Articles – IP Protection 101

Publishing and patenting

on December 22, 2015

A common misconception is that patent protection and publications go together like a horse and marriage.

While the prior statement is not entirely true, it does need some teasing apart for the full impact of each on the other to be understood.

In a previous article “The first rule of inventor fight club”, we discussed that a public disclosure of any sort can negatively affect an inventor’s ability to secure a patent for their invention. 

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Can your trademarks be someone else’s keywords?

on August 31, 2015

Google AdWords is a form of pay-per-click advertising where advertisers can pay to associate their good and services with specific search words or phrases that Google users may input into a search. For example, when you search for “customized golf ball” through Google, not only do you see straight (or ‘organic’) search results, you will also be presented with sponsored links from relevant retailers – either as text ads (the ones displaying “Ad” before the URL) or image ads (the pictures on the right of the results). Google receives revenue from the advertisers each time someone clicks on one of the sponsored ads to go to that page. The placement of sponsored ads is determined by a bidding process – advertisers identify keywords they wish to bid on and specify an amount they will pay to Google if the user ultimately clicks through the link to the advertiser’s website.

Google has a system for ranking ads when multiple advertisers select the same keyword, the details of which can be found on Google’s website. Adwords has evolved into Google’s main source of revenue (claimed to represent 98% of its annual revenue) which exceeded USD $40 billion in 2012. It is safe to say it’s a big deal nowadays.

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“I made that.” “So did I.”

on May 4, 2015

3D printing is the next great hope… depending who you ask.

Additive manufacturing or “3D printing” is a technology that allows for the creation of objects (both new or “copies” of existing objects) from a digital 3D blueprint and a substrate that can be successively deposited in layers. It is almost certainly a transformative technology that may disrupt current paradigms in a number of sectors. One very thorny issue that companies, governments and lawyers are facing is the interplay between intellectual property (IP) rights and replication. The current rise in the availability of consumer 3D printers makes it easy for virtually anyone to make potentially illegal copies of protected goods. Is it possible to support this technology yet protect the IP rights of inventors, designers, artists and companies?

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ecomm“I made that.” “So did I.”

Patenting software is no cakewalk

on December 17, 2014

Software patenting is a complex issue that is receiving considerable attention from courts, patent offices and applicants around the globe.  The key issue is whether software is patent‑eligible subject matter or merely an unpatentable abstract idea.  To compound the issue, each jurisdiction makes this determination in a slightly different way.  If you are considering whether to patent your software, keep the following in mind.

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Where are we going to patent?

on July 31, 2014

Developing a patenting strategy to protect the commercial embodiments of an invention can be a challenge.  The rights afforded by a single patent – to exclude others from making, using, selling, importing or distributing an invention without permission   do not extend beyond the borders of the country issuing the patent. As a result, deciding where to patent an invention is very important along with understanding the processes available to secure appropriate protection and how they may align with your commercial activities and future goals.

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The first rule of inventor fight club…

on April 15, 2014

The first rule of invention is you do not talk about your invention – until you have appropriate patent applications filed. A prior disclosure by an inventor is often a bar to patentability that may limit the potential commercial return. The following provides a brief summary for you to consider before discussing your invention.

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Who’s the crew on the inventorship?

on January 13, 2014

A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by the government in exchange for publicly disclosing an invention. These rights, which permit the patentee to exclude others from making, using, selling or distributing the invention without consent for typically 20 years, are generally only granted to the inventors or their legal representatives. In cases of sole inventorship, there is little doubt as to who should be named as an inventor on the patent document. Where an invention arises from a collaborative effort, determining who is truly an inventor can be challenging. It also differs significantly from the way authorship is established for other publications.

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A patent’s not a patent until it issues

on September 5, 2013

A patent is a set of rights granted by a country or state to exclude others from making, using or selling your invention for specified period of time – usually 20 years from the date of filing of the initial application. This monopoly is the quid pro quo to the inventor for sharing a complete description of the invention with the public. The aim of the patent system is to benefit society and foster innovation by providing future inventors with the benefit of your knowledge. The origins of modern patent rights trace their history back to the 14th and 15th centuries in Italy and England, although as far back as 3rd century in ancient Greece, records show that exclusive rights were granted to creators of unique culinary dishes for fixed periods.

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Invitations to register published patents may be spelt S C A M

on September 5, 2013

If you are listed as an inventor on a patent application, you may have received one or more invitations to register your patent application in an international database on payment of a fee. The invitations may well appear legitimate and will likely come from companies with names such as “Worldwide Database of Patents”, “Central Patent & Trademark Database” or “World IP Database”. However, these have no connection to the body that actually manages prosecution of international patent applications, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and such registrations are not part of the prosecution of your patent applications.

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ecommInvitations to register published patents may be spelt S C A M