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LJN - Intellectual Property Strategist The newsletter publishing arm of ALM, publishers of The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer and legal newspapers of record throughout the U.S.

Planet Depos We Make It Happen

  • Colombia to the Rescue! Deposing Witnesses in South America (Updated)
    by Suzanne Quinson on November 26, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Three giants in South America don't permit the taking of depositions within their borders. What are you to do if you need to depose a witness? Try Colombia. The post Colombia to the Rescue! Deposing Witnesses in South America (Updated) appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • At A Glance: Taking Depositions in Europe
    by Suzanne Quinson on November 20, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    The advantages of taking a deposition in Europe are numerous, from landmarks to food, but attorneys planning European depositions will discover a few extra steps when scheduling. The post At A Glance: Taking Depositions in Europe appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • Planet Depos Celebrates 10 Years in Court Reporting
    by Suzanne Quinson on November 6, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    As Planet Depos turns 10, we look back over the past decade to see everything that brought us to today. It all started with a vision. The post Planet Depos Celebrates 10 Years in Court Reporting appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • At A Glance: Taking Depositions in the Middle East & South Asia
    by Suzanne Quinson on October 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Between the climate and politics, the Middle East and South Asia regions are hot topics. When it comes to taking depositions, though, it's mostly cut and dry. The post At A Glance: Taking Depositions in the Middle East & South Asia appeared first on Planet Depos.

  • The Importance of the Court Reporter’s Neutrality
    by Kathy DiLorenzo on October 16, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Court reporters are the “keepers of the record.” Their impartiality is one of the three legs upon which the American justice system stands. The post The Importance of the Court Reporter’s Neutrality appeared first on Planet Depos.

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

  • New report on underrepresented groups in patenting
    by USPTO on November 25, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Andrei Iancu  Undergraduate students from Johns Hopkins University, and Finalists in the Collegiate Inventors Competition, work on their award winning invention, PeritoneX, a mechanism that disinfects at-home peritoneal dialysis systems to prevent infection. (Photo courtesy of PeritoneX) America’s long-standing economic prosperity and global technological leadership depend on a strong and vibrant innovation ecosystem. To maximize the nation’s potential, it’s more important than ever that all Americans who are willing to work hard, persevere and take risks have the opportunity to innovate, to start new companies, to succeed in established companies, and ultimately, to achieve the American dream. To maintain our technological leadership, the United States must seek to broaden our innovation, entrepreneurship and intellectual property ecosystems demographically, geographically, and economically. The USPTO is at the forefront of this effort. The Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science Success Act of 2018, also known as the “SUCCESS Act,” directed the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), in consultation with the Small Business Administration, to identify publicly available data on the number of patents annually applied for and obtained by women, minorities, and veterans, and the benefits of increasing these numbers. The Act also asked for legislative recommendations on how to encourage and increase the participation by these groups as inventor-patentees and entrepreneurs. On October 31, we released our SUCCESS Act report. As detailed in our report, after reviewing literature and data sources, we found that there is a limited amount of publicly available information regarding the participation rates of women, minorities, and veterans in the patent system. One of the most comprehensive studies on women inventors was published by the USPTO earlier this year, “Progress and Potential: a profile of women inventors on U.S. patents,” which found that only about 12% of inventors named on U.S. patents are women. As an agency, we have undertaken a proactive approach to encourage women, minorities, and veterans to innovate and secure patents to protect their innovations. We provide guidance and assistance to inventors, host annual events such as the annual Invention-Con and Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium, support pro bono networks around the country, offer pro se assistance to make navigating the patent process more accessible, especially to first-time applicants, and have free legal services through 60 participating law school clinics. Plus, our four regional offices serve inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses throughout the country, and our Patent and Trademark Resource Centers are located in more than 80 public, state, and academic libraries—many in minority and underserved communities. These centers offer regular programming, virtual office hours with USPTO subject matter experts, and librarians trained to assist with intellectual property research. In our SUCCESS Act report, we identified ways to build on existing USPTO programs by undertaking even more initiatives, some of which include: • Council for innovation inclusiveness: The USPTO plans to establish a council to develop a national strategy for promoting and increasing the participation of underrepresented groups as inventor-patentees, entrepreneurs, and innovation leaders.• Workforce development: The USPTO will work with other government agencies to help develop workforce training materials that include information on how to obtain a patent, and the importance of invention and IP protections. • Increased development of IP training for educators: The USPTO will work with other federal agencies to develop training materials to help elementary, middle, and high school teachers incorporate the concepts of invention and IP creation and protection into classroom instruction. Our report also includes a number of legislative recommendations for Congress, such as: • Enhance USPTO authority to gather information: Congress could authorize a streamlined mechanism for the USPTO to undertake a voluntary, confidential, biennial survey of individuals named in patent applications that have been filed with the USPTO.• Expand the purposes/scopes of relevant federal grant programs: Congress could expand the authorized uses of grants and funds in appropriate federal programs to include activities that promote invention and entrepreneurship, as well as the protection of inventions and innovations using intellectual property among underrepresented groups.• Support exhibits at national museums featuring inventors/entrepreneurs: Congress could encourage national museums to feature exhibits that highlight the contributions to U.S. invention and entrepreneurship by individuals from underrepresented groups. In addition, the USPTO plays a critical role to equip tomorrow’s inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs with the skills they need to succeed. That is why we support dozens of STEM-related programs and events that provide basic education about intellectual property to young men and women. These include the Girl Scout IP patch, which is available to Girl Scout troops across the nation; programs in partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, such as Camp Invention, which is offered in school districts in every state, and the Collegiate Inventors Competition, which takes place each year at the USPTO; the National Summer Teacher Institute, which incorporates invention and IP into classrooms; collaborations with historically black colleges and universities; and so much more. Broadening the innovation ecosphere to include more women, minorities, and veterans is critical to inspiring novel inventions, driving economic growth, and maintaining America’s global competitiveness. We will continue to work with our stakeholders, other government agencies, Congress, and the public to maximize the potential for all individuals—regardless of background or status—to invent, protect their inventions, and succeed.

  • Collegiate Inventors Competition winners announced
    by USPTO on November 6, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Blog by Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Laura Peter Deputy Director of the USPTO Laura Peter meets University of Tennessee graduate student and CIC finalist Lia Winter, inventor of the EasyWhip™ double-loop stitching apparatus, which gives surgeons more control over the process of stitching grafts. (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO) “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson The future of American innovation was on display October 30 at the 2019 Collegiate Inventors Competition (CIC) held at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, VA. Cutting-edge inventions created by the nation’s brightest young innovators from colleges and universities across the country—from improvements in surgical tools to alternative energy solutions—were showcased at the competition’s public expo, providing the students a forum to answer questions and discuss their inventions with USPTO patent examiners, patent attorneys, trademark examiners and senior officials; corporate sponsors; members of the intellectual property community; and the public. During the competition, the 23 undergraduate and graduate students from 10 teams had the opportunity to interact one-on-one with inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF). These legendary innovators – who have invented many tools, processes, or devices that are now commonplace in our lives (optical fiber, implantable defibrillator, Post-it® Notes, digital camera) — served as judges for the competition, and provided advice and inspiration for the students. USPTO patent examiners also served as judges. “The ideas represented in this room – and the bright minds behind them – are the future of American innovation… You have started blazing your trail. As you continue your path changing our world as entrepreneurs, business owners, and patent holders, we will eagerly watch your progress.” -Deputy Director Laura Peter, addressing CIC finalists and winners at the evening awards ceremony The winner in the undergraduate category was Ethan Brush from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. His invention, PE-IVT (Positively Engaged, Infinitely Variable Transmission Using Split Helical Gears), is a new type of transmission for electric vehicles which increases efficiency and reduces energy losses. The graduate winner was a team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, comprised of Maher Damak and Karim Khalil. Their invention, Infinite Cooling, can ionize and collect water from power plant cooling towers, so it may be reused as industrial and drinking water. The undergraduate runner-up, and the Arrow Electronics People’s Choice Award winner, was a team from Johns Hopkins University for their invention PeritoneX, a mechanism to disinfect at-home peritoneal dialysis systems to prevent infection.  The graduate runner-up was a team from University of Washington for their invention, Nanodropper, a universal adapter for eyedrop medication bottles. The top undergraduate and graduate winning teams each received $15,000, and the runner-up winning teams each received $5,000. Read more about all the 2019 CIC finalists and winners. Thanks to this competition, the skills that these students gained through the process of invention and by learning about intellectual property will be assets to them as they continue with their research or commercialize their inventions. The Collegiate Inventors Competition is one of several important programs that the USPTO, with its partner NIHF, sponsors for young inventors. NIHF’s education programs impact over 165,000 children and 20,000 educators annually — promoting a better understanding of the vital role intellectual property and innovation play in our lives and our economy, and helping to build entrepreneurial skills for the next generation of inventors.

  • Spotlight on Commerce: Megan Miller, Plain Language Writer/Editor
    by USPTO on November 5, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    A post about the USPTO from the Department of Commerce. Megan Miller, Plain Language Writer/Editor, USPTO. (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO) After earning my engineering degree and serving in the Navy for seven years, the next logical step in my career was to take a position as a writer-editor. Sounds disjointed? It's a more natural progression than you might think. Growing up, I loved math and science. Math homework was my favorite! It was so satisfying to start with a few numbers and a question, then figure out what to do with those numbers to find the answer. In science classes, I asked enough questions to try the patience of both my teachers and fellow students. Predictably, I went to college to be an engineer. I studied biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester. It was fascinating to learn about how the human body works and how the biomedical field uses technology to make it work better. I couldn't wait to graduate and use my skills to build things that would solve real-world problems. As graduation grew closer, though, I decided I wanted to explore the world of engineering from a different perspective. So, I joined the Navy to study and work in nuclear propulsion. In my training, I learned how the Navy harnesses fission to move ships. It was staggering to learn about a system that starts with a few neutrons zooming around and ends with an aircraft carrier zooming through the ocean. Again, I was awestruck at how engineering gives us systems that are cohesive, despite their complexity, to elegantly solve the world's problems. During my time in the Navy, in addition to studying nuclear power, I was also a division officer. That meant that I bridged the gap between the command's leadership and the sailors in my division. Despite being on the same ship, those two groups had dramatically different needs and perspectives. Leadership focused on accomplishing the ship's mission and keeping the ship and crew safe. My sailors, on the other hand, were concerned about maintaining and operating a complicated weapon system. When those priorities were at odds, fulfilling my role as a liaison could be quite challenging. I quickly learned that in any form of communication, it's vitally important to start by understanding the needs and perspectives of the other person. The only way to reach them is to shape your message with those needs in mind. Ignore those needs, and you'll fail. For me, a few big failures helped me learn the lesson. Seven years of smaller failures helped me hone the skill, which is fundamental to effective communication. These experiences laid the groundwork for my career as a writer-editor at the USPTO. My focus in writing and editing is plain language. That doesn't mean that I dumb things down or that I make every piece of content understandable to the general public. It means that I write and edit so my audience can easily find, understand, and use the information they need. It's all about audience; understanding their needs is the cornerstone of writing in plain language. For me, writing in plain language requires employing the communication skills I developed and refined in the Navy. So, my plain language savvy is a direct result of my service. Even if you have a clear understanding of your audience, though, writing clearly can still be quite challenging. There are many obstacles to overcome. Sometimes, you're writing to multiple audiences who have vastly different needs. Sometimes, your organization's needs conflict with your audience's needs. Legal topics add another layer of obstacles. Sometimes, when you explain legal concept in the most straightforward way, you get a statement that's only true 99% of the time, making it legally inaccurate. Communicating clearly despite these roadblocks can be difficult, but it's possible. My job is to do just that, and it's my favorite part of writing and editing. Thinking outside the box to find ways to communicate clearly within these constraints is, dare I say, fun. I never expected words to be my medium for solving problems as an adult, but it's just as satisfying as the problem sets I loved as a kid.  My job is to serve Americans by making the information they need more accessible, using words to solve problems along the way. Though I thought I'd grow up to be a distinguished scientist or brilliant inventor, now I know that it's just as fulfilling to be a word engineer. Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce military veterans in honor of Veterans Day.

  • USPTO issues second Federal Register Notice on artificial intelligence and innovation
    by USPTO on October 30, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Blog by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Andrei Iancu and Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Laura Peter Director Iancu visits exhibits showcasing AI technologies at the “Artificial Intelligence: Intellectual Property Considerations” conference on January 31, 2019 at the USPTO. Shown above: a team from University of California, Berkeley demonstrates their patent visualization system, which enables a user to see and manipulate a three-dimensional landscape of similar patents. (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO) Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution states that Congress has the power “[t]o promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” As artificial intelligence technologies (AI) quickly advance, the concepts of “authors and inventors” may not necessarily be confined to the human realm. From creating paintings and symphonies to generating advertising copy and recommending products to consumers, AI has already produced impressive artistic and commercial output. What impact will this have on our constitutionally founded IP system? The USPTO has been examining precisely these issues. One step in this process was the publication of our Request for Comments on Patenting Artificial Intelligence Inventions in the Federal Register on August 27. We have extended the comment period to November 8, so please submit your patent-related responses if you have not already done so. The fields of copyright, trademark, database protections, and trade secret law, among others, may be similarly susceptible to the impacts of developments in AI. Accordingly, the USPTO is just as interested in gathering public feedback on these issues. To facilitate that process, we issued a second AI-related Federal Register Notice on October 30 and comments will be accepted until December 16, 2019. There are thirteen questions in this notice, including:Should a work produced by an AI algorithm or process, without the involvement of a natural person contributing expression to the resulting work, qualify as a work of authorship protectable under U.S. copyright law? Why or why not? To the extent an AI algorithm or process learns its function(s) by ingesting large volumes of copyrighted material, does the existing statutory language (e.g., the fair use doctrine) and related case law adequately address the legality of making such use?  Should authors be recognized for this type of use of their works? If so, how? Would the use of AI in trademark searching impact the registrability of trademarks? If so, how? How, if at all, does AI impact trade secret law? Is the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), 18 U.S.C. § 1836 et seq., adequate to address the use of AI in the marketplace? How, if at all, does AI impact the need to protect databases and data sets? Are existing laws adequate to protect such data? We have already gleaned compelling insights from the feedback we received to date on the patent-related Federal Register Notice. But the various types of intellectual property protections work together symbiotically to create a comprehensive IP legal system that promotes creativity, development, job creation, and economic growth. As such, we are eager to hear your views on the impacts that other non-patent IP fields are or may be experiencing in the wake of AI. However fast the pace of AI development has been until now, we firmly believe that this will pale in comparison to advances yet to come. The USPTO is committed to keeping pace with this critical technology in order to accelerate American innovation.

  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month
    by USPTO on October 28, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    By Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Andrei Iancu October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a time to celebrate the immeasurable contributions Americans with disabilities make to the workplace and society. Individuals with disabilities create and innovate in numerous and diverse technologies. They own registered trademarks and hold patents. They are our colleagues and our loved ones, and they are a vital thread in our American tapestry.  Our work at the USPTO is enhanced by the spirit of inclusion and accessibility. Many of our employees—7% of whom self-identify as disabled—are able to perform their duties at the highest levels thanks to many of the same adaptive technologies that receive our IP protections. Diversity has been an essential component to America’s long and successful history of innovation. This is true not only of our inventors themselves, but also the diversity in the inventing process and the technologies we bring forward. One only needs to look as far as our National Inventors Hall of Fame to see several examples of remarkable inventors who work to enhance the lives of persons with disabilities while also experiencing their own physical challenges. Inducted in 2019, Chieko Asakawa used her personal experience to invent the Home Page Reader (HPR). The HPR provides internet access for users who are blind or visually impaired. Asakawa, who is herself visually impaired, has worked continually to ease communication for visually disabled users through many other inventions focused on accessibility. Bill Warner, another 2019 inductee, changed film editing forever through his invention of a digital, nonlinear editor. A true testament to innovation, Warner has also invented a telephone-based, voice-activated virtual assistant and worked to improve hand pedaled cycles. Warner’s own condition requires him to use devices such as these cycles. Left to right: John Kaplan, Director of Technology Transfer for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Andrei Iancu, Director of the USPTO, and Alois (Al) Langer, inductee to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, view and discuss technologies at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) at the University of Pittsburgh with Dr. Garrett Grindle (right), Assistant Director of Engineering at HERL. I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) at the University of Pittsburgh. A joint center supported by the university and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, HERL was established in 1994 by inventor, bioengineer, and professor Rory Cooper. Cooper is a distinguished professor of rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh and a senior career scientist for Veterans Affairs. In addition, Professor Cooper himself is a competitive para-athlete and winner of a bronze medal at the 1988 Paralympic Games in Seoul. Starting with just Professor Cooper and two graduate students, HERL has grown to a team of about 70 researchers and innovators around the world. His team has developed more than 100 life-changing inventions and holds multiple patents related to wheelchairs, robotics, and wearable instruments designed to improve the lives of people with disabilities. HERL’s work has led to such patented technologies as the Surge and NaturalFit Handrims, which helped to reduce injury rates of wheelchair users from approximately 80% of patients to about 20% overall.  HERL’s other inventions include the Robotic-assisted Transfer Device, and the NextHealth Bed and Wheelchair to reduce strain on caregivers. HERL’s patented joystick and algorithms have made it possible for hundreds of thousands of older adults and people with disabilities to have independent mobility. USPTO inventor collectible card for Rory Cooper The inventive spirit of people like Chieko Asakawa, Bill Warner, and Professor Rory Cooper set inventors apart and lead to the tremendous growth of technology through innovation in America. Role models like them serve as beacons of invention to inspire us all. To learn more, read the USPTO’s latest Journeys of Innovation story on Rory Cooper, see his USPTO inventor collectible card and other USPTO inventor collectable cards on the USPTO kids pages, and read about National Disability Awareness Employment Month.

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LJN - Internet Law & Strategy The newsletter publishing arm of ALM, publishers of The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer and legal newspapers of record throughout the U.S.

  • Digital Dive: New Report Reveals Opportunities for Improvement on Digital Marketing Strategy for Law Firms
    on December 1, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    For those of us who have devoted more years in legal marketing than we'd care to admit, it's heartening to see the field receiving the recognition it deserves. The demand for top talent has never been higher and marketing plans are getting more attention from firm management. Still, there is more work for law firms to do. That's particularly true in digital marketing.       

  • IP News
    on December 1, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Booking.com Trademark Case       

  • Exploring the Nebulous Boundaries of Trade Dress
    on October 1, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Now that we are in the digital age, questions have been raised about the trade dress of websites and apps.       

  • Legal Tech: Demystifying Social Media Discovery
    on October 1, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Social Media Escapes an Easy Definition, But You Know It When You See It While it would be helpful to understand the technical details of collecting data from various social media platforms, what's more important is what parts of social media might be relevant to a dispute and what that means for both the requesting and producing parties.       

  • EU E-Commerce Proposal Aims to Eliminate Barriers; Calls for E-Signatures and Net Neutrality
    on June 1, 2019 at 5:11 am

    The European Union has put forth an ambitious proposal for how countries can eliminate barriers to e-commerce and protect businesses and consumers engaged in online transactions. But parts of the proposal, published as part of a World Trade Organization initiative that includes the U.S. and China, are likely to face opposition.