Patents

Patent “Trolls”: Effects of the U.S. Written Description Requirement and Continuation Practice

The emergence of so-called “patent trolls” or their less pejorative name “non-practicing entities” (NPEs) has been a controversial topic for some time now.  Those who become frequent target of NPE lawsuits are understandably hostile to NPEs or anything that increases their litigation defense costs and disrupts their business.  Conversely, however, some argue that NPEs are…

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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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How Can They Get a Patent On That?—Invalidating Patents

“How can they get a patent on that”?  This is a question I’ve heard countless times from clients after receiving a cease and desist letter threatening to sue them for patent infringement.  Patent examination is ex parte, so only the applicant and the examiner are involved.  The examiner is the gate keeper of the system…

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Planning Your Foreign Patent Portfolio—The Strict Original Disclosure Requirement

When planning your strategy and budgeting for foreign patenting, it is important to at least be aware of some critical differences between U.S. patent law and foreign patent law.  One such critical difference concerns the “original disclosure” requirement in foreign countries.  This requirement dictates that your claims not go beyond the original disclosure from your…

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Industry Focus: Strategies for Patenting Cosmetics

Cosmetic products often involve “formulation chemistry,” which is the chemistry of combining various compounds with different functions to achieve an overall desired effect.  This contrasts with “new molecule” chemistry in which patent protection is sought for new chemical species, such as in the case of typical pharmaceutical patents. In many or most cases, a new…

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