Will Trademark Fees Be Lower in the Future?

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has published an invitation for comments regarding the possibility of lower trademark application fees. According to the notice published in the Federal Register, the lower fees would be only for applications filed electronically. The purpose of the lower fees is to incentivize applicants to use the electronic filing system (which reduces the USPTO's costs relative to paper applications).

USPTO Deputy Chief of Staff in Boise Next Week

I've blogged multiple times about the 2011 America Invents Act and how it will affect the U.S. patenting system. Now, those of us in or near Boise will be able to learn about the Act from someone inside the Patent Office. Azam Khan, Deputy Chief of Staff of the USPTO, will be speaking at an event (link) on Wednesday, June 20.

Increased USPTO Fees on the Horizon

Back in November, I posted about the new micro entity fees that will eventually be available to qualifying entities as part of the America Invents Act. In that post, I discussed how the micro entity fees will only go into effect after the USPTO has followed the fee-setting process. Here is a recap of the fee-setting process from that post:

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?

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.

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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