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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. 

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…

Obscure Patent: The Pest Death Ray

Method and system for exterminating pests US Patent No. 6,647,661 [ PDF ] [ HTML ] Issued November 18, 2003 This invention first locates pests, weeds, pathogens and the like through the use of a microwave scanner. Once located, said vermin are then immediately killed by what the patent calls “a lethal impact.” Being skeptical at this point you are…

McDonald’s Burgers & Burger King Fries

I would love to open up my own business selling McDonald’s Burgers and Burger King Fries. But such an endeavor would probably be so costly to “do it my way.” But I have to give Joey credit. He’s quite innovative for an 11 year old boy.

Patriots Trademark 19-0?

By now it would seem that virtually everyone knows of the enormous upset pulled off by the New York Giants against the New England Patriots (17-14) in the Super Bowl on Sunday.  As soon as I saw Bill Belichick, the Coach for the New England Patriots, who I have taken to calling Belicheat, I knew the Patriots were in trouble. …

Improvement Patents & Inventions

By far, most inventions are improvements upon other known devices or solutions. Even Thomas Edison, the most prolific inventor in US history, rarely came up with pioneering inventions. What Edison had the knack for was taking something that someone else had come up with and making it extraordinarily better.

Improved Human Slingshot Machine

 Amusement device US Patent No. 6,497,623 Issued December 24, 2002 Those of you who are familiar with patent law may think you recognize this invention.  Virtually everyone who is a wacky patent fan has probably seen the Human slingshot machine, which is US Patent No. 5,421,783, which issued on June 6, 1995.  This invention is certainly similar, but this is…

U2 Says ISPs to Blame for © Infringement

According to U2 manager Paul McGuinness, Internet service providers are to blame for continuing music piracy.  Speaking at conference in France, McGuinness said that ISPs should be disconnecting those who download tracks illegally, stating that ISPs have “been at our trough for too long.” He also claimed that ISPs are to blame for the “shoddy, careless and downright dishonest way” in which artists…

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