On November 29, 2013, the USPTO published its proposed rules to implement “the Hague Agreement Concerning International Registration of Industrial Designs.”
A band comprised of Asian-Americans from Portland, Oregon has been trying to trademark its name, “The Slants,” for years, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has denied the registration on the grounds that the word has a racially charged connotation and is offensive.
Certain USPTO fees are set to decrease on January 1, 2014, including issue fees and the publication fees for utility applications. Also, as of January 1, 2014, certain PCT International Stage fees will have Small Entity and Micro Entity rates. Additionally, the USPTO no longer will charge a recordation fee to record a patent assignment document submitted electronically.
In Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. Rea, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia upheld the USPTO Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) rule that provides for a PTA deduction when an applicant files a “supplemental reply or other paper” after a reply has been filed. In the case at issue, the applicant had filed an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) after filing a response to a Restriction Requirement.
Last week the United States federal government entered a shutdown, suspending services not exempted by the Antideficiency Act, 31 U.S.C. § 1341. Although the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office currently remains open, the Copyright Office is among the many closed government offices.
We have received numerous inquires from clients asking how the Federal government shutdown will impact their patent applications. The US Patent Office has advised it has sufficient funds to operate at full strength for at least the next four weeks.
In Rambus, Inc. v. Rea, the Federal Circuit found several legal and procedural errors in the decision of the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that invalidated certain claims of the Rambus patent as obvious.
With stories of veterans breaking down barriers to reach war memorials and the gates to national parks being indefinitely locked, one bright spot emerges from our federal government’s first shutdown in 17 years: the United States Patent and Trademark Office remains open, subsisting on leftover fee collections from prior years.
As most of you have now realized, there has been a government shutdown. However, the USPTO reports the following about its continued operation…
As the USPTO fiscal year comes to an end on September 30, I thought this would be a good time to review the USPTO backlog statistics.