Inventors

News & Analysis as of

Can a Computer Be an Inventor?

On March 15, DeepMind’s AlphaGo, a computer powered by a self-learning artificial intelligence computer program, defeated Go grandmaster Lee Sedol. As the AI community celebrates this major milestone in making machines smart,...more

Here’s Another Fine Mess You’ve Gotten Me Into: Best Practices for Employee, Contractor and Consulting Agreements.

In This Presentation: Overview of Messes to Avoid: • Split Ownership • Agreements to Agree • Agreements with Unclear/Improper: – relation to prior agreements – term – royalty rate –...more

It’s Never Too Late to File an Inventorship Dispute

Earlier this month, the Federal Circuit revisited the issue of inventorship disputes and iterated in a nonprecedential opinion that proving nonjoinder of inventors in an issued patent is a difficult threshold for a challenger...more

Blog: Who Owns What: Patent Assignment and Ownership

A patent is a government-granted property right that can be used to exclude others from making, using or selling an invention for a specified time (how long depends on the type of patent). Patents can provide important...more

A Plea for a Charitable and Common-Sensical Claim Construction

All manner of boiler plate can be found in patent applications and issued patents, placed there by applicants and their counsel hoping to influence the future construction of their specification and claims, but the language...more

In Re Smith: A Raw Deal for Inventors?

The recent decision in In re Smith (Fed. Cir. 2016), in which the Federal Circuit affirmed the rejection of claims 1-18 as being ineligible for patent under 35 USC § 101, represents another example of the shrinking scope of...more

Divided Federal Circuit Panel Creates Patent Agent Privilege

[W]e find that the unique roles of patent agents, the congressional recognition of their authority to act, the Supreme Court’s characterization of their activities as the practice of law, and the current realities of patent...more

Proper Inventorship Still Matters, Even With a Proper Assignment

In a few recent cases, we see that failing to properly name inventors in a patent application can lead to unnecessary troubles for a company. This is true whether the assignment document is an employment agreement or an...more

Federal Circuit Holds (Some) Patent Agent-Client Communications Are Privileged

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held this week in In re Queen’s University that some communications between patent applicants and non-attorney patent agents are legally privileged, recognizing, for...more

In Obviousness Analysis Loss of Benefit Is Not the Same as Inoperable (In re Urbanski)

Addressing “teaching away” arguments in the context of obviousness issues, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB or Board) obviousness decision, holding a person...more

Lismont v. Alexander Binzel Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2016)

Laches Bars Claim to Change Inventorship on Issued U.S. Patent - On February 16, 2016, the Federal Circuit issued an opinion in a case captioned Hedwig Lismont v. Alexander Binzel Corp. This appeal arises from an...more

Fighting Patent Application Rejections with Market Information: More Than Just “Nobody Else Sells This”

An inventor lament that every patent attorney eventually hears is, “I’m the only one selling this, so how can the Examiner think my idea is obvious?” The argument makes sense from an inventor standpoint. ...more

Court Report - February 2016 #2

About Court Report: Each week we will report briefly on recently filed biotech and pharma cases. Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. et al. v. Apotex, Inc. et al. 1:15-cv-00880; filed September 30, 2015 in the District Court...more

Timing is Everything

In Trieme Medical, LLC v. Angioscore, Inc., [2015-1504] (February 5, 2015) the Federal Circuit reversed the dismissal of Trieme’s complaint to have its assignor, Dr. Lotan, named as an inventor of Angioscore’s...more

January 31, 2016 - Patent of the Day

On January 31, 1950, Lawrence Welk (ask your grandparents) received U.S. Patent No. D157,110, on a Lunch Box. Check out the accordion pleats...more

January 30, 2016 - Patent of the Day

On January 30, 1962, Les Paul was awarded U.S. Patent No. 3,018,680 on an Electrical Musical Instrument (the solid body electric guitar)...more

January 29, 2016 - Patent of the Day

On January 29, 1974, Roger Easton was awarded U.S. Patent No. 3,789,409 on a Navigation System Using Satellites and Passive Ranging Techniques (GPS)....more

January 28, 2016 - Patent of the Day

On January 28, 1873, Louis Pasteur was awarded U.S. Patent No. 135,245 on Brewing Beer and Ale....more

January 27, 2016 - Patent of the Day

On January 27, 1880, Thomas Edison was awarded U.S. Patent No. 223,898 on an Electric Lamp, the first practical incandescent lamp....more

Five IP Pitfalls That Start-Up (and Grown-Up) Companies Can Easily Avoid

In business, there are numerous opportunities for pitfalls, mistakes and errors and they come up in all different legal areas – from basic formation issues to labor and employment to intellectual property. Mistakes and...more

January 26, 2016 - Patent of the Day

On January 26, 1965, Noah McVicker and Joseph McVicker received U.S. Patent No. 3,167,440 on Plastic Modeling Composition of a Soft, Pliable Working Consistency, know to millions of children as Play-Doh. The product was...more

January 25, 2016 - Patent of the Day

On January 25, 1870, G.D. Dows received U.S. Patent No. 99,170 on a Soda Fountain, to the delight of jerks (soda jerks, that is) everywhere...more

January 24, 2016 - Patent of the Day

On January 24, 1922, U.S. Patent No. 1,404,539 issued to Christian K. Nelson on a “Confection” that was marketed as the Eskimo Pie....more

January 23, 2016 - Patent of the Day

On January 23, 1849, the first U.S. patent for an envelope-making machine (U.S. Patent No. 6055) was issued to Jesse K. Park and Cornelius S. Watson....more

January 22, 2016 - Patent of the Day

On January 22, 1907, Thomas A. Edison received U.S. Patent No. 841677 on an Apparatus for Grinding and Separating Fine Materials....more

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