Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

USPTO introduces new tool to help creators identify their intellectual property.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on January 18, 2023

Press Release from USPTO

Today at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) event in Naples, Florida, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office Kathi Vidal announced the launch of the agency’s new Intellectual Property (IP) Identifier tool. This user-friendly, virtual resource— designed for those who are less familiar with IP—enables users to identify whether they have IP and the IP protections they need to support and advance their business, invention, or brand. The IP Identifier serves as an important foundation for an innovator, entrepreneur or creator’s IP journey. In addition to the tool helping identify a person’s or company’s intellectual property, it provides easily digestible information on intellectual property – patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. 

“Protecting your IP is a smart and necessary business strategy, and the IP Identifier is a great starting point for those new to IP,” Director Vidal told the audience at the WE event. “This resource will equip entrepreneurs with a basic understanding of the IP they have and will lead them to resources to protect it. We encourage everyone who is considering starting a business or trying to grow one to utilize this tool. It’s another example of our work to bring more people into the innovation ecosystem to increase American competitiveness, grow the economy, and solve world problems.” 

The IP Identifier is comprised of two modules: The Basic IP Identifier; and the Advanced IP Identifier. The Basic IP Identifier module consists of six simple questions that allow users to quickly assess the type of IP they should protect. The Advanced IP Identifier module allows users to learn about their specific type of IP and obtain links to additional resources, including how to file an application for protection. A third module, Managing your IP assets, is currently under development. 

Companies benefit from having IP protection. When used as collateral, a company’s first patent increases venture capital funding by 76 percent over three years and increases funding from an initial public offering by 128 percent. It can also help serve as a recruiting tool: The approval of a startup’s first patent application increases its employee growth by 36 percent over the next five years. Further, protecting your IP can also increase your market share – a new company with a patent increases its sales by a cumulative 80 percent more than companies that do not have a patent.

The IP Identifier was announced as part of USPTO’s recently-launched Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) initiative, a community-focused, collaborative, and creative initiative to inspire women and tap their potential to meaningfully increase equity, job creation, and economic prosperity. WE includes a new online hub for aspiring women entrepreneurs that provides key information on how to get started, how to identify and protect their intellectual property, and how to secure options for funding and how to build and maintain a network. For more information and to get involved with WE, please email WE@uspto.gov. Your feedback is welcomed through the voluntary survey, included within the tool, or can be emailed to IPIdentifierfeedback@uspto.gov

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Changes affecting patent small/micro entity fees

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on January 6, 2023

Notice Regarding Changes Affecting Patent Small/Micro Entity Fees.

Most small and micro entity fees have decreased with the enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023—which included the Unleashing American Innovators Act of 2022—signed into law on 12/29/2022.  The law increased small entity discounts from 50 percent to 60 percent and micro entity discounts from 75 percent to 80 percent.  The USPTO fee schedule has been updated to reflect these changes.  A rule notice will be published soon to update the fee amounts appearing under Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

For patent issue fees, the fee due is the amount appearing on the Notice of Allowance and Fees Due letter (form PTOL-85).  For other fees, the applicable fee amount is the fee amount in effect on the day the fee is paid (in full).  The day a fee is paid is the date of receipt of the fee payment in the USPTO under 37 CFR § 1.6, or the date reflected on a proper certificate of mailing or transmission on the fee payment, where such a certificate is authorized under 37 CFR § 1.8.  

For small and micro entity fees (other than the issue fee) that were paid on 12/29/2022 prior to the enactment of the law, refunds will be issued for the difference between the old higher fee rates and the new lower fee rates.  The refunds will be processed before the end of January 2023; there is no need to submit a refund request for these payments  

Ward Law Office – Thank You and Best Wishes for 2023!

Posted in General Commentary, Our Firm by Jake Ward on December 30, 2022

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

Ward Law Office LLC (WLO), an “IP boutique” located in Southfield, Michigan and Tiffin, Ohio, would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all of you who have trusted our law firm this past year to assist with your patent and trademark needs. We would also like to thank those who have been great resources and business partners to both us and our clients during this time.

Moving into 2023, we are pleased to announce that WLO has now grown to a total of 22 employees and serves over 750 clients worldwide. This is growth that we truly could not have imagined several years ago, when we first opened our doors with just 3 employees. This sustained growth over time is proof enough to us that we are doing it right, and that our clients appreciate all our efforts in protecting their valuable intellectual property.

As many of you know, WLO has also evolved into a robust “virtual” practice over the past few years. In fact, we now have virtual offices throughout the United States, with personnel located in Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, and Hawaii. While operating in this virtual working environment daily, our attorneys and staff have remained dedicated to making our clients successful no matter where they are located. The entire WLO team is passionate about providing high quality services at rates affordable to both entrepreneurs and established businesses alike. We couldn’t be more proud of the team of professionals we have assembled at WLO, and the excellent work they do for our clients every day.

If you have any questions at all about patents, trademarks or copyrights, do not hesitate to contact WLO by any of the following methods:

  • Via telephone at either (419) 408-5500 (Ohio Office) or (248) 579-2197 (Michigan Office);

As always, WLO does not charge for initial consultations. We would be pleased to speak with you about strategies for protecting your intellectual property at your convenience.

Thank you again and wishing you all much prosperity and success in 2023 and beyond!

Best regards,

Jake Ward

Founding Member

Ward Law Office | Registered Patent Attorney

Public PAIR To Be Retired Tomorrow, July 31, 2022

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on July 30, 2022

After July 31, 2022, Public PAIR will no longer be available. To access publicly available documents, guest users may access Patent Center

See the USPTO Notice and other important information about this change here.

Patently Good Ideas: Intellectual Property Law for Business and Entrepreneurs – August 9th, 12-1:30PM ET

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on July 21, 2022

To register for this free webinar: http://go.umflint.edu/ip.

Trademark e-registration certificate issuance accelerated to May 24, 2022.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on May 16, 2022

Via a Trademark Alert from the USPTO today:

Our Trademark and IT teams are accelerating our transition to electronic registration certificates. Starting May 24, approximately two weeks earlier than previously announced, we will begin issuing electronic registration certificates.

The new date accelerates the benefits of the electronic certificates and addresses a recent paper vendor disruption. Due to the disruption, the USPTO will not issue registration certificates between May 10 and May 23. 

Registrants will still be able to order printed presentation copies of their registration certificate beginning May 24. In the coming days we will issue a Federal Register Notice about this change.  Thank you for your patience as we move toward serving our trademark community in a more resilient and sustainable way. 

Ward Law Office – Announcement and Best Wishes for 2022!

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on December 26, 2021

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

Ward Law Office LLC (WLO), an “IP boutique” law firm headquartered in Tiffin, Ohio, USA, is excited to announce the opening of a new location in Southfield, Michigan.

Beginning in January 2022, WLO will have a branch office located at the Centrepolis Accelerator on the campus of Lawrence Technological University. We are very excited about this growth and the opportunities it will present for assisting clients with intellectual property needs in the future. 

WLO is also approaching a 5th Year Anniversary in January. Our passion since inception has been helping inventors, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses. It is our goal to both educate our clients on how to secure valuable patent and trademark protection, and to provide high quality services at affordable rates.

Moving into the new year, WLO has grown to nearly 20 total employees, all of whom share this same passion. Our attorneys and staff are dedicated to making our clients successful. We couldn’t be prouder of the WLO team and the excellent work they do for our clients on a daily basis.

Finally, as we approach this important milestone, we would like to take the opportunity to express our gratitude. We appreciate all you who have placed trust in WLO to assist in your important matters, or who have otherwise been great resources and business partners in this journey.

Thank you again and wishing you all much prosperity and success in 2022 and beyond!

Assistant Office Manager at Ward Law Office, Full-time Remote Position

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on December 16, 2021

Ward Law Office LLC (WLO) is a virtual “IP boutique” law firm with attorneys and staff located primarily in Ohio and Michigan. WLO has an immediate opening for an Assistant Office Manager with 10+ years experience. The ideal candidate has excellent communication skills and will be familiar with legal forms and procedures for filing patent and trademark documents at the USPTO. Experience with docketing practices including the AppColl intellectual property management software is preferred. This is a full-time remote position with opportunities for training and advancement in a fast-paced and rewarding environment.

WLO represents a wide variety of clients ranging from independent inventors to Fortune 500 companies, in many different industries and technologies. The firm was founded to provide high quality patent and trademark services while also being flexible to meet the unique needs of our clients. Our passion is helping and educating inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. If you share this passion, we are the right firm for you.

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter to Kristi Ward, Business Manager, at kristi@wardpatent.com. For more information about the firm, applicants are encouraged to visit our website at www.wardpatent.com.