Archive for the 'Patents' 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 […]

What Can Be Patented?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

U.S. patent law specifies the general field of subject matter that can be patented and the requirements for a patent.  The purpose of these requirements is to make sure that the bargain between the government and the inventor or applicant is “equal” or balanced.  In other words, the law is designed to prevent the patent […]

File Your Applications Early

Saturday, February 20th, 2016

Many companies or inventors unknowingly engage in activities which essentially forfeit their right to file for a U.S. patent. 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 modern patent statute goes back to 1952. Since 1952, […]

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” […]

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 […]

You Cannot Patent Ideas (Theoretically).

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

The foundation of United States patent law is based on a quid pro quo between the patent applicant (or patentee) and the government.  The government grants a monopoly for the invention in exchange for a technology disclosure which should increase the public’s collective knowledge.  Once the patent expires, anyone is then free to practice the […]

Interpreting Patent Claims

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Many businessmen and engineers evaluate patents for one reason or another.  Usually, the process boils down to an interpretation of patent claims.   As defined in other posts on this site, patent claims are the governmental monopoly granted to an inventor in exchange for the inventor’s disclosure of technology. Unfortunately, claims are usually stated in a […]