Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

USPTO Seeking Public Assistance In Training Patent Examiners.

Posted in Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on September 29, 2010

Per this Federal Register Notice published September 15, 2010:

The USPTO is seeking public assistance in providing technical training to patent examiners within all technology centers.  The Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP) is intended to provide scientists and experts as lecturers to patent examiners in order to update them on technical developments, the state of the art, emerging trends, maturing technologies, and recent innovations in their fields. Such guest lecturers must have relevant technical knowledge, as well as familiarity with prior art and industry practices/standards in areas of technologies where such lectures would be beneficial.

The PETTP is not intended as an opportunity for applicants to discuss pending applications or to circumvent normal communication between applicants or applicants’ representatives and examiners or Supervisory Patent Examiners.  In addition, PETTP participants are not to provide advice or recommendations to the USPTO.  The PETTP is envisioned as an opportunity to provide patent examiners with necessary training from scientists and experts working directly in the various technologies throughout the USPTO.  

For more information, and to access the form to request participation in the Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP), click here.

They Invented What? (No. 184)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on September 29, 2010

U.S. Pat. No. 5,491,007: Thumb guard novelty device.

 

What is claimed as being new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent of the United States is as follows:

1. A thumb guard novelty device, comprising,
         a flexible thumb receiving sheath having an entrance opening end spaced from a forward end, with the entrance opening end directed into a sheath cavity, and
         a sheath strap having a sheath strap first end and a sheath strap second end, the sheath strap first end fixedly secured to the entrance opening end, and
          a mounting band, with the sheath strap second end fixedly secured to the mounting band spaced from the sheath, the mounting band having a mounting band first end and a mounting band second end, the mounting band first end including a first fastener, the mounting band second end including a second fastener, with the first fastener arranged for securement to the second fastener around an individual’s thumb spaced from the sheath, and
          a plurality of informative tab plates, the tab plates arranged in an overlapping relationship relative to one another, with each tab plate including a tab plate end mounted to a top surface of the sheath, and a tab plate lower end spaced from the tab plate upper end permitting flexure and pivotment of the lower end relative to the upper end upon flexure of the sheath and the sheath strap, and
          including a fiber optic cable, the fiber optic cable including a fiber optic cable first end and a fiber optic cable second end, the fiber optic cable first end mounted within a positioning block, the positioning block fixedly mounted to an outer surface of the sheath adjacent the sheath forward end, the fiber optic cable directed through the sheath strap, and wherein the fiber optic cable second end is arranged in a spaced relationship relative to the sheath strap and the mounting band, and an illumination housing, with the fiber optic cable second end directed into the illumination housing, the illumination housing including an illumination bulb contained therewithin, the illumination housing including a wrist strap, with the illumination housing mounted to an exterior surface of the wrist strap, and at least one resilient loop positioned adjacent the illumination housing and a battery member positioned within the resilient loop, and an illumination bulb contained within the illumination housing positioned in adjacency relative to the fiber optic cable second end, and the battery member arranged in electrical communication with the illumination bulb to direct illumination through the fiber optic cable and to project illumination through the fiber optic cable first end.

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They Invented What? (No. 183)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on September 22, 2010

U.S. Pat. No. 3,402,485:  Animal track footwear soles.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A molded footwear sole for laying of simulated tracks of an animal,said sole comprising
          a forepart portion having a normal tread surface,
          a heel portion having a normal tread surface,
          projecting sole portions integral with the forepart portion and extending beyond the normal tread surface of the forepart portion, said projecting forepart portions being of a configuration and arrangement simulating the configuration and arrangement of bottom portions of a selected side first foot of a selected animal, and
          projecting sole portions integral with the heel portions and extending beyond the normal tread surface of the heel portion, said last named projecting sole portions being of a configuration and arrangement simulating the configuration and arrangement of bottom portions of a second foot of the same selected side of said selected animal,
          said projecting sole portions comprising a tread surface which, when said sole is resting on a plane, separates the entire normal tread surface of the sole from the plane, whereby upon pressing said sole into soil, as by walking, said sole imparts an imprint simulating that made by said animal.

Where’s My Jetpack? Cuernavaca, Mexico, Of Course!

Posted in Science and Technology by Jake Ward on September 15, 2010

A dream of many futurists, inventors, and . . . patent attorneys!  It is nice to know that inventors are still innovating in the field of jet packs.  

The above video report was produced by VICE, an independent media company and website based in Brooklyn, New York. , and is made available courtesy of CNN.com. 

USPTO Data Visualization Center.

Posted in Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on September 8, 2010

Per this recent post at the Director’s Forum: David Kappos’ Public Blog, the USPTO has just launched a beta version of a Data Visulation Center that introduces the patents dashboard.  The patents dashboard is a tool that provides data about a number of USPTO metrics in a visual format, including data on pendency and performance indicators such as the number of applications in the backlog, production, actions per disposal and USPTO staffing levels. 

After our initial review, it is our opinion that the USPTO patents dashboard is an interesting tool, both from visual and informational standpoints.  It certainly provides ready access to information about the state of the patent office, which one would otherwise have had to dig for previously.  Although speedometers/gauges may not have been the default visual representation that we would have picked, it definitely is convenient to have this information provided in a visual and easy-to-read format.

The USPTO is looking to refine the patents dashboard, and has set up a dedicated mailbox for comments and feedback from USPTO stakeholders.  Check out the patents dashboard at www.uspto.gov/dashboards, and email the USPTO to let them know what you think!

They Invented What? (No. 182)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on September 8, 2010

U.S. Pat. No. 5,076,029:  Helium-filled shades.

JW Note:  Thanks to Dave Purdue at Purdue Law Offices in Toledo, Ohio for bringing this TIW? to our attention.

Having fully described and disclosed the instant invention and alternately preferred embodiments thereof in such clear and concise terms as to enable those skilled in the art to understand and practice the same, the invention claimed is:

1. A body-carried sun shade for protecting a person comprising:
     a) an inflatable canopy including
          i) a first sheet of flexible material having a plurality of edges, said sheet having a predetermined width
          ii) a second sheet of flexible material having a plurality of edges secured to said edges of said first sheet and having a width approximately equal to the width of said first sheet, with a portion of said second sheet being spaced from said first sheet to define an enclosed hollow area, and
          iii) a fill valve communicating with said hollow area for filling said hollow area with helium; said valve controls the flow of helium into and out of said hollow area; and
     b) a plurality of flexible connectors secured to said canopy for suspending said canopy over the head of said person and attaching said canopy to the body of said person such that said canopy is movable with said person.

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