Patent

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, […]

Mousetrap Patent

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 […]

Axle Patent

‘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 Trial and Appeal Board

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 […]

Question on a Keyboard

Dear Doc: When some big company just outright steals an inventor’s patented invention and makes zillions of dollars off of it, why can’t the inventor stop them? What gives? Signed, Little Guy Dear LG: The Doc has found a very good answer to your question. The Doc may not agree with everything the author says […]

Apple Logo

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 […]

Axle Patent

The horizon of which inventions are patentable, that is.  For the last decade or so, the Supreme Court has been steadily excluding one technology after another from patent protection.  The recent series of cases started in 2010 with Bilski v Kappos, which determined that a method of hedging utility fuel prices was not patentable.  Then the […]

VirnetX

VirnetX Holding Corporation is a 20-employee, publicly-traded (NYSE: VHC) corporation with a market capitalization of $505 million and with unusual family compensation.  VirnetX owns 190 patents for some of the key technologies of the last fifteen years, including technologies used for Skype, iMessage, FaceTime and virtual private networks. VirnetX is in the business of licensing those patent […]

Seal of the SCOTUS

A fascinating aspect of the law is that something can be standard practice, or settled law, until a creative lawyer or court pulls it apart, turns it on its head, and a new paradigm is born. Think of Brown vs. the Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, or Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Each of these decisions […]