Santa Clara-Duke-USPTO Quality Conferences / Call for Participants

[Note: my colleague Colleen Chien has circulated this call for participation. I won’t be directly involved in either event, but they look terrific. I’m sharing it here in case you or someone in your network wants to participate. Please follow up directly with Colleen and Arti Rai.]

The Santa Clara High Tech Law Institute and the Duke Law Center for Innovation Policy invite you to participate in a pair of jointly-hosted conferences on Patent Quality. The first conference will be held on September 9, 2016 at Santa Clara University. The second conference will be held on December 13, 2016 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, VA, and the audience and speakers will include PTO examiners and executives.

Over the past 7 years, the Patent and Trademark Office has made patent quality a major priority, launching initiatives and taking executive action to reduce application pendency, enhance prior art search capabilities, bolster examiner training, increase clarity of the record, enhance transparency, and calibrate examiner incentives, among other steps. (See our latest blog post here). As the Patent Office continues to implement a number of existing programs and roll out new ones, these conferences will convene policy-makers, academics, and stakeholders to reflect as a community on what has gone well, what has been learned, and what potential next steps, policies and procedures the PTO might consider for ensuring that US patents are of the highest quality.

We have identified the thematic areas listed below as subjects of particular interest. We plan to address these areas through empirical and quantitative methods, and we solicit your interest in participating in our conferences.

  1. Track One and Differentiating Between Patents

  2. Clarity of Claims and the Patent Record

  3. Examiner Search (including Global Dossier)

  4. Using Post-Grant Outcomes to Improve Ex Ante Quality

  5. Examiner Work Design (including Time Allocation and Management)

  6. Maintenance and Other Patent Fees

  7. Compact / “Once and Done” Prosecution

In your response to this solicitation, please identify: 1) the quality topic that most interests you; 2) your availability for the two conference dates; 3) any relevant past or present works in progress. Reasonable and customary travel expenses will be paid for speakers chosen to participate in the conference. Going forward, we may have funding for commissioned research on the topics listed below. If you are interested in conducting additional commissioned research, please submit a short precis of the research you would like to conduct.

Deadline is June 1, 2016.