IPWatchdog.com founder Gene Quinn has recently spoken at several events. On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, he gave the ethics lecture at the PLI Patent Litigation 2014 program in New York City. On Monday, November 17, 2014, he gave a presentation titled Dark Days Ahead: The Patent Pendulum at the Orange County Bar Association in Newport Beach, California. These powerpoint presentations are available below. If you would like Gene to speak to your group or at your event let us know by using this contact form.
Posted: Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 @ 7:30 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 1 Comment »
Last month I wrote an article titled Trademark Skullduggery: Lawsuit Challenges Publication Service. This article discusses the recent lawsuit by Leason Ellis against USA Trademark Enterprises, Inc., which is one of the many companies that sends unsolicited mailings to trademark applicants and owners seeking to sell what in my estimation are worthless publication services. It is gratifying to see that recently the United States Patent and Trademark Office has posted a warning to its website warning individuals and businesses, saying: “Beware of companies with misleading solicitations to ‘help’ you with your trademark.”
Right after I wrote Trademark Skullduggery I was contacted by Matthew Bryan, who is the Director of the PCT Legal Division at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). He suggested: “a patent-side profile may be very useful and help complete the picture on these notifications…” It was an excellent suggestion, which lead me to write Patent Skullduggery: Patent Offices Warn of Patent Subterfuge. On the patent-side of the intellectual property world it seems that the schemes are even more scandalous because some companies seem send what truly appear to be official invoices.
As this was going on I contacted Bryan and asked him if he would be willing to answer a few questions on the record. He graciously obliged, and this brief interview was conducted via e-mail. As you will see, these schemes are lucrative. In one case that Bryan tells us about, in which he was an expert witness, a court in Florida “found that in the 2 years of operating, FIPTR had received over 2.5 million dollars in payments from PCT users just in the State of Florida.” With that kind of money potential it is easy to see why the scams persist.
Posted: Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 @ 7:15 am | Written by Ariel Dubinsky | Comments Off
Endemol’s claim that the Israeli reality show “24/7: The Next Generation” is a copy will leave the Israeli TV market shaken.
What happens when two television reality show producers – one Dutch, one Israeli – meet in real life? Will they abide by the genre codes of conduct they themselves developed?
This question might be answered by the court in , a precedence-setting law suit in the amount of 3M New Israeli Sheqels (about a meager USD 800,000), which was filed by “Endomel”, a Dutch international television production and distribution company, in Israel, last December against Israel’s Channel 10 and the Israeli production company, “Abbot Reif Hameiri”, which co-produced a reality show titled “24/7: The Next Generation”.
Posted: Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012 @ 8:00 am | Written by Mark Nowotarski | 22 comments
It’s tough to get a patent these days. All too often applicants and patent examiners lock horns and get stuck in an endless loop of rejection/response/rejection/response, etc. The applicant cannot convince the examiner to allow the patent and the examiner cannot convince the applicant to abandon the patent. It would be a lot easier to get a patent if there was a way to avoid this.
I have found in my own practice that each technology class at the USPTO is different. Some are easy. Some are hard. I have also found that this can change. Some of the easy ones suddenly get hard and some of the hard ones suddenly get, well maybe not “easy”, but at least better. You can see if a technology class is getting easier or harder by plotting the patent filing dates in that class versus patent issue dates. Here is an example for a “normal class”, semiconductor packaging, class/subclass 438/114.
Posted: Monday, Mar 12, 2012 @ 7:30 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 2 comments
On January 12, 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, more commonly known simply as ICANN, began accepting applications for new gTLDs. Until March 29, 2011, entrepreneurs, businesses, governments and communities around the world can apply to introduce and operate a generic Top-Level Domain of their own choosing.
This is not the same as registering a domain name. Applicants for a new gTLD is, in fact, applying to create and operate a registry business supporting the Internet’s domain name system. gTLD stands for “generic top-level domain” and is an Internet extension such as .com, .net or .org. Currently there are approximately two dozen gTLDs, but as the result of ICANN’s decision to expand the number of gTLDs there could be hundreds in the not too distant future.
Posted: Sunday, Mar 11, 2012 @ 1:56 pm | Written by Nicholas R. Mattingly | 15 comments
Monsanto is a company that developed a system for weed control that employs genetically modified crops that resist glyphosphate herbicide (better known as Roundup). Upon planting such crops, farmers can spray Roundup over their fields to kill weeds while sparing the resistant crops, a technique that allows for much more efficient weed control than is possible with unmodified plants. See Monsanto Co. v. McFarling, 488 F.3d 973, 976 (2007). One of the patents embodying such genetically modified seeds is U.S. Patent No. 5,352,605. The ‘605 patent claims relate to a plant cell containing a genetic promoter sequence that facilitates a plant’s production of a modified enzyme. Further, the parent application discloses methods used to infect plant cells, which were genetically transformed, causing them to become resistant to an antibiotic (kanamycin) at concentrations which are toxic to untransformed plant cells. Monsanto obtained patents to protect it’s methods for creating genetically modified seeds which are then licensed to farmers for a one time use.
Monsanto’s seeds aided soybean farmers in producing higher crop yields, which has greatly increased agricultural productivity. See Guanming Shi, Pricing of Herbicide-Tolerant Soybean Seeds: A Market-Structure Approach, 12 J. Agrobiotechnology Mgmt. & Tech. 8 (2009). The public benefits as well from efficient farming and agriculture innovation. Additionally, the agricultural sector has acknowledged the spur in innovation fostered by the U.S. patent system. Lead by the extension in the 1980’s of utility patents covering plants and animals (See Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 44 U.S. 1028 (1980); Ex parte Allen, 2 U.S.P.Q.2d 1425 (1984); Ex parte Hibberd, 227 USPQ 443 (1987)), Guanming Shi correctly concludes that patent protection provided incentives for private research and development investments in the U.S. seed industry.
Posted: Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 @ 9:30 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 22 comments
Lately I have received a lot of requests from independent inventors who have drafted their own patent application and want me to review it prior to them filing it with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The reason for having an attorney review a patent application drafted by an inventor are obvious — they want to make sure that they did everything properly.
The requests I have received lately go something like this: “I have drafted a patent application that is 30+ pages of text, plus claims and 10+ drawings. I would like to have you review the application before I submit it to make sure I haven’t made any mistakes. I also hope this review doesn’t take you more than 1 hour to complete.”One hour to complete? I don’t even believe it is possible to carefully and critically read and absorb an application of that length in 1 hour or less. This is an unrealistic request and one that is sure to turn off an experienced patent attorney who might otherwise be willing to help.
Posted: Friday, Mar 9, 2012 @ 2:40 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 28 comments
UPDATE: First, please realize that IPWatchdog is not in any way affiliated with Jerk.com. We are a blog reporting on intellectual property and Internet issues. Second, since this article was initially published Jerk.com has moved it hosting at least several times. Third, if you wish to try and get removed please see Jerk.com: Who to Contact to Get Removed (published on IPWatchdog.com 1/18/2013).
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Jerk.com is one of those sites on the Internet that is the poster-child for everything wrong with the Internet and the anonymous communications that are so commonplace. The Internet is the refuge for cowards that wouldn’t have the guts to approach someone and say what they really feel to their face. Shrouded in secrecy provided by the Internet anonymous cowards become emboldened to say vile things and stoop to ridiculous lows — even publishing pictures of young children and asking the Internet community to vote on whether the minor is a jerk.
Jerk.com isn’t the worst website on the Internet by a long shot, but the arrogance with which the site is operated and the flagrant disregard for copyright law is astounding. It seems that anyone can anonymously post a picture of anyone else on Jerk.com, including pictures of young children, and then the voting begins with respect to whether that person is a jerk. All of this is done without the knowledge, permission or consent of the individual, or parents of young children. Once published, anonymous and sometimes vile comments are accepted and posted. Talk about cyberbullying! Disgusting!
Posted: Thursday, Mar 8, 2012 @ 3:08 pm | Written by Renee C. Quinn | 1 Comment »
Peggy Focarino, Commissioner for Patents, speaks to attendees at the March 1 event for Women Entrepreneurs on the campus of the USPTO in Alexandria, VA.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is already in full swing with respect to its month long series of events to celebrate Women’s History Month and to honor the contributions of women entrepreneurs and innovators.
To kick of the month the USPTO held a Women Entrepreneurs event titled Celebrating the Past, Inventing the Future. On March 1, 2012, at the Madison Building on the Campus of the USPTO, the USPTO and the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) together paid tribute to women whose ingenuity and inventions have improved lives. The event highlighted the passage of the America Invents Act and one provision specifically that allows the USPTO to begin tracking the gender of patent applicants.
At the March 1 event at the USPTO, attendees heard from Deputy USPTO Director Teresa Stanek Rae, Commissioner for Patents Peggy Focarino, Commissioner for Trademarks Debbie Cohn, Chairwoman of the National Women’s Business Council Donna James and others. The Chief of Staff to the First Lady Michelle Obama (Tina Tchen) was also in attendance and spoke along with Joyce Ward, USPTO Education Coordinator, about the next generation of women innovators.
Posted: Thursday, Mar 8, 2012 @ 2:30 pm | Written by Bernard J. Cassidy | 9 comments
The response by Hewlett Packard’s associate general counsel Paul Roeder to my essay supporting the International Trade Commission’s exclusion of imports that infringe U.S. patents brings to mind the classic George Orwell novella Animal Farm. In that allegorical tale, Orwell depicts how power quietly corrupts the leaders of a revolution, turning them into a self-satisfied hegemony that creates new rules and privileges for itself at the expense of everyone else.
But before I explain the relevance of Animal Farm to Mr. Roeder’s response, let me first reiterate what’s at stake in the efforts by HP and the other members of the self-described “ITC Working Group” to limit the enforcement powers of the International Trade Commission (ITC).
The ITC has the power under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 to prevent products that infringe U.S. intellectual property rights from being imported into the United States. Given that some foreign countries have economic ecosystems in which labor is cheap and IP protection is almost non-existent — a situation that many U.S. companies now benefit from, thanks to offshoring — the Section 337 process exists to fight unfair competition from such importers by excluding their goods from the U.S. if these products infringe American patents.
Posted: Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012 @ 5:50 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 21 comments
You may have heard of them, but as a rule I think it is safe to say that most patent attorneys and patent agents have never seen one, at least not in certain technology areas. They are called “first action allowances” and this happens when you file a patent application and the patent examiner does not reject any claims and instead finds that your submission is in order and allowable without amendment.
In some technical areas, such as class 705 – business method patents for example, first action allowances likely seem like the patent equivalent of a unicorn. Perhaps an even better analogy would be to Bigfoot! There are rumors of sightings but no hard proof to know that they exist for certain, or at least not proof that would stand up to true scientific scrutiny.
As a general rule patent examiners will always find something to reject, and, in fact, there is growing evidence to support the anecdotal stories about certain Art Units and Supervisory Patent Examiners simply refusing to ever issue a patent unless the applicant appeals. See Denial of Due Process. Obviously, such a refusal to award patents is troubling and evidence of an enormous problem facing the Patent Office. The data capable of being obtained by PatentCore is voluminous and eye-opening. I have no doubt that it will eventually lead to significant changes and the eradication of patent examiners who refuse to issue patents.