All posts by: Robert Yarbrough

About Robert Yarbrough

It’s Halloween, which, of course, means that it’s time to preserve corpses. Consider Joseph Karwowski’s invention (U.S. patent 748,284 issued December 29, 1903*).  Joe was a Russian national (‘…a subject of the Czar of Russia’) living in New York state.  He was presumably impressed by the ability of waterglass (sodium silicate, or Na2SiO3) to preserve fresh […]

Each year for the last five years the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has published a massive report on the state of global intellectual property protection.  The report is, frankly, staggering in its ambition.  It provides a report card for IP protection for forty-five countries around the world, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. The report gives us […]

The answer is ‘yes.’ But why should we care? “Inter Partes Review” or “IPR” is a recent process by which a person infringing a patent can challenge the patent before a panel of USPTO employees.  The USPTO employees are members of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).  The person challenging the patent will present […]

If an infringer copies your patented invention, a judge should make them stop, right?   Not necessarily. An order from a judge directing someone to do or not do something (such as to stop infringing your patent) is called an ‘injunction.’  Not too long ago, if a federal judge found that someone was infringing your valid […]

The Eastern District of Texas is a large rural Federal judicial district.  The biggest city is about the size of Allentown, Pennsylvania.  Not what you would expect of a hotbed of patent litigation.  Nonetheless, the Eastern District of Texas has dominated patent infringement litigation for years.  In the first quarter of 2017, patent plaintiffs filed […]

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 […]