patents

http://developingchild.harvard.edu / Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University

March 16 is a big day for innovators, inventors and creators. That's the day that the United States will change it's patent system from the first-to-invent system of filing for a patent to the first-to-file system. 

For many companies and creative individuals, the pressure's on to take advantage of the current patent system before the big day.

But will the change hurt or help businesses and universities?

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with two University of Michigan professors: Bryce Piltz, an assistant professor in the Entrepreneurship Clinic, and Max Shtein, a professor in the Entrepreneurship Master's Program and in Materials Science and Engineering

You can listen to the full interview above.

US Department of Commerce

Detroit is home to the first-ever U.S. Patent and Trademark office outside Washington, DC—and it opened to much fanfare with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday.

Officials from all levels of government touted the opening of Detroit’s Elijah McCoy satellite patent office as a genuinely big deal.

They say it will make it easier for inventors going through the patenting process and help chip away at a persistent backlog.

aadl.org

Update 4:47 p.m.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Hulett reminded me that this office was originally supposed to open last year, but plans were postponed due to budget issues.

You can hear a story that Sarah produced for Marketplace last January about the need for the new patent office. Hulett reported on the huge backlog on patent applications:

David Kappos is the director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and his assessment of how long it takes to grant a patent is pretty blunt.

"In a word, it's too long," said Kappos.

Kappos says on average, it takes about two years just to get someone to read your application, then another year after that to hear whether you've been granted a patent.

At the time, Hulett reported that "more than 700,000 applications [were] waiting to be processed," and that the Detroit office was part of the plan to clear the logjam.

2:22 p.m.

The first U.S. Patent and Trademark Office outside of Washington D.C. will open this July in Detroit.

President Obama signed the America Invents Act today which could establish Detroit as the first city to set-up a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office outside of Washington D.C.

From the Act:

DESIGNATION.—The satellite office of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to be located in Detroit, Michigan, shall be known and designated as the ‘‘Elijah J. McCoy United States Patent and Trademark Office’’.

user wallyg / Flickr

Patent legislation that had a big push from Michigan’s research universities and the Detroit automakers has been signed into law.

The “America Invents Act” promises to speed up the patent process, and help reduce a backlog of some 700,000 patent applications in Washington D.C.

Part of that includes opening a satellite patent office in Detroit and two other locations.  

"It really puts the patent office in one of the invention centers of the nation, which is the Detroit area," said Steve Forrest, vice president for research at the University of Michigan.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

A federal judge in Grand Rapids heard arguments Tuesday in a case involving who has access to patient information under Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act.