Extension of the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides a basis (the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan) under which an applicant may have an application accorded special status for examination if the applicant expressly abandons another copending unexamined application. The Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan allows applicants having multiple applications currently pending before the USPTO to have greater control over the priority with which their applications are examined while also stimulating a reduction of the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO. The USPTO is extending the Patent Application Backlog Reduction Stimulus Plan until December 31, 2011.
Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure, Seventh Edition
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (``USPTO'') issued the seventh edition of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (``TMEP''), and made available archived copies of the fourth, fifth, and sixth editions, on October 15, 2010.
National Medal of Technology and Innovation Nomination Evaluation Committee Meeting
The National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI) Nomination Evaluation Committee will meet in closed session on Tuesday, November 30, 2010. The primary purpose of the meeting is the discussion of relative merits of persons and companies nominated for the NMTI award.
Rules of Practice Before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences in Ex Parte Appeals
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) proposes changes to rules governing practice before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (Board or BPAI) in ex parte patent appeals. After considering public comments raised in response to an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which proposed potential modifications to the stayed final rule, the Office is proposing to rescind the stayed final rule and is issuing this notice seeking public comment on proposed new revisions to the current rule. The goal of this proposed rulemaking is to simplify the appellate process in a manner that effects an overall lessening of the burden on appellants and examiners to present an appeal to the Board.
Expansion and Extension of the Green Technology Pilot Program
On December 8, 2009, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented the Green Technology Pilot Program, which permits patent applications pertaining to environmental quality, energy conservation, development of renewable energy resources, and greenhouse gas emission reduction to be advanced out of turn for examination and reviewed earlier (accorded special status). The program is designed to promote the development of green technologies. Initially, participation was limited to applications filed before December 8, 2009. The USPTO is hereby expanding the eligibility for the pilot program to include applications filed on or after December 8, 2009. The program is also being extended until December 31, 2011. These changes will permit more applications to qualify for the program, thereby allowing more inventions related to green technologies to be advanced out of turn for examination and reviewed earlier.