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

IPWatchdog – a patents and patent law blog –

  • On November 3, 2018, Steve Brachmann explained that the USPTO is developing a rule (details here) that foreign trademark applicants and registrants must be represented by a U.S. licensed attorney when filing documents with the USPTO. The public comment period will end in February 2019 with the final rule to be issued in June 2019, becoming active in July 2019. Maybe you will get more work out of this? (More details.).
  • On November 4, 2018, Steve Brachmann discussed the USPTO’s is Access to Relevant Prior Art (RPA) Initiative. The Federal Register notice is located here. The RPA Initiative will work to let a patent applicant populate their Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) electronically for members of the same patent family. So, for example, if you file a continuing application, the prior art already cited in the original application will be dropped into your continuing application, while satisfying the duty to disclose information under 37 C.F.R. 1.56, at least for those prior cited references. The USPTO is selectively rolling out this RPA Initiative for certain examiners in specific art units where applications meet certain criteria.   (Full details 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