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Archives for February, 2012

Heading Off Obviousness Rejections

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Clients often assume that they are entitled to a patent because no single piece of prior art shows all of their invention.  In that case the invention may be novel. However, it does not mean that it is non-obvious.  To qualify for a U.S. patent, an invention…

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Selecting Trademarks–How the Car Companies Do It

While this blog is called The Business of Patents, from time to time we will discuss other areas of intellectual property law. Today, we will focus on trademark law, and in particular, on the selection of a trademark. Trademarks are characterized according to their “strength” as an indicator of source, i.e., as an indicator that…

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Industry Spotlight: Protecting Renewable Energy Technologies

Renewable energy technologies such as those that use biomass, solar energy, wind energy, etc. are of great interest due to the volatility of the oil market and concerns about the country’s dependence on foreign sources of oil.  In this post, we look at some key considerations in determining how to protect these technologies.  A recent…

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New Blog: “The Software Intellectual Property Report”

Software has perplexed the intellectual property community for some time.  It seems beyond dispute that companies invest a great deal of money in developing software and that it can have great value. Most would agree that the investment companies make in software should be protected from appropriation by others. However reasonable these propositions may seem,…

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Do You Need A Patent Search?

Patent applicants who are new to the patenting process often ask whether they need to do a patentability search prior to filing a patent application.  The answer is it depends.  Except in the case of applicants who are seeking to have the examination process expedited, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (“PTO”) does not require…

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Do You Know What You’re Looking for? – Clarifying Your Patenting Goals

Before you begin spending money on the patenting process, it is important to clarify what you hope to achieve with patents.  Too many times, we have encountered clients who dove into the process without a clear understanding of what they hoped to achieve, only to be disappointed at the results and the expense of getting…

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Have You Checked Your Pending Patent Applications Lately?

When is the last time you took a look at the claims of your patent applications that are still pending?  Was it when you filed the applications?  How long ago was that?  If you are waiting for a first office action from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, it may have been over two years…

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Licensing Your Patents—The Dangers of Declaratory Judgment Actions

It is the great hope of most patent holders to sit back and collect royalty checks, hopefully with as little expense and difficulty as possible. Enforcing patents is difficult, time consuming, and expensive, so many patent holders hope to convince infringers to pay them for the use of their inventions without going to court. Thus,…

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