Hi everyone! Take a look at the foreign filing/patenting news for the last week of May:
- The European Patent Office ranks #1 for the third year in a row among the “five IP offices“. The annual survey published by IAM magazine and Thomson Reuters reported over half of its respondents saying “quality standards have improved.”
- Check out this article by Michael Best & Friedrich LLP aimed at educating entrepreneurs/inventors on the benefits on patent protection.
- The U.S. Department of Commerce recently wrote a short piece on, you guessed it, the America Invents Act and the repercussions such a change will have on the global economy.
- The USPTO is proposing a new micro entity provision to reduce patent fees for small innovators, as part of a larger mission to accelerate U.S. economic growth.
Have any news to share from your country? Post it below or tweet us @inoviaIP!
As of September 16th, in accordance with the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, a program will be available for small businesses to address their specific needs related to all steps of the patent filing process. Formally called the Patent Ombudsman Program for Small Business Concerns, it exists as a combination of the existing Office of Innovation Development (OID) and Patent Ombudsman Program. The AIA requires that the USPTO provide and maintain such a resource.
The new program will utilize the services already offered by the preexisting programs. Small businesses and independent inventors can refer to the OID for information on “how to file an application, scam prevention, pro se and pro bono programs, educational materials, and outreach events.” In addition to this, the Patents Ombudsman Program will aid applicants in the prosecution phase, helping to resolve issues that may arise with application-processing. In other words, patentees will be able to seek assistance prior to filing the application, while an application is pending, and after the patent has been issued.
“It seems clear that the USPTO is dedicated to providing support and resources to the specific needs of small businesses and inventors, who tend to be under-resourced and perhaps even intimidated by the patent process,” said Jeff Shieh, Senior Patent Attorney at inovia. “Having a defined patent strategy both domestically and internationally, we find, is crucial to the long-term growth of a small company.”
This program, coupled with the new micro-entity status provision of the AIA (which will qualify some applicants for a discount of up to 75% on fees), will surely bring favorable benefits to innovators. Further information on the provisions of the AIA and their effective dates can be found here.
Are you a startup pursuing international patent protection? We have a number of free resources available; don’t hesitate to contact us!