Alexandria, Virginia - Software Partnership Meeting

This event has already been held. The information below is provided for reference purposes.


Next Software Partnership Meeting will be held on July 22, 2014

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is pleased to announce a Software Partnership Meeting on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at the USPTO campus in Alexandria, VA from 1 pm - 5 pm. Members of the public are invited to attend. Software Partnership meetings are an opportunity to bring stakeholders together to share ideas, experiences and insights and to provide a forum for an informal discussion of many topics specific to the software community.

On June 4, 2013, the White House issued five executive actions designed to reduce abusive litigation and level the playing field for innovators. The second of the five executive actions focuses on clarity in patent claims and functional claiming in patents. This meeting on July 22 will feature a focused discussion on claim clarity and functional language. In particular, the meeting will present the details of four examiner training modules on functional language, discussed below, that were delivered this past year and provide an opportunity for an interactive discussion on the goals and effectiveness of the training. A stakeholder presentation on claim clarity will follow. The public will have an opportunity to provide input on the training and ask questions regarding claim clarity. Public attendees are invited to provide individual input on these topics and additional ideas during the interactive discussion portion of the meeting.

The training modules that will be discussed cover the basics of interpreting functional limitations under 35 U.S.C. § 112(f) (so-called "means-plus-function" claim limitations), including identifying when § 112(f) is or is not invoked, establishing the broadest reasonable interpretation of the limitation, and determining whether a § 112(f) limitation, especially a software-related limitation, has definite boundaries. The training also provides tools for examiners to clarify the prosecution record and thereby positively affect the clarity of the claims. The training that will be the focus of the Software Partnership meeting discussion is publicly available on our website at the Examiner Guidance and Training Materials webpage at In addition to a detailed discussion of the USPTO's efforts on executive action #2 on claim clarity and functional claiming, the USPTO will also provide updates on the other executive actions.

DATE AND LOCATION: The Partnership Meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, from 1 pm - 5 pm at the USPTO Madison Auditorium North, Concourse Level, Madison Building, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. The meeting will also be accessible via WebEx.

>> Agenda [PDF]

>> Slides [PPTX]

>> WebEx webcast

Requests for Attendance at the Partnership Meeting:

Requests for attendance to the Software Partnership Meeting should be submitted by electronic mail through the Internet to SoftwareRoundtableAlexandria@USPTO.GOV by JULY 14, 2014. Requests for attendance must include the attendee's name, affiliation, title, mailing address, and telephone number. An Internet e-mail address, if available, should also be provided.

Individuals will be notified of accepted requests for attendance by the USPTO no later than one week prior to the date of the meeting. Space is limited. Accordingly, it may not be possible to accommodate all requests, and only those with an accepted request will be permitted to attend. If necessary, non-accepted requesters will also be notified by the USPTO. However, the meeting will be accessible via WebEx. Access instructions will be posted above.

In order to ensure a broad cross-section of attendees, the USPTO reserves the right to limit the number of attendees from any single organization or law firm. Therefore, organizations and law firms must designate their official representatives.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Charles Kim by telephone at (571) 272-7421 or via email to