Patent and Trademark Information from Rice University's PTRC

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Updated: 10 hours 20 min ago

USPTO to expand Law School Clinic Certification Program

April 3, 2020 - 11:20am
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is expanding its Law School Clinic Certification Program by admitting additional schools into the program. Founded in 2008, the program currently includes 59 law school clinics and offers patent and trademark applicants access to pro bono services. It also gives law students, who are strictly supervised by a faculty clinic supervisor, experience in practicing intellectual property law before the USPTO.The program is administered by the USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED). OED is responsible for registering attorneys and agents to practice before the USPTO and for developing and administering the registration examination. Participating clinics must maintain the requirements for USPTO certification in order for students to practice before the agency.Submissions from interested law school clinical programs will be accepted on a rolling basis through May 31, 2021. Details of the program expansion and application materials are available on the Law School Clinic Certification Program page of the USPTO website.

For additional information and application submission guidelines, please contact the Office of Enrollment and Discipline by telephone at (571) 272‐4097 or lawschoolinformation@uspto.gov.
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USPTO announces extension of certain patent and trademark-related timing deadlines under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

April 3, 2020 - 11:18am
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today (March 31, 2020) announced extensions to the time allowed to file certain patent and trademark-related documents and to pay certain required fees. These actions are an exercise of temporary authority provided to the USPTO by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed by President Trump on March 27. "Inventors and entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy, and we recognize that many of them are having difficulty as a result of COVID-19," said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu. "As a result, we are working to provide as much relief as possible to our stakeholders, consistent with our ability to maintain the USPTO’s fee-funded operations. We are especially mindful of the outsized impact on small businesses and independent inventors, and we have provided additional relief for these groups. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure not only that inventors and entrepreneurs can weather the storm, but that they can also hit the ground running once it passes." The USPTO has made operational adjustments to keep its employees and the public safe as it remains open for business. In-person meetings, such as hearings and examiner interviews, are being conducted virtually by phone and video until further notice.

Read more details in the official Patent and Trademark notices on our website. The USPTO will continue to evaluate the evolving situation around COVID-19 and its impacts on the USPTO’s operations and stakeholders. Patent-related inquiries concerning this notice may be directed by email to Covid19PatentsRelief@uspto.gov and by telephone to the Office of Patent Legal Administration at (571) 272-7704 or (571) 272-7703 for reexamination.PTAB-related inquiries concerning this notice may be directed to (571) 272-9797 or by email at Trials@uspto.gov (for AIA trials), PTAB_Appeals_Suggestions@uspto.gov (for PTAB appeals) or InterferenceTrialSection@uspto.gov (for interferences).   Trademark-related inquiries concerning this notice may be directed to the Trademark Office of Petitions by telephone at (571) 272-8950 or by email at TMPolicy@uspto.gov. TTAB-related inquiries concerning this notice may be directed to Cheryl Butler at (571) 272-4259 or Cheryl.Butler@uspto.gov or to Denise DelGizzi at (571) 272-4265 or Denise.DelGizzi@uspto.gov.
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USPTO update on in-person meetings

April 3, 2020 - 11:07am
Until further notice, examiner and examining attorney interviews, Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) oral hearings, and other similar in-person meetings with parties and stakeholders scheduled to take place at USPTO offices on or after Friday, March 13, 2020 will be conducted remotely by video or telephone. Parties will receive further instructions on how to participate by video or telephone in advance of the interview, hearing, or meeting.If you have any questions, please contact the following:
  • For patent examiner interviews, please contact the examiner or the examiner’s supervisor (SPE) directly. Additionally, if you have any questions about telephonic or video interviews in general or are unable to reach the examiner or SPE with respect to a particular interview, please email: ExaminerInterviewPractice@uspto.gov
  • For trademark examining attorney interviews, please contact the managing attorney.
  • For PTAB oral hearings, please contact PTABHearings@uspto.gov or call 571-272-9797.
  • For TTAB oral hearings, please contact TTABHearings@uspto.gov or call 571-272-8500.
  • For other in-person meetings, please contact your USPTO point of contact for that meeting.
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Expanding Innovation Hub

March 31, 2020 - 11:46am
USPTO launches the Expanding Innovation Hub, a new online platform to encourage greater participation in the patent system

Please see blog by Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and Laura Peter, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO.  

Or visit: Expanding Innovation Hub.
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Filing patent documents

March 31, 2020 - 11:23am
USPTO strongly encourage customers to file via EFS-Web. This online business system is efficient and convenient.EFS-Web filers:
  • EFS-Web for Registered eFilers - Enhanced filing of new patent applications, follow-on submissions, saved submissions, and more.
  • EFS-Web for Unregistered eFilers - Basic initial filing of new patent applications. Note: Unregistered eFilers are not permitted to file follow-on submissions/fees in EFS-Web. Unregistered eFilers are advised to pay fees online as part of the initial application submission or use an alternative filing method to pay fees, such as including a deposit account authorization with the application papers or mailing the payment using the Priority Mail Express® service of the United States Postal Service (USPS) in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10.
Filing options:New patent applications, new international design applications, documents and fees for national stage entry under 35 U.S.C. 371, and documents that are required to establish the filing date of an application (e.g., a missing drawing figure or page of the specification) may be filed (in addition to EFS-Web) by:
  • Priority Mail Express® from the USPS in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10, or
  • Hand-delivery (37 CFR 1.6(c)) via the customer service window.
Other documents or fee payments may be filed (in addition to EFS-Web) by:
  • Facsimile transmission to the USPTO central facsimile at (571) 273-8300,
  • First-Class Mail with a certificate of mailing in accordance with 37 CFR 1.8,
  • Priority Mail Express® from the USPS in accordance with 37 CFR 1.10, or
  • Hand-delivery (37 CFR 1.6(c)) via the customer service window.
Patent correspondence, including new patent applications, new international design applications, and documents or fee payments cannot be submitted via email.Other forms of delivery, such as UPS and FedEx, may also be used. However, the benefits of 37 CFR 1.8 or 37 CFR 1.10 (best viewed in Internet Explorer) apply only to documents delivered to the office by the USPS.If you have questions about filing via EFS-Web, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) at ebc@uspto.gov or (866) 217-9197.
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Receiving office communications electronically

March 23, 2020 - 12:15pm
USPTO encourage customers to take advantage of the efficiency and convenience of our online business systems. The USPTO currently offers electronic notification of office communications, including office actions to those participating in the e-Office Action program. We encourage registered users of the USPTO’s Patent Electronic Systems who are not currently participating in the e-Office Action program to log into Private PAIR to update their Customer Number details to receive electronic notifications of office communications (e.g., by selecting the option “Receive Correspondence Notification via e-Mail” on the Edit Customer Details screen).For more information, visit the e-Office Action program webpage on the USPTO website.If you have questions about the e-Office Action program or on how to become a registered user, contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) at ebc@uspto.gov or 866-217-9197.
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USPTO waives original handwritten signature requirement

March 19, 2020 - 7:33pm
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) considers the effects of COVID-19 to be an "extraordinary situation" within the meaning of 37 CFR 1.183 for affected patent and trademark applicants, patentees, reexamination parties, and trademark owners. Therefore, the USPTO is waiving the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1) and (2) for an original handwritten signature for certain correspondence with the Office of Enrollment and Discipline and certain payments by credit card. The Office notes that the requirements of 37 CFR 1.4(e)(1) and (2) are the only USPTO requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures, and the USPTO has no other requirements for original handwritten, ink signatures.
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View the status of USPTO events on its website

March 18, 2020 - 11:14am
The Events page on USPTO.gov is the best place to find an up-to-date list of upcoming USPTO events.If an event will be postponed or canceled, we will update the listing to reflect the change.
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Submit NMTI nominations; informational webinar now available

March 18, 2020 - 11:12am
USPTO is seeking nominations for the 2020 National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI). The NMTI is the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement, bestowed by the President of the United States. A recorded webinar with detailed information is now available.Anyone can nominate for the NMTI by submitting the online nomination form and letters of support. Applicants must complete nominations before midnight ET, April 3. We invite a wide range of submissions that will demonstrate the incredible breadth of innovation taking place throughout the United States. Nominations of candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged.For more information, please visit the NMTI webpage on the USPTO website.
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COVID-19 Update

March 18, 2020 - 10:29am
Fondren Library will be closed to all visitors as of March 18, at 2 p.m. until further notice. 
You can access patent and trademark information from Rice University's PTRC webpages or at United States Patent and Trademark Office.

We apologize for the inconvenience, please check the library website for any updated information. 
If you have questions related to patent and trademark, please send an email to govhelp@rice.edu.
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Access to Fondren Library's Patent and Trademark Resource Center is temporary supsended.

March 12, 2020 - 12:55pm
In light of heightened health and safety concerns of Coronavirus, as of Thursday, March 12th, physical access to Fondren Library will be restricted to valid Rice ID holders only. Visitor access will be suspended until further notice.  Please see library website for information on remote access and any questions you may have.  
You can access patent and trademark information from Rice University's PTRC webpages or at United States Patent and Trademark Office

For information on nearby PTRCs, please click here.
  We apologize for the inconvenience, please check the library website for any updated information. 
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