News Update

There are a number of news stories of note since my last post.

David_Kappos_being_sworn_as_USPTO_Director_%282009-08-13%29Kappos is Confirmed and Sworn in as PTO Director

The Senate confirmed David Kappos as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the Patent and Trademark Office.  He was sworn in August 13.  At the time of his swearing in, Kappos announced several key intiatives that he plans to undertake to improve operations at the PTO.

First, he announced an intention to cut application pendency dramatically while maintaining high examination standards.  Next, he intends to listen to the domestic patent community and minimize overseas travel.  He also pledged to improve the PTO’s financial footing for FY2010 and beyond.  He implied that significant fee adjustments will be necessary.  He couched these comments in reference to improving examiner job security.  He also pledged to review and revamp the examiner “count” system.

SCHALL-sep03Judge Schall to Take Senior Status in October

Next, IPO reports that Federal Circuit Judge Alvin Schall will take senior status in early October.  This will give President Obama his first Federal Circuit vacancy.  Judge Schall was appointed to the court by President Bush in 1992.  Patently-O is reporting that several law professors may be considered for the opening, including Mark Lemley of Stanford, Arti Rai of Duke, and Beth Noveck of New York Law School.  There is also considerable support for appointing an experienced district court judge to the Federal Circuit, something that’s never been done before.

Bilski Briefs

Patently-O has collected 44 briefs that have been filed in the Bilski case.

Tafas v. Kappos

The Federal Circuit granted the stay of en banc proceedings (motion reported earlier here) in the PTO rules case until 60 days after confirmation of the new PTO Director.  Kappos was confirmed by the Senate August 7.  This means that the proceedings should be stayed until October 6.  By that time, we should know if the new Kappos Administration at the PTO plans to pursue the case or drop the ill-advised rules package.

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3 Responses to “News Update”

  1. Federal Circuit Chief Judge Michel to Retire « INVENTIVE STEP Says:

    […] Michel’s retirement creates a second opening on the court after Judge Schall took senior status last month.  President Obama has not yet announced a replacement for Judge […]

  2. Kathleen O’Malley: Next Federal Circuit Judge? « INVENTIVE STEP Says:

    […] District Judge Kathleen McDonald O’Malley is being vetted by the Obama Administration to fill Judge Alvin Schall’s seat on the Federal Circuit.  Judge Schall took senior status in October.  Hal cites to a report in […]

  3. Senate Gridlocked on Judicial Nominations « INVENTIVE STEP Says:

    […] Federal Circuit:  that’s 25% of the court’s membership.  The oldest vacancy was Judge Schall’s retirement to senior status last October.  Judge O’Malley was nominated in March and finally passed the Judiciary Committee in […]

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