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[FYI] US: Business Methods Patenting


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PRESS RELEASE #00-41 June 29, 2000 CONTACT: Brigid Quinn 703-305-8341 

As part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) 
recently announced business method patent initiative, the USPTO is 
holding a roundtable meeting, on Thursday, July 27, 2000, to discuss 
the history behind computer-implemented business method patents and 
to identify ways to improve the USPTO’s current examination approach 
to computer-implemented business method patent applications.  

On March 29, 2000, the USPTO announced the business method patent 
initiative, which includes industry outreach and quality programs. 
The industry outreach programs encompass the establishment of a 
customer partnership with industry, the convening of a roundtable 
forum, and an effort to obtain industry feedback on prior art issues. 
The quality programs encompass steps to enhance the technical 
training of examiners, revise the examination guidelines and 
examples, and expand current prior art search activities.  

"The number of patent applications related to computer-implemented 
business methods continues to grow, doubling in the last year, 
demonstrating that business method patents play an important role in 
this growing industry," says Q. Todd Dickinson, Under Secretary of 
Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. "In an 
effort to enhance the quality of the examination of business method 
patent applications, the USPTO is interested in working to identify 
ways to improve current business operations and solve business 
methods related issues," continues Dickinson.  

Members of the public are invited to attend the roundtable meeting or 
to participate as a panelist in the roundtable discussion to be held 
from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Crystal City Sheraton Hotel, 1800 
Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202. For more information, 
please see the federal register notice at http://www.uspto.gov or at 
http://www.uspto.gov/web/menu/roundtbl.html or contact Jennifer Lucas 
by telephone at (703) 305-9300.  

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