JD Supra

When Does A Patent Expire?

Most would say 20 years from its effective filing date, unless the USPTO calculated a patent term adjustment. Calculating this date often proves easy: the face of the patent typically shows its earliest effective filing date and the expiration date falls on the 20th anniversary of that filing date. But sometimes it takes a rare fact pattern to make us realize the answer to such a seemingly simple ... »

IP watchdog

The Common Thread of Innovation Ecosystems

Over the past several weeks, it has been our pleasure at IPWatchdog to be a media sponsor for the excellent programming on intellectual property and the innovation ecosystem produced by the Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Intellectual property works to provide the underlying rights that secure ownership, which allows for investment. You cannot invest in wha... »

Bold Patents

Freedom to Operate – 2021 Guide

There are two big (and very different) questions that inventors and businesses ask with respect to patents. Ok, well, there are a LOT of questions they ask… but, these are the important ones: Can I get a patent on this invention? Why can’t I sell my invention without being sued? The first question is one that, if you’ve been reading our blogs and following my tutorials, is something that is VERY w... »

IP watchdog

Design Patents: Under-Utilized and Overlooked

A protectable design consists of the visual ornamental characteristics embodied in, or applied to, an article. Take for example the different appearance between an ordinary steak knife from a butcher’s knife. In any knife there are typically be a handle and cutting blade. A design patent would not protect this mechanical structure or description, but rather will protect the specific appearance of ... »

IP watchdog

Protecting an Idea: Can Ideas Be Patented or Protected?

Many people ask: can ideas be patented? The short answer is no. Unfortunately, despite what you may have heard from late night television commercials, there is no effective way to protect an idea with any form of intellectual property protection. Copyrights protect expression and creativity, not innovation.  Patents protect inventions. Neither copyrights or patents protect ideas. This is not to su... »

JD Supra

Controlling Online Distribution Leakage by Unauthorized Sellers

One of the biggest frustrations for brand owners is seeing their products sold through unauthorized distribution channels such as on the Amazon Marketplace. Carefully controlled brand experiences and minimum advertised pricing policies can be destroyed when unauthorized sellers offer the brand owner’s products. This can lead to disgruntled authorized sellers and price erosion. One of the biggest f... »

IP Kat

ILA “Kyoto Guidelines on Intellectual Property and Private International Law”

The International Law Association’s Committee on “Intellectual Property and Private International Law” has finished its work with the adoption and publication of the “Kyoto Guidelines on Intellectual Property and Private International Law”. The Guidelines are the outcome of an international cooperation of a group of 36 scholars from 19 jurisdictions lasting for ten years under the auspices of ILA.... »

JD Supra

Do You Actually Own the IP Generated by Your Employees?

Employees are the source of some of their employer’s most valuable intangible assets, that is, intellectual property assets. For this reason, it is usually in a business’s best interest to ensure their ownership of intellectual property assets generated by their employees.  The rules that apply to employer-employee relationships vary greatly between copyright, patents and industrial designs. Any b... »

IP watchdog

From Agent to Examiner and Back Again: Practical Lessons Learned From Inside the USPTO

As a Patent Agent, the work product coming out of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seemed random to me. This article shares what I learned as a USPTO Patent Examiner that lifted the veil and shed light on that randomness. As a Patent Examiner I learned a powerful lesson: the approach that a Patent Examiner takes in interpreting claim language is learned by “on the job” training while w... »


In the Courts: Five Years After Alice – Five Lessons Learned From the Treatment of Software Patents in Litigation

It has been five years since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International. Alice established a two-part test to determine if a software patent was unpatentable under US Patent Law (35 USC Section 101) for claiming ineligible subject matter. Under this two-part test, a court must first consider whether the patent claims are directed to a pat... »