Prokurio’s 2023 IP Awards
2023 has been a crazy year in the IP world. This week, we thought we’d take a shot at putting together our first (and only) Prokurio IP Awards for 2023. In a year of interesting events, these are some of the things that stood out to us.
Let’s see what caught our attention!
The Sky’s the Limit Award: Argentina
Most countries have an IP fee update every year or so. Thanks to skyrocketing inflation, Argentina had not one, not two, but three fee increases! They started the fun in January, added to it in March, and finally closed the year with a nice fee increase in December. These weren’t small increases either – 100%, 200%, and more were common. To infinity and beyond!
Y2K Award: Unitary Patent
If you are old, you remember sitting around on December 31, 1999, waiting for the world to end because our computer calendars would go haywire, and planes would fall from the sky. The Unitary Patent was like that. Everyone was on pins and needles as June 1 arrived, and guess what? We survived certain doom once again. Score 1 for humans.
If, at first, you don’t succeed, just stop Award: The USPTO DOCX rollout
The fee for non-DOCX formatted filings with the USPTO was set to become effective on June 30th this year, along with eliminating the option to submit PDF copies of patent applications. This was a delay from the original target date of October 2020 set by the (Ironically) Paperwork Reduction Act. Spoiler alert: It got delayed again. 2024 anyone?
Did I do that? award:
Trademark fraud has ramped up substantially in the last couple of years, with the USPTO responding by increasing scrutiny of applicant addresses and attorneys. How bad is it? At the end of November, the USPTO issued a supplemental show-cause order to Shenzhen Seller Growth Network. The USPTO found problems that could lead to the termination of over 50,000 applications due to improper signatures, false specimens, and improper qualifications. They may need to rethink the “Growth” part of their name.
Did I do that? – Part II Award:
The USPTO made IP owners the opposite of happy by accidentally making 61,000 trademark filers’ private addresses available for economic and academic research. On the plus side, the USPTO says, “There is no reason to suspect any bad actors mishandled the exposed addresses.” Of course not.
And we will close the year on that funny note.