Advising the USPTO

Both the patent and the trademark sides of the USPTO have committees that advise the Director.  The PPAC reviews patent operations, and the TPAC reviews trademark operations.  They represent the interests of small entities and individual inventors, and the meetings are open to the public except when addressing confidential information (such as personnel matters).  Each…
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Making mistakes

Mistakes: we all make them.  When it's in the context of filing forms with the US Patent & Trademark Office, those mistakes may result in additional fees.  They can also put intellectual property rights in jeopardy.   To help inventors avoid mistakes, the USPTO offers several places to go for help.  Two, which are accessible at any…
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MyUSPTO

This new interface is a simple, consolidated place for all your interactions with the USPTO. It is a "personalized homepage and gateway to USPTO business." It can do almost everything! It provides shortcuts to USPTO applications and other sites, you can link payment methods for one-stop shopping, and the widgets are customizable to meet your…
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Pi Day

Whether you celebrate with pizza or with pie or with something else round, Happy Pi Day! (March 14 = 3.14, π = 3.1415926...., so Pi Day is most appropriately celebrated at 1:59) In honor of this nerdy holiday, here's some pi-related patents Pi coupling agents for dispersion of graphene nanoplatelets in polymers Pie chart based information…
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Patent claims

The USPTO Inventor Info Chat on Claim Drafting, presented on February 15, describes an important part of the patent application process. Because the claims define the boundaries of the intellectual property and thus determine the protections afforded, it is vital to understand how to draft them.  The order in which words are arranged can have specific legal meanings…
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Business development assistance

Most inventors and entrepreneurs want to profit from their ideas.  That's the point of protecting them with patents and trademarks.  But how do you go from ideas to cold, hard cash? One source of information is the Goldsmith Technology Commercialization Model, from the College of Business Administration's Nebraska Business Development Center at the University of Nebraska…
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Data: open, big, public

The USPTO's Patent Quality Chat series is a series of monthly webinars on patent quality topics, with a short presentation given by an expert and plenty of time for questions.  The most recent one, on January 9, 2018, titled Unlocking Open Data for our Patent Customers, described the USPTO's latest increase in transparency with the offering of a…
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Trade secrets

As is clear from the name, a Patent & Trademark Resource Center offers help with patents and trademarks. The two other forms of intellectual property -- copyrights and trade secrets -- are not part of the mandate.   Most librarians can point you to the Copyright Office website, which contains all you need to know. Trade…
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