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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…

Obscure Patent: Mouse Trap

Trap for a mouse US Patent No. 6,655,077 Issued December 2, 2003 Build a better mouse trap and the world will beat a path to your door!  Here is a better mouse trap, at least according to the disclosure contained in the patent.  It would be easy enough to poke fun at the Patent Office by saying that “the mouse…

Obscure Patent: Sports jersey chair

Chair upholstered with sports jersey US Patent No. 7,340,813 Issued March 11, 2008 This is an interesting invention for many reasons.  While this may seem like a silly invention to some, I think this is a very creative invention that is well worth protecting.  Yes, I just might surprise long time readers of IPWatchdog.com by not making fun of a patent profiled under…

Don’t Send the Wrong Message

Many times inventors and entrepreneurs will unwittingly price products at a point where they are sending the wrong message.  Virtually everyone who has their own business, whether they are selling a product or offering a service, has fallen victim to the same problem at one point in time or another.  When you are starting out it is tempting to offer…

Obscure Patent: Skateboard deck

Composite sports board such as a skateboard deck US Patent No. 6,648,363 [ PDF ] Issued November 18, 2003 The picture gives this invention away.  If you guessed skateboard then you are correct!  In reality, the disclosure would also be sufficient to cover any type of sports board, not just a skateboard.  In fact, the wheels (shown above as 121A…

USPTO Online Inventor Chat – 2/28/08

Senior officials of the United State Patent and Trademark Office will be available live on-line this Thursday, February 28th, from 2 to 3 PM (EST). They will be answering questions and offering tips for independent inventors. Instructions for taking part in the on-line chat will be posted on the home page of the USPTO web site at 10 AM (EST) on…

2008 Paper Patent Bar Dates

The United States Patent Office recently announced that they will be giving the Patent Bar Exam in paper format on July 23, 2008 and Jul 24, 2008.  This is a yearly ritual that began when the Patent Bar Examination went to an on-demand computer format.  Since that time the PTO has given the exam at its own facility in Alexandria, Virginia to accommodate…

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…

Obscure Patent: Boxer Advertising System

Advertising System US Patent No. 6,742,293 [ PDF ] [ HTML ] Issued July 1, 2004       This particular invention is classified by the United States Patent Office as fitting in US Classification 40, which relates to card, pictures or signs.  Specifically, this invention is classified as a person carried sign.  How bizarre!  I suppose you could characterize this invention…

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,…

The First Design Patent

Did you know that the first design patent issued in the United States was issued on November 9, 1842, to George Bruce of New York? The USPTO searchable online database does not have a text copy of this patent available, undoubtedly because the design patent was handwritten. It is, however, possible to obtain an image version of the first design…

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.