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Planet Depos We Make It Happen

  • 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

    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.

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

  • Spotlight on Debbie Stephens: Driving change and modernization in information technology systems
    by USPTO on March 13, 2023 at 12:52 pm

    Guest blog by Deborah Stephens, Deputy Chief Information Officer, United States Patent and Trademark OfficeMy name is Debbie Stephens, and I am the Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO) for the USPTO. I have served at the USPTO for over 30 years in multiple leadership roles, during which I have worked to improve the automated tools and informational resources that facilitate electronic processing of patent applications. In my current role, I am the principal advisor to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and responsible for managing day-to-day Office of the Chief Information (OCIO) operations with significant oversight on information technology (IT) stabilization and modernization efforts. I guide my teams towards continual improvements in IT delivery for maximum value to all stakeholders.I am thrilled to continue to drive change in our information technology area and leverage my experiences to ensure OCIO aims for better ways to solve customer service issues, operates with more speed, and delivers powerful software and services. I am a firm believer that anything we do can be improved. We survey our staff for their ideas, we empower them to try, fail, learn, and succeed, and then we recognize them for the good work that they do. I am committed to listening to my staff and welcoming their ideas for change, so that we can keep improving for our employees and delivering value to our customers.As a daughter of a strong mother, a wife, and a mother of a smart strong woman, I have been blessed to have many women role models during my life–none more important than my mother. Married at age 21 to a Navy pilot, and quickly uprooting herself from her small town in Horton, Kansas to join him around the world, my mother adapted to new cultures and languages all the while raising four children, managing the household, and the official duties expected of an officer’s wife. She is smart, strong, kind, funny, and the steadfast rock that our family has been built on. It is my honor to call myself her daughter. I learned love and compassion from her, and I learned to always tell the truth and to never stop trying to do better and learn more. I learned from her that a girl can do anything that a boy can do, and I went on to have a successful college experience as an Academic All-American college athlete at George Mason University, playing Division 1 softball while earning my Bachelor of Arts degree. I then went on to receive a Master of Human Resource Management degree from the George Washington University. Additionally, I have met women in both my personal and professional career–such as the stay-at-home moms I worked with for 15 years in support of Girl Scouts at Fort Hunt Day Camp, organizing troop activities and selling Girl Scout cookies; their logistical expertise, ability to motivate and lead girls, many times doing it with a baby on the hip, and always with good humor—that have shown me how to evaluate situations from multiple and diverse lenses. I strive to learn from each encounter.At the USPTO, I have had the fortune to work with and get to know women leaders from all areas within our organization. Women that have made their mark and gone on to new areas both within and external to the government, as well as women that have stayed for long periods of time at the USPTO. I have learned to be tenacious, detail oriented, to expect the best from everyone, and to always assume noble intent first and foremost.Women’s History Month is meaningful to me in that it causes us to take a moment to acknowledge and reflect on the contributions that women have had towards the growth and prosperity of our country. The intellectual property community we support here at the USPTO has always had our fair share of smart and creative and industrious women that saw a need for a new way of doing things. These women were often granted patents and trademarks for inventions, businesses, and brands that contributed to the commerce and advancement of the U.S. Many great women are showcased during this month, and I want to acknowledge them. I also want to acknowledge women that may never have their name on a patent or trademark, the women that parent, the women that teach and support each other. And finally, the young women who are paving the way as the next generation of innovators. Together, we are a strong vibrant community that does great things–some large, some small—with empathy and concern for each other. This blog is part of a series highlighting leaders across the Department of Commerce for Women's History Month.

  • Apply by March 31 to the USPTO’s National Summer Teacher Institute!
    by USPTO on March 9, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Blog by Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Are you a teacher looking to equip your students with the confidence to solve real world problems? The USPTO’s National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM and Intellectual Property (NSTI) is an excellent opportunity to do just that!NSTI is an annual hands-on professional development program for K-12 educators to learn classroom techniques that will foster and unleash the innovator in every student through invention education. We are accepting applications from educators until March 31 to join us for this year’s summer session from July 16-21 in St. Louis. The program has no fee for participants, and our NSTI frequently asked questions include additional information on travel and lodging.Intellectual property touches nearly every sector of daily life, so the concepts in the NSTI program are applicable across all educational fields. And the value goes beyond the classroom – our recent study found that IP-intensive industries account for 41% of the U.S. gross national product, while workers in IP-intensive industries earn higher wages and are more likely to have better benefits.Teachers at NSTI celebrate the invention education knowledge they have gained and will soon incorporate into their classrooms (Photo by Hank McDonald/USPTO)At NSTI, you will build the skills you need to incorporate key intellectual property (IP) and STEM topics into your curricula, develop strategies to help students understand and appreciate the importance of innovation and creativity, and, where feasible, commercialize their own inventive works! You will have the opportunity to work with USPTO experts to explore patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. You will also have access to several “maker spaces” focused on various technologies, from additive manufacturing - where you can use industrial 3D printers and laser cutters, to unmanned aerial systems, where you can control a drone by talking to it, using gestures, or through virtual/augmented reality. You can learn the latest on urban water research and preventing public health disasters, as well as engineering next-generation technologies to bridge the gap between humans and technology, and much more. What you learn will help you design and build prototypes as part of your week-long invention project. Sound fun? It is!In addition to the hands-on experience, you will also receive valuable resources to take back to your classroom. These resources include teaching materials, lesson plans, and activities that align with national standards and can be customized to meet the needs of different grade levels, subject areas, and abilities. And by making connections with other educators from around the country, you can continue to share best practices and ideas for classroom instruction.Teachers participate in a STEM activity at the National Summer Teacher Institute (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO)  One of the most significant benefits of attending NSTI is the impact it can have on your students. You’ll leave with more tools to help them develop the critical thinking skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. You can also inspire them to pursue careers in STEM fields, where the demand for skilled workers is high. You might even lead them to earning a patent for an invention!Learn more about NSTI participant and winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Doug Scott in our Journeys of Innovation storyBy participating in NSTI, not only will you gain valuable knowledge and skills, but you will also become part of a network of educators committed to making a positive impact on your students. Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity to enhance your teaching skills and inspire the next generation of innovators and creators.We look forward to seeing your application!

  • Increasing transparency, boosting competition, and supporting innovation can deliver better choices for farmers in the seed marketplace
    by USPTO on March 7, 2023 at 6:08 pm

    Joint blog by Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, and Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark OfficePhoto courtesy of USDAThe President outlined a multi-point plan to increase competition in the seed and agriculture space in his July 2021 Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. Included in that plan is a call for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in consultation with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), to submit a report to the White House Competition Council on relevant concerns and strategies to help ensure “that the intellectual property system, while incentivizing innovation, does not also unnecessarily reduce competition in seed and other input markets.”The Biden-Harris Administration, including the USDA and the USPTO, recognizes the importance of innovations in the seed and agricultural space, including ones that will mitigate climate-related disruptions to our food and agricultural systems. With more choices, and plant varieties tailored to local circumstances, farmers may gain potential revenue. In addition, diversifying variety development and production of seeds and other planting stock will make supply chains less vulnerable to disruption, give incentives to new market entrants to compete, and establish a fairer and more competitive market.  The investment in innovation in the seed and agriculture industry is made possible in part due to our intellectual property laws. The foundations of these laws were written into the U.S. Constitution by our nation’s founders, and innovators can utilize patents and plant variety protection to recoup and benefit from their investments during the limited terms provided. Indeed, USDA started its life as the then Patent Office’s Division of Agriculture, which for the first decades of our country distributed free seeds to farmers to promote agricultural production. Seeds were recognized over time as part of the intellectual property system through the Plant Variety Protection Act of 1970 and more recently through a series of court cases that recognized the availability of utility patents for seeds.  Today, the intellectual property system affecting seeds is diverse and robust. For example, the Plant Variety Protection Act permits farmers to save seeds for their own use and permits plant breeders to conduct research to develop the next variety. Our patent laws also allow for and encourage the disclosure of inventions, and for others to build on those innovations. These delicate sets of balances aim to reward and incentivize those who do the work to create original innovation, as well as protecting the public interest in continued innovation and fair competition. But more must be done to ensure that the intellectual property system addresses the needs of agriculture today. While reliable intellectual property protection can incentivize seed and agricultural innovations, our patent system must not be used to unnecessarily reduce competition beyond what is reasonably contemplated by the law.To further the objectives of President Biden’s Executive Order, the USDA recently completed its report in consultation with the USPTO Director, and the two agencies exchanged letters outlining numerous initiatives they will undertake to execute the President’s agenda. Under a newly established USDA-USPTO Working Group on Competition and Intellectual Property, these initiatives will strengthen our relationship and expand the resources available for assessing patentability and addressing instances of patents being used to unnecessarily reduce competition.The joint initiatives of the new Working Group include:1. exploring joint USPTO-USDA opportunities for collecting broader stakeholder input from researchers, plant breeders, farmers, and others in the seed and agricultural input markets, 2. exploring initiatives to enhance the quality of the patent examination process for innovations related to agricultural products and processes, including opportunities for enhancing prior art search capabilities and providing additional training and guidance to patent examiners, 3. collaborating on initiatives that enhance the transparency of IP information for agriculture-related innovations and assess availability and viability of patented and off-patented germplasm, and 4. considering and evaluating new proposals for incentivizing and protecting innovation in the seed and agricultural-related space, including the broader adoption of research or plant breeders’ exemptions when U.S. utility patents cover seeds. The USPTO is eager to work with USDA’s new Farmer Seed Liaison to facilitate greater interaction between the agricultural sector and the IP system. The USPTO and the USDA will further collaborate to develop policies aimed at protecting and promoting U.S. innovation in the seed and agriculture space while advancing competition that will support farmers and supply chain resilience. We invite the public to participate in this process through upcoming outreach events and listening sessions, and we look forward to hearing a diversity of views on these important topics.For more information on the Biden Administration’s initiative in the seed space, please go to the USDA’s seed competition website.

  • Free resources inventors and entrepreneurs need to know about
    by USPTO on March 2, 2023 at 5:23 pm

    Blog by Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTODo you know about the free resources the USPTO offers for inventors and entrepreneurs? From free legal assistance to patent and trademark boot camps, each of our programs provides one-on-one assistance and aims to meet you wherever you are on your innovation journey. Patent and trademark basicsOur Path to a Patent quarterly webinar series covers everything from intellectual property (IP) basics to patent searching to what you’ll need to draft and submit your patent application. The series is part of our ongoing IP training for independent inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses.In addition, our Trademark Basics series is in its 10th cycle and is offered regularly throughout the year. Each module focuses on different aspects of trademarks and the registration process, from filing and examination to post-registration requirements for keeping your registration alive. And, of course, time for your specific trademark questions.Patent and Trademark One-day Boot CampsA new program launched last year, our single-day Patent and Trademark Boot Camps provide in-person, comprehensive overviews of how to file for a patent or register a trademark. Different from our patent and trademark webinars, these in-person workshops visit communities with limited or no internet access and cover what all entrepreneurs, small businesses, and start-ups should know about patents and trademarks. View our schedule of upcoming patent and trademark boot camps, and learn more about our outreach and education programs aimed at reaching aspiring innovators by working with national organizations on our AccessUSPTO page.Free legal assistance (pro bono) programsAt the USPTO, we recognize that the cost of hiring legal representation can be a barrier for some inventors when applying to protect their intellectual property. To address this barrier, we launched the Patent Pro Bono Program to provide free legal assistance to financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses for the purpose of securing patent protection. Each regional program provides services for residents of one or more states. Based on the success of the Patent Pro Bono Program, we also launched a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Pro Bono Program and Patent Trial and Appeal Board Pro Bono Program. Law School Clinic Certification ProgramLaw School Clinic students visit the USPTO (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO)Additionally, our Law School Clinic Certification Program includes over 62 participating law schools that provide free legal services to eligible members of the public. Each year, students at the participating law schools assist numerous inventors, entrepreneurs, and small businesses with preparing, filing, and prosecuting patent and trademark applications. We recently announced that we have extended the submission deadline for the program to January 5, 2024, to encourage more law schools to join. With greater law school participation, we can make an even greater impact. Find out more about the Law School Clinic Certification Program and how your law school can apply to participate in the program.Patent and Trademark Resources Centers (PTRCs)PTRC training at the USPTO’s Global Intellectual Property Academy (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO)Another way to connect directly with someone for assistance with your IP questions is through our Patent and Trademark Resource Centers Program (PTRC). Located in more than 80 public, state, and academic libraries across the country, PTRC library staff are trained by the USPTO on how to use search tools to access patent and trademark information and connect individuals to our resources. They provide the human touch that no webpage or legal book can in helping inventors and small businesses find the information they need to protect their intellectual property. And very soon, the PTRCs will be providing training in even more locations. Find a PTRC near you!Empowering Women’s Entrepreneurship (WE)The Women’s Entrepreneurship kickoff event took place on November 30, 2022 at the USPTO. The program featured stories and advice from successful women leaders, entrepreneurs, and funders as well as resources to help women get started, protect their IP, fund their ideas, and expand their network of mentors and advisors. Watch the recording. (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO)Launched in November 2022, our Women’s Entrepreneurship initiative is a community-focused, collaborative, and creative initiative to encourage and empower more women business founders across America. This program, which builds on the proven success of the USPTO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium, features advice from those who have made it as well as resources to help women protect their intellectual property, fund their ideas, and expand their network of mentors and advisors. WE is near and dear to my heart, as a former business owner, investor, and adviser.These are just a few of our free resources available to inventors and entrepreneurs. To find more, • Visit our Access Free Services page and Inventor and Entrepreneurs Resources page,• Learn about upcoming programs on our events page,• Subscribe to our email alerts to be the first to know the latest updates, or• Contact us with questions or for more information!Our goal is for the innovation system to be as diverse and inclusive as our country by working to provide equitable access for all. We hope to hear from you or see you at one of our upcoming trainings and events!

  • Beyond Baker’s list: Black innovation then and now
    by USPTO on February 28, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    Guest blog by Rebekah Oakes, Acting Historian, USPTOLeft to right: Richard F. America, Henry Baker, Marjorie Stewart Joyner (top), Cornell Conaway, Tope Mitchell, James West (bottom)In the 1880s, second assistant patent examiner Henry E. Baker took on a project that would become his legacy: compiling the first list of African American patent holders. Over the next few decades, Baker’s list would grow to several hundred entries, an immense repository of contributions by Black inventors to the technological progress of humanity and a powerful record of the public quest for racial equality at the turn of the 20th century. Thanks to Baker’s tireless research, we have at our fingertips a vast repository of Black innovation throughout early U.S. history. Keep reading to learn how the inventors on Baker’s List have been changing the world for generations as creators, disruptors, and trailblazers in their respective industries, and how Black excellence in invention continues today.One of the inventors on Baker’s List was Jan Matzeliger, who in 1883 changed the shoe industry forever with his automatic lasting machine. Born in Dutch Guiana (now Suriname), Matzeliger immigrated to the United States at the age of 20 and took a job operating a shoe-stitching machine. After watching the work of hand lasters at the factory, he set out to make the process of joining the sole to the upper part of the shoe more efficient. Matzeliger built his first model out of wooden cigar boxes, elastic, and wire, a prototype so complex that patent examiners had to see it in operation to understand how it worked. Matzeliger’s invention could produce 700 pairs of shoes per day, up from 50, making quality shoes widely affordable for the first time.About 15 years later, in 1898, Lyda D. Newman received a patent for a hairbrush with fine synthetic bristles and an inner chamber that trapped dust and dirt. Reflecting expertise collected from her career as a hairdresser in New York City, Newman’s invention paved the way for other Black innovators to further revolutionize the hair-care industry, including 2023 National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee Marjorie Stewart Joyner.Newman’s innovative mind blazed a trail for others to follow in many important areas. In the 1910s, she led efforts by the Woman Suffrage Party (WSP) to involve Black women in the struggle for the vote. Having built a grassroots suffrage campaign in her Manhattan neighborhood of San Juan Hill, she was approached to lead the effort for women’s suffrage among Black New Yorkers in 1915. The New York Times and other papers took notice of some of Newman’s strategies, including providing a daycare at WSP headquarters in San Juan Hill so that mothers wouldn’t have to choose between childcare and political involvement.  Lyda Newman’s 1898 patent for a hairbrush. One of the few women inventors on Baker’s list, Newman overcame the dual obstacles of racism and sexism in receiving a patent.  Studying Baker’s list reveals inventor after inventor whose experiences helped them identify and solve problems, building upon existing products and innovations with their ideas. Alfred Cralle, a porter in a Pittsburgh hotel, invented the one-handed ice cream scoop still in use today. Sarah Boone, a dressmaker from New Haven, Connecticut, patented an improved ironing board shaped specifically for bodices and sleeves. If you use a lawn-mower attachment to collect grass clippings, you have Daniel Johnson of Kansas City, Missouri to thank. And, the eye protector patented by Powell Johnson of Barton, Alabama helped firefighters and furnace workers protect their eyesight from the bright glare of the fire. The triumphs of these individuals reflect a time where, as the nation industrialized, more Americans were inventing than ever before. But Black innovators faced numerous challenges, including racist attitudes that prevented commercialization of their products. “We can never know the whole story,” Henry Baker lamented in his notes, as many inventors chose not to reveal their race, fearing it would harm the commercial value of their invention. Progress was hard-fought and uneven. Nevertheless, the inventors on Baker’s list laid the foundation for today’s change-makers, some of whom joined us this month to tell their stories during our Black Innovation & Entrepreneurship programs:• Dissatisfied with the workout grip devices available on the market, Cornell “Chico” Conaway started Gainz Sportsgear after designing and patenting Load N Lock Grips, which are longer and thicker than traditional grips. • With over 250 patents, Jim West, a winner of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, is best known for his invention of the electret microphone, technology that represents 90% of the microphones produced annually and found in everyday items like your cell phone. • Tope Mitchell used her PhD in sociology to found Reflekt Me, a company that hyper-personalizes eCommerce sites to create inclusive communities, allowing fashion and beauty brands to engage with 100% of their digital buyers. During our final Black Innovation & Entrepreneurship event of 2023 on February 24, we premiered the documentary short "America’s Ingenuity," created in partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF). The film focuses on Richard F. America, one of the youngest Black inventors on Baker’s list, and features an interview with his son. We also announced the USPTO will rename its Public Search Facility after Henry Baker, honoring both his dedicated career as a civil servant and his contributions to the historical record. In the film “America’s Ingenuity,” Richard F. America Jr., shares memories of his father, including information about his inventions, activism, and career as a public servant. As we learn more about the inventors on Baker’s list, we will continue to share their unique stories. In the style of Henry Baker, we are also using crowdsourcing to learn as much as we can. Here’s how you can help us document and recognize the history of Black innovation: • If you are the descendant of a Black inventor, or know of a past innovator who lived or worked in your community, please reach out to • Nominate a world-changing innovator to receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement.• Consider nominating an inventor to be included in a future class of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. We can never know the whole story, but by studying and expanding on Baker’s work, we can get a much fuller picture of the Black creators, trailblazers, and disruptors who helped invent modern America. We are proud to honor these innovation heroes.Editor's note: The accomplishments of Henry Baker and the pioneering inventors on Baker's list were recently featured in a Washington Post article.

Above the Law A Legal Web Site – News, Insights, and Opinions on Law Firms, Lawyers, Law School, Law Suits, Judges and Courts

  • Who Needs US News Rankings Or TikTok? — See Also
    by Chris Williams on March 30, 2023 at 11:15 pm

    What With Weed Being Legal, Time To Criminalize The Internet: TikTok and VPNs could be the next big thing getting people criminal records. Go Bad Or Go Home: Cast your vote in the worst best law school ranking! Former Federal Judge Predicts Major Conflict If Trump Faces Another Shameful Loss: Can't we all just get along? Make Way For Law Revue!: This one doesn't require any annoying writing either. A Former Judge's Life May Have Been Cut Short Over Tainted Peanut Butter: Be careful out there. The post Who Needs US News Rankings Or TikTok? — See Also appeared first on Above the Law.

  • Our Advertisers Are Fantastic
    by Above the Law on March 30, 2023 at 10:45 pm

    Thanks so very much! The post Our Advertisers Are Fantastic appeared first on Above the Law.

  • Biglaw Firm’s Expansion Plan Behind Its Uptick In Revenue
    by Kathryn Rubino on March 30, 2023 at 10:18 pm

    Growth is good. The post Biglaw Firm’s Expansion Plan Behind Its Uptick In Revenue appeared first on Above the Law.

  • BREAKING: New York Grand Jury Votes To Indict Donald Trump
    by Staci Zaretsky on March 30, 2023 at 9:51 pm

    He is the first former president to face criminal charges. The post BREAKING: New York Grand Jury Votes To Indict Donald Trump appeared first on Above the Law.

  • Disability And Legal Tech Design
    by Carolyn Elefant on March 30, 2023 at 9:43 pm

    Accessible design for legal tech should follow concepts that prioritize usability for users of all abilities. The post Disability And Legal Tech Design appeared first on Above the Law.

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