This column highlights some of the more notable recent online notices, newsletters, and blogs dealing with IP prosecution issues.

IPWatchdog – a patent law blog –

  • On May 11, 2020, Rebecca Tapscott posted an article explaining how the USPTO’s COVID-19 Pilot Program may benefit small companies and individual inventors regarding exploiting COVID-related technologies. (Details here).
  • On May 20, 2020, a post by Kim Jordahl discussed the Federal Circuit review of a PTAB decision. Cochlear Bone Anchored Solutions AB v. Oticon Medical AB, 2019-1105, 2019-1106, (Fed. Cir., May 15, 2020) (PDF here). The Court agreed with the PTAB that the claim preamble in question was non-limiting and merely a statement of use of the claimed apparatus. (Details here).

The United States Patent and Trademark Office – The U.S. agency for patents and trademark registrations –

  • On March 16, 2020, the USPTO offered relief to patent and trademark applicants, patentees, and trademark owners affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Certain petition fees are waived, but no extensions of dates or waivers of requirements set by statute are available. (PDF here)
  • All in-person meetings, interviews, and oral hearings scheduled to be held at USPTO offices will now be conducted remotely by video or telephone, until further notice. Parties will receive further instructions in advance of the interview, hearing, or meeting.
  • On March 19, 2020, the USPTO waived any requirements for original handwritten signatures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (PDF of details here.)
  • On May 4, 2020, the USPTO announced in Press Release 20-10 launch of a platform form licensing patents for key technologies, focusing initially on COVID-19 technologies. (Details here.)
  • The USPTO announced on May 6, 2020, that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic it will temporarily permit the online filing of plant patent applications. (Details here.)
  • On May 8, 2020 in Press Release 20-11 the USPTO announced the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program for small entities and micro-entities. (Details here.)
  • On May 18, 2020, the USPTO provided further information on the program here including providing a dedicated webpage.
  • The USPTO provides FAQs for patent time extensions, (CARES Act details) and trademark time extensions related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • One may keep apprised as to the status of USPTO events, cancellations, and postponements, here.

AIPLA – the profession’s national organization – see

  • AIPLA has its annual meeting scheduled for October 22-24, 2020. Information on this meeting and other AIPLA meetings are available at Check to make sure a meeting has not switched to a virtual format due to you-know-what.

The Chisum Patent Academy was scheduled to hold one seminar in 2020, in Boston, Massachusetts on October 1-2, 2020. Instead, their seminars are canceled until 2021, due to you-don’t-need-to-ask. More information available here.

For more information about any of the patent topics mentioned consult Patent Application Practice. Trademark topics are discussed in Trademark Registration Practice. Both are published by West and updated twice a year. For patent prosecution or litigation questions, contact Fred Douglas at 949/293-0442 or by email at