Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Finding Stuff Now

On June 2, 2014 USPTO concluded its transition to the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system.  Even though we knew it was coming, things have been a little more complex as we are transitioning all of our year-to-date So Far analytics to map to the new system.  We're getting there and should be publishing our digests soon.

One of the things we've assembled over the last year or so has been our own cheat sheet on how the new classification system works and how to figure out all the new patent-speak that goes with the new classification system.  (We now appropriate classification symbols instead of classifying stuff.)

There are lots and lots of pages of information on how the system works on both the USPTO and EPO websites.  The primer is designed as a quick start before you take the deep dive of trying to find things on your own or get a deeper understanding of how this new system works.  Let us know what you think at -- and let us know how you are doing finding patents using this new system.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Small and Micro Entity Voodoo

We All Love Discounts Don't We?

Especially if you are a funds strapped inventor, university, professor, or small business.

We have long felt that one of the best ways to figure out what's going on with patents held by independent inventors; small businesses, under 500 employees - small but not really small; and non-profit organizations, universities, research institutes, organizations focused on research for particular diseases; is to watch their status information and assignee data.

  • Has the assignment information on the patent changed?
  • Is there security lien on the patent?  This usually means someone thinks the business is worth making an investment in and is looking at the patent as collateral.
  • Has their entity status changed from Small or Micro Entity status to Large Entity status?
We make the argument that patentistas - patent attorneys, agents, patent licensing people, are serious enough about their patent assets and those of the clients they support to be careful about how they claim their status. USPTO frowns on not being truthful in your dealings with The Office.  Falsely claiming small entity status and not paying the right fees could render your patent invalid.  So, as a rule, people follow the requirements in their Oath paperwork.  Besides, if you have a hot property that someone wants to license, you aren't going to deliberately establish the wrong entity status to save $1,000 and mess up the revenue gravy train.  But there are those out there who disagree with us, mostly because they don't understand the process.


We wrote up how the process works, inserted a little USPTO MPEP head exploding patent mumbo jumbo, and created a timeline so that you can understand how the whole thing works.   We added a bunch of links to the bills, and other statutory stuff so everything is in one place.  And for you fans of public science and Bayh-Dole, the whole maintenance fee regime started with Bayh-Dole and went on from there. Links included.

Here for your reading pleasure is a link to our Maintenance Fee and Small Entity Background paper or if you prefer a fully annotated, footnote rich version, the Small Entity Paper is in PDF form.

If anyone has any research or thoughts on the whole small entity/micro entity regime, please send us your thoughts at

Enjoy.  And get that paperwork going.