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  • 7 Handy Tips for Scheduling a Deposition (Including Remote!)
    by Carly Wilson on April 13, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    By Micayla Charles & Carly Wilson The process of scheduling a deposition can have several moving pieces, from counsel’s and the witness’s schedule to arranging for a court reporter, videographer, and/or interpreter. And then there’s finding an appropriate location, organizing exhibits, setting up special services, as well as planning for the necessary technology needed to make the The post 7 Handy Tips for Scheduling a Deposition (Including Remote!) appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Important Mobile Apps for Legal Professionals in 2021
    by Carly Wilson on April 1, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    There are apps for everything the legal professional needs, here are a few of our favorite apps to make your day go a little smoother. The post Important Mobile Apps for Legal Professionals in 2021 appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • CRCW 2021: Planet Depos Salutes Our Fearless Students
    by Darlene Williams on February 11, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    Oh, my, what a difference a year makes!  With the global pandemic changing life as we know it, just think how much we’ve learned this past year.  No one could have seen COVID coming, but once it hit, it was all hands on deck at Planet Depos to adapt and chart a course to a The post CRCW 2021: Planet Depos Salutes Our Fearless Students appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Top Security Tips for Working From Home
    by Suzanne Quinson on February 10, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Since so many of us began working from home in the spring of 2020, we have been hearing how important security is. Information on VPNs, encryption, and other measures to protect data have been rolling out regularly for many months. Filters and firewalls are great, but what can you do to enhance your own personal The post Top Security Tips for Working From Home appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Remote Deposition Tips: Pointers from the Field
    by Suzanne Quinson on January 13, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    With 2020 having finally reached its long-awaited close, why not consider a positive of the year? We have mastered the art of the remote deposition! Yes, after months of Zooming here and there and everywhere, it is time to not just cheer a job well done, but to share some of the best tips for The post Remote Deposition Tips: Pointers from the Field appeared first on Planet Depos.

Director's Forum: A Blog from USPTO's Leadership Updates from America’s innovation agency

  • USPTO concludes successful Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium
    by USPTO on April 1, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    A blog about the USPTO from the Department of U.S. Department of Commerce.The USPTO hosted the final installment of the 2021 Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium (WES) on March 31, where participants heard from a diverse panel of successful women innovators who shared their stories of entrepreneurship and the challenges they faced along the way.WES, an annual event launched in 2011, has proven to be one of the USPTO’s most popular programs to date. Over 6,000 attendees tuned in this year to hear lessons learned, helpful tips, and resources for women entrepreneurs to protect the various forms of intellectual property (IP) which might be present in their businesses - namely patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.  The speakers at the March 31 session described how they got to where they are, and what they recommend for all the aspiring young women in our country. They also addressed the vital role of IP protection, how to identify a market segment for growth, and discussed best practices and successful habits in today’s changing business climate.Panelists included Janeya Griffin, Founder and CEO, The Commercializer; Rea Huntley, Founder and CEO, Lavii INC; and Sarah Gibson Tuttle, Founder and CEO, Oliver and June. Dr. Lisa Cook, Professor at Michigan State University, and Edison Research Fellow at the USPTO, moderated the panel. Throughout the month of March, WES offered engaging, expert panels featuring successful women entrepreneurs, notable inventors, and subject matter experts from the USPTO, the International Trade Administration and the Small Business Administration.In addition, the discussions focused on important topics such as expanding opportunities for women and underrepresented groups in innovation, increasing educational opportunities for girls and women in invention and STEM, and highlighting the role women entrepreneurs play in innovation and economic growth.View the playlist of all WES sessions on the USPTO’s YouTube page and browse all upcoming USPTO events.

  • Spotlight on Commerce: Valencia Martin-Wallace, Deputy Commissioner for Patents, USPTO
    by USPTO on March 22, 2021 at 8:25 pm

    Guest blog post by Valencia Martin-Wallace, Deputy Commissioner for Patents, USPTOValencia Martin-Wallace, Deputy Commissioner for Patents, USPTO (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO)As the Deputy Commissioner for Patents at the USPTO, I am responsible for leading the organization’s international patent cooperation programs and initiatives. I also have oversight of the technology centers responsible for examining patent applications in the fields of telecommunications, mechanical technologies, and design.I graduated with a B.S. in electrical engineering from Howard University, where I learned alongside a wonderful group of students from diverse backgrounds. After flexing my engineering muscle for three years, I decided to pursue intellectual property (IP) law at George Washington University School of Law. At about the same time, I began my career at the USPTO as a patent examiner. After graduating from law school, I realized public service at the USPTO was the right career choice for me. Nearly 29 years later, I’m still a member of the USPTO community. I would not be where I am today, in an exciting career in IP, without the support and guidance of very progressive parents, teachers, and mentors, and the examples set before me by talented women scientists, engineers, and attorneys.I also have the unique pleasure and responsibility of being the executive lead, assisting the Director of the USPTO, with establishing the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI) and the development of the national strategy for expanding American innovation.The NCEAI consists of leaders from every corner of the innovation ecosystem; it was established to help guide the USPTO in developing a comprehensive national strategy to build a more diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem by encouraging participation of women and other underrepresented groups. This strategy will be organized by a broad conceptual framework that considers the entire pathway along which interest and expertise in intellectual property and innovation is cultivated and nurtured in an individual.I am honored to be a part of the Department of Commerce USPTO family during this groundbreaking period in the history of intellectual property. I feel privileged to be a part of this movement to increase participation in our innovation ecosystem by inspiring, empowering, and supporting all future inventors and entrepreneurs. These efforts will advance innovation and help our Nation’s economy grow.Whenever I have the opportunity to talk to young women about intellectual property, I encourage them to challenge their minds through the fields of sciences, technology, engineering, and math. I know they would find the same fulfillment in these fields that I have always found. I also urge them to work hard, take pride in a job well done, never limit themselves, and reach back to help those who come behind them.During Women’s History Month, I celebrate the accomplishments of the women engineers and scientists who have paved the way for me and many women just like me. I revel in the contributions of the women who have played a vital role in advancing our great country. Women like Beulah Louise Henry, a prolific inventor with 49 U.S. patents and over 100 inventions credited to her name; Marian Croak, a pioneer in the advancement of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) who holds over 200 patents; and Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic-American woman in space and co-inventor on three patents. These and so many other women inventors are an inspiration and I look forward to seeing how future women innovators and entrepreneurs will shape our world.Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce employees during Women’s History Month.

  • Artificial intelligence tools at the USPTO
    by USPTO on March 18, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Blog by Drew Hirshfeld, performing the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTOAmong the most important technological developments has been the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), a transformative technology that promises tremendous societal and economic benefits. USPTO operations can be one of its beneficiaries. The integration of AI technologies into next generation tools offers an exciting opportunity to enhance the quality and efficiency of patent and trademark examination.To incorporate AI into our examination tools and processes at the USPTO, we’ve undertaken a comprehensive development strategy including extensive market research and rigorous testing of a wide range of proof-of-concepts to identify the best solutions. Our objective is not just to deploy smarter technology, but to build a smarter organization by coupling the strengths of our workforce with the strengths of AI. This is the beginning of a whole new trajectory in how we leverage technology to transform patent and trademark operations for the better.We are incorporating AI tools into two critical areas of patent examination: search and classification.Performing a complete prior art search is a critically important component of the patent examination process and the USPTO’s mission to issue reliable patent rights. However, the exponential growth of prior art and tremendous pace of technological innovation make it increasingly more difficult to quickly discover the most relevant prior art. To meet this challenge, we have developed an AI-based prototype search system that helps to identify relevant documents and provides suggestions for additional areas to search. In addition to providing world-class patent AI models, the system is designed to learn from the world’s greatest patent searchers, our USPTO examiners. The system is configured to automatically capture feedback data from our examiners to yield additional enhancements over time. We are also developing features to help examiners interpret results generated by the AI models to provide transparency into the system. A beta version of this new AI tool was released to a subset of examiners in March 2020. Assessments conducted to date yielded promising results, and steps are being taken to incorporate AI into our next generation search tool for examiners.We also developed an auto-classification tool that leverages machine learning to classify patent documents using the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system. The system can suggest CPC symbols, and includes the ability to identify claimed subject matter for additional refinement of the suggested CPC symbols similar to our AI search system. The auto-classification system also includes indicators that provide users with insight into the reasoning of the AI, by linking suggested CPC symbols to specific portions of the document. Enhanced feedback mechanisms designed into the system integrate with our existing classification processes to support training the AI. Based on an analysis of system performance, the USPTO implemented auto-classification in December 2020 to automatically identify claimed subject matter with CPC for internal operations. As a result, the agency is realizing reductions in procurement expenditures for acquiring CPC data. Additionally, we are continuing to develop further capabilities to support a broader range of patent classification requirements at the USPTO.These successes are demonstrating the value of applying AI to improve the agency operations and strengthen the IP system. To continue building from these successes, our Patents team has expanded their investigations to explore potential new opportunities to leverage AI. For example, research is now underway on AI-based image search capabilities which could open up whole new ways to retrieve prior art. This could be particularly useful for searching patent applications where examiners rely heavily on images for making patentability determinations, such as design patent applications.On the Trademarks side, we recently completed market research in AI capabilities for image comparison and for checking the acceptability of identification of goods and services against the entries in the Trademarks ID Manual. The USPTO team developed AI prototypes to compare trademark images, to suggest the correct assignment of mark image design codes, and to determine the potential acceptability of the identifications of goods and services. A beta test of these prototypes through a common user interface with approximately 10 stakeholders began in November 2020 and continues, with a larger beta possible later this year. In addition, the USPTO has tested solutions for false specimen detection capabilities using a software program, which was integrated on December 1, 2020 into the agency’s efforts to identify digitally manipulated specimens of use or mock-ups of web pages. Finally, a prototype of an AI based chatbot for answering frequently asked questions via the USPTO website could be ready for beta testing later this year.Overall we have achieved some remarkable milestones and made great strides toward integrating AI into the USPTO’s day-to-day functions. Stay tuned for more exciting updates from the USPTO on AI in the near future.

  • USPTO celebrates American women inventors and entrepreneurs
    by USPTO on March 15, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    Editor's note: This is a blog about the USPTO from the U.S. Department of Commerce.Most Americans have likely heard of Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, or Alexander Graham Bell. But what about Harriet Strong, Frances Arnold, and Juliette Gordon Low? These and so many more women inventors and scientists have made lasting contributions to our nation’s history. They have inspired future generations of innovators to change the world with their ideas.In honor of Women’s History Month, as part of its mission to protect and promote the ingenuity of American inventors and entrepreneurs, the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is sharing the stories of notable women innovators, past and present. A few of these stories are highlighted below, but we encourage you to take a moment to learn more about these incredible women through the USPTO’s popular Journeys of Innovation series and on social media.Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of the USA and patented the organization’s iconic trefoil badge in 1914. A three-leafed clover design adapted from the Boy Scouts’ similar badge, Low’s trefoil suggested a fundamental equality between girls and boys on the eve of women’s suffrage and continues to signal girls’ invaluable contributions to American life and culture. Juliette Gordon Low received U.S. design patent No. 45,234 on February 10, 1914 for the trefoil, worn as a badge for the Girl Scouts. In 2018, Frances Arnold became the first American female Nobel laureate in chemistry, for her work in harnessing the power of evolution to create new proteins that have useful properties not found in nature. She has devoted her 30-year career to making chemistry green, clean, and more efficient. A winner of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, an inductee in the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and currently serving as co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, she is passionate about mentoring the next generation of young scientists.Nobel laureate and inventor Frances Arnold. (Photo courtesy of Caltech)A pioneer in advanced technologies, Marian Croak, holds more than 200 patents and has over 100 pending applications. Her many achievements include pioneering work advancing the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) with inventions that made internet phone calls more reliable and secure; text-to-donate technology inspired by Hurricane Katrina that revolutionized how people give to charitable organizations; and work on the telephone network and voting system used for American Idol®. Now a Vice President of Engineering at Google, she focuses on reliability engineering to improve the performance of Google systems and services.Marian Croak speaks at the Google for India event in 2015. (Photo courtesy of Google)Temple Grandin is an inventor, professor, author, inspirational speaker, and a leading advocate for the humane treatment of livestock. Unable to speak until almost age four, no one expected Temple Grandin to do much in life, let alone become one of the world’s compelling voices in science and innovation. Now, Grandin is one of the world’s most well-known autistic individuals and proponents of neurodiversity and also holds a U.S. patent for her farm animal handling system. On March 25, don’t miss the webinar on differing abilities in STEM, featuring Temple Grandin, and hosted by the U.S. Department of Education and the USPTO.USPTO’s Director of Education and Outreach Joyce Ward presents Temple Grandin with an oversized copy of her inventor trading card and her livestock handling designs. USPTO Inventor Trading Cards aim to inspire children with stories of diverse inventors. (Photo by Unsu Jung/USPTO)Since she was a child, Sangeeta Bhatia has enjoyed figuring out how things work. Now a biomedical researcher, MIT professor, and biotech entrepreneur, she has invented human microlivers to study drug metabolism and liver disease as well as nanoparticles that help diagnose, study, and treat ailments like cancer. Bhatia has also received the prestigious Heinz Award for her groundbreaking innovations and advocacy of women in STEM fields.Sangeeta Bhatia and her students have explored the use of CRISPR-Cas9, a genome editing tool, for the treatment of hepatitis B. (Photo courtesy of Justin Knight)Hinda Miller, Polly Smith, and Lisa Lindahl created the sports bra, a true entrepreneurial endeavor which has spurred women’s participation in athletic activities and advanced women’s health and well-being. Originally designed to decrease discomfort for female runners, their invention has since become a necessity for female athletes and a modern fashion staple. The empowering story of these three women offers a compelling example of determination, ingenuity, and creativity.From left: Inventors of the sports bra Polly Smith, Lisa Lindahl, and Hinda Miller. (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO)The USPTO is dedicated to encouraging and equipping Americans across all demographics and throughout the United States to become innovators, and to ensuring they have equal opportunities to succeed. One exciting initiative, the National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI) is strategizing new ways to expand American innovation by tapping into the strength of our nation’s diversity and increasing the opportunities for all Americans to participate in innovation. Comprised of respected leaders in the private and public sectors, one of the foremost priorities for the Council is to help the USPTO develop a long-term comprehensive plan aimed at expanding participation in America’s innovation ecosystem among women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups. Learn more about NCEAI and other USPTO initiatives, events, and resources on the Expanding Innovation page of the USPTO website.

  • The growing importance of international cooperation to the protection of industrial designs
    by USPTO on March 1, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    Blog by Drew Hirshfeld, performing the functions and duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and Mary Critharis, Chief Policy Officer and Director of International Affairs of the USPTOIndustrial design has been an essential aspect of developing new products since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the 18th century. This focus on making a product more appealing and intuitive to the user by improving its appearance, function, and manufacturing has driven designers for centuries and touches our everyday lives––from making a toothbrush fit more easily in one’s hand, to creating automobile dashboards that are easier to comprehend.Today industrial design helps turn complex technologies into products that can be used by billions of people, surmounting massive differences in language and culture. But with industrial design’s growing complexity, its exponential growth in importance in our time, and the advent of new technologies—such as personal computing and the numerous digital devices on the market today—it is important to ensure that our systems for protecting designs are meeting the needs of global designers. In response to these challenges, the world’s five largest industrial design offices—the China National Intellectual Property Administration, European Union Intellectual Property Office, Japan Patent Office (JPO), Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)—came together in 2015 to create the Industrial Design 5 Forum, or ID5. Their goal was straightforward: the five offices pledged to “promote and further the development of user-friendly, highly efficient and interoperable industrial design protection systems.”The ID5 celebrated its fifth anniversary in October 2020 at the annual meeting hosted by the United States (and the forum’s first-ever virtual meeting). Meeting virtually may have been driven by necessity, but it highlighted the forum’s versatility and provided representatives from the five intellectual property offices with the opportunity to take stock of the impressive progress they have made since 2015 and to map a way forward for future cooperation. Those accomplishments include:Implementation of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Digital Access Service for designs. This electronic document exchange system has made the process of seeking design protection in multiple jurisdictions around the world significantly more efficient, and has resulted in substantial cost savings for patent applicants. (And, given the challenges presented by the pandemic in obtaining certified paper copies of applications, has eliminated countless problems and headaches for applicants across the globe.)Agreement by the JPO, KIPO, and USPTO on a set of common recommended design formalities practices. This agreement is in line with the draft Design Law Treaty that is currently still pending at WIPO.Completion of 16 projects and comparative studies providing patent applicants with numerous new comparative reference manuals to help them more easily navigate the global design patent system. Key topics include eligibility, grace period, partial designs, and 3D printing.For U.S. patent holders and applicants, these accomplishments mean simplified electronic procedures for design patent filings abroad, and the availability of a set of tools to help them understand the practices and procedures of the five partner offices where international protection is most often sought. Over the coming years, it will be essential for the USPTO and its international partners to work together through forums such as the ID5 to anticipate and address the challenges that still exist in the global design system for applicants. The ID5 partners recognized this at their October meeting by undertaking a number of new projects, including studies on term and renewal of protection and deferred publication and examination. They also made plans to engage in further discussions regarding the use of new technologies in examining and issuing industrial design rights.In addition, the ID5 partner offices underlined the importance of soliciting stakeholder input in the forum’s deliberations by unveiling a joint communication plan that will allow for improved engagement with stakeholders. Finally, recognizing the important role of intellectual property offices in the current climate, the offices pledged in a special joint statement on COVID-19 that they “stand united in their efforts to respond to the pandemic and to continue to strengthen the international intellectual property system.”More than ever, industrial designs are being used around the world to create intuitive interfaces that turn complex technologies into useful tools. Facilitating their development and protection within a workable, international framework will be important to meeting the needs of the international design community. The USPTO is hard at work with its ID5 partners to meet this collective challenge, and is actively engaged with U.S. stakeholders, through such means as a recent forum on global trends in industrial design, to ensure that the latest developments in international design protection are made widely known. To learn more, visit the ID5 website.

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