Patent

05Nov 2020

Walking fast, you round the corner of an urban street and collide with — a clown — the greasepaint, the red, bulbous nose, oversized shoes, fright wig, exaggerated clothing, exaggerated smile, exaggerated eyes.  Immediately you feel nausea, your hands sweat, you struggle to breathe, you feel panic, anxiety and dread.  Your mouth goes dry and […]

08Oct 2020

The USPTO’s trial arm, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (‘PTAB’), cancels patent claims so frequently that the PTAB is usually the copyist’s first stop in defending against patent infringement.  Before the PTAB cancels the claims, the patent owner has a valuable (and expensive) asset, namely the patent.  When the PTAB cancels the patent claims, […]

10Sep 2020
USPS Application

The US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application on August 13 owned by the United States Postal Service (‘USPS’).  The disclosed invention would incorporate Blockchain technology into a vote-by-mail system.  Blockchain is the technology used to implement cryptocurrencies and other types of secure transactions. Blockchain allows digital information to be recorded and distributed, but not altered, which […]

20Aug 2020
patentable-invention

Let’s say you’ve developed a valuable machine, one that lots of people want to use.  You obtain patents for the machine.  An infringer learns about the patent and copies the patented machine.  You sue the infringer for patent damages. There is no question* that you can collect patent damages for the period of time after […]

02Jul 2020
COVID-19

Responding to Covid-19 requires innovation, and nothing encourages innovation like a functioning patent system. The USPTO has launched a program to quickly review Covid-19 related patents and to waive the fees usually required for prioritized review of those patent applications.  The average time for review of a  patent application by the USPTO usually runs a bit over […]

11Jun 2020
Chalk Pencil

Lanyard Toys created a popular ‘chalk pencil’ that looked like a stubby pencil but that holds chalk.  Lanyard protected the invention with a design patent.  Remember that a design patent protects the appearance of a product, but not what it does or how it does it.*  Lanyard began selling its chalk pencils through a distributor to Toys-R-Us.  […]

02Apr 2020
disease fighting inventions

Governments and scientists are scouring our vast pharmacopeia for something, anything, that may be effective against the current pandemic. While this particular infection may be new, inventors have been solving the problem of contagion since there have been inventors. This author believes that the scientists should investigate other disease-fighting inventions of the past.   In […]

19Mar 2020
Patent Markings

We’ve all seen patent markings on products.  Something like “pat. US 6,568,969” printed, stamped or molded into the product.  Where the product itself can’t be marked, the patent marking can be printed on packaging or a label.  Here’s what the statute says, at 35 USC §287(a): Patentees… may give notice to the public that the [product] is […]

13Feb 2020
Designs for patents

No, I’m not referring to a Cubist masterpiece. Consider the following:  After long, hard work, you’ve created a great design, say, the design above.  Eureka!  Your design would go great with anything.  You can see it on chairs, on baskets, on car seats, on bridges, on tattooed biceps everywhere.  Just think of the possibilities.    But everyone else will want to use […]