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Basics of Design Patent Law

My patent law office often receives calls from inventors seeking to protect their invention but are unsure whether they should file a utility patent or a design patent. Utility patents can protect the structure and function of the invention, whereas a design patent protects the ornamental design of an entire article or just a portion of the article. Design patents can also protect ornamentation applied to an article by filing a design application claiming just the surface ornamentation. Unlike utility patents, design patents are limited to […]

By | 2017-05-18T18:53:13+00:00 December 25th, 2014|Patents|Comments Off on Basics of Design Patent Law

NVIDIA Sues Samsung through its Patent Attorneys

NVIDIA SUES SAMSUNG In an unexpected move and offensive move, NVIDIA filed patent complaints against Samsung and Qualcomm. While NVIDIA is regularly involved in patent lawsuits, the cases are typically defensive in nature, such as the patent sued initiated by […]

By | 2017-05-18T18:53:16+00:00 November 12th, 2014|Patents|Comments Off on NVIDIA Sues Samsung through its Patent Attorneys

Patent Attorney Review of Alice Corporation PTY LTD v. CLS Bank International, et al.

The question that the Patent Attorney for the Defense raised before the Court is whether the particular computer-implemented scheme for mitigating “settlement risk” by using a third-party intermediary are patent eligible pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 101, or are instead drawn to a patent-ineligible abstract idea. The Court held that merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform the abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention. The District Court found the claims to be ineligible because the patent claims were directed to “employing a neutral intermediary to facilitate simultaneous exchange of obligations in order to minimize risk.” To understand what is patent eligible subject matter, one must first look at Section 101 of the Patent Act. The act provides: “Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.” 35 U.S.C. § 101. An established principle of patent law has long held that laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas do not rise to the level of patent eligible subject matter. In fact, this is one of the oldest principles in United States law, dating back to over 150 years. The law was formed in this manner to prevent monopolization of patent rights that would impede on progress and innovation. For example, patenting of a mathematical equation would significantly impede the progress of math and science. But the question then becomes what is a law of nature, natural phenomena, and an abstract idea? The Supreme Court has established a two part test for determining whether an idea is an abstract idea or patent eligible subject matter. The Court determined [...]

By | 2017-05-18T18:53:16+00:00 November 12th, 2014|Patents|Comments Off on Patent Attorney Review of Alice Corporation PTY LTD v. CLS Bank International, et al.

Denver Patent Office Opens

Denver Patent Office Open For Business Denver, Colorado now supports a permanent United States Patent and Trademark Denver Satellite Office. Denver, which has a large population of patent attorneys, allows the USPTO the ability to retain Examiners locally. Denver offers a high quality of life, which differs from the life style of the Washington, D.C. area. Denver is a very sought after location and may provide a location to steel talent away from Silicon Valley. The Denver Satellite Office is estimated to create one hundred thirty Patent positions, from Patent Examiners to Patent Judges with Patent Trial and Appeal Board. With this office, the USPTO has now expanded into the Mountain Time Zone. The goal of the Patent Office is to support offices in every time zone. While the USPTO does not have plans for a Fort Lauderdale Patent Office presently, it would make sense for the USPTO to consider a South Florida location due to the amount of innovation taking place. It is believed that opening offices across the United States will help spur innovation through startups and enterprises, as well as creating high-paying jobs. Denver’s Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for IP and USPTO Deputy Directory Michelle K. Lee delivered opening remarks on June 30, 2014. She stated her commitment to creating incentives to innovate, creating tools to produce and product creative ideas, and balancing risks of developing new technologies. Deputy Director Lee rightly recognizes the advantages that U.S. companies have obtained by providing innovators with protection for their ideas. Most importantly, the Satellite office is intended to reduce the backlog of patents that have jammed up the USPTO headquarters. Any inventor or Patent Attorney will tell you that the backlog is years [...]

By | 2017-05-18T18:53:17+00:00 August 5th, 2014|NEWS, Patents|Comments Off on Denver Patent Office Opens

Trans-Tasman Patent Attorney Regime

Trans-Tasman Patent Attorney Regime With the emergence of the bilateral trans-Tasman patent attorney regime, patent attorneys from Australia and New Zealand can practice across borders to prosecute patents in both countries. This agreement is very beneficial for both Australia and New Zealand, which have a combined total of less than five hundred (500) patent attorneys, yet serve a combined population of approximately 28 million people.[1][2] Practitioners registered in both countries must be aware of the filing deadlines for both countries. For example, the filing of a national phase application that stems from an international application is thirty-one months for both countries. However, this is not the case for every country to the Convention. For this reason, it is important for patent attorneys licensed in both countries understand the differences between the laws. For example, Australian patent applications are not examined automatically.[3] The applicant’s patent practitioner must file a request for examination within two (2) months of receiving the notice from the Australian Patent Office. And at the time of examination, the applicant must provide details, such as any assignment or employment that derives the rights in the patent. Oppositely and similar to the United States, New Zealand patent applications are examined in due course simply by filing and waiting in line at the New Zealand patent office.[4] Yet another difference, New Zealand requires that divisional patent applications are filed before the parent application is accepted, whereas Australia allows 3 months from the acceptance of the parent application to file. Approximately half of all Australian and New Zealand patent attorneys are registered to prosecute patents in both countries.[5] Accordingly, it is important to vet your patent attorney to make sure they understand some of the differences [...]

By | 2014-07-02T15:34:52+00:00 July 2nd, 2014|Patents, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Trans-Tasman Patent Attorney Regime