On February 12, 2013 in Silicon Valley, and February 27, 2013 in New York City, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) held two roundtables on enhancing the quality of software patents as part of an effort to develop a “Software Partnership” between the USPTO and the software community. In accordance with these roundtables, they also requested written comments. The main topic for which they sought input was “regarding improving the clarity of claim boundaries for software-related claims that use functional language by focusing on 35 U.S.C. 112 (b) and (f) during prosecution of patent applications.” They also welcomed comments with suggestions on future topics for the Software Partnership to address, such as methods of determining obviousness and resources for discovering prior art. The initial due date was March 15, 2013, but it was later extended to April 15, 2013. Submitted comments will be made available online on this page. CCIA’s comments can be found here.
Ali Sternburg is Senior Policy Counsel at the Computer & Communications Industry Association. After initially joining as a Legal Fellow in June 2011, she focuses on online copyright issues and other areas of intellectual property policy. She also works on DisCo (the Disruptive Competition Project). She received her J.D. in 2012 from American University Washington College of Law, where she was a Student Attorney in the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic, President of the Intellectual Property Law Society, Senior Symposium Chair and Senior Marketing Manager for the Intellectual Property Brief, and a Dean’s Fellow at the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property. She graduated from Harvard College in 2009 where she studied Government and Music, wrote her senior honors thesis on “Theoretical and Legal Views on U.S. Government Involvement in Musical Creativity Online,” and interned at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.