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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…

Obscure Patent: Pillow with breasts

Pillow with breasts US Patent No. 7,386,902 Issued June 17, 2008  This is an interesting invention indeed.  I am not posting this to poke fun of the invention, but rather because it is certainly unique.  Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that inventions are intended to provide exclusive rights for inventors to insulate themselves from competition.  So any patent…

Beware Invention.net

Over the years I have written quite a bit about invention scams, and in fact one of my most popular pages is The Truth About Invention Promotion Companies, which typically comes up in the top few sites in Google and Yahoo when a search is done for invention promotion companies. It is sadly true that there are a lot of…

Should Inventors Draft Patent Applications?

It is not at all uncommon for inventors to want to attempt to draft and file patent applications on their own.  This is in no small part due to the fact that if an independent inventor goes to a patent attorney the attorney will typically require somewhere from $5,000 to $10,000 up front prior to commencing representation.  This is a…

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…

Obscure Patent: Magnetic therapy device

Bi-axial rotating magnetic therapeutic device US Patent No. 6,648,812 [ PDF ] [ HTML ] Issued November 18, 2003 This device varies magnetic field intensity by rotating a single magnet about two axes at the same time.  This could be a legitimate, real invention, if only it were claimed as a human amusement device, or a device for sucking money from…

USPTO Online Inventor Chat

Senior officials of the United State Patent and Trademark Office will be available live on-line Thursday, June 26, 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) next Thursday.…

United Inventors Association Newsletter

As some of you may know, I am a professional member of the United Inventors Association and I am also a recent new addition to the Board of Directors of the UIA.  Individual inventors can find a wealth of information on the UIA website, and can also find reliable assistance from the various professional members, all of who have been…

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…

Obscure Patent: Color-coded clippers

Color-coded attachment comb key for hair clipper US Patent No. 6,807,736 Issued October 26, 2004 I find myself almost completely overwhelmed by sadness. How is it possible that the patent system has fallen so far that patents on inventions like this one can be issued? In fact, patents such as this one are not only issued, they are issued every…

Obscure Patent: Shock Game

Skin-irritating game machine [ PDF ] US Patent No. 6,561,905 Issued May 13, 2003 This one is almost too good to be true! Bring on the electro-shock treatment. This patent covers the invention of a hand-held electronic game that outputs a voltage to irritate the skin of a player who loses. Can you imagine the lawsuits this would create if…

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…

Obscure Patent: Inside Out Clothing

Garments having inside out appearance US Patent No. 7,350,242 Issued April 1, 2008 The issuance of this patent on April Fools Day shows that someone at the Patent Office has a sense of humor.  This patent also reminds me of one of my all-time favorite obscure patents – Disposable boxer shorts – which was patented also on April Fools Day, just 5 years earlier.   In…

Inventors Workshop in Tampa, FL

Product Coach Matt Yubas and Patent and Licensing Attorney Mark Malek are hosting a workshop to help everyday inventors succeed in presenting product ideas to companies for royalties. Matt Yubas (www.Product-Coach.com), author of Product Idea to Product Success, will provide the step-by-step licensing process from idea to receiving royalties. Mr. Malek, an attorney with the firm Zies, Widerman, Sutch and Malek,…