Published 03/01/2019 by Marin Cionca
USPTO Director Andrei Iancu Visits Orange County!
Last week, on Thursday, February 21, 2019, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Andrei Iancu visited Orange County. This happened at the invitation of OCIPLA (Orange County Intellectual Property Law Association) in coordination with LAIPLA (Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association) and University of Southern California (USC). The OCIPLA Board of which I am a member worked diligently to make the visit a great event. More than 80 people, mostly OC IP practitioners, signed up for the event.
As known, Director Iancu also holds the position of Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. In that capacity he is apparently also an advisor to the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, on IP Law issues, such as the IP dispute with China.
Prior to assuming the above roles, Director Iancu was the Managing Partner of the law firm Irell & Manella LLP. In his long IP law career, he represented clients in various technologies, such as medical devices and genetic testing. He was an IP litigator, but he was also involved in prosecution, licensing and intellectual property due diligence.
I had the honor to introduce USPTO Director Andrei Iancu at the special event organized by OCIPLA. I have posted some pictures from the event on my LinkedIn page at https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6505188487954857984/ .
OCIPLA is a great IP Law professional organization. If you are a law professional in Orange County, California, or a law student who wants to practice IP law, and not already a member, I encourage you to join OCIPLA as soon as possible. You can find more information about the OCIPLA on its website at https://www.ocipla.org/ .
Director Iancu spoke on several recent developments at the USPTO, including the new Examiner Guidance on Section 101 (patentability of software inventions, abstract ideas, law of nature and natural phenomena). He emphasized that the new guidance clarifies for the examiners that an invention is patent eligible as long as it is a “practical application” of the abstract idea, law of nature or natural phenomenon. He hinted, and most observers including myself seem to agree, that the new guidance makes it easier to find that such patent applications overcome patent eligibility challenges from the patent examiners. This is great news for patent applicants and their patent attorneys!
One other particular point of interest for all IP lawyers practicing before the USPTO in trademark cases, which was shared by Director Iancu, is that the USPTO is working toward implementing the new rule requiring all foreign trademark applicants to be represented by a US attorney. The implementation of the new rule is expected to be completed within 2-3 months. This is another great news for all US IP Lawyers as the rule will generate more foreign clients!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed throughout this blog are the views and opinions of the individual author(s) and/or contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of our firm, CIONCA IP Law P.C.
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Marin Cionca, Esq.
Registered Patent Attorney
USPTO Reg. No. 63899
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