Experiences and Feelings in Learning Patent Laws in the U.S.A.—Cao Jing
At the end of September 2013, our company arranged for me to attend a seminar on U.S. patent laws and practices held by HSML in Minnesota in the United States. In the 12 days of learning, we trainees not only studied U.S. patent laws and practices and increased our professional knowledge, but also visited courts, local enterprises, law schools and other places, and experienced local people's lifestyles and entertainment.
The seminar covered an introduction to the legal system of the United States, preparation of U.S. patent application documents, writing skills for application documents, trial process for patents, patent application strategy, an introduction to the America Invents Act, procedures after authorization, patent licenses, and introductions to some case laws. Through systematic study, I learned the differences between U.S. patent laws and Chinese patent laws. The lecturer paid special attention to the new amendments to the U.S. patent laws and how applicants deal with the new laws.
During the study period for this seminar, I was deeply impressed by the open interactions in class. The lecture was in a very casual format. The lecturers would inspire us to think while they were lecturing, and we would raise questions whenever we had them. A lot of questions were resolved in debates. The free question phase was usually the most active period of the whole lecture. We would find relevant information on the Internet immediately when we encountered uncertain problems. At first, most trainees felt jet lagged and tired, but none of us dozed off in class, which could have been attributed to this lively classroom atmosphere.
We had the opportunity to visit the Federal District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota and paid a visit to the judge of the court. The facade of the courthouse is primarily covered with dark glass, which is simple but embodies the solemn dignified image of the judicial authority everywhere. When staff members introduced various equipment in the court to us, one piece of equipment surprised all of us: when the judge summoned lawyers for both parties to negotiate in front of the bench, he/she would use the equipment to create interference to ensure that the jury could not hear the conversation between judges and lawyers, so as not to affect the jury's independent judgment. It can be seen from these small things that courts of the United States keep justice with procedures, and pay great attention to reduce or eliminate the public's reasonable doubt in all aspects so as to maintain the credibility of the judiciary.
During the seminar, in addition to learning U.S. patent laws, we also experienced the life of the local people in their spare time. During my stay, I strongly experienced the warm life of the local people (including judges and chief justices). They are very humorous and gentle, and like to stay with their families, go to parties, play sports, and travel, etc. after work.
At this seminar, we not only learned expertise and had the opportunity to share feelings and experiences of working with peers, but also enjoyed the beautiful natural scenery and experienced local life. This trip to the United States is indeed a treasured memory and experience for me to remember.