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.

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.

USPTO August 2011 Patent Examination Performance Overview


The USPTO has released its performance "Patent Dashboard" for the month of August, 2011. The dashboard is a webpage showing numerous metrics related to the PTO's patent application backlog, pendency rates, quality scores, and other data.

New and Old Section 103

35 U.S.C. § 103 deals with the non-obviousness requirement for patentability. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the current Section 103 of Title 35 with the new version from the America Invents Act:

New and Old Section 102

35 U.S.C. § 102 deals with the novelty requirement for patentability. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the current Section 102 of Title 35 with the new version from the America Invents Act:

Major Changes Coming to the U.S. Patent System

Last Friday, September 16, 2011, President Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (available here) into law. The America Invents Act makes significant changes to the U.S. patent system. Among other things, the America Invents Act:

  • changes the patent system from a first-to-invent to first-to-file regime
  • eliminates the year-long grace period following public disclosure

What do these changes mean for the typical patent applicant?

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