Ditthavong & Steiner, P.C. has filed a class action lawsuit against the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its secret administration of the Sensitive Application Warning System (S.A.W.S) program. The USPTO created the S.A.W.S program to provide advance warning to USPTO management regarding U.S. patent applications that would potentially generate negative publicity or would otherwise embarrass USPTO management if a patent application issued as a U.S. patent. The S.A.W.S program appears to have originated as an informal program which developed into a mechanism for the USPTO to delay or even avoid the allowance of a bona fide U.S. patent application. The secret nature of the S.A.W.S program and the vague criteria for flagging patent applications into the program lacked legal or technical merit.
Ditthavong & Steiner, P.C. filed a complaint on behalf of the Plaintiffs against the U.S. Government at the Court of Federal Claims on April 24, 2015. The U.S. Government has been trying to get the case dismissed, and filed a Motion to Dismiss on August 14, 2015. The Court reviewed a series of initial briefings on the Motion to Dismiss on November 10, 2015 and requested briefing on specific issues. Briefs have been filed and the parties are awaiting a determination by the Court on the merits of the government’s motion.
Class action lawsuits have several advantages, such as:
(a) Streamlining and speeding the litigation process;
(b) Sharing key resources (e.g., expert witnesses, evidences, etc.) thus reducing the cost of litigation;
(c) Strengthening a legal issue, for example, economic injury for multiple issues bundled together as one is stronger than a separate individual issue.
Ditthavong & Steiner, P.C., advances all of the costs and attorney fees and, petitions the Court to award attorney fees and reimburse out-of-pocket costs if the lawsuit is successful. Ditthavong & Steiner, P.C. absorbs the costs if the class action is unsuccessful.
If you believe that you have been harmed by the USPTO through its administration of the S.A.W.S. program please fill the box below out with your information and we will contact you for a Free Case Evaluation.