Issue 68 | April 22, 2003
PTO Updates: Nominations, MPIA Rulemaking, Strategic Plan Documents, & INPADOC Database
 Public Advisory Committee Nominations Due May 12, 2003

The USPTO is requesting nominations for three members to each of two Public Advisory Committee for terms that begin July 13, 2003. The Public Advisory Committees review the policies, goals, performance, budget and user fees of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with respect to patents, in the case of the Patent Public Advisory Committee, and with respect to trademarks, in the case of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee, and to advise the Director on these matters. Nominations must be received or electronically transmitted on or before May 12, 2003. For more information, see http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/sol/notices/

Rulemaking for the Madrid Protocol Implementation Act

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) proposes to amend part 2 and add a new part 7 to the rules of practice in order to implement the Madrid Protocol Implementation Act of 2002 (MPIA). The new rules will set forth the requirements for submitting international applications and subsequent designations through the Office for forwarding to the International Bureau. The Office is also proposing add new rules for processing requests for extension of protection of international registrations designating the United States.

Comments must be received by May 27, 2003 to ensure consideration. A public hearing will be held at 10:00 a.m., Friday, May 30, 2003, in the Patent Theater, 2121 Crystal Drive, Room 2, Arlington, Virginia. Requests to present oral testimony must be submitted on or before May 20, 2003. For more information, see http://www.uspto.gov/web/trademarks/fr_madrid.htm.

Strategic Plan Implementation Documents

From "Enhance Reviewable Record" to "Periodic Recertification for Registered Patent Practitioners," something in the latest "Action Papers and Implementation Plans" for the USPTO's 21st Century Strategic Plan will change the way you practice. For more information, see http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/

And, for the latest salvo in the battle over patent fee diversion, see "Patent Office Sees Record Backlog" and "Patents Pending Glance" from The Associated Press.

EPO Databases Expanded with Japanese Utility Model and US Design Data

The INPADOC bibliographic files have included Japanese utility models (unexamined utility model applications) since the beginning 2003. Backlog information back to 1993 has already been loaded and coverage will be extended to 1950 in the future. Only the basic bibliographic elements are covered, i.e. publication data, application data, IPCs and priorities.

US design patents will also be included in the bibliographic databases starting around March/April 2003. Since designs do not use the IPC (International Patent Classification), the US design classification will be stored in the national classification field tag 071, while the IPC tag 070 will be left empty.

For more information, see http://www.european-patent-

To discuss these issues further, please contact the author, Bill Heinze, at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley.

The information contained in this email is provided for informational purposes only and does not represent legal advice. Neither the APLF nor the author intends to create an attorney client relationship by providing this information to you through this message.