"The PLUS Registry is an online resource developed and operated cooperatively by a global Coalition of all communities engaged in creating, using, distributing and preserving images. Search the Registry to find rights and descriptive information (“metadata”) for any image, and to find current contact information for related creators, rights holders and institutions. Register for a free listing to allow anyone in the world to easily find and contact you. Register your images and image licenses to allow authorized users to find rights and descriptive metadata using a PLUS ID or image recognition.
"On May 12, 2009, the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed a lawsuit charging that patents on two human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are unconstitutional and invalid. On November 30, 2012, the Supreme Court agreed to hear argument on the patentability of human genes [via SCOTUSblog]. The Court will hear these arguments on April 15, 2013. On behalf of researchers, genetic counselors, women patients, cancer survivors, breast cancer and women's health groups, and scientific associations representing 150,000 geneticists, pathologists, and laboratory professionals, we have argued that human genes cannot be patented because they are classic products of nature. The suit charges that the gene patents violate the First Amendment and stifle diagnostic testing and research that could lead to cures and that they limit women's options regarding their medical care. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has granted thousands of patents on human genes – in fact, about 20 percent of our genes are patented. A gene patent holder has the right to prevent anyone from studying, testing or even looking at a gene. As a result, scientific research and genetic testing has been delayed, limited or even shut down due to concerns about gene patents...The lawsuit was filed on behalf of researchers, genetic counselors, women patients, cancer survivors, breast cancer and women's health groups, and scientific associations representing 150,000 geneticists, pathologists, and laboratory professionals. The lawsuit charges that patents on human genes violate the First Amendment and patent law because genes are "products of nature" and therefore can't be patented."
Simpson, Derek A. and Petherbridge, Lee, An Empirical Study of the Use of Legal Scholarship in Supreme Court Trademark Jurisprudence (March 23, 2013). Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 35. Available at SSRN
Frederic Filloux, guardian.co.uk: "Its official blog merely mentions "6 billion visits per month" sent to news sites and Google News claims to connect "1 billion unique users a week to news content" [see The press, Google, its algorithm, their scale]...But how exactly does Google News work? What kind of media does its algorithm favour most? Last week, the search giant updated its patent filing with a new document detailing the 13 metrics it uses to retrieve and rank articles and sources for its news service. (Computerworld unearthed the filing, it's here)."
"The latest available data from the federal courts show that during January 2013 the government reported 530 new patent civil filings, according to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). This number is up 46 percent over the same period one year ago, and is nearly two and a half times the level reported in January 2010 (up 147 percent). Such lawsuits are primarily brought to enforce provisions of the patent laws under Title 35 of the U.S. Code, along with other statutes related to intellectual property protection. Read the full report, including a list of those districts in which lawsuits of this kind were filed with the greatest rates relative to population, here."
On January 2, 2013 "the European Patent Office (EPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) launched the Cooperative Patent Classification scheme (CPC), a global classification system for patent documents. The system is the result of partnership between the EPO and the USPTO in their joint effort to develop a common, internationally compatible classification system for technical documents, in particular patent publications, which will be used by both offices in the patent granting process. The CPC is an ambitious harmonisation product that incorporates the best classification practices of both offices."
"Patenting Prosperity: Invention and Economic Performance in the United States and its Metropolitan Areas by Jonathan Rothwell, José Lobo, Deborah Strumsky and Mark Muro is the first analysis of its kind to present patenting trends on a regional level from 1980 to 2012. The report ranks all of the nation’s roughly 360 metropolitan areas on patenting levels and growth, while noting the firms and organizations responsible. It also analyzes how patenting has affected productivity levels in each region, comparing patents—which embody novel inventions—to other sources of economic dynamism, such as educational attainment." View the interactive feature.
News release: "Google Inc. has agreed to change some of its business practices to resolve Federal Trade Commission concerns that those practices could stifle competition in the markets for popular devices such as smart phones, tablets and gaming consoles, as well as the market for online search advertising. Under a settlement reached with the FTC, Google will meet its prior commitments to allow competitors access – on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms – to patents on critical standardized technologies needed to make popular devices such as smart phones, laptop and tablet computers, and gaming consoles. In a separate letter of commitment to the Commission, Google has agreed to give online advertisers more flexibility to simultaneously manage ad campaigns on Google’s AdWords platform and on rival ad platforms; and to refrain from misappropriating online content from so-called “vertical” websites that focus on specific categories such as shopping or travel for use in its own vertical offerings."
POLITICO: "Federal regulators may end a two-year antitrust probe of Google’s search business by letting the company make voluntary changes, such as limiting use of restaurant and travel reviews from other websites and letting search ad campaigns be easily ported to rival search services, two sources with knowledge of the case told POLITICO. The FTC is also preparing to enter into a settlement with Google on a related case over how the company uses its acquired stockpile of patents against competitors, as POLITICO reported last week. Under the patent agreement, Google will curtail using key patents it picked up when it purchased Motorola Mobility to block competitors infringing those patents from getting their products to the market, although there are exceptions, sources said."
News release: "Breaking new ground in providing access to the most comprehensive technological information, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO) today launched the Chinese-English component of the EPO's free automatic translation service Patent Translate. As a result, the collections of the two largest languages in patents are now united as full-text documents on the same website through the EPO's global patent database, Espacenet, and linguistically accessible for innovators from both regions using a single tool, Patent Translate. Under the new arrangement with SIPO, Espacenet has grown by 4 million Chinese language documents, adding to the 75 million documents already available."
Knaak, Roland, Kur, Annette and Von Mühlendahl, Alexander, The Study on the Functioning of the European Trade Mark System (November 1, 2012). Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property & Competition Law Research Paper No. 12-13. Available at SSRN
Ars Technica: "In a newly approved patent, an economics professor hopes to bring to the academic publishing world what seems to be forthcoming in the video game industry—new restrictions that would seemingly eliminate a secondary market for digital goods and prevent legal borrowing. Last week, the 2006 patent for a “Web-based system and method to capture and distribute royalties for access to copyrighted academic texts by preventing unauthorized access to discussion boards associated with copyrighted academic works” was approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The patent was granted to Joseph Henry Vogel, a professor at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras."
Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc., Case3:10-cv-03561-WHA Document1202 Filed 05/31/12: "In 2007, Google Inc., announced its Android software platform for mobile devices. In 2010, Oracle Corporation acquired Sun Microsystems, Inc., and thus acquired Sun’s interest in the popular programming language known as Java, a language used in Android. Sun was renamed Oracle America, Inc. Shortly thereafter, Oracle America (hereinafter simply “Oracle”) sued defendant Google and accused its Android platform as infringing Oracle’s Java-related copyrights and patents. Both Java and Android are complex platforms. Both include “virtual machines,” development and testing kits, and application programming interfaces, also known as APIs. Oracle’s copyright claim involves 37 packages in the Java API. Copyrightability of the elements replicated is the only issue addressed by this order...This order does not hold that Java API packages are free for all to use without license. It does not hold that the structure, sequence and organization of all computer programs may be stolen. Rather, it holds on the specific facts of this case, the particular elements replicated by Google were free for all to use under the Copyright Act. Therefore, Oracle’s claim based on Google’s copying of the 37 API packages, including their structure, sequence and organization is DISMISSED. To the extent stated herein, Google’s Rule 50 motions regarding copyrightability are GRANTED (Dkt. Nos. 984, 1007). Google’s motion for a new trial on copyright infringement is DENIED AS MOOT (Dkt. No. 1105)."
Twitter blog: "One of the great things about Twitter is working with so many talented folks who dream up and build incredible products day in and day out. Like many companies, we apply for patents on a bunch of these inventions. However, we also think a lot about how those patents may be used in the future; we sometimes worry that they may be used to impede the innovation of others. For that reason, we are publishing a draft of the Innovator’s Patent Agreement, which we informally call the “IPA”. The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees’ inventions in offensive litigation without their permission. What’s more, this control flows with the patents, so if we sold them to others, they could only use them as the inventor intended."
Ben Kersey: "Microsoft and AOL ...signed a deal that would see MSFT pick up 800 of AOL’s patents for around $1 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close at the end of 2012, with Microsoft being able to leverage AOL’s remaining 300 patents under a non-exclusive license. As it turns out, there was an undisclosed term to the deal, and AllThingsD reports that Microsoft has picked up part of Netscape."
The Private and Social Costs of Patent Trolls, Bessen, James E., Meurer, Michael J. and Ford, Jennifer Laurissa, (September 19, 2011). Boston Univ. School of Law, Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-45.
House Committee on the Judiciary: Background on H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act: "On June 23 the House overwhelmingly approved HR 1249, the America Invents Act, by a vote of 304-117. H.R. 1249 updates our patent system to encourage innovation, job creation, and economic growth. The last major patent reform was nearly 60 years ago. Since then, U.S. innovators have developed cell phones and launched the Internet. And yet the laws protecting the technologies of today are stuck in the past. The current system is bogged down by frivolous lawsuits and uncertainty regarding patent ownership. America’s innovators spend years and millions of dollars defending their claims to patent ownership. Meanwhile, our competitors are busy developing new products that expand their businesses and grow their economies. This year, for the first time, China is expected to become the world’s number one patent publisher, surpassing the U.S. and Japan in the total and basic number of patents. Our outdated patent system has become a barrier to innovation. We cannot expect America’s innovators and job creators to keep pace with the global marketplace with the patent system of the past. We need a system that ensures patent certainty, approves good patents quickly and weeds out bad patents effectively."
News release: "The Federal Trade Commission issued a final report, Authorized Generic Drugs: Short-Term Effects and Long-Term Impact, that concludes when pharmaceutical companies introduce an authorized generic version of their brand-name drug, it can reduce both retail and wholesale drug prices. The report also found that authorized generics have a substantial effect on the revenues of competing generic firms. Over the longer term, by lowering expected profits for generic competitors, the introduction of an authorized generic could affect a generic drug company’s decision to challenge patents on branded drug products with low sales. However, the report concludes that in spite of this, patent challenges by generic competitors remain robust. Finally, the report finds that some brand companies may have used agreements not to launch an authorized generic as a way to compensate would-be generic competitors for delaying entry into the market. The FTC has for years opposed pay-for-delay patent litigation settlements, in which a brand-name drug manufacturer compensates its generic competitor to delay entering the market and offering consumers a lower-cost alternative. With this report, the agency has found that promises by a branded firm not to market competing authorized generics are frequently present in pharmaceutical patent settlements."
"Why would a company rent an office in a tiny town in East Texas, put a nameplate on the door, and leave it completely empty for a year? The answer involves a controversial billionaire physicist in Seattle, a 40 pound cookbook, and a war waging right now, all across the software and tech industries." This American Life, Episode 441 - "When Patents Attack!" July 22, 2011, Produced by Chicago Public Media. Distributed by Public Radio International. This episode was produced in collaboration with NPR’s Planet Money. © 2011 Chicago Public Media & Ira Glass.
News release: "A new Federal Trade Commission report recommends improvements to two areas of patent law policies affecting how well a patent gives notice to the public of what technology is protected and remedies for patent infringement. The report, The Evolving IP Marketplace: Aligning Patent Notice and Remedies with Competition, emphasizes that the patent system and competition policy share the goal of promoting innovation that benefits consumers."
News release: "WIPO launched on December 20, 2010 an on-line tool - the Madrid System Goods & Services Manager (G&S Manager) - that will help trademark applicants in compiling the list of goods and services that must be submitted when filing an international application under the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks. The G&S Manager, which can be accessed through the WIPO GOLD portal, gives access to thousands of standard terms classified in accordance with the 9th edition of the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification). Applicants using the G&S Manager can select the terms that best describe the goods and services relating to the mark."
News release: The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain portable electronic devices and related software. The products at issue in this investigation are portable electronic devices that utilize certain power management methods and may incorporate hardware and software for telephone directories within mobile telephone systems. The investigation is based on a complaint filed by HTC Corp. of Taiwan on May 12, 2010. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain portable electronic devices and related software that infringe patents asserted by HTC. The complainant requests that the USITC issue an exclusion order and a cease and desist order. The USITC has identified Apple Inc., a/k/a Apple Computer, Inc., as the respondent in this investigation."
IBM Patent Application: Platform for Capturing Knowledge, September 10, 2009: "A platform used for capturing knowledge. More specifically, a framework configured to capture expert knowledge (e.g., of trained and/or skilled workers) for future instructional purposes (e.g., training of a younger, or less experienced, workforce). The platform comprises a knowledge recorder, instructional design tool, standardized XML, and gaming engine. The knowledge recorder is configured to capture knowledge of a user, which is transferable using a standardized XML format. The instructional design tool is configured to visually model a gaming scenario in order to expose and define logical situations based on the captured knowledge."
Anatomy of a Patent Case, George F. Pappas, 2009, 154 pages
News release: "The American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation, a not-for-profit organization affiliated with Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (PUBPAT), filed a lawsuit today charging that patents on two human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer stifle research that could lead to cures and limit women's options regarding their medical care. Mutations along the genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, are responsible for most cases of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. The lawsuit argues that the patents on these genes are unconstitutional and invalid. ">News release: "The American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation, a not-for-profit organization affiliated with Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (PUBPAT), filed a lawsuit today charging that patents on two human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer stifle research that could lead to cures and limit women's options regarding their medical care. Mutations along the genes, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, are responsible for most cases of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. The lawsuit argues that the patents on these genes are unconstitutional and invalid."
News release: "The Federal Trade Commission announced the fourth in a series of public hearings exploring the evolving market for intellectual property. These hearings, to be held April 17, 2009, in Washington, DC, will explore how corporations, inventors, and patent intermediaries value and monetize patents, strategies for buying and selling patents, and the role of secondary markets for intellectual property. Some of the most significant recent changes in markets for intellectual property have occurred through the emergence of new business models involving the buying, selling and licensing of patents. The April 17 hearing also will showcase some of the recent academic scholarship about the development and functioning of markets for intellectual property and the policy implications surrounding them."
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) news release: "Against the background of an unprecedented number of cybersquatting cases in 2007, the evolving nature of the domain name registration system (DNS) is causing growing concern for trademark owners around the world. Last year, a record 2,156 complaints alleging cybersquatting - or the abusive registration of trademarks on the Internet - were filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center (Center), representing an 18% increase over 2006 and a 48% increase over 2005 in the number of generic and country code Top Level Domain (gTLDs and ccTLDs) disputes (see Table 1)."
All prior editions (1949-2006) and revisions of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) are now available in PDF on the MPEP webpage.
Courthouse News: "The Federal Circuit renewed patent infringement claims over Google's AutoLink and AdSense programs by tossing out part of a summary judgment ruling for Hyperphrase Technologies LLC. The circuit decision is a setback for the Internet search engine and a victory for Hyperphrase, which challenged the judgment that neither program infringes any of 15 patent claims."
Press release: "Today, the Progress and Freedom Foundation released a new report on inadvertent filesharing by the authors of Filesharing Programs and "Technological Features to Induce Users to Share," a groundbreaking analysis published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in March of 2007. This new report, Inadvertent Filesharing Sharing Revisited: Assessing LimeWire's Responses to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, seeks to enhance understanding of the causes of inadvertent sharing by analyzing (1) recently released data that the distributors of the program LimeWire gave to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform before its July 24, 2007 hearing on inadvertent sharing, and (2) the efficacy of efforts to improve the LimeWire program since the Committee's hearing. The authors conclude that law enforcement should investigate whether filesharing programs deliberately perpetuate inadvertent filesharing."
Press release: "The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain hard disk drives, components thereof, and products containing the same. The products at issue in this investigation are hard disk drives made using dissipative ceramic bonding tips, components of such drives, and products containing such drives. The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Steven F. Reiber and Mary L. Reiber of Lincoln, CA, on September 10, 2007. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States of certain hard disk drives, components thereof, and products containing the same that infringe patents owned by the complainants. The complainants request that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order. The ITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:
Western Digital Corporation of Lake Forest, CA;
Seagate Technology of Scotts Valley, CA;
Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., of Irvine, CA;
Hewlett-Packard Company of Palo Alto, CA; and
Dell Inc. of Round Rock, TX."
"DOepatents, the U.S. Department of Energy's central collection of patent information, where research and development intersect with innovation and invention. This collection demonstrates the Department's considerable contribution to scientific progress from the 1940s to today...This collection is growing as we continue to identify historic DOE patents, and to add ones recently issued. Currently, there are more than 20,000 searchable patent records here."
Google's Law, Working Paper (2007), by Greg Lastowka, Rutgers University, Assistant Professor of Law: "Google has become, for the majority of Americans, the index of choice for online information. Through dynamically generated results pages keyed to a near-infinite variety of search terms, Google steers our thoughts and our learning online. It tells us what words mean, what things look like, where to buy things, and who and what is most important to us. Google’s control over “results” constitutes an awesome ability to set the course of human knowledge. As this paper will explain, fortunes are won and lost based on Google’s results pages, including the fortunes of Google itself. Because Google’s results are so significant to e-commerce activities today, they have already been the subject of substantial litigation. Today’s courtroom disputes over Google’s results are based primarily, though not exclusively, in claims about the requirements of trademark law. This paper will argue that the most powerful trademark doctrines shaping these cases, “initial interest confusion” and “trademark use,” are not up to the task they have been given, but that trademark law must continue to stay engaged with Google’s results."
Follow up to September 6, 2007 posting, Backgrounder on H.R. 1908, the Patent Reform Act of 2007, Bloomberg News report, House Passes Bill to Curb Suits by Patent Owners: "The House approved the most sweeping changes to United States patent law in more than half a century on Friday...The measure passed by the House would change the rules at the Patent and Trademark Office so patents would go to the first person to file an application, not necessarily the first inventor."
Innovation at Risk, a forthcoming book from Princeton University Press by James Bessen and Michael J. Meurer. The following content is currently available online:
Follow up to June 17, 2007 posting, USPTO Begins Pilot Program to Open Patent Examination Process for Online Public Participation, see Peer Review Starts for Software Patent Applications - IEEE Spectrum talks to the founder to Peer-to-Patent Beth Noveck.
Press release: "Peer-to-Patent, an initiative of New York Law School’s Institute for Information Law and Policy in cooperation with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), began on Friday of last week. In an Official Gazette Notice published on June 6, 2007, the USPTO announced that this pilot program to test the value of public participation in the patent examination process will run for one year. The USPTO has committed to provide feedback on the usefulness of public submissions. The results of the pilot will be compiled by the USPTO and New York Law School...As of Friday, June 15, five applications (from HP, IBM, Intel, and Red Hat) were made available for public review on the Peer-to-Patent Web site at www.peertopatent.org, and the public has already begun to review and comment. Descriptions of the applications are available here."
Report of the USPTO Concerning the Paper Search Collection of Registered Marks that Include Design Elements: "The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has developed a plan to provide the public with access to United States trademark registrations that include design elements exclusively through its electronic search systems and through microfilm. Under the plan, the USPTO will microfilm, then remove from its Trademark Search Facility in Arlington, Virginia, the paper search collection of trademark registrations that include design elements. The USPTO has determined that the combination of the upcoming enhancement to its electronic search systems and the microfilming of the existing paper search collection will permit the same search functionality through these media as has been available through the paper search collection. This plan will permit the public to search for and retrieve information on trademark registrations that include design elements, in accordance with 35 U.S.C. § 41(i)(1). The USPTO Director has determined that implementation of this plan will not negatively impact the public, and is concurrently submitting a certification to that effect."
Press release: E-Mail with Direct Link to Issued Trademark Office Actions and Appeal Briefs to Replace E-Mailed Office Actions/Appeal Briefs: "On or about May 26, 2007, the USPTO will notify applicants who have authorized e-mail communication with the USPTO of each issued Trademark Office action or Examining Attorney's Appeal Brief by an e-mail message containing a direct link to the Office action or Appeal Brief in Trademark Document Retrieval (TDR). The USPTO will not send a separate e-mail with the Office action or Appeal Brief attached. This new approach should benefit both applicants and the USPTO. For example, discontinuing the sending of an e-mail with the Office action/Appeal Brief attached will eliminate problems stemming from very large e-mails, when, for example, the Office action includes voluminous evidence. Currently, such situations require dividing the Office action and its evidentiary attachments into multiple e-mails to ensure delivery, which, in turn, necessitates opening different e-mails and files. TDR will provide direct access to the complete Office action/Appeal Brief and all attachments, either for direct viewing or downloading. Also, TDR gives easy access to all other information in the application file. TDR is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year."
Antitrust Modernization Commission Report and Recommendations, April 2007.
USPTO press release from Jon Dudas: "I am pleased to release the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2007 through 2012. This plan builds upon the record-breaking progress the USPTO made during fiscal year 2006 in the areas of quality,production, electronic filing and processing, teleworking, and hiring."
Web Site Owners May Get Tougher to Find - Proposal could aid infringers on the Net, by Lynne Marek, The National Law Journal: ICANN - Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - is considering a new policy that will allow domain name holders to keep their registration information private."
PTO Direct was created by intellectual property professionals for intellectual property professionals and their clients. Its purpose is to provide an efficient way to search, gather and share relevant intellectual property record information from the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the United States Copyright Office. PTO Direct provides free patent searches." [Ted McClure]
"Counterfeiting and piracy costs U.S. companies between $200-$250 billion a year and roughly 750,000 jobs to date. Nearly all industries are being affected, from apparel and footwear, high-tech industrial goods, medicines, autos and auto parts, food and beverages, and cosmetics to copyrighted works, including entertainment and business software, movies, music, and books. The U.S. Chamber through its National Chamber Foundation has launched a broad initiative to effectively thwart the growing global threat of counterfeiting and piracy to the U.S. economy, the global business community, and consumers."
About Google Patent Search: "As part of Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, we’re constantly working to expand the diversity of content we make available to our users. With Google Patent Search, you can now search the full text of the U.S. patent corpus and find patents that interest you. You can view images of original patents online, or save and print them for offline use."
USPTO press release, August 28, 2006: "To improve the tracking and disposition of amendments and requests for corrections to trademark applications submitted after publication, the Office is providing the following recommended procedures. Once an application has been “approved for publication” by the examining attorney, all amendments and requests for corrections are processed as amendments/corrections after publication. You can determine the status of your application and whether or not it has been “approved for publication” or “published for Opposition” by entering the serial number in the Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval (TARR) database."
Official Gazette of the Patent and Trademark Office, July 25, 2006: "Hearings open to the public will be posted in advance on the respective websites of the BPAI and the TTAB. The posting will contain the time, date, hearing room, and proceeding number set for a particular hearing session. Due to last minute cancellations or no shows, there is no guaranty that a hearing on a particular proceeding will occur, although it may be posted."
Matwyshyn, Andrea M., "Technoconsen(t)sus" (May 2006). Posted July 19, 2006 [Link to download]
"The United States Patent and Trademark office will be hosting an EFS-Web briefing on June 8, 2006. EFS-Web is the USPTO's new electronic patent filing system, which allows users to file patents online safely and securely by attaching files as PDF's."
From the Economic Research Service, USDA: Government Patenting and Technology Transfer, by Paul W. Heisey, John L. King, Kelly Day Rubenstein, and Robbin Shoemaker, Economic Research Report No. (ERR15) 60 pp, March 2006.
Press release: "The Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced today the 2005 top 10 global private sector patent recipients. Listed...are the 10 corporations receiving the most U.S. patents for inventions in 2005, along with their 2004 ranking." IBM, Canon and HP rank 12, 3 respectively.
From The Nutritional and Dietary Supplement Law Blog: "In a complaint filed last week in federal court in California, Salu, Inc., the owner of the popular cosmeceutical site SkinStore.com has sued the owners of competitor NewSkinSpa.com for trademark and copyright infringement accusing them of copying the SkinStore.com html code and using it to create the site at NewSkinSpa.com. In so doing, SkinStore.com claims that NewSkinSpa.com has been able to obtain a higher Google ranking for search terms like 'Hylexin,' a popular cosmeceutical product for under-eye dark circles."
Press release: "The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux®, today announced the launch of its online patent commons reference library, the foundation of its Patent Commons Project. The Project's goal is to provide greater confidence for developers and customers of all open source software. The site, patentcommons.org, hosts searchable databases containing more than 500 patents pledged to date and more than a dozen technical standards supported by patent pledges and covenants. The library is freely available to developers, users and vendors, where they can quickly view information about patents and technology pledges benefiting open source software and standards."
WSJ free feature: Blogger Faces Lawsuit Over Comments Posted by Readers.
Press release: "The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is pleased to announce that the on-line Trademark Electronic Search System, TESS, now features a new Trademark Official Gazette (TMOG) 'search line.' By entering the publication date of a particular TMOG into the new search line, users can generate a list of all marks published for opposition in that TMOG, or a list of all new registrations published in that TMOG."
From the National Academy of Public Administration: "...an Academy Panel examined USPTO's organization structure and its work processes to help ensure that USPTO is making progress in meeting workload challenges and implementing its strategic plan. The Panel found that without the ability to adjust its resources to workload, USPTO cannot efficiently respond to higher volumes of patent applications or new skill needs for staff. As a self-sustaining federal entity that performs a direct service for fee-paying customers, USPTO needs to be able to function like a business and report to Congress and the administration with a bottom-line set of financial statements. The Academy Panel recommends that Congress create a U.S. Patent and Trademark Corporation as a wholly owned government entity under the policy direction of the Secretary of Commerce."
The patent law experts at rethink(ip) have created RSS feeds for all news items and notices released by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Terrific resource, and thanks to Dennis Kennedy for the link.
Following up on my July 27, 2005 posting, Web Archives Provide Sources for Discovery, see this Article of the week from Lawyers Weekly USA: Lawyers Are Turning To Old Websites For Evidence, available free. [note: this article will be archived one week after publication date].
"The Strasbourg Agreement (of 1971) concerning the International Patent Classification provides for a common classification for patents for invention including published patent applications, utility models and utility certificates. The International Patent Classification (IPC) is a hierarchical system in which the whole area of technology is divided into a range of sections, classes, subclasses and groups. This system is indispensable for the retrieval of patent documents in the search for establishing the novelty of an invention or determining the state of the art in a particular area of technology...the eighth edition of the IPC will enter into force on January 1, 2006." [Link]
Peer to Patent (PtoP): A Modest Proposal, by Beth Simone Noveck
This article, Patents gagged in the name of national security, by Paul Marks, appears in the July 9 issue of New Scientist. The abstract is below, but full text is available fee only.
This article, Patents gagged in the name of national security, by Paul Marks, appears in the July 9 issue of New Scientist. The abstract is below, but full text is available fee only.
Press release, June 8, 2005: "Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) today introduced the Patent Reform Act of 2005 (63 pages, PDF), legislation to improve the quality of patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and to reform certain patent practices that disrupt the operations of high−tech companies and other businesses. The bill in its current form is, without question, the most comprehensive change to U.S. patent law since Congress passed the 1952 Patent Act, said Smith."
Various sources have reported on Google's trademark infringement lawsuit against Froogles.com, and a copy of the complaint (68 pages, PDF), filed April 8, in District Court for the Eastern District of New York, is available courtesy of Search Engine Watch Blog.
"The Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) is the most comprehensive initiative ever advanced to smash the criminal networks that traffic in fakes, stop trade in pirated and counterfeit goods at America's borders, block bogus goods around the world, and help small businesses secure and enforce their rights in overseas markets." [Link]
"The Trademark Document Retrieval (TDR), offers the public an advanced electronic portal to PDF viewing, downloading and printing of an array of information and documents for more than 460,000 trademark applications totaling more than eight million document pages. As new applications are filed, they will be added to the database. It is expected that more than 300,000 application files will be added annually. Over the next five years, the remaining paper files of approximately 1.2 million active trademark registrations will be converted into digital format for TDR access." [See the press release and the TDR Questions and Answers webpage]
IBM press release: "IBM has pledged open access to key innovations covered by 500 IBM software patents to people and groups working on open source software. The pledge applies to any individual, community, or company working on or using software that meets the Open Source Initiative (OSI) definition of open source software."
From Findlaw: "NTP, INC. v. RESEARCH IN MOTION, LTD. (December 14, 2004), A Federal Appeals Court Upholds Most Of NTP's Patent-Infringement Claims Against Blackberry Maker Research In Motion (a/k/a RIM), And Remands The Case Back To A Lower Court To Determine, In Part, If Plaintiff's $53.7 Million Damage Award Should Be Modified
On 11/20/2004, the Senate passed, and House agreed to S. 2192, the Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) Act of 2004.
Press release: "The Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announces the availability of electronic forms for submitting Madrid Protocol related documents. Now a U.S. trademark owner may file a single online application with the USPTO in English, based on an existing U.S. trademark application or registration, pay the fees in U.S. dollars, and potentially obtain registration for the mark in any or all of the 65 member countries of the Madrid Protocol."
From today's Federal Register, Changes To Support Implementation of the United States Patent and Trademark Office 21st Century Strategic Plan; Final Rule [Link]
"Google and Overture can be sued for selling trademark-linked advertisements, a US judge has ruled." [Link]
Yahoo! and Google Resolve Disputes: "Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Google will take a license to U.S. Patent No. 6,269,361 and several related patents, held by Yahoo!'s wholly-owned subsidiary, Overture, and Yahoo! dismissed its patent lawsuit against Google. The two parties have also resolved a dispute regarding shares issuable to Yahoo! pursuant to a warrant to purchase Google shares in connection with a 2000 services agreement."
The Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) "offers the public an advanced electronic portal to PDF viewing, downloading and printing an array of information and documents for approximately 500,000 patent applications not covered by confidentiality laws. As new applications become eligible for publication 18 months after they are filed, they will be added to the database. It is expected that about 300,000 application files will be added annually." The press releaseis here. (Thanks to dc)
From internetnews.com an analysis of the issues involved in Overture's patent infringement suit against Google.
From Susan Kuchinskas, interesting news of the continuing saga concerning Google's domain name challenges, as documented in Of Boobles, Froogles and Googles. See also Google's challenge of Froogles.com name rejected.
UPSTO Notice: Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP), Eighth Edition, August 2001, Latest Revision May 2004
From the Public Patent Foundation press release:
Committee Print to Amend the Federal Trademark Dilution Act, April 22, 2004. Oversight Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property, of the Committee on the Judiciary.
Patent 6,700,564 granted March 4, 2004 - Input device including a wheel assembly for scrolling an image in multiple directions:
An update on the Microsoft-Eolas patent dispute:
Patent Assignments on the Web was scheduled to be deployed on January 26, 2004 and indeed, here it is.
Microsoft spokesman Jim Desler is quoted in this Internet.com article in response to yesterday's patent infringement decision (1:99-cv-626), "We feel very good about our prospects on appeal. We remain steadfast in our belief that the Eolas patent is not valid. While the judge did not grant all our post trial motions, the court did accept some of our arguments and decided to stay the injunction pending our appeal."
This afternoon, Judge James B. Zagel, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago), refused to overturn a $521 million verdict against Microsoft, ruling in favor of Eolas Technologies Inc. in their web patent infringment dispute. The patent at issue is number 5,838,906, and is titled "Distributed hypermedia method for automatically invoking external application providing interaction and display of embedded objects within a hypermedia document."
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a press release January 12 with the names of the ten corporations that received the most patents for 2003. Topping the list was IBM, for the 11th straight year, with Canon Kabushiki Kaisha a distant second, and Sony at number 10.
From the Washington Post's Jonathan Krim, this article Patenting Air or Protecting Property? reviews the growing criticism of the USPTO's patent process, and details the marked increase in lawsuits involving Internet-related technologies from companies that include high-profile Amazon, Microsoft, Blackberry, and eBay.
In anticipation of widely reported plans for a initial public offering (IPO) in early 2004, Google is seeking a ruling from District Court in San Jose, California to determine whether keyword searches associated with advertising sold by the site constitute trademark infringement. (Google, Inc. v. American Blind & Wallpaper Factory, Inc. (Complaint) , ND Ca)
As an update to my September 22 posting OCLC Sues NYC Hotel Over Classification System, see this press release from OCLC, dated November 24, stating OCLC and The Library Hotel settle trademark complaint:
The USPTO granted patent 6,643,686 on November 4, 2003. It is "a system and method for circumventing schemes that use duplication detection to detect and block unsolicited e-mail (spam). InternetNews.com quotes the executive director of the SpamCon Foundation as seeing the technology as a "...potentially...effective tool against spam..."
On August 12, 2003 I posted that Microsoft Will Appeal $521M Patent Infringement Verdict. Today, InternetNews.com reported that Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examiners will undertake a new, thorough review of the patent on "a system allowing a user of a browser program on a computer connected to an open distributed hypermedia system to access and execute an embedded program object."
"The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the U.S. Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has expanded the options for electronically filing documents in trademark disputes. Using the Electronic System for Trademark Trials and Appeals (ESTTA) system, parties to a dispute now can file more documents electronically with the TTAB, including requests for extension of time to oppose and notices of opposition. Parties also can use ESTTA to file motions and other documents in inter-partes cases." [Link]
From the World Wide Web Consortium:
United States Patent 6,632,248, Customization of network documents by accessing customization information on a server computer using uniquie (note: the word unique is misspelled in the patent document itself) user identifiers.
AP reported yesterday that the non-profit Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated (OCLC) has filed a trademark infringement complaint (in the Southern District Court, District of Ohio, Eastern Division), against the Library Hotel, located in Manhattan. At issue is the hotel's use of the Dewey Decimal Classification system (owned by OCLC) as a theme to identify its rooms by specific categories. [thank you Roger!]
From the USPTO:
From the The Berkman Center for Internet & Society:
"UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) Opinion Guide summarizes opinions of the UDRP panelists on various issues. In addition to questions about procedures, the Guide looks at elements necessary to establish trademark rights, what activities constitute "bad faith" and the nature of legltimate interests. The UDRP Opinion Guide has a Table of Contents followed by the text which will be in chapter, title, and section order."
From the July 24, 2003 Oversight hearing on "Patent Quality Improvement", this recently released Final Serial #38, 39 pages in pdf, includes the opening statements, testimony and prepared witness statements.
A new patent, 6,606,659, "System and Method for Controlling Access to Internet Sites," has been granted to Websense Inc., as reported via this press release, which indicates that the technology involved "allows organizations to optimize their employees' use of the Internet via administrative options that enable control over what Web sites may be accessed, at what time of day and for how long."
Judge Gerald Bruce Lee, of the US District Court, Eastern District of Virginia released a decision on September 5 that stated "Alas, we computer users must endure pop-up advertising," in the case of U-Haul International, Inc., v. WhenU.com, Inc., et al., Civ. Act. No.03-1469-A. Partial summary judgment had already been granted on June 23 against U-Haul, who was seeking to bar pop-up ads that orginated from WhenU.com in what U-Haul claimed was a violation of their trademarks and copyright.
IE Patent Loss Aftershocks Reverberate. This article indicates that in the wake of the recent $521 milllion patent verdict against Microsoft, the company will make unspecified changes to its IE browser.
Cryptome.org has a free link to this informative WSJ article from August 27, "A New Battleground In Web Privacy War: Ads That Can Snoop -Software Programs Track Where Users Go On Net, Then Target Them With Pop-Ups." Although certainly not a new story, it is nevertheless worth reading as it succinctly addresses privacy, copyright and trademark issues associated with spyware programs and consumer tracking applications, which can be associated with such frequent web activities as music downloading and online shopping.
Internet Search Companies Could Face Fight on Ads: "Some of the biggest Internet search services (Google and Overture) could be setting the stage for a legal battle with companies that object to the way these sites are using their trademarks." (thanks Donna)
GartnerG2 and The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School released a study, Copyright and Digital Media in a Post-Napster World (46 pages, pdf), which addresses:
Microsoft loser in patent suit: $500 million verdict in Net case: "Microsoft was told by a jury to pay $521 million to the University of California and a Chicago-area company that claimed they invented technology used in the Internet Explorer browser."
From ZDNet: "A judge has ruled in favor of holding company NTP in its patent-infringement case against BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, awarding monetary damages and fees. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Richmond, Va., ruled late Tuesday in the case brought against Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM. It awarded NTP $53.7 million."
From the New Yorker magazine, Patent Bending:
From the press release: "The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced today that effective June 30, 2003, all newly filed patent applications will be converted to electronic applications and processed electronically. Additionally, over the next 15 months, the USPTO will scan more than a half million pending applications into the electronic system." See the final rule in the Federal Register here.
Proposed rules changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), which constitute a Part 27 rewrite, were published in this May 28 Federal Register notice (pdf), and intend to "clarify, streamline, and update guidance and clauses on patent, data, and copyrights to provide a more logical presenation of this complex material." Also see the government's acquisition information website FAR, which provides links to the Current FAR (in HTML and PDF) and includes amendments from FAC 14 effective as of 05/22/03.
From AP: "A federal jury has ruled that eBay's model for selling fixed-price merchandise violates a patent filed by a Virginia attorney, a ruling that could force the online auction house to shed as much as a third of its total business. The decision: Mercexchange, LLC v. eBAY, Inc and Half.com, Inc., May 27, 2003 (pdf).
From the press release: "The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property approved H.R. 1561, the United States Patent and Trademark Fee Modernization Act of 2003. The Department of Commerce’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is fully funded by user fees. The new fee structure contained in the legislation will fund USPTO’s 21st Century Strategic Plan, the agency’s five-year blueprint for improving patent and trademark quality and productivity."
A single global patent system could simplify the international patent process. Will the United States sign on?
See also the Technology Review Patent Scorecard 2003, (full-text available here in pdf), "which tracks the U.S. patent portfolios of 756 of the world's top technology companies."
Via Slashdot, this WTOP Radio Network (Washington, D.C.) report indicates that the USPTO has at a minimum a two year backlog for approval of a new patent. Patent Office Director James E. Rogan went on record to Congress warning that this backlog could rise to over one million requests by 2008.
Kevin W. Grierson comments: "Although the pendency period for patents is now over two years, it's not fair to say, as does the article, that there is a "backlog" of two years. The PTO's goal is to get a patent processed in 18 months. It would be difficult with no backlog at all to get one processed much faster than that. Right now, the time from application to issue, on average, is 27 months. That's too long, but it's not a two-year backlog."
On April 3, the Committee on the Judiciary: Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property held a hearing on H.R. 1561, the United States Patent and Trademark Fee Modernization Act of 2003. The Committee provides links to the following:
A press release from the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that a March 28 decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California reversed in part the court's March 22, 2002 order against Taxes.com directing the company to change content critical of its competitor J.K. Harris that appeared prominently in search engine results.
This United States Patent and Trademark Office proposed rulemaking seeks to implement a "beginning-to-end electronic processing of patent applications." The use of paper in the application process will be replaced by an imaging system to scan all documents and produce digital image files.
Professor of Computer Science Lee A. Hollaar has made available, at no fee, virtually the entire text of his treatise, Legal Protection of Digital Information, published by BNA. The Table of Contents provides direct links to each chapter and respective sections therein, which include the following topics: Copyright Overview, Software, Copyright, Digital Copyright, Patent Overview and Software Patents. This news is via UnivAtty.
On March 4, the Supreme Court released a unanimous decision in Moseley et al., dba v. V Secret Catalogue, Inc., et al., No. 01-1015, a trademark dilution case (Federal Trademark Dilution Act of 1995 (FTDA) at Section 43(c) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1125(c). According to Declan McCullagh's article on the decision, "the justices effectively narrowed the scope of a federal trademark law that frequently is invoked in spats over domain names."
The patent (6,526,440), abstract states, "A search engine for searching a corpus improves the relevancy of the results by refining a standard relevancy score based on the interconnectivity of the initially returned set of documents. The search engine obtains an initial set of relevant documents by matching a user's search terms to an index of a corpus. A re-ranking component in the search engine then refines the initially returned document rankings so that documents that are frequently cited in the initial set of relevant documents are preferred over documents that are less frequently cited within the initial set."
Check out Word Spy, a resource that provides definitions of new words and phrases, as well as ones already in use that have taken on new meanings. What makes the site especially interesting is that it includes 'example citations' for each entry that illustrate the use of the word or phrase in context (with a paragraph or more of an article), using references from major national and international news and journal sources.
This site apparently caught the attention of Google, whose trademark counsel sent the owner this correspondence on February 24. It states in part, "We ask that you help us to protect our brand by deleting the definition of "google" found at wordspy.com or revising it to take into account the trademark status of Google." Word Spy had used the word in question as a verb, as is now quite common in both conversation and online references. Perhaps this previous posting on Google is worth another look, as well as this article from PC Magazine, Is Google Invading Your Privacy? See also Protecting Google Brand "Tricky Business."
As noted in my January 17 posting, BlackBerry parent Research in Motion is involved in a patent infringement dispute in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia with NTP Inc., that may result in an end to Blackberry's rein over the wireless handheld market. Today's New York Times reports that NTP Inc. filed new court documents last week citing Research in Motion's "unfair" lobbying of the Patent and Trademark Office to re-examine disputed patents in the case.
The USPTO held a hearing yesterday in accordance with the requirements of the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002 (known as the TEACH Act), Public Law 107-273. See my previous post here on this issue of protecting digitized copyrighted works that are used in distance education. Public comments from the Federal Register notice on the TEACH Act are here.
SBC sent a patent infringement notice to information education products website Museum Tour indicating that "any website which has static, linked information (top banners, menus, bottom banners) which are displayed while other sections of the page are displayed as non-static (the area where products appear on most websites) infringes upon the patents they hold.
Museum Tour has posted a web page with links to SBC's 34 page infringment notice here. As a related resource, see Dan Gillmor's blog associated with his column on SBC's patent claims. He is seeking instances of prior art, and is updating this blog with pertinent information on what will no doubt remain a newsworthy story for some time.
The House BlackBerry communication program, initiated in 2001, provided all members with the device, and paid for the associated e-mail service (to the tune of $6 million). The adoption of this wireless technology was related to the events of 9/11.
However, Congress is now caught in an uncomfortable position concerning its continued use of the Blackberries, as reported today by the Washington Post. A patent infringement case between BlackBerry's Canadian parent, Research in Motion (RIM) and NTP Inc., threatens to force the removal of the devices. In an unusual action, James M. Eagen III, Chief Administrative Officer, U.S. House of Representatives, requested that the parties seek a resolution allowing Congress to keep their Blackberries.
IBM announced that they now have a decade-long record for the most patents granted to one company (22,357). For 2002 alone, that number was 3,288 patents.
The National Intellectual Property Researchers Association (NIPRA), whose members "serve as the world's main concentration point for IP information disseminated by the USPTO," have sued the USPTO in District Court for the ED of Virginia. Their action was precipitated by the USPTO's project to transition from a paper document collection to an online access system. Audits of the program indicate substantial data error and loss associated with scanning documents for the new database, rendering the records incomplete and often unusable. See my previous posting on these problems here.
InstantMessagingPlanet.com reports that as a result of acquiring the Israeli company Mirabilis (in 1998) and their ICQ technology, telecom giant AOL has obtained a patent (see the text here) on instant messaging (IM) software. This patent could cause considerable problems for the respective IM apps from Microsoft and Yahoo.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced updates to its website that include new features, content and links as part of their e-gov initiative. Unfortunately, the agency has not made these enhancements in a manner that is readily apparent to users. However, there is an exception to these design problems in the new Independent Inventor Resources Web site that provides clear and direct access to useful brochures and data.
As I reported in November, the USPTO has undertaken an ambitious plan to transition to a paperless public access system. However, this new agency announcement indicates that there is now a greater understanding of the tremendous challenges inherent in this project, and the need to ensure that paper copies continue to be available to prevent a data gap.
This Information Week article reports on the huge advantage recently gained by Sony Corp. in the arena of digital rights management (DRM). Their strong position was established as a result of a licensing agreement with ContentGuard Inc., owner of a significant portfolio of DRM patented technologies.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that they received 52% of their filings for the month of September electronically. This marks a milestone in the agency's e-government initiative to migrate filings from paper to online format.
Declan McCullagh reports that the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, James E. Rogan, stated in an October 15 lecture at the Heritage Foundation that the tide has turned on the high acceptance rate for patent applications. Previously, 65-70% of applications were granted, and now that same percentage are rejected.
The lecture was titled "Reaffirming Intellectual Property Rights in an Information Age," but it appears that the text was not made available online either by the Heritage Foundation or by the USPTO.
This ZDNet article states that the Patent Policy Working Group's Royalty-Free Patent Policy has been approved, albeit not published in final version to date.
Attorney Martin Schwimmer launched his Trademark Blog in May, 2002. Via the blog you may access his SchwimmerLegaltrademark metasearch database that facilitates searches for marks in the United States, Finland, WIPO (Madrid), Canada, the UK, Japan, Hungary EC (CTM), Brazil and France that contain a specific search string.
Federal agencies are issuing their information quality guidelines as specified by OMB (see my previous posting here.)
The Patent Office guidelines are available at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/infoqualityguide.html. The Federal Register notice about these guidelines is here.
Judge William S. Ostten of the U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, decided in favor of the University of North Carolina in a trademark case against Jack R. Erickson. Mr Erickson ran a now defunct porn website that infringed on the university's trademark, UNC.
BustPatents provides, "legal resources and tools for surviving the patenting frenzy of the Internet, bioinformatics, and electronic commerce." The site hosts a useful annotated list of national and international patent resources.
On July 24, 2002, the USPTO submitted a Report to Congress on the Removal of Classified Paper from the USPTO's Public Search Facilities. In response, the National Intellectual Property Association is seeking to stop the USPTO's systematic destruction of the world's largest paper collection of patent and trademark documents, which number in the tens of millions. In addition, the National Intellectual Property Law Institute has offered to be the custodians of the whole paper library of documents. In place of the paper documents, the USPTO is instituting an automated search and retrieval system, Examiners Automated Search Tool (EAST) and the Web Enabled Search Tool (WEST), that apparently is not up to the massive task at hand.