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USPTO Trademark Roundtable: Amendments to Identifications of Goods and Services Due to Technology Evolution

Posted: Monday, Apr 7, 2014 @ 7:45 am | Written by U.S.P.T.O. | No Comments »
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Posted in: Government, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Trademark, USPTO

As part of the Trademark Operation’s continuing series of roundtable discussions to gather stakeholder views on important issues, a roundtable discussion about USPTO’s practice regarding amendments to identifications of goods and services due to technology evolution will be held on Friday, April 11, from 2 – 3 pm.  The session will be open to the public and webcast.   The event will take place in the Madison Auditorium at the USPTO offices, located at 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.

Background

Under §7(e) of the Trademark Act, a registration based on an application under §1 or §44 of the Trademark Act may be amended for good cause upon application of the owner and payment of the prescribed fee, provided the amendment does not materially alter the character of the mark.[1]  15 U.S.C. §1058(e).  With respect to the identification of goods/services, an identification may be amended to restrict the identification or change it in ways that would not require republication of the mark.  See 37 C.F.R. §2.173(e).  However, no goods/services may be added to a registration by amendment.  Moreover, under current USPTO practice, changed circumstances, such as new technology, will not render acceptable an amendment that is not otherwise permissible.  TMEP §1609.03.





Infringement of Method Claim Shouldn’t Require a Single Entity

Posted: Sunday, Apr 6, 2014 @ 10:30 am | Written by AIPLA | 12 comments
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Posted in: AIPLA, Government, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Litigation, Patents, US Supreme Court

EDITORIAL NOTE: What follows is the Summary of the Argument from the AIPLA amicus brief in Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc. The brief is filed by Wayne P. Sobon, who is the current President of the AIPLA, with Jeffrey I.D. Lewis listed as Counsel of Record. Lewis is himself a former AIPLA President. Also on the brief with Lewis is Scott B. Howard.

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The cornerstone of Petitioner’s argument is that it follows from the language and simple structure of Sections 271(a) and 271(b) of Title 35 “that § 271(b) proscribes conduct that induces actionable direct infringement of a patent as described in § 271(a).” Pet. Br. at 1 (emphasis added). In doing so, Petitioner focuses on the elements of a claim for induced infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b), but hides the true issues of this case – what is the meaning of “infringement” and is there patent liability when someone causes all of the steps of a method patent to be performed but no single entity performs all of the steps of the method claim by him or herself?

Recent Federal Circuit law has, without any statutory basis, limited infringement under Section 271(a) to the actions of a single entity, and some amici have even mistakenly characterized the single entity rule as settled law, e.g., Brief of Amici Curiae Cargill, Inc. et al. at 4 (but it is not, as shown below and in district court cases in the accompanying footnote [2] ). It is that erroneous limitation that leads to confusion over whether or not direct infringement is necessary for a finding of indirect, induced infringement.





Qualcomm Seeks Patent on Managing Carbon Emission Credits

Posted: Sunday, Apr 6, 2014 @ 10:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Green Technology, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Qualcomm, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Few corporations enjoys a better share of the global semiconductor market than Qualcomm Incorporated of San Diego, CA. Perennially near the top of semiconductor manufacturing company, when ranked by annual sales, the technology manufacturer has been getting a great boost by the success of its Snapdragon 801 processor and other components used in Samsung’s Galaxy S5 device. Discounts on faster smartphones in China could greatly increase the presence of Qualcomm’s semiconductor technologies in that country. Qualcomm is also busy developing processors for appliances involved in the growing “Internet of Things,” a concept we’ve discussed previously here on IPWatchdog.

A few months have gone by since our last check, so it’s the perfect time to return to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Database to see what inventions have been assigned to Qualcomm in recent weeks. We’ve noticed patent applications and issued patents galore that chart an intriguing path of technological innovation that may turn into services which are widespread through electronic devices. Here at IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we’ve analyzed what makes these inventions revolutionary and share our favorites with our readers.

Fuel efficiency and carbon reduction from vehicle use are the main thrust of our featured patent application today. This patent application describes a system by which a fuel transaction can be uploaded to a carbon credit management system for applying rewards to vehicle owners. Electronic device owners who are walking around in urban centers may find better mapping applications because of two other recently published Qualcomm applications.





Q & A: File a Patent Application Before Market Evaluation?

Posted: Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 @ 4:05 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 13 comments
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Posted in: Educational Information for Inventors, Gene Quinn, Inventors Information, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents

Should I file a patent application and obtain a patent before I submit my invention or before I seek outside assistance from a development company? This question is one that I receive with great frequency. Unfortunately, as with most questions in the patent/innovation space, the answer is not as simple or direct as you might expect.

This is an age old question that is really the patent/invention equivalent of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Moving forward with a patent doesn’t make a lot of sense if the invention is not likely to be marketable. I always tell folks that the best invention to patent is one you will make money with regardless of having a patent, so I do believe there needs to be market considerations factored into the analysis.  After all, the goal is to make money. Investing in a business, or investing to obtain a patent only makes sense if there is a reason to believe more money will be made than spent.  Having said that, without a patent pending you have absolutely no protection, at least unless you obtain a signed confidentiality agreement and even then the protection will be applicable only to those who have signed the agreement.





Sony System Improves Video Game Graphic Quality Without Draining Processing Resources

Posted: Saturday, Apr 5, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Sony, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation, Video Games & Online Gaming

The Sony Corporation of Tokyo, Japan, inhabits a very powerful spot in the world of entertainment, whether for film, video games, music or other forms of media. In recent months, this company has had its share of both good and bad news. Incredibly large numbers of pre-orders for Sony’s flagship Xperia Z2 4K-camera smartphone has pushed the general release of this device to retail stores back until May. Just as Sony is making positive strides into the smartphone market, however, layoffs and project delays have been hampering Sony Worldwide Studios, a gaming subsidiary of the Sony Corporation. However, that subsidiary did just recently reveal it’s innovative Project Morpheus technology, a virtual reality headset designed for use with the PlayStation 4.

The novel technologies regarding various aspects of the entertainment world found in Sony’s patent applications and issued patents always provides good material for the Companies We Follow series here at IPWatchdog. Today, we scour the recently published material from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to find out what development goals Sony has been moving towards. We’re not surprised to find video gaming and interactive video systems at the center of many patent applications and issued patents assigned to Sony.

Better methods for providing high-quality interactive graphics with video games is the focus of today’s featured patent application. This system is designed to improve upon the quality of graphics already available through computing consoles for video gaming without causing an excess drain on graphic processing unit resources. We also discuss some other interesting innovations profiled in other patent applications, including a method for better rotational control over an electronic device’s user interface, as well as easier methods of recording stereoscopic video for 3D movies.





USPTO Patent Experience Externship Program

Posted: Friday, Apr 4, 2014 @ 11:29 am | Written by JobOrtunities™ Help Wanted | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Government, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, JobOrtunities™ Help Wanted Section, Patents, USPTO

Serving the economic interests of America for more than 200 years. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is responsible for granting US intellectual property rights for patents and trademarks and providing inventors exclusive rights over their discoveries. It’s an effort that contributes to a strong global economy, encourages investment in innovation, and cultivates an entrepreneurial spirit in the 21st century. The USPTO is seeking applications for the unpaid Patent Experience Externship Program (PEEP). PEEP offers opportunities in the areas of engineering, science, and law.

The program is intended to give students an opportunity to experience what it’s like to work at PTO, as well as interact with experts in several disciplines, explore opportunities and develop or enhance personal and professional skills.

This is an 8-10 week summer program. There will be two entry on duty dates, one on May 27th, 2014, and the other on June 9th, 2014. You will be notified of your entry on duty date if you are selected and made a formal offer to participate.





Microsoft Mood Ring? Seeks Patent on Mood Activated Device

Posted: Friday, Apr 4, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Microsoft, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

The computing world has been dominated by a handful of corporations over the past few decades, one of the most recognizable being the Microsoft Corporation of Redmond, WA. This company is a major developer of personal computers, computer electronics and computer software used all over the world. In the past few weeks, Microsoft made a major move into computing software for iOS devices by releasing a Microsoft Office app for the iPad. In another move towards creating software for device manufacturers, Microsoft also recently launched its Enterprise Mobility Suite, allowing an organization to administrate network resources among employee devices, whether they’re running on Android, Windows or iOS software. Interestingly, Microsoft may be making a move into the world of wearable technology with its purchase of $150 million worth of related intellectual property from the Osterhout Design Group, a designer of wearable computing technologies for military and governmental organizations.

Here at IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series, we’re stopping back into the offices of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to uncover the most recent inventions coming out of the facilities of the Microsoft Corporation. Our readers will be interested to find out about the various software technologies being created for both business and personal activities, as well as a few novel pieces of computer hardware.

We start today with a long look at the featured patent application, which describes a hardware device capable of determining a person’s mood from various sensors and inputs. In what you might consider a modern day evolution of the mood-ring, this device is capable of representing a person’s mood and stress levels. The system works by using biometric data signals indicative of mood from a variety of sources, including a heart rate monitor, galvanic skin monitor, camera or microphone.





USPTO Creates New Office of International Patent Cooperation

Posted: Thursday, Apr 3, 2014 @ 2:43 pm | Written by U.S.P.T.O. | No Comments »
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Posted in: Government, International, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, USPTO

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the creation of a new Office of International Patent Cooperation (OIPC).  The OIPC will be led by Mark Powell who will serve as USPTO’s first Deputy Commissioner for International Patent Cooperation and report directly to the Commissioner for Patents Margaret (Peggy) Focarino.  The establishment of the OIPC reflects USPTO’s strong commitment to work with global stakeholders and intellectual property (IP) offices to develop means to increase quality and create new efficiencies within the complex processes of international patent rights acquisition, and its commitment toward global patent harmonization, which both protects America’s ideas and makes it easier to do business abroad.

“The establishment of the Office of International Patent Cooperation reflects the USPTO’s strong commitment to the IP community in improving the international patent system,” said Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO Michelle Lee. “It will allow us to increase certainty of IP rights while reducing costs for our stakeholders and moving towards a harmonized patent system.”