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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Intellectual Property Law
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Intellectual Property Law


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The Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague Agreement) will go into effect for the United States on May 13, 2015. Accordingly, beginning May 13, 2015, it will be possible for U.S. applicants to file a single international design application either with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or through the USPTO as an office of indirect filing to obtain protection in a number of countries that are party to the Hague Agreement. In addition, applicants filing international design applications on or after May 13, 2015 will be able to designate the United States for design protection. U.S. design patents resulting from applications filed on or after May 13, 2015 will have a 15 year term from issuance. 

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3D Printing - Manufacturing Process of the Future - How Cool is That?
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Michigan Patent Pro Bono Project

Tuesday, November 18, 2014, at 4:00 p.m.

Elijah J. McCoy United States Patent & Trademark Office
300 River Place South, Suite 2900
Detroit, MI 48207

Welcome & Opening Comments
Jennifer M. McDowell, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Pro Bono Coordinator
Thomas C. Rombach, President, State Bar of Michigan
Jennifer M. Grieco, Treasurer, State Bar of Michigan
David C. Berry, SBM Intellectual Property Law Section

Reception hosted by the Intellectual Property Law Section will follow the ceremony.

Pursuant to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office is supporting the establishment of pro bono programs all across the country to enable low-income inventors to prosecute their patents. The State Bar of Michigan Intellectual Property Law Section and Pro Bono Initiative, in conjunction with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, have established the Michigan Patent Pro Bono Project as part of this nationwide initiative. The Project seeks to connect low income Michigan inventors with Michigan patent professionals for patent preparation and prosecution legal services on a pro bono basis.

RSVP to Robert Mathis is requested, but not required.
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Global Patent Search Network
As a result of cooperative effort between the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese patent documentation is now available for search and retrieval from the USPTO website via the Global Patent Search Network. This tool will enable the user to search Chinese patent documents in the English or Chinese language. The data available include fulltext Chinese patents and machine translations. Also available are full document images of Chinese patents which are considered the authoritative Chinese patent document. Users can search documents including published applications, granted patents and utility models from 2008 to 2011.
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Wayne State University Patent Procurement Law Clinic Celebrates Successful First Year

Students, clients and professors are singing the praises of Wayne State University Law School's new Patent Procurement Law Clinic after its first year.

Wayne Law developed the clinic last year, and it's the only school in Michigan - and among only a few dozen law schools nationwide - chosen by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a participating clinic certified for the office's pilot program. The clinic's legal services are free of charge to qualifying clients, and are provided by upper-level law students with degrees in engineering or science supervised by Professor Thomas Helmholdt, a patent attorney since 1988.

"The clinic started out with a tremendous first semester," he said. "Clinic director Professor Eric Williams and our staff assistant, Min Jian Huang, were instrumental in coordinating with incoming students and getting the clinic running smoothly last fall."

From the start, the clinic has had a "steady stream" of small business startups and inventors looking for legal help to get patent protection, he said.

"In the first semester, the clinic received more applications from prospective clients than the initial student class could handle," Helmholdt said. "The accepted clients were selected based on the technology of the client's invention and the prior educational and work experience background of the students in the clinic, the potential benefit to Michigan's economy of the invention, and the economic need of the client."

The five students participating in the clinic's first semester have educational backgrounds that included biomedical engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, materials engineering and mechanical engineering. And all are hoping to practice patent law some day.

Helmholdt, who is teaching two patent clinic courses this semester involving eight students, took the first-semester students on a tour of the new USPTO Detroit Satellite Office and introduced them to its services and staff.

"Students had the opportunity to get online in the Public Search Room and to conduct a patent search for their clients," he said. "The clinic also envisions partnering with the Detroit Office on future projects relating to public education regarding the patent process."

The clinic's first-semester clients have been enthusiastic about its services. A new website ( has been launched to offer news and updates on the progress of the clinic's clients in the future.

"As an entrepreneur who is developing a small startup company, I found the WSU PPLC to be an indispensable asset," said clinic client Marc Alpern of Marc Alpern Design LLC.

Clinic student Younghoon Jang, who has degrees in electrical engineering, computer engineering and Korean law, said he enjoyed working with clients in a setting that offers students "full experience."

"I had a great time with my client, and successfully field a patent application," he said. "Before Wayne Law, I had worked for Korean intellectual property law firms for over seven years. Most of my clients are large-scale companies that need worldwide IP protection. While products and services, including IP matters, quickly spread worldwide, there is no uniform worldwide system for IP protection. That is why I came to the United States."

From:  ""
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USPTO and AutoHarvest Collaborate to Accelerate Advanced Manufacturing 
Partnership aims to spur innovation and generate jobs in Detroit and surrounding regional areas 

Washington — The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the AutoHarvest Foundation today announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together to spur innovation and generate jobs in advanced manufacturing. The two organizations will collaborate on the creation of an online environment for innovators to exchange information, facilitate technical discussions, and encourage the growth of entrepreneurial activities. The USPTO opened its first-ever satellite office in Detroit in July 2012, and the MOU is part of the agency’s outreach into the community.

Through the MOU, entrepreneurs and corporate executives will have direct access to a centralized online collection of databases, information resources, software and analytical tools designed to help inventors better understand the process of obtaining, maintaining and commercializing their intellectual property (IP). Through a series of actionable interfaces, innovators will also have the ability to view, directly respond to and potentially enter into business transactions to commercialize their IP or provide their technologies to emerging companies seeking advanced manufacturing solutions.

“This partnership will help advanced manufacturing businesses and individual inventors in Detroit and the surrounding region obtain patent protection and commercialize their inventions,” said Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO, Teresa Stanek Rea.

The MOU marks yet another step the USPTO has taken to help grow businesses by establishing partnerships with regional economic development commissions and general public-private partnerships in order to offer a tailored suite of IP support services to local start-ups, incubators, and job accelerators.

“The importance of the Midwest as a global engineering center is reinforced by this alliance,” said AutoHarvest president and CEO, Jayson Pankin. “AutoHarvest members will benefit from information and databases sourced and potentially co-developed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office that will help inventors better understand the process of obtaining, maintaining and commercializing intellectual property, leading to real economic impact.”

AutoHarvest Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization led by some of the most highly respected figures in the automotive industry. AutoHarvest is designing and planning to launch a marketplace-driven e-collaboration system that accelerates innovation in advanced manufacturing. For more information on AutoHarvest visit
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USPTO Final Rules and Guidelines for First-to-File Provision of America Invents Act - Training webcast info available @
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Wayne State University Law School Patent Procurement Law Clinic launches new website at "".  Check it out and let us know what you think by clicking on the Google Plus (g+) button for pages you like.
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