Reduced Patent Filing Fees for Micro Entities

One of the changes brought about by the America Invents Act is a new status of patent applicant called the "micro entity." The idea is similar to the current "small entity" status granted to certain applicants--but instead of reducing fees by 50% (as for small entity applicants), the Act reduces certain patent fees by 75% for those applicants that qualify. So, who can qualify as a micro entity, and when do the changes go into effect?

2011 Collegiate Inventors Competition Winners

The nonprofit organization Invent Now recently announced the winners of the annual Collegiate Inventors Competition (co-sponsored by the USPTO). The competition inlcuded categories for graduate students and undergraduate students.

USPTO Steve Jobs Exhibit

Steve Jobs Photo (Credit: Matt Yohe)Today is the opening of a new exhibit at the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum in Alexandria, Virginia titled The Patents and Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Art and Technology that Changed the World. According to the USPTO's press release, the exhibit will feature more than 300 patents granted to Jobs as well as many of Apple's trademarks.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Backlog Prediction Model

A couple of years ago, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released its Patent Pendency Model (PPM) Simulation Tool, a spreadsheet that outputs the predicted total number of unexamined patent applications in inventory at the end of each fiscal year and the predicted ratio of first actions compared to filings (a number which shows if/how much the patent application backlog has been reduced that year). I thought it would be interesting to compare the predictions to the USPTO's actual performance over fiscal year 2011.

National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum

As one who works with patents and trademarks on a daily basis, I enjoy learning about intellecual property that helped shape history. A current exhibit at the USPTO Museum called Exercising Ingenuity displays just that--"inventions, patents, and trademarks that have emerged from the fitness, nutrition, and exercise industries."

Small Business Innovation Research Pilot Program

The US Patent and Trademark Office recently announced a new pilot program it is sponsoring with the National Science Foundation. Through this pilot program, the USPTO provides educational services and its IP Awareness Assessment tool. The pilot program will "provide additional services" in the future.

Fourth Quarter FY 2011 Trademark Data

The USPTO's Trademark Dashboard for Quarter Four of the 2011 fiscal year (ending September 30, 2011) is up. Similar to the Patent Dashboard, the Trademark Dashboard displays the vital statistics of the trademark examination side of the USPTO, such as pendency, number of applications processed, and quality scores.

Inventors Symposium

The United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Smithsonian American Art Museum are co-sponsoring a symposium targeted at independent inventors and small business entrepreneurs next week on Thursday, October 27 and Friday, October 28. If you are the target audience and will be near Washington, D.C., you may be interested in attending.

Accelerated Examination for Green Technology Patents

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Green Technology Pilot Program allows patent applicants to petition for accelerated examination if their patent application deals with "environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy, or greenhouse gas emission reduction." The USPTO recently announced that under this pilot program, it has now allowed 500 patents.

Organizations for Inventors

The USPTO publishes a newsletter geared toward independent inventors called the Inventors Eye. The most recent edition includes a list of organizations for inventors by state. If you are interested in meeting inventors near you, check it out! You can also subscribe to the Inventors Eye by following the foregoing links.

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