I continually preach to inventors the need to follow what I call a “business responsible” approach, which is really just my way of counseling inventors to remember that the goal is to not only invent but to hopefully make some money. Truthfully, the goal is to make more money than what has been invested, which is how the United States Congress defined “success” in the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999. Odds of being successful with one of your inventions increase dramatically if you engage in some simple steps to ensure you are not investing time and money on an invention that has little promise.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has provided an update to its Examination Guidelines concerning the law of obviousness under 35 U.S.C. 103 in light of precedential decisions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued since the 2007 decision by the United States Supreme Court in KSR Int’l Co. v. Teleflex Inc. The Updated Guidelines were published today in the Federal Register, and in response to the requests of many stakeholders the USPTO has included additional examples to help elucidate the ever-evolving law of obviousness. These guidelines are intended primarily to be used by Office personnel in conjunction with the guidance in the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure. The effective date of the these new Guidelines is September 1, 2010, but members of the public are invited to provide comments on the 2010 KSR Guidelines Update. The Office is especially interested in receiving suggestions of recent decisional law in the field of obviousness that would have particular value as teaching tools.
After you savor that wonderful “Moment of Discovery” and you have finished daydreaming about striking it rich, you really do need to move forward to take a cold hard honest look at your new product. At this point you don’t have to go into excruciating detail, just a quick overview to make sure it is worth pursuing. The questions generated will form the basis of your development process. A full Proof of Concept Analysis consists of three equally important parts: Business Analysis, Ownership Analysis and Product Analysis. Let’s take a look at each part individually.
As explained by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development in a draft report draft report: “The overall degree to which products are being counterfeited and pirated is unknown and there do not appear to be any methodologies which could be employed to develop an acceptable overall estimate.” The OECD draft report goes on to explain that based on best estimates that international trade in counterfeit and pirated goods could well have accounted for up to US$ 200 billion in 2005, but that figure does not tell the entire story. This $200 billion figure does not include counterfeit and pirated products that are produced and consumed domestically, nor does it include the significant volume of pirated digital products distributed via the Internet.
On Friday, August 27, 2010, Interval Research Corporation brought a patent infringement lawsuit against a who’s who of tech companies in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle, specifically suing AOL, Inc., Apple, Inc., eBay, Inc., Facebook, Inc., Google Inc., Netflix, Inc., Office Depot, Inc., OfficeMax Inc., Staples, Inc., Yahoo! Inc. and YouTube, LLC.…
How often have you felt you had a great invention that was just what the world was waiting for. Unfortunately, many would-be entrepreneurs are under the illusion that that is all they need for someone to beat a path to their doorstep, big check in hand. If only it were that easy! The average entrepreneur usually does not think about what is really necessary to make their invention a commercial success. As a result, their great ideas often fizzle before they ever have a chance to get to the marketplace.
I understand the objections to embryonic stem cell research, but I simply cannot understand anyone that has a moral objection to embryonic stem cell research. How is it moral to watch those with crippling diseases agonize without trying to do everything we possibly can to find cures and treatments? Simply put, there is nothing moral about watching the suffering of another human being and doing nothing.
You have probably had circumstances when you have positively associated with a certain trademark. Perhaps you were traveling and had the option to eat at one of several restaurants. You might have preferred a sit-down meal, but you might have opted for McDonald’s or Burger King instead because you are familiar with what you will get, know it is going…
Put simply, Section 337 requires that an ITC complainant show that, as of the time of filing, (a) it maintains a certain level of economic activity within the United States in connection with the asserted intellectual property right, and (b) this economic activity is devoted to exploiting the intellectual property right at issue (in the case of a patent, at least one claim of the asserted patent). Alternatively, the complainant may show that a domestic industry “is in the process of being established.” This standing requirement is called the “domestic industry requirement,” and the two sub-requirements listed above are called respectively the “economic prong” and the “technical prong” of the domestic industry requirement. “Domestic industry” is a term of art that refers to the entity or entities exploiting the asserted intellectual property in the United States – the rights holder, plus its licensees, if any.
The Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks of the Russian Federation (ROSPATENT) have agreed to partner in establishing a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) pilot program.
The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice on Friday, August 19, 2010, issued revised Horizontal Merger Guidelines that outline how the federal antitrust agencies evaluate the likely competitive impact of mergers and whether those mergers comply with U.S. antitrust law. These changes to the Guidelines mark the first major revision of the merger guidelines in 18 years, and is…
If you are really serious about doing a high quality patent search on your own I recommend doing whatever you can to find 1 or 2 patents or patent applications that closely relate to your invention, whether that means in terms of structure or concept. I hear all the time that inventors do searches and cannot find anything relevant, which is unbelievable. If you do a search and find nothing then you are doing something wrong. See No Prior Art for my Invention. Do whatever you have to, and in a pinch to find something quick that is at least somewhat relevant Google Patent Search will do. Then visit Public PAIR and see what you can find out about the prior art found and used by the patent examiner against that patent or patent application.
For now we can be thankful that the U.S. enjoys dominance in an important and growing field like nanotechnology. Even though China does not receive high marks yet, it seems only a matter of time before the Chinese figure out what we in the United States, most in Western Europe and many in Asia have know for a very long time. Significant investment in technology and the creation of a business friendly climate lead to businesses locating, investors investing and high-paying technology jobs being created. Of course, there is also the national security angle to consider as well. So not only are we allowing other nations to catch up to us from a technology and business standpoint, we are allowing other countries to catch up to us from a military technology standpoint, which is concerning.
This past Sunday there was a brief but very interesting segment on Fox New Sunday that actually discussed the plight of the United States Patent and Trademark Office and how the enormous backlog of inventions in the queue at the USPTO is preventing organic job grow at a time when our economy desperately needs job creation. Sitting in for Chris Wallace was Brett Baier. He was interviewing Mark Zandi, who is Chief Economist for Moody’s Analytics, and Liz Claman, an anchor on the Fox Business News channel. The topic for this 11:54 second segment was the health of the U.S. economy and what can and should be done by our leaders in Washington, DC. Surprisingly, at least to me, Claman brought up the USPTO as an ideal opportunity for “instant stimulus.”
Patent applications as a whole over the past 10 years have had an average allowance to rejection ratio of about 0.3. We arrived at this ratio by generating a list of 300 randomly selected application serial numbers in the 10/, 11/, and 12/ series, and individually reviewing the transaction histories for each serial number. An allowance to rejection ratio of 0.3 corresponds to about one allowance for every three rejections. First office actions have a somewhat lower allowance ratio than the average. This is consistent with the common knowledge that applicants will take a more aggressive position with the claims that they file relative to the amended claims they present after a rejection. The allowance to rejection ratio for second and higher rejections remains relatively constant. This has the somewhat disturbing implication that practitioners and examiners are not getting any better at understanding each other as prosecution progresses. If practitioners and examiners were learning from each rejection – response interchange, then the allowance ratio would increase for each succeeding office action.