3 Key Takeaways from the USPTO Patent Examiner Training

Founders Legal was invited to present to a division of patent examiners in Technology Center 3600 (View the Presentation Here). Here is a glimpse into patent examiner training and a look at what we learned.

Founders Legal was recently invited to speak on behalf of technology entrepreneurs and innovators at the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) annual Patent Examiner Technical Training Program (PETTP). The PETTP program, held annually, invites guest lecturers to provide training and industry expertise to over 3,900 USPTO patent examiners regarding recent technological developments. 

Yuri Eliezer of the Founders Legal intellectual property group presented to an audience of technology-focused patent examiners in Technology Center 3600, the division responsible for examining transportation, electronic commerce, construction, agriculture, licensing, and review. Eliezer conveyed the many obstacles that small and medium technology enterprises, like BoardActive, face when enforcing their patent rights.

Based on the presentation and proceeding discussion with the patent examiners, we wanted to share 3 key insights we took away from the event.

1. The USPTO Takes Examiner Training Very Seriously

One crucial takeaway from the event is the importance of examiner training to the USPTO. In 2013 and 2014, President Barack Obama promoted several executive actions “to help bring about greater transparency to the patent system and level the playing field for innovators.” The organization has since launched a variety of programs and resources to ensure the quality and efficiency of the patent examination process. The PETTP was established to provide examiners with more robust technical training and expertise on states of the art, including changes and challenges with new and emerging technologies.

2. The USPTO and Examiners Listen Directly to Inventors

The best source of information regarding states of the art, emerging trends, and new innovations with a high degree of technical knowledge are the inventors themselves- and the USPTO and examiners understand that. 

A prerequisite for lecturers and invited guests of the program is a “high degree of technical knowledge.” This particular requirement is crucial because the patent examiners want the technical details.

During our presentation with Founders Legal client Doug Pittman, CEO of BoardActive Corp., examiners dove into deep technical inquiries about BoardActive’s patented technologies and even asked about the evolution of the technologies with emerging IoT trends. It is evident that patent examiners are excited and eager to learn about innovation, which is important for fostering innovation and strengthening both the patent system and patent rights.

3. The USPTO Wants to Hear from Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) 

We want to conclude with our major takeaway from the event that we were excited to witness first-hand- the interest of the USPTO in small businesses and their innovations.

When viewing the various speakers and representatives from events prior, it is no surprise to see big names like Alphabet, IBM, Facebook, Ford Motor Company, and Nike. After all, major companies are known – impart – for their sheer volume of patented technologies and well-known innovations. However, the USPTO continues to expand its program by opening the floor to smaller businesses, such as our client BoardActive.

As Yuri stated in his concluding message to the audience, “[Patent Examiners’] important work has downstream economic consequences for many Americans. Our Patent Examiners serve not only the USPTO, but also serve the American people who rely on this patent system to compete and promote human progress internationally.”

In Conclusion

At Founders Legal, we believe that SMEs’ investment into the patent system should provide a certain return on their investment. The challenges in SMEs’ journey towards patent enforceability should be addressed, to a large extent, by the trained, qualified, and competent patent professionals at the USPTO. And the programs like PETTP showcase the USPTO’s dedication to greater transparency to the patent system and level the playing field for innovators.

Questions about the Patent System or protecting your intellectual property? We work closely with our clients and inventors to protect innovations across a wide spectrum of industries, including computer software, electrical, biotechnology, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical, mechanical, consumer products, and more. In addition to patent prosecution, we provide comprehensive patent services ranging from patentability searches and assessments to advice on validity and infringement, as well as international patent prosecution.

Learn more about the Founders Legal Intellectual Property group here.

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