San Antonio, TX - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is implementing an ambitious program to improve and streamline the patent examination process. Technological improvements, better training, expanded hiring, and other changes by the USPTO have greatly reduced the amount of time it takes for a patent application to wend its way through the system. But some patent applications still take longer than the desired time to get to their first review and the number of applications is growing ever more rapidly. The USPTO had over 500,000 pending patent applications in 2004 and the number is increasing each year.
The USPTO is turning outward to learn about the experiences of applicants and their suggestions for system improvement. The Patent and Trademark Office is actively soliciting advice from inventors, patent attorneys, agents, general counsels of firms involved in the patent process, and universities. To gather a broad range of opinion, the USPTO has engaged the services of Analytic Focus LLC, a research firm with expertise in surveys, data collection and analysis, intellectual property valuation, and litigation related to patents, trademarks, and trade dress. The contract was awarded through competitive bidding, and was awarded to support the effort of the patent public advisory committee.Analytic Focus will be responsible for design and implementation of the research, starting with focus groups to learn about issues and concerns that applicants face, followed by a survey of a nationally representative sample of stakeholders in the patent process. The goal is to discover what suggestions applicants have for improvement of the patent application process, and what tradeoffs the applicants would accept to speed up the process. Research is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2008. The program was announced in Federal Register requesting comments; comments are still welcome during the design phase and can be addressed to Analytic Focus.
Dr. Charles Cowan, the Managing Partner for Analytic Focus, also continues to serve on Federal Advisory Committees for the Department of Education and for the National Institutes of Health. Analytic Focus LLC is a Birmingham based research and consulting firm with decades of practical experience in analysis, research methods, and financial models. Our staff includes highly skilled experts with academic, industry, regulatory and testifying experience. Our focus is on providing the highest value in interpretation of data, insight regarding business problems, and advising on best practices. Analytic Focus can be reached at (205) 672-9253 or visit us at www.analyticfocus.com .
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A manufacturer of liquid energy drinks filed suit against another manufacturer of liquid energy drinks, claiming that the shape and type on the bottles of the defendant caused confusion among potential purchasers.
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