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Archive for January, 2009

Alexandria, Va. (January 26, 2009)—At a time when law firms and in-house legal departments are tightening their belts, Patent Resources Group (PRG) has introduced a new Loyalty Program to provide patent legal professionals the valuable Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit they need to continue practicing.

The new program offers exclusive pricing on any 2009 Advanced Courses for attendees of any one of Patent Resource Group’s 2008 Advanced Courses, Workshops, Seminars or Patent Bar Review courses. Additionally, attendees of any 2009 course will receive Loyalty Program pricing for any subsequent Advanced Courses in 2009, as well as in 2010.

“Changes in patent law do not wait for the economy to get better,” says PRG Vice President Sally Sakelaris. “Patent lawyers and their employers still need to keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date, or risk their success at prosecuting patent applications and litigating patent cases.”

Attendees of Patent Resources Group’s 2008 courses should contact the registrar at 434-974-1700 to verify eligibility and register.

Since last October, the legal community has seen a steady down-sizing of sizeable law firms across the country. According to an International Herald Tribune report from November 2008 (http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/12/business/law.php), a number prominent national law firms have either laid-off employees or closed entirely. Since then, a variety of firms have also laid off hundreds of employees, according to an article in the January 16 edition of The Legal Intelligencer (http://www.law.com/jsp/pa/PubArticlePA.jsp?id=1202427506484).

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Patent Law Changes Accelerate Need for Continuing Legal Education

Alexandria, Va. (January 5, 2009)—Recent changes to patent law have created an overwhelming need for patent professionals to keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date.

In October 2008, the Court of Appeals at the Federal Circuit handed down a controversial decision in the In re Bilski case, sending some patent law experts scrambling to understand its potential impact. The decision sought to more concretely define eligibility of business method patents, which some patent law experts believe will have a negative impact on software patents.

Additionally, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is in the process of implementing new rules for processing appeals, which have risen nearly 30% over the past year. The new rules, originally set to take effect on December 10 but recently postponed by the USPTO, seek to streamline the patent process. Some in the industry believe the new rules make obtaining a patent through an appeal more difficult and costly.

“Patent law is constantly evolving,” says Paul Gardner, Academic Director of Patent Resources Group, the nation’s leading patent education firm. “If professionals do not keep up with the changes to the law, they will undermine their success at prosecuting patent applications and litigating patent cases.”

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