Java 8, EFS-Web and Private PAIR

Per an email notice from the USPTO dated 2014-03-18:

EFS-WEB and Private PAIR Compatibility with Java 8

Oracle has announced that the first version of Java 8 will be released on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. This version will not be an automatic update, however if you install Java 8 and encounter authentication issues, you will need to revert to Java 7 Update 51. USPTO technical teams are coordinating closely with Oracle and Entrust for a solution. Contact the Patent EBC at 1-866-217-9197 (toll-free) or ebc@uspto.gov if you need further assistance.

What is the latest Adobe Acrobat/Acrobat Reader version (of PDFs) that the USPTO accepts?

There are two ways to check:

First look at the EFS-Web Compatible Hardware and Software which includes information on compatible hardware and software, including operating systems (Mac OS-X, Windows, RedHat), browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox), PDF creation software (Acrobat Reader, Acrobat, others), Java, security and cookies.

If that doesn’t answer your question, check the EFS-Web Announcements page and search for “Acrobat.”

Reminder: TARR and TDR are about to go offline; API

Per the notice at the top of TDR:

On August 25, 2012, the USPTO released version 2.0 of Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR). On September 1st, all existing direct (static) hyper-links displaying TARR information will be redirected to TSDR. On September 8th, all existing direct (static) hyper-links displaying TDR information will be redirected to TSDR. Soon thereafter, the web pages at http://tarr.uspto.gov/ and http://tdr.uspto.gov/ will no longer be accessible. Please send any questions to TSDR@USPTO.GOV. Additional information about the TSDR 2.0 deployment is available here: TSDR 2.0.

There is an API for the new TSDR, but I haven’t seen much documentation beyond the examples that were mentioned in the TSDR 2.0 FAQ:

Please let me know if you’ve seen any other API documentation out there…and I’ll update this post.

[UPDATE 2012-09-04]
I asked the USPTO last week if there was any additional documentation regarding the API. I was told that there is not.

From the above list (and looking at the XML), you can extrapolate the following:

The URLS start with: “http://tdrapi.uspto.gov/ts/cd”

Options include:

/casestatus/sn1234567/download.pdf [[status as a pdf]]
/casestatus/sn1234567/download.zip [[status as zip with xml and css files]]
/casestatus/sn1234567/content.html [[status as html]]
/casestatus/sn1234567/info.xml [[status as xml]]
/casedocs/bundle.pdf?sn=1234567 [[by serial number]]
/casedocs/bundle.pdf?rn=1234567 [[by registration number]]
/casedocs/bundle.pdf?ref=1234567 [[by USPTO reference number]]
/casedocs/bundle.pdf?ir=0835690 [[by international registration number]]
/casedocs/bundle.xml [[metadata in xml]]
/casedocs/bundle.zip [[a ZIP of the original TIFF images]]
&date=1999-01-01 [[docs sent/received on a date]]
&fromdate=2006-01-01&todate=2006-12-31 [[docs sent/received in a date range]]
&type=SPE [[specimens]]
&type=DSC [[Design Search Code]]
&type=ORC [[Registration Certificate]]
&type=DRW [[Drawing]]
&type=NOP [[Notice of Publication]]
&type=APP [[Application]]
&sort=date:A [[sorted from earliers to latest]]
&category=RC [[Registration Certificate]]

multiple matters can be requested by adding them comma separated
/casedocs/bundle.pdf?sn=1234567,2345678

Patent Ethics MCLE on “Ethics issues with US patent and PCT powers of attorney”

Via Carl Oppedahl:

Need a few ethics CLE credits? Tired of having to get your ethics CLE credits by listening to or attending programs on subjects that have nothing to do with what you actually do for a living, which is intellectual property law? Well, here is one ethics CLE credit that relates to patents.

MCLE: Ethics issues with US patent and PCT powers of attorney

Trademark Solicitations

Another day at work is over…another handful of client questions about solicitations they received via e-mail or postal mail regarding trademark related services offered for sale.

I tell them the same thing I always do…send me a copy and I’ll glance at it for you, but the chances are that it is either an outright scam, or an offer for services they probably don’t need (e.g., the client I talked with last week that received a solicitation that included an offer to register their Service Mark with U.S. Customs).

It makes you wonder…how many trademark owners fall victim to these scams every year?

At least the old “Chinese domain name” scam looks fishy. But, the trademark service solicitations are a different thing. They’re very carefully drafted, clearly intending to either (1) trick the trademark owner into thinking the communication came from the Trademark Office itself, or (2) scare the trademark owner into thinking they need to take immediate action (and send the solicitation firm immediate payment).

When the problem was invention promotion companies, the Federal Trade Commission and USPTO stepped in and addressed it, issuing a number of different publications (such as THIS ONE, and THIS ONE, THIS ONE, and THIS ONE), and promulgating regulations/prosecuting the crooks accordingly. Of course, that wasn’t until hundreds of millions of dollars had been conned out of small inventors that action was taken. But at least they did something.

Where’s the USPTO on this issue (other than creating a short warning published on the USPTO website)? Where’s the FTC?

Other trademark attorneys are sick and tired of the inaction. They’ve decided to take matters into their own hands. Erik M. Pelton has started a petition. Another law firm (Leason Ellis LLP in New York) has actually filed a civil lawsuit against one solicitor.

At least one state, California, has a state statute meant to address issues like this: California Civil Code Section 1716. Sadly, my state (Idaho) doesn’t have such a statute. Does yours?

It’s time for trademark attorneys to start asking their clients to ALWAYS send copies of such solicitations to them. Then, we need to start forwarding them (with the client’s permission, of course) to our state representatives, Governors, and state Attorney Generals (along with a copy of the California statute), asking for similar “payment solicitation” legislation to be added to our respective states’ codes.

It’s time…

practical knowledge for small entities and solos