Invention-Con 2018 hosted by US Patent Office

Registration is now open for Invention-Con 2018, a free two-day conference that will be held at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, on August 17-18 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET each day. This year’s theme is “From Concept to Commercialization.”

You’ll hear from successful entrepreneurs and inventors about bringing ideas to market. You’ll also get practical advice on:

  • Navigating intellectual property protection processes.
  • Strategies to protect your innovations with patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

If you are an inventor or business owner, make sure to register early for Invention-Con 2018; space is limited. For more information, go here.

USPTO presenting an Inventor Info Chat Webinar on Application Data Sheets

The USPTO’s Inventor Info Chat webinar series continues on June 21, 2018 from 11 a.m. – noon ET, with an additional discussion of the Application Data Sheet (ADS). The chat will focus on answering questions presented in the April program, “Understanding the ADS:  Little Things Make a Big Difference,” and will provide the opportunity for additional questions to be asked.  More information can be found here.

How AI works, how to put it to work, and why it won’t take over the world

The inventors association of Connecticut (IACT) will be hosting a talk on “How AI works, how to put it to work, and why it won’t take over the world” by Steve Shwartz.

AI has had tremendous recent success: speech recognition, machine translation, face recognition, driverless cars and much more to come. A recent MIT study showed that 85% of CEOs believe that AI is critical for competitive advantage. This talk will explain at a very high level how AI works, how organizations and inventors can make use of the technology, and why fears of AI taking over the world are unfounded.

The IACT meeting will be held at the Fairfield University Library Room 101, at 7:00PM Tuesday, on May. 29, 2018.  More information can be found here.

The USPTO is hosting an Inventor Chat on May 17, 2018

Join the USPTO on May 17, 2018 from 11 a.m. to noon ET for their Inventor Info Chat webinar “Prior art and its use in determining patentability.”

This presentation is for inventors who want to understand what examiners at the USPTO consider to be prior art and how prior art is used in official correspondence to applicants.

More information, including how to attend, is available on the USPTO’s Inventor Info Chat event page on the USPTO website, which can be found here.


USPTO offering an Inventor 3-Day Course on examination practice and procedure

Sign-up is now open to attend the Aug. 14-16 “Inventor 3-Day Course” on examination practice and procedure at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The course is offered to members of the public as part of the USPTO’s Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure (STEPP) program.

As a prerequisite, those accepted will be required to review several computer based training modules prior to the start of the course. This course is provided through a partnership between the Office of Patent Training and the Office of Innovation and Development and is not intended for those interested in representing applicants before the USPTO.

More information, and a proposed upcoming course schedule, is available on the USPTO STEPP page here.


Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions

Last Tuesday I attended the Inventors Association of Connecticut (IACT) meeting at Fairfield University.  Another patent attorney was presenting on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions.  After Alice, the two-part test on whether a invention is patent eligible is:  1.  is the claim directed to a judicial exception (law of nature, natural phenomenon, or an abstract idea); 2.  if yes, then does the claim recite additional elements that amount more to the judicial exception.

My normal practice is to write claims that are clearly not an abstract idea (claims directed to a law of nature or natural phenomenon are so rare in my practice that I have never written one).  However, patent attorney John Yankovitch says that when he must write claims that are directed to an abstract idea then he does part 2 of the test and adds significantly “more” to the claims.  In that endeavor examples of significantly more are:

1.  improvement to another technology or technical field, e.g. a mathematic formula applied in a specific rubber molding process;

2.  improvements to the functioning of the computer itself;

3.  applying the judicial exception with, or by use of a particular machine;

4.  transformation or reduction of a particular article to a different state or thing, e.g. manufacturing fat acids and glycerine from fatty bodies by the action of water at a high temperature and pressure; and

5. performing an unconventional step.

Mr. Yankovitch stated that examples 1, 2, and 5 seem to have the most success at the USPTO.

These are good rules of thumb!

The USPTO is hosting a Webinar on Application Data Sheets on April 19, 2018

Topic: “Understanding the Application Data Sheet (ADS).”

The USPTO’s Inventor Info Chat webinar series continues on April 19, 2018 from 11 a.m. – noon ET with an informative discussion on understanding the Application Data Sheet (ADS).

The topics covered will include:  Explanation of the ADS, what it is, revisions, and who reviews it; Explanation of each section of the ADS; Time frame for submission of the ADS; Corrections to the ADS.

In addition, the common mistakes made by applicants when completing the Application Data Sheet will be discussed along with the steps and format necessary to make the corrections. This presentation will be as helpful resource to those inventors who have received correspondence from the PTO requiring corrections to the Application Data Sheet.

Sign up and additional information can be found here.

The Law Offices of Michael A. Blake celebrates 14 years!

On April 1, 2004 I began my patent and trademark practice, the Law Offices of Michael A. Blake in West Hartford, CT.  Luck, hard work, and a higher power has made my business a success in helping people obtain patent and trademark protection for their intellectual property.  I moved my practice to Milford at the end of 2004, and have been here ever since.  Looking forward to the next 14 and more years!

Free training at the U.S. Patent Office in May and August

Stakeholder Training on Examination Practice and Procedure (STEPP) is training designed to provide external stakeholders with a better understanding of how and why an examiner makes decisions while examining a patent application. In person courses are led by USPTO trainers and based on material developed for training employees of the USPTO.

Upcoming training:

Agent/Attorney 3-Day Course,  May 22-24, 2018 location: Alexandria, VA – USPTO Headquarters

Inventor 3-Day Course August 14-16, 2018, location: Alexandria, VA – USPTO Headquarters

Program Description

The STEPP program provides unique, day-in-the-life, experiences to those attending training. Material used within the program is derived from training delivered to patent examiners and other USPTO employees.

What does STEPP Cover?

The same examination practice and procedure training provided to USPTO staff is now available to external stakeholders. Learn what an examiner must consider in preparing an office action, and what examiners are taught to interpret an applicant’s disclosure.

Why Participate?

STEPP provides perspective by detailing what an examiner considers in preparing an office action. Training focuses on how an examiner is taught to use the MPEP to make patentability determinations and write an office action. Gaining perspective of an examiner’s point of view will increase your situational awareness which can aid in compact prosecution. Payment and Credit STEPP courses are free of charge. The USPTO will apply for CLE accreditation for specific courses within the program. Please contact for additional information.

More information can be found here.