Intel Corporation of Santa Clara, CA, is the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips used for computer processing jobs. Although the semiconductor is practically ubiquitous in our world, thanks to the quick proliferation of mobile electronic devices, Intel is currently focusing more strongly on developing Internet-based and mobile technologies. Even so, the company is still a strong manufacturer of computer processors, and the company’s next-generation of computer chip, known as the Broadwell, will be set for use in personal computers in 2014.
As a major developer of computer technologies, Intel is a logical choice for IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series. To give our readers an idea of the future of computer technology, we’ve pulled off a number of intriguing patent applications and issued patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that have been published recently and assigned to Intel.
As you might expect, a number of recently issued patents to Intel pertain to a series of novel computer improvements, which include but are not limited to (1) more efficient energy use in computing systems using multi-core processors, and (2) a system of aiding TCP-based communications when a processor enters sleep mode. Other issued patents show the widespread nature of Intel’s semiconductor technologies. In one patent the technology is used to improve security measures for video game servers to protect against cheaters or hackers who would manipulate the game environment. Interestingly, Intel also earned the right to protect a method of coating medical devices with biocompatible substances to reduce the risk of infection in patients. Another issued patent to Intel also improves security measures for mobile devices by allowing the device to determine a user is unauthorized based on local data.
A marketer of iPhone accessories, bottle holders, lens cleaners, dog collars, leashes, and other outdoor accessories has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it falsely claimed certain of its products were “Made in the U.S.A,” or “Truly Made in the USA” even though the products contained substantial foreign content.
The proposed settlement prohibits the company from deceiving consumers about the degree to which its products are made in the United States.Based in Logan Utah, E.K. Ekcessories, Inc. sells merchandise directly to consumers on its website, ekusa.com, and through online sellers such as Amazon and REI.
The company claimed on its website that “For 28 years E.K. Ekcessories has been producing superior quality made accessories in our 60,000 sq. ft. facility in Logan, Utah;” and “Our source of pride and satisfaction abounds from a true ‘Made in USA’ product.” In fact, the company imports many of its products and components, according to the complaint. The FTC also alleged that the company distributed deceptive promotional materials for its products to third-party retailers such as Amazon and REI.
Welcome to the latest edition of News & Notes for October 21, 2013.
Initially I thought I might make this a monthly column, but it might become bi-monthly instead, or perhaps as I accumulate enough to warrant a full post. I’m also not sure I’m thrilled with the title News & Notes, so I’m open to suggestions. Of course, if you have some interesting news to share you can always send me an e-mail message.
Without further ado, in this edition:
Soverain Software Files Certiorari Petition with Supreme Court
Acacia Research Re-Branding Launch
Survey Shows Majority Not Familiar with New gTLDs
University of South Florida Launches Revenue Incentive Patent Cost Sharing Program
Mark Cuban Cleared of Insider Trading
European Patent Convention Celebrates 40 Years
John Marshall Law School Hosts IP Symposium – November 8, 2013
ALS Goes Into Remission with Steroid Treatments?
Trade Secret Hacking Case Results in 5 Year Prison Term
Many factors can influence prosecution strategies and decisions. For example, take a look at the chart below:
You do not have to look hard to find an example such as the one shown here. Over a period of about a year and a half, the applicant negotiated through a non-final action and then abandoned the application. The patent examiner assigned to the case on average issues a Notice of Allowance at approximately three years and five months. Might the applicant have obtained allowance had they hung on a little longer?
There is no way to know for sure whether the applicant could have achieved an allowance had they hung in, but it would have been helpful to know that the examiner was very experienced and likely had decision making authority. Such an observation would have given great insight into the fact that the examiner in question here has an overall allowance rate of nearly 70%. It no doubt would have also been helpful to know that after an interview in over 50% of cases, the next significant event following the interview was an allowance. In short, the statistical data shows that this was an experienced patent examiner who is interested in working with applicants and their representatives to identify allowable subject matter and issue patents where appropriate.
In a non-precedential opinion issued October 18, 2013, the Federal Circuit issued a decision that calls into question the overall utility of forum selection clauses in contractual relationships. In fact, Eli Lilly lost its bid to have its dispute with Genentech and City of Hope heard in the Northern District of California despite having a forum selection clause in the governing contract that stated the parties would litigate any dispute in the Northern District of California. See In re Eli Lilly and Co.
I am a big fan of provisional patent applications, and they can be a very useful tool, but only when they are done right. When a provisional patent application is done poorly you not only don’t get any benefit, the filing potentially demonstrates that as of that moment you were not in possession of an invention, which could be catastrophically bad.
Poorly done provisional patent applications are almost certainly useless for their intended purpose, but can be used against the inventor later as a weapon to demonstrate there was no invention, or at least that the invention had not ripened past the idea stage at the critical moment the invention was memorialized at the time of filing the provisional patent application. Therefore, it is critically important to understand what is required in a provisional patent application and not to fall prey to those who knowingly or unknowingly prey on unsophisticated inventors.
First, let me point out that there are some operating on the Internet who are peddling provisional patent courses and/or various methods for drafting provisional patent applications. Inventors and businesses need to be very wary. Not all of those courses and methods are bad, but there are at least some that have been put together by inventors who think a few patent applications make them experts on drafting patent applications. Listening to one who is not a patent attorney or patent agent about what needs to go into a patent application is a little like needing brain surgery and instead of seeking a brain surgeon asking a psychiatrist to perform the surgery since they are familiar (at least to some extent) with how the brain behaves. The first rule of brain surgery is that you need a brain surgeon! Similarly, the first rule of drafting a patent application is that you need the help of a patent professional, which means a patent attorney or a patent agent.
Washington – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced that the USPTO’s draft Strategic Plan for fiscal years (FY) 2014-2018 is posted for public review and comment on the USPTO website. The draft plan sets out the USPTO’s mission-focused strategic goals: to optimize patent quality and timeliness; to optimize trademark quality and timeliness; and to provide global and domestic leadership to improve intellectual property (IP) policy, protection, and enforcement worldwide.
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