Patent

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 […]

06Feb 2020
gavel of justice

Newsweek has called it the “copyright case of the decade” and it may be right.  Google and Oracle are software titans battling over whether the freely available connections between software platforms (Application Programming Interfaces, or “APIs”) can be protected by copyright law.  APIs are generally free to use, and they enable developers to build programs […]

09Jan 2020
Designs for patents

Here’s a challenge for these modern times:  How do observant Jews follow the Biblical commandment to observe the Sabbath?  Rabbis generally agree that driving is prohibited, and that using electricity is not prohibited – but using switches to manually turn the flow of electricity on or off is prohibited.  This is why you may have […]