Patent and Trademark Information from Rice University's PTRC

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Kelley Center, Fondren Library
Updated: 21 hours 16 min ago

Registration extended: The Path to a Patent, Part 1: Patent searching

June 23, 2020 - 11:45am

Do you have an invention that you want to protect before talking to the public? Do you have a business and want to make products without infringing other patents? Have you decided to use a patent pro bono attorney but need to run your own patent prior art search first? Are you someone who just wants to know more about patents? If so, join our Eastern Regional Outreach Office for this free webinar today, June 23, at 2:30 p.m. ET. 

Register today by 2:30 p.m. ET.

You will learn about the benefits of patent searching, how to perform a prior art search using keywords, the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system, and how to build a search strategy. We will also provide resources to help you file your application.

For more information, please email

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e-Office Action allows timely receipt of patent-related correspondence

June 16, 2020 - 3:46pm

The USPTO offers electronic notification of agency communications, including office actions, via the e-Office Action program. Participants in the e-Office Action program receive an email notification documenting new USPTO communications when they are available in Private PAIR with relevant details about the communication, such as the application number, attorney docket number, the mail date, and the document code for the Office action or notice. The USPTO encourages all patent application filers to sign up for e-Office Action, particularly now, as certain foreign postal operations have experienced delays and/or closures.

If you are not a participant in the e-Office Action program and the correspondence address for your application is located in a country experiencing a closure of postal operations, the Office communications for your application are likely to be returned to the USPTO as being undeliverable. If this is the case, the USPTO will re-mail the returned correspondence in accordance with Manual of Patent Examining Procedure 707.13.

Please note that the e-Office Action program does not apply to Patent Cooperation Treaty international applications under 35 U.S.C. 363 and reexamination proceedings. For these matters, USPTO communications are mailed to the address of record.

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 about how to become a registered user, contact the Patent Electronic Business Center at or 866-217-9197.

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USPTO announces COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Program for certain trademark and service mark applications

June 16, 2020 - 3:43pm

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a new COVID-19 prioritized examination program for certain trademark and service mark applications.

Under this new program, the USPTO will accept petitions to advance the initial examination of applications for marks used to identify qualifying COVID-19 medical products and services. Additionally, the USPTO will waive the fee for such petitions.

“Inventors and entrepreneurs are working around the clock to develop products that will help prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure COVID-19,” said Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “Accelerating initial examination of COVID-19-related trademark applications for these products, as well as service mark applications for medical and medical research services, will help to bring important and possibly life-saving treatments to market more quickly.”

To qualify for the new program, the application must cover a product that is subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for use in the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19 or a medical or medical research service for the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19. See the notice for more information.

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USPTO announces relief to restore priority or benefit rights for patent applicants

June 16, 2020 - 3:40pm

Pursuant to Subsection 12004(a) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and 37 C.F.R. § 1.183, and in response to the requests from stakeholders, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is extending the time period for petitioning for certain rights of priority or benefit in a patent application and waiving the associated petition fee.

The relief extends the two-month time-period for restoring the right of priority to or benefit of a foreign or provisional application for any nonprovisional application due to be filed on or after March 27, 2020, but on or before July 30, 2020.

Read the full notice on the USPTO website for further details.

Comments and patent-related inquiries concerning the notice may be sent by email to If email submission of comments is not feasible due to lack of access to a computer and/or the internet, please call the Office of Patent Legal Administration at 571-272-7704 for special instructions.

The USPTO strongly encourages patent applicants to file documents and fees via the USPTO patent electronic filing systems (EFS-Web or Patent Center).

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