All posts by: Robert Yarbrough

About Robert Yarbrough

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 […]

About a decade ago, there was a huge uproar over ‘patent trolls,’ also known as ‘non-practicing entities’ – companies that did not make products but that owned patents.  The business model of the patent troll was to sue or threaten infringers and to collect patent infringement damages.  The coordinated attack on the U.S. patent system […]

Should the Covid vaccines be set free in the world, so that everyone can gain immunity?  Few would argue that’s a bad idea, since more variants may arise in under-vaccinated populations, those variants will undoubtedly spread to us, and those variants may be resistant to our vaccines. But what about the rights of the creative […]

Artificial intelligence (‘AI’) can be pretty smart – smart enough to create new, useful and non-obvious inventions. Take, for example, Dr. Stephen Thaler’s AI tool ‘Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience’ (‘DABUS’).  DABUS created two inventions, a light beacon and a food container.  Dr. Thaler applied for patents for those inventions around the world, […]

When most inventors think of a patent, they think of a better-mousetrap type patent, known as a utility patent.  A utility patent protects what an invention is and how it works.  U.S. Patent 269,766 for a mousetrap that plugs a mouse with  a bullet from  a  .44 is an example of a utility patent.  Our […]

‘It’ being the nonsensical state of U.S. patent eligibility, that is.   Over the last decade or so the U.S. Supreme Court has restricted the patentability of numerous inventions as ‘abstract’ or ‘laws of nature,’ including business techniques (Bilski v Kappos), medical inventions (Mayo v Prometheus), biotech inventions (Myriad Genetics), and computer software (Alice v […]