Patentability Swamp

Introduction I have recently posted a blog of mechanical device patents becoming ensnared in the patentability swamp.  The swamp is the ineligibility of patenting “natural laws”, “natural phenomena” and “abstract ideas”.  This has followed the adverse rulings for patenting medical procedures and business methods. There has been another shift in the ground underlying this swamp.  Further guidance was issued from the USPTO…

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What NOT to do before you file

Introduction This is an update of my previously published post from January.  The key element is to avoid public disclosure of  your invention.  This article attempts to clarify what NOT to do before you file a provisional or non-provisional application for patent. Remember, once the innovative horse has galloped out (or been lured out) of…

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Mechanical Engineering Patents and Validity Goulash

Introduction If you thought that issues of natural law and abstract ideas were invalidating only medical device and treatment patents, think again.  The fog of natural law/natural phenomena/abstract ideas is descending upon “nuts and bolts” mechanical engineering.  It is no longer safe to pursue patent protection for vibration dampened drive shafts without encountering “validity goulash”.   Discussion Again…

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Teach Enablement

INTRODUCTION If you have read any of my previous posts, I have habitually urged that any patent application “teach enablement”.  This is the sole and critical requirement of any provisional application.  Please recall that I recommend filing a DIY provisional application if you elect not to seek guidance of a qualified patent attorney.  My simple logic is that…

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PROVISIONAL PATENT APPLICATIONS

Introduction Provisional patent applications can be of great benefit in protecting innovation. They must be used, however, with a full understanding of the limited protection provided. Discussion A provisional application is a patent application. It is a type of a utility patent application. It may be thought of as a temporary application good for only…

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Documenting Inventions

Introduction Since 2013, the United States has been a “First to File” jurisdiction.  Prior to 2013, the US patent law awarded patents to the first inventor, rather than the first inventor to file.  Previous to this change, it was accepted practice that researchers/inventors maintain documentation of their development efforts.  Documenting inventions however remains important. Typically, documentation involved maintaining…

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Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights

Introduction The following is a brief summary of each tool for protecting intellectual property (IP). The tools discussed are Patents, Trademarks & Copyrights. Patents Patents protect an idea (invention) that is embodied in a device or method.  This is different from Copyright and Trademarks. The vast majority of patents are “utility patents”. There are also plant patents…

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DIY Provisional Applications

Introduction I talk to many start-up entrepreneurs regarding protecting their IP.   Typically they do not have a lot of time or money to seek patent protection.  However Congress created the provisional application for patent procedure for the benefit of just that group of entrepreneurs. Although I do not recommend filing your own provisional application without assistance of a…

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PATENT APPLICATION FLOW CHART

  Introduction The following is a simplified description on one possible chain of events that occur in the patenting process.  This is a hypothetical patent application flow chart.  See my article on “Behind the First to File Rules“.  Also review my article regarding “Patent Application Elements“. Pre-Filing Outline Document invention in writing, signed and dated…

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BEHIND THE FIRST TO FILE RULES

Introduction As you are probably aware, the USPTO rules changed March 16, 2013 to make the first inventor to file eligible to obtain a patent. (Prior to this change in law, patents were awarded to the first person to invent, regardless of whether another (later inventor) first filed an application.)  Implementation of this “first to…

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