Patent

USPTO

The USPTO has LOWERED the cost of filing and prosecuting patent applications for small and micro entities.  The USPTO filing fees for small entities (generally, companies with fewer than 500 employees) is now 40% of the filing fee for large entities, down from 50%.  The USPTO fees for micro entities (generally, academics and individual inventors who have […]

It’s time to turn over a bright, shiny new leaf and to make hopeful resolutions with the best of intentions.  Your Faithful Narrator’s thoughts turn to a shiny new beginning of the distant past – to the year 1790, only three years after the Founders hammered out the new U.S. Constitution and one year after […]

Amgen Logo

Every patent claim must be enabled; that is, the application must have enough information to teach a knowledgeable person how to make and use the invention.  But how much disclosure is enough?  Consider an invention that includes a threaded bolt to hold two objects together.  Infinite variations in the threads are possible, including variations in the shape […]

US Flag

The “USPTO” is the abbreviation for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It is a federal government administrative agency under the Commerce Department that is responsible for granting patents and issuing trademark registrations. Facts about the USPTO: While this sounds simple enough it is actually a large agency, which hires talented lawyers and technical […]

VLSI Technology

 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 […]

Centripetal Networks

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, […]

Origami Boat

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 […]

Swimwear Technology

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 […]

Benjamin Franklin

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 […]