Utility Patents

News & Analysis as of

Federal Circuit Reverses Claim Construction of Design Patent That Ignored Functional Elements

Applicants for design patents should consider claiming functional aspects of their designs in addition to the purely ornamental elements as part of their claiming strategy to achieve the broadest protection for their designs....more

Functional Features in Design Patents

The treatment of functional features in design patents was discussed in the recent Federal Circuit case for Sport Dimension, Inc. v. The Coleman Company, Inc., Case No. 15-1553 (Fed. Cir. 2016). The Court rejected the...more

The History, Purpose and Benefits of Patents

Britain has the longest known continuous patent system. British patents can be traced to the 15th Century, when the British Crown began granting exclusive rights, called “Letters Patent,” to certain manufacturers and traders....more

The Smart Phone Patent Saga Continues - Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al.

In a case involving suits, countersuits and multiple appeals by the two giants of the mobile phone space, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a jury’s finding of infringement, voiding the accompanying...more

LARPing with Patent Trolls

Live Action Role Playing (LARP or LARPing) usually involves Renaissance Festival worthy costumes, foam medieval weapons, and an intense dedication to not breaking character.  I can’t say I’ve ever had the privilege of...more

Supreme Court Hearing May Resolve Critical Questions in Canadian Patent Law

The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) recently granted AstraZeneca Canada Inc. et al. (AstraZeneca) leave to appeal from the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision upholding the invalidity of AstraZeneca’s Nexium patent. This appeal...more

USPTO Issues Performance and Accountability Report for FY 2015

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently released its Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. In describing the USPTO's strategic and performance-planning framework, the 2015 report begins by...more

The Value of Integrated IP Protections and Enforcement Strategies to Stem the Importation of Counterfeit Goods: Part 2 of 2

Part 1 of this blog discussed the advantages of a proactive and integrated IP protection strategy. Here, in Part 2, we address the benefits and weaknesses of the various IP protections and provide one example of a cohesive...more

Blog: Utility Patents and Utility Patent Applications

If you’ve ever overheard water-cooler banter about patents, chances are it was about utility patents, the most common kind of patent issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). What is a utility...more

Know your patent documents

Most are familiar with a U.S. utility patent, have a seven digit number followed by a “B”...more

The “Smart Phone” Wars – Episode VII: Will the Force of the Supreme Court Awaken?

Design patents protect the ornamental features of utilitarian objects, that is, the uniqueness of aesthetic features, form, or configuration of products. Design patents can be a significant weapon in the intellectual...more

What Type of Patent Application Should You File First?

without the filing of any related applications, the provisional application will not be published or otherwise disclosed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. One significant disadvantage of a provisional...more

A Few Useful Holiday Inventions

One principal requirement for obtaining a utility patent is that the invention be useful. “Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful...more

More Than a Pinky Promise: Recent Developments to the Promise Doctrine in Patent Law

Don’t want your patent invalidated? Then you should diligently vet any promissory language in that patent because, as the following cases illustrate, such language raises significant risks of patent invalidation on the basis...more

Ads Touting Function Shoot Down Trademark

This isn’t the first time we’ve written about brand owners who shoot themselves in the foot with their advertising. And, I’m sure it won’t be the last. As we’ve discussed before, touting the function of a product design...more

Enablement: Multiple Measurement Methods Can Lead to the Same Result - Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. v. Covidien, Inc.

Addressing the issues of indefiniteness and non-infringement for both utility and design patents, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed and vacated in part the district court’s grant of summary judgment...more

Blog: What You Should Know About the UK Patent Process

Patents provide inventors exclusive rights in their discoveries. Entrepreneurs in the pharmaceutical, life sciences, medical device and many other fields look favourably upon the benefits of patents, including...more

Patenting the Potato: “Not All Taters are Created Equal”

Wearing a McDonald’s blue garrison-style hat—red hats signified management—I often worked at the french fry station during my pimply high school years in the 1970s. If you had asked me anything about the julienned potatoes I...more

Comparison of Design Patent and Trade Dress Protection in Light of the Federal Circuit’s Decision in Apple v. Samsung

In a decision authored by Chief Judge Sharon Prost, the Federal Circuit held that while design patents covering product configurations – that is, “a product feature or a combination or arrangement of features” – can protect...more

Federal Circuit Patent Updates - August 2015

The Dow Chemical Company v. Nova Chemicals Corporation (No. 2014-1431, -1462, 8/28/15) (Prost, Dyk, Wallach). Dyk, J. Reversing award of supplemental damages. "We hold that the intervening change in the law of...more

Courts Everywhere are Finding Software Patents Invalid, So What Next?

For the last few decades, corporations ranging from startups to large multinationals first turned to utility patents to protect their innovative software. These patents protected everything from the minute details of...more

Successful Strategies for Doing Business in Asia: Korea (Updated)

WHAT ROLE WILL THE GOVERNMENT OF KOREA PLAY IN APPROVING AND REGULATING FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT? The Korean government takes an active, investor-friendly role in approving and regulating foreign direct investment....more

The Upcoming Implementation of the Italian Patent Box Regime

Several press articles in recent weeks have anticipated the upcoming enactment of the Ministerial Decree which will eventually implement the Italian Patent Box regime. The Ministry of Economics and Finance announced on 29...more

NAI & IPO Release List of Top 100 Universities Receiving Patents in 2014

Last month, the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) published a list of the top 100 worldwide universities that received the most U.S. utility patents in 2014. The NAI...more

IPO Releases List of Top 300 Patent Holders for 2014 - Life Sciences Top 55

Last week, the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) announced the release of its 32nd annual list of the top 300 organizations receiving U.S. patents (see "Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents in 2014"). ...more

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