Attorneys have participated in the program; and ii) 650 applications were reportedly filed through the trademark-track of the program.|
|The program provides the extraordinary opportunity for Student-Attorneys to gain invaluable real-world experience in intellectual property during law school. Furthermore, the program makes quality legal representation affordable for individual entrepreneurs and small business owners desiring to protect their intellectual property rights. Accordingly, TPAC continues to be very pleased with this well-organized and purposeful program.|
|b.||2014 National Trademark Expo: The USPTO held the 2014 Trademark Expo on the Alexandria campus October 17th and 18th. This widely attended event drew thousands of public visitors. In addition to displays and exhibits hosted by businesses with well-known marks, a number of educational forums were presented on trademark law, protecting trademarks and filing for trademark registration.|
|a.||Intellectual Property (IP) Attaché Program|
|By way of background, the U.S. IP Attaché program was formally instituted in 2006 as a result of: i) the Japan IP Attaché to Switzerland (1992); ii) the successes of the first two U.S. IP Attachés to Switzerland (1993) and China (2003); and iii) the funding that Congress allocated to international outreach efforts (2005).|
|IP Attachés are subject matter experts serving as diplomats in foreign countries/regions. They are supported in their efforts by teams in the USPTO’s Office of Policy and External Affairs. To date, IPR Attachés have been assigned to the following countries: Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Mexico, Russia, Switzerland and Thailand. They are primarily responsible for promoting U.S. IP policies (e.g., taking actions necessary to strengthen the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights of U.S. businesses abroad).|
|In order to better understand this fairly new program: i) representatives of the Office of Policy and External Affairs (i.e., Shira Perlmutter, Chief Policy Officer and Dom Keating, Director of IPR Attaché Program) gave presentations during TPAC’s public meetings of October 12, 2012 and October 16, 2014; and ii) members of TPAC’s International Subcommittee will meet with the IPR Attachés, in December, 2014, while they are at the USPTO for their annual consultations.|
|TPAC’s review of the USPTO budget over the past few years raised the issue of Trademark’s investment in the program. TPAC will continue to closely monitor the program to ensure that Trademark’s investment is proportionate to the percentage of time the IPR Attachés and their support are dedicating to trademark-related matters.|
|b.||Madrid Protocol Updates|
|On October 16, 2013, Tunisia acceded to the Madrid Protocol. The USPTO will continue its efforts to provide technical assistance to new members.|
|In collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), on October 23, 2013 the USPTO conducted a seminar at its Global Intellectual Property Academy. Ray Thomas, Jr. participated in the seminar on behalf of TPAC. The advanced seminar provided participants with useful “Tips for Filing International Applications and Maintaining International Registrations”. The agenda included: i) Overview of the Madrid System; ii) WIPO Online Resources; iii) Preparing and Filing an International Application; iv) Role of USPTO’s Madrid Processing Unit and Review of International Application; v) Role of WIPO’s International Bureau and Review of International Application; vi) Changes to International Registration; and vii) Miscellaneous Issues: Section 71 Declaration, Subsequent Designations and Additional WIPO Resources.|
|c.||TM5 (The Five Trademark Offices)|
|TM5 is the abbreviation for The Five Trademark Offices: 1) USPTO; 2) Japan Patent Office (JPO); 3) Office of Harmonization for the Internal Markets (OHIM); 4) Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO); and 5) State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) of the People’s Republic of China. TM5 references the cooperative effort between the above-mentioned governmental organizations (“Partners”) to promote the harmonization of trademarks between their countries.|
|The last Annual Meeting was held December 5 - 6, 2013 in Seoul, Korea. At that time, the Partners discussed various projects (e.g., Bad-Faith Trademark Filings, TM5 Website Project). In addition, in FY2014, TM5 members presented a Bad Faith Filing seminar, both in Tokyo, and then in Hong Kong (in conjunction with the International Trademark Association Annual Meeting).|
|In 2013, KIPO assumed the lead role on the TM5 Website Project. On May 1, 2014, www.tmfive.org was launched. The official website will be updated regularly to provide information about collaborations between the Partners as well as various resources regarding the Partners’ offices (e.g., trademark laws, examination guidelines).|
|The Partners have designated the JPO to act as the secretariat for the next Annual Meeting.|
IT and E-Government Issues
|1.||Trademarks Next Generation (TMNG)|
|In 2009, the Director of the USPTO instructed the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to separate the trademark information-technology infrastructure from all other USPTO IT infrastructure and implement an integrated IT system for end-to-end electronic processing of trademark applications and trademark registration maintenance. Trademarks Next Generation (TMNG) is intended to replace the patchwork of legacy applications and databases that operate on relatively old software.|
|TMNG is intended to provide trademark owners and practitioners, as well as Examining Attorneys, with the tools needed for end-to-end electronic trademark processing, and to accommodate the dynamic information needs of trademark owners. During FY 2011 through FY 2014, the TMNG focus has been on internal examination capabilities.|
|OCIO has focused on several internal and external-facing projects under TMNG. Although the scope of TMNG has broadened significantly since its inception, and the transition from existing legacy systems to a new, integrated system is now projected to continue until at least FY 2017, OCIO’s work on TMNG is progressing. OCIO continues its communication and cooperation with Trademarks, allowing both OCIO and Trademarks to agree upon business priorities and to update an agreed-upon action item list, grouped by tiers of relative importance. The priority items have been segregated by fiscal year and, as is typical with any project of this magnitude, priorities have at times shifted within the tier structure according to current need, budget and other factors at the USPTO.|
|During FY 2014, OCIO made significant progress on several key projects.|
|●||Content Management System|
|●||Trademark Reporting and DataMart|
|●||Trademark Records Management (TRM) – Data Synchronization and Migration|
|●||TMNG Infrastructure Services and Disaster Recovery Plans|
|●||Separation and Virtualization|
|●||Trademark ID Manual|
|●||Trademark Electronic Official Gazette|
|The focus of this project is to provide Examining Attorneys with the tools needed during the examination phase. OCIO has made progress on providing updated capabilities to Trademark Examiners, including capabilities related to “First Action Approval for Publication” and a web-based user interface of X-Search. Usability testing with Examining Attorneys and Managing Attorneys has been completed, and the development of in-house Case Management System capabilities is on track.|
|b.||Content Management System|
|The TMNG Content Management System (CMS) is intended to improve an internal architectural system used by Examining Attorneys to give them the ability to accurately review, display and store all content related to a trademark application or registration file, including status and historical information. The plan is for TCMS to be used for all internal and external-facing TMNG components. Despite performance issues with the product selected in FY 2013, OCIO managed to develop a TCMS that provides the capability to accurately store and retrieve specific types of content in one location. The current focus is on the remaining capabilities that examiners need, as well as the content management capabilities needed for the Trademark Official Gazette.|
|TPAC recognizes these accomplishments and encourages OCIO to continue making this project a priority.|
|c.||Trademark Reporting and DataMart Program|
|The goal of the Trademark Reporting and DataMart project is to separate report generation capabilities from the examination systems and to provide a simple user interface for generating reports. OCIO has successfully deployed releases with refinements to Employee Productivity and Form Paragraphs and internal reporting tools, completed the requirement analysis for registration processing and dashboard reporting, enhanced existing reports based on user feedback, and has initiated “brown bag” sessions for Trademarks uses to continue to support user acceptance.|
|TPAC supports the effort to provide a simple user interface for generating reports.|
|d.||Trademark Records Management (TRM) - Data Synchronization and Migration|
|Progress continues on the TRM project, including installation of tools that help diagnose application discrepancies and eliminate potential manual errors. Synchronization has been developed for assigning a case and approval for publication. OCIO successfully completed synchronization testing between TMNG and the legacy mainframe. In addition, in a test run, 80 percent of the records required for examiner capabilities were migrated.|
|e.||TMNG Infrastructure Services and Disaster Recovery Plans|
|FAST1 and X-Search, two programs utilized extensively by Trademark Examining Attorneys, were deployed in a production verification testing environment. OCIO documented modifications required for TMNG Technical Stack for legacy integration: form paragraphs from FAST 1, X-Search integration with TMNG, and impact analysis is being conducted to assess Trademark legacy components required in TMNG.|
|f.||Separation and Virtualization|
|The goal of the Separation project was to mitigate system dependency risks by putting existing Trademark legacy applications and systems into an environment separate from Patent and other business systems. The OCIO has made progress on the separation over the last couple of years, and the last application to be separated, the Madrid application, was put it in production in the spring.|
|TPAC commends OCIO on the completion of the TM NG Separation program and project.|
|Virtualization of the IT infrastructure for Trademarks is intended to increase the agility and scalability of the systems, improve management of the systems, decrease power consumption, and reduce maintenance costs. This report focuses on two aspects of this project: Trademark Content Management System, discussed above, and Madrid Stabilization.|
|The current and historical goods and services class identifications were loaded in the ID Manual and the following features were demonstrated: simple and enhanced search, record editing, and data retrieval. Given the significant investment to date in TMNG, TPAC welcomes the initiation of development projects that will be visible to external users.|
|h.||Trademark Electronic Official Gazette (eOG)|
|Multiple releases were deployed for features and enhancements to the (eOG), including downloadable ZIP file and full XML version of each TMOG issue, an “Employee Sign In” link, internal review capabilities, a “My List”, and resources tabs. The Appeals interface and improved record functionalities for identifying duplicate queries within the same issue were both completed in FY 2014.|
|2.||Trademark Legacy Improvements and Progress|
|Continued progress was made on improvements to the Trademark legacy systems. In connection with TEAS and TEASi Forms, OCIO expanded sound and motion mark capabilities to other forms, developed internal capabilities to improve and streamline the upkeep of TEAS and TEASi Forms, and deployed text changes to the Legal Declaration to 55 TEAS Forms. Activity has begun on Phase 2 with focus on implementing certification mark rule changes, making enhancements to improve data accuracy, and implementing reduced fee options (TEAS RF).|
|OCIO has categorized a project to stabilize the Madrid Processing system into three major areas: 1) improve ability to add new countries as they become members of the Madrid Protocol; 2) implement processing system for transformations that can be incorporated into Trademark docketing systems and 3) convert incoming paper international applications to XML format.|
|OCIO completed Phase 1 development in FY2014 and Phase 2 activities, which were initiated earlier this year, are currently in the planning phase. These activities will focus on improving the workflow and user interface, and repairing defects in application functionality. The work on Phase 2 will carry over into FY2015.|
|TPAC applauds OCIO’s focus on Madrid stabilization. The average cost of processing Madrid Protocol applications is significantly higher per application than traditional trademark applications, and completion of this project will allow trademark owners to benefit from reduced processing costs and faster processing time. This project is particularly important now that the system handles many more filings than previously required. The international expansion of trademarks and trademark protection has moved the priority of Madrid stabilization to the top tier.|
|The Legacy Content Management Migration (LCMM) project is also progressing. OCIO deployed TEAS and TEASi into production, deployed the capability to capture application or registration snapshots, and consolidated repositories into the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).|
|TPAC embraces the idea that improvement must be made to the legacy systems while continuing to work on TMNG.|
|3.||Business Priorities and Wish List|
|Trademark Operations continues to gather input from managers, employees, the unions that represent them, and from external users of trademark systems on their “wish lists” for TMNG functionality and has incorporated the wish lists into its business priorities. The business priorities are reviewed quarterly based on the latest information and insight from across the organization and from customer groups. TPAC encourages the representative constituents to continue to discuss such matters as TMNG progresses towards final conclusion and implementation.|
|TPAC is encouraged by the continued communications and cooperation between Trademark Operations and OCIO. TPAC is mindful that projects are progressing but that progress has been slower than originally anticipated on a number of projects and that much work remains. TPAC encourages Trademarks and OCIO to continue to focus on the completion and implementation of TMNG, as this system currently represents a significant investment by trademark customers, who look forward to beginning to see the benefits of that investment as TMNG systems come on line. TPAC acknowledges the hard work and partnership of OCIO staff, under the leadership of John Owens (Chief Information Officer) and Rajeev Dolas (TMNG Portfolio Manager). These members of OCIO met with the IT Subcommittee of TPAC throughout the year to discuss how best to implement TMNG and to keep us current on progress. TPAC is grateful for their patience, accessibility and assistance.|
Budget and Funding Issues.
|1.||Effect of the 2013 Sequester|
|In March 2013 the USPTO was subject to a Sequester that resulted in an across-the-board spending cut of all discretionary federal budgets. Although the USPTO is completely funded by user fees, it was not exempt from across-the-board spending cuts. The USPTO was able to make adjustments in FY 2013 spending to stay within the spending caps set by the Sequester. The USPTO was initially held to reduced spending authority into FY 2014, due to the lapse in spending authority that resulted in a government shutdown for most federal agencies. The USPTO was able to keep the agency operational by limiting spending and by accessing funding from previously authorized reserves. The decrease in spending primarily impacted shared enterprise IT projects and Patent hiring.|
|Congress subsequently passed a 2-year budget resolution that set limits within the spending caps for FY 2014 and 2015. As a result, the USPTO received its full FY 2014 appropriation with the passage of its spending bill in January. The USPTO has moved forward on its spending plan to advance enterprise-wide IT projects and hiring.|
|The America Invents Act (AIA) (P.L. 112-29) established the Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund for fees that are collected above the appropriation amount. The fund is maintained in the United States Treasury. The Consolidated Act. 2014 (P.L. 113‐76) provides USPTO with $3.024B in spending authority during FY 2014. Any fees collected in excess of that authority are deposited in the Patent and Trademark Fee Reserve Fund and available to the USPTO through Congressional reprogramming. The USPTO expects FY 2014 fee collections to exceed its appropriation authority for the first time since the AIA was implemented.|
|Although TPAC is pleased that the 2-year budget resolution for FY 2014 and 2015 should allow the USPTO to receive appropriations at a level that permits the continuation of necessary operations and the progress of important office-wide initiatives, particularly IT projects, TPAC remains concerned that these measures still do not provide an adequate long-term solution to enable USPTO to engage in appropriate planning and to invest user fees in long-term or multi-year projects. TPAC continues to support amendments that would allow the USPTO full access to user-generated fee income.|
|2.||Trademark Registration/ Renewal Fees|
|In May 2014, the USPTO proposed in the Federal Register (Vol.79/No. 90) a reduction in certain trademark fees authorized by AIA that would reduce trademark collection fees and promote efficiency through increased use of electronic filing and processing. TPAC anticipates that a fee reduction will be implemented in January, 2015. The reduction is as follows:|
|- Reduce by $50.00 the fee for applications filed using the regular TEAS application, if applicant authorizes email communication (a change from $325 to $275 per class),|
|- Reduce by $50.00 fee for TEAS Plus (a change from $275 to $225 per class), and|
|- Reduce by $100 the fee for filing a TEAS Renewal of Registration (a change from $400 to $300 per class).|
|It is noted that the application fee of $375 per class for paper filing will not change.|
|The TPAC applauds the Trademark Office for its efficiency and its ability to pass savings on to its customers. After careful consultation with Trademarks, TPAC is comfortable that this proposed reduction in fees will not adversely impact the operation of Trademarks or the continuation of any essential projects and, further, that the Trademarks Operation Reserve will remain at acceptable levels, based on the best available projections.|
|3.||USPTO Use of Activity-Based Information System Accounting|
|Under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) a “fence” was established for both patent and trademark fees, to clearly distinguish spending of user fees between the two operations. There are only two sources of revenue to support the USPTO: 1) Patent user fees and 2) Trademark user fees. While patent examination and trademark examination are clearly separate operations, the USPTO operates as an enterprise with shared services for many of its administrative functions, including: Office of the Chief Information Officer, Office of Chief Financial Officer, Office of Policy and International Affairs, Office of General Counsel and Office of the Director. Funding for these shared operations must therefore be appropriately allocated between Patent and Trademark user fees, to ensure that user fees derived from each side of the “fence” are only invested for an appropriate allocable share of these services.|
|Activity Based Information Accounting (ABI) has proven to be a highly effective tool in Trademarks and in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), supporting better decisions in management and providing significantly improved metrics. In the 2013 Annual Report, TPAC recommended that the Office of the Chief Financial Officer extend and expand the ABI model in areas of shared support services, to better ensure that the fences in both patents and trademarks are respected. TPAC believes that the use of ABI in these shared services areas will also facilitate better monitoring of tasks and activities throughout the USPTO. In addition, use of the ABI system will provide transparency and further support of the fences around both Patent and Trademark user fees.|
|4.||Office of the Chief Information Officer|
|In 2013 and 2014 certain enterprise-wide IT projects were delayed due to the Sequester. After Congress passed a two-year budget, all IT projects moved “full speed ahead,” according to the Chief Financial Officer. Funds were available through 2014 to continue the projects. It appears, however, that funds may be needed in 2015 from the operating reserve to support projects in the out years. TPAC is concerned about the need to reduce the Trademark Operating Reserve, particularly for projects that are ongoing and that should have been planned for in normal budget projections and planning. TPAC strongly encourages OCIO to work to limit the impact of investment in these projects on the Operating Reserve and to work to provide better advance notice of funding needs that can readily be anticipated.|
|As discussed below, TPAC is also concerned that the investment of Trademark user fees on certain IT projects, such as TMNG, has continued for years beyond initial projections and has expanded well beyond original budget forecasts. Although IT systems are crucial to the effective operation of our trademark system, greater oversight, planning and transparency is necessary, to enable users of the trademark system to better understand and evaluate the investment of their user fees in these systems.|
|5.||Office of Policy and International Affairs|
|TPAC continues to monitor use of Trademark user fees in support of the trademark community, we have become increasingly concerned about the allocation and investment of Trademark user fees to support projects that are not directly supervised or controlled by Trademarks. The Office of Policy and International Affairs proportionately is one of the fasting-growing organizations within the USPTO, and Trademark user fees represent a significant percentage of the funding for this operation, well in excess of the proportionate size of Trademarks within the Office. TPAC is concerned with the continuing expansion of the Office of Policy and International Affairs, especially the IP Attaché Program. Although this program appears to provide some value to the IP community, TPAC has been unable, after repeated attempts, to identify the specific trademark issues that are being addressed by IP Attachés or to identify any principled method – such as the ABI Model discussed above – for allocating Trademark user fees and Patent user fees to support this Office.|
|In light of these concerns, TPAC has met with OPIA leadership, and TPAC is pleased to learn that OPIA will continue to increase its outreach efforts, to make the trademark community aware of the availability of this resource. OPIA will also work to adopt ABI accounting methods and to explore other ways to more accurately account for its trademark-related activities. TPAC looks forward to building on this base and to continuing to work with OPIA on these issues.|
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
|The TTAB has continued to issue a number of precedential decisions, with a total of 45 precedents in FY 2014. The issuance of precedential decisions gives trademark owners guidance on substantive trademark issues arising in both appeal and trial cases, as well as clarification of evidentiary and procedural issues that may arise in TTAB cases. During FY 2014, the TTAB issued precedential decisions addressing a number of issues, including: scandalous marks, disparaging marks, dilution, specimen issues, abandonment, void ab initio claims, procedural and discovery issues in inter partes cases, as well as likelihood of confusion, descriptiveness, genericness, and others.|
|TPAC notes that the increased number of precedential decisions addressing procedural and discovery issues in inter partes cases, in particular, was a positive development because it provides further guidance and clarification on practice and procedures before the Board. TPAC also encourages the TTAB to make precedential decisions readily available to the public by posting clear and separate links to such decisions on its website promptly after the decisions are issued.|
|In FY 2014, the TTAB continued its hard work to increase productivity where necessary, and to maintain a low inventory of both cases awaiting final decision and cases awaiting decision on contested motions. This year, as detailed below, TPAC was pleased to note that the TTAB met key performance goals and metrics. Because the TTAB is the tribunal of choice for many trademark owners or applicants, it is important that the TTAB continue to offer efficient and expedited decisions in order to maintain its reputation as the place to go to resolve trademark disputes.|
|3.||Oppositions and Cancellation Proceedings|
|In FY 2014, there was a slight 4.4% increase in the number of oppositions filed, from 5,278 in FY 2013 to 5,509 in FY 2014. Cancellations increased a more noteworthy 13.8%, with 1,722 filed, compared to 1,513 filed in FY 2013. This continues a trend of an increase in trial case filings from FY 2010, when the overall economy started to improve following the 2008 down turn.|
|4.||Pendency and Inventory Goals|
|In FY 2013, the TTAB set and disclosed goals for pendency and began to measure its performance against those goals, giving both the agency and the public valuable guidance for monitoring the TTAB’s performance and time-frames for tracking cases and decisions. For appeal and trial cases in need of final decisions on the merits in FY 2014, the TTAB goal was to decide the cases within a 10-12 week range, as measured from the dates the respective cases became ready-for-final decision (RFD). This is an average time frame for all issued non-precedential final decisions in both ex parte appeals and inter partes trial cases, with each case captured in the average measured from, as appropriate, the oral hearing date or the submission on brief date, until the decision is issued. The TTAB also set a goal to issue non-precedential decisions on contested motions between 8-9 weeks on average from the RFD date (i.e., the date the motion is fully briefed), and a goal for the age of the oldest contested motion ready for decision to be no more than 12 weeks. The TTAB also set inventory goals for cases awaiting final decisions and awaiting decisions on contested motions. For finals, the target inventory range was set at 115-135 cases; and for contested motions, the target inventory range was set at 130-160 cases with contested motions awaiting a decision. The TTAB met or bettered both of these goals.|
|TPAC applauds the TTAB for setting objective performance goals and for tracking its progress against those goals. These performance measures assist both the Board and the public in monitoring overall workflow and progress on an ongoing basis.|
|5.||Final Decision and Overall Average Pendency|
|The TTAB achieved a reduction in the average pendency of issued final decisions (excluding precedential decisions) from RFD date to 9.2 weeks in FY 2014, down from the FY 2012 levels that peaked at 24 weeks, and even lower than the TTAB’s above-referenced target of 10-12 weeks. This 9.2 week average represents a 48% reduction from the FY 2013 average pendency of 17.7 weeks. TPAC recognizes that these overall reduced pendency averages for final decisions reflect the TTAB’s hard work and continued focus on productivity and output from the Administrative Trademark Judges (ATJ). The Board’s ATJs, under the leadership of Chief Judge Gerard Rogers, issued 676 final decisions in FY 2013, which helped clear backlogs and keep the TTAB on track to meet pendency goals for final decisions in FY 2014, as the Board shifted its focus from backlog reduction to inventory maintenance.|
|In FY 2014, the TTAB also tracked average pendency of non-precedential final decisions separately by type of case, with ex parte appeals decided within an average of 9.3 weeks from RFD and inter partes trial cases decided within an average of 9.1 weeks from RFD. TPAC was pleased that the TTAB has provided such detailed data on cases ready-for-decision because it gives the agency and the public a clearer measure to track such decisions.|
|At the request of TPAC, the TTAB is also now tracking average pendency of precedential final decisions, again measured from RFD to the date of the decision.|
|For all precedential final decisions issued in FY 2014, the average pendency in ex parte appeals was 28.5 weeks, and in trial (inter partes) cases was 42.6 weeks. While both of these measures are higher than those for non-precedential decisions, the number of precedents is relatively small when compared to the number of non-precedential decisions; and therefore even a few cases that take longer to complete can skew the averages. Nonetheless, the Board will pay increased attention to process improvements that will extract time savings from the process of preparing and issuing these precedential decisions.|
|As of the end of FY 2014, the TTAB has 81 appeal cases and 24 trial cases in its inventory of 105 cases ready for decision.|
|The average “end to end” or “commencement to completion” pendency of trial cases (i.e., inter partes cases) was reduced 12.8% to 165.2 weeks in FY 2014, down from 189.5 weeks in FY 2013. The median pendency of trial cases was reduced 13.9% to 142 weeks in FY 2014, compared to the FY 2013 median of 165 weeks. These FY 2014 reductions follow similar reductions in FY 2013.|
|For ex parte appeals in FY 2014, the average “end to end” processing time was 43.8 weeks, a decrease of 12% from FY 2013 processing time of 49.8 weeks. TPAC is pleased that average ex parte appeal pendency levels have been reduced back to FY 2009 and 2010 levels, when average pendency for an ex parte appeal was 44 and 45.5 weeks, respectively. Median pendency for appeals in FY 2014 was reduced 18.2% to 36 weeks down from 44 weeks in FY 2013.|
|Under the leadership of Managing Attorney Kenneth Solomon, in FY 2014, the TTAB reduced the time to issue non-precedential decisions on contested motions by 32.3%, from 13.3 weeks in FY 2013 to 9 weeks in FY 2014, falling within the above referenced target of 8-9 weeks. The age of the oldest contested motion ready for decision at the end of FY 2014 was 11.9 weeks, compared to 15.4 weeks at the end of FY 2013, and better than the 12 week target for the age of the oldest contested motion. The TTAB also met its inventory target, with 135 cases awaiting a decision on one or more contested motions at the end of FY 2014. Although the FY 2014 inventory of contested motions awaiting decision reflects a slight increase of 3.8 % from the year-end inventory of 130 in FY 2013, the TTAB is closely monitoring inventory status and meeting targets. TPAC is confident that the TTAB will continue to make strides in its handling of contested motions, and in its management of the inventory of such motions to remain within stated goals.|
|TPAC is heartened by the overall positive performance of the TTAB in FY 2014. The TTAB has met most goals, and skillfully managed case inventories and decisions issued under the leadership of Chief Judge Rogers, and the valuable contributions from the ATJs, Interlocutory Attorneys, Paralegals, and staff. In addition, Meryl Hershkowitz, Group Director from Trademark Operations, has continued to assist Chief Judge Rogers in improving the efficiency of the TTAB. Group Director Hershkowitz provided critical guidance and leadership, and the teamwork exhibited by her and Chief Judge Rogers has led to many significant accomplishments from FY 2013 to FY 2014. TPAC commends Commissioner Cohn for providing leadership to the process and for allowing Ms. Hershkowitz to continue assisting the TTAB in FY 2014. Further, for the supervisor of the Interlocutory Attorneys, Kenneth Solomon, contributed significantly to the overall success of the TTAB’s performance.|
|7.||Active Inter Parties Cases Pending Under “Old Rules”|
|In November 2007, the TTAB instituted a major rules change that impacted cases filed from that point on. For the last several years, the TTAB has been working to move all the "old rules" cases to final decision. The Board has made significant progress in that regard in FY 2014, as only 14 such cases are proceeding through litigation at the Board, with three of these in the process of being scheduled for final oral argument and one being the subject of a request for reconsideration after final. There are 50 cases commenced prior to November 2007 that are not under the Board’s sole control, because they are suspended for another proceeding, have been remanded to a Trademark Examining Attorney, or have been decided and are in the appeal period or on appeal.|
|With the 14 cases that are “on track”, the TTAB has issued interlocutory orders to set schedules for completing discovery. In many cases, TTAB Interlocutory Attorneys and/or ATJs have utilized telephone conferences to discuss the status of “old rules” cases, including detailed updates on settlement discussions, if any.|
|While TPAC recognizes that there are some cases over which the TTAB has no ability to control the scheduling, such as those suspended because of a Federal court matter, our Committee commends the TTAB for its active management of the remaining “old rules” cases. TPAC, like the TTAB, looks forward to the day when the Board will no longer have to operate under two different sets of rules.|
|8.||TTAB Leadership and Staffing|
|In FY 2014, the TTAB hired Susan M. Richey for the position of Deputy Chief Administrative Trademark Judge. The post of Deputy Chief ATJ is a new position at the TTAB that will be critical for management and leadership at the Board. Deputy Chief Judge Richey will be responsible for backing up Chief Judge Rogers on all management issues for the Board.|
|As the position is new to the Board Chief Judge Rogers and Deputy Chief Judge Richey will be analyzing Board operations during FY 2015 and determining how best to structure the management and administrative staff and tasks at the Board.|
|In addition, Kenneth Solomon, Managing Attorney for the Interlocutory Attorneys, has proven to be an important manager within the TTAB’s operation, and he will continue to work with the Interlocutory Attorneys to manage the inventory of contested motions.|
|Cheryl Butler, Senior Attorney and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure (TBMP) Editor for the TTAB, has also played a key role at the TTAB. She was responsible for the updating and release of the fourth edition of the TBMP, which was published on schedule and she contributed in many other ways to improve TTAB processes and transparency. Most recently, the TBMP has been successfully entered into the RDMS system through which the TMEP and MPEP are edited and released to the public. The TBMP will be available in this form by November 2014.|
|Karen Smith was recently hired to support Chief Judge Rogers and the administrative operations of the TTAB efficiently and effectively. She has extensive experience in the agency, and will provide valuable support to the TTAB, focusing on human resources, budget, IT and other issues.|
|The TTAB currently has 21 ATJs, 12 Interlocutory Attorneys, 11 paralegals, and 17 other staff members, apart from the senior managers referenced above. In FY 2014, the TTAB hired 3 new paralegals to assist with its uncontested motion inventory. Cheryl Goodman was appointed to the position of ATJ on October 1, 2014, filling a vacancy that had occurred earlier in the year due to a retirement. Ms. Goodman had served as an Interlocutory Attorney, and prior to that as an Examining Attorney in the USPTO Operations. In addition, the TTAB plans to hire another attorney to replace Ms. Goodman, which will return the attorney total to 13, and may add attorneys or judges during FY 2015 depending on workload requirements. TPAC supports the TTAB’s efforts to increase staffing to continue to efficiently and expeditiously manage increases in new filings and case load.|
|As TPAC noted in 2013, the TTAB had a work project with Examining Attorneys from the Trademark Operations, engaging selected attorneys to assist ATJs for approximately four months on cases with medium or large records. Some of these attorneys worked on multiple cases consolidated for a single decision, while others worked on multiple, unrelated cases. Some of these cases presented legal issues that required research and briefing. In addition, some of the cases involved evidentiary objections and disputes that required review by the detailee and supervising ATJ. This program has proven to be valuable both to the TTAB and to the Examining Attorneys, who gain additional valuable experience. TPAC commends the leadership and cooperation of Commissioner Cohn and Chief Judge Rogers in developing and supporting this program. In FY 2014, the Board returned to its traditional detail for examining attorneys, having them work with Board interlocutory attorneys on motion practice in trial cases. In the future, the Board may, as necessary, alternate the “large record work project” with the traditional “interlocutory detail.”|
|In addition, in FY 2013 and FY 2014 the Board utilized law students as summer externs to work on large record cases in both contested and uncontested matters, and on various other research projects.|
|It is clear that the use of detailees and summer externs helped the TTAB manage caseloads more efficiently. TPAC supports the TTAB as it continues to consider future details, work projects, and law student programs to help the ATJs and Interlocutory Attorneys with cases. Such programs are also valuable exposure and experience for the Examining Attorneys.|
|9.||Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure (TBMP)|
|In June 2014, just one year after the revised Third Edition had been published, the TTAB published the Fourth Edition of the TBMP. This updated version of the TBMP incorporates amendments to the Trademark Act, the Trademark Rules of Practice, and the Federal Rules, and relevant case law. The content additions and revisions reflect practice updates between March 1, 2013 and February 28, 2014. TPAC has consistently encouraged the TTAB to revise and update the TBMP on at least an annual basis, and the TTAB has now done so for the past several years. Keeping the TBMP up to date through consecutive annual revisions is critical for both the TTAB and those who practice before it.|
|Further, in FY 2013, the TTAB launched the IdeaScale® tool for the TBMP, to allow users to provide comments and input. Most recently, the TTAB launched IdeaScale® for Chapter 400 of the TBMP, covering discovery.|
|TPAC commends Cheryl Butler, Senior Attorney and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure (TBMP) Editor, for her outstanding work on these important TTAB resources.|
|i. Accelerated Case Resolution (ACR)|
|The TTAB continued in FY 2014 to advocate that parties adopt ACR, and those cases in which ACR was agreed to by parties showed that ACR does significantly improve the speed at which a matter is resolved, and therefore may reduce costs associated with the proceeding. Because ACR can be adopted by the parties at any time during the pendency of a case, the statistics on ACR do not always reflect the great efficiencies of ACR cases, as some parties only agree to a form of ACR after significant investment of time and resources in discovery and motion practice. It is clear, however, that even when parties stipulate to ACR–type procedures later in a proceeding, they still realize significant time-saving benefits.|
|In FY 2013, for example, the average end-to-end pendency for an ACR case was 114.2 weeks, about 40% lower overall than a case employing standard discovery and trial methods. Similarly, in FY 2014, average ACR commencement to completion pendency was 136.3 weeks, about 17.5% lower overall compared to the traditional trial schedule cases.|
|The TTAB has also committed to accelerate issuing final decisions in ACR cases. For example, if parties agree to use the bench trial or cross-motions for summary judgment model for ACR and the Board approves the trial of the case by ACR, the Board generally will render a final decision within 50 days following completion of the briefing (compared to the overall 10-12 week target for pendency of non-precedential final decisions). See TBMP 702.04(a).|
|The TTAB web site provides detailed information and representative case listings concerning ACR, which is regularly updated. The web site also includes “plug and play” options, including one set suggested by American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), and another set of possible approaches proposed by the TTAB. The parties to a TTAB proceeding may opt to follow the “plug and play” options, or agree to pursue other ACR-type procedures by filing a stipulation with TTAB approval. The TTAB also actively seeks public suggestions on ACR with its dedicated mailbox for ACR: ACRsuggestions@uspto.gov.|
|For example, in some cases, the parties have stipulated that the briefs and evidence filed in conjunction with a summary judgment motion can be used as the trial record and briefs, thereby presenting the case for final decision on the merits without the need for traditional trial and briefing. This approach requires the parties to expressly stipulate that the Board can resolve any issues of material fact not stipulated to by the parties or which may have been overlooked or unforeseen by the parties. Another common approach to ACR involves the parties agreeing upon alternatives to traditional discovery, trial and briefing. Indeed, a key benefit of ACR is that it is very flexible and the parties can design an approach that meets the needs of their case.|
|A major hurdle that precludes the adoption of ACR more broadly has been a lack of awareness on the part of practitioners. To that end, the TTAB has been very active over the last few years promoting ACR with information on the TTAB web site, through presentations at major IP events, and through articles, webinars, and other speeches.|
|Although the TTAB has consistently promoted ACR, parties still seem reluctant to opt for this flexible and time-saving procedure. In FY 2012 and FY 2013, there were only 9 cases each year in which the litigants opted for ACR. In FY 2014, however, there were 21 cases decided on the merits following use of some form of ACR, representing an increase of 133% over the previous high of 9 such cases. Significantly, approximately one of every six trial cases decided on the merits during FY 2014 involved some form of ACR.|
|TPAC hopes that parties to TTAB proceedings will increasingly take advantage of this valuable method to more quickly and efficiently resolve disputed trademark issues. TPAC encourages intellectual property associations, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) providers and others to assist in making practitioners more aware of the availability of ACR options in proceedings before the TTAB and in discussing the significant benefits available through the use of ACR.|
|As noted in previous reports, on November 28, 2012, Chief Judge Rogers convened a TTAB Roundtable to obtain user feedback on the use of Accelerated Case Resolution in TTAB Inter Partes Proceedings. TPAC was represented at the Roundtable by Kathryn Barrett Park, and TPAC Member Linda McLeod also participated in her capacity as a representative of AIPLA. Moderating the discussion were Chief Judge Rogers and Administrative Trademark Judge Peter Cataldo. In FY 2014, the TTAB received additional comments regarding ACR from the ABA IP Section.|
|Both the TTAB and the public have had over two years to consider, discuss, and use ACR in TTAB cases. TPAC encourages the TTAB to now consider appropriate action in FY 2015, such as proposed rule-making, to memorialize the ACR procedures as the preferred and most efficient schedule for cases before the tribunal.|
|ii. TTAB Dashboard|
|In FY 2013, the TTAB introduced a new TTAB Dashboard, to provide users with easy-to-understand visuals showing important TTAB statistics, which is now part of the USPTO Data Visualization Center. The TTAB dashboards are available to the public and open for public use and comment at TTABdashboards@uspto.gov.|
|The dashboards report on a quarterly basis statistics on:|
|●||Pendency of final decisions and contested motions|
|●||The volume and types of new filings|
|●||The number of different proceedings pending|
|●||Pending appeals maturing to Ready-for-Decision (“RFD”)|
|●||Pending appeals in inventory|
|●||The age of pending appeals|
|●||Pending oppositions and cancellations maturing to RFD|
|●||Pending oppositions and cancellations in inventory|
|●||The age of pending trial cases|
|●||Trial case contested motions(by type) that are ready for decision|
|●||Trial case contested motions (by type) in inventory and the age of pending motions (by type)|
|TPAC is very encouraged by the continued development and use of the TTAB dashboards, which will show trends and timelines for action at the TTAB.|
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 266|
Errata "All references to Patent No. D. 716,194 to MILES NURNBERGER of GAYDON, UNITED KINGDOM for AUTOMOBILE GRILLE OR REPRESENTATION THEREOF appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,870,048 to TIMOTHY REYNOLDS of Sunnyvale, CA for CLIP APPLIER AND METHODS OF USE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,870,099 to KUI-CHIU KWOK of Gurnee, IL for PNEUMATIC ATOMIZATION NOZZLE FOR WEB MOISTENING appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,870,239 to CHEONG NG of Novi, MI for BRUNNIAN LINK MAKING DEVICE AND KIT appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,870,314 to INGO GASSER of HOECHST, AUSTRIA for DRAWER STRUCTURE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,870,422 to YASUHIRO UKAI of Aichi-ken, JP for LIGHTING DEVICE FOR VEHICLE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,870,578 to HIDENORI KANDA of Makinohara-shi, JP for CONNECTOR FOR A CIRCUIT BOARD appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,870,583 to TOHRU KOBAYASHI of Makinohara-shi, JP for LEVER TYPE CONNECTOR appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,870,603 to ALBERT GOLKO of Saratoga, CA for EXTERNAL CONTACT PLUG CONNECTOR appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,870,648 to WILLIAM LEVY of Boynton Beach, FL for VERIFICATION SYSTEM FOR ON-LINE GAMERS PERFORMING AUTOMATIC VERIFICATION OF GAME RESULTS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,870,660 to JEFFREY S. TOPHAM, ET AL of LAS VEGAS, NV for CASINO GAME DOWNLOAD SYSTEM AND METHOD OF USE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,870,874 to JERRY STERRETT of Naples, FL for COMBINED FLIP CUTTER AND DRILL appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,870,885 to WES JOHNSON of Eden Prairie, MN for EXPANSION MEMBER FOR INSERTION INTO A BODY TISSUE SPACE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,871,188 to DAVID F. WOODWARD, ET AL of LAKE FOREST, CA for METHOD OF ENHANCING HAIR GROWTH appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted."
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 267|
"All references to Patent No. 8,871,231 to JAY RAY of Conroe, TX for TOPICAL COMPOSITIONS TO TREAT CIRCULATORY DISORDERS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,871,472 to JUN LEE, ET AL of SAN DIEGO, CA for COMPOSITIONS AND METHODS FOR REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE-POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION (RT-PCR) appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,871,495 to ROY JOHNSON of Oconomowoc, WI for REDUCING INSOLUBLE DEPOSIT FORMATION IN ETHANOL PRODUCTION appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,871,580 to HIDETO OHNUMA of Atsugi, JP for METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,871,803 to SUNG LEE of Montville, NJ for METHODS FOR TREATING FIBROMYALGIA SYNDROME appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,871,804 to SUNG LEE of Montville, NJ for METHODS FOR TREATING ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,036 to YASUSH TAMURA OF Osaka, JP for SUSPENSION BOARD WITH CIRCUIT AND PRODUCING METHOD THEREOF appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,163 to MASATOSHI SAITO of Chiba, JP for FUSED RING COMPOUNDS USEFUL IN ORGANIC THIN-FILM TRANSISTORS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,185 to SHUNPEI YAMAZAKI of Tokyo, JP for DISPLAY DEVICE HAVING LIGHT EMITTING ELEMENTS WITH RED COLOR FILTERS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,199 to RONAN LETOQUIN of Fremont, CA for RECIPIENT LUMINOPHORIC MEDIUMS HAVING NARROW SPECTRUM LUMINESCENT MATERIALS AND RELATED SEMICONDUCTOR LIGHT EMITTING DEVICES AND METHODS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,343 to TSUYOSHI TAKAYAMA of Tokyo, JP for SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,365 to SADHASIVAM VALLINAYAGAM of Hyderabad, IN for SYSTEM FOR COOLING POWER GENERATION SYSTEM appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,410 to MUNEHISA WATANABE, ET AL of NAGAOKAKYO-SHI, JAPAN for ELASTIC WAVE DEVICE AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,450 to KAZUHIKO FUNABASHI of
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 268|
Hitachinaka-shi, JP for ELECTRIC OPERATING MACHINE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,493 to GIOVANNI BISSON, ET AL of PADOVA, ITALY for LOW-DROPOUT VOLTAGE REGULATOR appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,566 to MASAKUNI KAWAGOE of MIYAZAKI, JP for INTEGRATED CIRCUIT HAVING LATCH CIRCUITS AND USING DELAY CIRCUITS TO FETCH DATA BITS IN SYNCHRONIZATION WITH CLOCK SIGNALS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,584 to MICHAEL NUSSBAUM of Newton, MA for VERSATILE AUDIO POWER AMPLIFIER appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,591 to PO HSUEH of New Taipei City, TW for TEMPERATURE COMPENSATION CIRCUIT AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE WITH TEMPERATURE COMPENSATION appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,612 to VASSILI KIREEV of SUNNYVALE, CA for STACKED INDUCTOR STRUCTURE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,642 to TSAI CHANG of Hsinchu, TW for AUTOMOBILE WARNING METHOD AND AUTOMOBILE WARNING SYSTEM UTILIZING THE SAME appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,681 to SHINYA SUDO of Tokyo, JP for OPTICAL INTENSITY-TO-PHASE CONVERTER, MACH-ZEHNDER INTERFEROMETER, OPTICAL A/D CONVERTER, AND METHOD OF CONSTRUCTING OPTICAL INTENSITY-TO-PHASE CONVERTER appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,815 to THOMAS HANTSCHEL, ET AL of ALDENHOVEN, GERMANY for PROSPECT ASSESSMENT AND PLAY CHANCE MAPPING TOOLS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,840 to MARTIN CHAKIROV of Trelleborg, SE for DEVICE AND METHOD FOR PROCESSING USER INPUT appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,863 to YOSHIHARU HIRAKATA of Ebina, JP for METHOD FOR DRIVING LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY DEVICE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,952 to KIA SILVERBROOK of Balmain, AU for IMAGE CAPTURE AND PROCESSING INTEGRATED CIRCUIT FOR A CAMERA appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,872,967 to YASUHIRO OKABE of Kanagawa, JP for IMAGING UNIT AND INSTALLATION DEVICE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,873,230 to PETER SCHADE of Fremont, CA for PORTABLE USB MASS STORAGE DEVICE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted."
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 269|
"All references to Patent No. 8,873,253 to HUAWEI LV of Shanghai, CN for SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR ZERO VOLTAGE SWITCHING IN POWER CONVERSION SYSTEMS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,873,338 to FLETCHER A. BLACKMON, ET AL of FORESTDALE, MA for LASER-BASED OPTO-ACOUSTIC AND ACOUSTO-OPTIC COMMUNICATION NETWORK appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,873,355 to RON KADLEC of Longmont, CO for SERVO PROCESSOR RECEIVING PHOTODETECTOR SIGNALS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,873,397 to KOICHIRO WATANABE of TOKYO, JAPAN for TRANSMISSION CONTROL APPARATUS AND TRANSMISSION CONTROL METHOD appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,873,473 to TAKAYOSHI ODE of Kawasaki, JP for WIRELESS COMMUNICATION SYSTEM AND WIRELESS TERMINAL DEVICE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,873,653 to BRANISLAV POPOVIC of Kista, SE for METHOD FOR IMPROVING SYNCHRONIZATION AND INFORMATION TRANSMISSION IN A COMMUNICATION SYSTEM appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,873,860 to PETRONEL BIGIOI of Galway, IE for REAL-TIME VIDEO FRAME PRE-PROCESSING HARDWARE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,042 to PATRICK LUDWIG of Renton, WA for SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR DETECTING A LOSS OF COMMUNICATION USING STATISTICAL ANALYSIS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,066 to HAJIME HASEGAWA of Kawasaki, JP for WIRELESS BASE STATION AND METHOD FOR EMERGENCY INFORMATION DELIVERY appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,092 to THOMAS MURPHY of Ottawa, CA for ADMINISTRATION OF WIRELESS SYSTEMS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,165 to TIEJUN WANG of Alexandria, VA for METHODS, SYSTEMS AND APPARATUS FOR DISPLAYING THE MULTIMEDIA INFORMATION FROM WIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,202 to RODOLPHE KATRA, ET AL of BLAINE, MN for METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PERSONALIZED PHYSIOLOGIC PARAMETERS appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,225 to JENS ELLRICH, ET AL of LANGENSENDELBACH, GERMANY for DEVICE AND METHOD FOR APPLYING A TRANSCUTANEOUS ELECTRICAL STIMULATION TO THE SURFACE OF A SECTION OF THE HUMAN EAR appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,271 to PAUL M. BOSSCHER, ET AL of
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 270|
WEST MELBOURNE, FL for TELEMATIC INTERFACE WITH DIRECTIONAL TRANSLATION appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,272 to PAUL M. BOSSCHER, ET AL of WEST MELBOURNE, FL for TELEMATIC INTERFACE WITH CONTROL SIGNAL SCALING BASED ON FORCE SENSOR FEEDBACK appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,308 to KIMIAKI ONO of Shizuoka-Ken, JP for POWER STEERING DEVICE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,368 to NOBUHIRO MIZUNO of Tokyo, JP for NAVIGATION APPARATUS, NAVIGATION METHOD, AND NAVIGATION PROGRAM appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,537 to JARMO ARPONEN, ET AL of ESPOO, FINLAND for CONTENT STORING DEVICE QUERY appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,582 to WEN YAN MIAO of Hangzhou, CN for METHOD AND APPARATUS OF DETERMINING PRODUCT CATEGORY INFORMATION appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,603 to YUHENG XIE of Hangzhou, CN for METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR QUERYING INFORMATION appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,716 to DERIN ZERR of Sioux Falls, SD for METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PAIRING A MOBILE DEVICE TO AN OUTPUT DEVICE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,857 to ROY CLARK of Hopkinton, MA for SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR IMPROVING CACHE PERFORMANCE appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,874,871 to STEPHEN STRUTT of Bucks, GB for METHOD, APPARATUS AND COMPUTER PROGRAM FOR PROVISIONING A STORAGE VOLUME TO A VIRTUAL SERVER appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,875,005 to YANG CAO of Longmont, CO for SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR LOW LATENCY MEDIA DEFECT DETECTION appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted." "All references to Patent No. 8,875,130 to WILLIAM SOBEL of Jamul, CA for METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR INJECTING ENDPOINT MANAGEMENT AGENTS INTO VIRTUAL MACHINES appearing in the Official Gazette of October 28, 2014 should be deleted since no patent was granted."
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 271|
|Certificates of Correction|
Certificates of Correction for November 4, 2014 6,239,124 8,472,509 8,730,888 8,778,307 6,545,621 8,473,532 8,731,645 8,778,433 6,607,705 8,473,534 8,731,715 8,778,454 6,856,355 8,476,277 8,732,643 8,778,579 6,865,167 8,483,593 8,732,690 8,778,636 6,959,723 8,489,598 8,732,787 8,778,659 7,119,061 8,497,246 8,733,985 8,778,723 7,191,718 8,498,673 8,734,410 8,778,930 7,347,640 8,498,698 8,734,835 8,778,989 7,524,409 8,501,970 8,735,025 8,779,070 7,711,115 8,503,533 8,735,425 8,779,121 7,868,134 8,505,909 8,735,620 8,779,122 7,901,185 8,510,186 8,736,039 8,779,172 7,948,918 8,510,822 8,736,476 8,779,199 7,974,602 8,513,184 8,737,111 8,779,241 7,994,299 8,516,066 8,737,271 8,779,963 7,995,597 8,518,871 8,737,547 8,780,383 7,997,907 8,522,148 8,738,968 8,780,492 8,009,626 8,527,968 8,738,992 8,780,922 8,021,386 8,529,515 8,740,509 8,780,989 8,036,728 8,538,743 8,741,186 8,781,161 8,041,362 8,546,637 8,743,926 8,781,252 8,110,659 8,547,532 8,744,987 8,781,462 8,112,776 8,548,490 8,746,146 8,782,130 8,132,197 8,553,676 8,748,151 8,782,428 8,175,166 8,575,068 8,748,577 8,782,466 8,197,746 8,578,001 8,748,930 8,782,652 8,198,084 8,587,706 8,749,952 8,782,655 8,200,687 8,605,786 8,750,058 8,783,055 8,200,916 8,609,890 8,750,143 8,783,715 8,250,019 8,612,982 8,751,420 8,784,847 8,254,673 8,616,048 8,751,446 8,785,117 8,255,505 8,631,529 8,751,627 8,785,162 8,272,961 8,632,304 8,751,645 8,785,517 8,292,815 8,635,681 8,751,837 8,785,676 8,293,717 8,641,452 8,755,494 8,786,699 8,295,985 8,655,444 8,756,562 8,787,466 8,303,416 8,663,532 8,756,913 8,787,622 8,312,798 8,663,537 8,757,156 8,789,388 8,313,023 8,664,562 8,757,577 8,791,239 8,323,951 8,664,742 8,759,099 8,791,640 8,326,096 8,665,630 8,759,462 8,791,788 8,328,559 8,665,640 8,759,661 8,791,933 8,328,644 8,667,215 8,760,446 8,791,960 8,329,849 8,667,960 8,760,623 8,791,970 8,330,492 8,668,847 8,760,932 8,792,507 8,332,190 8,669,009 8,761,485 8,792,826 8,345,702 8,669,159 8,761,521 8,794,123 8,345,801 8,669,173 8,761,615 8,794,865 8,348,767 8,669,645 8,761,829 8,795,168 8,352,025 8,670,272 8,761,925 8,795,473 8,353,757 8,670,275 8,762,497 8,795,927 8,354,437 8,671,242 8,762,665 8,796,068 8,357,529 8,673,313 8,762,890 8,797,500 8,359,182 8,673,512 8,762,959 8,797,557 8,360,873 8,673,780 8,763,001 8,797,662 8,362,278 8,673,787 8,763,307 8,798,032 8,372,814 8,674,333 8,763,589 8,798,437 8,372,955 8,678,352 8,764,774 8,798,931 8,374,111 8,678,940 8,765,153 8,798,948 8,376,994 8,685,568 8,765,611 8,800,807 8,381,042 8,685,669 8,765,776 8,801,004
|November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||1408 OG 272|
8,382,787 8,686,891 8,766,689 8,803,214 8,385,573 8,687,973 8,767,467 8,803,229 8,386,853 8,688,290 8,767,472 8,803,439 8,387,306 8,689,103 8,767,476 8,803,840 8,387,442 8,690,683 8,767,483 8,804,399 8,387,878 8,691,799 8,767,487 8,804,411 8,389,013 8,691,889 8,767,527 8,804,451 8,391,256 8,691,966 8,767,871 8,805,276 8,393,183 8,692,212 8,768,512 8,805,345 8,393,415 8,694,285 8,768,664 8,805,387 8,395,629 8,695,043 8,768,676 8,805,435 8,396,368 8,696,711 8,768,900 8,805,462 8,399,012 8,697,468 8,769,167 8,805,517 8,400,292 8,699,375 8,769,459 8,805,828 8,401,681 8,700,296 8,769,877 8,806,087 8,403,939 8,701,773 8,770,350 8,806,163 8,404,637 8,702,129 8,770,645 8,806,226 8,407,190 8,704,405 8,770,770 8,806,429 8,411,585 8,704,954 8,771,670 8,807,145 8,419,820 8,707,416 8,771,691 8,808,317 8,420,315 8,709,386 8,772,000 8,808,986 8,422,456 8,710,110 8,772,244 8,809,560 8,424,499 8,715,081 8,772,372 8,809,624 8,426,595 8,717,649 8,772,516 8,810,033 8,431,394 8,717,887 8,772,753 8,810,204 8,433,391 8,717,931 8,773,666 8,811,322 8,435,564 8,717,947 8,774,678 8,811,766 8,437,113 8,718,089 8,774,682 8,812,116 8,437,470 8,718,619 8,775,089 8,813,870 8,438,018 8,719,045 8,775,133 8,816,085 8,440,628 8,719,394 8,775,151 8,817,094 8,443,315 8,719,985 8,775,235 8,828,060 8,444,491 8,722,055 8,775,494 D. 689,462 8,450,306 8,724,124 8,775,546 D. 696,618 8,450,328 8,724,658 8,775,953 D. 702,058 8,453,079 8,725,372 8,776,573 D. 703,330 8,460,364 8,725,414 8,776,887 D. 703,638 8,468,083 8,726,069 8,777,754 D. 705,138 8,471,378 8,727,175 8,778,230 8,471,700 8,728,188 8,778,248
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print This Notice 1408 OG 273|
|Summary of Final Decisions Issued by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board|
SUMMARY OF FINAL DECISIONS ISSUED BY THE TRADEMARK TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD
October 20, 2014 –October 24, 2014
|Date Issued||Type of Case(1)||Proceeding or Appn. Number||Party or Parties||TTAB Panel (2)||Issue(s)||TTAB Decision||Opposer’s or Petitioner’s mark and goods or services||Applicant’s or Respondent’s mark and goods or services||Mark and goods or services cited by Examining Attorney||Issued as Precedent of TTAB|
|10-21||OPP||91204412||Anthropologie, Inc. and Urban Outfitters Wholesale, Inc.
Happy Green Company LLC
|2(d)||Opposition Sustained||ANTHROPOLOGIE [handbags, all-purpose carrying bags, tote bags, travelling bags, shoulder bags, clutch purses, all-purpose athletic bags, back-packs, wallets, coin purses] [women’s clothing, namely, tops, blouses, shirts, sweaters, blazers, jackets, vests, skirts, jeans, shorts, dresses, suits, coats, sleepwear, socks, hosiery, swim-wear, tights, hats and shoes][retail department store services]
ANTHRO [customer affinity program services]
|ANTHO (and design) [bath salts; bath soaps in liquid, solid or gel form; cleaning and washing preparations; cosmetics and make-up; deodorants and antiperspirants; fragrance sachets; hair care preparations; nail care preparations; natural essential oils; non-medicated skin care preparations, namely, creams, lotions, butters, toners, cleansers, peels, body and foot scrubs, serums, bath and body oils, moisturizers, powders, masks and clays, lip balms and glosses; perfumes, aftershaves and colognes; room fragrances; shaving preparations]||No|
|2(d)||Refusal Affirmed||NUTRIVERUS [dietary and nutritional supplements]||NUVERUS (and design) [liquid nutritional supplement; nutritional supplements; vitamin and mineral supplements]||No|
|2(d)||Refusal Affirmed||LOLA [plastic containers for organizing and storing cosmetics]||CHARLIE AND LOLA (and design) [containers for household and kitchen use]||No|
|10-22||EX||85887875||Citizens Disability, LLC||Seeherman
|2(d)||Refusal Reversed||CITIZENS DISABILITY HELPLINE ("DISABILITY HELPLINE" disclaimed) [counseling and assisting others in obtaining medical or disability related benefits, namely, Social Security Disability and Supplemental
Security Income benefits] [representing others in obtaining medical or disability related benefits, namely Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits]
|DISABILITY HELPLINE ("HELPLINE" disclaimed) [advertising services; attorney
referrals, namely, forwarding inquiries by potential clients to social security
lawyers and advocates]
|10-22||EX||85807923||Evolved Ingenuity, LLC||Quinn
|2(d)||Refusal Affirmed||RECON [hunting blinds and tree stands]||RECON [crossbows]||No|
|10-22||EX||85699903||Flatiron Partners, LLC||Kuhlke
|2(d)||Refusal Affirmed||FLATIRON PARTNERS ("PARTNERS" disclaimed) [managing hedge fund portfolios directed to high wealth, sophisticated individual investors and to sophisticated non-hedge fund corporate entities]||FLATIRON CAPITAL ("CAPITAL" disclaimed) [financing and loan services]||No|
|92057150||DLR Licensing, LLC
Masiello [Opinion "By the Board" (Goodman)]
|abandonment; fraud; non-use;
18 (restriction to avoid likelihood of confusion)
|Petition to Cancel Dismissed as to Class 43 on grounds of abandonment, fraud, and non-use;
Petition to Cancel Dismissed as to indicated services in Class 41 on abandonment grounds [entertainment services, namely, casino services, organizing and conducting stage shows, night-club shows, dances and parties; provision of play facilities for children; night clubs; recreational services in the nature of pools; miniature golf courses; entertainment in the nature of a waterslide; entertainment in the nature of broadcasting or live presentation of motion picture films] (partial summary judgment granted)
|FUN FOR ALL… ALL IN FUN application for [restaurant and bar services]||FUN FOR ALL. ALL FOR FUN. [entertainment services, namely, casino services, organizing and conducting stage shows, night-club shows, contests, dances and parties; provision of play facilities for children; night clubs; recreational services in the nature of pools; miniature golf courses; entertainment in the nature of a waterslide; entertainment in the nature of broadcasting or live presentation of motion picture films; satellite television programs and satellite radio programs featuring comedy, drama, variety, sports and fashion; entertainment in the nature of simulcast presentation of live parties, sporting contests,
interactive video games, deck board games, musical concerts,
theatrical and variety shows and performances; entertainment,
namely, a continuing variety, comedy, sports, musical concert
shows broadcast over television, satellite, audio, and video
media; (Class 41)] [various hotel, bar, restaurant and catering services (Class 43)]
(1) EX=Ex Parte Appeal; OPP=Opposition; CANC=Cancellation; CU=Concurrent Use; (SJ)=Summary Judgment; (MD)=Motion to Dismiss; (R)=Request for Reconsideration; (REM)=Decision on Remand (2) *=Opinion Writer; (D)=Dissenting Panel Member
|Top of Notices November 25, 2014||US PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE||Print Appendix 1408 OG|
|Mailing and Hand Carry Addresses for Mail to the United States Patent and Trademark Office|
MAILING AND HAND CARRY ADDRESSES FOR MAIL TO THE UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE MAIL TO BE DIRECTED TO THE COMMISSIONER FOR PATENTS For most correspondence (e.g., new patent applications) no mail stop is required because the processing of the correspondence is routine. If NO mail stop is included on the list below, no mail stop is required for the correspondence. See the listing under "Mail to be Directed to the Director of the Patent And Trademark Office" for additional mail stops for patent-related correspondence. Only the specified type of document should be placed in an envelope addressed to one of these special mail stops. If any documents other than the specified type identified for each special mail stop are addressed to that mail stop, they will be significantly delayed in reaching the appropriate area for which they are intended. The mail stop should generally appear as the first line in the address. Most correspondence may be submitted electronically. See the USPTO's Electronic Filing System (EFS-Web) internet page http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/file/efs/index.jsp for additional information. Please address mail to be delivered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) as follows: Mail Stop _____ Commissioner for Patents P.O. Box 1450 Alexandria, VA 22313-1450 If no Mail Stop is indicated below, the line beginning Mail Stop should be omitted from the address. NEW: Effective September 16, 2012, the Mail Stop description for Mail Stop Ex Parte Reexam is being revised and a new Mail Stop for supplemental examination requests is being added as Mail Stop Supplemental Examination. Except correspondence for Maintenance Fee payments, Deposit Account Replenishments (see 37 CFR 1.25(c)(4)), and Licensing and Review (see 37 CFR 5.1(c) and 5.2(c)), please address patent-related correspondence to be delivered by other delivery services (Federal Express (Fed Ex), UPS, DHL, Laser, Action, Purolator, etc.) as follows: United States Patent and Trademark Office Customer Service Window, Mail Stop _____ Randolph Building 401 Dulany Street Alexandria, VA 22314 Mail Stop Designations Explanation Mail Stop 12 Contributions to the Examiner Education Program. Mail Stop 313(c) Petitions under 37 CFR 1.313(c) to withdraw a patent application from issue after payment of the issue fee and any papers associated with the petition, including papers necessary for a continuing application or a request for continued examination (RCE). Mail Stop AF Amendments and other responses after final rejection (e.g., a notice of appeal (and any request for pre-appeal brief conference)), other than an appeal brief. Mail Stop Amendment Information disclosure statements, drawings, and replies to Office actions in patent applications with or without an amendment to the application or a terminal disclaimer. (Use Mail Stop AF for replies after final rejection.) Mail Stop Appeal For appeal briefs or other briefs under Brief-Patents part 41 of title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations (e.g., former 37 CFR 1.192). Mail Stop Public comments regarding patent-related Comments-Patent regulations and procedures. Mail Stop Conversion Requests under 37 CFR 1.53(c)(2) to convert a nonprovisional application to a provisional application and requests under 37 CFR 1.53(c)(3) to convert a provisional application to a nonprovisional application. Mail Stop EBC Mail for the Electronic Business Center including: Certificate Action Forms, Request for Customer Number, and Requests for Customer Number Data Change (USPTO Forms PTO-2042, PTO/SB/124A and 125A, respectively) and Customer Number Upload Spreadsheets and Cover Letters. Mail Stop Expedited Only to be used for the initial filing of Design design applications accompanied by a request for expedited examination under 37 CFR 1.155. Mail Stop Express Requests for abandonment of a patent Abandonment application pursuant to 37 CFR 1.138, including any petitions under 37 CFR 1.138(c) to expressly abandon an application to avoid publication of the application. Mail Stop Applications under 35 U.S.C. 156 for patent term Hatch-Waxman PTE extension based on regulatory review of a product subject to pre-market review by a regulating agency. This mail stop is also to be used for additional correspondence regarding the application for patent term extension under 35 U.S.C. 156. It is preferred that such initial requests be hand-carried to: Office of Patent Legal Administration Room MDW 7D55 600 Dulany Street (Madison Building) Alexandria, VA 22314 Mail Stop ILS Correspondence relating to international patent classification, exchanges and standards. Mail Stop Issue Fee All communications following the receipt of a PTOL-85, "Notice of Allowance and Fee(s) Due," and prior to the issuance of a patent should be addressed to Mail Stop Issue Fee, unless advised to the contrary. Assignments are the exception. Assignments (with cover sheets) should be faxed to 571-273-0140, electronically submitted (http://epas.uspto.gov), or submitted in a separate envelope and sent to Mail Stop Assignment Recordation Services, Director - U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as shown below. Mail Stop L&R All documents pertaining to applications subject to secrecy order pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 181, or national-security classified and required to be processed accordingly. Such papers, petitions for foreign filing license pursuant to 37 CFR 5.12(b) for which expedited handling is requested, and petitions for retroactive license under 37 CFR 5.25 may also be hand carried to Licensing and Review: Technology Center 3600, Office of the Director Room 4B41 501 Dulany Street (Knox Building) Alexandria, VA 22314 Mail Stop Missing Requests for a corrected filing receipt and Parts replies to OPAP notices such as the Notice of Omitted Items, Notice to File Corrected Application Papers, Notice of Incomplete Application, Notice to Comply with Nucleotide Sequence Requirements, and Notice to File Missing Parts of Application, and associated papers and fees. Mail Stop MPEP Submissions concerning the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure. Mail Stop Patent Ext. Applications for patent term extension or adjustment under 35 U.S.C. 154 and any communications relating thereto. This mail stop is limited to petitions for patent term extension under 35 U.S.C. 154 for applications filed between June 8, 1995 and May 29, 2000, and patent term adjustment (PTA) under 35 U.S.C. 154 for applications filed on or after May 29, 2000. For applications for patent term extension under 35 U.S.C. 156, use Mail Stop Hatch-Waxman PTE. For applications for patent term extension or adjustment under 35 U.S.C. 154 that are mailed together with the payment of the issue fee, use Mail Stop Issue Fee. Mail Stop Patent Submission of comments regarding search templates. Search Template Comments Mail Stop PCT Mail related to international applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty in the international phase and in the national phase under 35 U.S.C. 371 prior to mailing of a Notification of Acceptance of Application Under 35 U.S.C. 371 and 37 CFR 1.495 (Form PCT/DO/EO/903). Mail Stop Petition Petitions to be decided by the Office of Petitions, including petitions to revive and petitions to accept late payment of issue fees or maintenance fees. Mail Stop PGPUB Correspondence regarding publication of patent applications not otherwise provided, including: requests for early publication made after filing, rescission of a non-publication request, corrected patent application publication, and refund of publication fee. Mail Stop Post In patented files: requests for changes of Issue correspondence address, powers of attorney, revocations of powers of attorney, withdrawal as attorney or agent and submissions under 37 CFR 1.501. Designation of, or changes to, a fee address should be addressed to Mail Stop M Correspondence. Requests for Certificate of Correction need no special mail stop, but should be mailed to the attention of Certificate of Correction Branch. Mail Stop RCE Requests for continued examination under 37 CFR 1.114. Mail Stop Correspondence pertaining to the reconstruction Reconstruction of lost patent files. Mail Stop Ex Parte Original requests for Ex Parte Reexamination Reexam and all subsequent correspondence other than correspondence to the Office of the Solicitor (see 37 CFR 1.1(a)(3) and 1.302(c)). Effective September 16, 2012, this mail stop is also to be used for any papers to be filed in an ex parte reexamination proceeding ordered as a result of a supplemental examination proceeding. Mail Stop Inter Original requests for Inter Partes Reexamination Partes Reexam and all subsequent correspondence other than correspondence to the Office of the Solicitor (see 37 CFR 1.1(a)(3) and 1.302(c)). Mail Stop Reissue All new and continuing reissue application filings. Mail Stop Sequence Submission of the computer readable form (CRF) for applications with sequence listings, when the CRF is not being filed with the patent application. Mail Stop Supplemental (Effective September 16, 2012). Requests for Examination Supplemental Examination, including original request papers and any other correspondence, other than correspondence to the Office of the Solicitor (see 37 CFR Secs. 1.1(a)(3) AND 1.302(c)). This mail stop is limited to original request papers and any other papers that are to be filed in a supplemental examination proceeding. For any papers to be filed in an ex parte reexamination proceeding ordered as a result of a supplemental examination proceeding, use "Mail Stop Ex Parte Reexam". Information for addressing patent-related correspondence may also be found on the USPTO's web site at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/mail.jsp. MAIL TO BE DIRECTED TO THE COMMISSIONER FOR TRADEMARKS Please address trademark-related correspondence to be delivered by the United States Postal Service (USPS), except documents sent to the Assignment Services Division for recordation, requests for copies of trademark documents, and documents directed to the Madrid Processing Unit, as follows: Commissioner for Trademarks P.O. Box 1451 Alexandria, VA 22313-1451 Mail to be delivered by the USPS to the Office's Madrid Processing Unit, must be mailed to: Madrid Processing Unit 600 Dulany Street MDE-7B87 Alexandria, VA 22314-5796 Mail to be delivered by the USPS to the Office's Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Policy regarding Letters of Protest must be mailed to: Letter of Protest ATTN: Deputy Commissioner for Trademark Policy 600 Dulany Street Alexandria, VA 22314-5796 Mail to be delivered by the USPS to the Director regarding the Fastener Quality Act (FQA) must be mailed to: Director, USPTO ATTN: FQA 600 Dulany Street, MDE-10A71 Alexandria, VA 22314-5793 Mail to be delivered by the USPS to the Commissioner regarding the recordal of a Native American Tribal Insignia (NATI) must be mailed to: Native American Tribal Insignia ATTN: Commissioner for Trademarks 600 Dulany Street MDE-10A71 Alexandria, VA 22314-5793 Do NOT send any of the following via USPS certified mail or with a "signature required" option: submissions to the Madrid Processing Unit, Letters of Protest, applications for recordal of insignia under the Fastener Quality Act, notifications of Native American Tribal Insignia. Trademark-related mail to be delivered by hand or other private courier or delivery service (e.g., UPS, Federal Express) to the Trademark Operation, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, or the Office's Madrid Processing Unit, must be delivered to: Trademark Assistance Center Madison East, Concourse Level Room C 55 600 Dulany Street Alexandria, VA 22314 Information for addressing trademark-related correspondence may also be found on the USPTO's web site at http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/mail.jsp. MAIL TO BE DIRECTED TO THE DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE Please address correspondence to be directed to a mail stop identified below to be delivered by the United States Postal Service (USPS) as follows (unless otherwise instructed): Mail Stop _____ Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office P.O. Box 1450 Alexandria, VA 22313-1450 Mail Stop Designations Explanation Mail Stop 3 Mail for the Office of Personnel from NFC. Mail Stop 6 Mail for the Office of Procurement. Mail Stop 8 All papers for the Office of the Solicitor except communications relating to pending litigation and disciplinary proceedings; papers relating to pending litigation in court cases shall be mailed only to Office of the Solicitor, P.O. Box 15667, Arlington, VA 22215 and papers related to pending disciplinary proceedings before the Administrative Law Judge or the Director shall be mailed only to the Office of the Solicitor, P.O. Box 16116, Arlington, VA 22215. Mail Stop 11 Mail for the Electronic Ordering Service (EOS). Mail Stop 13 Mail for the Employee and Labor Relations Division. Mail Stop 16 Mail related to refund requests, other than requests for refund of a patent application publication fee. Such requests should be directed to Mail Stop PGPub. Mail Stop 17 Invoices directed to the Office of Finance. Mail Stop 24 Mail for the Inventor's Assistance Program, including complaints about Invention Promoters. Mail Stop 171 Vacancy Announcement Applications. Mail Stop Assignment All assignment documents, security interests, Recordation Services and other documents to be recorded in the Assignment records. Note that documents with cover sheets that are faxed to 571-273-0140 or submitted electronically (http://epas.uspto.gov) are processed much more quickly than those submitted by mail. Mail Stop Document All requests for certified or uncertified Services copies of patent or trademark documents. Mail Stop EEO Mail for the Office of Civil Rights. Mail Stop External Mail for the Office of External Affairs. Affairs Mail Stop Interference Communications relating to interferences and applications and patents involved in interference. Mail Stop M Mail to designate or change a fee Correspondence address, or other correspondence related to maintenance fees, except payments of maintenance fees in patents. See below for the address for maintenance fee payments. Mail Stop OED Mail for the Office of Enrollment and Discipline. Maintenance Fee Payments Unless submitted electronically over the Internet at www.uspto.gov, payments of maintenance fees in patents should be mailed through the United States Postal Service to: United States Patent and Trademark Office P.O. Box 979070 St. Louis, MO 63197-9000 Alternatively, payment of maintenance fees in patents (Attn: Maintenance Fee) using hand-delivery and delivery by private courier may be made to: Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Attn: Maintenance Fee 2051 Jamieson Avenue, Suite 300 Alexandria, Virginia 22314 Deposit Account Replenishments To send payment to replenish deposit accounts, send the payments through the United States Postal Service to: United States Patent and Trademark Office P.O. Box 979065 St. Louis, MO 63197-9000 Alternatively, deposit account replenishments (Attn: Deposit Accounts) using hand-delivery and delivery by private courier (e.g., FedEx, UPS, etc.) may be delivered to: Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Attn: Deposit Accounts 2051 Jamieson Avenue, Suite 300 Alexandria, VA 22314 Information abount deposit account replenishments may also be found on the USPTO's web site at http://www.uspto.gov/about/offices/cfo/finance/Deposit_Account_ Replenishments.jsp
|Reference Collections of U.S. Patents Available for Public Use in Patent and Trademark Resource Centers|
Reference Collections of U.S. Patents Available for Public Use in Patent and Trademark Resource Centers The following libraries, designated as Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs), provide public access to patent and trademark information received from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This information includes all issued patents, all registered trademarks, the Official Gazette of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, search tools such as the Cassis CD-ROM suite of products and supplemental information in a variety of formats including online, optical disc, microfilm and paper. Each PTRC also offers access to USPTO resources on the Internet and to PubWEST (Web based examiner search tool), a system used by patent examiners that is not available on the Internet. Staff assistance and training is provided in the use of this information. All information is available free of charge. However, there may be charges associated with the use of photocopying and related services. Hours of service to the public vary, and anyone contemplating use of these collections at a particular library is urged to contact that library in advance about its services and hours to avoid inconvenience. State Name of Library Telephone Contact Alabama Auburn University Libraries (334) 844-1737 Birmingham Public Library (205) 226-3620 Alaska Fairbanks: Keith B. Mather Library, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks (907) 474-2636 Arizona Phoenix, Arizona State Library of Arizona Arizona State Library Archives and Public Records (602) 926-3870 Arkansas Little Rock: Arkansas State Library (501) 682-2053 California Los Angeles Public Library (213) 228-7220 Riverside: University of California, Riverside, Orbach Science Library (951) 827-3316 Sacramento: California State Library (916) 654-0261 San Diego Public Library (619) 236-5800 San Francisco Public Library (415) 557-4400 Sunnyvale Public Library (408) 730-7300 Colorado Denver Public Library (720) 865-1711 Connecticut Fairfield: Ryan-Matura Library Sacred Heart University (203) 371-7726 Delaware Newark: University of Delaware Library (302) 831-2965 Dist. of Columbia Washington: Howard University Libraries (202) 806-7252 Florida Fort Lauderdale: Broward County Main Library (954) 357-7444 Miami-Dade Public Library (305) 375-2665 Orlando: University of Central Florida Libraries (407) 823-2562 Georgia Atlanta: Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology (404) 385-7185 Hawaii Honolulu: Hawaii State Library (808) 586-3477 Illinois Chicago Public Library (312) 747-4450 Macomb: Western Illinois University Libraries (309) 298-2722 Indiana Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library (317) 269-1741 West Lafayette Siegesmund Engineering Library, Purdue University (765) 494-2872 Iowa Davenport: Davenport Public Library (563) 326-7832 Kansas Wichita: Ablah Library, Wichita State University 1 (800) 572-8368 Kentucky Louisville Free Public Library (502) 574-1611 W. Frank Steely Library Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, Kentucky (859) 572-5457 Louisiana Baton Rouge: Troy H. Middleton Library, Louisiana State University (225) 388-8875 Maine Orono: Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine (207) 581-1678 Maryland Baltimore: University of Baltimore Law Library (410) 837-4554 College Park: Engineering and Physical Sciences Library, University of Maryland (301) 405-9157 Massachusetts Amherst: Physical Sciences Library, University of Massachusetts (413) 545-2765 Boston Public Library (617) 536-5400 Ext. 4256 Michigan Ann Arbor: Art, Architecture & Engineering Library, University of Michigan (734) 647-5735 Big Rapids: Ferris Library for Information, Technology & Education, Ferris State University (231) 592-3602 Detroit: Public Library (313) 481-1391 Michigan Technological University, Van Pelt and Opie Library, Houghton (906) 487-2500 Minnesota Hennepin County Library Minneapolis Central Library (612) 543-8000 Mississippi Jackson: Mississippi Library Commission (601) 961-4111 Missouri Kansas City: Linda Hall Library (816) 363-4600 Ext. 724 St. Louis Public Library (314) 352-2900 Montana Butte: Montana Tech Library of the University of Montana (406) 496-4281 Nebraska Lincoln: Engineering Library, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (402) 472-3411 New Hampshire Concord: University of New Hampshire School of Law (603) 513-5130 Nevada Reno: University of Nevada, Reno, Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center (775) 784-6500 Ext. 257 New Jersey Newark Public Library (973) 733-7779 Piscataway: Library of Science and Medicine, Rutgers University (732) 445-2895 New York Albany: New York State Library (518) 474-5355 Buffalo and Erie County Public Library (716) 858-7101 Rochester Public Library (716) 428-8110 New York: New York Public Library, Science Industry & Business Library (212) 592-7000 North Carolina J. Murrey Atkins Library, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (704) 687-0494 North Dakota Grand Forks: Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota (701) 777-4888 Ohio Akron - Summit County Public (330) 643-9075 Library Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Public Library of (513) 369-6932 Cleveland Public Library (216) 623-2870 Dayton: Paul Laurence Dunbar Library, Wright State University (937) 775-3521 Toledo/Lucas County Public Library (419) 259-5209 Oklahoma Stillwater: Oklahoma State University Edmon Low Library (405) 744-6546 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, The Free Library of (215) 686-5394 Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library of (412) 622-3138 University Park: PAMS Library, Pennsylvania State University (814) 865-7617 Puerto Rico Bayamon: Learning Resources Center, University of Puerto Rico (787) 993-0000 Ext. 3222 Mayaquez General Library, University of Puerto Rico (787) 832-4040 Ext. 2023 Bayamon, Learning Resources Center, University of Puerto Rico (787) 786-5225 Rhode Island Providence Public Library (401) 455-8027 South Carolina Clemson University Libraries (864) 656-3024 South Dakota Rapid City: Devereaux Library, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (605) 394-1275 Tennessee Nashville: Stevenson Science and Engineering Library, Vanderbilt University (615) 322-2717 Texas Austin: McKinney Engineering Library, University of Texas at Austin (512) 495-4511 College Station: West Campus Library, Texas A & M University (979) 845-2111 Dallas Public Library (214) 670-1468 Houston: The Fondren Library, Rice University (713) 348-5483 Lubbock: Texas Tech University (806) 742-2282 San Antonio Public Library (210) 207-2500 Utah Salt Lake City: Marriott Library, University of Utah (801) 581-8394 Vermont Burlington: Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont (802) 656-2542 Washington Seattle: Engineering Library, University of Washington (206) 543-0740 West Virginia Morgantown: Evansdale Library, West Virginia University (304) 293-4695 Wisconsin Wendt Commons Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison (608) 262-0696 Milwaukee Public Library (414) 286-3051 Wyoming Cheyenne: Wyoming State Library (307) 777-7281
|Patent Technology Centers|
|PATENT TECHNOLOGY CENTERS|
|AVERAGE FILING DATE OF APPLICATIONS RECEIVING A FIRST OFFICE ACTION IN THE LAST 3 MONTHS1|
|GAU||Avg Filing Date|
|1600||BIOTECHNOLOGY, AND ORGANIC CHEMISTRY|
|1700||CHEMICAL AND MATERIALS ENGINEERING AND DESIGNS|
|2100||COMPUTER ARCHITECTURE AND SOFTWARE|
|2400||NETWORKING, MULTIPLEXING, CABLE AND SECURITY|
|2800||SEMICONDUCTORS/MEMORY, CIRCUITS/MEASURING AND TESTING, OPTICS/PHOTOCOPYING|
|3600||TRANSPORTATION, CONSTRUCTION, ELECTRONIC COMMERCE, AGRICULTURE, NATIONAL SECURITY AND LICENSE AND REVIEW|
|3700||MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, MANUFACTURING AND PRODUCTS|
|1 Report last updated on 10-31-2014.|