On February 21, 2019, the Orange County Intellectual Property Law Association (OCIPLA), for which Nate is currently the Vice President, hosted “Latest Developments at the USPTO: A Conversation with Director Andrei Iancu.” Director Iancu’s presentation covered a broad array of topics, including patent applications, trademark applications, patent prosecution, trademark prosecution, and the standing of the US patent system in relation to other countries. Recent developments, such as improvements in post grant procedures, have significantly improved our position.
Director Iancu informed attendees about the recent direction given to patent examiners on determining whether an invention is patentable subject matter. For those that are familiar with the patent system, this is the Section 101 question. Recent cases that have been in the news dealing with the question involved the patentability of software, human genes, and medical diagnostics. The recent guidance is great news for inventors and provides a clear framework for what is patentable subject matter.
Regarding trademarks, the USPTO plans to continue to improving protections against fraudulent filings and is in the process or rule-making to implement a rule requiring all international trademark applicants to have US representation.
The evening wrapped up with a great Q&A session followed by an enjoyable dinner.
In the image, from left-to-right, are OCIPLA Board Members Marin Cionca and Vish Mohan, Director Iancu, and OCIPLA Board Members Nate Camuti and Nicole Townes.