Provisional or not?

Wondering whether a provisional application is right for you?  The USPTO might have the answer in this post. A provisional application provides the benefit of an earlier filing date.  So protection, once a patent is granted, would extend back to the filing date of the provisional application.  It also allows the filer to use the…
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Why and how to trademark

It takes time and money to get your name out there and establish a brand, so it makes sense to protect it. Registration shows proof of ownership, so others considering their own mark can avoid yours. Not only that, but a trademark is intellectual property which, while intangible, has value in a business plan, and…
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New look for uspto.gov

Breaking News! On Thursday, October 25, the USPTO homepage underwent a facelift. Information is consolidated, and it is an overall cleaner look for the site.  One notable change is the disappearance of the green Quick Links dropdown menu, which has been replaced with the two dropdown menus shown at the left.  The same links to…
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Trademark filing changes

The USPTO has encouraged electronic transactions for some time with higher fees for paper filing, but soon, electronic applications for trademark registration may become mandatory.  In May, the USPTO proposed changes to the trademark application process.  From the announcement: The proposed changes would generally require trademark applicants and registrants to: 1. File trademark applications and…
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Patent Olympiad

Next month, in Milan, is an international Patent Olympiad (the first event!).  If you enjoy searching for patents, it is an opportunity to show your research skills and bond with fellow patent searchers. The competition will have three parts: finding prior art, crafting a search strategy, and multiple-choice patent questions. Afterwards, competitors can attend the 10th Year Anniversary Conference of…
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Ten millionth patent issued

On Tuesday, June 19, patent number 10,000,000 was issued, for “Coherent LADAR Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection,” which improves laser detection and ranging (LADAR). The inventor is Joseph Marron and Raytheon Company is the assignee.  The application was filed on March 10, 2015, which gives an idea of the length of time it takes for a patent…
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National Trademark Expo

Are you visiting Washington, D.C. at the end of July? The USPTO's National Trademark Exposition will be at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History on July 27 & 28.  Exhibitors include NASA, Under Armour, Inc., the Idaho Potato Commission, and Velcro BVBA. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be kicking it off at the opening ceremony on Friday at…
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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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