Tag Archives: patents

About a decade ago, there was a huge uproar over ‘patent trolls,’ also known as ‘non-practicing entities’ – companies that did not make products but that owned patents.  The business model of the patent troll was to sue or threaten infringers and to collect patent infringement damages.  The coordinated attack on the U.S. patent system […]

Should the Covid vaccines be set free in the world, so that everyone can gain immunity?  Few would argue that’s a bad idea, since more variants may arise in under-vaccinated populations, those variants will undoubtedly spread to us, and those variants may be resistant to our vaccines. But what about the rights of the creative […]

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, […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Walking fast, you round the corner of an urban street and collide with — a clown — the greasepaint, the red, bulbous nose, oversized shoes, fright wig, exaggerated clothing, exaggerated smile, exaggerated eyes.  Immediately you feel nausea, your hands sweat, you struggle to breathe, you feel panic, anxiety and dread.  Your mouth goes dry and […]