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U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Self Description

July 2002: "The PTO promotes industrial and technological progress in the United States and strengthens the national economy by:

Administering the laws relating to patents and trademarks.

Advising the Secretary of Commerce, the President of the United States, and the administration on patent, trademark, and copyright protection.

Advising the Secretary of Commerce, the President of the United States, and the Administration on the trade-related aspects of intellectual property."

Third-Party Descriptions

February 2012: 'FIRST TO FILE One of the most debated changes was the move to first-to-file. Before America Invents, patents generally went to the person who invented first. Any one who challenged a patent had to do so by using “prior art” — typically public work like documents published before the patent claim was granted. Such a challenge could be countered with private evidence like dated sketches, notebooks and models. Starting next year, patents will be issued according to who files first, aligning the United States’ system with Europe’s.'

June 2009: "The court said it would consider a case involving a method for hedging risk in commodities trading. A claimed patent on this process, filed in 1997 by inventors Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw, was rejected by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on the basis that it simply involved a mental process and did not need any technology to implement. That rejection has been upheld though various appeals."

July 2005: "The staff of the United States Patent and Trademark Office has been deluged with paperwork from Microsoft of late. It was one year ago that the company's chairman, Bill Gates, announced plans to pick up the pace, raising its goal of patent applications submitted annually to 3,000 from 2,000. The company is right on target."

May 2008: "Since 2000, patent judges have been appointed by a government official without the constitutional power to do so....a 1999 law changed the way administrative patent judges are appointed, substituting the director of the Patent and Trademark Office for the secretary of commerce. Jennifer Rankin Byrne, a spokeswoman for the office, said 46 of the 74 judges on the patent court, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, were appointed under the new law."

January 2008: "It is easy to see the imperfections of the current law and its impact on consumer products. For example, although the Apple iPhone has many superior features, its e-mail function is in most cases clunky when compared with the earlier R.I.M. BlackBerry. Industry executives say that’s because Apple has been forced to tiptoe around the patents held by NTP. Although the patents have been largely invalidated by the United States Patent Office, there are still active lawsuits that NTP has brought."


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Owned by (partial or full, past or present) Commerce Department/Department of Commerce (DOC) Organization May 6, 2005
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) James E. Rogan Person May 12, 2010

Articles and Resources

25 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 5]

Date Resource Read it at:
Feb 08, 2012 Business Owners Adjusting to Overhaul of Patent System

QUOTE: The most sweeping patent system changes in more than 50 years became law in September with enactment of the America Invents Act, which the White House has said will help turn inventions into businesses faster. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners who rely on the patent system to protect their intellectual property are just starting to understand the changes, which phase in over an 18-month period that ends in March 2013.

New York Times
Nov 08, 2009 Supreme Court to decide: What kind of innovations get a patent?: The Supreme Court on Monday takes up this fundamental question in patent law. The answer holds billion-dollar implications for the US economy.

QUOTE: The US Supreme Court on Monday takes up the most fundamental question in patent law: Which innovations deserve the protection of a patent?

Christian Science Monitor
Aug 20, 2009 Microsoft tried to patent studying evolution

QUOTE: it was recently discovered that, two years ago, Microsoft filed a patent for clustering phylogenetics methods, which have existed for years, and are currently in use by just about anyone who does evolutionary biology.

Ars Technica
Jul 29, 2009 Podcasting patented! VoloMedia claims major tech patent

QUOTE: a company called VoloMedia was yesterday granted a patent on a "method for providing episodic media content." Or, as the company puts it in today's announcement, VoloMedia now owns the "US patent for podcasting."

Ars Technica
Jun 01, 2009 Supreme Court to Review 'Business Method' Patents

QUOTE: The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would take up a major issue in intellectual-property law: whether patents should be granted for what are known as business methods....the high court is venturing into controversial terrain. Critics say it was never the intent of the law to protect such things, which are often far closer to abstract concepts or mathematical algorithms rather than physical inventions.

May 06, 2008 In One Flaw, Questions on Validity of 46 Judges (Sidebar)

QUOTE: The problem Professor Duffy identified at least arguably invalidates every decision of the patent court decided by a three-judge panel that included at least one judge appointed after March 2000.

New York Times
Jan 13, 2008 Two Views of Innovation, Colliding in Washington

QUOTE: changing the nation’s patent laws, Congress runs the risk of throttling the little guy — the Stephen Wozniaks and the Steven Jobses — who strike out from their garages with novel ideas that change the world. On the other hand, consumers have clearly benefited from the ability of large technology companies like Intel and Microsoft to use their prodigious market power to drive down prices.

New York Times
Aug 20, 2007 A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free

QUOTE: The project is the latest effort of Carl Malamud, an activist who founded in March, with the broad intent of building “public works” accessible via the network, and with the specific plan to force the federal government to make information more publicly accessible.

New York Times
Jun 06, 2007 Who's Hyped Up?

QUOTE: [the FDA] did send a warning letter to [company co-founder James] Kirby on April 4, claiming that Cocaine was being sold as "an alternative to an illicit street drug"..."No one thinks this drink has cocaine in it," says Kirby, who doesn't concede his marketing has been over the top.

Nov 16, 2006 Inventor of a DNA Sequencing Technique Is Disputed

QUOTE: "A small biotechnology company has emerged to claim that it invented a seminal technique crucial to biotechnology research. And the government says it will consider, nearly a quarter-century after the invention was made, whether it awarded the patent to the wrong party."

New York Times
Sep 13, 2006 Patent Fight Bounces Bristol-Myers CEO: Peter Dolan's missteps in trying to secure an anticlotting drug's profitability led to his dismissal from the drugmaker's top post

QUOTE: Because the stakes are so high, brand-name companies are constantly pushing the envelope on schemes to effectively extend their patent protection, and thus keep cheaper generic drugs off the market. And just as surely, generic drugmakers seek ways to end the monopolies. Trying to referee the fight are the regulators, who have their own agenda. They want to help consumers by boosting competition.

Sep 08, 2006 No Happy Ending for Net Movie Renters

QUOTE: A legal clash between Blockbuster Inc. and Netflix Inc. has triggered a patent debate over who has the right to offer DVD-rental services over the Internet. The litigation presents a crucial question: Is the concept of renting movies over the Internet an original idea that deserves patent protection?
Nov 03, 2005 Weighing Webcasters' Rights to Content

QUOTE: If television broadcasters and webcasters have their way in international treaty talks, they would gain new, 50-year rights to virtually any video they beam out, even if no one owns the rights to the content.

Washington Post
Jul 31, 2005 Why Bill Gates Wants 3,000 New Patents

QUOTE: ...patent protection for software? No. Not for Microsoft, nor for anyone else... Mr. Ravicher, a patent lawyer himself, says he believes that the current system actually impedes the advance of software technology, at the same time that it works quite nicely to enrich patent holders.

New York Times
Mar 09, 2005 Amazon patent thinks pink

QUOTE: The patent concerns inferring information about gift recipients...."For example, if the purchased toy is a dress for a doll, it may be inferred that the recipient is a girl," the patent states.
Jul 16, 2004 Treasury Dept. Picks KPMG as Auditor: Firm's Tax Shelters Under Investigation

QUOTE: The Treasury Department has tapped KPMG LLP as the first private firm to audit the agency's consolidated financial statements, even as the Treasury and Justice departments probe the accounting giant's marketing of potentially abusive tax shelters.

Washington Post
Feb 06, 2003 Patent scare hits streaming industry

QUOTE: Bold patent claims on seemingly generic software ideas or business practices are an increasingly common part of the technology landscape. But there is reason to take Acacia seriously.

Nov 16, 2002 Visa Suit: Dictionary Discredited

QUOTE: Domain disputes are a dime a dozen, but legal experts say Visa's recent win over a one-man website is the first time a corporate trademark has prevailed over a word in the dictionary.

Oct 21, 2002 Patent Troubles Pending

QUOTE: ...fight the PanIP litigation, possibly even challenging the validity of the patents in court....pointing out that many small companies doing business on the Web are potential targets.

Oct 15, 2002 Are patent methods patently absurd?

QUOTE: The head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office acknowledged on Tuesday that many business method patents had been wrongfully awarded in the past, but predicted a more careful approach in the future.


25 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 5]