Oct 28 is the Last Day to Block Registration of Your Trademark as a .XXX Domain Name

XXX Top Level DomainOwners of registered trademarks have until October 28 to reserve names in order to ensure that they are not registered as .XXX domain names.  The .XXX top level domain is intended for use by the adult entertainment industry (i.e. porn websites).

You can secure a block through any .XXX Accredited Registrar.  The block, referred to as Sunrise B, costs around $200 per qualifying mark and lasts 10 years.  The application does not result in a domain registration.  Rather it creates a block to prevent a third party from registering your trademarked name as a .XXX domain.

For example, The  Coca-Cola Company owns the registered trademark Coca-Cola; a block prevents a third party from registering the domain name Coca-Cola.XXX (for example, for a porn site or with the intention of profiting by selling Coca-Cola.XXX back to The Coca-Cola Company).

In order to qualify for Sunrise B, the trademark must have been registered prior to September 1, 2011, and the following must be supplied to the registrar during registration:

  • Federally Trademarked Name.
  • Trademark Registration Number: The registration number for your trademark (not your application number).
  • Nation Code: The country where your trademark was registered.
  • Trademark Registration Date: The date your trademark was registered.
  • Trademark Ownership.

Members of the Adult Sponsored Community can file “Landrush Applications” from November 8th through November 25th.  General availability pre-registration begins on December 6 for members of the Adult Sponsored Community.

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Leahy-Smith America Invents Act Implementation

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has an online guide on the  implementation of the America Invents Act and how the law effects patent examination, post-issuance matters, and USPTO fee and budgetary issues. The AIA website also provides the opportunity to submit comment on the AIA and the agency’s implementation of the law.

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Full First Action Interview Pilot Program continues until May 16,2012

Under the program, participants were permitted to conduct an interview with the examiner after reviewing a Pre-Interview Communication providing the result of a prior art search conducted by the examiner.  Participants experienced many benefits including:  (1) the ability to advance prosecution of an application; (2) enhanced interaction between applicant and the examiner; (3) the opportunity to resolve patentability issues one-on-one with the examiner at the beginning of the prosecution process; and (4) the opportunity to facilitate possible early allowance.

Requests filed on or after April 1, 2011 and before May 16, 2012 will be granted if all requirements are met.

Link: Full First Action Interview Pilot Program.

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Anti-theft lottery ticket patent granted

I recently won U.S. patent no. 7,344,086 for the inventors of an innovative lottery ticket having features that prevent theft. The patent also claims methods for preventing lottery ticket theft. Major lottery ticket suppliers are considering licensing the patent.

Links: U.S. Patent No. US 7,344,086 (pdf, USPTO).

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New Claims and Continuation Rules

Effective November 1, 2007, and applicable to pending applications in various ways, there are some major changes in the number of claims permitted in an application, and in the number of continuations permitted. A few highlights (with many details left out):

* No more than 5 independent and 25 total claims per application (5/25 rule). For applications exceeding the 5/25 rule, an examination support document (ESD) must be filed before the first office action, or the application must be amended to comply with the 5/25 rule.

[Read more…]

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“Bush Cards” Patent Granted

I recently secured U.S. Patent No. D536,965 for the inventor of the wildly successful Bush Cards. The “Second Term Edition” of the deck of cards, which are now even “more slanted to the right,” mock President Bush and his administration.

Links: Bush Cards, U.S. Patent No. D536,965 “Slanted Box”,
Bush Cards: The Second Term.

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2006: A Record Year for Patents, Challenges Ahead

Over 443,000 patents were filed and over 183,000 issued in the United States in 2006. This represents a 115% increase in patent filings from a decade ago. However, it now takes longer than ever to get a patent – more than 31 months on average. And only 54% of patent applications were allowed, the lowest rate on record; the rest were rejected as being unpatentable.

With a backlog of over 700,000 patent applications to examine, and over 1,000,000 applications pending, the patent office has been hiring examiners to keep pace with demand. The USPTO used its nearly $1.6 billion dollars in revenue to hire a record 1,218 patent examiners, creating a workforce totaling 8,189 employees. Still, even with a plan to hire over 5,000 more examiners over the next five years, the USPTO admits that they will not be able to keep up with the volume of applications.

[Read more…]

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USPTO To Hold Live On-Line Chat for Independent Inventors

Senior officials of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as a representative from the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program, will be available live on-line on Thursday, November 16 , from 2 to 3 pm (ET). They will be answering questions and offering tips for independent inventors. Instructions for taking part in the chat will be posted on the home page of the USPTO website at 10:30 am (ET) on Thursday. Inventors can begin logging on at 1:30 pm.

Links: transcripts and index from previous on-line chats.

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USPTO to Give Patent Filers Accelerated Review Option

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is publishing procedures setting forth requirements for patent applicants who want a final decision by the examiner on whether their application for a patent will be granted or denied within twelve months.

Links: Press Release, Notice, Federal Register.

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“Patent Court” Makes Oral Arguments Available as MP3s

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is posting oral arguments in mp3 format. All future argued cases will be available twenty-four hours after argument is completed.

The CAFC has nationwide jurisdiction in a variety of subject areas, including international trade, government contracts, patents, trademarks, certain money claims against the United States government, federal personnel, and veterans’ benefits.

If you would like to browse all cases, simply enter the letter “v” in the Caption field of the search page and click on “Search”.

Links: Oral Arguments MP3s, CAFC.

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