All posts by: Robert Yarbrough

About Robert Yarbrough

 Some years ago, bashing ‘patent trolls’ was all the rage among the anti-patent community.  Depending on who you asked, a ‘patent troll’ was either (a) a hideous, ugly creature who lurked under bridges and beat innocent passersby with massive patent-shaped cudgels, or (b) anyone who tried to enforce patent rights.  The anti-patent forces got what […]

Question: When is the Largest Patent Infringement Judgement in U.S. History Not a Judgement? Answer:  When the judge’s wife owns $5,000 worth of stock in the infringer! The amount at stake was $2.75 Billion.  That’s Billion, with a ‘B,’ the largest patent infringement judgement in U.S. history.  The parties were Centripetal Networks, Inc., the patent owner, […]

We think of the protection of intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets) as matters of Federal law.  What about the states?  Can, say, Pennsylvania protect an invention by state law independent of the Federal government? The principal impediment to state protection of intellectual property is the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution: “…This Constitution, and […]

As we sit on the beach, trying to avoid the sun, what better time to contemplate  swimwear inventions?  Consider the ‘Two Piece Full Body Weighted Swimsuit’ of U.S. Pat. Pub. 2004/0221,355 by Garcia, published November 11, 2004 and shown as fig. 1.  It’s a training aid for competitive swimmers.  The dark patches are weights, up […]

Utility patents protect what things do.  Design patents protect how things look.  Design patents have existed for well over 100 years:  “[w]homever invents any new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture may obtain a patent therefor … .”  So the design patent only applies to an ‘article of manufacture;’ that is, a physical product, and only […]

You’ve developed a wonderful new product.  The world will soon be your oyster.  But when can you start selling your product?  Can you sell your new product before you file a patent application?   Before the Leahy-Smith America Invents  Act (‘AIA’) became law in 2011, the answer was clear.   OLD LAW: A person shall be […]

Patent ‘claims’ appear at the end of a patent and determine what is protected by the patent.  One purpose of the claims is to inform competitors of what they can do without infringing.  Consider the following (entirely bogus) patent claim to an automobile:  An automobile, the automobile having four attractive wheels supporting an optimized frame […]

63 million U.S. jobs, or 44% of all U.S. employees, work in intellectual property (‘IP’) intensive industries that rely on the value created by patents, trademarks or copyrights.  That’s from a report published by the USPTO.In other highlights from the report, employees of IP-intensive industries are likely to: earn 60% higher wages than their counterparts in non-IP […]

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) is not a Federal court – in many ways, it’s better than a Federal court where U.S. patents are concerned.   The USITC is a U.S. administrative agency charged with, among other things, handling claims by a U.S. patent owner that imported products infringe a U.S. patent.  To trigger USITC […]