Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

When Patents Attack! – Audio Report from TAL.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on July 25, 2011

JW Note:  An interesting report on so-called “patent trolls” from This American Life (TAL), a weekly hour-long radio program produced by WBAZ, hosted by Ira Glass, and distributed by Public Radio International (PRI). 

A summary and transcript of the report is below, and a link to the audio is here.

Why would a company rent an office in a tiny town in East Texas, put a nameplate on the door, and leave it completely empty for a year? The answer involves a controversial billionaire physicist in Seattle, a 40 pound cookbook, and a war waging right now, all across the software and tech industries. (Transcript)

Telework Announcement from USPTO Director David Kappos.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on July 19, 2011

Via an email to USPTO employees earlier today.

Dear Colleagues:

 I’m pleased to announce the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) which covers the implementation of the Telework Enhancement Act Pilot Program (TEAPP) for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Howard Friedman, President, the National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 245; Harold Ross, President, the National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 243; Robert Budens, President, the Patent Office Professional Association; and Patricia Richter, USPTO Chief Administrative Officer, signed the MOU on Tuesday, July 5, 2011.

The agreement approves the operating procedures for the pilot program developed by the TEAPP Oversight Committee. These procedures will be put into effect 30 days after the General Services Administration submits the program to the appropriate congressional committees. We look forward to providing you more detailed information on application periods and specifics of the program in the near future.

The pilot program will allow employees teleworking full-time to decide, for their own convenience, to live greater than 50 miles from the USPTO headquarters located in Alexandria, Va., and to change their duty station to an alternate worksite in the city in which they work in exchange for an agreement to waive travel expenses back to the office for a limited number of trips. Participation in this pilot program is voluntary and will be determined by an application process to be explained in subsequent communications.

I appreciate the patience you have demonstrated throughout this process. Although we’re getting close to eliminating the bi-weekly reporting requirement for those who choose to participate in the TEAPP, if you’re currently a hoteling employee living outside of the 50-mile commuting radius, you must continue to travel to the USPTO campus on a bi-weekly basis until the TEAPP becomes effective and your application to participate is approved. I will continue to provide you with project updates as I receive them.

I’d like to express my gratitude to those of you who provided input via surveys and questions to the Telework Oversight Committee mailbox. Your input helped the committee to establish the TEAPP operating procedures. I’d also like to thank the committee members for their diligence and hard work on implementing the telework legislation. I’m pleased that the unions and management worked together to craft a program that will benefit employees and our organization.

David Kappos

They Invented What? (No. 206)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on July 13, 2011

U.S. Pat. No. 6,817,032: Garment for preventing muscle strain.

What is claimed is:

1. A garment for releasably securing a user’s hand at a fixed location along the user’s body, comprising: an upper portion for wear on the user’s upper body, said upper portion having a first attachment means; and a hand portion for wear along one of the user’s hands, said hand portion having a second attachment means disposed along a palm side, said hand portion being configured for retaining said second attachment means in a substantially fixed position relative to the user’s hand; wherein said first and second attachment means are releasably engageable for securing the user’s hand to the user’s upper body in a desired position.