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Posts Tagged: "patent applications filed"

Corporate Counsel Should Carefully Consider the Company’s Trade Secret Position and Form a Game Plan to Protect the Company

Among the most disastrous mistakes with trade secrets is believing you own them when you do not.  A number of highly-contentious trade secrets disputes have arisen when joint ventures and similar business partnerships were dissolved.  Even companies with forward-thinking legal departments who carefully document such deals may find that they inherit new issues with acquisitions of companies where the prior legal department wasn’t as careful or complete.  Compounding these issues is the fact that documentation varies globally – and over time.  Even in a well-documented deal, upon dissolution of the relationship, it can turn out that the ownership of trade secrets the company thought belonged to it is unclear, or is joint.  In a poorly-documented deal, it may be unclear who owns contributed or even jointly-developed trade secrets – or it may never have been considered in the first place. Even where the documentation is clear, the facts may not be, because over time the history of “contributions” can be lost or muddied by time, additional facts, or complexity.

The Cost of Obtaining a Patent in the US

Estimating US patent costs is a difficult matter because so much depends on the technology involved, but answering “it depends” is not particularly insightful or helpful. What follows are some general ballpark estimates, which should give at least some guidance when trying to budget for the filing of a patent application at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Patent Filings Up Worldwide, Outpacing GDP Growth

The question, however, is whether this increased inventive activity is sustainable in light of the overwhelming backlogs faced by Patent Offices around the world. It is great to have a lot of inventive activity and interest in obtaining patents. That shows that there is increased interest in business activities because few, if any, pursue a patent for the sole purpose of obtaining a patent. There is almost universally some business goal with associated hopes, dreams and potential positive impact for the economy. Whether this increased innovative activity can and will be something that produces an associated economic boon remains to be seen and is largely, if not completely, dependent on the political machinations of those in Washington, DC and other capitals around the world. Talk about a depressing though!

The Benefits of a Provisional Patent Application

With most provisional patent applications the 80-20 rule applies. To get to 80% complete it takes 20% of the time and the final 20% will take 80% of the time. Thus, the approach to provisional patent applications is to make sure you have all the disclosure we need later when we will prepare the nonprovisional patent application. This can include attaching one or more supplemental documents to a drafted provisional patent application, it can and usually does include filing many drawings, sketches and even photographs.

Going Grassroots in 2011: Fighting the Assault on Patent Rights

In 2011 expect Congress to take up patent reform again, expect it to go nowhere, and expect the anti-patent forces to continue to look to the Courts to do what they have been unable to achieve in Congress, which is the substantial weakening of patent rights. Truth, science and economics are on the side of a strong patent system that rewards innovators. Make it your New Years Resolution to talk to friends, family and business associated about the need for a better functioning Patent Office and meaningful patent rights that can support the creation of new companies and industries. The more we talk about it the better. We can’t call a press conference and get hundreds of media there like the ACLU can, so we need to excel at the ground game — a grassroots movement that isn’t afraid to say it like it is and point out the agenda of those who would prefer to harm innovation in America.

Recession Not Responsible for Dip in US Patent Filings

In the popular press there have been a number of stories over the last week or so regarding how the US is losing its edge in innovation as indicated by the drop in patent filings between fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2009.  The headlines have been sensational at times, claiming that the recession is affecting US innovation.  While such…