Thursday, June 29, 2006

Patent Searching, Old School

Photo: Patent searching circa 1960. Searchers (junior patent attorneys most likely) flip through stacks of paper patents in metal troughs located in the Patent Search Room.

The IP Mall, an online resource center for intellectual property information provided by the Pierce Law Center in Concord, NH, has digitized a fascinating collection of Patent Office Research and Development Reports from the 1950s and 1960s. The reports describe the Patent Office's early attempts at "mechanizing" or automating patent searching using coding schemes and early "punched card" computers.

Photo source: How to Obtain Information from United States Patents, Washington, DC: U.S. Patent Office, 1964.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

New USPC Classification Order: Class 439 - Electrical Connectors

The USPTO has published Classification Order 1,855, dated May 2, 2006. The order affects subclasses in Class 439, Electrical Connectors; it abolishes subclasses 620-622 and establishes 620.01-620.34.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

PTO Document Disclosure Program

The latest issue of ipFrontline has an interesting article called "The PTO's Document Disclosure Program: Boon or Boondoggle," by former patent examiner Thomas G. Field.

The USPTO is currently seeking public comment on a proposal to eliminate the program. See the Federal Register April 6, 2006, vol. 71, p. 17399. This is the third time since 1998 that the agency has proposed eliminating the 27-year old program.

USPTO's Disclosure Document Program brochure.