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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Stolen Invention!

  Introduction: Derivation Proceeding:  You conceive of a new invention.  You disclose it to a trusted party.  Perhaps the trusted party helped you on the invention.  You belatedly find out the trusted third party filed a patent application on the invention without listing you as an inventor.  A stolen invention.  What do you do?  …

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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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Sample Patent Flow Chart

Introduction: Attached below is a sample patent flow chart.  I start with the inventor’s conception of the idea.  Included are the steps to be taken to reach the point of possible patent filing.  (Note my sample assumes that a provisional application is filed first.  However it is possible to go directly to the Non-provisional application…

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What NOT To Do Before You File

Introduction This is an update of my previously published WARNING.  If you have made an innovation, you don’t want to lose the right to ownership of your invention and the opportunity to exploit it for possible income. The easiest way to lose your rights is to make a public disclosure of the innovation. Public disclosure…

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Design Choice and Obviousness

INTRODUCTION: Many of my recent articles have focused upon the whether an innovation is eligible for patent protection.  This has been described as a Section 101 issue.  Many innovations have been barred from patenting as being merely abstract ideas.  This is a confused area.  However, even if an innovation is deemed patentable subject matter, it still needs to be…

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Design Patents: $1 Billion Stepchild

INTRODUCTION: Everyone remembers Apple being awarded $1 billion in damages against Samsung for copying the design of Apple’s iPhone.  The award was the product of Apple obtaining a patent on a smart phone design, particularly the curved corners of the smart phone frame.  Samsung’s copying of a curved frame probably seemed a trivial detail to some.  However Apple…

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Avoiding the “Un-patentable Abstract Idea”

INTRODUCTION: I have written many times of the ambiguity created by the courts in the Alice and Mayo decisions regarding what is patentable subject matter.  I am today suggesting a method of “avoiding the un-patentable abstract idea”. What I am referring to is the rejection of patentable innovations on the basis that the patent is merely claiming an abstract idea.  An abstract idea…

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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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