Welcome to our blog.  Here you will find resources for inventors and practitioners.  We may also add a touch of whimsy from time to time.

December 26, 2017

Open innovation requires new strategies to creating and managing IP.  Presently, many companies and universities offer rewards to their inventors for filed patent applications and granted patents.  Chesbrough "Open Innovation" provides an informal survey regarding the reward systems of several technology companies.

Note that Chesbrough's informal survey may be dated, and that the responses may not necessarily reflect company-wide policies.  The survey provides some insight nonetheless.

Interestingly, some companies like HP incentivize the filing...

December 24, 2017

This post is a follow-up to my previous post entitled "Ten Reasons to Fire Your Patent Attorney."  In that post I shared some signs that you might not be getting the best counsel from your patent attorney.  In this post, I will discuss several additional factors to evaluate when considering whether you should cut ties with your attorney, and explain some nuances of patent examination.

1.  Your application is rejected.  Some studies show that approximately 90-95% of patent applications are rejected at least once, and experience confirm...

December 22, 2017

In the United States, inventors have the option of filing a provisional application before filing their non-provisional application.  Provisional applications are never examined, but the inventor may rely on them for providing a priority date against which prior art is assessed.  A provisional application remains pending for 12 months, and within this 12-month period, the applicant must subsequently file a non-provisional patent application, claiming the benefit of the priority application.  It is the non-provisional application that has the p...

December 21, 2017

The cost of a provisional patent application will depend on complexity, technology, completeness, and strategy. Here are some key factors.

December 17, 2017

A patentee who makes or sells a patented article must mark his articles or notify infringers of his patent in order to recover damages.

Section 287(a) provides:

Patentees, and persons making, offering for sale, or selling within the United States any patented article for or under them, or importing any patented article into the United States, may give notice to the public that the same is patented, either by fixing thereon the word "patent" or the abbreviation "pat.", together with the number of the patent...

December 11, 2017

I have had the fortune of working with some brilliant and honest colleagues over the past few years, and I would recommend them without hesitation.  But, when you spend enough time in any industry, you hear certain horror stories.  As with any group, there will always be some bad apples, and it is often difficult for a client or inventor to judge the quality of his patent attorney's work product.  I will try to shed some light on this issue.  Here are ten reasons to fire a patent attorney.

1.  Your patent attorney...

December 7, 2017

My newest article was published at The Doctor Weighs In.  You can read it here.  I previously wrote several articles on "Open Innovation.” The present article chronicles some notable achievements by physician inventors, and notes the trend in the rising number of physicians jumping into medical device innovation.

It is simply another example of how the Open Innovation paradigm has manifested itself in the medical device context.  Physicians are on the front lines and typically are the first to recognize the existence of a problem. They now...

December 6, 2017

An interesting trend is emerging among trademark attorneys across the nation. They have allowed themselves to be funny.  Three recent examples have gone viral.

The first was a witty letter from Netflix to a Stranger Things-themed Chicago bar. Instead of boilerplate and aggressive language, Netflix's attorney turned to humor.  The letter was wildly popular and served the goal of not only attempting to deter the specific instance, but also functioned as a public service announcement that Netflix has certain trademark rights, and that they ac...

November 21, 2017

This article was published in Law360's Expert Analysis on November 22, 2017.  A PDF copy is also available for download.

Last week, Ericsson announced that it had filed a “landmark” patent application that covers a “complete architecture for the 5G network standard.”

November 16, 2017

This post is from a series on Open Innovation.  For more information, please click the "Open Innovation" Tag.  I recommend reading the posts in chronological order.

I previously wrote about how companies with closed innovation paradigms are forced to shift to open innovation models due to certain erosion factors. 

To illustrate this point, Chesbrough points out that the number of patents held by individuals and small firms rose from about 5 percent in 1970 to more than 20 percent in 1992.

More recently, a 2008 study by the SBA's Office of...

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