Tag Archives: patent prosecution

Before an inventor will build 10,000 units of a new invention, he or she will first build a prototype – or many prototypes – to make sure that the invention works as it should.  For many inventions, the inventor does not have the resources to build the prototype and will farm out prototype production to […]

In a recent editorial in the New York Times, Joe Nocera discussed “patent trolls” and the concept of efficient infringement of patent rights.  Briefly, this idea is that large companies just ignore patents completely, taking a “so sue me” attitude, knowing that they have legions of lawyers who can wear down patent owners, and that […]

In Alice v CLS Bank, the Supreme Court determined that an abstract business method implemented by software entirely within a computer was not ‘patentable subject matter,’ meaning that the invention could not be protected by patent even though it met all of the requirements for a patent; namely, the process was novel, unobvious and had […]

The PTO intended that its secret Sensitive Application Warning System (‘SAWS’) program would avoid embarrassment to the agency by requiring additional layers of review for potentially controversial patent applications.  The program had exactly the opposite effect and the patent community harshly criticized the PTO for the secret and arbitrary nature of the program.  The PTO […]

  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issues both ‘utility’ and ‘design’ patents.  A ‘utility’ patent protects how something works (e.g., the better mousetrap).  A ‘design’ patent protects the appearance of the thing (e.g., a mousetrap bait that resembles cheese).  Design patent law in the U.S. is about to change.  The U.S. has taken the […]

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a secret Sensitive Application Warning System (‘SAWS’) program for extra review of patent applications where action might embarrass the agency.  The problem is how the program functions and which applicants and applications are subject to SAWS are all secret.  We know only the broadest guidelines for the program […]

In the not-so-slow death spiral of software patents in light of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Alice v CLS Bank, another trial court has determined that a patent for software should not have been issued because the software addressed by the patent is not the kind of invention eligible for patenting.  In the case of […]

A provisional patent application is a temporary application that provides patent-pending status for one year.  The provisional application can be a relatively low-cost way to preserve your patent rights while you develop your invention.  The protection offered by a provisional patent application is only as good as the information contained in the application and only […]

By filing a patent application and paying the filing fee, you are entitled to two reviews by the patent examiner.  The examiner has a very short and strict time limit to review your application.  If the examiner does not meet that time limit, then he or she may not meet productivity goals and may be […]

If you are a regular reader of this newsletter, then you know that a sale or offer for sale of your invention will terminate your patent rights unless you first file a patent application.   Did you know that the on-sale bar also applies to commercial sales of the invention to you, as from a contract […]