Archive for the 'Intellectual Property – General' Category

Patent Bars under the American Invents Act

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

Many companies or inventors unknowingly engage in activities which essentially forfeit their right to file for U.S. and international patents.  Patent attorneys call these activities “statutory patent bars” because the patent statute lists several activities which will “bar” an inventor or company from obtaining a patent. The Good Old Days: Before 2013, U.S. patent law […]

The “Defend Trade Secret Act” is about to become law.

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Yesterday, the House passed the “Defend Trade Secrets Act” (“DTSA”) by a 410-2 vote.  Previously, the DTSA passed the senate.  So, now the DTSA is headed to President Obama who is expected to sign it.  The law is designed to go into effect on the date of its enactment. The DTSA amends the Economic Espionage […]

Read the NDA Before You Disclose

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Non-Disclosure Agreements (“NDAs”) or Confidentiality Agreements are probably the most overused and abused of all commercial contracts. Businessmen and engineers often sign NDAs and then freely disclose business plans, trade secrets, and ideas to patent to potential “business partners” because they believe they are fully protected by the NDA. However, NDAs vary widely in the […]

A “Simplified Guide” to Patent Law is now available on Amazon

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

For those interested in single short book explaining the patent process and what it means to own a patent, “A Simplified Guide to the Patents” is now available in ebook form on Amazon.  The link to the book is here. This book is intended for entrepreneurs, small business owners, general practice lawyers, investors, and others […]

What Are the Costs of Obtaining a US Patent – Part 3

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

In my last two posts, I discussed cost considerations for obtaining a United States patent.  However, I did not discuss prices and I know that most readers of this blog would like to see “ball park” estimates. First, it is essential to understand that with patent applications you will always “get what you pay for” […]

What are the costs of obtaining a U.S. Patent? – Part 1

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

This is a difficult question to answer for a variety of reasons.  First, patent costs vary based on differences in technology.  Second, patent costs vary due to the intended use of the patent and the client’s requirements. By way of background, patents are not like copyrights or trademarks in that if you are the first […]

The Patent Indefiniteness Requirement now has Teeth!

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

The Supreme Court reverses the Federal Circuit’s Indefiniteness Standard in a decision likely to negatively impact patent owners. As many know who have been involved in patent litigation, it is often impossible to determine claim meaning in some patents.  This uncertainty makes patent claim construction extremely difficult – both for the lawyer advising a client […]

Patent Quality Levels

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

At the risk of over simplification, most companies employ one or more of four quality “levels” patents.  Often companies will have patents from a mixture of the levels below.  Sometimes, this mixture occurs as a result of design and prioritization.  Sometimes, it occurs as the result of political influence within the company or other factors.  […]

It is a new Patent Game

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

On September 16, 2011 President Obama signed into law  the Leahy-Smith Patent Reform Act, thereby ending the most favorable patent system in the world for legitimate small businesses. The law is lengthy (169 pages) and complex.  Furthermore, the provisions of the new law have a variety of effective dates.  Some of the provisions are effective […]

Suggestions for Investors

Friday, February 12th, 2010

When investing in a small company, part of the critical information that investors need to know are (1) whether the product or products produced by the company infringe or will infringe patents owned by others, and (2) the strength of the company’s own patent portfolio. While these questions seem related because they both deal with […]