Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) – Fast Track Examination of Applications.

The PTO describes: “Under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH), an applicant receiving a ruling from the Office of First Filing (OFF) that at least one claim in an application filed in the OFF is patentable may request that the Office of Second Filing (OSF) fast track the examination of corresponding claims in corresponding applications filed in the OSF. PPH will leverage fast-track examination procedures already available in the OSF to allow applicants in the OSF to obtain corresponding patents faster and more efficiently.”

PTO announced the addition of Taiwan to the  PPH program this  week. Here’s the link to the PTO PPH website.

University Tech Licensing Has Substantial Impact on Economy | | Patents & Patent Law. The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), a nonprofit association of academic technology transfer professionals, has publishes an annual survey of North American universities, hospitals and research institutions looking at a number of data points that reveal licensing activity. The information gathered includes the number of patents, the number of invention disclosures, the number of startups created and the amount of licensing income received.  AUTM U.S. Licensing Activity Survey: FY2011, and the AUTM Canadian Licensing Activity Survey: FY2011, published Dec. 10. This is a good opportunity to mention the invaluable role of AUTM. Check out their website and note their educational webcasts – several good for the IP basics and much more.

Defensive Patent Pools: There are Surprisingly Few Options | | Patents & Patent Law. Although Colleen Chien’s study shows that 62% of this year’s patent law suits were initiated by NPEs, there are NPEs that can help – the defensive patent pools. Although only a few companies in this business, they are worth knowing about.

Patent trolls now behind most patent infringement lawsuits | Internet & Media – CNET News. The US Federal Trade Commission has been examining the impact of patent litigation on risks to competition, innovation and consumers. Colleen Chien, law professor at Santa Clara University (and speaker at CERC’s 2nd IP Workshop at Stanford on Feb. 26-27), presented to the FTC a study showing that 62% of all patent suits filed this year before Dec 1 were brought by non-practicing entities (NPEs, or patent assertion enties (PAEs), as she describes them), with more than 20% of the suits being aimed at startups.

Why China Is So Wary Of Ambitious International Climate Targets | ThinkProgress notes that “The United States and China are already experimenting with new frameworks for joint intellectual property development under the bilateral Clean Energy Research Centers. Joint technology development could be a model for the types of technology transfer that speeds China’s access to higher-end clean energy technology without disadvantaging U.S. firms.”

A Beginner’s Guide to Patents and the Patent Process | | Patents & Patent Law.