Tag Archives: patents

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 […]

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 […]

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.  […]

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 […]

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 […]

Mechanical inventions have been free of the uncertainty and chaos created by the Supreme Court in results-driven decisions surrounding the patentability of business methods, medical diagnoses and discoveries, and computer software.  That is, until now. The recent American Axle v Neapco decision of a three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit Court addressed a patent to a method for tuning a drive shaft to […]

Some patents are valuable and some are not. The claims of a patent determine whether the patent is valuable or not valuable.  If the claims are too ‘narrow;’ that is, if the claims protect too little, then the patent is not very valuable and your competitor can make minor changes to a copy of your product […]

Imagine the following: You were very sick.  It was touch and go for a while, but you’ve just awakened and feel much better.  You open your eyes and see… nothing. It’s absolutely, completely black, like the deepest cave.  ‘Am I blind?’ you ask yourself out loud, but the sounds of your own voice are all wrong. […]