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  • International Deposition: Cape Town Edition
    by Brittany Jones on March 6, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    As the leader in the global court reporting industry, Planet Depos is always looking to expand its geographical reach. Earlier this year, we conducted an international deposition in Cape Town, South Africa. “This is the first deposition we’ve done in Cape Town specifically, although we did some depositions in Johannesburg a number of years ago,” The post International Deposition: Cape Town Edition appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Automation and the Court Reporting Industry
    by Brittany Jones on December 29, 2022 at 4:18 pm

    The post Automation and the Court Reporting Industry appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Upcoming Deposition in Japan? Experience Planet Depos’ Atarimae for Yourself
    by Brittany Jones on December 19, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    The post Upcoming Deposition in Japan? Experience Planet Depos’ Atarimae for Yourself appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Making the Case to Settle
    by Suzanne Quinson on August 3, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    The post Making the Case to Settle appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Remote Depositions Remain a Popular Option After Covid
    by Suzanne Quinson on July 6, 2022 at 1:25 pm

    In-person depositions are on the rise again, but remote depositions are here to stay. Even though remote depositions are no longer the only option, they remain a very convenient and increasingly efficient option. As a Planet Depos survey recently demonstrated, many attorneys predict that they will continue to use the remote deposition option, or hybrid, The post Remote Depositions Remain a Popular Option After Covid appeared first on Planet Depos.

Director's Blog: the latest from USPTO leadership Updates from America’s innovation agency

  • Our plan for the future
    by OCCO on June 7, 2023 at 2:19 pm

    Blog by Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO It’s been a work in progress for many months, and today, I’m excited to announce the publication of our 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. We gathered extensive comments from our employees, public advisory committees, IP industry groups, and the public to help shape this document into a clear and consistent plan. I’m grateful to everyone who provided feedback throughout the planning process to make this plan ambitious, focused, and relevant.This plan outlines our five strategic goals for the next few years: 1. Drive inclusive U.S. innovation and global competitiveness; 2. Promote the efficient delivery of reliable intellectual property (IP) rights; 3. Promote the protection of IP against new and persistent threats; 4. Bring innovation to impact for the public good; and5. Generate impactful employee and customer experiences by maximizing agency operations. As you review the document, you’ll notice we’ve added measurable goal-based objectives to better quantify our continual progress. You’ll also see that we’ve modified our mission and vision to better reflect our position as America’s innovation agency.As I said in my one-year anniversary blog, my focus for the next 12 months is on impact. Between various engagement events and virtual feedback options, I’ve heard from thousands of you. We’ve listened. We’re reimagining our agency for the future. This plan clearly documents how we will achieve the greatest effects. Every day, every one of us at the USPTO works to drive U.S. innovation, inclusive capitalism, and global competitiveness to unleash America’s limitless potential. I thank you all once again for joining us on this journey of evolution. As always, my virtual door remains open to you through the Engage with the Director page. We appreciate you and look forward to working with you to meet—and even exceed—our goals!

  • Ready, set, compete! How we’re helping veterans and military family members innovate and start new businesses
    by OCCO on May 25, 2023 at 6:08 pm

    Blog by Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Director Vidal with service members, military spouses, and veteran entrepreneurs at MacDill Air Force Base on March 29. (Photo by Michael Cleveland/USPTO)America’s inventors and entrepreneurs power our nation’s economy, competitiveness, and security. Many of America’s outstanding innovators and leaders are veterans. The skills they gained from their service, including teamwork, integrity and being organized, disciplined, adaptable, and focused, prepare them well for entrepreneurship. In fact, veterans have a proven track record of engaging in business ownership at higher rates than their peers in the civilian sector.For service members preparing to transition into the civilian world, starting a business can be a viable second career. And for military spouses, self-employment can help provide professional and economic stability to weather the constant change that the military lifestyle brings. In alignment with First Lady Jill Biden and the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative that centers on the three core pillars of employment and entrepreneurship, military child education, and health and well-being, we are working to encourage and support more transitioning service members, military family members, and veterans to bring their innovations to life, build successful businesses, and protect their creations with intellectual property.Charlynda Scales has a family legacy of service & innovation. An Air Force veteran, Scales is the founder and CEO of Mutt’s Sauce LLC®, created by her late grandfather and fellow veteran, Charlie “Mutt” Ferrell.Take Charlynda Scales. A U.S. Air Force veteran and entrepreneur, she is the founder and CEO of Mutt’s Sauce LLC®, “the sauce for every meal.” Her late grandfather and fellow Air Force veteran Charlie “Mutt” Ferrell originally created the specialty sauce and left her the recipe, which she then turned into a successful business. At our Veterans Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program last year, she spoke about how the skills she gained in the military helped her launch her business. She offered the following advice for other veteran entrepreneurs: “When you have served in the military and you decide you want to go into entrepreneurship, you are strengthening the country by being a business owner. Holding on to your core values, being a good person, and service before self - those things that we learned in the military - that’s what sets you apart from everyone else.”Growing up in a career military family, my father served in the U.S. Navy as a senior chief and I spent my childhood on military bases in the United States, Panama, Germany, and the Azorean Islands (Portugal). I’m grateful for the opportunity to connect with service members and their families, and share information about the resources we provide at the USPTO – from trainings on patent and trademark basics to free legal services – that can help them become successful entrepreneurs. Our goal is simple: to shine a light on what starting a business looks like, what it requires, and who you can turn to for help on your journey. On November 22, 2022, Director Vidal met with service members and their families at Fort Bragg, NC, to discuss USPTO resources that can help them start their own businesses.Recently, I met with military spouses and family members at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and MacDill Air Force Base, Florida to discuss essential skills every entrepreneur needs to know. And on June 9, we’ll be holding an event at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. During these events, we go over the many aspects of entrepreneurship, from honing your business plan and protecting your brand and ideas, to market analysis and financing. Our military outreach events also feature successful military spouses and veteran business owners who share their personal experiences in entrepreneurship. Contact us if you’re interested in hosting one of these workshops in the future.In September 2022, USPTO staff from the Rocky Mountain Regional Office staff visited the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, where they spoke to cadets in the SPARK academy, learned about their mechanical engineering and aeronautics research, and viewed their patent wall.Our USPTO regional offices also reach out across the country meeting innovators where they are with resources to jumpstart their businesses. From in-person and virtual events to networking opportunities, we are joining forces with local organizations and bringing entrepreneurship training directly to the military community.Dragon’s Lair 8 competition finals at the University of South Florida on March 29 (Photo by Michael Cleveland/USPTO)I also had the pleasure of serving as a judge in the latest Dragon’s Lair competition co-hosted by the U.S. Special Operations Command and 18th Airborne Corps at the University of South Florida’s Research and Innovation Park in Tampa, Florida. Now in its eighth installment, service members from across the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) submitted their ideas for innovations to meet future challenges. The eight finalists were selected from among 80 ideas that represented every service within the DOD, and all ideas included developing intellectual property. The innovators really used their boots on the ground knowledge to see their projects through and create concrete solutions for real problems the Army currently faces. The winning innovation was a mold conditions awareness tool, a 3D-printed device that uses sensors to detect temperature and humidity levels within barracks rooms to identify early signs of mold, presented by U.S. Army 1st Lt. Chris Aliperti and Pvt. Salem Ezz from the 3rd Infantry Division. Congratulations to all the finalists in the competition on their phenomenal ideas.In October 2022, Director Vidal held a discussion with the USPTO’s Military Association’s President Alford Kindred on work life balance at the USPTO. (Photo by Michael Cleveland/USPTO)We also actively recruit veterans, and they play an integral part of our operations at the USPTO. Many veterans have chosen to continue their invaluable service to our country by joining the USPTO, and they contribute to our mission across our agency in the areas of science and engineering, information technology, contracts, procurement, finance, administration, project and program management customer support, and more.  In fiscal year 2022, 11% of our new hires were veterans. Learn more about veteran hiring at the USPTO.Expanding our outreach to military families and veterans is more important than ever. By highlighting opportunities and creating more connections to resources to promote self-employment, we can help create a new era of economic stability and professional portability for military spouses and our veterans who have served.If you are affiliated with the military and interested in starting your own businesses or joining our workforce, we are eager to serve you. To learn more, visit our new page on entrepreneurship resources for themilitary community or contact us at You can also connect with a regional USPTO office near you, check out our free resources for inventors and entrepreneurs, and view our upcoming programs. And stay tuned for our popular Veterans Innovation and Entrepreneurship program hosted each November.

  • Patent Pro Bono Program expands and reaches underserved populations with free legal services
    by USPTO on May 22, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    Guest blog by Derrick Brent, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark OfficeDeputy Director Brent discussed USPTO resources, including the Patent Pro Bono Program, in a fireside chat with Leshell Hatley, Executive Director, Uplift, Inc. at Morgan State University in Baltimore, during the USPTO’s Black Innovation and Entrepreneurship program (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO)Over the past few months, I have been visiting cities across the country on a nationwide tour to share information about our Patent Pro Bono Program and other free and useful services for entrepreneurs. From Wake Forest University to Historically Black Colleges and Universities such as Morgan State, North Carolina A&T and Howard University, Director Vidal and I have been meeting and connecting with pro bono service providers, entrepreneurs, and students to discuss issues such as the value of intellectual property (IP) for small businesses, and bringing new entrepreneurs and inventors into the innovation ecosystem. Entrepreneurs discussed how USPTO services like the Patent Pro Bono Program helped them grow their businesses and reach the marketplace. Volunteer legal counsel and clinic students expressed how meaningful it was to be part of the entrepreneurial journey. These programs are making a real and measurable impact.Recently, we celebrated the 100th patent recipient in Minnesota who obtained assistance through LegalCORPS, a nonprofit based in Minneapolis and the first USPTO patent pro bono regional program.  (Learn more in this Black Enterprise article and the Minnesota Star Tribune.) Soon after that great experience, I visited Penn State University to help launch the newest patent pro bono program. Penn State is doing some amazing work by combining their legal program with their entrepreneurial education program, thus giving inventors a chance to build a product and a business, together. I look forward to meeting with more of our regional programs in the future, and collaborating to find more ways and more services to provide.Since the pro bono programs began collecting and sharing information in 2015, the Patent Pro Bono Program has provided more than 95,000 hours of free legal services to independent inventors and small businesses. That assistance has resulted in more than 2,000 patent application filings, amounting to millions of dollars in donated services since 2015. Last year, the Patent Pro Bono Program had more than 90 patent practitioners reporting 50 or more hours each of patent pro bono service to USPTO pro bono programs. In addition, more than 25 corporations and law firms contributed significant hours to one or more participating regional programs – a record number of organizations. These volunteers assisted with filing 220 patent applications with the USPTO in 2022.We have seen year-over-year increases in the total number of applicants from underrepresented groups in the pro bono program. In 2022:43% of program applicants identified their gender as female; which is much higher than the proportion of female inventors named on U.S. patent applications (13%);35% of applicants identified as African American or Black;13.8% of applicants identified as Hispanic;7.9% identified as being a veteran;6.1% identified as either Asian, Pacific Islander, or Hawaiian Native, exceeding existing proportions in the U.S. population; and1.6% identify as American Indian or Alaska Native.Those are real numbers, real results. Real people benefiting from resources and opportunity, which yields robust, inclusive innovation that makes our country stronger.There is a consistent theme that runs through our USPTO pro bono programs – providing critical assistance to under-resourced inventors, serving as the bridge to an inclusive innovation economy. By expanding access to pro bono legal services, we can help more under-resourced and underrepresented innovators protect their ideas and bring them to impact. And with the recent passage of the Unleashing American Innovators Act (UAIA), we are poised to  build upon these programs, and expand their reach to provide more resources, services and opportunities.Director Kathi Vidal and Deputy Director Derrick Brent recently participated in a fireside chat at Howard University on intellectual property’s role in equity and entrepreneurshipTo that end, we encourage inventors and practitioners to participate in our upcoming listening sessions regarding our patent pro bono program (inventor session is June 5; practitioner session is June 7).  These sessions will help inform the study we are undertaking on pro bono IP services as part of the UAIA. It is important to hear from you so that we can find ways to improve the services of our regional programs so that they best serve those who use the services. When we meet people where they are, we bring more people into the innovation ecosystem. That is one of our top priorities. Thank you to all who help make our pro bono programs a success. To entrepreneurs and inventors – please learn more about our programs, and the many ways that the USPTO can help you on your journey.

  • Announcing the winners of the 2023 National Patent Application Drafting Competition
    by OCCO on May 2, 2023 at 12:53 pm

    Guest blog by Vaishali Udupa, Commissioner for Patents of the USPTOWinning team of the 2023 National Patent Application Drafting Competition, Khailee, Bree, Rita, and Maria, from the George Washington University Law School (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO)On April 14, law students gathered from around the country in the exciting final round of the National Patent Application Drafting Competition (NPADC) at USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, VA. The competition challenges the teams on the fundamentals of patent prosecution, including drafting a patent application and arguing its patentability. This year, a record breaking 75 teams (250 students) entered the competition. It was a thrill to serve as one of the judges in the final round and to see the finalists defend their hypothetical inventions.For the last six months leading up to the national round, the student teams worked on hypothetical invention statements. They searched the prior art, prepared specifications, and drafted claims, all while participating in the USPTO’s patent prosecution boot camps and other training sessions. After the regional rounds in March, there were five regional finalists: The George Washington University Law School (Eastern region), University of Detroit Mercy School of Law (Midwest region), University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law (Rocky Mountain region), University of Southern California Gould School of Law (Silicon Valley region), and University of Wisconsin Law School (Texas region). I would like to congratulate all the competing teams, finalists, and this year’s first place winner, George Washington University Law School! I was incredibly impressed by the quality and caliber of submissions and presentation by the students in this year’s competition.  Their analytic and oratory skills give me great hope for the future of the IP field and the potential impact these students will have when they enter the legal world.According to Bree, a member of this year’s winning team: "Preparing for and presenting at both the regional and final competitions was a highlight of my law school career and I am so grateful for my incredible teammates, our coach, the GW Law faculty and staff, and the USPTO for their encouragement and support. I am confident that the relationships built and patent drafting and prosecution skills learned, throughout the competition life cycle, will pay dividends in my career as a patent attorney. I think that is the most important win.”Since its beginnings as a regional competition led by our Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office in Detroit in 2014, the NPADC has expanded nationwide, with participation from law school teams from across the country and all our USPTO regional offices. The competition is an excellent opportunity for students to gain practical and indispensable experience drafting and prosecuting patents and to hone public speaking and communication skills. Students are also able to build vital connections through networking events throughout their participation. It is a great opportunity for students interested in a career in patent law. The NPADC has been successful due to the overwhelming support from the intellectual property (IP) law community. The USPTO works closely with the American Intellectual Property Law Association in organizing the competition, as well as with local attorneys, local bar associations, local Inns of Court, and law school faculty mentors. Do you want to learn more about the NPADC? It’s not too early to start planning a team for next year’s competition. Subscribe to our email updates to hear the latest, or contact with any questions.

  • Don’t miss it! Join us for World Intellectual Property Day
    by USPTO on April 25, 2023 at 12:25 pm

    Blog by Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTOEvery year on April 26, we join intellectual property (IP) organizations from across the globe to celebrate World Intellectual Property (IP) Day. This year’s theme is “Women and IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity.” Getting everyone off the bench to fully participate in innovation is not only a national imperative, but an international one. We have some exciting events planned this week — both in-person and virtual — to uplift the women inventors, creators, and entrepreneurs who do ground-breaking work every day. All are welcome!To kick things off, on April 25, we will hold a professional development webinar about the importance of World IP Day; how to bring engaging invention education to students, educators, and parents; and how to make IP and the innovation ecosystem more accessible to all. Join us for a discussion with high school seniors who are participants in our Intellectual Property Skills Work-Based Learning program through a contract with Urban Alliance. The webinar will address how educators can incorporate IP and invention activities into their classrooms and STEM/STEAM curriculum, and the students will share what resonates with them and inspires them to become innovators. On April 26, at noon ET, I am excited to moderate what is sure to be an uplifting panel on the importance of mentorships for business success titled “mentorshIP: The secret sauce for women entrepreneurs." This event is part of our Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE) initiative “WE Wednesdays” event series. If you have ever wondered how to take your business to the next level, but wished you had someone to bounce ideas off, you’ll want to tune in. We will go over the benefits of having a mentor when starting, funding, and/or expanding your business. Following the WE event, I will also be participating with a panel of women inventors in a webinar hosted by ChIPs (which stands for “chiefs in intellectual property”) on Women in IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity. In the afternoon, we will hold our flagship World IP Day event on Capitol Hill both virtually, and for the first time since 2019, in-person. The program features women business owners who will share the challenges and lessons learned from building their companies, how they made their inventions and creative works into a thriving reality, and why it is critical to protect your investments through IP protections. I look forward to being part of that programming as well.On March 7-9, we welcomed officials from the IP offices of Qatar, Namibia, South Korea, the Philippines, and the U.S. Copyright Office to the USPTO’s Global Intellectual Property Academy for a three-day workshop on diversity in innovation, mentoring, and inclusion strategies. (Photo by Michael Cleveland/USPTO) At the USPTO, we are always focused on what we can do together to increase participation of underrepresented groups in innovation. Through our Council for Inclusive Innovation, we are working across government and the private sector to encourage more innovation, creativity and entrepreneurism from all Americans. Just last month, we observed International Women’s Day by joining over 35 intellectual property (IP) offices in a joint statement recognizing the importance of diversity in innovation, and the creativity and incredible value that women bring to economic progress worldwide. We welcomed over 50 officials from intellectual property organizations worldwide to the USPTO’s Alexandria campus, both in person and virtually, for our inaugural “Women in IP: Meeting on Mentoring and Related Topics” event. Like I stressed in my remarks, it’s critically important to support women obtaining IP, as we all have a shared commitment to empower women and girls to enter – and thrive in – the innovation economy.Throughout the month of April, we have also showcased inspiring and creative women innovators in our “The Value of Her IP” social media campaign. These entrepreneurs have used their IP to make their businesses successful, from development to commercialization. Make sure to follow on “The Value of Her IP” to learn about their stories, where they describe the time, research, and investment they put into creating their brands and companies. I look forward to seeing you this week at our World IP Day events!

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