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

    According to the American Bar Association, most civil cases are settled before trial by mutual agreement between the parties. It is estimated as many as 80-90% of cases settle before trial, usually after the discovery process. Why is that? Counsel can make intelligent predictions of the outcome of a trial once discovery is completed. Trial 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.

  • The Final Transcript: Tips to Make it Count
    by Suzanne Quinson on June 10, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    The transcript is the reason to schedule a court reporter. Read these tips to get the most accurate transcript on time, every time. The post The Final Transcript: Tips to Make it Count appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Depositions in the United Kingdom Post-Covid
    by Suzanne Quinson on May 25, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    The United Kingdom is open and depositions are scheduling. Get all the details to schedule in-person and remote depositions in the U.K. The post Depositions in the United Kingdom Post-Covid appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • How to Renew your Passport
    by Suzanne Quinson on May 18, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    International travel is taking off! International depositions are scheduling, so renew your passport with these step-by-step instructions. The post How to Renew your Passport appeared first on Planet Depos.

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

  • Increasing representation of Native Americans in STEM and innovation
    by USPTO on November 23, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    Joint blog by the USPTO and the Economic Development AdministrationThis month, the U.S. Department of Commerce is celebrating Native American innovators and entrepreneurs. Agencies across the Department of Commerce, including the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Economic Development Administration (EDA), offer a number of tools and resources to support all inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs, including those in underrepresented communities like Native Americans.Tara Astigarraga, Master Inventor at IBMTara Astigarraga, Member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and Master Inventor at IBMWith the help of IBM mentors and her first patent in 2008, Tara Astigarraga, who is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, helps younger women and men from underrepresented backgrounds see the possibilities of a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Born and raised in Arizona and part Native American through her father, today she is an IBM Master Inventor named on more than 80 patents—for a variety of innovative storage, networking, security, and blockchain solutions.Speaking about the importance of mentorship, Astigarraga stated “I had a really great mentor when I first joined [IBM] from the Native American community. She was the head of our diversity group at the time. Her name's Michele Morningstar... And she pulled me immediately into the diversity group there and got me involved with all the other folks across IBM.”Astigarraga is passionate about increasing the representation of Native American communities and other underrepresented groups in STEM fields. “When people talk about activities in STEM or how to build pipelines and get people involved,” Tara says, “they typically talk about the Black and Hispanic communities and even women. But Native American communities hardly ever get brought up because when you round that data, we get rounded to zero and we don't even get included in those conversations.”She also speaks frankly about her struggle with a challenge all too common to young people, especially those from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in STEM: impostor syndrome. Working with young students, especially girls, young women, and members of other traditionally underrepresented groups like Native Americans, allows Tara to be an example of a successful engineer they can see and relate to. Read more about Tara Astigarraga in the USPTO’s Journeys of Innovation story. And learn more about the USPTO’s inclusive innovation efforts, resources that support all inventors and entrepreneurs, and the Women’s Entrepreneurship initiative that just launched with the Department of Commerce.Developing the Ecosystem to Support Future InnovatorsAssistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo (right) consults with economic development leaders of the Hopi Tribe during a June 2022 visit. (photo courtesy of the Economic Development Administration)Through Economic Development Administration (EDA) programs, the Department of Commerce supports the inventors and entrepreneurs that follow in Astigarraga’s footsteps by working with Tribal leaders to develop a robust commercial ecosystem that cultivates and advances talent within America’s Indigenous communities.With President Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARPA), EDA recently completed distribution of $100 million in funding through the Indigenous Communities program, a major investment initiative created to support Tribal governments and related organizations as they design and execute economic development projects to build economies for the future, including the creation of opportunities for Native American innovators seeking seek good-paying jobs in STEM fields.For instance, with EDA backing, the Standing Rock Renewable Energy Authority is planning, evaluating, and designing the Anpetu Wi Wind Farm. This project will help diversify the local economy and increase energy independence for this Tribal community. Meanwhile, in New Mexico, the Pueblo of Picuris is constructing the Picuris Vocational Training Center, building the skills of the local workforce to help secure quality job opportunities. These projects, and dozens like them, are supporting Tribes and Alaskan Native Villages as they establish a trajectory for economic success that accelerates the achievements of new generations of Native American innovators.Expanding opportunity and creating an economy that works for all Americans is central to the Department of Commerce’s mission and strategic plan. The USPTO and EDA are proud to join all Commerce bureaus in celebrating the Native American community and recognizing their significant contributions to our nation’s economy, competitiveness, and growth.

  • See yourself at the USPTO: Find a student program for you
    by USPTO on November 9, 2022 at 1:31 pm

    Blog by Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTOStudents in the USPTO’s IP skills work-based learning program conducted with the Urban Alliance (Photos by the USPTO)“Being able to see so many people in a position that I hope to eventually reach in terms of public service has been inspiring to me.”“I have really enjoyed the freedom and trust given to me while externing at the USPTO. Everyone treats you as they would any other employee in the office, with respect and high expectations.”“Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. The USPTO does a lot of cool things besides issuing patents and registering trademarks. Take advantage and explore different areas that might not first come to mind when you think of intellectual property.”The future of our country hinges on the dreams, aspirations, and persistence of our youth. To help them achieve success, we provide high school, college, and law school students with a range of unique opportunities to leverage their innate skills while building new ones for continued growth. It is my hope that students will participate in our programs and then be ambassadors in their communities to let other students know that intellectual property (IP) is a gateway to future success.Our student programs are unique and include: • Paid internships• Opportunities for high school, undergraduate, graduate, and law students to strengthen their IP knowledge and develop skills to help advance their careers• Flexible time range: Over the summer or during the school year, full time or part time• Flexible location: Virtual and in-person work opportunities available at our headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, or one of our regional offices in Dallas, Denver, Detroit, and San JoseOne thing all our programs have in common is that students work on real hands-on projects, gain valuable skills for their future careers, and make meaningful contributions to our agency. In fact, this past August, we hosted a “Pitch Day” where intern groups shared their recommendations with me and other agency leaders – from social media campaigns to expanded outreach methods. We were blown away by their creative ideas! As a result, we have begun implementing many of their ideas (which include the great hashtag #YOUspto).Scenes from the Urban Alliance interns’ capstone project presentations in Summer 2022, which included special guests U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Gina Raimondo and USPTO Director Kathi Vidal (Photos by the USPTO)IP skills work-based learning programOur year-round paid work-based learning (WBL) experience for high school students is conducted with the Urban Alliance and provides students with a living wage, exposure to career opportunities in federal service, mentoring, and invention and entrepreneurship education. Over the summer, I had the chance to meet with these outstanding high school students, where they shared their ideas with me on how to expand inclusive innovation among their peers, communities, and across the country. They also presented their capstone presentations, summarizing their summer projects and skills they developed. We were even joined by a special guest, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, a champion of work-based learning programs. These students impressed both me and the Secretary so much that we’re in discussions to expand the WBL program to other agencies throughout the Department of Commerce. More to come!Externs at the USPTO work in all business units across the USPTO, from finance, to communications, to international affairs, and more. (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO)Extern programOur volunteer USPTO extern program provides talented high school and college students with unique opportunities to gain valuable skills and professional experience. Typically, the USPTO hires over 40 externs annually. Through this program, externs work on real projects that make an impact, while learning about the agency and its mission, networking with peers and our employees, and hearing directly from leadership about their own career paths. The program also offers invaluable early exposure to the world of IP and a chance to jumpstart a unique career in protecting American innovation. Although we run the extern program year-round, the summer season is when we have the majority of student volunteers. The program duration ranges from a minimum 12 weeks to a maximum of one year, and many of the positions offer the option to be in-person or virtual.USPTO internship programThe USPTO internship program provides students who are enrolled in colleges, trade schools, and other qualifying institutions with paid opportunities to work and explore federal careers while completing their education. We encourage students from all different backgrounds to apply! Assignments may include research, analysis, statistics, coordination of briefing books, assistance in developing detailed reports, attending and reporting out on hearings, legislative markup sessions, and more. Interns are paid at the GS-4 level and are offered the opportunity to gain professional work experience, develop soft skills, gain exposure to intellectual property, and earn experience working at the USPTO.  Innovation internship programAs I announced recently, we have launched a new innovation internship program to provide hands-on job training to community college and university students from diverse backgrounds, fields, and locations. These paid internships offer third year college students with an opportunity to earn an annual GS-4 salary and can last up to two years. It is my sincere hope that other federal agencies will look to this program as a model as we create a culture of inclusiveness in innovation. I can’t wait to see what our first cohort of interns accomplishes. Future Leaders in Public Service Internship ProgramOperated by the Partnership for Public Service, the Future Leaders in Public Service Internship Program places young talent at the USPTO, as well as other Department of Commerce bureaus and the Department of Transportation. With only 7% of the full-time federal workforce under the age of 30, the program works to identify, recruit, and retain the next generation of public servants. The paid internship program develops a diverse pool of young talent for these agencies. Undergraduate, graduate, and law students can apply. Participants receive a $4,000 stipend for the summer from the Partnership for Public Service. Connect with us!Each year, our recruiters speak with college students across the country during the fall and the spring to recruit the best and brightest to join America’s Innovation Agency at our headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, or in one of our four regional offices in Dallas, Denver, Detroit, and San Jose. View our student outreach schedule to see when we’ll be near you! We can speak to you not only about our student opportunities while you’re in school, but also full-time opportunities after you graduate. Application deadlines vary based on the opportunity. Any other questions? Contact us at recruitment@uspto.gov.From real-world experience to real-world application, our student programs have the future in mind. Like I said to our interns this summer, my advice is to take what they learn from their time at the USPTO and build on it, continue to challenge themselves, and even when faced with obstacles, know that there are resources and mentors who can help them. I am thrilled that they have chosen the USPTO to advance their careers, and I hope more students join us on their innovation journeys.

  • Jumpstart your career with LEAP!
    by USPTO on November 1, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    Blog by Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO     Over two years ago, the USPTO introduced the Legal Experience and Advancement Program (LEAP) to provide the next generation of patent practitioners with hands-on experience before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). LEAP is a career development program for patent agents or attorneys with three or fewer substantive oral arguments (not including pro bono) in a federal tribunal. Since the program launched, 135 practitioners have participated in LEAP arguments and more than 140 others have taken LEAP training.LEAP stands out from other legal mentoring programs. It provides newer practitioners with experience arguing in both real and mock cases before PTAB judges. The mock arguments are in front of actual judge panels and are followed by one-on-one feedback from the judges. LEAP also provides informative webinars and numerous training opportunities, including the opportunity to speak with experienced practitioners, to assist participants to develop their advocacy skills and style. LEAP practitioners learn how to better advocate in ex parte appeals and post grant proceedings under the America Invents Act (AIA), such as inter partes reviews, on behalf of patent applicants, patent owners, and AIA petitioners.I’m proud to say that I have been involved with LEAP since its inception, as I helped support its development while still in private practice. Now, as Director, it’s even more clear to me what a meaningful program LEAP is for everyone involved, from newer practitioners all the way up through LEAP sponsors, clients, and the whole intellectual property (IP) bar. I’m proud to see the growth of this program and its meaningful impact in the legal community. By promoting opportunity and advancement for all, it helps secure the future of our legal profession.One LEAP participant said it best: “LEAP helped me become a more well-rounded patent practitioner. Not only did LEAP help me develop my oral advocacy skills, it provided additional perspective about the PTAB and the ex parte appeals process that I have carried through to other areas of my practice. For example, LEAP helped me understand important things to emphasize during prosecution that could later be helpful in an ex parte appeal. And I have applied what I learned about oral advocacy to other areas of my practice, from examiner interviews to interactions with clients and colleagues.”The future success of the program depends on you! The USPTO encourages all members of the IP community – lawyers, law firms, clients, etc. – to support and participate in LEAP. The LEAP program, and the experiences gained in it, can benefit the whole IP bar and its clients. The USPTO also asks law firms and law firm leaders to consider serving as sponsors in LEAP and think about including the LEAP program as part of your regular training.To request a LEAP practitioner argue in a PTAB case, you simply need to fill out the form on our website and email it to ptabhearings@uspto.gov at least five days before the hearing. Learn more about the program by reading insightful testimonials from the sponsors and participants themselves on our website.LEAP is an active and ever-growing program and we are continually looking for ways to expand opportunities for participants. We will be hosting a new “LEAP to Chambers” event on November 9 to allow interested LEAP applicants to visit USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia for a judge-guided tour of the hearing facilities and to learn about advocacy tips from PTAB judges. Although this event is at capacity, we have plans for future sessions in the Detroit, Denver, Dallas, and San Jose regional offices, as well as virtually. Subscribe to USPTO email updates to hear about these as soon as they are announced.For more information or to offer suggestions on ways to improve the program, please contact us at leap@uspto.gov.

  • Hispanic inventors and entrepreneurs bring new technologies to market
    by USPTO on October 11, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    Joint blog by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Economic Development Administration This month, the U.S. Department of Commerce is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic communities. We pay tribute to the numerous Hispanic entrepreneurs and innovators that help fulfill the promise of America for all. Here are three of their stories. Using Artificial Intelligence to Develop Greener Chemicals Chemical engineer Dr. Daniela Blanco was looking for ways to make nylon production more sustainable when she discovered that her innovative use of artificial intelligence technology might be able to help scientists across the entire chemical industry. Born in Venezuela, Blanco earned her PhD in the United States, where she founded her startup company Sunthetics. The company uses artificial intelligence to help others develop greener chemicals. By developing machine learning platforms that leverage very small data sets, the company enables scientists throughout the chemical industry to make new chemicals, medicine, and materials, up to 15 times faster. Read more in the USPTO’s Journeys of Innovation story on Daniela Blanco. “Sustainability from now on should be profitable. Sustainability should be something that we take as a given. That we are already building new chemicals, new materials, everything — in the most possible, sustainable way.” I have always thought there is great strength in knowing who you are. I am beyond proud of my roots, my culture, and my values. I embrace where I come from, and I am grateful for the way it shaped me to define where I am going.” Innovation to Fight Chronic Respiratory Diseases  Dr. Maria Artunduaga is a Colombian-born physician-scientist, inventor, and patent holder. After losing her grandmother to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), she decided to leave her career in plastic surgery and founded Samay Health. The startup focused on enhancing the quality of life for people living with COPD through connected health and machine learning. Her solution—a device named Sylvee, after her grandmother—is a prototype modeled after continuous glucose monitoring sensors. The device attaches to the patient’s chest and injects sound through the thoracic cavity, listens back to it, and captures changes in resonance. She's raised $3.2M in non-dilutive and venture capital to bring Sylvee to market. Hear from Artunduaga and other successful Hispanic innovators about their creative journeys at the USPTO’s upcoming Hispanic Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program on October 12. “Entrepreneurship ensures the U.S. can win on the global stage, but Latinos are still underrepresented in business and technology. Advancing policies that expand access to research funding and highlighting inventors of color will enable a necessary shift in the industry. Protecting our intellectual property (IP) has enabled Samay to be highly differentiated and investable. We have four granted U.S. patents, and ten additional more pending in the U.S. and in eight other countries. In retrospect, I think being an immigrant has strengthened my drive to build a strong IP portfolio because I know it will help my business compete long-term. I tell people, look at me, I'm not an engineer, but taught myself how to do this. If I did it, anyone can.” Catalyzing Entrepreneurship For Briselda Hernandez, the motivation to support innovators and entrepreneurs grew out of a passion for community service. After graduating from the University of San Diego, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member attached to the Los Angeles Unified School District Community Partnership Program. There she helped improve the organizational and financial capacity of the district’s parent engagement program. Nine years later, she’s now the executive-director of Minot, North Dakota’s Souris Basin Planning Council (SBPC), an Economic Development Administration (EDA)-designated Economic Development District. SBPC is managed by a coalition of public and private sector entities and charged with delivering capacity building and technical assistance to catalyze entrepreneurship and stimulate innovation in North-Central North Dakota. SBPC recently launched a Business Accelerator Fund that is providing startup and gap financing to emerging businesses and has resulted in the creation of 79 new jobs since 2020. Last year, the fund  also helped establish the Start Up Minot Academy, providing networking and education for local entrepreneurs. As Hernandez explains, it’s the ability to deliver these types of rapid results and impactful programs that is the most rewarding aspect of working in economic development.     "I am intrigued by the multi-faceted, fast-paced, and creative nature of the field,” said Hernandez. This profession gives you the opportunity to be a catalyst for change by collaborating with a wide-range of stakeholders including individuals, governments, nonprofits, and private organizations.” Expanding opportunity and creating an economy that works for all Americans is central to the Department of Commerce’s mission and strategic plan. The USPTO and EDA are proud to join all Commerce bureaus in celebrating the Hispanic community and recognizing their significant contributions to our nation’s economy, competitiveness, and growth. Learn more about Hispanic inventors and entrepreneurs at the 2022 Hispanic Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program on Oct 12. In addition, visit the USPTO’s inventor and entrepreneur resources page to learn more about protecting your intellectual property. Additional information on EDA programs that can assist entrepreneurs is available on the EDA website.

  • Register for the 2022 Hispanic Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program
    by USPTO on October 6, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    Editorial note: This is a post about the USPTO from the U.S. Department of CommerceDo you want to learn about valuable tools available to inventors and entrepreneurs? Are you eager to be inspired and informed by accomplished Hispanic innovators? If so, make sure to attend the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) free, online 2022 Hispanic Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program on Wednesday, October 12 from 1-4 p.m. ET. Successful Hispanic innovators will discuss their creative and business journeys, and you'll hear from experts about resources and funding that can help you on your own journey. See the agenda, learn about special guests, and register early.Subtítulos en español disponibles. This program will have live captions in Spanish.Topics include:• How to take your idea to the marketplace• How to protect your intellectual property• How to fund your business and get help along the waySpeakers include:• Maria Artunduaga, Founder and CEO of Samay Health, a company focused on fighting chronic respiratory diseases• Lawrence Chavez, Founder and CEO of Everyday Contacts, a company bringing a new contact lens to market• Oriana Papin-Zoghbi, CEO and Co-founder of AOA Dx, a Y Combinator-backed biotech company focused on early-stage ovarian cancer detection• Byron Rojas, President and Founder of EASYMETERING LLC., a company that creates advanced metering technology to link smart appliances to the smart gridThe Hispanic Innovation and Entrepreneurship program is just one of many programs the USPTO offers for aspiring and current entrepreneurs, wherever they may be in their innovation journeys. To learn more about the USPTO’s efforts to ensure that people from all backgrounds have opportunities to become innovators, visit the USPTO’s inclusive innovation page.“Only by working together and inclusively will we incentivize more innovation from more people, protecting that innovation with intellectual property, and helping get those ideas to impact to solve world problems and create jobs and economic prosperity,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “You can play a role by reposting and getting the message out. Join us!”Register now for the 2022 Hispanic Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program!

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  • Senators Ask FTC to Probe Musk's 'Alarming Steps' at Twitter
    on November 18, 2022 at 6:18 pm

    Seven senators wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission Thursday expressing concerns about the "integrity and safety" of the Twitter platform.      

  • Internet Harassment in the Workplace: Civil and Criminal Legal Actions Possible
    on November 15, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Internet harassment is a form of conduct. It may take place on a workplace computer or on an augmented realty game. More specifically, internet conduct includes posting threats, obscene images, as well as internet communications via text, messaging, computer or email, which conveys harmful or false information on social media sites.      

  • Google Agrees to Pay Largest Privacy Settlement in US History to 40 States, Including Ga.
    on November 15, 2022 at 12:36 am

    "Big Tech is watching us, but Silicon Valley needs to know that we are watching them too, and if they violate our consumer-protection laws, we will take strong action to protect our citizens," Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said.      

  • 'Big Tech Is Watching Us': Google Agrees to Pay Largest Privacy Settlement in US History
    on November 14, 2022 at 8:36 pm

    "Big Tech is watching us, but Silicon Valley needs to know that we are watching them too, and if they violate our consumer-protection laws, we will take strong action to protect our citizens," Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said.      

  • A Pessimist's Assessment of the Proposed EU-US Data Privacy Framework Under 'Schrems II'
    on November 9, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    On Oct. 7, President Biden signed Executive Order 14086 on "Enhancing Safeguards for United States Signals Intelligence Activities," which serves as the first step toward restoring the free flow of European personal data to U.S. businesses. In this article, Michael Kleinman and Talia Bulka write that the order "contains some serious substantive improvements, but it is far from the "no spy" agreement that European privacy activists have demanded."