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Posts in IP News

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…

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…

Apple’s Solar iPod & iPhone

  One month ago today a patent application filed by Apple Computer back on October 20, 2006, was published by the United States Patent Office.  The application titled Solar cells on portable devices could signal the entry into a new generation of mobile devices, more particularly the entry into the age of the solar iPod and iPhone. Now, while this…

USPTO Hosts Sally Ride TOY Challenge

Washington, D.C. – The Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host the 2008 Sally Ride Science TOYchallenge East Coast National Showcase at the USPTO campus on Saturday, May 17. The TOYchallenge is a national toy design competition for 5th – 8th graders designed to introduce girls and boys to engineering. It shows them that engineering is…

Red Bull Wins Trademark Lawsuit

The Wet nightclub, a popular Chicago bar, was ordered to pay over $500,000 in damages after people working undercover for Red Bull ordered drinks that mixed Red Bull with vodka but were served another energy drink.  The act of serving a less expensive energy drink and telling customers it was Red Bull undoubtedly caused damages to Red Bull.  Whenever any product is being…

US Releases 2008 IP Watchlist

On Friday, April 25, 2008, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual “Special 301” Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection by U.S. trading partners. This year’s Special 301 Report places forty-six (46) countries on the Priority Watch List, Watch List, or the Section 306 monitoring list.  There are nine…

Gene Quinn Elected to UIA Board

The United Inventors Association, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit which has as its principal focus the provision of information and support to inventors and entrepreneurs, recently held an interim election to replace the Jack Smith who resigned as the UIA President and Board Member.  Gene Quinn, a patent attorney with Zies, Widerman & Malek, and the founder of IPWatchdog.com, was elected to the Board…

GlaxoSmithKline & Tafas Win!!! PTO Loses!!!

In the much anticipated decision from the Eastern District of Virginia the claims and continuation rules enjoined on October 31, 2007, were unceremoniously thrown out!  Judge Cacheris concluded: Because the USPTO’s rulemaking authority under 35 U.S.C. § 2(b)(2) does not extend to substantive rules, and because the Final Rules are substantive in nature, the Court finds that the Final Rules…

Motorola and RIM Sue Over Patents

Over the weekend both Motorola and Research In Motion sued each other.  On Saturday, February 16, 2008, Motorola sued RIM in United States Federal District Court for the District of Delaware, and also filed suit against RIM in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.  I wonder if that $432 million plaintiff’s verdict against Boston Scientific had anything to do with Motorola’s decision to…

Dick’s Sporting Goods Acquires Maxfli

Several news outlets are reporting that Dick’s Sporting Goods has acquired the Maxfli brand from Adidas’ TaylorMade golf unit.  In at least one particular news report from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review it was reported that Dick’s Sporting Goods purchased the trademark.  While this is likely descriptive enough for everyone to know what happened, I figured I would take this opportunity…

Egypt Trying to Copyright Pyramids

The Egyptian government is attempting to enact legislation that would seek to force royalty payments from anyone who uses an image of the pyramids or one of the other to be protected antiquity images.  I saw this story in the LA Times this weekend, but it appears to have been first reported by National Geographic about four weeks ago.  Zahi Hawass,…

Patent Reform Losing Steam in Senate

The IPO is reporting that momentum for patent reform has been lost in the Senate and that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will not bring S. 1145 to the floor for action until at least after the Senate returns from recess at the end of March. Notwithstanding, my sources tell me that if patent reform does not happen by the…

An End to Business Method Patents?

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the chief patent law court in the United States, today issued an Order setting In re Bilski for rehearing en banc, which means that it will be reheard by the entire court.  The original hearing in Bilski was on October 1, 2007, in front of a three judge panel, which…

Obscure Patent: The Love Box

Love Box US Patent No. 4,194,629 [ PDF ] [ HTML ] Issued March 25, 1980 While this patent is perhaps not wacky, I think it certainly qualifies as obscure. And in honor of Valentine’s Day an appropriate addition here. 

Verizon Says NO to Hollywood

Recently Hollywood executives approached both AT&T and Verizon to seek their help in preventing piracy over their networks.  According to a New York Times article, AT&T is working with the entertainment industry to figure out how to identify illegally copied material that is being transmitted over its broadband network.  Verizon, on the other hand, said — NO — we are…