Annual Technical Report 2009 on Industrial Design Information Activities submitted by United States of America (CWS/ATR/ID/2009/US)
Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.
The expression "industrial designs" covers industrial designs and models. Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in this series of Annual Technical Reports.
I. Evolution of registration activities
The USPTO issues design patents and does not register industrial designs. However, US design patent information is included in this report since WIPO has requested that “Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in this series of Annual Technical Reports.”
Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants (registrations) with respect to the previous year
In calendar year (CY) 2009, the USPTO granted 23,116 design patents, a decrease of 9.6 percent from the number granted in CY 2008. The share of grants having foreign origin, as determined by the residence of the first-named inventor, was 48.0 percent for CY 2009, up from 46.4 percent for CY 2008. The top patenting organizations receiving design patents in CY 2009 were Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (465 design patents), Nokia Corporation (287 design patents), Microsoft Corporation (257 design patents), Sony Corporation (182 design patents), Procter + Gamble Company (180 design patents), and Goodyear Tire + Rubber Company (140 design patents).
There were 25,806 design patent applications filed at the USPTO in CY 2009, down 7.1 percent from the number filed in CY 2008. The CY 2009 share of applications having foreign origin, as determined by the residence of the first-named inventor, is not yet available. For the October 2008 to September 2009 period, however, the foreign origin share is 42.3 percent, down from the 44.3 percent share recorded for CY 2008.
Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year
Active design patent areas showing substantial growth in calendar year (CY) 2009 include ‘Arms, Pyrotechnics, Hunting and Fishing Equipment' (up 26 percent), ‘Transportation’ (up 7 percent), and ‘Packages and Containers for Goods’, (up 6 percent from CY 2008).
URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide statistics related to industrial designs
General calendar year design patent statistics reports: http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ido/oeip/taf/reports.htm
General fiscal year design patent statistics and USPTO workload statistics, as contained in the text and workload tables of annual USPTO Performance and Accountability Reports: http://www.uspto.gov/about/stratplan/ar/index.jsp
Other USPTO design patent statistics: http://www.uspto.gov/patents/stats/index.jsp
II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, and distribution of industrial design documents and of secondary sources of industrial design information, i.e., official gazettes
Publishing, including printing, copying techniques and electronic printing
There are no new developments to report for calendar year 2009.
Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of industrial design information
There are no new developments to report for calendar year 2009.
Mass storage media and microforms used
In 1998, USPTO established an Internet database with access to the full-text and images of patents from 1976 forward, consisting of two terabytes of full-page images and 120GB of searchable full-text. In 2000, USPTO acquired an additional 2 terabytes of storage and added images of all US patents from 1790 through 1975. Presently, almost four terabytes of full-page image data for all patents from 1790 to the present is stored on these devices at USPTO and accessible from the Internet, along with 200GB of patent numbers and current US classifications for all patents from 1790 through 1975, as well as searchable full-text for all patents from 1976 to the present. In addition, 4.5 terabytes of storage have been deployed for patent pre-grant data (PGPub). The PGPub storage is needed to meet legislative mandates issued in 1998, in the American Inventor Protection Act (AIPA), which requires the timely granting of patents and the early publication of applications.
Databases and office automation
Each year the USPTO produces over 200 optical disc masters in the Cassis and USA product lines, containing a wide variety of patent and trademark text and image information. Cassis includes four patent text products, as well as two trademark text products and USA includes two patent image products and one trademark image product. Over 80,000 discs per year are sold to the public or distributed at no charge to the USPTO search facility, PTDLs, the Federal Depository Libraries, and Intellectual Property Offices (IPOs) around the world.
Bulk data products consisting of TIFF image data and XML files are also produced for exchange with other IPOs and for dissemination to commercial customers and to the public. The USPTO's Electronic Information Products Division (EIPD) oversees the creation and distribution of over 250 data files each week. These data files are provided via internet file transfer and Digital Linear Tape to approximately 50 external customers worldwide.
In 2009 the USPTO started making data files available via the United States’ Data.gov website. Data.gov catalogs government-wide data files that are available to the public at no charge.
Some Cassis products also provide a standalone search capability for use on individual workstations. It is possible to search exclusively in the design patents by selecting designs as the document type for the search tool.
EAST and WEST search clients provide access to text information available back to 1920. Images of all USPTO Design Patents are available in either EAST or WEST with access through domestic and/or international classification assignment
Design examiners have access to the same two search clients used by utility examiners, both of which provide text and image search and display capabilities. One is a browser-based client called WEST (Web-based Examiner Search Tool); the other is a coded client called EAST (Examiner Automated Search Tool). WEST is designed for ease of use and rapid deployment of new functionality. EAST has a more complex interface, designed for greater user customization, more rapid retrieval of images, and greater use of the keyboard. Through these search clients, all USPTO patent examiners have access to full U.S. patent images from 1790 and full U.S. patent text search from 1920. The 1920-1970 segment of the U.S. database is the U.S. Patents OCR database. Access to another segment of the U.S. Patents OCR database covering the period from 1790 to 1919 has not been planned. Since the introduction of U.S. Published Applications in March 2001, the full text and images of these documents have been made available. Also available are the contents of the First Page DataBase (FPDB) project, IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletins, and Derwent World Patents Index (WPI). The FPDB consists of the English-language Patent Abstracts of Japan (PAJ) from 1976, and five European Patent Office (EPO) member states (EP patent documents, France, Germany, Great Britain and Switzerland), and WIPO patent documents (PCT Publications), from 1978. Additionally, examiners have access to full patent document images from 1920 for these same intellectual property authoring countries and organizations. The addition of full English-language text of EPO documents and full patent document images for additional intellectual property countries and organizations is planned.
The full text search databases for US Patents and Published Applications migrated to using the International Common Element (ICE) Red Book for Patent Grant Data/XML and Patent Application Data/XML publication format as the input source content in 2006.
In 2008, implementation of the Middle Tier Phase 3 project was completed providing a multi-tiered application to improve the scalability and the performance of the BRS search system. Phase 3 enables data to be distributed across servers for better process management and system utilization. An addition of a new Superdome server also increases the performance to support the demands of more users and data
In 2008 the USPTO began the development on the Unpublished Patent Application Data (UPAD). The USPTO is processing newly filed patent applications to create text and image files similar to the existing Pre-Grant Publication format. The Patent applications are scanned as TIFF images into the Image File Wrapper repository, exported for OCR processing, and data entry resulting in XML Red Book text file and Yellow Book 2 TIFF image file of the unpublished patent applications. The XML Red Book file will be amended throughout the patenting process. The unpublished patent application text and image files are currently being loaded into SCORE for use by the patent examiners. At the completion of the UPAD project, the U.S. Patent Examination Corps will be able to search on unpublished patent application text and retrieve images within 45 days after receipt of an application through EAST and WEST - a major improvement on the current 18-month publication cycle.
Derwent XML implementation Phase 1 was completed in 2008. This included International Patent Classification Reform (IPCR) data for the Derwent abstracts, and involved the change over from subscriber format to full XML, data load and client display changes to EAST and WEST.
Preliminary efforts on the IP5 Foundation project started late 2008. Documents to support the two foundation projects that USPTO leads were created and circulated among the IP5 offices for review and comment, as well as preparation for the January 2009 IP5 Offices meeting hosted by USPTO.
III. Matters concerning classifying, reclassifying and indexing of industrial design information according to the classification systems applied
Classification and reclassification activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Classification for Industrial Designs (Locarno Classification), other classification (please indicate whether industrial designs are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)
All U.S design patents that issued between 1970-1984 and from 1997 onward have a Locarno International Classification designation. All U.S. design patents have U.S. Patent Classification designations. The EAST and WEST search systems available within the USPTO and at selected Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries provide the capability for searching US design patent documents by both either US and Locarno classification designation.
The USPTO maintains a concordance between the United States Patent Classification System and the Locarno International Classification System, 8th edition. This concordance is updated to reflect new subclasses established in the design patent search file as part of the reclassification of US design patent documents. The USPC Index is also updated to reflect new subclasses established as part of the reclassification of US design patent documents.
USPTO actively participates with the Locarno community as an observer at the Locarno Committee of Experts meetings, and is currently a member of the Pilot Working Group on Visual Indicators, which is attempting to enhance search of Industrial Design documents through the use of tagged visual indicators. USPTO has made several proposals to the Locarno community to further enhance the Industrial Design search experience, including the creation of a database for the world’s Industrial Design documents, and the creation of new Locarno classes devoted design aspects common to all Industrial Designs. Through these special aspect classes USPTO hopes to reduce duplicate subclasses within some design classes while making classification a more efficient search tool in all classes.
Formal definitions have been published for all mainline subclasses and will be published for any newly established subclasses in design classes. The purpose of formal definitions is to clarify the type and scope of subject matter contained in a class or subclass. Formal definitions may include search notes that aid in locating additional areas in the USPC system pertinent to specific subject matter. Classification definitions are available at the URL below:
Further information about the use of the US Patent Classification System is available at:
Bibliographic data and processing
Currently, USPTO provides full text search of US patents back to 1970. Additionally, patent search capabilities provide text search of US Patent Applications (PGPub), US Patents, JPO and EPO abstracts, Derwent World Patent Index database, IBM’s Technical Disclosure Bulletins, and OCR text of US Patents issued between 1920 and 1971. For the OCR file, examiners identify relevant documents by text searching the OCR file and use the document images to determine applicability to applications under review.
IV. Search file establishment and upkeep
By the end of calendar year 2009, the total number of US Design Patents increased by 23,116 for a total of 618,896 documents. Over 400 design patent documents were issued each week and added to the search file.
Using Optical Character Recognition, the USPTO has captured the text of all U.S. patents back to 1790, which is approximately 3.9 million additional documents. This text has not been perfected and contains mistakes in reading letters, and does not associate the data with the fields in the search system. It is being characterized as the “dirty OCR data.” The dirty OCR’ed text of the U.S. patent backfile was provided to the Computer Search System (CSS) project and loaded into the EAST and WEST search systems in 2000-2001. Initial examiner access to the OCR backfile was provided via the WEST (Web-based Examiner Search Tool) interface in October 2001; it was available in EAST (Examiner’s Automated Search Tool) in January 2002. In FY 2002, the USPTO added “clean” bibliographic data to the backfile. The OCR patent back file will be made available for exchange with the USPTO’s International partners and for sale to commercial customers.
Development of a database of examiner-identified NPL continued using DataStar’s PrivateStar platform. The Scientific & Technical Information Center has named the multi-disciplined database E2D2 (Examiner’s Electronic Digest Database). The database currently contains NPL such topics as business methods, telecommunications, computer technology, chemistry, biotechnology, designs and nanotechnology. Each document in the database has been assigned an EPO XP number, to facilitate potential inclusion in the EPO's NPL database. The types of documents submitted by examiners include journal articles, portions of books, documents from the Internet, advertisements, press releases, and standards. The database has been available to examiners since 2002.
USPTO examiners have desktop access to over 21,762 journals in electronic format as well as 41,418 electronic books.
In 2001, registered industrial design images of CD-ROM from the International Bureau and the Japanese Patent Office became available for access by design patent examiners.
Concurrent with the publication of each new Design Patent in the Official Gazette, copies are added to the electronic search files.
Also, see File Building, above.
Storage, including mass storage media
In FY 1997 and FY 1998, the USPTO installed 42 Terabytes (TB) of Redundant Arrays of Independent Disk (RAID) magnetic disk storage to process patent, trademark, and other business data electronically. From FY 1999 through FY 2001 additional capacity was acquired that doubled the amount of online magnetic storage available. The USPTO continued its partnership with EMC Corporation for server attached and Storage Area Network (SAN) storage devices. At the end of FY 2004, the USPTO acquired over 400 TB of raw disk capacity. Managing this storage required continued vendor support, and implementation of storage management tools. In FY 2004 and FY 2005 the USPTO extended the SAN to support the agency move to Carlyle and to enhance disaster recovery capabilities. In FY 2006 the USPTO made a significant investment in NAS storage from the vendor NetApp by acquiring 400TB of raw disk capacity, followed by additional storage acquired for Disaster Recovery in FY07. The USPTO now has over 1.2 Petabytes of disk storage enabling the processing of all business areas needs, both in Carlyle and the remote Disaster Recovery site.
Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file
Gazette type publications of design registrations from over 37 nations or international organizations are available to examiners. These publications are generally maintained in the Design Collection located in the USPTO Scientific and Technical Information Center (STIC).
A collection of non-patent literature is also available to examiners in the Design Collection. Non-patent literature includes commercial publications, catalogs, magazines, advertising fliers, technical publications and other information pertinent to the 33 classes for industrial designs in the United States Patent Classification system. Additionally, the Scientific and Technical Information Center provides complete library services that include links to libraries nation-wide, literature acquisition as requested, and cataloging of literature received. The literature in the collection can be searched via an on-line catalog maintained by the STIC.
The USPTO’s Facility Operations and Production Services Division (FOPSD) staff are responsible for all text and image data load processes and maintenance of both domestic and foreign patent data. FOPSD staff perform the data loading and maintenance of both text and image data for the following domestic databases: Patent Image Retrieval System (PIRS), Patent Images on the Web (PIW), Application Image Retrieval System (AIRS), Application Images on the Web (AIW), Bibliographic Retrieval Service (BRS) Patent Grant and Application Text Database, Publication Site for Issued and Published Sequences (PSIPS), BRS Keyword Database Update, Automated Biotechnology Search System (ABSS), CD-Rom Reference Library System, Early Data Capture Unpublished Text and Image Retrieval System, and the Trademark Image Capture and Retrieval System and the following foreign databases: Derwent WPI Data Load, Foreign Image Data Load (EPO/JPO Full Image Data, DOCDB, ECLA, JPO FI-Data File, Korean, Canadian Mimosa and Australian Mimosa).
V. Activities in the field of computerized search systems for industrial designs
In-house systems (online/offline)
Design examiners at the USPTO have the same search tools as utility examiners. The International Patent Classification field that is part of the text search system can also be used to search Locarno classifications for industrial design patents but is not frequently used by USPTO examiners.
In October 2000, the patent database on the Web was expanded to include additional U.S. patent image data back to 1790 and other ancillary documents. The patent image data can be accessed by a class/subclass search or by patent number. In FY 2001, the USPTO began electronically publishing for Pre-Grant Publication (PGPub) patent applications. Biosequence repository data was made available in FY 2002. In FY 2003, assignment data was added to the Web site.
The Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) system was deployed in 1998 and then was upgraded in 2003 to include the listing of documents from the Image File Wrapper (IFW) database. PAIR displays a subset of data maintained in the internal Patent Application Location and Monitoring (PALM) and IFW systems to Internet users via the USPTO web site. Users can view and download design patent data in both PDF and XML formats.
The USPTO Public PAIR system is available online at:
The USPTO Private PAIR system is available online at: (http://portal.uspto.gov/external/portal/pair)
The STIC performs searches for the design examiners on EAST and commercial online databases when requested. They also search on the Internet for resources that are appropriate for design examiners.
External databases are primarily accessed using software such as STN Express or DialogLink loaded on PTONet. Examiners also use secure communications and servers to search these services via the Internet. VPNs with STN and Dialog allow for fast, secure searching. Examiners establish connections to the external databases through sessions that are set up after logging into the PTO firewall. The USPTO’s Internet access line bandwidth operates on two full T-3 connections and two full OC-3 connections (a total of 390 Mbps).
Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics and administrative support)
Patent Application Locating and Monitoring System (PALM)
PALM continues to constitute the backbone for management information throughout the USPTO. PALM additionally tracks examiner and other employee production, case history and bibliographic data. Via PALM reports and ad-hoc reports, PALM data is used to manage and track the USPTO’s pending applications. Throughout 2007, the main emphasis was on making changes to provide services to other projects such as PFW, PAIR and the e-Office Action Pilot.
PALM on PTOnet
All managers, Patent examiners and support staff have been provided access to the current PALM System on their desktop PC via barcode readers and a web browser interface. Efforts at making more PALM interfaces web-browser-based have improved efficiency and increased case tracking accuracy.
Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), data carriers used
PTOnet has an architecture consisting of a campus-wide Gigabit Ethernet switched backbone with Telecommunications Room switches providing switched Ethernet connection to individual workstations. Currently, PTOnet users have dedicated 100 Mbps switched Ethernet connections.
Since desktop applications require increasingly more network bandwidth (through the backbone server attachments), in 2010 PTOnet will be upgraded to keep ahead of the requirements. PTOnet users will have dedicated 1000 Mbps connections; industry analysis indicates this will be more than sufficient for any forecast client application.
PTOnet provides examiners and other staff with access to the Internet through dual-redundant firewalls. Access zones implemented via firewalls and proxy servers have been implemented to provide a limited amount of controlled access to PTOnet resources for external users. Additional external access capabilities are being developed through the implementation of a variety of access control mechanisms including digital certificate-based authentication supported by a full Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).
Access to external databases
Examiners establish secure connections to the external databases via site to site Internet VPNs and secure Web Browser connections. The USPTO’s Internet access line bandwidth has been upgraded to two full T-3 connections and two full OC-3 connections (a total of 390 Mbps).
VI. Administration of industrial design information products and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, registering designs, assisting clients with search procedures, obtaining official publications and registry extracts)
Planning, administration, automation, security
These functions are provided by the Scientific and Technical Information Center.
Collection management, preservation
The Scientific & Technical Information Center processes and disseminates all foreign patent documents and journals received at the USPTO. The majority of foreign documents are now received in CD-ROM format.
The collections consist of print monograph and serial titles and millions of foreign patent documents in print and micro formats. Those portions of the collection maintained in Main STIC are open to the public. In accordance with the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), STIC meets minimum documentation requirements for foreign patent documents and non-patent literature and makes these documents available to the public.
Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and industrial design information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)
Patent and Trademark application status information are both available from the USPTO Web site. Both of these databases are searchable and are updated on a daily basis.
In November 1995, the USPTO began providing access to patent grant bibliographic information and abstract text on its Web site. This raw data is available for direct download with updates occurring each Tuesday issue date.
In March 2001, the USPTO began providing access to patent application bibliographic information and abstract text on its Web site. This raw data is available for direct download with updates occurring each Thursday publication date.
In November 1998, the USPTO began providing access to the searchable, full text of US patents granted from January 1976 to the present. Updates occur each Tuesday issue date.
In March 2001, the USPTO began providing access to the searchable, full text of US published patent applications from March 15, 2001 to the present. Updates occur each Thursday publication date.
Copies of Design patents in optical disc format and online via Pub WEST continue to be provided to the libraries in the USPTO’s Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL) Program. All PTDLs also provide public access to the USPTO Web site that contains a searchable database of Design patents. A list of current PTDLs can be found at the PTDLP Web site located at: www.uspto.gov/go/ptdl. The Web site includes information about the Program’s mission, history, background, services, and core collections, as well as links to the Program’s publications, materials, and reference tools. Each of the PTDLs is linked from the PTDL List available on the USPTO Web site.
Automated Information in Patent and Trademark Depository Libraries
Web-based online searching for the patent text and image database via PubWEST is available at all PTDLs. All PTDLs also provide public access to the USPTO Web site.
The USPTO continues to provide optical disc products to PTDLs for direct public use. This includes all Cassis and USA optical disc products; Patents BIB, Patents CLASS, Patents ASSIST, Patents & Trademarks ASSIGN, Trademarks BIB, USAPat, USAApp, USAMark and the Patents (eOG:P).
Automated Patent Information in Public Search Facility
The USPTO Public Search Facility (PSF) provides public users with access to over 20 software applications that provide full-text search and/or document retrieval capability. The primary information delivery channel in the PSF is the Universal Public Workstation (UPWS). The UPWS is a secured access computer providing a single platform and consistent interface to all databases. There are over 230 UPWS workstations available to the public and online system use during FY 2009 totaled over 148,000 hours.
Public versions of the patent examiner search system EAST and the Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) are the heaviest used applications provided on UPWS. Other patent software applications available on UPWS include USPTO Web site, Assignment Historical Database (AHD) and the patent examiner search system WEST.
Both EAST and WEST retrieve all U.S. patent images and word search the text contained in U.S. patents granted since 1971. The Optical Character Recognition application allows searching of U.S. patents both text and images back to 1920. EAST and WEST also provide text searching of English language patent abstracts from the European Patent Office (EPO) and Japan Patent Office (JPO), and a set of foreign patent images formerly available only on CD-ROM. Public users search Re-exam file information by logging onto the PAIR application.
UPWS provides access to World Patents Index (WPI), a proprietary database that is also available to USPTO patent examiners. This search tool is accessed through EAST. UPWS users also access new text search indexes to retrieve U.S. patent grants and U.S. published patent applications associated with International Patent Classification (IPC) data in accordance with IPC reform.
The Public Search Facility is one of the USPTO wireless hot spots whereby facility customers may use their personal computers or communication devices in the facility to access Internet resources. This capability allows users to supplement or expand their intellectual property researching activities as they search/retrieve information using the Universal Public Workstation.
Training courses on EAST and WEST are offered monthly and on an as needed basis. Special one-page guides and Helpful Hints are available in the on-line search areas. Individual assistance is available from staff.
Public users have opportunities throughout the year to participate in Beta testing of updated versions of software applications. Public users provide comments on how to improve access to patent information by making changes to software applications.
Data Products Provided to the Public
The USPTO Electronic Information Products Division (EIPD) continues to provide patent information products and services to the public in a variety of formats. The Products and Services Catalog on the USPTO Web site describes USPTO products and services, and contains details on how to obtain them.
The USPTO maintains World Wide Web (WWW) and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) sites on the Internet, which permit the public free access to selected information related to patents and trademarks through interactive search requests or downloadable data files.
The following optical disc products are available for purchase by the public:
Patents BIB: Selected Bibliographic Information from US Patent Grant Publications and Patent Application Publications Issued 1969 to Present. This Cassis DVD-ROM is a two-disc set, (1) Patents BIB Grants contains bibliographic information for utility patent grants issued from 1969 to the present and for other types of patent documents issued from 1977 to the present; (2) Patents BIB Apps contains bibliographic information for patent application publications beginning March 15, 2001 to the present. There are more than 15 searchable fields including title, abstracts from September 1988 to present, current classifications, assignee at time of issue, date of issue, serial number, inventors’ names and full addresses (if not assigned at time of issue), and status (i.e., withdrawn, corrected, expired for failure to pay maintenance fees, reinstated, reexamined or term extended). Patents BIB provides images locations on USAPat discs for patents issued 1969 to date and USAApp discs for patent applications published March 15, 2001 to date. Depending on the user’s equipment, the two-set disc can be searched simultaneously. This DVD-ROM product is updated every two months.
Patents CLASS: Current Classifications of US Patents Issued 1790 to Present. This Cassis DVD-ROM contains current classification information for all utility, design, plant, reissue and X-numbered patents, as well as defensive publications and statutory invention registrations issued from 1790 to the present (over 6 million documents). Indexing of classification information has been optimized for rapid retrieval. This DVD-ROM product is updated every two months.
Patents ASSIGN and Trademarks ASSIGN: US Patents and Trademarks Assignments Recorded at the USPTO 1980 August to Present. This Cassis DVD-ROM 2-disc set includes bibliographic data derived from assignment deeds for issued patents and registered trademarks, which were recorded at the Patent and Trademark Office after August 1980 for patents, and since 1955 for trademarks. The Patents ASSIGN disc includes assignments recorded before and after the patent issued. This DVD-ROM product is updated every two months.
Patents ASSIST: Full Text of Patent Search Tools. This Cassis DVD-ROM is a compilation of many patent search tools including the following: Manual of Classification, Index to the US Patent Classification, Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, IPC - USPC Concordance, and Attorneys and Agents Registered to Practice Before the US Patent and Trademark Office. In addition, Classification Definitions, a Patentee-Assignee Index, and a Classification Orders Index are included. The Patentee-Assignee Index shows ownership at time of issue for utility patents 1969 to present; for other patent types 1977 to present; and inventor names 1975 to present. The Classification Orders Index is a list of classifications abolished and established since 1976 with corresponding Classification Order number and effective date. This DVD- ROM product is updated every three months.
Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). This Manual is published to provide US Patent and Trademark Office patent examiners, applicants, attorneys, agents, and representatives of applicants with a reference work on the practices and procedures relative to the prosecution of patent applications before the Patent and Trademark Office. The MPEP is available in electronic form as an ASCII text file downloadable (no charge) from the USPTO Web site on the Internet at http://www.uspto.gov/, and as a searchable text file on the Patents ASSIST DVD-ROM product, which includes many other useful files. Each revision is fully incorporated into the base edition and republished as a whole.
USAPat: Facsimile Images of United States Patents. This Cassis DVD-ROM product contains facsimile images of US patents from 1790 to present. An image is an actual page of the patent, including all drawings, and looks just like the original printed document. The purpose of USAPat is to serve as a document delivery system, not as a search system. Retrieval is by document number only from a cumulative index. Excellent printed copies of actual documents can be obtained directly from a laser printer. Delivery of weekly discs is usually within 15 days from issue date.
USAApp: Facsimile Images of United States Patent Application Publications. USAApp contains facsimile images of the U.S. patent application publications filed on or after November 29, 2000 and published weekly beginning March 15, 2001. A law effective November 29, 1999, requires publication of patent applications approximately 18 months after the effective filing date. All utility and plant patent applications will be published unless the application is not filed in another country and the applicant expressly requests that the application not be published, or the patent has been granted. Design patent applications will not be published. An "image" looks like an actual page of the application, including all drawings. USAApp is a document delivery system, not a search system. Retrieval is by document number only from a cumulative index. Excellent printed copies can be obtained directly from a laser printer.
Trademarks BIB: Bibliographic Information from Abandoned, Canceled, Expired, Pending, and Registered US TradeMarks. This Cassis DVD-ROM is a two-disc set that contains selected bibliographic records for all abandoned, canceled, expired, pending, and registered trademarks from 1884 to present with 30 searchable fields. This DVD-ROM product is updated every two months. Trademarks BIB also refers to trademark image locations on USAMark, described below.
USAMark: Facsimile Images of United States Trademark Registrations. This Cassis CD-ROM contains facsimile images of U.S. trademark registration certificates issued from 1870 to the present. An image is an actual page of the trademark, including renewals and modifications, and looks just like the original printed document. USAMark is a document delivery system, not a search system. Retrieval is by document number only from a cumulative index that covers all issued discs. Excellent printed copies of actual documents can be obtained directly from a laser printer. USAMark is published monthly.
Electronic Official Gazette of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – Patents (eOG:P). The eOG:P began publication in July 2002 on both the USPTO Web site (free) and on CD-ROM (subscription). In September 2002, the eOG:P replaced the paper Official Gazette that had been published since 1872. The eOG:P contains the OG record, including an exemplary claim and a representative image (if applicable). Indexes by type of patent (e.g., utility, design), patentee name (both inventor and assignee), geographical location of the first listed inventor (U.S. state or country), and classification are provided. The eOG:P is available each Tuesday. A rolling calendar year’s worth of eOG:P are kept on the USPTO Web site.
URLs of web pages of the Office's website for electronic filing of industrial design applications
In March 2006, the USPTO launched a new and improved patent application electronic filing system, EFS-Web. Applicants can use EFS-Web to file design patent applications and pay fees online. EFS-Web provides an electronic Acknowledgement Receipt immediately at time of submission. EFS-Web is available 24/7 at https://sportal.uspto.gov/efs.
URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide information on business procedures such as: filing, publication, examination and registration procedures related to industrial designs; opposition and appeal procedures related to industrial designs; etc.
The USPTO provides online help material for EFS-Web, including tools, tutorials, Computer Based Training (CBT), and FAQs, at http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/efs_help.html. In addition, the Patent Electronic Business Center (EBC) provides technical assistance to patent applicants on how to use EFS-Web and other eCommerce systems. Patent EBC hours and contact information are listed at http://www.uspto.gov/ebc/ebc_help.htm.
VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of industrial design documentation and information
International or regional cooperation in the exchange of industrial design information, e.g., in the form of official gazettes
The USPTO maintains exchange agreements with many intellectual property offices for the exchange of industrial design registrations and gazettes and continually seeks to expand the number of such exchanges.
Intellectual property offices have access to the US patent documents, including design patents, on USAPat DVD-ROM. The USPTO began distributing its Official Gazette for Patents only in electronic format (eOG:P) on CD-ROM and on its website (see above for details) in 2002. Design patents are included in the Official Gazette for Patents.
The USPTO Electronic Official Gazette eOG allows Internet users to browse through the issued patents for the week. The eOG:P can be browsed by classification or type of patent, for example, utility, design, and plant. Specific patents can be accessed by class/subclass or patentee name.
Exchange of machine-readable information, e.g., data contained on CD-ROM or magnetic tape
CD/DVD ROM products including, but not limited to, design patent images and information are sent to 94 intellectual property offices (see descriptions of the products above).
The USPTO currently exchanges patent images and information on magnetic computer tapes with the EPO and JPO as part of a Trilateral Agreement.
VIII. Matters concerning education and training, including technical assistance to developing countries (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office’s website wherever appropriate)
Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)
Public Awareness Campaign
As part of the STOP initiative, the USPTO continued its intensive national public awareness campaign by offering web-based seminars targeting small and medium-sized businesses where participants learned what intellectual property rights are, why they are important, and how to protect and enforce these rights. The USPTO engaged in targeted initiatives with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) (with which USPTO has a Memorandum of Understanding) and the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Department of Interior, to provide education and training. The USPTO offers programs in a web-based format, on request, that can be tailored to the intellectual property most critical to the requesting organization and that also can include training by hypothetical or business case studies.
Since 2007, the USPTO has operated a STOP Information Booth for the International Music Products Association (NAMM) annual and summer trade shows, providing the USPTO with a unique opportunity to explain the USPTO’s patent and trademark services and to provide general information on the full range of intellectual property. NAMM events include manufacturers, distributors and retailers, from the United States and abroad, many of whom are inventors and creators.
Inventors Assistance Program
In 2009 the Inventors Assistance Program (IAP) conducted a number of outreach efforts throughout the United States. The IAP works with the National Inventors Hall of Fame to promote innovation and education to the independent inventor community through regional and annual inventors’ conferences. The Office coordinates events with grassroots inventor organizations throughout the United States to facilitate and participate in outreach efforts. The IAP continued to establish relationships with science and engineering universities to educate students about the importance of intellectual property, the role the USPTO has in promoting the economy, and possibly encourage future careers at the USPTO. During 2009 the IAP visited 74 universities and colleges providing lectures, seminars and various other programs for students, faculty and staff. The USPTO also conducts workshops and presentations to local schools in Virginia, Maryland and DC.
The USPTO’s IAP conducts on-line chats with the independent inventor community. Education about invention promotion firms and AIPA is an ongoing effort. Assistance is provided through accessibility to the complaint roster from the USPTO homepage, distribution of a scam brochure to the public, and access to a “scam line”. The IAP participated in eight inventor conferences hosted by different inventor groups and in one Independent Inventor Conferences hosted by the USPTO during 2009.
The USPTO has increased its outreach efforts virtually by creating 4 iTunes podcasts and two computer based training modules that provide a basic overview of the patent and trademarks processes.
Training courses for national and foreign participants
The USPTO provides technical training relevant to intellectual property law and patent and trademark practice for PTO trademark attorneys and patent examiners. Additionally, a variety of technical classes are available dealing with search techniques on the USPTO automated system and methods of using a variety of custom computer software to assist in the examination process.
The Patent Training Academy completed training of a group of 8 international examiners in December of 2009. The International Examiner-In-Residence Program (IEIR) started in July 2009.
Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)
The USPTO Global Intellectual Property Academy (GIPA) offers capacity building programs in the United States and around the world on IPR protection, enforcement, and capitalization. Capacity-building programs are offered to patent, trademark and copyright officials, judges, prosecutors, police, customs officials, foreign policy makers, examiners and rights owners. In delivering capacity building programs, the Academy works closely with other U.S. government agencies, trading partners, international organizations, and rights holders. Through GIPA programs, foreign officials learn about international IP obligations and norms, and are exposed to a U.S. model of protecting and enforcing IPR and discussion of IP issues in a collaborative learning environment. In 2009, the GIPA provided training to more than 2,200 officials from 128 countries on a variety of topics, including IP protection and enforcement, and technology transfer.
In 2009, the USPTO's GIPA initiated a new pilot program exposing patent officials from other countries to the USPTO Patent Training Academy's (PTA) patent examiner training program. The six-month long International Examiners in Residence (IEIR) Program included most of the PTA's new examiner training curriculum. In addition, the IEIR covered other IP topics, such as copyright, trademark and enforcement issues. In order to provide a full perspective of the U.S. IP system, the IEIR also included visits to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, the federal District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia, the Court of Appeals for the federal Circuit, and the Supreme Court, to witness oral hearings at each of these judicial proceedings. Eight patent examiners in various technologies from the patent offices in China, Germany, Korea, and Saudi Arabia participated in the pilot program.
In 2009, the USPTO developed and produced GIPA's new Distance Learning Modules, a new method for delivering IP education, which provide presentations addressing the basics of trademarks, geographical indications, patents, copyright, enforcement and trade issues, as well as information on international standards and the U.S. experience. The modules are available online and include a video presentation and an accompanying PowerPoint presentation on each topic. The Distance Learning Modules are also accessible in a number of foreign languages, including Arabic, French, Russian, and Spanish.
In 2009, the USPTO and the Chilean National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI) signed an MOU, emphasizing the importance of bilateral relationships, and wherein the USPTO agreed to provide technical assistance to improve the administration of intellectual property systems and to develop professional skills. Additionally, the USPTO signed an MOU with the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) focusing on cooperation in matters relating to the acquisition, utilization and protection of industrial property rights.
The USPTO continued its work under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion to cooperate in capacity building activities, human resource development, and public awareness programs. Specific activities as part of an action plan on bilateral cooperation were developed, including a number of anti-counterfeiting public awareness events in cities throughout India, IPR border enforcement training for Indian customs officials, IPR education events for universities, and an IPR workshop for judges from Delhi's Lower Courts.
In the area of enforcement, the USPTO's GIPA organized and hosted two joint APEC-ASEAN-PIF capacity-building events, namely the Colloquium for Public Prosecutors and the Judiciary on IPR Enforcement in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the Workshop on the Border Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights in Honolulu, Hawaii. GIPA also conducted a successful two-week study tour program on IPR enforcement and the U.S. legal system for 23 foreign government judges and prosecutors including officials from Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In Latin America, the USPTO partnered with the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, Chile, to deliver a two-city program for Chilean border enforcement officers covering the issue of IP enforcement in March of 2009. In July 2009, through partnership with INL, the USPTO conducted an enforcement program for Brazilian judges. The USPTO conducted a judicial workshop for Mexican judges in Mexico City, Mexico in September 2009. The workshop gave the judges an overview of intellectual property and provided them with case studies on trademarks, copyrights, provisional measures and deterrent sentencing. The USPTO also participated, by invitation from the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Guatemala, in training Guatemalan judges by providing them with an overview of enforcement provisions in the DR-CAFTA.
In Egypt, the USPTO held a Counterfeit Medicines Workshop in January 2009, which addressed all facets of investigating, interdicting, seizing and prosecuting IPR violations involving pharmaceuticals. The attendees came from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, Customs, Internal Security and the Consumer Protection Agency. Following the program, the Ministry of Health revised its internal regulations to provide for unannounced raids of pharmaceutical distribution warehouses, which is considered a dramatic improvement in enforcement. In Lebanon an IPR Border Enforcement Workshop was held in June 2009, which included basic and advanced border enforcement concepts. The participants came from Customs, Internal Security Forces (ISF) and Public Prosecution.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the USPTO coordinated or participated in IPR enforcement related programs in Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa. In February 2009, the USPTO co-sponsored a regional customs program in Accra, Ghana that led to the development of an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) endorsed set of IPR recommendations. In May 2009, the USPTO conducted a regional customs workshop in South Africa that also led to the development of recommendations endorsed by the 14 countries in attendance from the Southern African Development Community (SADC). These recommendations will serve as guidelines for future capacity building exercises and assist with the improvement of IPR enforcement on a regional basis.
In June 2009, the USPTO in cooperation with US Customs & Border Protection provided training to over 250 Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officials at multiple ports in and around Lagos, Nigeria. The USPTO is facilitating the development of a database for NCS that will allow for the distribution of information critical to reducing the flow of counterfeit and piratical goods. In addition to the in-country training, the USPTO has also trained more than 400 government officials from 31 sub-Saharan Africa countries at GIPA on a range of IP protection and enforcement topics. These programs provide capacity building via the sharing of best practices with US IP experts and are crucial for establishing training relationships for the more widely attended and region specific in-country programs.
In June 2009, in cooperation with the United Kingdom Industrial Property Office and the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the USPTO conducted in Sarajevo a regional conference for police and prosecutors on intellectual property crime. Officials from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro and the United Kingdom participated in the program which focused on hard goods counterfeiting and digital piracy investigation and prosecution.
In Russia, the USPTO organized and participated in the following programs in May 2009: "IPR Roundtable for Prosecutors and Investigators" in St. Petersburg for approximately 20 prosecutors and investigators from St. Petersburg; and a "Colloquium for the Russian Judiciary on IPR Enforcement" in Moscow for more than 120 Russian federal judges from cities and regions around Russia. In September, the USPTO conducted a customs study tour of the United States for twelve officers from the Russian Federal Customs Service (RFCS). The RFCS officers visited ports at Long Beach, LAX and Otay Mesa working along side officers from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on all phases of IPR enforcement including reviewing, selecting, and examination of shipments. The FRCS officers met with stakeholders and visited CBP headquarters in Washington, DC where they were exposed to CBP's recordation system and IT solutions. The delegation also visited the National IPR Center and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices in Los Angeles and San Diego for instruction on criminal IPR investigations at the border. Also in Russia, two Prosecutors and Judicial Workshops were held in May 2009, which focused on raising awareness and capacity among the procuracy and judiciary. The program in St. Petersburg was attended by approximately 40 prosecutors and investigators. Topics included: investigations, handling evidence, working with witnesses and right holders, and preparing and prosecuting IPR crimes. The workshop in Moscow was held at the Russian Academy of Justice, and was attended by approximately 120 judges. Topics included: case management, evidence, sentencing, IPR overview and the use of experts.
In Ukraine, the USPTO organized and participated in a two-day Workshop on the Adjudication of Intellectual Property Rights in July 2009 for 25 Ukrainian judges, including judges from the Supreme Court of Ukraine. The Ukrainian judges received training on international standards and obligations for IPR cases and learned best practices from a U.S. Federal Judge and a British Senior Circuit Judge.
The USPTO continued to offer technical assistance in China, with a focus on providing the provinces with capacity-building programs relating to civil, criminal, and border enforcement. In June 2009, the USPTO, in cooperation with China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), OHIM and JPO, held a design patent protection program. The USPTO continued to host visiting delegations from China, both from Beijing and from the provinces. The visitors have included Chinese officials from Guangzhou and Xian, as well as other cities. These officials visited the USPTO to learn about our legal system, the administrative procedures followed by the USPTO, how IPRs are protected and enforced in the United States, and the functions and responsibilities of the USPTO and other U.S. government intellectual property-related agencies. The USPTO hosted a group from China's National Copyright Administration to discuss software legalization. The USPTO also hosted SIPO delegations on a range of diverse issues, including IP asset management and human resource and financial management issues of patent offices.
IX.Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that: