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Approval Process for U.S. Patents Gets Harder

Friday, September 05, 2008

Educational Firm Shifts Focus to Appeals Process

Alexandria, VA -- A dramatic drop in the approval rate of patent applications sent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has increased the need for filing appeals, making patent protection more complicated, expensive and difficult to obtain.

According to figures recently released by the USPTO, the allowance rate on patent applications has dropped from above 70% in 2001 to under 55% in 2007, while the number of appeals to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) has grown by nearly 30% over the past year.

"These trends signal a growing need for patent professionals to better understand the appeals process," says Paul Gardner, Academic Director of Patent Resources Group, the nation’s leading patent education firm.

In response to the shift, Patent Resources Group is introducing a new comprehensive course designed to train professionals to effectively manage appeals to the USPTO.

The course, entitled When, Why and How to Effectively Appeal to the USPTO Board of Appeals and Interferences, will teach attendees when to file an appeal to the USPTO, considering the nature of the examiner’s rejection(s) and the legal and technological issues involved. Debuting on October 18 during Patent Resources Group’s upcoming Advanced Courses program in Santa Ana Pueblo, N.M., the course will be taught by William F. Smith, who has 19 years of distinguished service as an Administrative Patent Judge on the Board.

"Bill brings the wisdom and insights in effective practice before the Board that can only be provided by one who served so long and so effectively as a Board member," noted Paul Gardner, Patent Resources Group’s academic director. "The course is designed to equip practitioners with the tools necessary to overcome the new legal challenges that are present as a result the new BPAI rules as well as the Supreme Court’s KSR v. Teleflex ruling."

About Patent Resources Group

Patent Resources Group provides courses and publications in all aspects of patent practice for professionals at all levels of experience. Patent Resources Group offers patent training programs in major cities and destinations, over the Internet, and on-site at companies and law firms, and attracts attendees from around the world.

Patent Resources Group was founded in 1969 by Professor Irving Kayton, Professor of Law Emeritus, George Mason University. Since its inception, the company has taught patent law and related courses to 40,000 patent attorneys, agents, engineers, and scientists.

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