Fair Use of Software

  Introduction: Google v. Oracle:  Does Google have the right to verbatim copy 11,000 lines of copyrighted Java SE code?  If yes, then how will a small software developer’s original software be protected from “rip-off”?  What is fair use of software?  See my post on the Google dispute and “fair use”.  This is supposed to…

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Fair Use of Copyrighted Software

    Introduction: At issue is the scope of permitted fair use of copyrighted software.  I have written on the scope of copyright protection and contrasted it with patent coverage.  Copyright does protect an embodiment of an idea, but not the underlying idea.  Ideas are protected by the 20 year term of a patent, and…

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Patent or Trademark?

  Introduction: I continue to receive questions prefaced with a statement “I have an idea and I don’t know if I should patent it or trademark it?”  Patent or Trademark.  The question is often stated in various ways but I think you get the idea.  There are fundamental differences between requirements and rights of patenting…

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Post Patent Grant Challenge

INTRODUCTION: After you have achieved the award of a patent, you may still be subject to challenge from competitors.  You may face a post patent grant challenge.  Part of the America Invents Act or AIA the USPTO established a procedure called a Post Grant Review.  The procedure gives third parties up to 9 months after the grant of…

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Patent Goulash For Engineers

INTRODUCTION: I wrote an article in October 2019 for mechanical engineers (and others) warning that the Section 101 morass, i.e., Patent Goulash, was not limited to computer software business methods or medical diagnostic procedures.  The long twisted arm of unpatentable “natural law” and “abstract ideas” was extending to patent applications for improved mechanical structures.  See Mechanical Engineering and…

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Design Patent Infringement – Dissenting Opinion

INTRODUCTION: I recently discussed the usefulness of pursuing design patents.  The Federal Circuit just ruled on a case of design patent infringement.  Lanard Toys Ltd., v. Dolgen Corp LLC, 19-1781 (Fed. Cir. 2020).  An image copy of the object subject of the design patent is compared below to the claimed infringing product.  Note that the Federal Circuit decision makes…

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Licensing: How to slice the pie

INTRODUCTION: Rights in intellectual property can be transferred by sale, i.e., “assignment” or by granting a limited interest, e.g., a “license” or “licensing”.  See my article on assignments.  To use the analogy of land, title or ownership can be conveyed in land via a written deed recorded with the appropriate government agency.  Similarly, a limited right to use or…

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TRADEMARK OPPOSITION

Introduction Trademark opposition is one step in the process in registering a trademark on the Principal Trademark register of the USPTO.  This step requires passing through the phase termed “publication for opposition”. Discussion Recall the first step in the registration process is filing of the trademark application. The application is either based upon actual use…

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PERSONAL NAME TRADEMARKS

Introduction People are proud of their workmanship and service. Accordingly, it is natural that people want to name their products and services with their name, e.g., Ford automobiles, Hewlett Packard printers, etc.  I suggest this is not, however, a good strategy for establishing a brand.  As I continuously urge, the best trademarks are arbitrary words and symbols.  Coined words…

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WHAT IS A PATENT?

Introduction What is a patent?  Simply stated, a patent is the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using or selling the invention or things made using the invention. Surprising?  See the following discussion. Discussion Technically, a patent does NOT give you the right to make use or sell the products of your invention since…

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