Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

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, 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.