All posts by: Robert Yarbrough

About Robert Yarbrough

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 […]

Patent and invention owners should care.  You should care. Barely a decade ago, Congress created the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and gave it the power of life and death over patents.  In the years since, the PTAB has done exactly what Congress intended – reduce the cost to challenge and kill patents and […]

The story today demonstrates that even experienced and sophisticated patent owners, like Apple, can trip over the fundamentals. ‘Inter partes review’ is a way* for a person or company to challenge someone else’s patent before the USPTO.  A person who wants to challenge a patent can petition the USPTO and submit prior patents, applications or other […]