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Significant Change in Patent Exhaustion From the Supreme Court

Posted on Jun 21, 2017 in Articles

When was the last time you sold your used car and worried about infringing the patent rights of the manufacturer? My guess is you would say “never.”

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The Risk of Losing Patent Rights When an Invention Is ‘On Sale’

Posted on May 25, 2017 in Articles

One of the most frequent ­errors ­committed by inexperienced ­inventors is the untimely sale or public use of their invention. The sale of a ­product that includes a new invention—before a patent application is filed—destroys patent rights in many countries. Not so in the United States, where U.S. law provides a 12-month “grace period” to file for patent protection after a public use or sale.

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Patent Marking Offers Rights, Quick Damage Recovery

Posted on Apr 27, 2017 in Articles

Have you ever noticed patent ­numbers on a product that you purchased? Those patent numbers show up everywhere: on the back of an appliance, on the bottom of a candy dispenser—even on the cardboard insulator for a hot coffee cup. Placing a patent number on a patented product is called “patent marking” and it is strictly voluntary, but doing so can afford the patent holder with significant rights.

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High Court to Hear Potential Landmark Case About Patent Venue

Posted on Mar 22, 2017 in Articles

In a patent litigation suit, is venue established where the corporation was incorporated or where the corporation does business? This question, which currently raises one of the thorniest issues in patent law, will capture the spotlight this month in oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Delaying the Process of Getting a Patent

Posted on Feb 22, 2017 in Articles

At the end of the Gulf War, ­international inspectors searching through an Iraqi military site found a U.S. patent that explained how to manufacture nuclear material for an atomic bomb. The patent, U.S. 2,709,222, had been delayed from being granted for years. But in 1955 the U.S. government allowed the patent to issue, believing that its ­methodology was out of date, and no country would be interested in its contents. Evidently they were wrong.

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Disparagement and Trademarks at the US Supreme Court

Posted on Jan 26, 2017 in Articles

Try to make sense of this: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) refused to register the trademark “HAVE YOU HEARD THAT SATAN IS A REPUBLICAN?” because it disparaged the Republican party. But when an application was filed for the mark “THE DEVIL IS A DEMOCRAT,” the USPTO agreed that the mark could be registered.

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The Hottest Patent Law Issues Of 2016

Posted on Jan 3, 2017 in Articles

As we ring in the new year, it’s now time to look back at the most significant patent law issues of 2016.

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Patents of Interest for 2016

Posted on Dec 28, 2016 in Articles

Would you like to predict the future? It’s possible – just look at patents and patent applications to get a sense of the world of technology that will soon be approaching. While many patents will never lead to actual physical products, others can give a good sense of important business developments that may be just around the corner.

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Marijuana’s Role in the Pursuit of Trademark Rights

Posted on Nov 29, 2016 in Articles

Last month, we ­discussed the patentability of ­marijuana. It was explained that numerous marijuana-related patents already exist and more are expected to be granted. The issues associated with trademarks and marijuana, however, are substantially different.

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The State Of Judicial Deference To The USPTO

Posted on Nov 16, 2016 in Articles

Perhaps no doctrine is more significant to our form of government than separation of powers. In the first draft of the Bill of Rights, James Madison wanted to explicitly state that our three branches of government — legislative, executive and judicial — “shall never exercise the power” of each other. His proposal was struck down as being redundant with language articulated by the U.S. Constitution. Separation of powers, it was argued, was already implicit. Yet here we are today, with accusations that the separation of powers doctrine has been eroded.

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