Friday, March 27, 2009

IPC Reforms Aim to Integrate USPTO, EPO and JPO Classifications

WIPO just announced a series of reforms that will simplify the IPC. One of the goals is to accelerate the building of a unified IPC system that integrates USPTO, EPO and JPO classifications.

Could a true international patent classification system be at hand?

This is a positive step and should make life easier for patent searchers of all levels of experience, from novices to experts. The need to work in four different systems is challenging even for experienced searchers.

However, there is a potential risk that some of the information currently embedded in local classification systems might be lost.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Trademarks Go Green

World Intellectual Property Day is April 26, just over a month away. This year's theme is green innovation. The environment and climate change have become major political and public opinion issues in the over last few years. Companies and advertisers have certainly noticed this trend and are keen to link their products and services with environmentally friendly values. More and more products are being branded as "green". You can see this trend in trademark filings. As the chart below shows, the number of US and Canadian trademark applications filed for marks containing the word GREEN increased dramatically in the last few years. In 2007 alone, the number of filings increased in the US 131 percent and in Canada 88 percent.

Data source: USPTO and CIPO trademark databases, March 20, 2009.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Canadian Patents Reach 18,554 in 2007-2008

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office released its annual report for 2007-2008 earlier this year. The number of patents granted in 2007-2008 was 18,554, up from 16,100 in 2006-2007. The United States ranked first with 8,534 patents, or 46 percent of the total. Japan was second with 1,814 followed by Canada with 1,813. Almost 90 percent of Canadian patents were granted to foreign inventors.

Canadian Patents: Top Ten Countries

United States.....8534.....46%

USPC Class Order #1886 - Class 439

The USPTO has published classification order #1886, affecting Class 439 - Electrical Connectors. This order replaces subclasses 607-610 with subclasses 607.01-607.59. Approximately 1,650 patents were classified as original references in the reorganized subclasses. There are approximately 76,000 patents currently classified in Class 439.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

US Issues Patent 7,500,000

The USPTO issued patent no. 7,500,000 on March 3, marking a new milestone in US patent documents. The subject of the patent is a "Method or System for Assigning or Creating a Resource" in a computer storage device, such as a hard disk drive, non-volatile RAM, or optic disc. The patent was issued to four inventors, led by David W. Groves, and assigned to IBM.

Patent no. 7,000,000 was issued three years ago on Feb. 14, 2006 to John P. O'Brien of Dupont for a new type of polysaccharide fibers and their production.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

USPTO Publishes 2,000,000th Application

On February 5, the USPTO reached an important patent document milestone: the two millionth published application. The first US application (2001/0000001) was published almost eight years ago on March 15, 2001. The USPTO published 6,581 applications on Feb. 5. Depending on how you count (including or not including withdrawn published applications), the two millionth published application could be 2009/0035278, Reoviruses Having Modified Sequences, or 2009/0033321, Rotational Angle Detection Device.

The inventor listed on the first application is Matthew Coffey of Calgary, Alberta. The assignee is Oncolytics Biotech, Inc., also located in Calgary. Reoviruses are used to treat disorders where cells proliferate more rapidly than normal tissue growth, ie. cancerous tumors, in mammals. The inventor on the second application is Takeo Kurihara of Tokyo; the assignee is Tokyo-based Tomen Electronics Corporation. Kurihara's invention is related to devices used in magnetic sensors. Tomen has filed PCT and national applications on this technology in the US, Japan, China and Europe.

As of March 1, 2009, according to the USPTO website, the AppFT database now contains records for 2,021,756 published utility and plant patent applications.