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14 Ways to Exploit the Power of Social Media for Business

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011 @ 6:47 pm | Written by Renee C. Quinn | 5 comments

Having a brand is not just for big corporations and well-known products. Big businesses, small businesses, law firms, entrepreneurs and anyone else wanting to make a name for themselves can do so by building a brand. The way you portray your business, your products and yourself; in other words your image, is your brand.

Thanks to social media everyone has the ability to connect with like-minded individuals all over the world. But if you want to exploit social media you need to have an effective strategy. It does not take an enormous amount of time each day. In fact with only 15 minutes per day, you can really make quite an impact.  Like everything you hope to succeed with in life, it does take planning and forethought.

Here are suggestions on how you might be able to use social media to develop your brand, monitor quality, engage customers, expand upon ideas and connect with others within your industry.





USPTO Administrator for Policy and External Affairs – Albert Tramposch – Rejoins AIPLA as Deputy Executive Director

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 27, 2011 @ 5:28 pm | Written by AIPLA | 2 comments

Albert Tramposch

ARLINGTON, VA – The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) is pleased to announce that Albert Tramposch, Administrator for Policy and External Affairs at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), will resume his former post as AIPLA Deputy Executive Director for International and Regulatory Affairs, beginning January 16, 2012.

“We are delighted that Al is rejoining the AIPLA, and commend him for generously dedicating a portion of his career to public service at the USPTO,” said AIPLA Executive Director Todd Dickinson. “We are very fortunate to have someone of Al’s talent and background returning to our Senior Staff, where he has proven himself to be a great asset to the Association and its members.”





A Manufacturing Strategy for 2012: Keeping Jobs & IP in the U.S.

Posted: Monday, Dec 26, 2011 @ 1:32 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 2 comments

Several weeks ago, on December 11, 2011, U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson set out his vision for how the Department of Commerce can best partner with the business community to support President Obama’s jobs agenda.  If the past is any indication of the future, President Obama and it senior team will do whatever they can leading into the new year to jump start the economy and get Americans back to work.

At his speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Commerce Secretary Bryson outlined his top three priorities to help American businesses “build it here and sell it everywhere,” focusing on supporting advanced manufacturing, increasing our exports, and attracting more investment to America from all over the world.  The key to emerging from the Great Recession is, of course, manufacturing.  Manufacturing jobs have left the U.S. in favor of more business friendly climates in other countries, taking with them U.S. jobs and U.S. intellectual property.  But moving into a Presidential election year will government be able to do anything that is at all likely to help?





Christmases Past: Sleigh Patents of the1880s & 1890s

Posted: Sunday, Dec 25, 2011 @ 4:24 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 2 comments

It is that time of the year where when we prepare to spend time with family and friends celebrating the holiday season. No other holiday is quite like Christmas in terms of the anticipation, not to mention the colossal magnitude of the commercialization of the holiday.  In any event, last night children all over the world were “nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.” As the kids were in bed many adults might have tried to catch a glimpse of “a miniature sleigh and eight tinny reindeer;” or perhaps nine if Rudolph was along for the trip!

As I contemplated Twas the Night Before Christmas it started getting me to think about sleighs and then I wondered what kind of patents I might find on various state-of-the-art sleigh technologies from Christmases past.  So without further ado, and to celebrate the season, I present a look at a variety of sleigh related patents from the 1880s and 1890s.

My review of the state-of-the-art sleigh technologies shows that during the early 1880s more comfortable sleigh rides were on the minds of many an inventor, and by the mid to late 1890s improvements evolved to include additional features, such as removable seats, steps to assist one to enter and disembark from the sleigh and various steering mechanisms. Like virtually all reviews of patented technology, even such low tech inventions as sleighs, the ongoing evolution of improvement is apparent, which is the hallmark of innovation.  Make things safer, faster, cheaper or stronger.  Innovate to make operational improvements the users will greatly appreciate, such a smoother riding sleigh.  Such a review of sleigh technology also gives us a glimpse into life of the day by showing us the problems that creative members of society were working to solve.





Merry Christmas from IPWatchdog

Posted: Saturday, Dec 24, 2011 @ 10:58 am | Written by Renee C. Quinn | 9 comments

The holiday season is about having fun, spreading cheer and spending time with family and friends. So in that spirit we put together a few video Christmas cards for our readers. From our family to yours – Merry Christmas! Thank you for reading IPWatchdog.com!

 





An Introduction to Patent Claims

Posted: Friday, Dec 23, 2011 @ 3:38 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 7 comments

The patent laws require that the applicant particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter which he or she regards as his or her invention. The portion of the application in which he or she does this is not surprisingly called the claims. Patent claims are in many respects the most important part of the application because it is the claims that define the invention for which protection is granted.  You can have the most thorough and complete description of an invention you can imagine in the issued patent and it won’t matter. Sure, such a thorough and complete description is an absolute prerequisite, but without adequate claim coverage no amount of description is enough to save you.

The exclusive right that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted to you is in the claims.  If you don’t have a claim that covers a particular thing then you don’t own the right, it is really that simple.  If your claims are too narrow, as is always the case when inventors represent themselves, it will be easy for others to get around your patent without infringement.  Patent claims isn’t the only reason you pay your patent attorney for assistance, but they are almost certainly the biggest single reason patent attorneys will always have work.





Patenting Board Games 101

Posted: Thursday, Dec 22, 2011 @ 12:22 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 16 comments

As we rapidly move forward toward Christmas the holiday season is more and more on my mind.  As I started contemplating what to write my mind wandered to a topic I have wanted to write about for a while, and which seems particularly appropriate at this time of year.  Board games.  I have so many good memories of receiving various board games as gifts over the years, particularly at Christmas.  Santa Claus always knew that I enjoyed playing board games, so every year there was at least one under the tree.

It might come as a surprise to some that board games are patentable, but they are indeed.  Processes have always been patentable and at its core a board game is just a method of playing by a predetermined set of rules.  The goal is to crown a winner and sequential and repeatable steps are engaged by two or more players.  Board games are definitely patentable, provided of course they are unique.  I won’t spend time discussing whether a board game is unique, but rather will assume that to be the case.  It is, however, always wise to first do some kind of a patent search to verify that you are not wasting your time and money following a path that will not likely lead to a patent being granted.  For more information on patent searches see Patent Search FAQs, Patent Searching 101 and Patent Searching 102.





Patent Filings Up Worldwide, Outpacing GDP Growth

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 21, 2011 @ 2:52 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 2 comments

A new report published by WIPO today shows that intellectual property filings worldwide rebounded strongly in 2010 after a considerable decline in 2009.  In fact, the recovery in IP filings was stronger than the overall economic recovery. This is probably to have been expected given that patent filings in particular are a leading indicator of the introduction of new technologies into the marketplace.  The question now is whether the patent systems of the world can actually process these increased patent filings in a releavant time frame so that entrepreneurs and small businesses, who are the engine of growth, can be the catalyst pushing toward economic recovery.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), patent and trademark filings grew by 7.2% and 11.8% respectively in 2010 compared to growth of 5.1% in the global gross domestic product (GDP).  Not surprisingly China and the United States accounted for the greatest share of the increased filings.  With China you have a growing economy in a country with over 1.3 billion people.  With the United States you have the largest economy in the world and the rights granted are undoubtedly very strong given the fact that, for the most part, the U.S. judiciary is not anti-patent.  Not to be outdone, however, in Europe the growth of IP filings in France, Germany and the UK also far exceeded the GDP growth rate of these three European economies in 2010.