STOPfakes News

USPTO Creates New Office of International Patent Cooperation

April 4, 2014

Full press release.

USPTO Creates New Office of International Patent Cooperation

Office to be run by new Deputy Commissioner for International Patent Cooperation

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the creation of a new Office of International Patent Cooperation (OIPC).  The OIPC will be led by Mark Powell who will serve as USPTO’s first Deputy Commissioner for International Patent Cooperation and report directly to the Commissioner for Patents Margaret (Peggy) Focarino.  The establishment of the OIPC reflects USPTO’s strong commitment to work with global stakeholders and intellectual property (IP) offices to develop means to increase quality and create new efficiencies within the complex processes of international patent rights acquisition, and its commitment toward global patent harmonization, which both protects America’s ideas and makes it easier to do business abroad.

“The establishment of the Office of International Patent Cooperation reflects the USPTO’s strong commitment to the IP community in improving the international patent system,” said Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Michelle Lee. “It will allow us to increase certainty of IP rights while reducing costs for our stakeholders and moving towards a harmonized patent system.”

While the USPTO has been effective in carrying out its international mission through such programs as the Patent Prosecution Highway, the Global Patent Search Network, the Cooperative Patent Classification system, and the new Global Dossier Initiative, creation of the new office will enable USPTO to focus dedicated resources to better implement its international patent cooperation efforts. The main focus of the office, working in concert with the Office of Policy and International Affairs and the Office of the Chief Information Officer, is to provide optimized business process solutions to the international patent examination system for examiners and external stakeholders.

Deputy Commissioner Powell began his career at the USPTO as a patent examiner in 1986, later becoming a patent supervisor and then a director of the telecommunications examination operation from 2003 to 2011. During his service as a Technology Center Director, he led many international initiatives for the Patents Business Unit. For the past three years, he worked full-time through a series of detail assignments to the Office of Policy and International Affairs where he focused exclusively on international cooperative activities.
 

USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board to Visit a City Near You for AIA Trial Roundtables in 2014

March 26, 2014

USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board to Visit a City Near You for AIA Trial Roundtables in 2014

The USPTO is pleased to announce upcoming roundtables with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board focused on the AIA trial proceedings (e.g., inter partes review and covered business method review). The roundtables will be held in 8 cities from mid-April to mid-May 2014. The goal of the roundtables is to share information about the trials and collect public input and suggestions. More details about the roundtables are available below.

So, mark your calendars and come one, come all!

USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board to Visit a City Near You for AIA Trial Roundtables in 2014

 

  

Alexandria, VA*

Tuesday, April 15

1pm to 5pm local time

New York City, NY

Thursday, April 17

Chicago, IL

Tuesday, April 22

Detroit, MI

Thursday, April 24

Silicon Valley, CA

Tuesday, April 29

Seattle, WA

Thursday, May 1

Dallas, TX

Tuesday, May 6

Denver CO*

Thursday, May 8

* Accessible via webcast.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office is hosting roundtables to share information about the new AIA trials (i.e., inter partes reviews, post grant reviews, covered business method reviews, and derivations) including statistics, lessons learned, and techniques for successful motions practice. The Board is interested in receiving feedback about the trials and will feature a panel discussion to elicit public input.

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ICE, CBP Announce Year-End Intellectual Property Seizure Statistics

March 26, 2014

ICE, CBP announce year-end intellectual property seizure statistics

Seizures increase as collaboration at the IPR Center continues

 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced today the comprehensive results of counterfeit and pirated goods seized during Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. Under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), HSI and CBP are the agencies charged with the enforcement of intellectual property rights for goods entering the United States.

The number of IPR seizures increased nearly 7 percent from 22,848 in FY 2012 to 24,361 in FY 2013.  The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the seized goods also increased from $1.26 billion in FY 2012 to $1.74 billion in FY 2013. DHS averaged slightly over 66 seizures per day, with an average MSRP of each seizure being slightly more than $71,500.

“These numbers are the result of the hard work of the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security and the increased collaboration of our agencies through the IPR Center,” said ICE’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas S. Winkowski. “But a great deal more has to be done to protect the public from the health and safety threat that counterfeits pose to our society. We will continue to pursue these criminals and educate the public about the real threats that intellectual property crimes pose.”

“Together with our IPR partners, CBP continues to guard the nation’s borders against counterfeit products,” said CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske.  “These products are not only unsafe and dangerous to consumers, but they also pose a threat to the economic security of our country.”

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) continued Operation In Our Sites (IOS), a long-term law enforcement initiative which targets counterfeiting and piracy on the Internet.  In FY 2013, the IPR Center seized 1,413 domain names, and since the launch of IOS in June 2010, the center has seized more than 2,700 domain names.. Collaboration through the IPR Center led to 692 arrests, 401 criminal indictments, and 451 criminal convictions for criminal IPR infringement activities in FY 2013.

The People’s Republic of China remained the primary source for counterfeit and pirated goods seized in FY 2013 with a total value of $1.1 billion.  This represented 68 percent of all IPR seizures by MSRP. DHS also made seizures from 73 additional economies during FY 2013 including Hong Kong, India, Korea, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The HSI-led IPR Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its 21-member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and safety and the U.S. economy.

//www.ice.gov/images/iprcenter/ipr-button.png

You may also visit us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, or access this news release on your mobile device.

To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit www.IPRCenter.gov.

http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1403/140324washingtondc2.htm

To unsubscribe to future press releases from the IPR Center, please send a request to IPRCenterArchives@ice.dhs.gov.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker Supports IP Protection at Commemoration of 700,000th Design Patent

March 26, 2014

Full Press Release:

Intellectual property protections are essential to helping unlock American innovation. Patents and trademarks give entrepreneurs the confidence and security they need to invest in new R&D, new businesses, and new employees. That confidence and security translates into $5 trillion of economic output a year -- a 2012 Commerce Department study found that industries that rely most heavily on IP protections support 40 million U.S. jobs and more than one-third of GDP. In order to help create the conditions for economic growth, the Commerce Department is making the country’s IP laws work even better.  

As part of these efforts, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker joined USPTO Deputy Director Michelle Lee and Commissioner for Patents Peggy Focarino today for a ceremony commemorating the 700,000th design patent. The patent was assigned to LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. for the design of “Leapster Explorer,” a hand-held learning and play device for 4-to-9-year-olds, featuring a touch screen and 3D graphics.  At the ceremony, which took place at the Langdon Education Campus in Washington, DC, Secretary Pritzker and Deputy Director Lee presented the patent to Leapfrog Senior Vice President and General Counsel Robert Lattuga. 

Every day, USPTO is awarding more utility and design patents to entrepreneurs and businesses to help them grow, innovate, and compete. Last year alone, USPTO issued 22,000 applications for design patents, an 8 percent increase over the previous year.  A design consists of the visual, ornamental characteristics embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture. Applications in this area cover designs of computer equipment, cell phones and other handheld electronic devices, such as the Leapfrog Design Patent Number 700,000. 

The Obama Administration has been a strong supporter of efforts to make the patent system works more efficiently. President Obama recently announced a number of new executive actions to increase transparency in patent ownership, provide more training to patent examiners, and help inventors and small business owners who unexpectedly find themselves facing patent litigation. 

At today’s ceremony, USPTO also announced a new Intellectual Property patch for Girl Scouts in the National Capital Region (GSCNC). The new patch was developed as a joint project between the GSCNC and the USPTO, in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation (IPO). The patch is designed to support curriculum and activities that increase understanding of IP, especially as it relates to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

U.S. Copyright Office Announces Adjustments to Online Registration Fees

March 24, 2014

Under the new fee structure, the fee for online registration of a standard claim will increase from $35 to $55. However, a new online registration option for single works by single authors that are not works made for hire has been introduced at a lower fee of $35.

For more information go to http://www.copyright.gov/docs/newfees/. 

For complete final rule click here.  

UN Launches Campaign Against Counterfeit Industry

March 21, 2014

A new global campaign by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) launched in January to raise awareness among consumers of the $250 billion a year illicit trafficking of counterfeit goods. The campaign, "Counterfeit: Don’t Buy Into Organized Crime," informs consumers that buying counterfeit goods could be funding organized criminal groups, puts consumer health and safety at risk and contributes to other ethical and environmental concerns.

The campaign is centred around a new Public Service Announcement which launched on the NASDAQ screen in New York’s Times Square on January 14 and aired on several international television stations from January. The campaign urges consumers to ‘look behind’ counterfeit goods to boost understanding of the serious repercussions of this illicit trade.

The illicit trafficking and sale of counterfeit goods provides criminals with a significant source of income and facilitates the laundering of other illicit proceeds. Additionally, monies received from the sale of counterfeit products can be channelled towards the further production of fake goods or other illicit activities.

As a crime which touches virtually everyone in one way or another, counterfeit goods pose a serious risk to consumer health and safety. With no legal regulation and very little recourse, consumers are at risk from unsafe and ineffective products and faulty counterfeit goods can lead to injury and, in some cases, death. Tyres, brake pads and airbags, aeroplane parts, electrical consumer goods, baby formula and children’s toys are just some of the many different items which have been counterfeited.

Fraudulent medicines also present a serious health risk to consumers. Criminal activity in this area is big business: the sale of fraudulent medicines from East Asia and the Pacific to South-East Asia and Africa alone amounts to some $5 billion per year. At the very least, fraudulent medicines have been found to contain no active ingredients, while at their worst they can contain unknown and potentially harmful chemicals. The list of fraudulent medicines is extensive, and can range from ordinary painkillers and antihistamines, to ‘lifestyle’ medicines, such as those taken for weight loss and sexual dysfunction, to life-saving medicines including those for the treatment of cancer and heart disease.

A wide range of ethical issues can also be overlooked when considering the impact of counterfeiting. Labour exploitation is also an aspect of producing counterfeit goods, with low paid workers facing safety and security concerns with little or no benefits and unregulated conditions. The problem of migrant smuggling is also further exacerbated by the counterfeit business, with reports that a number of those smuggled are coerced into selling counterfeit goods to pay off smuggling debts.

From an environmental standpoint counterfeiting poses a significant challenge: with no regulations in place, there is a real chance that harmful toxic dyes, chemicals, and unknown components used in counterfeit electrical goods are not disposed of properly, leading to serious environmental pollution.

As UNODC’s Executive Director Yury Fedotov notes, “In comparison to other crimes such as drug trafficking, the production and distribution of counterfeit goods present a low-risk/high-profit opportunity for criminals. Counterfeiting feeds money laundering activities and encourages corruption. There is also evidence of some involvement or overlap with drug trafficking and other serious crimes.”

Criminal groups use similar routes and modi operandi to move counterfeit goods as they do to smuggle illicit drugs, firearms and people. In 2013, the joint UNODC / World Customs Organization Container Control Programme (CCP) detected counterfeit goods in more than one-third of the seized containers, despite being set up initially to intercept drugs.

Relevant links:

Campaign website

 

For further information, please contact:

Preeta Bannerjee: Public Information Officer, UNODC 

Phone: +43-1-26060-5764
Mobile: +43-699-1459-5764 

Email: preeta.bannerjee[at]unodc.org 

U.S. Commerce Department Highlights New Initiatives to Strengthen Patent System and Support American Innovation

February 20, 2014

Full Press Release

The U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) along with the White House today announced major progress on a series of Administration initiatives to strengthen the  patent system and foster innovation. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, joined by Gene Sperling, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council; Todd Park, Assistant to the President and U.S. Chief Technology Officer; and Michelle Lee, USPTO Deputy Director discussed the importance of improving the U.S. patent system and protecting innovators from “patent trolls.” Secretary Pritzkermade the following remarks at today’s White House event:

“As someone who has worked in business for 27 years, I know first-hand that protecting and promoting our ideas-driven economy is essential to economic growth. Today’s executive actions show President Obama’s recognition of the work we must do to constantly strengthen our intellectual property (IP) system. Intellectual property-intensive industries account for over one-third of our nation’s Gross Domestic Product and nearly 28 percent of jobs, according to the latest data. Clearly, IP protection is a pillar of the U.S. economy, and we should be doing everything possible to ensure a smart, 21st century patent system. Overall, the goal of these executive actions is to enable America’s entrepreneurs and businesses to focus their time and resources on what they do best – drive innovation, increase U.S. competitiveness, and create jobs – not wasting money in courtrooms.”

White House Executive Actions on Patent Reform

The three executive actions announced today aim to help American entrepreneurs and small business owners more effectively deal with abusive litigation practices and help ensure the U.S. patent system keeps up with the evolving needs of industry. Specifically, those actions are:

  • Crowdsourcing Prior Art: The USPTO will harness the power of crowdsourcing by partnering with the innovation community to identify technical and hard-to-find information, known as prior art. This will help patent examiners make more informed decisions about whether an invention is worthy of a new patent. 
  • Pro Se/Pro Bono Support: The USPTO will create a public-private partnership that aims to provide nationwide pro bono support and resources for inventors and small business owners who apply for patents without legal help. This action will help level the playing field for such individuals, enabling more entrepreneurs to more easily navigate the patent application process and get their goods to market faster.
  • Robust Technical Training and Expertise: The USPTO will strengthen patent examiners’ knowledge base by expanding an existing training program. This will improve the quality of patent examinations and ensure examiners have the most relevant and current information.

The USPTO also announced today significant progress in implementing four executive actions the White House called for in June 2013. The executive actions were designed to increase transparency of patent ownership information; tighten scrutiny of patent claims; provide resources to help consumers and small-business owners defend themselves against patent infringement claims; and expand dedicated outreach and study to build consensus on patent policy and laws. 

As part of Obama Administration and Commerce Department efforts to support the innovation economy, Secretary Pritzker, Deputy Director Lee and several other Commerce Department officials will travel to Silicon Valley, California next week to highlight efforts to spur U.S. economic growth. Support for innovation and competitiveness, including protecting intellectual property, is a key pillar of the Department’s “Open for Business Agenda.”

Additional details on the Silicon Valley trip are forthcoming. For more information, visit www.commerce.gov or contact publicaffairs@doc.gov. To learn more about today’s patent announcements, visit:http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/02/20/fact-sheet-executive-actions-answering-president-s-call-strengthen-our-p.  

 

USTR Releases 2013 Notorious Markets List

February 12, 2014

United States Trade Representative Michael Froman today announced the findings of the Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets for 2013, which identifies markets around the world that harm American businesses and undermine our workers, through the infringement of intellectual property rights (IPRs). This annual review identifies both online and physical marketplaces engaging in commercial-scale IPR infringement.  The publication of the Notorious Markets report helps the United States and foreign governments to prioritize enforcement of the intellectual property rights that protect job-supporting innovation and creativity in the United States and around the world.  

To read the full report, click here
To read the full USTR press release, click here.

Webcast Now Available of USPTO Seminar on Madrid International Trademark System

January 7, 2014

On October 23, 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) held a seminar on using the Madrid Protocol for filing an international trademark application and maintaining an international trademark registration in selected foreign countries. The webcast of the seminar is now available: www.uspto.gov/trademarks/notices/Madrid_Protocol_Seminar.jsp.  For more information on the Madrid Protocol, visit the USPTO webpage: http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/law/madrid/.
 

JOIN U.S. Department of Commerce Public Meeting on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy

December 12, 2013

In July 2013, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force led by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy, to further the discussion on copyright policy issues that are critical to economic growth, job creation, and cultural development.

On Thursday, December 12 from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM, the Department of Commerce will hold a public meeting at the USPTO in Alexandria, VA in the Madison Auditorium.  There will be a series of panels focusing on the following issues:

  • the legal framework for the creation of remixes;
  • the relevance and scope of the first sale doctrine in the digital environment;
  • the appropriate calibration of statutory damages in the contexts of individual file sharers and of secondary liability for large-scale infringement;
  • whether and how the government can facilitate the further development of a robust online licensing environment; and
  • establishing a multistakeholder dialogue on improving the operation of the notice and takedown system for removing infringing content from the Internet under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

To view the meeting agenda, please go here.

The meeting is open to the public to attend, space permitting, on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-registration for the meeting is available at: http://events.SignUp4.com/GreenPaper. A live webcast will also be accessible at https://new.livestream.com/uspto/copyright. There will be opportunities during panel discussions for audience questions.

For more information about the Green Paper and the public meeting, please visit: http://www.uspto.gov/ip/global/copyrights/index.jsp

 

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