“The lesson is that it is too soon to rely solely on GAI tools, MPEP is here to stay, and any information provided by the tools must be verified.”
Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) promises to improve data collection and reduce costs in many economic processes. Since patent law is primarily about documenting and accessing information, tools like ChatGPT are great candidates to ease the task of patent practitioners.
As of today, it is impossible to trust GAI tools with confidential information, because any request to these tools does not guarantee confidentiality and data protection, unless a party creates its own sandbox with a custom application that protects the data.
For patent litigation, asking procedural questions seems to be the GAI’s best bet, since customer data isn’t breached and who can happily bury that good ol’ MPEP (Manual of Patent Examination Procedures).
I recently ran into a situation that doesn’t happen often, so I decided to ask ChatGPT and Bard for help. My problem is that the name of the person assigned to a category is incorrect because the company name “Inc” is missing. At the end.
I asked him the question, “How do you correct an incorrect corporate name for a given action at the USPTO?”
ChatGPT replied the following.
If you want to correct an incorrect company name for a work filed in the USPTO, you must follow these steps:
- Identify the category type that needs to be edited. Is it a trademark, patent or other type of classification?
- Check the USPTO’s website to see if they have specific instructions on how to edit a work. You can also contact the USPTO’s Classification Registry Branch for assistance.
- Prepare a letter or form that clearly describes the action that needs to be corrected and explains the reason for the correction.
- Include any supporting documentation necessary to support the correction.
- Submit the letter or form and any supporting documents to the USPTO’s Classification Registry Branch. You can file the correction electronically through the Electronic Patent Delivery System (EPAS) or by post.
It’s important to note that there may be fees associated with revising an action, so be sure to check the USPTO’s fee schedule. Additionally, you should always consult with an attorney or legal professional if you have any questions or concerns about the classification correction process.
I thought this was useless. An answer that includes “check the USPTO’s website to see if they have specific guidance” is not going to help me overcome my desire to avoid the MPEP.
I asked the bard and this was his answer:
To correct an incorrect company name for a work filed in the USPTO, you must file a corrected cover sheet with the Classification Services Division. The corrected cover sheet should include the following information:
- The correct company name
- Wrong company name
- The application or patent number(s) affected by the error.
- A description of the error
- Signature of the person authorized to correct the error
You must also pay the required fee for each application or patent being processed. The fee is currently $200 per application or patent.
You can submit the corrected cover sheet online or by mail. If you are filing online, you will need to create an account with the USPTO and pay the fee by credit card. If you are filing by mail, you must send the corrected cover sheet, the required fee, and a copy of the original filing to the address below.
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Assignment service department
PO Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450
Once the corrected cover sheet is filed, the USPTO will update the records to reflect the correct company name.
Here are the steps on how to correct an incorrect company name for a given action at the USPTO:
- Collect the necessary information. This includes the correct company name, the incorrect company name, the application or patent numbers affected by the error, a statement explaining the error, and the signature of the person authorized to correct the error.
- Pay the required fee. The fee is currently $200 per application or patent.
- Insert the corrected cover sheet. You can submit the corrected cover sheet online or by mail.
- Wait for the USPTO to update the records. The USPTO will update the records to reflect the correct company name after the corrected cover sheet is filed.
For more information, please visit the USPTO website: https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/correcting-errors
I’m very excited to see this answer, not only because it seems to be on point, but because the answer indicates that I don’t have to go back to the creators to get a signature for a fix. It also includes a link to a page where I can check the answer.
Unfortunately, my initial excitement quickly faded. First, the link was incorrect and gave me the dreaded 404 error. Secondly, the information was to correct the cover sheet, not the error in the procedure. Close but no cigarettes!
I could try to refine the answer by adding more specific questions, but I couldn’t trust any of the answers right now, so I went back to the old ways: asking my colleagues, looking at the MPEP, and even the classification section at the USPTO. Unfortunately, I have to chase down creators for new signatures in my editing career.
The lesson is that it is too soon to rely solely on GAI tools, MPEP is here to stay, and any information provided by the tools must be verified. The good news is that this means job security for us patent professionals. For how long, we’ll soon have enough information.
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