Posts Tagged: "patent"

AUTM Survey: University Licensing Strong Despite Economy

During fiscal year 2009, 596 new companies were formed as a result of university research, which is one more than the 595 formed in 2008 and 41 more than the 555 formed in 2007. The increase, while modest, does come despite a downturn in the U.S. and global economy, proving that even during a down economy good technology and innovation can and does create jobs. The AUTM survey also shows that invention disclosures continue to rise, patent applications are up, and during fiscal year 2009 there was a surprisingly high increase in foreign filings over fiscal year 2008.

Statement of Senator Birch Bayh on the 30th Anniversary of the Bayh-Dole Act

Bayh-Dole was created because of a glaring problem– billions of hard earned tax dollars invested annually in government R&D were being squandered by ineffective government patent policies. If this research cannot be taken out of the labs and turned into products, the public is being short changed. Even so, it was a long, tough road to travel, and we only succeeded by the smallest of margins. Turning around long standing government policies, no matter how ineffective, is never easy.

The Enactment of Bayh-Dole, An Inside Perspective

We caught the tide– but just barely. That the Bayh-Dole Act passed was amazing. That it passed in a lame duck session of Congress with its principal author defeated, the US Senate changing hands, and a sitting president thrown out, was a miracle. Even then success was not assured. Fortunately, we launched and caught the tide. This is my “staff’s eye view” of how it happened.

Protecting Ideas: Can Ideas Be Protected or Patented?

For goodness sake stop thinking that you will get rich by selling your idea to industry and sit back and collect royalty checks for doing nothing. If inventing were that easy everyone would be a filthy rich inventor! Many people will have great ideas, but what separates those who can turn their ideas into money from those who cannot is a strategy to define the idea enough so that it can become an asset that can be protected.

Abbott’s HIV/AIDS Drug Patents Challenged by PUBPAT

I am skeptical about the prospects for invalidating patents on drugs, particularly important or blockbuster drugs. I also question whether anti-patent do-gooders in the biotech and pharma space are really causing more harm than good through attempts to bust patents on blockbuster drugs. According to their own press release, PUBPAT acknowledges that the tablet is heat stable and does not need to be refrigerated like prior versions of the drug. They seemingly make the argument, although not directly, that because this makes it much more convenient for patients it is unfair to charge prices sufficient to recoup R&D and a premium to make the speculative R&D reasonably profitable for investors. Of course, the fact that the drug in question is extremely convenient for patients is not a reason to invalid the claims, and in fact is likely a compelling reason why in this instance the patent claims cover a truly novel and nonobvious innovation.

Intellectual Property News from Eastern Europe

At the start of the new year I pledged that I would start to try and expand the scope of IPWatchdog.com to touch upon intellectual property matters outside the United States. In part this means trying to add an international flavor where appropriate, which is certainly always possible in part through discussion of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). In another facet it means profiling interesting stories relating to foreign intellectual property laws.

Why Open Source Stalls Innovation and Patents Advance It

I have wondered out loud why we don’t have more of a bounce coming off this Great Recession. Certainly the historical dysfunctionality of the Patent Office prior to Director Kappos has something to do with that. It seems to me that open source has also lead many otherwise capable individuals to turn away from innovating. They are not looking for paradigm shifting open spaces and instead toward copying, or simply being blissfully ignorant about whether they are advancing or simply reinventing what others have already invented. The march forward has ceased in part due to the Patent Office backlog and due to an infatuation with open source and reinventing the wheel.

Patent Strategy: Laying the Foundation for Business Success

Patents provide a competitive advantage, and those sophisticated in business know enough to look for and exploit whatever competitive advantage exists. Patents are the 800 pound gorilla of competitive advantage, but realize if you are going to want and need significant sums of money from investors rarely does a single invention or patent command attention. No one wants to invest significant funds into a company that has a one-and-done approach to innovation. You need to understand the road is long. Take a lesson from Apple, Inc. Innovate and then churn your innovation for all its worth, re-purposing the technology, expanding into products and services, constantly push the envelope and milk the golden goose for all its worth!

Patent Lessons from Monopoly® and the First Millionaire Game Inventor

As a result of his invention Darrow became the first millionaire game inventor, thanks to royalty payments. The irony, however, is that Darrow may not have invented the game at all, but rather he may have taken a locally popular game and made only a few changes. By the time Parker Brothers realized that Darrow may not have been the true inventor the game was already a huge success. In order to protect the game and its investment the decision was made to buy up all patents and copyrights on any related game, thereby ensuring the monopoly on Monopoly®.

Diary: Talking Patents & Blogging in Toledo

Earlier this week I was in Toledo, Ohio. I traveled to Toledo to speak to the Toledo Intellectual Property Law Association on Tuesday, April 13, 2010. I have a special connection with Toledo, having taught there at the University of Toledo College of Law during the 2001/2002 academic year as a Visiting Professor, and for a couple years prior as an Adjunct Professor. I would fly in on weekends to teach a variety of patent claim drafting and application drafting courses. Some of my dearest friends are in Toledo, so any excuse to get back to Toledo is a good one in my mind.

An On the Record Interview with CAFC Judge Randall Rader

On April 2, 2010, I had the privilege of conducting an on the record Interview with Judge Randall Rader, the soon to be Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Some weeks earlier I wrote to Judge Rader requesting the opportunity to conduct an interview. I explained that leading up to his becoming Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit there would likely be increased interest in the Federal Circuit and in him in particular. In my letter I explained I would not ask about specific issues or cases, and that my objective was to discuss his experiences on the Federal Circuit, how cases are handled and what, if any, preparations are underway for him to become Chief Judge. Judge Rader granted my request, and what appears below is a transcript of my conversation with him.

Rader as Trial Judge Hands Google & AOL Victory in ED of Texas

Sitting by designation in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, soon to be Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit, Judge Randall Rader, granted summary judgment to Google Inc. and AOL LLC in the case brought by Performance Pricing, Inc., which alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,978,253. Judge Rader ruled that there was no infringement and summary judgment was appropriate because there were no genuine issues of fact in dispute. More specifically, Rader determined that AdWords does not contain a price-determining activity.

Debunking the Myth that Patents Create a Monopoly

Many inventors operate under the misunderstanding that getting a patent is like owning Boardwalk and Park Place in the popular board game “Monopoly.” Unfortunately, turning a patent grant into cash is much more complicated than simply placing hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place. Those who are against patents always seem to argue that a patent is a monopoly, or at least use those terms interchangeably. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a patent is a monopoly. Simply obtaining a patent will not result in the the arrival a money truck to your doorstep.

Facebook Gets US Patent on Social Network News Feeds

Earlier this week, on February 23, 2010, Facebook was granted US Patent No. 7,669,123, which covers a patent on a method for dynamically providing a news feed about a user of a social network. While this may have been new to social networking sites in December 2005 through August 2006, automatically updating news feeds were hardly new even then.

Submarine Patents Alive and Well: Tivo Patents DVR Scheduling

Submarine patents are not ever likely going to be the problem that they once were prior to the publication of patent applications at 18 months and prior to the change in patent term. On June 8, 1995 the term for a US patent changed from 17 years from issuance to 20 years from filing. There is still an opportunity to obtain additional patent term, for example where the Patent Office interjects unnecessary delay into the process, but it is unrealistic to think that patents will remain pending unknown for decades, which was frequently possible and how Lemelson masterfully manipulated the system, within the rules of course. But the TiVo patent was pending for a decade, unknown and secret. That should not be able to happen and should justifiably cause an alarm.