Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

Reminder: Today USPTO transitions to electronic patent grants – April 18, 2023.

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

Press Release from USPTO

Reminder: Today USPTO transitions to electronic patent grants

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is implementing electronic patent issuance in the form of electronic patent grants (eGrants). All patents issued on April 18, 2023 and forward will be issued as eGrants.

This new method helps inventors access their newly-granted patents the same day we publicly issue them via Patent Center, while simultaneously minimizing paper waste and potentially reducing patent pendency. Certified copies and presentation copies will still be offered for a fee through the USPTO Certified Copy Center. During a transition period, we will provide a paper copy of the electronic patent grant as a courtesy ceremonial copy, delivered to the patentee’s correspondence address of record.

Additional resources such as the full Federal Register Notice and the eGrants FAQ document can be found on the eGrants webpage of the USPTO website. You may also read our press release announcing this implementation and our reminder news brief.

The Importance Of Using A Registered Patent Practitioner.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on April 8, 2023

Check out our recent article published at the new Innovate This! website here. Great advice, tips, and strategies for inventors and entrepreneurs.

Definition of “Ward” (Verb): To Guard or Protect.

Posted in General Commentary, Our Firm by Jake Ward on April 7, 2023

#patents #trademarks #invention #ip #ipprotection

WARD (verb): To guard or protect.

Visit www.wardpatent.com to learn more about the patent and trademark services of WARD LAW OFFICE.

USPTO ushers in new era with introduction of electronic patent grants.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on February 27, 2023

Via Press Release from USPTO – February 27, 2023

WASHINGTON—Beginning April 18, 2023, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is shifting towards issuing paper waste-reducing electronic patent grants (eGrants) to patent recipients—a new process that delivers the official copy of patent grants in an electronic format. We will provide a bound paper version as a ceremonial copy throughout a limited transition period, and then for a nominal fee thereafter.  

“By issuing eGrants, we’re making considerable strides toward more environmentally-conscious operations at the USPTO,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “Providing 21st century service to our stakeholders means shifting our processes to reflect 21st century policies. The eGrant process not only minimizes paper waste, but it also benefits stakeholders by reducing pendency and streamlining the process. It’s a win-win for the agency and for our customers.”

The eGrant process significantly decreases USPTO’s printing and mailing needs, potentially reducing patent pendency, and saving the agency nearly $2 million in annual printing and mailing costs. Further, under the new process, patent recipients will receive their electronic patent grant in PDF format on the day of issuance.

During the transition period, patent awardees will have access to the eGrant official copy in Patent Center and receive the bound paper version as a ceremonial copy. Patent recipients may still request USPTO certified copies and presentation copies from the USPTO’s certified copy center for an additional fee. Unlimited free copies of eGrants can also be printed from USPTO’s online Patent Center. The agency already provides electronic trademark registration certificates to trademark owners.

For more information, read the full Federal Register Notice or visit the eGrant webpage on the USPTO website, where you can find our eGrant FAQ document and additional information.

Stay current with the USPTO by subscribing to receive email updates. Visit our Subscription Center.

Startup Bootcamp (OneSixOne Ventures x JumpStart)

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on February 11, 2023

Startup Bootcamp is a 1 day workshop teaching startup founder’s everything from ideation to raising capital for your startup

STARTUP BOOTCAMP

OneSixOne Ventures has partnered with JumpStart Inc. to bring a FREE one-day workshop on how to launch your startup and raise capital. This is an extensive full day workshop that will cover the basics of being a successful founder.

When: Saturday February 18, 2023

Time:

  • Bootcamp: 12:30p – 5:00p
  • Networking Happy Hour: 5:00p – 6:00p

Where: Clark-Fulton Learning Center, Cleveland Public Library3545 Fulton Rd.​ Cleveland, OH 44109​

Who:

  • Early stage (ideation, pre-revenue, pre-seed)
  • Located in Ohio
  • Diverse and underrepresented founders
  • Considered “tech” within the domains of Software/IT, Advanced Manufacturing, Advanced Materials, Biomedical, Energy, or Life Sciences
  • Large market opportunity (venture backable)

Registration Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/536350016337

Beware of spoofed calls that impersonate the USPTO.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on February 1, 2023

Press release from USPTO today:

Beware of spoofed calls that impersonate the USPTO

Scammers have recently started calling trademark customers and falsely claiming to be an employee with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The scammers use a tactic called “spoofing,” where they will trick phone networks into displaying a name, number, and location different from their actual name, number, and location. They’re trying to trick you into believing you’re talking to the USPTO, so they can steal money or personal information from you. 

If you receive a call from someone you suspect is a scammer, do not give them any personal identifying or payment information. The USPTO will never ask for your personal or payment information over the phone.

If you suspect that you have received a spoofed call:

  • Contact the Trademark Assistance Center (TAC) to verify the call was from a USPTO employee and for assistance on what to do next.  
  • If you have the number that called you, please give it to the TAC representative who answers your call.   
  • Check the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR) system to see official communications we’ve sent you about your trademark submission. (You can view the documents we’ve sent by entering your application or registration number in TSDR and selecting the “Documents” tab).  

Learn more about what to do if you’ve been scammed and how you can protect yourself.

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

Stay current with the USPTO by subscribing to receive email updates. Visit our Subscription Center

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