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Posts in USPTO

Unequal Treatment at the US Patent Office

Something is seriously wrong at the United States Patent & Trademark Office, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe anything other than that there is ongoing unequal treatment of inventors who file patent applications. In the United States everyone is supposed to enjoy the same rights and privileges, and this concept manifests itself in the ideal that everyone is…

How to Fix the USPTO

The United States Patent & Trademark Office has just released the 2008 Performance and Accountability Report, which is the annual report explaining the activities of the Office during fiscal year 2008.  While so much of the report is a self congratulating look back at what the Dudas Administration believes it effectively achieved over the past year, the report should be anything…

Reexamination Would Stop Patent Trolls

This means that for inter partes reexamination 74% of requests result in all claims being canceled and 14% of the time certificates issue with at least some claims being changed. This is staggering because if you can eliminate all claims then the patent is worthless, but even if you can only change claims you have effectively prevented retrospective infringement of changed claims because the claim that is changed can only be enforced moving forward from the point of change. Thus, quality reexamination representation is far better than paying a bounty for the collection of prior art references.

Obscure Patent: The Deceptive Diaper

Packaging diaper with deceptive size United States Patent 7,243,477 Issued July 17, 2007 So you think you have an idea regarding what this patent is by looking at the picture? I can guarantee that this picture provides absolutely no clues whatsoever. This patent covers a method of disguisedly packaging a diaper! See, I told you that you could not possibly…

Obscure Patent: Disposable Boxer Shorts

Disposable Boxer Shorts US Patent No. 6,539,554 [ PDF ] [ HTML ] Issued April 1, 2003 Believe it or not, this patent on disposable boxer shorts was issued on April Fools Day 2003! The fact that this patent issued on April Fools Day is rather appropriate and does certainly demonstrate that someone in the Patent Office has a sense…

Obscure Patent: Lasagna

Free-standing lasagna product US Patent No. 5,939,113 [ PDF ] [ HTML ] Issued August 17, 1999 This obscure patent is a recipe for lasagna. Yes, lasagna was patented on August 17, 1999. Truthfully, that over exaggerates the situation somewhat, but really only slightly. It is more accurate to say that this particular lasagna recipe was patented less than four…

Obscure Patent: Homeopathic X-ray

Bi-digital O-ring test for imaging and diagnosis of internal organs US Patent No. 5,188,107 [ PDF ] [ HTML ]  Issued February 23, 1993 This is an oldie, but a goodie!  When I first profiled this patent back in 2003 I wrote this: “I am almost at a complete loss as to how to describe this patent. This one absolutely must fall…

Obscure Patent: Clothes Protection System

Clothes Protection System [ HTML ] [ PDF ] US Patent No. 7,350,239 Issued April 1, 2008 The United States Patent Office issues some real interesting patents on a regular basis, but over the years it has become apparent that there are those within the Patent Office with a real sense of humor.  April Fools day is a national day…

Patent Self Help Now More Difficult

On August 14, 2008, the United States Patent & Trademark Office decided to profoundly changed the rules that govern patent attorneys and patent agents may do when working with independent inventors who are seeking advice but not full representation.  In a nutshell, the Patent Office has decided that patent attorneys and agents can no longer provide limited consulting to inventors, but rather if an…

New US Patent Office Fees

Effective October 2, 2008, the United States Patent Office fees will once again be changed, which is a yearly or bi-yearly event. The filing fee to the Patent Office for an individual inventor or a small company that qualifies for small entity status (i.e., companies with fewer than 500 employees) is now $165.00. For those who are familiar with the…

PTO Kills Invention Promotion Business

UPDATE: See Sadly, Invention Promotion Alive & Well The United States Patent and Trademark Office has announced that it is adopting new rules relating to a variety of issues that impact who can engage in representation of clients before the PTO, both on the patent and the trademark side of the Office. These new rules, which will go into effect…

USPTO Ends Patent Outsourcing to India

On July 23, 2008, the United States Patent & Trademark Office published an interesting notice in the Federal Register. This particular notice announced nothing new in terms of the law, but will have an enormous impact on the way patent services are provided to many corporations and law firms. Specifically, it has finally come to the notice of the Patent…

Obscure Patent: Pillow with breasts

Pillow with breasts US Patent No. 7,386,902 Issued June 17, 2008  This is an interesting invention indeed.  I am not posting this to poke fun of the invention, but rather because it is certainly unique.  Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that inventions are intended to provide exclusive rights for inventors to insulate themselves from competition.  So any patent…

Independent Inventors Conference @ PTO

The 13th annual Independent Inventors Conference will be held on the campus of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Virginia August 8-9. A pre-conference workshop, for anyone interested in learning about the basics of patents and the importance of intellectual property protection, will be held on August 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. The workshop is…

Obscure Patent: Magnetic therapy device

Bi-axial rotating magnetic therapeutic device US Patent No. 6,648,812 [ PDF ] [ HTML ] Issued November 18, 2003 This device varies magnetic field intensity by rotating a single magnet about two axes at the same time.  This could be a legitimate, real invention, if only it were claimed as a human amusement device, or a device for sucking money from…