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The Santa Claus Detector and other Santa Patents

This Santa Claus Detector patent is one of my all-time favorites, and one of the more ingenious holiday patents that I have ever seen. In addition to some very cool patent art, the invention is explained as including a Christmas stocking having illumination means that light up upon the arrival of Santa Claus. According to the invention, the Christmas stocking has a light source on the exterior of the stocking and a power source with a switching mechanism, which is preferably contained in the stocking itself. The toe of the stocking has a hole that will allow for a slide pin. The stocking is hung by the chimney with care, and a decorative pull cord is tied to the ring at the toe of the stocking. The other end of the decorative pull cord is tied to either another stocking hung opposite or secured to a decoration on the other side of the fire place.

Happy Hanukkah, Hanukkah Patents

It is that time once again for us to remember family and friends as we are about to usher out the year of 2008 and bring in a new year.  With this in mind and looking for some fun, uplifting things to write about in the waning days of 2008 I thought it might be a good idea to take…

Google Notebook Scores Patent Victory

On Thursday, December 11, 2008, in iLOR v. Google, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit awarded Google a victory in the patent litigation brought against the Internet giant by iLOR, LLC. iLOR had sued Google in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky alleging that Google’s Google Notebook product was infringing upon…

Free Patents Online Launches CitePatents.com

BALTIMORE, Dec 17, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) – FreePatentsOnline.com (FPO) has launched an informational site, Cite Patents, to help bloggers, journalists and others easily reference patent information, and to provide a free patent search box for adding to websites with a single mouse click.  

Musings on Patent Trolls & Bad Patents

I do still believe that reexaminations are the way to go if companies are really interested in stopping patent trolls, and perhaps moving forward there will be a merger between the prior art found by Article One and attempts to get the Patent Office to review previously granted patents. In any event, according to USPTO statistics, 9.2% of requests for ex parte reexamination result in all claims being canceled and 59% of the time certificates issue with at least some claims being changed. Even more dramatic, 74% of requests for inter partes reexamination result in all claims being canceled and 14% of the time certificates issue with at least some claims being changed. The answer to dealing with patent trolls is to go after them with reexaminations, not to try and build a useless defensive patent portfolio.

Groklaw Response: Computer Software is Not Math

It is impossible to argue that software code does not employ mathematical influences, because it does. Having said this, the fact that mathematical techniques are employed does not as a matter of fact mean that software is mathematical. Under the US patent laws you cannot receive a patent that covers a mathematical equation or a law of nature. You can certainly use mathematical equations and laws of nature as the building blocks to create something that is new and nonobvious that is patentable. So even if software used mathematical equations there would be no prohibition against the patenting of software under a true and correct reading of the US patent laws.

Patent Reform Proposal: Codify USPTO Rule 56

Over the past several years I have been a harsh critic of the United States Patent & Trademark Office because there are substantial problems facing the US patent system and I do not believe any of the reforms urged by the USPTO are calculated in any meaningful way to address those problems.  According to the recently released 2008 USPTO Performance…

Sadly, Invention Promotion is Alive and Well

Those who regularly read IPWatchdog.com may remember that on August 25, 2008, I wrote that the United States Patent & Trademark Office had finally, once and for all put an end to invention scams thanks to the fact that they had adopted new rules that would significantly impact who can engage in the representation of clients before the USPTO on…

Patent Office Finally Announces Rule Delay

The United States Patent & Trademark Office finally posted on its website an announcement that the new appeals rules that were to go into effect today, December 10, 2008, have been held up and will not go into effect.  Here is the announcement on the Patent Office website: In the December 10, 2008 edition of the Federal Register, the USPTO…

Obscure Patent: Doggy Colostomy Bag

Environmental friendly animal excrement collector US Patent No. 7,461,616 Issued December 9, 2008 Every once in a while I come across a patent that I know is going to become one of my all-time favorites, and this is certainly one of those patents.  This may be the most ingenious of all inventions and I would still want to include it…

Stanford Launches IP Litigation Clearinghouse

On Monday, December 8, 2008, the Law, Science & Technology Program at Stanford Law School launched the Stanford Intellectual Property Litigation Clearinghouse (IPLC), a unique online database that offers comprehensive information about intellectual property disputes within the United States. This publicly available, online research tool will enable scholars, policymakers, lawyers, judges, and journalists to review real-time data about IP legal…

OMB Delays Patent Office Appeal Rules

To quote Lee Corso of ESPN College Football Gameday fame — not so fast my friend!  The Office of Management & Budget (OMB) will not be able to complete its review of the Final USPTO Appeal Rules before they were to go into effect tomorrow, December 10, 2008, so OMB is forcing Jon Dudas and the Patent Office to delay implementation…

Nominating Stephen Kunin for USPTO Director

Anyone who has followed my writings over the past couple years knows that I have become increasingly critical of the political appointees who have been put in positions of authority at the Patent Office.  Nevertheless, I do want to be a part of the solution to the greatest extent possible.  With this in mind I have been writing about individuals…

Who Knew Avon Had Patents?

Recently I was searching for some fun and exciting patent news to write about and I came across a press release put out by Research & Markets announcing that they have initiated coverage of Avon Products, Inc.  Curious due to the fact that my wife recently started selling Avon, I thought I might as well take a look to see…

End to Patents on Single Genes Urged

In a statement delivered last week before the Secretary of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee of Genetics, Health and Society (SACGHS), the Association of Molecular Pathology (AMP) urged an end to the practice of granting patents on single genes, sequences of the genome or correlations between genetic variations and biological states. It is AMP’s position that  a single gene or…