I’m a patent holder and I train patent examiners on technology topics so I often see and sometimes work with the folks at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). If all you know about the USPTO is what you read in the newspapers you should attend some events where you’ll meet the folks that work there. If have found most of the staff that I’ve encountered to be courteous, hard-working, caring, and really trying to do the right thing as often as possible. They have a pretty tough job, though, so it’s hard to know what’s right or wrong (I think they do pretty well).
If you think the patent process is broken or would like to learn more about it, I just got an email announcement this morning that you would find useful:
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is holding a two-day conference to address the intellectual property needs of small and medium sized businesses, entrepreneurs, and independent inventors interested in manufacturing or selling their products abroad.
March 27 – Presentations to help conference attendees identify intellectual property assets and discuss the steps needed to protect those assets in the United States and abroad. Major presentations will cover patents, trademarks, copyright, and trade secrets.
March 28 – Presentations focusing on enforcement issues that may arise in protecting intellectual property rights in the United States and abroad including: patent, trademark, and copyright infringement; unfair competition; counterfeiting; and piracy.
This conference will also include one-on-one consultations between the USPTO attorneys and conference attendees on Monday and Tuesday afternoons.
This program is part of the Federal Government’s Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP) and the USPTO’s continuing commitment to increase public awareness of intellectual property rights and the enforcement of those rights in the global marketplace.
There is no charge to attend this event, but seating is limited and registration is required.