USPTO Talk was founded in 2014 for the purpose of presenting observations about examination practices within the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, from the perspective of a practitioner. During the initial run, USPTO Talk presented articles that covered the emergence of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank and its impact on § 101 practice; new programs such as the First Action Interview Pilot Program; and broader consideration of topics such as the “patent reform” movement.
Due to a variety of professional and academic commitments (as well as some personal developments), USPTO Talk began a hiatus in late 2015. This hiatus was prompted in part by the comparative lack of progress, by all involved bodies, on relevant issues. Legislative reform initiatives stalled; emerging cases presented little meaningful change; and the USPTO’s own efforts to advance the state of practice appears to founder (about which, more later).
However, today, we stand at the edge of a new era in patent law and practice. A new director is set to lead the USPTO. New Supreme Court case law is due that may have wide-reaching implications. Interesting new USPTO initiatives may shed new light on important facets of patent examination. New data sources provide opportunities for new data-driven analyses. The number and significance of these topics requires action:
It is time to start Talking again.
(Note: USPTO Talk is now co-hosted by Cooper Legal Group. All observations and opinions expressed at both locations remain personal to the author, and are not necessarily consistent with the views of any client or any other practitioner.)