Patent

04Jul 2019
Designs for patents

In last May’s newsletter we told you about proposed changes to the patent statute to, hopefully, correct some of the damage that the Supreme Court has done to the U.S. patent system over the last decade.  Among other things, the Supreme Court has expanded the judge-made categories of inventions that cannot be patented to include […]

20Jun 2019
Designs for patents

There are some great inventions that cannot be protected by patent.  Laws of nature, such as electromagnetism , cannot be patented.  Abstract ideas, such as mathematical formulae , cannot be patented.  Natural phenomena, such as a naturally occurring bacteria, cannot be patented.  These judge-made exceptions to ‘patentable subject matter’ do not appear in the statute.*   In recent years, the Supreme Court has issued decisions that […]

09May 2019
Internet Domains

Consider this situation: you get to work one morning and attempt to open your computer.  A pop-up message tells you that your hard drive is encrypted and demands that you make a payment, in Bitcoin, to get access to your files.  Your coworkers have the same experience.  Your company’s servers are frozen.  You and your […]

04Apr 2019
Designs for patents

A patent is property and the claims of a patent determine the value of that property.  The words are important, folks.  Consider the following (fictitious) claim: A love detector, the love detector comprising: a computer configured to determine whether a user is in love That’s called a “functional” claim – the claim addresses what the […]

07Mar 2019
gavel of justice

In a word, yes. Consider this situation:  An entrepreneur comes up with a new invention, let’s say, a self-inflating tire.  A big tire company, which has unsuccessfully tried to develop self-inflating tires for years, signs a non-disclosure agreement and comes to inspect the tire.  The non-disclosure agreement is a contract by which the big tire […]

21Feb 2019
Designs for patents

You can create a great software or Internet invention that is completely novel, unobvious and has utility, but you still may not qualify for a patent.  Why not? Congress enacted 35 USC §101 to identify which inventions are the proper subject for patents.  That section states: Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, […]

03Jan 2019
gavel of justice

Stryker Corporation sued Zimmer, Inc. for patent infringement.  There was no question whether Zimmer infringed Stryker’s patent – it did.  Zimmer believed Stryker’s patent was invalid and believed that it would prevail in the infringement lawsuit.  Zimmer had good reason to believe that the Stryker patent was invalid.  As a result, Zimmer continued to infringe […]

22Nov 2018
Designs for patents

The ‘Patent Trial and Appeal Board’ (‘PTAB’) has 174 administrative judges, who hear appeals of actions by the USPTO, such as denials of patent applications.  In the past, the USPTO has been accused of packing the PTAB panels with handpicked judges to reach a desired result in a particular case. Panels of the PTAB also […]

01Nov 2018

  Here’s a familiar situation: the shuffling figure, arms outstretched moving slowly toward you, emitting indecipherable moans, munching on what could be human brains…  And the universal question: Is that a zombie or is it your teenage offspring?  The answer will determine whether you dispatch it in the most grisly way imaginable or feed it mac-and-cheese. […]

06Sep 2018
Designs for patents

Disappointed that your new Ferrari 488 Pista isn’t loud enough?  You’re not alone – we’ve all been there.  Fortunately, the boys and girls at Maranello have been busy and they’ve come up with new ways to make that great Ferrari sound. First, consider U.S. Patent Publication 2017/0350287  published December 7, 2017 and owned by Ferrari.   The […]