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Blog Home | October 1, 2014

Design Patents

Frequently, inventions are more than just an apparatus, but are also valuable for their unique visual attributes. In some instances, visual attributes alone may be protected with a patent, even if not part of a working device. In the United States, a utility patent may be granted to protect the way an article is used [...]

DEAD: Power Washing Apparatus

United States Patent No. 5,040,950 (the ‘950 patent) issued on August 20, 1991 for a Power Washing Apparatus and expires on August 20, 2008. High pressure washers have long been used in industrial cleaning applications requiring the removal of surface layers as well as dust-free cutting of some metals and concrete. Municipal workers have also [...]

Patent Troll

“Patent troll” is a pejorative term used for companies or individuals that purchase or otherwise obtain a patent without an intent to manufacture or sell a product covered by the patent, but instead intending to enforce the patent against one or more alleged infringers. Similar to a troll from a fairy tale who charges tolls [...]

A Stand for Inventor’s Rights in “Flash of Genius”

An inventor’s drive and ingenuity have long-been inspirational and valued traits by the public at large, which is reflected in the United States patent system and now on the silver screen. On October 17, 2008, Universal Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment will reportedly release their new film “Flash of Genius” about Robert Kearns’ life and hard-fought [...]

ALIVE & GREEN: Launch and Retrieval Arrangement for an Aerodynamic Profile Element and an Aerodynamic Profile Element

United States Patent No. 7,287,481 (”the ‘481 patent”) issued on October 30, 2007 for LAUNCH AND RETRIEVAL ARRANGEMENT FOR AN AERODYNAMIC PROFILE ELEMENT AND AN AERODYNAMIC PROFILE ELEMENT. Add cargo ships to the list of vehicles with the ability to incorporate hybrid technology. The ’481 patent describes a massive computer-controlled kite that can reduce fuel [...]

EBay Targeted for the Sale of Counterfeit Goods

Only a week after eBay lost a similar case in the French courts to LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, owner of famous luxury brands such as Fendi, Dior and Marc Jacobs, eBay prevailed in a lawsuit brought by Tiffany & Co. for the sale of counterfeit Tiffany silver jewelry on its popular website. Tiffany alleged [...]

ALIVE: Method and Apparatus for Automatic Control of Access

United States Patent No. 7,370,208 (”the ‘208 patent”) issued on May 6, 2008 for METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATIC CONTROL OF ACCESS. A current growing problem is children’s exposure to violent and/or pornographic material on the internet. Children under the age of sixteen currently account for almost fifty percent of the on-line population in the [...]

DEAD: Ankle Brace

United States Patent No. 5,031,607 (the ‘607 patent) issued on July 16, 1991 for an ankle brace and will expire next week on July 16, 2008. Approximately every thirty seconds, an ankle injury occurs in the United States. Of the one million ankle injuries that occur each year in the United States, 850,000 are ankle [...]

Certificates of Correction of U.S. Patents at the USPTO

A mistake of a clerical or typographical nature in an issued patent may be corrected by a Certificate of Correction (COC). Correction of the mistake may not contain new matter nor require reexamination. 35 U.S.C. 255. Furthermore, the mistake must have been committed in good faith. Id. If the mistake is that of the Patent [...]

DEAD: Aerodynamic Bicycle Helmet

United States Patent No. 5,023,958 (the ‘958’ patent) issued on June 18, 1991 for an aerodynamic bicycle helmet and expired last month on June 18, 2008. A bicycle helmet protects a cyclist’s head by providing impact and shock absorption. Bicycle helmets have evolved from simple cloth or leather head coverings to hard outer shells supported [...]