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Posts Tagged ‘ patent ’

OED Discipline for False, Misleading Statements in Brief to CAFC

Posted: Friday, Aug 1, 2014 @ 11:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Gene Quinn, Government, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Office of Enrollment and Discipline, Patents, Practising Law Institute, USPTO

Each year the Practising Law Institute hosts its annual Patent Litigation Seminar. I will be speaking at the New York Patent Litigation 2014 program, which will take place from November 10-11, 2014. There will be an earlier presentation of the program in Chicago, IL, from October 6-7, 2014. I have this on the brain at the moment because my written materials for my presentation were due last week.

In New York I will be presenting on the topic of ethics, which will result in 1 credit of ethics, always useful for those who are required by their State bars to obtain continuing legal education credits annually.

In addition to discussion of the relatively newly adopted USPTO Rules of Professional Conduct, my presentation will also discuss a variety of other matters. Those who have seen my ethics presentations before know that one of the things I particularly like to do is dive into the OED Reading Room and find interim decisions and final orders. These decisions and final orders give us the best insight into what type of activity the Office of Enrollment and Discipline focuses on. Such an approach winds up being informative, allows us to discuss the substantive ethics rules and alleged violations, and frequently to feel better about ourselves knowing that our practices are set up so that the catastrophe that lead to OED inquiry could never happen to us.

Of course, every once in a while review of OED disciplinary activity may make even the most conscientious among us take a hard swallow. This is not to suggest that many practitioners will believe they are potentially in trouble, but legal ethics is not about morality or morals in any larger sense. Legal ethics is about rules, and the wisest approach to the matter is to know where the line is and stand well clear. Sometimes, however, some might be far closer to the line than they might have anticipated.



GE Patents: Patents of Note: Medical Inventions & Alternative Energy Systems

Posted: Friday, Aug 1, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »
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Posted in: Companies We Follow, General Electric, Green Technology, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Medical Devices & Methods, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Headquartered in Schenectady, NY, the multinational conglomerate General Electric is a corporation which is heavily involved in research and development in many industry sectors, including capital finance, energy, technology infrastructure and consumer appliances. Interestingly, reports indicate that GE is trying to sell its consumer home appliance businesses, marking a major shift in the corporations focus towards industrial operations. General Electric’s activities in fuel cell technology development may be shifting the market if a pilot manufacturing plant is successful. GE, which already owns 60 percent of the U.S. locomotive market, may pull further ahead of Caterpillar and other companies in the industry by designing trains with pollution-reduction systems within the engine, meant to meet rigorous exhaust systems established by the U.S. government.

IPWatchdog’s Companies We Follow series checks in with General Electric every few months to see what recent patent activities have been supported by this company’s research and development. Our recent perusal of the dozens of patent applications and issued patents filed at the halls of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and assigned to GE showed us an incredible swath of innovation in fields from medical care to electrical energy generation. Below, we’re sharing some of the inventions which we felt were most interesting with our readers.

Our exploration of General Electric’s recently published patent applications confirms the idea that this corporation is increasing its development in the field of locomotives. We feature a couple of patent applications in this field, including one that would protect a system for detecting the order of rail cars for cooperative braking and tractive operations. We also sharing some patent applications related to consumer appliances, such as one directed at a new design for a dishwasher filter media that can collect a wider range of particulate without clogging.



Nikon Patents: More Accessories, Improved Functionality for Digital Cameras

Posted: Thursday, Jul 31, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »
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Posted in: Cameras, Companies We Follow, Consumer Products, Electronics, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Nikon, Patents, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

The Nikon Corporation (TYO: 7731) of Tokyo, Japan, specializes in the research and development of cameras, camera lenses, microscopes and a variety of other optics technologies and products. Recently, the company just announced a new flagship digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera, the D810, which includes an image processor designed to reduce color artifacts and other image issues while offering some videography capabilities. The corporation is also rolling out the Nikon 1 J4, a compact camera developed for hobbyists which can make use of interchangeable lenses for capturing images in a variety of styles. Owners of Nikon’s digital cameras may benefit from the free Capture NX-D software released by Nikon for editing RAW-format images captured from DSLR, Nikon 1 and other cameras developed by the company. According to comments from Nikon’s newly appointed CEO Kazuo Ushida which have been reported by other publications, the company plans to increase its medical business investment by $2 billion, mainly through the acquisition of other businesses in those fields.

Nikon is not a corporation we profile often in the Companies We Follow series. However, with our recent focus on Canon and other optical and imaging technology manufacturers, we felt that now was a good time to add Nikon to our rotation, a global leader in digital cameras and similar consumer devices. Our recent search of patent applications and issued patents filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office showed us a very intriguing scope of innovative development in the world of digital image and video capture.

The patent applications published in recent weeks by the USPTO and assigned to Nikon include a couple of filings pertaining to camera accessories which we explored for today’s column. One of these accessories provides a continuous light for the better detection of light exposure conditions for a digital camera. Other patent applications are directed at improved configurations for interchangeable camera lenses and lens barrels. Another intriguing patent application discusses a method of displaying two-dimensional and three-dimensional images on the same screen without degrading the quality of either version.



Congressional Testimony: Lee on USPTO Patent Operations

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 @ 12:37 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 9 comments
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Posted in: Congress, Gene Quinn, Government, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, USPTO

Michelle Lee, PTO Deputy Director

Later today, at 3pm Eastern, Michelle Lee, the Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, will testify at a hearing on Capitol Hill before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. This panel, which is a subset of the House Judiciary Committee, is holding a hearing titled: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: The America Invents Act and Beyond, Domestic and International Policy Goals.

In her prepared remarks, Lee substantively will begin by saying she is pleased that Congress approved “a FY 2015 appropriation bill that provides USPTO with the authority to spend anticipated fee collections as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.” Sadly, this is something to be thankful for as odd as it seems. While significant user fees are generated by the USPTO, without the approval of Congress the USPTO cannot keep and spend the funds collected. Lee explained that by being granted permission to keep and use collected user fees the Office will “continue reducing the patent application backlog, shortening patent pendency, improving patent quality, enhancing patent administrative appeal and post-grant processes, fine tuning trademark operations, expanding our international efforts and investing in our information technology (IT) infrastructure.”



Canon Invents: Digital Cameras, Video Editing, Medical Imaging

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | 1 Comment »
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Posted in: Canon, Companies We Follow, Consumer Products, Electronics, Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, Printers, Steve Brachmann, Technology & Innovation

Canon corprate offices in Jamesburg, New Jersey.

A worldwide leader in the development of camcorders, cameras, photocopiers and other imaging and printing devices, Canon Inc. of Tokyo, Japan, is one of the most active developers of new intellectual properties in the world. Although this article published by Tom’s Guide erroneously reports it as patented, Canon has developed and filed a patent application recently for camera imaging technologies which can better recreate human skin tones in captured images. Canon also owns a great share of the worldwide document imaging market, and it has created a stir with a recently released office document scanner with applications in the real estate, financial, legal, healthcare, insurance and other industries. Canon has recently been making waves in the patent world, teaming up in an alliance with Google, called the License on Transfer Network, which aims to protect alliance members against what they consider to be baseless patent lawsuits. The corporation has also successfully completed a patent infringement suit of its own which prevents Nectron International from making, importing and selling certain toner cartridges and other components of Canon and Hewlett-Packard laser beam printers.

Canon’s immense amount of activity in the world of U.S. patents makes them a great business to feature in our Companies We Follow series here on IPWatchdog. As always, we scan the recent publications of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, including both patent applications and issued patents, to share our favorite collection of inventions from each corporation we profile. In our new format, we’re able to delve deeply into Canon’s most recent innovations, which represent a great deal of research and development in medical imaging, business administration, photography and videography.



Populist Disconnect and the Whittling Away of IP Rights

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 @ 5:35 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 20 comments
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Posted in: Copyright, Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents, US Economy

In Joe Allen’s recent column Does Innovation Lead to Prosperity for All? he ended with a quote by Alexander Fraser Tyler from The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic, which suggested that a democracy cannot continue to exist once the majority realizes they can vote for candidates that promise a never ending stream of benefits. Eventually, the result of politicians handing out money and benefits for votes leads to a collapse as the result of unsustainable fiscal policy.  Allen quizzically ends by stating that this couldn’t ever happen in the United States, could it? Sadly, we know it is happening in America.

As of the writing of this article the U.S. national debt is over $17.6 trillion, which if you write out in long form is $17,600,000,000,000.00. To put this into perspective, if you wanted to count to 1 trillion and you counted a number ever second non-stop without sleep it would take you 31,546 years, which means that to count to 17.6 trillion would take you over 555,209 years. Explained another way, the height of a stack of 1 trillion one dollar bills measures 67,866 miles, which means that 17.6 trillion one dollar bills would be nearly 1.2 million miles. To put this into perspective the Earth is only on average 238,855 miles away from the moon.

Saying the United States has a spending problem is an extraordinary understatement, but spending continues. The public demands spending and so many people now erroneously believe that the way to improve the economy is for the government to spend ever more sums while at the same time regulating business like never before. Taking the foot off the throat of the private sector and reducing government spending has been a time tested and effective way to stimulate activity, create jobs and improve the overall economic condition of the U.S. economy. So there is an extreme disconnect between historical reality, what the people want and the policies America is pursuing.



Does Innovation Lead to Prosperity for All?

Posted: Monday, Jul 28, 2014 @ 12:30 pm | Written by Joseph Allen | 31 comments
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Posted in: Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Joe Allen, Patents, Technology & Innovation, US Economy

There’s a famous Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” which certainly applies now. It seems that every cornerstone we’ve relied on has slipped, creating instability in all aspects of modern life. As humorist Ogden Nash remarked: “Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long.”

We live in a world where seemingly everyone has a cell phone —and a rifle. Every day we learn of breathtaking scientific discoveries and atrocities straight from the Dark Ages. Thanks to technology images of beheadings travel instantly around the world.

Debates rage over hot button topics widening divisions in society. One is over the merits (or demerits) of the patent system. That’s really a subset of a larger question: does innovation lead to prosperity for most people or does it merely widen the gap between the haves and have not’s?

What, if anything, should be done to correct “income inequality” is a point of contention in our political system. President Obama says that growing income inequality and a lack of upward mobility is “the defining challenge of our time.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) ads: “Trickle down (economics) doesn’t work. Never did.”



How Long Does a Patent Last?

Posted: Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 @ 9:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 4 comments
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Posted in: Educational Information for Inventors, Gene Quinn, Inventors Information, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patents

Before June of 1995, the patent laws in the United States provided that the term of a utility or plant patent ended seventeen years from the date of patent grant. To comply with Article 33 of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement resulting from the Uruguay Round Agreements of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the United States was required to establish a minimum term for patent protection ending no earlier than twenty years from the date the application was filed. Thus, the Uruguay Round Agreements Act amended 35 U.S.C. § 154, and these amendments took effect on June 8, 1995.

Generally speaking, utility and plant patent applications filed on or after June 8, 1995, have a term that begins on the date the patent issues and ends on the date that is twenty years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States. If the application that ultimately issues contains a specific reference to an earlier filed US or international application, the term ends twenty years from the filing date of the earliest such application. This patent term provision is referred to as the “twenty-year term.”