Portfolio Development and Innovation

Correcting the Stated Inventorship on a U.S. Patent or Application

  The law of inventorship is not too difficult to state but can be very difficult to apply in practice.  In general, only those individuals who contributed to the conception of the claimed invention in a patent should be named as inventors.  However, this often raises questions about what the nature of the “contribution” should…

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Are You Sure You Own That Technology?

So, you hired a brilliant engineer to design a new medical device for your company.  He used your computers, your staff, your vendors, your testing equipment, and developed it on “company time.”  He received the salary that was agreed-upon for his efforts. The device looks promising.  It could be a real game-changer.  Realizing this, your…

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Today’s Supreme Court Decision Threatens the Patentability of Diagnostic Test Methods

If your business is based on patented diagnostic test methods, you may want to pay attention today’s U.S. Supreme Court opinion in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.  In this case, the Court unanimously reversed the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and held that patent claims directed to a method of determining whether dosage…

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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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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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