Building on our series of using big patent data to inform patent acquisition strategies, we’ve got another webinar coming up!

Thanks to breakthroughs in big data analytics, patent professionals are now able to easily compare how a specific examiner is likely to manage the application appeal process.  This can even be compared to what the examiner is likely to do if an RCE is filed instead of appeal.

During this session, topics that will be covered include:

  • How to determine if your examiner frequently allows an application or issues a new office action right before it would be time to write an examiner’s appeal brief.
  • How to know your odds of winning allowance or a new office action at the end of the pre-appeal process.
  • How to know how long it is likely going to take to get a next office action if an RCE is filed instead of pursuing an appeal strategy.
  • How to know how often a particular examiner requires an RCE prior to allowance.
  • And much much more…

As usual, this event will be led by Chris Holt.  And as usual, a special guest will likely be invited to join in on the conversation.

Join us on Wednesday, May 29th at 11am CDT by registering online at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/766507743

Did you miss our webinar today? Don’t worry – we’ve got the video available for you below!

Watch our webinar entitled “Big Data and the Future of Patent Prosecution” and discover how data directly from the USPTO can help educate, inform, and direct patent acquisition processes and strategies.

New Legislation: The Patent Quality Improvement Act

May 10th, 2013 by Christopher L. Holt

We’ve talked about it before, and we’ll probably talk about it again – there are many business challenges with the quality of patents being issued lately, especially software patents. And because many of these patents are deemed “broad,” “irrelevant,” or even “ridiculous,” non-practicing entities – or patent trolls – are using their intellectual property to target legitimate businesses and the customers of those businesses with patent lawsuits.

This is a costly, and potentially dangerous, challenge that is being faced over and over again by many technology companies across the country.

But, this week, new legislation was introduced to address these issues. This legislation is called the Patent Quality Improvement Act, and while addressing the challenges facing patent quality, it could also potentially have an impact on the patent examination process as well.

Take a look at the details of the Patent Quality Improvement Act on GovTrack.us, and an overview on the Union Square Ventures blog as well.

We’ll keep you up to date on the progress of this legislation, and how it impact the processes behind attaining quality patents.

In July, the 2013 NAPP Annual Meeting & Conference will be taking place in San Diego, California. During July 28th – July 30th, patent practitioners and professionals will gather together to listen to many distinguished speakers present on a wide range of patent-related topics. This annual event is a great opportunity for patent professionals to network with other patent colleagues and make sure they are up to date on the current patent laws and legislation.

On Sunday, July 28th at the “Nuts & Bolts of Patent Practice for Solo Practitioners and Small Firms” portion of the event, Ernie Beffel – friend of PatentCore and Patent Advisor – will be presenting on examiner interview practices, and using big patent data to manage those interview practices.

The event looks to be a quality event again this year, so please register online at https://www.napp.org/events/annual/registration.asp. And, if you’re already registered for the event, make sure you stop by Ernie’s session, and say hi!

A rapidly increasing number of patent professionals are obtaining high quality patents more efficiently than ever.  These improvements have become possible due to the emergence of new online tools for accessing details related to how decisions are made in the patent office.  This information has made it possible to know and understand the decision making patterns of specific patent examiners and art units.

Reed Tech Patent Advisor™ is a suite of online services at the forefront of this exciting transformation of the patent prosecution industry.  Join Chris Holt, the original developer of the core technology that powers many of the Reed Tech Patent Advisor™ offerings, and learn how big data insight can be used to greatly improve your patent acquisition strategies.

This online webinar will be held on Wednesday, May 15 at 11am CDT. Please register at the link below and join us for a discussion about big data and the efficiencies it can create in your patent processes.

Register online here – https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/499290575

Last week was challenging for many people across the country, and across the world. There were too many tragedies to count, and countless people were affected. Here at PatentCore, we’re keeping everyone in our thoughts, and hoping that this week we start to see more good in the world.

Because of this, I wanted to start Monday off with some light news on our blog. Recently, Cracked.com, a site who shares fantastic, funny information, posted an article entitled “The 5 Most Ridiculous Things People Tried to Patent.” We wanted to share these items with you today to start the week off on a fun, light-hearted foot.

Below, please find the list of the 5 most ridiculous things people tried to patent, according to Cracked.com.

5. Toast – delicious

4. Short Business Meetings – well, we all want these, right?

3. Comb-Overs – Where’s Donald?

2. Patenting – seriously

1. The Pyramids – who filed that patent application? The aliens who built the pyramids? And who represented them?

If you want to read Cracked.com‘s hilarious commentary of the above list (and you should), check out their post online.

Happy Monday, everyone.

USPTO Calls for Software Patent Comments, Google Responds

April 17th, 2013 by Christopher L. Holt

We – those in our industry, and the greater public as a whole – have seen this coming for a while. The USPTO called for public comment on ideas and ways to address the issues of software patents being granted for very broad, undefined processes. This is something that we’re seeing here at PatentCore too, when we take a look at our patent allowance data, as these broad patents may stem from a backlog of applications that examiners need to review.

However, this week, it looks like the big guns have been pulled out. Meaning, Google has publicly responded to the USPTO’s call for comments. Read their post – Google Public Policy Blog: Improving Software Patent Quality to Support Innovation – explaining their comments below:

We filed comments yesterday with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) on software patent quality, where we argue that better application of established legal principles can help reduce the number of vague, overbroad software patents issued. We think this will protect real innovation while helping to solve some growing problems in the patent system.

Many software patents are so broad as to claim every way of doing something on a computer. And the boundaries of these patents are often unclear. The Patent Office would never permit a patent that covered “any combination of molecules to treat a headache with a pill,” but it regularly does this by allowing software patent claims covering only a goal—not an inventive solution.

By more consistently applying legal rules that require specificity around functional software claims, the PTO can ensure that software patents reward and protect the creative work of building great software products—not just coming up with vague or abstract ideas.

We filed our comments in response to the PTO’s new partnership with the software community and its recent call for public comment on improving patent quality. We commend the PTO’s efforts in this area and look forward to working constructively with the agency in the future.

In our comments, we also suggest that the PTO consider how improved technical training for patent examiners, expanded prior art databases, and standardized terminology used across all software patent applications can help improve quality.

Improving software patent quality is critically important to innovation, which is under attack by patent assertion entities (also known as patent trolls). Trolls don’t make anything; they simply use patents to extract money—almost $30 billion a year—from productive companies through litigation. Trolls often target startups and small businesses that lack the resources or expertise to effectively deal with such lawsuits.

The trolls’ weapons of choice are low-quality software patents: today, most patent litigation is brought by trolls, and about 82% of those suits involve software. There is no single fix to the troll problem, but improving software patent quality will help stem the tide while also supporting real innovation.

What do you think? What else can be done here?

PatentCore Weekly Link Round-Up – April 12

April 12th, 2013 by Christopher L. Holt

We’ve been a little busy on our end lately, but I wanted to make sure I jumped in to share some of the great patent and IP news that’s been happening over the last few weeks! It’s been a busy spring in the patent world, that’s for sure. Let’s take a look at some recent news.

Google, BlackBerry, EarthLink and Red Hat Take a Stand Against Patent trolls, Ask FTC, DoJ to do the Same

Last Friday, Google, along with their buddies, appealed to the FTC and the Department of Justice to take a stronger stand against so-called patent trolls who see financial gain from suing companies for infringing on their patents. These companies state that this abuse by the patent trolls is impeding upon improvements in the technology industry, and costing U.S. companies alone nearly $30 billion in 2011, “and $80 billion when accounting for all costs – direct and indirect.” Some strong believe that Congress is gearing up to tackle this issue in a stronger way, and hearing news right from the most powerful technology companies is definitely strong ammunition to begin the battle.

Patent Trolls Go After Scan-to-Email Users

The patent trolls have reared their heads again – this time via emails to many businesses last year demanding payment for the use of an email scanning technology. However, upon further investigation, it turns out that the companies being questioned purchased the scanner software product in good faith. So who should pay the damages for using the patented product? The company who sold it? Or those using it? It seems like it’s up for debate at this point.

iPhone With Side Displays? Apple Wants a Patent For That

The saga of the ever-evolving iPhone design continues. This time, we’re seeing a new patent application from Apple outlining side displays for their iPhone. According to the article, potential uses could be for battery life and signal strength indicators. It would be interesting, but I think before Apple makes this leap, they’ll need to create a few more redesigns to bring the general consumer there gradually.

Nintendo Lands ‘Remotely Controlled Mobile Device Control’ Patent

Sounds kind of redundant, right? This week, Nintendo was awarded a patent that would allow for some kind of toy to be embedded with a Wiimote-like device and be used in conjunction with a game. This seems to be one technological step up from just using the remote control device to control the game, and would allow for another layer of interaction, when it comes to video game play.

If you’re interested in available techniques and tips to use when participating in PTO examiner interviews, you’ll want to attend this upcoming webinar.

The AIPLA is offering a CLE webinar on February 27th from 12:30-2pm EST entitled “PTO Examiner Interviewing Techniques and Tips in the Era of Hoteling, Webex and Videoconferencing.” From the course description, “Utilizing examiner interviews during the prosecution of a U.S. patent application can help expedite prosecution and reduce costs. This webinar will include perspectives from representatives of the USPTO and general interview techniques and tips. The webinar will also feature discussions and presentation on opportunities based on USPTO technology such as Webex and Videoconferencing.”

The speakers will include Speakers will include Tim Callahan (USPTO Director, Technology Center 2400), Eamon Wall (Wall & Tong), and Ernie Beffel (Haynes Beffel & Woldfeld).

If you’d like to attend, register online here. And when you attend, give a listen for a few mentions of Patent Advisor, and how our system can also help better manage the patent processes of patent professionals.

PatentCore Weekly Link Round-Up – February 15

February 15th, 2013 by Christopher L. Holt

Did you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day yesterday? We’ve been expressing our love of powering Patent Advisor every chance we get. Keep an eye out for upcoming webinars and informational pieces on how Patent Advisor can help you.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the latest patent news happening this week. And trust me – it’s been a busy week.

Google Files First Patent Infringement Suit in Company History to Hit Back at BT

Here we are, seeing the first patent infringement suit from Google ever. Even though Google-owned entities HTC and Motorola have been involved in latent litigation in the past, this week, we see Google itself step up to defend itself against British Telecom (BT) over four patents. These patents, related to assuring a quality of service, connection capacity reassignment, and a gateway for internet telephone, were acquired from IBM and Fujitsu. It seems that Google was sick of BT bringing forth meritless patent suits against Google, and it was time to stand up against them for a change. I wonder if this will open the doors for a more offensive patent strategy from Google.

Obama: Patent  Trolls Hijack Others’ Ideas to ‘Extort Some Money’

President Obama hosted a Google+ Hangout on Thursday afternoon, and addressed an issue we’ve all been thinking about: patent trolls. It seems the President is frustrated with people, businesses, and entities who file patents for the sole purpose of suing others to earn money. He also stated that he feels his efforts on patent reform only went about halfway to where we want them to go. The President, it seems, will continue to take steps forward toward an improved patent reform process, and we will keep an eye on the situation as everything unfolds.

Of Smart Phone Wars and Software Patents

Recently, a new paper was published which defends the USPTO’s examination of software patenting by showing that its processes are very similar to that of other fields’ patenting. Patently-O shows graphs and chart from the paper, and discusses the other information therein. What’s interesting is that, while there are similarities in how all patents are processed, there is an obvious, illustrated need for a different process in place for software patents. Perhaps, as law catches up with technology, we’ll see that new process.

BlackBerry Files Patent Application for 180-Degree Hinge, Redefines ‘Flip-Phone’

BlackBerry isn’t backing down at all in the smart phone wars. Their R&D team keeps developing and proposing new innovations, and one of their recent patent applications is for a new 180-degree hinge for smart phones. This application, filed recently, shows a hinge that allows you to adjust the screen relative to its base – potentially a laptop or tablet base. It’s an interesting idea, and something that BlackBerry could move forward with if they feel the market needs something like it.