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Unofficial Gazette

By Luther Behringer

The International Relations Committee of the PTOS, working with APANET’s External Affairs Chair, hosted a reception at the Trademark Bar at the Westin to welcome the visiting delegation from the Association of South East Asian Nations on June 24, 2014.  Delegates from 9 ASEAN nations attended training at the USPTO concerning IP office administration and management.

Unofficial Gazette

By Jared Rutz and Seahvosh Nikmanesh

 

I wanted to find out more about the PTOS Annual Picnic, which will be held from 12-6 PM on May 31st at Fort Hunt Park in Virginia, so I talked to Seahvosh Nikmanesh, co-chair of the PTOS Social Committee.

 

I see this year’s PTOS Picnic has a Wild West theme, what should I look forward to?

 

The food and the rides will have a Western theme, and we're hoping that some of the participants will also get into the Wild West spirit.   As far as food goes, we're planning to have chili dogs, chili burgers, and chili, among other things.  For rides, we have a mechanical rodeo bull, and, as always, the object is to try to stay on as long as you can.

 

We wanted to have fun, so we thought that having themes would be a good chance for people to get into the spirit of things.  We're hoping that some of our guests will take this opportunity to get out some of their Western wear.   Also, I thought it would be a good chance to break out my new cowboy boots.

 

What kind of outfit should I wear?

 

Since it's a Wild West theme, people are welcome to wear boots, spurs, hats, vests, or whatever they’ve got.  It should be warm out, and hopefully the weather will be cooperative.  Even if the weather doesn't cooperate, we have the pavilion, so we can be under cover for eating and all that good stuff.

 

Are there fun things for kids to do?

 

We'll be setting up a bunch of rides, including a rock climbing wall, an obstacle course, a bounce castle, and we'll have a pony.  There will also be a bounty of western themed foods, including chili.

 

I’m not a kid, are there fun things for me to do?

 

Most of the rides are for all ages, and the adults may also partake in our selection of adult beverages.  There will also be pick-up sports, usually we’ll have volleyball, flag football, softball, and soccer.

 

How do I get tickets?

 

You can order tickets online through the PTOS reservation system (http://ptos.org/reservations/), or pick up tickets from one of our ticket sellers: Rebecca Eisenberg (RND 7D13), Terry Dey (MDW 7D64), Tsung Yin Tsai (KNX 10C73), Martin Rogers (REM 6B09), or Seahvosh Nikmanesh (JEF 7A49).  Tickets are $4 for PTOS members, and $6 for guests or $4 for children ages 2-12 of members and are available until COB May 23rd.  People eligible for membership in the PTOS are not eligible to come as guests.

 

Do you need people to help with the event?

 

We love having volunteers to help run the rides, and to help clean up afterward.  If you’re interested, you can contact Seahvosh Nikmanesh or Robert Hodge.  Overall, we hope people come out and have a good time, we're looking forward to a fun event.

Unofficial Gazette

By Matthew Engel

 

On Wednesday afternoon, November 13, 2013 the PTOS International Relations Committee, accompanied by representatives from APANET (Asian Pacific American Network), welcomed to the PTO an incoming group of approximately 15 Vietnamese Patent Examiners and their Supervisor from the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam. The International Relations Committee, chaired by Luther Behringer, met at the Office of Policy and International Affairs (OPIA) and was greeted by Pete Mehravari of the OPIA. Peter is responsible for coordinating many of the incoming teams of patent examiners from international offices who visit the USPTO in order to attend seminars, lectures and complete educational training on U.S. practices. After informal introductions were made by Luther, PTOS, APANET and the Vietnamese Examiners all headed to the Trademark Bar for refreshments. It was in this relaxed environment that the examiners were able to bond and compare the types of patents they each look at on a daily basis as well as discussing unique cultures, customs and geographies. It was an overall excellent experience. If you are interested in different cultures, planning events or potentially meeting examiners from abroad, I would recommend becoming involved with the PTOS International Relations Committee.

Unofficial Gazette
Chief Judge Paul Michel (Retired): Inaugural Speaker in PTOS Distinguished Lecture Series



By Christyann Pulliam

Chief Judge Paul Michel (Retired) was the inaugural speaker in The Lighter Taper: The PTOS Distinguished Lecture Series on February 15, 2012.  In 1813, Thomas Jefferson described the need to balance the protection of invention with the necessity of the sharing of ideas to promote progress.  He wrote:  “He who receives ideas from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine receives light without darkening me”.   PTOS has taken up this challenge to spread ideas by lighting the taper of those around us.  The former Chief Judge spoke about “Beating the Backlog of Examinations and Re-Examinations with Proven Judicial Efficiency Techniques”. 
Unofficial Gazette

by Matthew Troutman

 

Chief Judge Michel gives a talk on "How to Revise the PTO and the Patent System"
 
On Tuesday, April 20th, 2010, Chief Judge Paul Michel, recipient of the 2009 PTOS Federico Award for his outstanding contributions to the Patent and Trademark system, was on campus in Madison Auditorium South to give a talk on "How to Revise the PTO and the Patent System". A great turn out was seen from PTOS members as well as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO David Kappos was in attendance. The speech is reproduced below:
Fellow Citizens: Be On Guard
By Paul R. Michel, Chief Judge United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, April 2010
 
Today, American economic security is threatened in a way not yet recognized. Securing the inflow of natural resources is no longer our biggest challenge. Rather, it is stemming the outflow of jobs, talent, technology and production. These four losses resulted from chronic under-financing of our innovation infrastructure. Strengthening it can restore our prosperity and technological leadership. We must boost invention and make new products our people and the world will need, want and buy. To spur increased innovation, however, we need increased investment. And it is needed immediately because we are losing our international lead in technology and our global competitiveness.
 
Public finance, however, will be largely unavailable. It has been exhausted by the cost of two, concurrent and continuing wars and a decade of fiscal mismanagement, saddling us with a huge annual debt payments and annual budget deficits of hundreds of billions of dollars. In this recession when tax revenues are down, even a modest increase in public funding will be difficult, if not politically impossible. In any event, private investment has always supported R&D by private research-based companies and other innovators. Only increased private finance, then, can fund the needed increase in research and development. But how do we incentivize more private investment in innovation? The answer is faster, sounder and clearer patents, plus faster, stronger enforcement. After all, no one can be expected to invest without confidence in a sure return. Patents, and the protection of investment they afford, provide the only incentives strong enough to cause increased private investment in research-based companies.
 
The primary engine of American recovery and resurgence will therefore have to be an improved patent system. Without that, both short term recovery and long-term prosperity will be stunted. By "system", I mean primarily the Patent and Trademark Office, and the Federal courts, which along with the International Trade Commission provide the only mechanisms to monetize patent value.
 
Patents as the spur for both economic and technological advance is hardly a new idea. They have been a main engine of economic growth and technological progress since 1790 when the First Congress passed the first Patent Act. The founders, better than today's political leaders, understood the central importance of patents to national prosperity and economic growth. Patents continued to promote repeated surges of technological advance throughout the 1800's. Before and during World War I, another huge surge took place. Yet another wave occurred in the aftermath of World War II and the most recent in the information processing revolution of the 1990's. Notice that that was when our country last had a balanced budget.
 
Note, too, that the new jobs that our country needs to rehire the unemployed and absorb a growing labor force will follow. So will migrations of the technologically talented. If more R&D is done here, they will come here and stay. If not, foreign talent studying at our universities will all return home. Our own leading technologists will also go elsewhere, just as is now happening in firms such as Intel and Applied Materials, both of whom will soon open large new labs in China headed by their top American researchers.
 
Some commentators assume that needed R&D can be funded by company revenues, but that is not realistic. The most innovative companies are small. Many do not yet make profitable products. Some do not yet sell any products. Therefore, the firms with the least revenue to support their R&D are those most in need of investment. Biotech start-ups are only one example. Without it, many of them will die. With it, medical science will surge. So how does our society convince venture capitalists to finance more R&D for innovative firms? The answer is clear: the promise of profits through properly issued patents that are enforced quickly and vigorously.
 
Well, what is wrong with the present patent system? First, and foremost: delay. In some technologies it now takes 4-6 years even to get a patent. The product life-cycle may be shorter. For all technologies the average is three years. That is because for two decades the patent office has been underfunded and losing ground. It operates entirely on user fees set by Congress long ago at levels that can no longer finance necessary operations. It lacks both enough examiners, especially experienced examiners, and modern computer systems. Imagine, the government's own technology agency is using 30 year old computer technology! These are the reasons delays are so long. Even worse, because most applications must by law be published at 18 months, others, including foreign competitors, can pirate inventions for years before the patents issue, for until then patent owners have no rights.
 
The patent system is failing primarily because the patent office is failing. In a word, it is dysfunctional. Over 700,000 applications sit unread in a warehouse in Alexandria, Virginia, often for years. Although 400,000 are under examination, their progress is far too slow. And every year almost 400,000 more are filed.
 
Most examiners leave after only three years for better pay and working conditions in private industry. The average experience level of the 6,000 examiners has fallen to only about three years. But it takes that long for new examiners to become both competent and efficient. Inexperienced examiners harm the system: they allow patent claims they should reject and reject ones they should allow, further increasing delays and costs. And the lack of quality assurance undermines the presumption of patent validity provided by law and the credibility of patents in the eyes of Congress.
 
The gears of our patent system seem seized up: public inaction is discouraging private investment. Obviously we need to strengthen and speed both examinations and litigations, but doing so requires public I investment. Although the PTO should remain financed by user fees, it I needs a transfusion of public money to overcome its dysfunction. It needs thousand of additional examiners, salary increases to retain experienced examiners, new computer systems and space to house an expanded work force. (At present, many employees, although lacking extensive experience, work at home where adequate supervision is more difficult and applicant interviews are problematic.) Thus, even if Congress raised fees, which it should, resolving the current crisis requires a large infusion of public money. And it is needed soon. Deferral will have corrosive consequences that cannot be undone. Therefore, I suggest an immediate capital investment of one billion dollars. It could be spent over the next several fiscal years, but it must be appropriated immediately.
 
In addition, the Congress must guarantee the PTO will keep all fees. Since 1992, Congress diverted over 900 million dollars in patent fees to other uses. 'This fiscal year Congress, once again, will not allow the office to keep all the fees it expects to collect; an estimated $150-250 million will go elsewhere. Permanently ending such "fee diversion" is necessary to reviving the PTO. If Congress continues diverting fees to other purposes, raising fee levels will have little effect. In addition, is it fair that fees provided by private patent applicants finance other government activities?
 
If public monies are already committed, however, how could Congress find a billion dollars for the PTO? Well, when Congress wishes, it freely spends many billions of dollars per day. I only suggest one billion once, not one billion per day or even per year. Just one billion, period, but soon.
 
Is my suggestion unrealistic? Maybe, but not if our nation followed proper priorities.
 
Would such a transfusion as a capital investment fix the patent office? Mostly. Other innovations are also needed; most have already been started by the current Director, David Kappos. But without an immediate, large increase in funding, even his very sound leadership initiatives cannot produce the needed results. In fact, despite his initiatives, the workforce is still declining, losing 500 examiners last year when hiring was frozen because of fee short-falls in .the worst recession in several decades. So just when it needs more examiners, it has fewer.
 
What else? Let the PTO open satellite offices, in places like Detroit, and Houston, and hire unemployed engineers who are already experienced IP professionals. But again, Congressional authorization is needed. Under current law, most employees must work in Alexandria, Virginia. Congress also controls the pay structure for examiners. The General Schedule that sets pay for civil servants should not apply to the scientists and engineers in the patent office. Industry would willingly pay higher fees to enable the PTO to pay more competitive salaries to highly-skilled examiners. Congress should raise these pay levels.
 
If necessary, Congress should also clarify the Director's authority to give earlier examination to patent applications in certain promising new technologies and individual applications for pioneer inventions. A first-in, first-examined system makes no sense when many applications have little if any commercial value and often lack technological merit. In addition, applicants should be allowed to defer examination since they often need time to assess their invention's commercial potential.
 
Such techniques can enable both the patent office and the courts to perform faster and better. Increasing resources, however, requires Congressional action. Unless Congress invests in the America patent system, private investors cannot be expected to. We must encourage them to boost investment to surge American R&D. So Congress must "prime the pump"; only then can private investment take over.
 
This is the best and perhaps only way to increase innovation and reverse competitive decline. It could restore us as the technology leader of the world, increase private and public revenues and stock value and create millions of new jobs. With so clear a strategy, we need not hesitate to act.
 
Unofficial Gazette

   

 

by Jeffrey Look

 

Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Sharon Barner, urged members of the Patent and Trademark Office Society (PTOS) to be active participants in the implementation of the Office’s Strategic Plan at the PTOS annual meeting on February 24.
 
The USPTO is in the process of revising and restructuring the strategic plan. The new plan will address, among other things, the agency’s large backlog of patent applications and the quality of application review. In the coming months, USPTO management will roll out the plan for public and USPTO employee comment.    
 
“The USPTO plays a key role in the nation’s economy and in creating jobs. The patent backlog is an obstacle to the innovation that patents are designed to protect,” Deputy Barner said.
 
Barner said the process of reaching the goals in the Strategic Plan will be hard work, but with input from PTO employees, the goals can be obtained. “We need to nurture a culture where ideas are cherished. You know where the best practices and the problems are. We want to hear from you,” she told the attendees. “If any of you have an idea about improvements we can make, email either me or Director Kappos,” Barner added.
 
Barner said that as for reducing the patent backlog, the Office is in the process of hiring experienced patent examiners who can get up to production in a relatively short period of time. She added that hiring more examiners is only part of the solution. She also said that retaining examiners is important as well and the Office is working on plans that will help reduce attrition.
 
Barner praised the PTOS’ “Kids in Chemistry” program in which teams of volunteers from the PTOS teach and encourage children to understand and enjoy science through the use of simple and fun experiments. “We are moving into an innovation economy. Math and science education is something we need for our country to maintain its leadership in innovation.” She urged the society to develop more programs along these lines.
 
The PTOS also announced the winners of various awards for the year. Heather Herndon, Christine Nucker and Cecilia Tsang were recognized for maintaining 25 years of continued membership in the PTOS. The recipient of the “Outstanding Service Award” given to the person who has made a significant contribution to the work of the PTOS over a long period of time was Tonia Dollinger.
 
The winner of the annual Joseph Rossman award for the article in the Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society which best makes the greatest contribution to the field of patents, trademarks, or copyrights was John Schlicher. Schlicher is one of only three people to have won the award twice since the award’s inception in 1972. Schlicher previously won the award in 2001.
 
The “Ant” awards for those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to the PTOS were given to: Rob Hodge, Yara Green, John Zimmermann, Christyann Pulliam, Mark Fearer, Nigel Fonenont, Ed Kim, Adam Duda, Rob Fuller, Mike Araj, Dave Huismann, Eric Keasel, Jeff O'Brien, Brent Herring, Phil Bonzell and Heather Shackelford.
 
The “Grand Ant” award for the person who most embodied the spirit of volunteerism for the PTOS was Seahvosh Nikmanesh.
 
Two “Outgoing Officer” awards were also given, going to officers who are leaving the executive board. The recipients were Kristina Fulton, who served as the 2009 PTOS president, and Alex Kosowski, who served as the PTOS treasurer from 2006-2009. The society thanked both of them for their excellent service.
 

The PTOS was formed in 1917. The purpose of the PTOS is to further the technological development of the United States in so far as the patent and trademark systems are or may be factors, to promote and foster a true appreciation of those systems, to cultivate the highest standards of professional ethics among patent practitioners and Patent and Trademark Office professionals and to promote the professional and social welfare of the members of the Society.

Unofficial Gazette

Law Campus Visits

 

by PTOS Education Committee, October, 2009

 

 

 

Visit to American University (Washington College of Law) on October 2, 2009 (Friday)

    Leaders: Chris Nofal, Edward Kim

    Tour and information session   

 

On October 2, 2009, the group of about 15 met in Randolph lobby at 12:30pm and left promptly at 12:45pm to visit American University Washington College of Law (WCL).  The trip to WCL took more than an hour with the Red Line transfer and the WCL shuttle bus, however, it was a good time for the group to mingle.  Having arrived 15 minutes earlier than the scheduled, the group had a chance to stop by Starbucks for refreshments before attending the event set up by WCL Admissions Council.  Associate Dean Christine Farley, who is well-versed in the IP field, an Admissions Representative, and a third year student joined us for the information session.  The WCL representatives gave us overviews on the IP-related studies at WCL, emphasizing on the unique diversity of Clinical Programs offered through WCL.  International opportunities within the J.D. curriculum were also discussed, which was followed by Q&A sessions, where the group had a chance to ask about the admissions process.  Once the information session was over, two WCL volunteered to take us around for a campus tour.  The group returned to the Office around 6pm.

    Overall, the event was a success, learning more about the studies at WCL and the admissions process. 

 

 

Visit to Catholic University Columbus School of Law on October 8 (Thursday)

Leaders: Yara Green and Adam Duda

            Class and tour

 

 A group of 15 people from all backgrounds and experiences at the Office gathered to go on the tour of Catholic University Columbus School of Law, located off the Red Line at Brookland-CUA.  When we arrived at the Law School, we ran into a Professor Lerman whose class a portion of us were going to sit on. She enthusiastically invited everyone to attend her class on Professionalism. It was an interesting class and we even quietly discussed the lecture when the class broke into discussion groups. Afterwards, Professor Lerman invited some of her students to stay and talk with us. After the impromptu roundtable with Professor Lerman and couple of students, including the President of the Student Bar Association, we went on a tour of the school including the classrooms, the courtrooms, the library readings rooms, the clinics, and the law journal offices. We also stopped by the financial aid office in which a counselor fielded questions. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and engaging. We ended the tour in the admissions office for any last questions and to collect brochures, applications, etc. Overall, it was a very pleasant experience that gave a nice peek into law schools in general while also focusing on a few aspects unique to Catholic.

 

Visit to George Mason School of Law on October 15 (Thursday)

Leaders: Adam Duda and Victor Wang

    Tour and information session

 

About 22 people took a tour of George Mason Law School, located off the Virginia Square Metro Station on the Orange Line.  Examiners visited George Mason University School of Law and learned about available facilities.  The admissions counselors provided the examiners with an information session regarding the School of Law where numerous questions were asked about the IP curriculum and admissions requirements.  After the information session the admissions counselors provided a tour of the facility available to students such as the library, the classrooms, and explanations of the honor system and how exams are distributed to students.

 

 

Visit to Howard University School of Law on October 16 (Friday)

Leaders: Adam Duda and Victor Wang

    Tour and information session

 

About 8 people took a tour of Howard’s Law School located off the Red Line at the Van Ness Metro Station.  Examiners were provided with an information session led by 6 student admissions workers.  During the information session examiners were informed about what the current IP curriculum offers.  Howard University School of Law is about 10 minutes by shuttle from the main Howard University campus.  There are no on-campus facilities available at the School of Law for students to live in.  The buildings are all connected through underground tunnels and a new library has been constructed within the last 5 years.  Howard definitely has a small feel look with a lot of facilities available to grow in the future based on the empty available rooms.  At the present time, Howard does not have a part-time law program.

 

 

 

 

Visit to George Washington School of Law on October 22 (Thursday)

Leaders: Adam Duda and Victor Wang

    Tour and information session

    

About 14 people took a tour of GW’s School of Law, located off the Blue and Orange lines at Foggy Bottom.  The examiners learned about the School of Law from their tour guides.  In particular, tours were provided of the facilities and information on what facilities are available for students of the School of Law – for example, the library where each librarian has a J.D.!  Furthermore, there was an information session for examiners with current students Stef, Alissa, Brett, and Geoff who did a great job answering questions about the IP curriculum, the School of Law, and their experiences.  Furthermore, Associate Dean John M. Whealan spoke with a group during the tour and further took time out of his busy schedule to meet up with the full USPTO group towards the end of the information session to talk about his past experiences with the USPTO, his current experiences at the School of Law, and who the distinguishing faculty members of the IP curriculum are.

 

  

Visit to Georgetown School of Law on October 29 (Thursday)

    Leaders: Christyann Pulliam and Chris Nofal

    Tour and Class

 

A group of about 17 people met to visit Georgetown Law School, which is located near the Capitol, Union Station and Judiciary Square.  The group divided in two for student led tours of the campus.  Georgetown has multiple buildings on the law school campus since the site is just for the law school.  All the facilities were very impressive.  Facilities at Georgetown University School of Law are extremely well maintained with a gym, pool, on-campus living, a one-stop student center, and lecture halls all located within 200 feet of one another.  The Georgetown Library, as per the tour guide, is one of the 14th largest School of Law libraries in the United States.  The tour guides provided a good overview of the student life on campus. After the approximately one hour tour, five students stayed to sit in on a property class.  The school limited the number who could sit in so the rest of the group returned to the office.

 

 

Overall comments:

 

It was a great opportunity to meet like-minded patent examiners and make some contacts.  Also I was able to find a study partner through the tours so that were many benefits that didn't necessarily include going to the school.  The school tours were also helpful and making decisions on top schools.  --- Chikaodili Anyikire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unofficial Gazette

by Mark Fearer, November 23, 2009

On October 22, 2009, the PTOS sponsored a Financial Planning brown bag seminar, which was a huge success. Approximately 75 people attended the seminar in the Remsen Conference Center, with additional people logged in to the remote webcast.

Jason Silverberg, a Financial Advisor at Financial Advantage Associates, Inc., presented a lively discussion on how to navigate through today’s financial markets. There was much interaction with the audience and many questions.

The Financial Planning brown bag seminar was recorded and will be available through October, 2010 at: https://uspto.connectsolutions.com/p48913698/

For MORE INFORMATION regarding this presentation, please contact:

Jason Silverberg
jason@finadvinc.com
301-610-0071 (MD/DC/VA)
1-800-804-4736 x3022

Unofficial Gazette

             

by Brent Herring, September 9, 2009

 

 On September 4, 30 PTOS members took flight in a small cargo plane over the skies of West Point, VA, but they chose to land by launching themselves out of the back of the plane at 14,000 ft. For many, it was their first experience skydiving. The jumps were in tandem, so an experienced instructor was attached to each member's back. Nonetheless, the experience was breath-taking and exhilarating for the 45+ seconds of free fall. At 5000 feet, parachutes deployed and the members made a safe, steady descent back to earth with their hearts still pounding from the adrenaline rush.

 "I thought I might have to cash in my insurance policy," said examiner Bret Adams (TC 2800) referring to the $1700 camera he had harnessed to his chest for filming the entirety of his descent from the plane. A number of other members had their jumps professionally filmed. Matt Fry (TC 2600), who is both an examiner and a certified skydiver that does part-time videography for West Point skydiving, provided his services to a handful of the first-time jumpers. One of those jumpers, Jorge Casanova (TC 2100) exclaimed, "THAT WAS AWESOME!!" while flexing and high-fiving everyone after his landing. Most everyone shared his sentiments. All the participants had a thrilling experience and the PTOS is looking forward to more skydiving adventures in the future.

 Pictures provided by Yin Tsai (TC 2600)

 

              

Unofficial Gazette

by Mark Fearer, September 2, 2009

 

 The July 21, 2009 Long Term Care brown bag seminar was a success. Approximately 30 people attended in the Randolph Conference Center, and another 18 people logged in to the remote webcast.

 There were two representatives from Financial Advantage Associates, Inc. who, together, presented a lively discussion of Long Term Care and how to plan for it. There was much interaction with the audience and many questions, both live in the room, and emailed in from people who were logged in remotely.

 The event was recorded and will be available through July, 2010 at:

https://uspto.connectsolutions.com/p56374517/

For MORE INFORMATION regarding  this presentation,
please contact:
Jason Silverberg
jason@finadvinc.com
301-610-0071 (MD/DC/VA)
1-800-804-4736 x3022
Unofficial Gazette



By Mark Fearer, March 15, 2009

The Honorable Richard Linn was the keynote speaker at the 2009 Annual Meeting. Judge Linn’s speech may be read on the following link: http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/pdf/USPTOSociety21809.pdf When Judge Linn completed his talk, President Dollinger and Vice President Bradley presented Judge Linn with the framed copy of the first issued US Patent.

Unofficial Gazette
Visiting Scholars Photo1
Visiting Scholars Photo2
Visiting Scholars Photo3
Visiting Scholars Photo4

By Emerson Puente

The Patent and Trademark Society (PTOS) International Relations Committee coordinates several social events for the Visiting Scholars Program and pairs the scholars with mentors who assist them by answering any questions they may have regarding the USPTO and the surrounding DC metro area. The Visiting Scholars Program, which was established in 1985, provides intellectual property officials and representatives from various countries all over the world a two-week crash course of the United States' intellectual property system. The primary goals of the program include:

a. Fostering a better understanding of international intellectual property obligations and norms;

b. Using the U.S. system as an example, to expose participants to at least one method of providing Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPs)-level protection for a variety of intellectual property disciplines; and

c. Promoting discussion of intellectual-property issues in a friendly and supportive environment.
The semi-annual event, which just recently finished its fall session (October 27-November 7), included participants from Benin, Cameroon, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ghana, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal, Panama, Romania, Taiwan, and Thailand.

The program kicked off with a Welcome Breakfast, which provided the scholars an overview of the program. It was also the first opportunity for scholars to meet their mentor. Muffins and coffee were provided for the participants. In the afternoon, the scholars and mentors had a lunch reception at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, which included two guest speakers, the Commissioner of Trademarks, Anne Chasser, and Commissioner of Patents, Nicholas Godici. They both spoke in the middle of the luncheon, welcoming the visiting scholars and providing an overview of Trademarks and Patents. Later during the week, a potluck lunch was coordinated for the scholars. Mentors were asked to bring a dish for the potluck, which gave the scholars a taste of American cooking. The potluck concluded with ice cream sundaes, which allowed the scholars and mentors, alike, to use their creative ability to build a delicious sundae.

The second week of the program included a tour of National Air and Space museum, a “Night in Georgetown”, and a reception on Capital Hill. During the tour of the National Air and Space museum, the scholars and mentors were able to see hundreds of artifacts on display including the original Wright 1903 Flyer, the "Spirit of St. Louis," and Apollo 11 command module, as well as learn interesting facts about each piece of history. A “Night in Georgetown” was also planned for the participants, involving a dinner and a visit to a Jazz club. The festivities finished with a reception on Capital Hill in the Cannon House office building. With a Hollywood theme, scholars were able to see many PTOS members dressed up as their favorite actor or actress. The event allowed for scholars to mingle with not only mentors, but also other PTOS members throughout the night.

Through the mentorship program, USTPO employees are able to meet interesting people involved with intellectual property from other countries. The program also provides opportunity to learn about other cultures and traditions, as well as establish life long friendships with people across the globe. To be a mentor, one must be a USPTO employee affiliated with the Patent Trademark Office Society. Those interested in the future, please contact the PTOS International Relations Committee Co-Chairmen Tonia Meonske at

Unofficial Gazette
The History of the Patent and Trademark Office Society: 85TH Anniversary Edition (1917-2002) is expected to reach PTOS members and JPTOS subscribers in November 2003! The History Edition is a compilation of photographs and articles celebrating the Society’s first eighty-five years. Photographs commemorate various member events, award ceremonies, and PTOS memorabilia. Articles range from early JPOS articles to current tributes to Dr. Rossman, namesake of the prestigious Rossman Award, to current Society activities. The History Edition is a celebration of its members and their valuable contributions to the Society and to the intellectual property community. The Edition will be mailed together with the November issue of Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society. In addition, extra copies of the History Edition are expected to be for sale at the PTO Gift Shop and through the Society.

-Jeanne Andrea Di Grazio, History Editor
Unofficial Gazette
The end of the fiscal year brings forth one of my most anticipated celebrations, the fourth annual end of the year fiscal party, hosted by the PTOS. On October 7, 2003 the Crystal City Sports Pub opened its doors to the hoard of tired and hungry examiners.

I had the pleasure of sitting at the door and wishing everyone a happy new fiscal year. Not to my surprise, there were many similar quiet smiles and expressions, which stated, “thanks, I want to relax, and I deserve it.” Well … it could have also been because of the free, drink ticket that I was handing each of them.

The music fit the night well. The DJ played songs, which were up beat, but never too loud to prohibit the idle chatter of co-workers hanging out.

Many of the attending PTOS members gathered in small clusters throughout the reserved upstairs at the Crystal City Sports Pub. Each cluster feasted on the wings, crab dip, chicken tenders, vegetables, and many other yummies provided by the PTOS.

My friend John and I were able to have a great conversation ranging from music, to politics, to our social lives. Other PTOS members drifted in and out of the discussions. What made it especially fun is that John and I have not really had an opportunity to say much more than a hallway, “hi, how is it going?” since I switched art units over a year ago. The PTOS has always done a great job providing events for friends and co-workers to keep in touch.

The party ended early. Everyone appeared to be smiling like they just received an expressed abandonment.

Written by Michael Cuff
Unofficial Gazette
Annual Meeting
Annual Meeting
The 2003 PTOS Annual Meeting was held on February 26th, 2003 in the Crystal Forum. Vice-President Meredith Petravick called for the reading of the minutes from the 2002 Annual Meeting however a motion was passed to wave the reading of the minutes until the March Board of Directors Meeting. Chris Young presented the Treasurer’s Report. The awards for 2002 were then presented and are as follows.

Anne Marie Boehler, Administrator for the 2002 Board of Directors, was presented with a Longevity Award for her ten years of service on the Board of Directors.

The Order of the Ant Awards for 2002 were presented to the following people: Elizabeth Dougherty, Matthew Smith, Steve Hanson, Kathleen Kerr, Arpád Kovács, and Joselyn Sliteris.

The Grand Ant Award, given to the volunteer who embodied the spirit of volunteerism for the PTOS in 2002, went to Reginald Bragdon. As a member of the Membership and Social committees, he gladly accepted tough assignments with a smile. He is an invaluable member, who is always willing to do more than his share.

The Outstanding Service Award, established in 1978, is given to a member of the PTOS who has contributed years of hard work to the Society or has a significant accomplishment which has greatly benefited the Society. A past Outstanding Service Award recipient, Heather Shackelford, gave a brief description of the history of the Award and announced that William Neuder, President of the 2002 Board of Directors, was the recipient of the award this year. Unfortunately, Mr. Neuder was unable to attend the meeting and was presented his award at a later date. Mr. Neuder has made extremely significant contributions to the Society over the years. He is a tireless worker who has served on Board of Directors of the PTOS for many years, has been co-chair of the Social Committee, and has been involved in the International Relations Committee. Mr. Neuder is known as a great motivator and cheerleader of the PTOS and those around him.

Treasurer Chris Young and President William Neuder was presented with the Outgoing Officer Award.

The 2003 Board of Directors was introduced as well as the new Journal Business Manager, Tariq Hafiz.

The speakers for the 2003 Annual Meeting were Director John Doll (TC 1600), Greg Beyerlein (ITRP), and Kristin Schmidtfrerick (ITRP). Director Doll spoke about e-Phoenix, an electronic version of the paper file wrapper. The system is being piloted in three art units, 1634, 2827, and 2834. e-Phoenix is an image based application that contains every incoming and outgoing communication; a paper file will remain the official record. Mr. Beyerlein and Ms. Schmidtfrerick spoke of the specifics of the system. Director Doll answered questions regarding e-Phoenix. Director Doll, Mr. Beyerlein, and Ms. Schmidtfrerick were presented with a copy of the first patent in appreciation for taking the time to speak to the PTOS.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:50 a.m. Please join us at the next Annual Meeting in February 2004.
Unofficial Gazette
ch-rs.jpg In the past year, the Historical Display Committee has sponsored a series of contests to select a historical patent display to be presented to each Technology Center in the USPTO. The goal of these contests has been to select a significant, historic and interesting patent in the area of the technologies assigned to each Technology Center. The purpose of the contests is to enhance the appreciation of all persons who work for or do business with each Technology Center of the historical and important nature of the innovations that have been examined in that Technology Center. The winning entry in each contest is made into a display that consists of a framed display page of the winning patent and a framed written description of the patent including the name of the contest winner. The written description is based on but not limited to the written statement of the contest winner. This display is then exhibited in a prominent area of the Technology Center. Within the past year, two series of these contests have been held.

The first series of contests were conducted in Technology Centers 2900, 3600 and 3700. These contests are completed, the winners selected and presentation ceremonies held. The winners were as follows: TC2900 – Robert Spear was presented the award for submitting Design Patent No. 186,119 for Henson and Nebel’s “Puppet Doll”; TC3600 – Judy Swann was presented the award for submitting Patent No. 821,393 for the Wright brothers’ “Flying Machine”; and TC3700 – John Chapman was presented the award for submitting Patent No. 4,750 for Howe’s “Sewing Machine”. A complete write up with photographs of the winners may be viewed in the March 2002 issue of the USPTO PULSE (http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ahrpa/opa/pulse/epulse/pulse0203_7...). Additional photographs of the award ceremonies may be found on the PTOS Web site under Unofficial Gazette, Recent Photos, PTOS Gallery, “historicaldisplay” and “historical2” (http://www.ptos.org/ptos-gallery/historicaldisplay/index.html and http://www.ptos.org/ptos-gallery/historical2/index.html respectively).

The second series of contests were held in Technology Centers 1600 and 1700. These contests are completed, the winners selected and presentation ceremonies held. The winners were as follows: TC1600 – Jeffrey Fredman was presented the award for submitting Patent No. 4,237,224 for Cohen and Boyer’s “Process for Producing Biologically Functional Molecular Chimeras”; and TC1700 – Christopher Young was presented the award for submitting Patent No. 226,503 for Eastman’s “Method and Apparatus for Coating Plates for use in Photography”. Photographs of the award ceremonies may be found on the PTOS Web site under Unofficial Gazette, Recent Photos, PTOS Gallery, “historical08092002/” and “historic-contest-tc1700/” (http://www.ptos.org/ptos-gallery/historical08092002/index.html and http://www.ptos.org/ptos-gallery/historic-contest-tc1700/index.html respectively).

A third series of contests is being planned for the remaining Technology Centers in the near future. Come see the winning entries displayed in the reception areas for the above Technology Centers.
Unofficial Gazette
DSC01077.JPG On Saturday, June 1, 2002, the PTOS held its annual picnic at Fort Hunt Park near Mount Vernon in Virginia. From the start, it was clear that staying hydrated would be a priority since the heat and humidity had already set in. In the pavilion, guests were treated to barbecued fare, which was prepared by the Crystal City Sports Pub right on the premises. The menu consisted of such summer staples as burgers, hot dogs, barbecued chicken, pasta salad, corn on the cob, and baked beans. Outside the pavilion, the park grounds had been transformed into an amusement park. Children were happily playing on the moon bounce and the giant slide and riding on the miniature ferris wheel. Children also took their parents for rides around the park on the train, which loaded and unloaded next to the pavilion. A makeup artist was also present and was surrounded by a table full of children at all times. Displays of her artwork could be seen on many faces and arms. Kids and parents were invited to participate in several games after lunch, including a sack race, a potato-balancing relay, and a classic water balloon tossing contest. All of the kids were awarded various prizes for participating in the games. The adults played softball on the nearby field, but the heat shortened the game. Inside the pavilion, an entertaining hula-hoop contest was held for both the kids and adults. In the late afternoon, the ice cream truck finally arrived and was greeted enthusiastically by the hot picnickers. Indulging in an ice cream or snow cone seemed to be a fitting way to close out the 2002 Annual Picnic, as staying cool was the order of the day.
Unofficial Gazette
On March 27, the Education Committee of the Patent and Trademark Office Society (PTOS) sponsored a lunchtime presentation on the history of paper patents. Jim Davie, the “unofficial historian” of the Patent and Trademark Office, spoke to a capacity crowd of over fifty attendees and recounted the early history of patents. With the Patent Act of 1790, a panel consisting of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of War Henry Knox, and Attorney General Edmund Randolph reviewed and either granted or denied a patent (there were no appeals to their decision). Due to the other duties of the panel members, patent pendency increased and the United States switched to a registration system with the Patent Act of 1793. Nearly 10,000 patents were issued from 1790 until the Patent Act of July 4, 1836; however, these patents were not numbered (they were referred to by the name of the inventor and the date issued).

The Patent Act of 1836 provided for an examination of the patent applications and the start of the numbering system for the issued patents. Therefore, U.S. Patent Number 1 in our database is dated July 13, 1836 and issued to John Ruggles (a Senator instrumental in the new patent legislation). The name and date patents were subsequently renumbered chronologically with the addition of an “X” after the number (so the first patent issued in 1790 is now numbered 1X). Unfortunately, on December 15, 1836, Blodgett’s Hotel (then home to the Patent Office) caught fire and all the patents on file were destroyed. The Patent Office then hired a number of draftsmen and invited the patent owners to bring their documentation to the office in order to reconstruct or restore the patents.

Approximately 2,845 patents were reconstructed and numbered; but the name and date list being used (which was the copy that had been sent to Congress) apparently was not complete. As inventors brought in documentation of patents not on the list, the office had to resort to fractional numbers to keep the X-patent numbering sequence in chronological order. So, today, there are numerous “half” patents and even some “quarter”, “three-quarter”, and “seven-eighths” patents.

There were also no drawing standards until the office began the routine printing of patents in 1871. So the sizes of the drawings in the pre-1871 patents ranged from half sheets to folio-size drawings. Some of the drawings were also done in watercolors. After 1871, the office redrew many of the over-sized drawings to fit on standard-size paper.

There is so much more history to present; but the limitation of an hour presentation allowed Jim to only touch on other matters including the Patent Office of the Confederate States of America, the short-lived Additional Improvement (AI) Patents, and the Design Patents. Jim is always eager to share information about patent history and I’m sure we’ll learn more from him in the future.
Unofficial Gazette
On Wednesday, December 5, the PTOS sponsored a happy hour at the Crystal City Sports Pub for the purpose of honoring organizations that aided in the September 11th Pentagon relief efforts. There were several guests of honor, including representatives from the Arlington County Chapter of the Red Cross, Versar, and Marymount University. According to Jeanne Mitchell and Becky Huber of the Red Cross, numerous organizations worked with the Red Cross in the relief efforts, including Sheraton, Costco (warehouse space), Versar (respirators used by rescue workers), Marymount University (food services), and McDonald’s. Ms. Mitchell and Ms. Huber also expressed their gratitude at having received over $7,000, which was raised at a previous PTOS-sponsored happy hour on October 11th. Near the end of the evening, the Red Cross representatives awarded several certificates of appreciation, recipients of which included: the PTOS, the Crystal City Sports Pub, and Mike Cuff. The PTOS and the Sports Pub also received a special mention in the “Welcome New Supporters” section in the latest edition of CrossRoads, the newsletter of the Arlington County Chapter of the Red Cross. The evening concluded with a presentation by the PTOS of a check for $2,000 to the Arlington County Chapter of the Red Cross. The PTOS salutes all the organizations involved in the September 11th relief efforts, and also thanks all those that have supported these organizations through attendance at these events.
Unofficial Gazette
DSC00795.JPG Valentine’s Day? The mere mention of these words is enough to make some people cringe. Despite the day’s somewhat dubious reputation, more than one hundred brave souls donned their suits, tuxedos, and evening gowns and ventured over to the Ritz-Carlton at Pentagon City to embrace the spirit of the day by enjoying a superb evening of dining and dancing sponsored by the PTOS. As couples entered the second-floor lounge area, they were greeted by the sultry sounds of a sole piano. The gentlemen were offered red roses to pin on their lapels (the resulting attempts by their dates to successfully pin the roses evoked strong memories of prom nights gone by). As the couples mingled in the lounge, the sounds of the evening’s entertainment began emanating from the adjoining ballroom. Fancy Pants, a nine-piece band from the D.C. area, warmed up the crowd with such favorites as “In the Mood,” “New York, New York,” and several other slower and up-tempo numbers. The buffet lines were then opened, and guests were treated to an exquisite selection of salads, entrees, and desserts. The main course selections included sautéed chicken breast, sautéed beef tenderloin with penne pasta, and delicious cuts of salmon. The dessert display was mouth-watering. The desserts subsequently lived up to the visual expectation, drawing good reviews from several people. During the latter part of dinner and into dessert, the band delivered enchanting Latin and Caribbean rhythms, then cranked it up a notch, getting folks on the dance floor with Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration,” Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” and “The Electric Slide.” Throughout the rest of the evening, the band showcased its many talents by playing a diverse setlist and a variety of styles. Near the end of the evening, “Hot Hot Hot” spawned a good-sized conga line that wound its way through the ballroom. Finally, the evening ended the way a Valentine’s Day dance is supposed to end, with a slow dance with that special someone. All in all, those in attendance were treated to a fine night of dinner and dancing. With the celebratory atmosphere and exceptional entertainment, perhaps some people were left wondering, “Why can’t every day be Valentine’s Day?”
Unofficial Gazette
The Visiting Scholars Program (VSP) for government Intellectual Property (IP) is an annual or semi-annual event sponsored by the Office of Legislative and International Affairs (OLIA) and AIPLA. The VSP is a 2-week educational program offered by the USPTO for the benefit of countries developing their IP systems. Since 1985, the VSP has provided participants from over 30 foreign countries with classroom and hands-on study of the United States’ intellectual property system. The scholars attend sessions on Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights.

To help the scholars feel comfortable while here, the PTOS International Relations Committee (IRC) has organized a “Mentor/Sponsor” program in which USPTO employees are paired with visiting scholars to assist them by answering questions they might have about the USPTO or about the surrounding DC metropolitan area. The PTOS IRC usually has the mentors/sponsors attend a lunch reception, a panel discussion, a Capitol Hill briefing, and any PTOS activities scheduled for the time of their visit. Our goal is to make it a fun experience for both the scholars and the mentors/sponsors.

In June 2001 the PTOS once again participated in the USPTO visiting scholars program. This year the IRC coordinated social and other activities for the scholars that allowed them to interact with their U.S. counterparts. The first “social” event coordinated by the PTOS IRC was a luncheon held at Ruth's Chris Steak House on the first day of instruction. This year the speakers for the luncheon included Stephen Kunin and Anne Chasser. Other events included a Pot Luck dinner, a Pumpkin Carving contest, a trip to the Kennedy Center, and PTOS Members Night sponsored by the PTOS Social Committee.

This year’s mentor program was very successful. The IRC plans on continuing to support and host the Visiting Scholars Program for many years to come.
Unofficial Gazette
Hello. This month I would like to take this opportunity to familiarize you with the Society’s committees and to give you a preview of some of their upcoming events.

Currently, the Society has twenty-one different committees, which are responsible for the everyday operations of the Society. Each committee is assigned a particular area of interest, such as social events, budget planning, or public relations. For example, the Distribution Committee is responsible for disseminating information to our members and the Computer and Internet Committee is responsible for maintaining our website. A description of the duties of each committee and a contact person can be found at our website: www.ptos.org.

The committees are formed from volunteers and headed by a chairperson. It is through the efforts of these volunteers that we are able to provide our membership with events such as Member’s Night on the Hill and the Annual Picnic. I encourage all PTOS members who wish to become active to join a committee. Already the committees are hard at work scheduling events for the upcoming year. This year’s Dinner Dance will be held on Valentine’s Day and the Annual Picnic will be held in June.

Also, I wish to invite you to the Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting will be held on February 28th and will feature as keynote speaker Director James Rogan. The Annual Meeting will be held in the Crystal City Forum at 10:00 a.m.
If you are interested in these events or would like to get involved in a committee, please see our website. I look forward to seeing you at the Annual Meeting.


Butch
Unofficial Gazette
On October 3, 2001 the PTOS held a luncheon at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse to honor Q. Todd Dickinson for his many contributions that benefited the PTOS and the USPTO. About 30 members of the PTOS Board of Directors, the JPTOS Board of Governors, the Executive Staff of the USPTO and other Society members were on hand to honor Mr. Dickinson.

Mr. Dickinson served as Assistant Secretary and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks and Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO from November 17, 1999 to January 20, 2001. Under his leadership at the USPTO many landmark changes occurred. These changes included reorganizing management structure, transforming the USPTO into a performance-based organization, enacting some of the most sweeping changes to our statutes in 50 years, implementing the electronic filing of patent and trademark applications, and establishing the Office of Independent Inventor Programs.

Perhaps Mr. Dickinson’s most significant contributions to the PTOS were the improvements to the quality of work life for all USPTO employees and the greatly improved relationship between management and the employees. These contributions are best exemplified in the Day One and Day Two initiatives. Among these initiatives are casual dress, no more sign in/sign out sheets, fifteen minute increments for earning and using leave, mid-day flex, and increased flexitime.

In recognition of Mr. Dickinson’s contributions, the Society presented him with two awards. These awards were presented jointly by William (Butch) Neuder, President of the PTOS and Richard Stouffer, former PTOS President and a long-time member of the PTOS Board of Directors and JPTOS Board of Governors.

The first award was a bound set of PTOS Journals for the years when Mr. Dickinson was Assistant Secretary and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks and Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.

The second award was a framed, engraved copy of the first patent. The engraving reads:

November 17, 1999 - January 20, 2001
Q. Todd Dickinson

With sincere appreciation from The Patent and Trademark Office Society for your support and guidance through your leadership at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

These awards were the Society’s way of saying thanks to Q. Todd Dickinson for his many contributions.
Unofficial Gazette
In June 2001 the PTOS once again participated in the USPTO visiting scholars program. The Visiting Scholars Program (VSP) for government Intellectual Property (IP) is an annual or semi-annual event sponsored by the Office of Legislative and International Affairs (OLIA) and AIPLA. The VSP is a 2-week educational program offered by the USPTO for the benefit of countries developing their IP systems. Since 1985, the VSP has provided participants from over 30 foreign countries with classroom and hands-on study of the United States’ intellectual property system. The scholars attend sessions on Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights.

To help the scholars feel comfortable while here, the PTOS International Relations Committee (IRC) organizes a “Mentor/Sponsor” program in which USPTO employees are paired with visiting scholars to assist them by answering questions they might have about the USPTO or about the surrounding DC metropolitan area. We like to have the mentors/sponsors attend a lunch reception, a panel discussion, a Capitol Hill briefing, the PTOS picnic, and any other USPTO events that might occur while the scholars are here. We want to make it a fun experience for both scholars and mentors/sponsors.

This year the IRC coordinated social and other activities for the scholars to allow them to interact with their U.S. counterparts. The first “social” event coordinated by the PTOS IRC was a luncheon held at Ruth's Chris Steak House on the first day of instruction. This year the speakers for the luncheon included Stephen Kunin and Anne Chasser. Other events included a Pot Luck dinner, a Pumpkin Carving contest, a trip to the Kennedy Center, and PTOS Members Night sponsored by the PTOS Social Committee.

The mentor program has been very successful. The IRC plans on continuing to support and host the Visiting Scholars Program for many years to come.
Unofficial Gazette
July 18, 2015 – Well, I finally caught up with the elusive Jim Davie today; he was present at the dedication of the new paperless public search room here in Alexandria. Jim is retired from the Patent and Trademark Office now, and told me he had plenty of time to sit down and chat about the PTO (although I notice that several times during our conversation his eyes would close momentarily; he later informed me that he was bidding on some lots of old paper patent files on e-bay). “Imagine how amazed patent examiners like you and me would have been even fifteen years ago if someone had suggested that by now people would be conducting business on the internet in their head, using a wireless “biointerface” which allows us to access images on the backs of our eyelids, and “point and click” using intent recognition software without having to move a muscle. I’m an old fogy, though, so I still get a kick out of sitting in front of a computer screen and staring at a flat LCD monitor while I type on a keyboard and click a mouse.” It takes all kinds, I thought to myself as I mentally switched my electronic assistant to autopilot.

What I really wanted to find out about from Jim was the story behind paper patent copies, and the story of how they went from being an integral part of the work of the PTO to being an impediment and a nuisance; but Jim wanted to start off by going back even farther, to the age of patent models. “Like paper patent copies, there was a time when patent models were an indispensable part of an examiner’s job at the Patent Office. Eventually they became obsolete, and their removal was not handled in the best of ways. And as you know, they achieved status as collector items which they retain to this day, sort of mementos of 18th and 19th century Americana.”

Jim recounted in detail a presentation he gave in the PTO in June of 2001, in which he explained the fascinating and complicated tale of the patent models:

From 1790 to 1880, the Patent Office required inventors to submit working models of their invention. These served as a resource for examiners in the same way that printed (and now electronic) versions of patent disclosures do: as a record of technological advancement and the “state of the art”. By 1890, having accumulated some 150,000 models, the government kept them in storage until 1925. No longer willing to pay for their storage, the government disposed of them, and the bulk of them (those which had not been given to the Smithsonian as historically significant models or identified and returned to descendants of patentees or dedicated to cities or museums) passed through the hands of a variety of well-intentioned and not-so-well-intentioned people who variously sought to profit from the models and/or make them accessible to the public. Jim showed numerous images of these unique creations to the audience that day, explained how to verify that a model was an official Patent Office model (look for the tag noting that the model had been “received” by the Patent Office), and noted the origin of government “red tape” being used by the Patent Office to attach these tags to the models.

I asked Jim if he thought the paper patent files would suffer a similarly complicated and frustrating fate now that the PTO is ridding itself of this massive amount of paper in an attempt to make room for more computers and employees (or at least employee offices; the latest work-at-home figures show a marked increase, and the PTO is looking to forge an office-sharing agreement with employee unions to cut down on unused space at the PTO). While he admits that some paper files have in a modest way become collector items like the models (“some people have a thing for old paper documents” he notes with a grin), Jim told me he didn’t think the two situations were comparable.

“The essence of the paper files is retained in their electronic versions, in which we have captured the images and the text which will presumably be available for centuries to come. So the holder of a paper patent copy does not become the exclusive holder of the information, and the individual manner of presenting the information, that is found in the document. And the loss of a paper patent copy does not deprive us of these things. Patent models were unique and self-contained; in most cases, when we lost a model through fire or when the government dispersed the remaining models, we lost not only the only representation of an inventor’s idea we may have had, but we also lost a unique and in many cases personal representation of that idea in three-dimensional form. One could look at a patent model as a more direct physical link to the past.”

And what about the wooden shoe cases, I asked?

“Ahh. That’s another story altogether. Have you got a minute?” You bet, Jim. Just let me change the datastick in my digital voice recorder/transcriber . . .Patent Model Expert Still Chasing PTO History Posted on: 24th January, 2002, Written by: Committee

July 18, 2015 – Well, I finally caught up with the elusive Jim Davie today; he was present at the dedication of the new paperless public search room here in Alexandria. Jim is retired from the Patent and Trademark Office now, and told me he had plenty of time to sit down and chat about the PTO (although I notice that several times during our conversation his eyes would close momentarily; he later informed me that he was bidding on some lots of old paper patent files on e-bay). “Imagine how amazed patent examiners like you and me would have been even fifteen years ago if someone had suggested that by now people would be conducting business on the internet in their head, using a wireless “biointerface” which allows us to access images on the backs of our eyelids, and “point and click” using intent recognition software without having to move a muscle. I’m an old fogy, though, so I still get a kick out of sitting in front of a computer screen and staring at a flat LCD monitor while I type on a keyboard and click a mouse.” It takes all kinds, I thought to myself as I mentally switched my electronic assistant to autopilot.

What I really wanted to find out about from Jim was the story behind paper patent copies, and the story of how they went from being an integral part of the work of the PTO to being an impediment and a nuisance; but Jim wanted to start off by going back even farther, to the age of patent models. “Like paper patent copies, there was a time when patent models were an indispensable part of an examiner’s job at the Patent Office. Eventually they became obsolete, and their removal was not handled in the best of ways. And as you know, they achieved status as collector items which they retain to this day, sort of mementos of 18th and 19th century Americana.”

Jim recounted in detail a presentation he gave in the PTO in June of 2001, in which he explained the fascinating and complicated tale of the patent models:

From 1790 to 1880, the Patent Office required inventors to submit working models of their invention. These served as a resource for examiners in the same way that printed (and now electronic) versions of patent disclosures do: as a record of technological advancement and the “state of the art”. By 1890, having accumulated some 150,000 models, the government kept them in storage until 1925. No longer willing to pay for their storage, the government disposed of them, and the bulk of them (those which had not been given to the Smithsonian as historically significant models or identified and returned to descendants of patentees or dedicated to cities or museums) passed through the hands of a variety of well-intentioned and not-so-well-intentioned people who variously sought to profit from the models and/or make them accessible to the public. Jim showed numerous images of these unique creations to the audience that day, explained how to verify that a model was an official Patent Office model (look for the tag noting that the model had been “received” by the Patent Office), and noted the origin of government “red tape” being used by the Patent Office to attach these tags to the models.

I asked Jim if he thought the paper patent files would suffer a similarly complicated and frustrating fate now that the PTO is ridding itself of this massive amount of paper in an attempt to make room for more computers and employees (or at least employee offices; the latest work-at-home figures show a marked increase, and the PTO is looking to forge an office-sharing agreement with employee unions to cut down on unused space at the PTO). While he admits that some paper files have in a modest way become collector items like the models (“some people have a thing for old paper documents” he notes with a grin), Jim told me he didn’t think the two situations were comparable.

“The essence of the paper files is retained in their electronic versions, in which we have captured the images and the text which will presumably be available for centuries to come. So the holder of a paper patent copy does not become the exclusive holder of the information, and the individual manner of presenting the information, that is found in the document. And the loss of a paper patent copy does not deprive us of these things. Patent models were unique and self-contained; in most cases, when we lost a model through fire or when the government dispersed the remaining models, we lost not only the only representation of an inventor’s idea we may have had, but we also lost a unique and in many cases personal representation of that idea in three-dimensional form. One could look at a patent model as a more direct physical link to the past.”

And what about the wooden shoe cases, I asked?

“Ahh. That’s another story altogether. Have you got a minute?” You bet, Jim. Just let me change the datastick in my digital voice recorder/transcriber . . .
Unofficial Gazette
On August 2, 2001, the Patent and Trademark Office celebrated its diverse workforce by holding its annual Community Day. The Patent and Trademark Office Society participated in the event by having two tables where representatives of PTOS and the Kids and Chemistry detailed all of the benefits and advantages of becoming a member of the PTOS and participating in the Kids and Chemistry program, which is sponsored by the PTOS. The PTOS table displayed flyers of upcoming events and was manned by volunteers who provided prospective and present members with information on the programs and activities of the society. PTOS thanks Jennifer Dougherty, Jennifer Gay, Joselynn Sliteris, William Neuder and Elizabeth Dougherty for taking time out of their busy schedules to volunteer at the PTOS table. Due to their assistance, the Society recruited 10-15 new members. As usual, a freebie, this year a frisbee, was passed out to current and new members. If you did not receive a PTOS frisbee and would like to have one, please contact Matthew Smith at 703-308-1323.
Unofficial Gazette
Chipotle was the place to be on Tuesday, November 6th, for the “Night-with-Nick” happy hour. “Night-with-Nick” was an opportunity for PTOS members to mingle with acting Director Nick Godici, the PTOS Board of Directors, and each other!

The fun started at 5 p.m. and soon thereafter Chipotle was packed with members enjoying drinks and free tacos. Members won free drink tickets trying their luck at our “Guess-the-Trademark” game. Those members eligible for the PTOS Longevity Award (10 or more years of continuous dedication to the PTOS) were honored with certificates. PTOS President Butch Neuder and Vice-President Meredith Petravick presented Nick Godici his certificate during the ceremony.

“Night-with-Nick” was a joint effort of the PTOS Membership and Social Committees. A special thank you goes out to the staff at Chipotle for their assistance. And many thanks to those members who came out to join in the fun!
Unofficial Gazette
Why does the wording “geographical indication” appear in Section 2(a)? Why does Section 2(a) specifically mention “wines or spirits”? What’s the relationship between geographical indications in Section 2(a), and terms that may be geographically deceptively misdescriptive under Section 2(e)(3)? These and other questions will be answered during the Patent and Trademark Office Society Education Committee’s lunchtime brown bag presentation on October 31, 2001 in the Alexandria Room of the South Tower from 11:30-12:30. Eleanor Meltzer of the Office of Legislative and International Affairs will present information on a hot topic in international property rights: Geographical Indications.

Recent developments at the World Trade Organization (WTO), in other international forums, and in many bilateral and multilateral free trade agreement negotiations make it important to be familiar with the topic of "geographical indications." Geographical indications are a type of intellectual property, defined as "indications, which identify a good as originating in the territory of a Member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin." (Article 22(1) of the TRIPS Agreement)

In the United States, examples of geographical indications include "FLORIDA" for oranges; "IDAHO" for potatoes; and "WASHINGTON STATE" for apples. However, some terms have become “generic” and are not extended protection to a geographical indication. As an example, in the United States the word "CHABLIS" is often used to refer to any sort of white wine. Since "CHABLIS" is a generic term in the United States, the United States can continue to permit use of word "CHABLIS" as a synonym for "white wine." (The word "champagne" is another prominent example of a generic term, which in the United States means any light-colored wine with bubbles.)

Geographical indications are valuable to producers from particular regions for the same reasons that trademarks are valuable. First, they are source-identifiers; they identify goods as originating in a particular territory, or a region or locality in that territory. Geographical indications are also indicators of quality; they let consumers know that the goods come from an area where a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of the goods is essentially attributable to their geographic origin. In addition, geographical indications are business interests; they exist solely to promote the goods of a particular area. Finally, for purpose of the TRIPS Agreement, geographical indications are intellectual property, eligible for relief from acts of infringement and/or unfair competition.

The United States offers robust protection for geographical indications, generally through registration as a certification mark (a type of trademark). Examples of geographical indications protected as certification marks in the United States include: U.S. Registration No. 571,798 (“ROQUEFORT" for cheese - France); U.S. Registration No. 1,632,726 ("DARJEELING" for tea - India); U.S. Registration No. 2,014,628 ("PARMA HAM" for ham products - Italy); U.S. Registration No. 1,570,455 ("SWISS" for chocolate - Switzerland); and U.S. Registration No. 1,959,589 ("STILTON" for cheese – United Kingdom).

The above is largely taken from http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dcom/olia/globalip/geographicalindica...

Visit the website for more information and bring a sandwich to the presentation on October 31, 2001. PTOS will provide beverages, chips, and dessert
Unofficial Gazette
It’s count Monday, what are you doing? Those last minute counts? While you are hard at work, some members of the Patent and Trademark Office Society’s Membership Committee are going to the New Hire Orientation to let the new employees know about the benefits of joining the PTOS.

Do you still remember all benefits of the PTOS? Here is a reminder of the benefits highlighted at the New Hire Orientations.

The PTOS sponsors three main types of events: social, service, and educational. Some examples of educational activities are: 1) the upcoming Geographical Indications Presentation by Eleanor Meltzer on October 31st, 2) subscriptions to the monthly Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society and 3) the Visiting Scholars Program. The Visiting Scholars program gives PTOS members the opportunity to mentor a visiting official from a foreign office. The International Relations Committee hosts the Visiting Scholars Program twice a year and plans activities such as a luncheon at Ruth Chris’ Steakhouse and a pumpkin-carving contest.

The PTOS also offers members the opportunity to serve the community. The most obvious of these activities are Kids ‘n Chemistry and local science fair judging. However, there are other events that are disguised as social events, which also help members serve the community. Have you been to one of these events? If you have bought tickets to a Capitals game or a Wizards game from the PTOS then you have participated in a community service event. A portion of the cost of sports tickets supports the annual PTOS holiday toy drive.

And of course, the PTOS offers plenty of social events. Some examples from this year were the annual dinner dance held on the Spirit of Washington, three trips to Baltimore to see the Orioles, three golf tournaments, plenty of happy hours, and the annual Members’ Night on Capital Hill held this year on October 16th.

Hey, did you also know that members could buy discounted movie tickets, get a great deal on business cards, and get life insurance through the PTOS?

Those are just some of the things that the PTOS does for its members. Every count Monday the Membership Committee lets the new employees know about these benefits from the PTOS. The group consists of Jennifer Gay, Lori Coletta, Justin Bettendorf, Meredith Petravick, Heather Shackleford and Patricia Engle.

If you would like to learn more about any of these events or the committees, which sponsor these events, come to the Happy Hour on November 6th at Chipotle. There you can meet the Acting Director of the USPTO, Nick Godici and learn about all of the committees of the PTOS. Hope to see you there!
Unofficial Gazette
-adapted from the National Inventors Hall of Fame biography by Renee Luebke

French Chemist Louis Pasteur was the founder of microbiological sciences and stereochemistry. He is well known for developing the mild heating process that kills microbes just after fermentation has been completed. This process, now known as pasteurization, revolutionized the wine industry. He discovered the cause and vaccine for anthrax and rabies. He taught others about germs and the need for sterilization and sanitary conditions.

Born on December 27, 1822 in Dole, France, Pasteur received his scientific education at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. He originally intended to become a teacher, but in striving to understand science and chemistry well enough to inspire his students, he launched his own career in investigatinggerms and the causes of infectious diseases. He served successively as professor of chemistry in Strasbourg, the Dean of the Lille Faculty of Sciences and professor of chemistry at the Sorbonne.

Pasteurs studies of fermentation began in Lille when he was approached by and alcohol manufacturer, the father of one of his students, who was disturbed because undesirable products often appeared during the fermentation of sugar into alcohol. Pasteur postulated that these products came from microscopic organisms other than yeast and suggested that each particular type of fermentation was the effect of a specific microorganism, called the germ. He proposed that spoilage of perishable products could be prevented by destroying the microbes already present in these products and by protecting the sterilized material against subsequent contamination from airborne organisms. Pasteur applied this theory to the preservation of beverages and foodstuffs, thereby intro ducing pasteurization.

Pasteur became preoccupied with the origin of microorganisms and demonstrated that each microbe is derived from a pre-existing microbe, and that spontaneous generation does not occur. Although he did not discover germs or microbes, he made the leap to realizing that they were the key to understanding disease. He showed the way for doctors to become preventers and curers of disease.

In 1867 Louis Pasteur was awarded the Grand Prix medal at the Exposition Universelle for his work on pasteurization and in 1978 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Nicholas Zane Paradiso on October 7, 2000.
Unofficial Gazette
"Hey Cuffy, I have an idea for a fund raiser for CFC. Can you help?" And so the planning began. Chris Ellis, SPE of 3651 and a CFC fund raising coordinator, had an idea for a happy hour at the Crystal City Sports Pub as a means for raising money.

The first step was to talk to one of the owners of the Sports Pub, John Finley. John's "anything for charity" attitude was a huge help. He agreed to provide drink specials and private space. The Sports Pub further donated gift certificates and sporting event tickets.

Next step: how to get people to the event and how to pry money from them for the CFC? The answer was to put the Commissioner for Patents, Mr. Nick Godici, behind the bar and to provide games of skill, knowledge and chance. Mr. Godici was one of several guest bartenders including Chris Ellis, Jenny McNeil, Rashmi Sharma,Trista Etzig and Mike Cuff. There was a putting contest with donated glasses and a golf bag as prizes. There was a trivial pursuit contest with donated mugs and an

Entertainment Book as prizes. A special thanks to the PTOS who donated their leftover glasses and mugs to help the cause. The big raffle was made possible by the SPEs of 3600. They generously donated enough to purchase a DVD player as the grand raffle prize.

On December 7, 2000, a day which did not have much infamy, the party began. Eileen Lillis, SPE of 3673, was at the entrance greeting everyone, explaining all the activities, and taking their cover money. Avi Lerner was in charge of the golf game and Chris Bottorff ran the trivia contest. Lynne Browne, SPE of 3629, continued to sell raffle ticket right up until the drawing. Ryan Zeender, Faye Fleming, Greg Huson and Khoi Tran pitched in to help, too. About 100 people attended the happy hour. The cheap beer, the carnival like atmosphere, and the knowledge that your money was going to a good cause provided a really nice Thursday night out. At the end of the night, all the prizes had been given out, everyone had a fun night out, and there was $1,100 to donate to the CFC. "Hey Cuffy, lets make this the first annual CFC happy hour." Sounds like another good idea, Chris. Same time next year.