Resources, Flowcharts, and Tools: Oh My! Hidden Jewels and Helpful Hints for Using the USPTO Website

Author:  Emily R. Florio
Editor: Stephanie M. Sanders

Most patent practitioners probably visit www.USPTO.gov on a regular, if not daily basis. There is always something new to discover on the site, for regular and new users alike. Here are a few tips and tools to get you started on making better use of everyday USPTO website resources and a few hidden jewels.

  1. Glossary of Terms. There seem to be any number of acronyms related to patents—AIA, ADS, IDS, MPEP, and more! Have you ever wondered what these or any other terms mean? Check out the PTO’s comprehensive glossary for A-Z definitions of IP terms.
  1. Public PAIR. One common issue with using Public PAIR is that the documents in the Image File Wrapper (IFW) are listed in reverse chronological order. Luckily, through one quick click of the mouse, you can easily put the documents in chronological order and save yourself lots of time!  Simply click on the up/down arrow button next to the “Mail Room Date” heading to switch the order of documents.
  1. Process for Obtaining a Utility Patent. The patenting process has many steps, players and activities. The PTO provides a helpful diagram of the process for obtaining a utility patent, including various decision-points such as what type of application to file, whether to seek international protection by filing globally, whether to request expedited examination, and ultimately when the USPTO examines and issues the application.  The Patent Process Overview provides information similar to that included in the flowchart, but in a different format.
  1. MPEP– The PTO provides access to ALL previous editions and revisions of the MPEP on their website. Having access to a past edition of the MPEP may be very useful to determine if, and how, a particular rule has changed.  The Change Summary included in each new version (see, e.g.,  Change Summary for the MPEP Ninth Edition Rev.07.2015 (October publication) makes it easy to identify changes over the most recent, previous edition.
  1. Subscriptions. Keeping up with all of the changes and initiatives at the PTO can be challenging.  Signing up for an email subscription to one or more of the PTO’s newsletters—including the America Invents Act Alerts, USPTO Press Releases, USPTO Monthly Review, and Patents Alerts—will allow you to receive news and information from the PTO right in your inbox.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Although we wish to hear from you, information exchanged in this blog cannot and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not post any information that you consider to be personal or confidential. If you wish for Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP to consider representing you, in order to establish an attorney-client relationship you must first enter a written representation agreement with Finnegan. Contact us for additional information. One of our lawyers will be happy to discuss the possibility of representation with you. Additional disclaimer information.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: