Patent Applicants: Get Your Attorney on the Phone to the Examiner–NOW!!!

A couple of couple of weeks ago, I wrote a detailed post about how the US Patent Office seems to be in a deal-making mood.   Today, Dennis Crouch of Patently-O posted data that demonstrates that in the last  weeks, the Patent Office has issued more patents than in any 2 week period in history!   We don’t know how long this will last.  I highly recommend that anyone who has been waiting for a patent to issue get the patent examiner on the phone as soon as possible to see how the case can be passed to allowance.   Not all patent applications will be allowable, of course, but many will be, as shown by the actual data and anecodotal information from patent bloggers like Dennis Crouch and myself.  CARPE DIEM! Tweet This Buzz This Delicious Digg This Reddit Stumble This

Have a Pending US Patent Application? There’s Never Been a Better Time to Make a Deal with the Patent Office

The US Patent Office is in a deal-making mood.  Really.  Ever since Director Kappos told his examiners last Fall that “patent quality does not equal rejection,” I have heard many stories about how patent applications that appeared to be stuck in the limbo 0f serial rejections are now being allowed.  Those of us who talk about such things online are in agreement that we may be operating in an unprecedented favorable environment of patent allowances.   The data bear out this anecdotal evidence:  patent issuances are up 35%  this year over last year. My sense of what is happening, which has been confirmed by other experienced patent folks to whom I have spoken, the perspective of the Patent Office has changed.  The consensus is the U.S. patenting process is much less adversarial today.  In recent years, examiners were effectively told by the Patent Office administration that “there needs to be a reason to allow an application.”  This has now changed to “there needs to be a reason not to allow an application.”  This is a subtle, but critical, difference.  In the former viewpoint, the gate for allowance is closed and needs to be opened prior to letting the applicant pass through.  Continue Reading →

Patent Information is a Necessary Calibration Tool: How the Pilgrims’ Journey is a Metaphor for the Innovation Process

Regular readers of this blog will recognize that I am a strong advocate of the use of patent information in the front end of innovation processes.  (More on this here, here and here.)  Relatively few innovation professionals actually do so, however, likely because it can be difficult for innovators to understand how to change the longstanding paradigm where lawyers are perceived to be the people who “put the ‘no’ in innovation.”  Put simply, I find that innovation professionals prefer to leave anything smelling of legal advice out of the front end of their processes because they think they will not be able to do their jobs if the lawyers show up to their meetings. Of course, it makes little sense for innovation professionals to make significant business decisions involving new products or technology without also knowing whether they will be able to own the fruits of their innovations or whether a competitor will be able stop them from moving forward.  To this end, I have been working for sometime to develop a metaphor to demonstrate how the use of patent information can improve the outcome of innovation processes.  And, I think I have succeeded in doing so–in one word:  PILGRIMS. Continue Reading →