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The Top 5 Things Inventors Do Wrong

    An updated version of this article is available at: http://ipwatchdog.com/2012/08/04/27128/id=27128/    

Defining Computer Related Inventions

The code itself and how it is written is protected via copyright, if at all, not through a patent. So when you are trying to define the invention so that it can be described adequately in a patent application you do not need to detail every language that could be used, and you do not need to provide an outline of the routines or subroutines, but what you do need to provide is enough information so that the computer programmer could translate your description into code, so you want to provide enough to allow the computer programmer to create the outline themselves, understanding that the actual approach employed by the computer programmer will be as unique as they are.

When to do a Patent Search?

QUESTION: I have done a lot of research on the patent process and believe using the Invent & Patent System will be most helpful at this point.  Also at what point do I need to have a patent search done and what needs to be submitted for a search.

Getting Started for New Inventors

QUESTION: I am new inventor. I have a couple of products that are new .  The problem is that I have no idea where to start other than a patent. ANSWER: We do hear this from inventors a lot, but I have spent my career working with independent inventors.  There is a road map that you can follow to move…

LegalZoom Patent Review Service Ends

As I have previously discussed in several posts (see PTO Kills Invention Promotion and Patent Self-Help Now More Difficult), on August 14, 2008, the United States Patent & Trademark Office profoundly changed the rules that govern what patent attorneys and patent agents may do when working with independent inventors who are seeking advice but not full representation. In a nutshell,…

Patent Self Help Now More Difficult

On August 14, 2008, the United States Patent & Trademark Office decided to profoundly changed the rules that govern patent attorneys and patent agents may do when working with independent inventors who are seeking advice but not full representation.  In a nutshell, the Patent Office has decided that patent attorneys and agents can no longer provide limited consulting to inventors, but rather if an…

New US Patent Office Fees

Effective October 2, 2008, the United States Patent Office fees will once again be changed, which is a yearly or bi-yearly event. The filing fee to the Patent Office for an individual inventor or a small company that qualifies for small entity status (i.e., companies with fewer than 500 employees) is now $165.00. For those who are familiar with the…

Writing Software Patent Applications

When you sit down to collect the information necessary to create the “design document” you have to keep three things in mind. Any good patent application that covers a software related invention will need to put forth three specific pieces of information. First, you need to describe the overall computer architecture of the system within which the software will exist. Second, you need to prepare a single flowchart that depicts the overall working of the software. Third, you need to prepare a series of flow charts that show with painstaking detail the various routines and subroutines that together connect to create and deliver the complete functionality of the computer system as enabled by the software.

PTO Kills Invention Promotion Business

UPDATE: See Sadly, Invention Promotion Alive & Well The United States Patent and Trademark Office has announced that it is adopting new rules relating to a variety of issues that impact who can engage in representation of clients before the PTO, both on the patent and the trademark side of the Office. These new rules, which will go into effect…

What to Expect when Calling a Patent Attorney

Over the years I have received quite a number of e-mail inquiries and telephone calls from inventors who are looking for information and advice. Typically, the initial communication starts off with the inventor saying that they have an invention that they know will be well received in the market and that they are looking for a patent attorney who can…

John McCain on Technology & IP

John McCain has a broad and cohesive vision for the future of American innovation. His policies will provide broad pools of capital, low taxes and incentives for research in America, a commitment to a skilled and educated workforce, and a dedication to opening markets around the globe. He’s committed to streamlining burdensome regulations and effectively protecting American intellectual property in…

Court OKs New DVR Technology

On Monday, August 4, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an important decision that sets the stage for Cable companies and Satellite TV providers to sell technology that will allow for the archiving of recorded television shows in digital format.  This decision overrules an earlier decision by a federal district court that ruled in…

Inventors Need to Have Inventions

I am frequently asked the same or similar question with respect to patent applications by independent inventors — How much information do I have to include in a patent application?  Sometimes this question is prefaced by something like — I have the concept but I am no scientist and I don’t know how to actually create the invention. The first…

USPTO Ends Patent Outsourcing to India

On July 23, 2008, the United States Patent & Trademark Office published an interesting notice in the Federal Register. This particular notice announced nothing new in terms of the law, but will have an enormous impact on the way patent services are provided to many corporations and law firms. Specifically, it has finally come to the notice of the Patent…

Obscure Patent: Pillow with breasts

Pillow with breasts US Patent No. 7,386,902 Issued June 17, 2008  This is an interesting invention indeed.  I am not posting this to poke fun of the invention, but rather because it is certainly unique.  Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that inventions are intended to provide exclusive rights for inventors to insulate themselves from competition.  So any patent…