Posts in Inventors Information

The Apple Way: Repeated Innovation + Patent = Domination

Those who are readers of IPWatchdog.com on a regular basis are familiar with the jousting that goes on in the comments between myself and a core group of patent believers and those who are, shall we say skeptical of the value of patents and would prefer that patents simply not exist, or at least not exist in certain areas, such…

Difference Between Patent Searches & Infringement Clearance

Lately we have received a lot of inquiries from individuals who are interested in obtaining a patent search.  Many people incorrectly assume that a patent search will accomplish two goals; namely that a patent search will inform them whether they can obtain a patent themselves and then also whether they would be infringing any patents if they were to move…

Beware Those Claiming Software Patents Are Unnecessary

If patents are good for Microsoft and the tech giants, patents are right for Red Hat and the open source community and patents are demanded by investors, as Dean Kamen explains, when small businesses seek funds, why would they be bad for independent inventors and small businesses? When you start out in business you don’t model yourself after those who fail, but rather after those who succeed, and the one thing successful businesses with proprietary and open source business models agree on is that patents are important enough to obtain. Simply stated, those who refuse to acknowledge the power and protection afforded by patents ignore reality and must be assumed to have an agenda.

A Better Mouse Trap: Patents and the Road to Riches

To paraphrase the famous quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson, if you build a better mouse-trap the world will make a path to your door. Inventors and entrepreneurs frequently take this quote all too literally, thinking that if they make a better product theirs will sell and make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. There are, of course, many different reasons…

Patent Office Delay and Inventors Representing Themselves

Earlier today I stumbled across US Patent No. 7,631,368, which is titled Combined concealed carry holster undergarment and outergarment with quick release and quick access mechanisms.  This patent is one that offers a number of lessons, both for inventors and for those who are seeking to reform the US patent process.  The lesson for inventors is a cautionary one; namely…

Surprisingly, US Design Patent Filings Down in 2009

It is about that time of year where we start to wind down the old and prepare for the new. So with retrospectives on my mind I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the United States Patent and Trademark Office Annual Report for 2009. The Patent Office adheres to a slightly different “year” than most of…

Letter to the Editor: Many PTDL Librarians Support Fully Indexed Access to all US Patents

Patent and Trademark Depository Librarians read your October 25, 2009 blog entry, USPTO Designates New PTDL, But What About Online, which makes a strong and most welcome call for fully indexed access to all US Patents back to 1790. Many PTDL librarians have called for such access for the past decade. State of the art OCR of USPTO’s image files…

Shopping Guide: Holiday Gift Ideas for Inventors

It is that time of the year when we frantically look for gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah.  Christmas comes each year predictably on December 25th, but Hanukkah moves around and this year will start at sundown on December 11th, so time is running short.  With the economy the way it is, extravagant gifts are likely not going to be as…

Obscure Patent: Disposable Rainwear

Disposable rainwear US Patent No. 6,658,665 Issued December 9, 2003 I have not been doing as many obscure patents as I once did, but I have been increasingly hearing from inventors that they miss this feature because humorous patents coupled with a story provide a good learning opportunity.  That being the case, I will try and write more about obscure…

What Inventors Can Learn from Skateboard Icon Tony Hawk

What do high-end jeans have to do with skateboarding? Nothing. Do you think it is a coincidence that Hawk failed at this business? I do not believe it is coincidence, and I really don’t believe in coincidences for the most part. Yes, coincidences do happen, but repeated coincidences cease to be explainable as coincidence and cross the threshold into causative. Time and time again I see people enter businesses they do not know, they have not taken time to learn and the outcome, at least in my experience, is universally uniform — ending in failure. I can say this not only through observation, but also through experience. Perhaps my greatest business failures have come in areas where I didn’t thoroughly know the industry. Tangential knowledge, hard work and dedication can cover up lack of specific knowledge and allow you to convince yourself you can do it, and what happens is you just convince yourself to stay the course longer than you should and lose more than you should. Sticking to what you know doesn’t guarantee success, but it does make it more likely.

Secretary Locke Promises Strongest IP Protection in the World

I am just getting back from two days at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, having attended the 14th Annual Inventors Conference.  There is much to report, and much to write about, and I will continue to digest, analyze and write about what I saw and my impressions in the days to come.  It is, however, undeniable that there…

Kappos Talks Patent Reform at USPTO Inventors Conference

The 14th Annual Inventors Conference is presently ongoing at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia.  The conference started yesterday and continues today.  I am here at the USPTO presently, and I was here yesterday as well and had an opportunity to hear Patent Office Director David Kappos address the attendees during a lunch speech and then…

The Risk of Not Immediately Filing a Patent Application

Everyone views the world through a prism, and the prism I look through is different than the prism others look through.  That should hardly come as a surprise given that we each find ourselves at any point in time being where we are as a result of the journey we have taken.  It is, therefore, not surprising that those who…

Decision to Deceive Mismarking Products with Bogus Patent Numbers Can Cost You

False marking is a statute in the Patent Act that imposes civil liability for intentionally marking a product as patented when it isn’t. We’ve all come across a product marked with the phrase, “This product is covered by U.S. Patent No. (fill in the blank).” Such marking puts the world on notice that the patent holder has exclusive rights to…

My Position on the UIA and Inventors Digest

Just 12 days ago I publicly resigned from the Board of Directors of the United Inventors Association over concerns I had with respect to the UIA.  Since that time I have received many e-mails and telephone calls regarding my resignation.  Some have been extremely supportive, and some have questioned my decision saying that I should not have run out on…