Patent

02Jun 2017
Designs for patents

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 […]

19May 2017
Designs for patents

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 […]

07Apr 2017
gavel of justice

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. […]

16Mar 2017
Question on a Keyboard

Dear Doc: The US Constitution directs, in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, that Congress set up a patent and copyright system, “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” Congress long ago did that by […]

02Mar 2017
gavel of justice

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 […]

02Feb 2017
gavel of justice

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 […]

26Jan 2017
Designs for patents

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 […]

19Jan 2017
Designs for patents

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 […]

22Dec 2016
Designs for patents

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.  […]