Posts in Holiday Posts

Perspective: Weakening Alice Will Weaken the U.S. Patent System’s Second Engine of Innovation

Today is Alice’s fifth birthday; some may not be celebrating, but as a birthday gift, John Vandenberg argues the decision was not new law and should not be abrogated. – On the third day of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee – IP Subcommittee’s hearings this month on whether to radically revise the standards for patent eligibility, I testified on behalf of our patent system’s under-appreciated second engine of innovation. Below are some of the key arguments I made in my oral and written testimony and my thoughts on why the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank decision was good law that should not be abrogated. Much of the anti-Alice commentary touts our patent system’s first engine of innovation, which uses the lure of monopoly profits or royalties to incentivize innovation and the public disclosure of those innovations. Today’s Sec. 101 jurisprudence is said to harm that first engine of innovation, particularly in life sciences where it is easier to get a patent in Europe and China than in the U.S., causing investment in personalized therapy and medicine R&D in the U.S. to suffer. While some question those factual premises, the “101 status quo” camp primarily responds that Alice (along with IPRs) has curtailed abusive patent troll litigation, cutting patent litigation costs by 40% or more. But, another important point has received little attention: expanding what can be patented, and how claimed, risks harming our patent system’s second engine of innovation.

Reflections on World IP Day: Where We’ve Been and What’s to Come

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) established World IP Day (WIPD) 19 years ago to celebrate the day on which the WIPO Convention entered into force: April 26, 1970. With nearly five decades under its belt, WIPO has had its successes and scandals, but there can be no doubt that IP rights are more harmonized now than ever before. This year’s WIPD theme is “Reach for Gold: IP and Sports.” While the topic may seem slightly off-mark to some, with so much else to talk about in the context of a rapidly-evolving global digital economy in which IP rights are becoming both more crucial and increasingly threatened in many jurisdictions, it does underscore the degree to which IP permeates industries and facilitates consumer experiences.In honor of World IP Day, we asked the experts to weigh in on how far we’ve come in the two decades since the holiday was established, and what the future holds. As usual, there were optimists, pessimists, and those in between. Here’s what they had to say.

This Valentine’s Day: Hear the IPWatchdog Love Story

Many readers will know that IPWatchdog, Inc. is run by partners in marriage and business, Founder and CEO Gene Quinn and Chief Operating Officer Renée Quinn. But fewer may know the story behind the couple, or how and why Renée chose to make the obscure world of intellectual property—a term she had not heard prior to meeting Gene—her own.

The Most Iconic (and Patented) Toys and Games of All Time

Since America’s earliest days, a lot of creative and innovative toys have come through the consumer marketplace. Many becoming so iconic they have become household names and synonymous with a moment in time for America’s youth. Some of the most popular of these toys that continue to show up year after year under Christmas trees were patented… It wouldn’t be a traditional Christmas at IPWatchdog unless we spent some time profiling some cool innovations that relate to the holiday season. So today, I return to one of our all time favorite articles. Five years ago we published The Top 10 Most Iconic (and Patented) Toys and last year we published The Most Iconic (and Patented) Games. With Christmas firmly in mind, it is time to revisit and expand these lists. When initially published some truly iconic classic toys and games were inexplicably left missing. So, with the hours winding down before Santa Claus makes his way down chimneys across the world, join us as we look back at some of the most popular toys and games of all time, as well as the patents behind them.

Christmas Gifts for Patent Attorneys and Inventors

It is hard to believe, but Christmas is just around the corner — only two weeks away. For those looking for the perfect gifts for the nerd in your life — perhaps a beloved patent attorney or maybe an engineer, scientist or inventor — here are a few can’t miss gifts for your consideration. As of the time of publication all are still available to be received before Christmas.

Happy Thanksgiving and a Rotisserie Turkey Deep Fryer

It is that time of year where we annually pause as a nation, taking time out of our busy lives to visit family, watch football, eat too much turkey and other holiday foods, and read about patents that related to turkeys in one way, shape or form.  Well, most of the nation won’t be engaging in the later, but obviously you are here, it is a holiday and you are reading IPWatchdog.com. Predicting you were going to spend a portion of the day reading about patents that in some way relate to turkeys was really a lay-up in the world of predictions and prognostications!

Patents, Copyrights and the Constitution, Perfect Together

James Madison — the fourth President of the United States and the father of the U.S. Constitution — wrote the usefulness of the power granted to Congress in Art. I, Sec. 8, Clause 8 to award both patents and copyrights will scarcely be questioned… There is little doubt that patents were viewed by both Washington and Madison to be centrally important to the success of the new United States. The importance is only underscored by the fact that the only use of the word “right” in the U.S. Constitution is in reference to authors and inventors being granted exclusive rights. In other words, the only “rights” mentioned in the Constitution are patents and copyrights.

The USPTO Celebrates Valentine’s Day with Barbershop Quartet IP Love Song

The United States Patent and Trademark Office is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special world premiere music video featuring a Barbershop Quartet singing the praises of — and professing love for — patents and trademarks… Lyrics were written by the USPTO’s own Matt Palumbo, and Steve Delehanty of the Alexandria Harmonizers arranged it for four voices. The singers are the Alexandria Harmonizers’ Anthony Colosimo, Christian Hoff, Andrew Havens and Joseph Cerutti.

The Most Iconic (and Patented) Games

Several years ago we profiled the Top 10 Iconic (and Patented) Toys in our Christmas Eve edition. This year we decided to profile the most iconic and patented games, many of which are still likely to be found waiting for good little girls and boys under the Christmas tree. Profiled are Monopoly®, Rubik’s Cube, Battleship, and Rock’em Sock’em Robots, Twister and Simon.

Santa Claus: A Patent History

There is no doubt that Santa Claus contributes greatly to the staggering 2017 predictions for holiday spending… Indeed, after reading all these patents (and the many others I found) it seems clear that there is a long tradition of inventors seeking patents on various items inspired by or relating to Santa Claus himself. And unlike many other celebrities, no doubt owing to Santa’s jolly nature, he seems perfectly comfortable with inventors using his name and likeness as they invent toys, figurines and other gadgets that are useful for conjuring up the loving spirit of the man during the holiday season.

Santa Claus Trademark: A Legal Opinion

Dear Mr. Claus: You recently contacted this office to confirm the availability of your proposed “SANTA CLAUS” trademark for use in your business and, if this mark is non-infringing, to assist you in registering it for U.S. and international use. For these purposes you describe your business as “delivering games and toys to good little boys and girls as gifts for Christmas.”

Process for de-boning a turkey

This year on Thanksgiving I find myself recovering from back surgery, so in addition to my annual thank you message to readers — your reading makes this all possible and worthwhile — I have a few other “thank you” messages to share… This patent covers a method for de-boning a turkey prior to cooking such that it can be cooked more rapidly and with less oven space.

Special Report: The Santa Transport Patent

The solution to this intractable puzzle was provided by Santa in the Patent, which describes a grid of enormous, land-based wind turbines running back and forth between the east and west coasts of the United States, arranged alternately parallel and perpendicular to the equator. This grid, claims the Patent, propels a sled that contains an assembly of wind-catching parachutes and, as a backup propulsion system, a team of stimulated ruminants who respond to their catchy Teutonic names. The sled itself is manned by a right jolly old elf who is prevented from being blown off by a sophisticated harnessing process adapted from the airline industry and more fully described in the Patent.

Turkey Patent Review 2016: U.S. Turkey Innovation Plummets

Since our last turkey patent report over Thanksgiving 2015 there have only been 5 U.S. patents issued with the word “turkey” in the title, which suggests a steep and rather unexpected decline in the number of turkey related innovations year over year… But the point of this article isn’t just to remind you to let Archimedes by your guide, or to identify a handful of recent patents that deal with turkeys, make a gratuitous mention of football (go Cowboys!), weave in mention of Presidential turkey pardons, or even to take a cheap shot at the PTAB (although I couldn’t resist). Instead, the point of the article is to simply say THANKS! Thank you for reading IPWatchdog.com.

Christmas Kissing Creativity: Mistletoe Innovations

I thought it might be interesting to take a look at one of more fun holiday traditions — kissing under mistletoe. According to History.com, mistletoe is a symbolic herb that has been used in one form or another for thousands of years, but when and how kissing under mistletoe became associated with the Christmas holiday is open for debate. What isn’t open for debate, however, is just how sparse the field of mistletoe innovation really is. Sure, there are a number of patents that deal with mistletoe extracts, but that isn’t exactly in keeping with the holiday theme. There are also a couple design patents of questionable taste, at least for a family audience. I hope you enjoy this selection and have a very Merry Christmas.