Posts in Inventors Information

How Inventors Can Avoid Scams, Traps and Raw Deals

Back in March 2009, I traveled to North Carolina to the Everyday Edisons studio to participate in the United Inventors Association filming of a 10 part mini-series that covers every stage in the patent to market process.  The series is about 5 hours in length and covers every aspect from how not to get scammed, to patents, prototypes, packaging, marketing,…

Falling Prey to Invention Promotion Scams

About a week ago I received a fairly typical e-mail from an individual who was inquiring about whether I could help provide certain services.  As you can probably imagine, I get inquiries from people looking for all different kinds of legal services, and I also get a lot of e-mails from those who have great ideas and want to sell…

An Interview with the Acting Commissioner for Patents

Just over two weeks ago I wrote an article explaining that quality review at the USPTO was changing for the better.  Shortly after this article published I received a telephone call from the Office of Public Affairs at the USPTO.  We chatted about this article and one thing lead to another and ultimately I spoke with Acting Commissioner for Patents,…

Patents: A Most Difficult Legal Instrument to Draft

    An updated version of this article is available at: http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2014/05/17/patent-drafting-not-as-easy-as-you-think/id=49638/    

Bad Patent Advice from the Wall Street Journal

In order to stay atop of what is happening in the patent world I subscribe to a Google news service that will send me an e-mail whenever there is a new post relative to patents indexed with Google News.  Most of what crosses through Google News in terms of patent news are short news stories about whatever giant corporation has…

United Inventors Association Educational Series

On April 24, 2009, the United Inventors Association (UIA) will release a ground-breaking educational series covering every stage of the inventing process.  This 10 part series, made up of episodes that are approximately 30 minutes in length, was hosted by Steve Greenberg, the author of Gadget Nation: A Journey Through the Eccentric World of Invention.  Steve is a multiple Emmy Award…

Sadly, Invention Promotion is Alive and Well

Those who regularly read IPWatchdog.com may remember that on August 25, 2008, I wrote that the United States Patent & Trademark Office had finally, once and for all put an end to invention scams thanks to the fact that they had adopted new rules that would significantly impact who can engage in the representation of clients before the USPTO on…

Starting the Patent Process on a Limited Budget

QUESTION: I have a few ideas that I think could really be a success. I started researching “how to patent an idea” but have been bombarded with information.  I have no clue where to start, and I have only a limited budget. What should be my first step? ANSWER: Your question is one I get a lot.  The patent process can be complex…

Don’t Get A Patent? Plainly Ridiculous!

Increasingly on the Internet invention advertising is taking an odd and seemingly inexplicable turn toward advising independent inventors to not seek patent protection, which is undeniably bad advice that will undoubtedly cause much disappointment and heart break for those who actually follow it.  But why is it that you are starting to see more and more advertisements that say it is…

Comparative Advertising: Mac vs. PC

Personally, I think the PC VS Mac commercials are right on. The thought that Microsoft would put out a product that requires their users to potentially need to purchase all new software and hardware components for their PCs is rather baffling. The fact that they are willing to budget hundreds of millions of dollars to advertise a product that does not work nearly as well as it should and is not compatible with most software and hardware currently on the market, is almost surreal.

Trademarks Create Valuable Assets

Earlier this month Activision filed a trademark registration for “Guitar Hero Modern Hits.”  Guitar Hero is the massively popular video game that allows you to try and keep up with the music and play like a legend.  According to Wired, 90% of children surveyed want Guitar Hero for Christmas.  So obviously it makes sense for Activision to file trademak applications…

Confidentiality After Filing a Patent

I am frequently asked whether it is necessary to get a confidentiality agreement signed after a patent application has been filed.  As with many legal matters, the answer really cannot be summed up into either a YES or a NO, but rather is somewhat complicated.  The short answer, however, is that you are always better off getting a confidentiality agreement…

The Top 5 Things Inventors Do Wrong

    An updated version of this article is available at: http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2012/08/04/27128/id=27128/    

Defining Computer Related Inventions

The code itself and how it is written is protected via copyright, if at all, not through a patent. So when you are trying to define the invention so that it can be described adequately in a patent application you do not need to detail every language that could be used, and you do not need to provide an outline of the routines or subroutines, but what you do need to provide is enough information so that the computer programmer could translate your description into code, so you want to provide enough to allow the computer programmer to create the outline themselves, understanding that the actual approach employed by the computer programmer will be as unique as they are.

When to do a Patent Search?

QUESTION: I have done a lot of research on the patent process and believe using the Invent & Patent System will be most helpful at this point.  Also at what point do I need to have a patent search done and what needs to be submitted for a search.