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Archived updates for Wednesday, June 30, 2004

China Software Piracy Survey

According to a June 30, 2004 in the People's Daily, the Chinese government's "Development Environment Report on China's Software Industry," concludes that piracy is the third biggest factor hindering the development of Chinese software companies after a lack of capital and low technological and business management ability.

Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
 
Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
Fax:  (770) 951-0933
Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
E-Mail
BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
E-Mail: 
BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
E-Mail: 
BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
Profile:  
http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 
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ImageMagick Freeware - Converts, Edits, and Composes Images

"ImageMagick is a robust collection of tools and libraries to read, write, and manipulate an image in many image formats including popular formats like TIFF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, PhotoCD, and GIF. With ImageMagick you can create images dynamically, making it suitable for Web applications. You can also resize, rotate, sharpen, color reduce, or add special effects to an image or image sequence and save your completed work in the same or differing image format. ImageMagick is copyrighted by ImageMagick Studio LLC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making software imaging solutions freely available. . . . ImageMagick is available for free, may be used to support both open and proprietary applications, and may be redistributed without fee."
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EFF Identifies "Harmful" Patents

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Patent Busting Project, "The harm these patents cause the public is profound."

  • One-click online shopping (U.S. Patent No. 5,960,411.)

  • Online shopping carts (U.S. Patent No. 5,715,314.)

  • The hyperlink (U.S. Patent No. 4,873,662.)

  • Video streaming (U.S. Patent No. 5,132,992.)

  • Internationalizing domain names (U.S. Patent No. 6,182,148.)

  • Pop-up windows (U.S. Patent No. 6,389,458.)

  • Targeted banner ads (U.S. Patent No. 6,026,368.)

  • Paying with a credit card online (U.S. Patent No. 6,289,319.)

  • Framed browsing; (U.S. Patent Nos. 5,933,841 & 6,442,574.) and

  • Affiliate linking (U.S. Patent No. 6,029,141.)
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    USPTO: Processing Times for Public Records Services

    The Office of Public Records (OPR) processes and fills orders for both certified and uncertified copies of Patent and Trademark Office documents and records assignments and other documents related to title. This is an update of actual processing times during the month of May 2004:
     
        * * *
                                                                          Goal              Actual
    Uncertified Patent Related File Wrappers         25 days         47 days
    Certified Patent Related File Wrappers             25 days         29 days
     
    Uncertified Trademark Related File Wrappers   25 days          7 days
    Certified Trademark Related File Wrappers       25 days          9 days
     
       * * *
     
    ASSIGNMENT SERVICES                                                                      
    Submission Method            Goal            Actual 
    Internet (EFS or eTAS)       2 days        2 days
    Fax                                    5 days        5 days
    Paper                                30 days      201 days
    The Assignment Services Division is currently mailing recordation notices for paper documents received in the Office of Public Records on November 12, 2003.

    Assignment submissions may be made via the Internet at http://epas.uspto.gov for trademark assignments. Assignment submissions may also be faxed to the Assignment Services Division at (703) 306-5995. Customers are encouraged to place orders through the Internet by selecting the "Order Copies & Publications" option at http://ebiz1.uspto.gov/oems.25p. 

     
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    Is someone you know infringing U.S. Patent No. D440,263?


    Then tell them about "Intellectual Property Updates," the free news service with daily e-mail feeds.

    I/P Updates! News and information for the sophisticated intellectual property practitionerTM

    Courtesy of William F. Heinze
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948 (USA)
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    USPTO EBC: Notice on Acceptable Patent Filing Software

    Notice to Our Electronic Filing Customers:

    The USPTO is committed to developing and offering quality products to promote electronic filing of patent applications and related documents. Presently, the USPTO supports the acceptance of patent applications authored using PASAT, EFS-ABX (in Beta until August 2004) and from our Electronic Filing Partners (EFPs).

    It has come to our attention that USPTO customers have prepared and filed applications using other authoring software such as PCT-EASY, PatXML, and PCT-SAFE. Submissions prepared using software designed for other intellectual property offices, such as those products, run the risk of incorrect validation, parsing and/or rendering of the XML information at the USPTO. Additionally, EBC Customer Service Representatives provide electronic filing assistance only with EFS PASAT and EFS-ABX.

    Electronic filing of patent applications at the USPTO is conditioned on adherance to the promulgated instructions for EFS see Electronic Filing System Available to Public, 1240 Off Gaz Pat Off 45 Nov 14, 2000. Application and other submissions prepared using other software could lead to delays or increases in the cost of prosecution before the USPTO. Further, filings prepared with other software, as stated above, may prove unreadable, resulting in a loss of filing date or other legal rights.

    If you have any questions regarding USPTO's Electronic Filing offerings, please contact the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) at http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/ or (866)217-9197.

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    OECD: Compendium of Patent Statistics

    The Compendium of Patent Statistics mainly draws from the work conducted within the framework of the OECD patent statistics project. It presents various patent based indicators to reflect the recent trends in innovative activity across a wide range of OECD member and non-member countries. The data for the latest years are estimates (result of nowcasting exercise).
     
    Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
     
    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 

    *Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Not admitted in Georgia.
     
     
     
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    AP: States Target 'Geoffrey' Trademark Royalty Deduction

    According to a June 4, 2004 article from the Associated Press,

    "The 'Geoffrey Loophole,' named after the familiar giraffe mascot of Toys "R" Us, is no fun for state taxing authorities.

    Under the loophole, local outlets of large national chain stores pay royalties to sister companies in other states, claiming the payments as business expenses that are deducted from state income taxes. . . ."

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    OECD: Patents and Innovation -- Trends and Policy Changes

    From the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's "Patents and Innovation: Trends and Policy Changes" --

    Economic evaluation suggests that there are further possible directions of change for patent regimes that are worth exploring. Possible avenues for economic-based reforms of patent regimes include introducing a more differentiated approach to patent protection that depends on specific characteristics of the inventions, such as their life cycle or their value (as opposed to the current uniform system); making patent fees commensurate to the degree of protection provided; and developing alternatives to patenting, such as the public domain. In the near future, the patent system will be facing even greater challenges than those it has confronted in the past two decades, including increased globalisation, the overwhelming use of Internet as a vehicle of diffusion, and expanded innovation in services. Well-informed and more global policies will be needed to prepare the patent system to meet these new challenges, so that it can continue to fulfil its role of encouraging innovation and technology diffusion.

    Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
     
    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 

    *Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Not admitted in Georgia.
     
     
     
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    EPO: Record number of granted European patents for 2003

     
    Last year, the EPO granted nearly 60 000 European patents, 27% more than in 2002. Incoming filings totaled 162 200, slightly up (1.1%) on the figure for 2002 (160 430).   About 50% of applications came from member states of the European Patent Organisation, 27% from the USA (2002: 28%) and 16% from Japan (2002: 15%). The main technical fields involved were medical technology, electronic communications and data processing. The EPO is also reporting progress in its efforts to reduce European patent grant times, from just under four and a half years at present to the three-year target set by its member states. In the first quarter of this year, over 22% of applications were processed within that period.
    "Over the last eight years, the European Patent Office has continued to improve its efficiency and effectiveness", said the outgoing EPO President, Dr h.c. Ingo Kober, reviewing the key aspects of his presidency at the 2004 annual press conference. For example, patent filings have risen by 110% since 1995 (79 200), and the number of patents granted by 46% over the same period. "Since 1997, we have increased our productivity across the board by 17%, and cut unit costs by 8%," he is quoted as saying in a press release for the European Patent Office's annual news conference.  According to the EPO, the cornerstones of this improved performance include "a process of far-reaching reform to internal structures - such as bringing patent searching and substantive examination together - expansion of electronic dossier management and documentation systems, and a rigorous recruitment policy."
     
    Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
     
    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  
    http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 

    *Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Not admitted in Georgia.
     
     
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    Archived updates for Tuesday, June 29, 2004

    Washington Mutual's Bank Configuration Patent No. US6681985

    We claim:

    1. A financial transactions processing system to process financial transactions for a customer in a branch bank, the system comprising:

    an entrance to the branch bank;

    a concierge desk located near the entrance and within the branch bank to permit a live concierge to greet incoming branch bank customers;

    three or more freestanding and spaced-apart teller podiums positioned at an approximate middle of a customer-accessible space within the branch bank, and spaced from the entrance to the branch bank, wherein the three or more teller Podiums are arranged in an approximately circular, semi-circular or oval arrangement,

    wherein each of the teller podiums is configured for live, personal interaction between the customer and a physically present bank teller, and includes a top surface, a customer interaction area, a teller computer operably connected with a bank server computer, one or more cash slots located in the top surface, and a cash box, wherein the customer interaction area faces outward from the circular, semi-circular or oval arrangement, and wherein the teller podium lacks a vertical window, wall or screen vertically and substantially separating the bank teller from the customer,

    wherein the cash box is adapted to securely hold cash that is deposited within it by the bank teller, and wherein further the cash slots are adapted to receive cash and direct the cash to the cash box,

    wherein the bank teller computer is configured for use by the bank teller and wherein at least a portion of the teller computer is positioned within, or received by, the teller podium to face the bank teller when the bank teller is interacting with the customer;

    one or more product focals positioned along at least one wall and near to the teller podiums, wherein at least one product focal substantially fills a portion of the at least one wall and includes display information about a particular type of product offered by the branch bank and includes a fixture to provide brochures to customers regarding the product;

    an automated teller cash dispenser positioned within the customer-accessible space within the branch bank and operably connected with the bank server computer, wherein the teller cash dispenser is adapted to receive information regarding a withdrawal transaction from the bank teller via the teller computer and to dispense cash to the customer; and

    one or more check writing ledges positioned near to the teller podiums in the customer-accessible space within the branch bank, or;

    one or more teller back counters, the teller back counters being located near the teller podiums and within the branch bank.

    citing U.S. Patent Nos. 5600114 and 5434394 as prior art.
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    TRADMARK LICENSING: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY

    A slide presentation from PLI’s Course Handbook on "Handling Intellectual Property Issues in Business Transactions 2004"
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    APLF: USPTO Launches Electronic Patent Assignment System ("EPAS")

    On May 10, 2004, the Office of Public Records at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office launched its new Electronic Patent Assignment System (or "EPAS") at http://epas.uspto.gov/. Similar to the Electronic Trademark Assignment System ("ETAS") at http://etas.uspto.gov/, EPAS allows users to create and submit a Patent Assignment Recordation Coversheet with supporting legal documentation uploaded in Tagged Image File Format ("TIFF").

    Properties may be identified by U.S. Patent Application Serial Number, US Patent Number, or US PCT number. However, only one such number should be entered for each property because, although the system will prevent duplicate entries of the same number, it does not have the ability to determine the relationship between numbers assigned to the same patent property. Data from a submission can also be downloaded as a template to re-use in future submissions.

    Applicants may use preformatted designations for the nature of the conveyance -- "Assignment," "Merger," "Change of Name," "Nunc Pro Tunc" -- or select "Other" and enter up to 120 characters that describes the transaction to be recorded. However, the USPTO does not examine the substance of documents submitted for recording. In fact, according the the on-line help file, "The act of recording a document is a ministerial act, and not a determination of the document's validity or of its effect on title to an application or registration. The Office will determine the effect of a document only when an assignee attempts to take an action in connection with an application or registration (e.g., when an assignee files a statement of use or an affidavit or declaration of use under 15 U.S.C. §1058). 37 C.F.R. §3.54."

    The TIFF files containing the conveyance must be letter size (8.5"x11"), 300 dpi, single-page, black and white images with portrait orientation. The size of an image file must be 2550 by 3300 pixels, within a 5% deviation. Most TIFF format encodings, such as Uncompressed, RLE, Packbits, Deflate, CCITT Group3 and Group4, are recognized by the system and transformed to CCITT Group 4 TIFF files.

    During the submission process, when the system successfully recognizes an uploaded TIFF file, a thumbnail image will be displayed at the bottom of the attachments web page indicating successful attachment/upload of the file. If the server does not recognize the tiff image an error message will be displayed on the web page, indicating the file has not be uploaded as an attachment to the assignment.

    Fees may be paid using a credit cards, electronic fund transfer, or through an existing USPTO deposit account. All forms will be marked with a U.S. Eastern Time timestamp when received on the USPTO server. Upon completion of the fee payment process, a Confirmation of Receipt will be displayed and the time stamp will be applied to the submission. Once submitted, a filing can not be cancelled unless the request fails to satisfy the minimum filing requirements.

    For more on the latest USPTO procedures contact Bill Heinze (bill.heinze@tkhr.com), at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley LLP in Atlanta, Georgia USA and via the new "I/P Updatesnews service at http://billheinze.blogspot.com (RSS/Atom feeds).

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    OECD Recommendations for Patenting and Licensing at Public Research Organizations

     
    I. Make national IP policies more coherent
    • Policies for IP ownership should be coherent across universities, other PROs and funding agencies
    II. Encourage the development and implementation of IP policies at the institution level
    • Design and disseminate conflict of interest rules
    • Permit exclusive licensing while protecting public research interests
    III. Enhance IP management capacity at PROs
    • IP management must become an integral part of research management
    • PROs should have greater freedom and resources for hiring and training technology transfer managers
    • Government support to TTOs should be limited
    • National patent offices should be mobilised to diffuse information on IP management to universities
    IV. Improve data collection and share good practices
    • Governments and PROs should promote better monitoring of IP activity
    Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
     
    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  
    http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 

    *Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Not admitted in Georgia.
     
     
     
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    Another Source for Free Patent Copies . . .

    . . . is available at http://www.pat2pdf.com/along with a "Quick Patent" feature that allows you to convert Patents to PDF files while browsing the USPTO website at http://www.pat2pdf.com/more.html.  For more patent download tools, check out  http://www.kinsellalaw.com/ip/index.php#pat-downloads.
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    Archived updates for Monday, June 28, 2004

    CAFC: Relative Dimensions Not Explicitly to Scale in Prior Art

    from Nystrom v. Trex Co., slip op. 03-1092 (Fed. Cir. June 28, 2004):

    "The district court’s acceptance of TREX’s invalidity arguments based on models made from drawings contained in the Zagelmeyer patent was incorrect. The basis of the district court’s summary judgment of invalidity was a model that TREX developed based on that reference, and not on drawing dimensions or a written disclosure of dimensions contained directly in the patent itself. Under the principles set forth in our prior cases [below], the speculative modeling premised on unstated assumptions in prior art patent drawings cannot be the basis for challenging the validity of claims reciting specific dimensions not disclosed directly in such prior art. Thus, we conclude that the district court erred in granting summary judgment of invalidity based on TREX’s models.

    Hockerson-Halberstadt indicated our disfavor in reading precise proportions into patent drawings which do not expressly provide such proportions:
    The ’792 patent is devoid of any indication that the proportions of the groove and fins are drawn to scale. [The patent owner’s] argument thus hinges on an inference drawn from certain figures about the quantitative relationship between the respective widths of the groove and fins. Under our precedent, however, it is well established that patent drawings do not define the precise proportions of the elements and may not be relied on to show particular sizes if the specification is completely silent on the issue.
    Hockerson-Halberstadt, 222 F.3d at 956 (citing In re Wright, 569 F.2d at 1127). In re Wright similarly noted:
    We disagree with the [PTO]’s conclusion, reached by a comparison of the relative dimensions of appellant’s and [the] Bauer [references]’s drawing figures, that Bauer “clearly points to the use of a chime length of roughly 1/2 to 1 inch for a whiskey barrel.� This ignores the fact that Bauer does not disclose that his drawings are to scale. Absent any written description in the specification of quantitative values, arguments based on measurement of a drawing are of little value.
    569 F.2d at 1127.
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    Senate Passes CREATE Act

    On June 25, 2004, the U.S. Senate passed the Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) Act of 2004. The law would allow patenting of obvious variations of inventions made under joint research agreements, if
    (1) the claimed invention was made by or on behalf of parties to a joint research agreement (agreement) that was in effect on or before the date the claimed invention was made;
    (2) the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the agreement; and
    (3) the application for patent for the claimed invention discloses, or is amended to disclose, the names of the parties to the agreement.
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    INTA: E-Learning Trademark Basics 2004, $450.00 for Members

    The International Trademark Association (INTA) is offering a new e-learning program that enables you to experience education from the comfort of your own home or office, at your own pace and at minimal expense. INTA's first e-learning course, "Trademark Basics," is available from September 13 - October 20, covering an introduction to trademarks; searching, clearing and registering trademarks; policing and enforcing trademarks; and counseling and transactional issues. Although you can take this course at your own pace, each session will require taking two to three hours to complete.
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    PIRATE and ART Acts Pass Senate

    The Protecting Intellectual Rights Against Theft and Expropriation Act of 2004 (S. 2237) was passed by the Senate on June 25.  The somewhat controversial bill would let federal prosecutors file civil lawsuits against suspected copyright infringers. According to the Washington Post on June 25, a similar bill was approved the House in March. "'Differences between the two bills were minimal and could be easily resolved,' said Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, a sponsor of the bill."
     
    Also on June 25, the full Senate passed the Artists’ Rights and Theft Prevention Act (S. 1932) which increases penalties for distribution of pre-release copyrighted works, provides a means for copyright owners to be compensated for economic harm caused by the theft and release of their work, and criminalizes the use of camcorders in theaters.
     
    Click here for a report from Reuters on both bills. 
     
    Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
     
    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 

    *Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Not admitted in Georgia.
     
     
     
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    APLF: Certain US Patent Petitions Need Status Checks

    On April 28, 2004, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced at that there are a number of submissions for which the Image File Wrapper system has not sent a processing message to the Office of Petitions. Therefore, for certain types of petitions filed after June 30, 2003, the Office is requesting that applicants check the status and send an e-mail alert to the Office.

    Petitions Types Affected

    Petitions that are decided by the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, including the Office of Patent Legal Administration and the Office of Petitions. Examples of the most common petitions of these types are petitions to revive applications that are abandoned due to failure to respond to an Office Action, petitions to withdraw an application from issue, and petitions for patent term adjustments. Consult MPEP § 1002.02(b) for the full list of affected petitions.

    Petitions Types Not Affected

    Petitions for other offices within the USPTO, such as those decided by the Technology Centers (listed in MPEP § 1002.02(c)) or the Office of Publications (listed in MPEP § 1002.02(r)), are not part of this program and applicants should not send an e-mail alert to the Office pursuant to this notice.

    Temporary Procedures for Alerts

    1. Confirm that a petition filed after June 30, 2003, of the types listed in MPEP § 1002.02(b), has not been answered, either by checking your records or checking the postings on the Office's Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system.

    2. If the applicant has not received a response to the petition, or seen a response posted on the PAIR system, send an e-mail alert to petitions@uspto.gov with the following information:

    • Serial number of the application in which the petition was filed
    • Filing date of the petition
    • Regulation under which the petition was filed, if known (e.g. 37 CFR 1.137(b), 37 CFR 1.183, etc.)

    3. Only the information described in paragraph 2 should be provided in the e-mail. No attachments may be added to the e-mail and other information will not be considered. The email will not be acknowledged or answered.

    4. This e-mail alert will NOT be considered a communication in the file under 37 CFR 1.4(a)(2) and will not be entered into the file contents. The alert is NOT considered a status inquiry.

    5. A single e-mail alert may include information on more than one unanswered petition. However, do not send in more than one alert per unanswered petition.

    Example [e-mail addressed to petitions@uspto.gov]:

    The following petitions have not been answered to date:

    Application No. Petition Filed: Reg:
    10/111111 October 3, 2003 37 CFR 1.137(b)
    10/222222 December 5, 2003 37 CFR 1.183

    For more on the latest USPTO procedures contact the author of this "APLF Update," Bill Heinze (bill.heinze@tkhr.com), at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley LLP in Atlanta, Georgia USA and via the new "I/P Updatesnews service at http://billheinze.blogspot.com (RSS/Atom feeds).

     
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    CNET News.com: Interview with Rep. Rick Boucher

    On June 24, 2004, CNET News.com spoke with U.S. House of Representative member Rick Boucher, D-Va., sponsor of the Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act (HR 107)about the prospects for his legislation, the counterattack by big-media lobbyists, VoIP regulation, and spam.
     
    Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
     
    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 

    *Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Not admitted in Georgia.
     
     
     
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    Korea Times: Police Arrest 11,173 Infringers

    According to a June 28, 2004 article in the Korea Times, the Korean "police said on Monday they have recently rounded up 11,173 people for violating intellectual property rights."
     
    Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
     
    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 

    *Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Not admitted in Georgia.
     
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    CTMO: 26 Well-Known Foreign Trademarks

    The Chinese Trademark Office under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce released the list of 26 newly recognized well-known trademarks. Click here for "Provisions on the Determination And Protection of Well-know Marks" in China and other rules and regulations

    Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
     
    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  
    http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 
     
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    Conference Report: "TRIPS - Ten Years Later"

    From the opening address by EU Commissioner Pascal Lamy at the International Conference on the 10th Anniversary of the WTO TRIPs Agreement in Brussels, 23 June 2004:

    . . . In my view, the TRIPs agreement, like any other piece of law, is not set in stone. International law must adapt to international evolutions. Do we go as far as contemplating adaptation to TRIPs? The answer is clearly yes, and this is what we are currently promoting for a number of issues in order to take account of new developments. The first is to ensure a positive interface between TRIPs and the Convention on Biodiversity. The second relates to geographical indications, and our wish to extend protection to agri-food products not just wines and spirits. . . .

    Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)

    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  
    http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 
     
     
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    IPR HelpDesk: "Software Copyright and Employees Creations in UK and US Law"

    This guide from the IPR HelpDesk examines copyright ownership issues related to software development, specifically discussing copyright law in the United Kingdom and the United States. The laws of the European Community and the United States grant copyright in software created by an employee to the employer, and this paper begins with an overview of the applicable law of copyright and works made for hire, including
    Courtesy of William F. Heinze
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
     
    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  
    http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 
     
     
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    An Empirical Look at Software Patents (as a Substitute for R&D at the Firm Level)

    According to a March 2004 Working Paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, by James Bessen, Visiting Researcher at Boston University School of Law and Robert M. Hunt, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia:

     "U.S. legal changes have made it easier to obtain patents on inventions that use software.  Software patents have grown rapidly and now comprise 15 percent of all patents. They are acquired primarily by large manufacturing firms in industries known for strategic patenting; only 5 percent belong to software publishers. The very large increase in software patent propensity over time is not adequately explained by changes in R&D investments, employment of computer programmers, or productivity growth. The residual increase in patent propensity is consistent with a sizeable rise in the cost effectiveness of software patents during the 1990s. We find evidence that software patents substitute for R&D at the firm level; they are associated with lower R&D intensity. This result occurs primarily in industries known for strategic patenting and is difficult to reconcile with the traditional incentive theory of patents."

    Click here for a summary by Robert M. Hunt.

    Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
     
    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 

    *Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Not admitted in Georgia.
     
    This message may contain confidential information that is covered by the attorney-client privilege and/or work-product doctrine. 
     
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    Archived updates for Sunday, June 27, 2004

    How to Say What Stuff Looks Like

    "One of my all-time favorite reference books is Thomas Rieder's "How to Say What Stuff Looks Like," says Patent Attorney J. Matthew Buchanan.

    "This book of his is a dream come true for mechanical engineers, patent attorneys, industrial designers, architects, etc," says Patent Attorney Michael Hayns.

    "Surprisingly clear and succinct. And throughout Rieder provides touches of wit in both the definitions and the drawings," says reviewer T.S. Causabon.

    Click here to buy from Amazon.
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    Archived updates for Saturday, June 26, 2004

    New Rules for Registration of U.S. Patent Practitioners

    On June 24, 2004, the USPTO published "Changes to Representation of Others Before the United States Patent and Trademark Office" to provide for e-mail of official communications with registered practitioners, and to improve the Offices processes for handling applications for registration of patent agents and attorneys, associated petitions and moral character investigations, and computerized delivery of patent practitioner registration examinations.  The new rules become effective July 26, 2004 and apply prospectively. 
     
    E-Mail Communication with Registered Practitioners
     
    The Office of Enrollment and Discipline will maintain a list of up to three e-mail addresses for a registered practitioner and Practitioners will be responsible for updating OED with each and every change of e-mail address. OED plans to use all the addresses furnished by a practitioner to communicate with him or her.  However, it appears that the e-mail addresses will not be available on the published list of registered practitioners.  
     
    Computerized Examination of New Patent Agents and Attorneys
     
    Under the new computerized examination procedure, there are no fixed application deadlines. Applications may be submitted throughout the year. The applications will be reviewed, and persons admitted to the examination will schedule the examination at their convenience with a commercial entity engaged to deliver the examination. The commercial entity is equipped to provide the exam at over 400 locations around the United States.   An individual failing the examination must wait thirty days after the date the individual last took the examination before retaking the examination. 
     
    The total fees for the computerized examination are $350 (the sum of $200 examination development fee charged by the Office, and the $150 fee charged by the commercial entity administering the examination).  The Office will also offer applicants the option of taking a paper examination administered by the Office once a year. The fee for the Office-administered paper examination will be $450. 
     
    An examination will include 100 questions.  All the questions are multiple choice, and each addresses the patent laws, rules and procedures as related in the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure. The data bank of questions and answers will not be published or otherwise made available to the public. The examination will no longer be ‘‘open book’’ in the sense that the MPEP will only be accessible on-line during the computerized examination. However, prior to taking an examination, a tutorial will be provided by the commercial entity to all individuals to show them how to operate the computer, download and search the MPEP, and navigate among the questions. Further, the USPTO is in the process of developing a tutorial that will be available either on or through a link from the Office Web site to show how the MPEP will be accessed and navigated during the examination.
     
    The Good Old Days . . .
     
    Between 1922 and 1934, registration applicants demonstrated their qualifications by submitting evidence of experience in patent work, such as patent prosecution. Nonattorneys were required to show three years of experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications under the guidance of a registered patent attorney. Attorneys were required to show actual work experience in patent prosecution, but the experience was not required to extend over any particular period.
     
    The showing of experience was ordinarily made by affidavit of the registered practitioner under whom the applicant had worked.  However, the procedure was administratively difficult due, in part, to the lack of any objective standards and congressional correspondence on behalf of individual applicants was "voluminous." Commissioner Robertson, in a 1933 report termed the registration system based upon submission of affidavits as neither reliable nor satisfactory. Commissioner Robertson regarded the applicant’s showing of ‘‘several examples of his ability to prosecute a patent application’’ as ‘‘perfunctory’’ and ‘‘certainly not sufficient.’’ Additionally, the Commissioner cited the required affidavit as being ‘‘subject to the great weakness of friendship between attorneys and the applicant,’’ and that an ‘‘established attorney hesitates to refuse to make an affidavit as to competency of one of his employees who is ambitious and is striving to climb the ladder of success.’’ The practice was ended in 1934 with the introduction of the registration examination.

    The existing examination rules, adopted in 1985, largely continued those practices and procedures.  However, the number of persons seeking registration has grown from a few hundred to several thousand annually.  More than 6,000 persons filed applications seeking registration in 2003. Today, nearly 29,000
    individuals are registered as patent attorneys and agents, of whom about 80% have indicated that they are attorneys.

    Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
     
    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  
    http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 

    *Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Not admitted in Georgia.
     
     
     
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    Archived updates for Friday, June 25, 2004

    CAFC: In Re Oppedahl & Larson LLP ("Patents.com" not registrable)

    "Appellant asserts that domain names are inherently distinctive because they can only be associated with one entity or source at a time. The simple fact that domain names can only be owned by one entity does not of itself make them distinctive or source identifying. Telephone numbers and street addresses are also unique, but they do not by themselves convey to the public the source of specific goods or services. Thus, this court declines to adopt a per se rule that would extend trademark protection to all Internet domain names regardless of their use. Trademark law requires evaluation of a proposed mark to ascertain the commercial impression conveyed in light of the goods or services associated with the mark, not a simple check for ownership of an Internet address.

    "Appellant's goods include patent tracking software by means of the Internet. The term patents.com merely describes patent-related goods in connection with the Internet. The two terms combined do not create a different impression. Rather, the addition of ".com" to the term "patents" only strengthens the descriptiveness of the mark in light of the designation of goods in the application. "Patents" alone describes one feature of the goods-that of tracking patent applications and issued patents. Adding ".com" to the mark adds a further description of the Internet feature of the identified goods. Thus, appellant's argument to consider the mark as a whole only strengthens the descriptiveness finding."
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    Invention Promotion Fraud Information

     
    Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
     
    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 

    *Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Not admitted in Georgia.
     
     
     
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    AIPLA to Congress: All Agree It's Time for a Post-Grant Opposition System

    "In view of the absence of an effective and inexpensive means to challenge patents, AIPLA, the PTO, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the NAS, and, just last week, the Intellectual Property Law Section of the ABA have all put forth suggestions for post-grant opposition proceedings as a means of permitting a more meaningful, timely and cost-effective opportunity for the public to challenge patents that may be of questionable validity."

    The witness list, their statements, and a recorded webcast of the June 24, 2004 House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on “Patent Quality Improvement: Post-Grant Opposition� are available by clicking on the title.
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    IP Intellifile Beta-Tester Report from the EFS Discussion Group

    The EFS users discussion group is an email list server. You can post to the list and your email message will reach everyone on the list. The idea here is that people who are trying to get the EFS system to work properly can share experiences and ideas with each other, and hopefully we can all eventually get the system to work.

    To join, send email to imailsrv@patents.com and in the body of the message, say subscribe EFS Homer Simpson except that you should use your own name instead of "Homer Simpson." You will receive a welcome message. To post to the discussion group, send email to efs@patents.com. Your email will reach all members of the group, just like this one --
    "In this category falls my story of using Intellifile for a new Utility filing last week. . . .

    . . . Ran the XML conversion and after 2 tries everything seemed great and the XML application looked fine. Again, no problem.

    Hit submit - everything looked great & then got a message the Transmission was unsuccessful and not submitted. Back to the drawing board - called Intellifile - played with some options - tried several more times.

    Lo & Behold - every attempt was sent to the PTO - serial #'s assigned - and deposit account charged. DOH! For some unknown reason, the PTO acknowledgement was not getting back to our system even though EBC could show it was dispatched. After many emails and phone calls - Intellifile has changed the error message to say 'Call EBC'; had to express abandon several duplicate applications; and had to request refunds.

    Learned a lot about how the system works and am much wiser for the pain. Intellifile is definately beta - but they are supposedly working on diagnostic software that will run on your computer and make sure you have all the right stuff - that in combination with automatically converting any drawing type to TIFF will be advantageous.

    Still a little too tender to try again right now, but looking forward to smoother sailing.

    BTW - Latrice Sims from PTO Finance dept has been great; Mike Simpson from Intellifile was very helpful as was Terri Raines from EBC. "

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    APLF: "The Patent Lawyer" Now Available On-Line

    "Narrowly focused on patent law, The Patent Lawyer(tm) will be an authoritative resource for in-house counsel charged with managing corporate patent portfolios, as well as IP specialists and general counsel. Regular content will include coverage of noteworthy legal developments, relevant court decisions, and legislative/policy changes."

    Check out Volume 1, Issue 1, Spring 2004 and click here to get your free subscription.
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    British Library Opens New Intellectual Property Center in London

    According to an article in the June 25, 2004 issue of Managing Information, "The British Library holds the UK's patent archive containing over 50 million patents collected since 1855. The collection covers patents from across the world including China, Japan, India, Russia and Brazil, starting at Patent No. 1 for numerous countries. Many of the patents from these emerging economies are not available online, and the British Library is one of the few places in the world where you can see all of them. A range of other resources are also available including free access to the Derwent Innovations Index of patent data, electronic databases and supporting literature.

    Among the business material on offer is one of the world's largest collections of market research reports, high value online business databases and a team of information experts to guide users to the information they need."

    Courtesy of William F. Heinze
    Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
    100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
    Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)

    Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
    Fax:  (770) 951-0933
    Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
    E-Mail
    BillHeinze@tkhr.com (business)
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@yahoo.com (personal) 
    E-Mail: 
    BillHeinze@tmo.blackberry.net (mobile)
    Profile:  
    http://www.tkhr.com/Bill.Heinze 
     
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