While there are no guarantees in life, there may be some things that you can do in order to proactively protect yourself against the threat of a patent lawsuit.
There is no better way to prepare yourself for what may be lurking behind the next corner than knowing your business and the market in which you operated. Knowledge of the patent activity in your market is a critical first step to developing a proactive plan that will insulate you to the greatest extent possible. Of course, the first thing you need to do is to monitor the patent filings in your technology markets.
By keeping an eye on the publication of patent application in your sector you can spot potentially problematic patent application in advance of them ever issuing. While it may not be appropriate in every situation, if a patent application seems to be particularly dangerous you can elect to submit prior art to the examiner so that it can be taken into considering. This is called a third-party pre-issuance submission, which can be made in any non-provisional utility, design, and plant application, as well as in any continuing application. A third-party preissuance submission includes a concise description of the asserted relevance of each document submitted. There are strict time limits within which to file though. A third-party submission can be filed prior to the earlier of: (1) The date a notice of allowance; OR (2) The later of: (i) 6 months after the date on which the application is first published by the USPTO, or (ii) The date of the first rejection of any claim by the examiner. Thus, keeping a vigilant watch on patent filings is critical for those who may want the option to at least consider third-party pre-issuance submissions as an option.
Last night at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA, the best and the brightest film stars, directors, producers and more came together for the 86th Academy Awards. This year’s awards ceremony, hosted by talk show personality and comedienne Ellen DeGeneres, was centered around the theme of honoring movie heroes, especially those acts which the camera doesn’t catch on the set.
The big winners were 12 Years a Slave, which came away with 2 Oscars including one for best picture, Gravity, which walked away with 7 Oscars, and Dallas Buyers Club, which saw Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto come away with Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively.
But this is not an article about the Academy Awards per se. With all the hype about the Academy Awards we thought it might be interesting to see just how many Hollywood celebrities were inventors. Below is our list of the most interesting inventions from a number of well known actors and directors.
Francis Gurry (left) and Geoffrey Onyeama (right) are two of the four candidates for WIPO Director General.
We are now down to crunch time in the selection process for Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). During meetings held May 8 – 9, 2014, the General Assembly will decide who is appointed Director General for the next six-year term that will being October 1, 2014. But later this week we will have a clear indication about who that will likely be. The WIPO Coordination Committee will meet in Geneva on March 6 – 7, 2014, to nominate a candidate for appointment as the next Director General of WIPO. The four names up for consideration are: (1) Mr. Francis Gurry of Australia, who is the current Director General of WIPO; (2) Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama of Nigeria, who is currently Deputy Director General, Development Sector, at WIPO; (3) Ambassador Jüri Seilenthal of Estonia; and (4) Ambassador Alfredo Suescum Alfaro of Panama.
On the surface it seems nearly unthinkable that the current Director General, Francis Gurry, would not be given a second term at the helm at WIPO. If you look at measurables and statistics WIPO appears to being running on all cylinders and doing a fantastic job of growing and coordinating the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which is no doubt WIPO’s primary function as an international body.
Behind the scenes there are several scandals lurking that could easily work to give both the Coordination Committee and Member States pause. Gurry was at the center of a politically ill conceived deal that sent computers to North Korea and Iran and he has been implicated in a bizarre DNA collection scheme that objectively seems to have been covered up by WIPO. The DNA scandal and cover-up has come back into the news recently as the result of a complaint filed by Miranda Brown, a former Deputy Permanent Representative at the Australian Mission in Geneva, and most recently a Strategic Advisor to Gurry. See Will Scandal Cost Gurry Second Term?
While design patents have been around as long as utility patents, they have long been neglected as a source of potential value. But that is changing.
In a shifting tide that began five years ago, courts have begun favoring the plaintiff in design patent lawsuits by simplifying the standard for proving infringement on the ornamental features of a product.
The impact of the court’s shift in the infringement analysis was evident in December 2013, when a jury in San Jose, California, awarded $290 million to Apple Inc. The jurors heavily tilted toward the iPhone maker in its claims for damages against Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., which had earlier been found to infringe on iPhone design features, such as using fingers to pinch and zoom on the screen.
Apple’s victory was hard won. The latest award was connected to a lawsuit that began two years earlier and had resulted in damages of $1 billion. That was reduced to nearly $640 million, with the remaining amount being litigated a second time.
India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has been vocal in calling for the U.S. Government to renew its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)program, which since 1976 has provided preferential duty-free access to imports from developing countries.
It is not hard to understand why India is so interested in seeing Congress pass GSP renewal legislation. Prior to the expiration of GSP program’s authorization in July, 2013, India was the top beneficiary of these unilateral tariff breaks of the 108 eligible countries. In 2012, India exported $4.5 billion of goods duty-free to the United States under the GSP, including automotive parts, steel tubing, and plastic resins. Still, the removal of GSP tariff preferences does not close off the U.S. market to Indian exports, since the U.S. simple average tariff is bound at low rate of 3.5% under the WTO.
Retroactive renewal of benefits has been the norm during the GSP’s periodic lapses in authorization over the years, so it is anticipated that India will soon regain these tariff preferences. The long-term outlook for India’s GSP status, however, is clouded by Indian economic policies which run counter to the congressional-mandated criteria for country beneficiaries. In particular, India’s inadequate protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) threatens its continued participation in the GSP program.
A team of law students, who are members of the Intellectual Property Law Fellowship at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California, are working on a Research Project directed toward aiding patent practitioners in developing international patent filing strategies for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. The team is working to amass statistically significant survey data on the countries patent practitioners are filing patents in for their biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients most often, and the factors considered when making the decisions to file.
As countries modernizes their economy, and more particularly the life science industry keeps growing, the demand for biotech and pharmaceutical products will likely increase. With increased demand, the market competition and incentive for companies to patent their research and products will likely increase as well. Once the results of the survey are published, policy makers will have more information on the factors patent attorneys from different countries consider most important when making their filing decisions. The results will also give life-science patent practitioners better information as to where in the world they can promote their legal services and partner with foreign law firms for patent applications being filed.
The survey is open to patent practitioners from any country who prosecute patents in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical sectors. The survey can be found by following the hyperlink below. All personally identifiable information will be kept confidential. It should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. We will appreciate if you take the survey prior to March 7, 2014.
Nanoscience and nanotechnology are the study and application of extremely small things and can be used across all the other science fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering . On its most basic level nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale to solve problems by creating new products with fundamentally new properties or functions. For example, researchers have observed a near tripling of the efficiency for a photovoltaic produced with sandwiched, nano-thick layers of metal and plastic.
Nanotech innovations run the gamut from energy, medicine, aerospace, and beyond building on fundamental science at the nanoscale. For example, nanotech innovations in electron microscopy enable scientist to study interactions between individual atoms and molecules, which may have a far-reaching impact in chemical catalysis, personalized medicine, and materials engineering. Also, understanding how light and sound interact with nanoparticles is fueling research in stealth technology and invisibility cloaks.
These innovative technologies bring new economic opportunities. According to a recent GAO report, many experts in industry, government, and academia anticipate that nanotech innovations could match or exceed the economic and societal impacts of the digital revolution. The nanomedicine market, which has been estimated at about 20 percent to about 40 percent of the overall nanotechnology market, was valued at 78.54 billion USD in 2012 and is expected to grow to 117.60 billion USD by 2019, according to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research “Nanomedicine Market (Neurology, Cardiovascular, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-infective, and Oncology Applications)–Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 – 2019.” The nanomedicine market is fueled by developments in the detection and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
How to Write a Patent Application is a must own for patent attorneys, patent agents and law students alike. A crucial hands-on resource that walks you through every aspect of preparing and filing a patent application, from working with an inventor to patent searches, preparing the patent application, drafting claims and more.
Without hesitation I recommend One Simple Idea and think it should be required reading for any motivated inventor. There is so much to like about the book and so much that I think author Stephen Key nails dead on accurate. The book is educational, information and inspirational. For the $14 cover price it is essential reading.
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