All posts by: Robert Yarbrough

About Robert Yarbrough

Before the America Invents Act (‘AIA’), an invention owner had a one-year ‘grace period’ to file a patent application after commercially selling an invention or using the invention in public.  If the patent owner failed to file a patent application within the grace period, the patent rights in the invention evaporated, leaving the owner with […]

China conquered the low-cost, low-margin manufacturing sector of the world economy.  Now it’s after the high-cost, high-margin, creative side of the economy. How will it get there? Through patents, of course.  Thirty years ago, China had no patent system to speak of.  Now the Chinese patent law is in its fifth generation and the Chinese government is trying […]

Now For a Riddle: When is a Defense not a Defense?… (Pause for effect)… Answer – When the Supreme Court says it’s not. Not so many years ago, patents were very powerful.  A patent owner was entitled to a court order stopping infringement almost as a matter of course whenever the patent owner proved infringement. […]

A poster child for patent trolls, that is.  MPHJ Technology gained notoriety and the ire of states, the Federal Trade Commission and Congress by buying several weak patents for $1 in 2012 and then sending out over 16,000 demand letters to businesses across the U.S. demanding payment for alleged infringement.  The patents relate to scan-to-email […]

After WWII, the Federal government and science in general rode a wave of public approbation resulting from the stupendous success of the war-ending Bomb.  Government money poured into basic scientific research, leading to many discoveries, many inventions, and many patents.  Back in the day (President Truman’s day, that is), the Government collectively decided that the […]

You betcha.  The business model of Big Pharma depends on patents.  Without strong, enforceable patents, privately-funded pharmaceutical research would not exist. Case in point:  Gilead sells the highly effective ‘Solvadi’ hepatitis C drug for $1000 per pill.  That’s $84,000 for a twelve-week course.  Idenix,  a Merck subsidiary, argued that Gilead’s Solvadi infringed Idenix patents.  A jury […]

Speaking of Apple v Samsung, the Supreme Court issued its decision in this long-running litigation about design patents.  To recap, Samsung copied the design of Apple’s iPhone and infringed Apple’s design patents in the process.  There is no question whether the Apple patents are valid – they are.  There is no question whether Samsung infringed […]

Dennis Crouch in his Patently O blog considers the possible effects of the Trump administration on the patent system, and particularly, the effects of the anti-globalization platform on which Mr. Trump ran.  Mr. Crouch makes the very interesting observation that at its heart the patent system shifts wealth – from competitors and consumers to patent holders.  […]

In many areas of the law, excessive delay in pursuing a right can be a defense in a later lawsuit.  The defense is known as ‘laches’ and is based on fairness – by delaying the litigation, the person asserting the right has acquiesced in the other party’s conduct.  Historically, the fairness-based laches defense applies only […]

When you’re dead, you’re dead, right? Not if your genes have anything to say about it.   A team of microbiologists from the University of Washington studied gene activity in recently dead mice and fish. They found that the activity of over 1000 genes increases after death with the activity of some genes increasing as much as 24 […]