Patent

08Jul 2021
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 […]

24Jun 2021
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 […]

20May 2021
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 […]

15Apr 2021
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 […]

11Mar 2021
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 […]

04Mar 2021
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 […]

18Feb 2021
Designs for patents

After the patent examiner issues a decision (an ‘office action’) on a patent application, the applicant has the right to an ‘interview’ with the examiner.  The interview can be in person, by video or by telephone.  During Covid-19, in-person interviews are out, but video and telephone interviews are available.  In the interview, the applicant can […]

21Jan 2021
patentable-invention

Utility patents protect what things are, how they work, or ways of doing things.  An example is the guillotine mousetrap that works by, well, the name says it all.  Design patents protect the ornamental design of a product, for example this mousetrap that looks like a demented cat.  The topic this month is design patents. Let’s say that […]

10Dec 2020
Patent Examiner Interviews

The patent application process is essentially a negotiation  between the patent applicant, represented by his or her patent attorney or patent agent, and the Federal government, represented by the patent examiner.  Most communications between the applicant and the examiner are written, in the form of the application itself, office actions by the examiner, and responses and […]