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Showing 21 posts in Patents.

Why Can't I Plant My Own Seeds?

Soybean fieldAmong the many recent Supreme Court decisions, one decision regarding patents and self-replicating technology has a huge effect on farmers and the agricultural industry. 

Monsanto is an agriculture company headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. Specifically, Monsanto genetically engineers seeds to yield herbicide-resistant plants that produce higher yields for farmers. One of its more popular products is its "Roundup-Ready" line of soybeans, which has been planted in over 50 million acres to date. The seed is attractive to farmers because it is herbicide-resistant.  Monsanto was recently challenged on its Roundup-Ready product patent ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents

Is the End Near for Patent Trolls? Vermont Passes New Law Targeting Patent Trolls

patent trollsPatent-trolling is a growing nuisance for business owners, particularly start-ups. Patent trolls will buy numerous patents – or buy struggling businesses just for the patents – for the sole use of threatening infringement claims on businesses. Most of the time, the threats are unfounded and rarely state which patents are being violated or how the target's use of that patent amounts to infringement.

Vermont has passed a new law that targets these patent trolls and allows their targets to pursue lawsuits against them. The law allows for a cause of action against "bad faith assertions of patent infringements," but does not define what this phrase means. Instead, it provides the courts a list of characteristics to consider when determining if an infringement assertion was made in bad faith. Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents

Did Newegg Save Online Retail?

online retailIn 2007, Newegg adopted a strategy to deal with patent trolls: Never settle – ever.

One of the first times it applied this new strategy was against Soverain Software. While Soverain's website appears legitimate, it has never made a sale. Instead, it targets large, online retailers that use shopping cart checkout technology. Soverain claimed that through two patents, numbers 5,715,314 and 5,909,492, it owned the "shopping carts" present in nearly every online retailer's website. Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents

Intellectual Property Rights and the Crowdfunding Platform

crowdfunding platformCrowdfunding, some would say, is the new social networking platform of raising money from people online.  While crowdfunding is a relatively new term and concept, traditional principles of law still apply.  Artists, startups and online creators using this new platform are governed by Intellectual Property principles.

Intellectual Property (IP) refers to the creations of the mind; and most commonly include ideas or inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols that identify your brand, names, logos and/or competitive business ideas or information.  Under this broad umbrella of Intellectual Property, there are generally four categories that govern the use of Intellectual Property:

  1. Trademarks
  2. Patents
  3. Copyrights
  4. Trade Secrets

Before pitching or disclosing your concept to an online crowdfunding community to raise money these four categories of protection and the potential resulting consequences should be thoroughly examined.  Failure to do so could result in the inadvertent theft, infringement or forfeiture of your IP rights.  Let's take a deeper look at these four categories. Read More ›

Categories: Copyright, Crowdfunding, Intellectual Property, Patents, Trade Secrets, Trademarks, Venture Capital/Funding

Supreme Court Holds that a Patent of the Process of Administering a Drug is Invalid

patent of the process of administering a drugRecently in the case of Mayo Collaborative Services v Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., the Supreme Court of the United States found two patents invalid because they claimed subject matter that was not patentable.  The patents in this case covered processes that help doctors who use thiopurine drugs to treat patients with autoimmune diseases determine whether a given dosage was too high or too low. Read More ›

Categories: Patents

Part 3 - U.S. Patent Reform: False Marking Claims

false marking claimsThis is the third and final post in a series (Part 1: First-to-File; Part 2: Post Grant Review Proceedings) summarizing the most significant changes created by the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (the "Act").  As you know, the Act was signed into law on September 16th.  Although hyped as a major change in the U.S. Patents system, the Act does not affect many of the fundamental tenants of U.S. Patent law.

This blog post focuses on: (1) new limitations on false marking claims, and (2) USPTO funding and fees. Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents

Part 2 - U.S. Patent Reform: Post Grant Review Proceedings

post grant review proceedingsAs noted in my previous post (Part 1: U.S. Patent Reform: First-to-File), the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act has been signed into law.  The America Invents Act has been sold as "the biggest change in the U.S. Patents System since the 1950s."  The hype, however, is far from reality – as the Act does not affect many of the fundamental tenants of U.S. Patent law. 

This is the second of multiple blog posts that will summarize the most significant changes created by the America Invents Act.  My previous blog post addressed the adoption of a "First-to-File" system.  Today, I will discuss "Post Grant Review Proceedings." Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents

Part 1 - U.S. Patent Reform: First-to-File

first-to-fileOn September 16th, President Barack Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act into law.  The America Invents Act has been sold as "the biggest change in the U.S. Patents System since the 1950s."  However, the Act does not affect many of the fundamental tenants of U.S. Patent law and in fact is significantly modified from the bill that originally was proposed. 

This is the first of several blog posts that will summarize the most significant changes created by the America Invents Act. Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents

Intellectual Property: The Basics and Your Business

intellectual propertyWhat is "intellectual property" and why should it matter to your business? At the most basic level, "intellectual property" is one of an organization's most valuable assets. Intellectual property frequently differentiates extraordinary companies from "average" organizations. For that reason, IP must be zealously protected.  IP breaks down into four areas: patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Read More ›

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property, Patents, Trade Secrets, Trademarks

Update: Debt Ceiling Debate Stalls Patent Reform in the U.S. Senate

patent reformAs noted in a previous posting, on June 23, 2011, the America Invents Act (H.R. 1249) passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The U.S. Senate approved a similar bill in March (S. 23).  However, since the bills were not identical, the issue of patent reform must go before the U.S. Senate again. But what are the chances of that happening anytime soon?  Read More ›

Categories: Intellectual Property, Patents