All posts by: Robert Yarbrough

About Robert Yarbrough

Those of us who work professionally in the fields of science and technology sometimes miss things that are not related to science and technology.  Here’s a remarkable essay from Dennis Crouch of the PatentlyO blog. — Robert Yarbrough

The new year of 1836, that is. 1836 was big for the U.S. patent system. It’s the year that the USPTO switched to the current patent numbering system, the year the USPTO started actually examining patent applications, and the year the patent office burned down – in that order. A little background – the Federal […]

Let’s say that you sell patented printer cartridges. Nefarious actors, both inside and outside the U.S., collect your used cartridges, refill your cartridges, and sell your cartridges, now refilled, to U.S. customers.  They’re thumbing their noses at your patents.  The nerve. The patent law should protect you, right?  After all, the law says that you […]

A ‘utility’ patent is different from a ‘design’ patent.  A ‘utility’ patent is directed to how something works – for example, how a mousetrap catches mice.  A ‘design’ patent addresses the decorative appearance of something – for example, a mousetrap that looks like a piece of cheese. Utility and design patents differ in their scope, […]

A sore point among inventors and invention owners is the time required for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to review a utility patent application.  That time generally runs between eighteen months and two and a half years or more. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has created a new “first-time filer expedited examination […]

Through a fog, an indistinct, faceless man in a white lab coat approaches you with what appears to be a heavy wooden log. The faceless man struggles under the weight.  The log morphs into a giant… syringe.  The sharp, menacing point of the needle extends toward you, an evil liquid oozing from the tip.   […]

You and your patent attorney have a ‘duty of candor’ to the USPTO You’ve created a great invention.  You hire a patent attorney and file a patent application.  While your application is pending, you poke around in Google Patents and come across prior art that would preclude a valid patent for one of your claims.  Do […]

So you came up with a great invention – let’s say a floating grill for cooking your burgers.  You know that unless your grill has patent protection it will be knocked off immediately. Clearly, you need a patent. You read up on the topic and learn that you can file a patent application yourself – you […]

Between the stock market crash of 1929 and the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, the U.S. economy fell off a cliff.  During that three-year period, five thousand banks failed and nine million bank accounts were suddenly worthless.  In the calamity of the Great Depression, millions of people were thrown out of work, unemployment stood at […]