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[FYI] USPTO Business method patents



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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