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Ruling In Your Case May Depend On Whether 112(6) Applies

Posted on Dec 5, 2014 in Articles

Whether prosecuting a U.S. patent application, or litigating a U.S. patent, patent practitioners must consider the implications of 35 U.S.C. §112(6).[1] These implications are significant, because whether or not 112(6) applies to a claim can determine claim construction or can render a claim indefinite and thus invalid.

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Are You Able to Extend Your Patent’s Term of Enforcement?

Posted on Sep 3, 2014 in Articles

The U.S. Constitution provides to inventors the exclusive right to their discoveries “for limited times.” Patents are thus granted with limited terms of enforcement. Is there a way to extend the term of a patent? Is there a way to increase the time period during which a patent can be monetized? In some situations, the answer to both questions is a resounding “yes.”

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Balancing Claim Language Requirements in Nautilus Case

Posted on Jul 2, 2014 in Articles

When legal principles are at odds with each other, it can be immensely difficult to reach a conclusion that is fair and just. Such is the dilemma in Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments, 572 U.S. _______ (2014). The case has been talked about for months, and seen by some as a possible major step forward in the “war” against “patent trolls.”

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Death of the Software Patent? It Doesn’t Have to Be

Posted on May 7, 2014 in Articles

The eligibility of software for patent protection is in the spotlight once again, but this time it is the U.S. Supreme Court that might be making the decision. Oral argument has already taken place in Alice v. CLS Bank, No. 13-298. Although the Supreme Court will not render its decision for several months, the case has already attracted significant attention.

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Should Your Company Obtain Foreign Patent Protection?

Posted on Mar 5, 2014 in Articles

There are 196 countries in the world, and virtually all of them have intellectual property legislation. In today’s global market, international protection of innovation is a must. For a company to grow, it must protect the use, sale and/or manufacture of its technology. In the absence of such protection, technology is copied without permission, and the organizations that invested heavily to develop that technology fail to receive a return on their investment. Thus, if your business is based on proprietary technology, protection of that technology in foreign countries is extremely important.

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The Importance of Determining Whether a Patent Has Value

Posted on Jan 29, 2014 in Articles

In the TV show “Shark Tank,” a business owner stands before five potential investors (the sharks) and asks them to invest in a business in exchange for a percentage of the equity. Invariably the conversation turns to patents. “Do you have a patent on your idea?” the sharks ask. “Yes,” replies the business owner. With that final nugget of information, the sharks may offer $50,000, $100,000, or even more, in return for partial ownership in the company.

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Is There a Solution to the Software Patent Crisis?

Posted on Nov 6, 2013 in Articles

One hundred and seventy-one—that is the number of patent lawsuits that have been filed against Apple since the beginning of 2009. While Apple was sued for patent infringement more than any other company over the last four years, others are not far behind. Since 2009, Hewlett-Packard has been sued for infringement 137 times, Samsung has been sued for infringement 133 times, and AT&T has been sued for infringement 127 times.

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The Current State of Software Applications and Patents

Posted on Sep 4, 2013 in Articles

Twenty-four years ago, I wrote my first software patent application, “Debugging Parallel Programs by Serialization.” A little more than two years after filing the application, the patent issued with claims that lacked mention of any structural component of a computer. In fact, the closest the first claim came to a tangible result was the step of “displaying information.” The software patent attracted little attention during its lifespan and expired unnoticed.

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The Need to Provide Understandable Patent Claims

Posted on Jul 3, 2013 in Articles

You might think that “understandable patent claims” is an oxymoron. Patents are usually very challenging to read. The technology described may be difficult to understand, and the claims read like nothing else in the English language. Understanding a well-written claim can be hard. Understanding a poorly written claim might be nearly impossible.

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Determining Jurisdiction for Patent Law Malpractice Cases

Posted on May 1, 2013 in Articles

As an intellectual property attorney, the federal jurisdiction of patent-related cases always seemed clear to me. 28 U.S.C. 1338 provides that: “The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action arising under any act of Congress relating to patents.” When Congress enacted that statute, it took things a step further, for the statute also states, “No state court shall have jurisdiction over any claim for relief arising under any act of Congress relating to patents.”

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