What Can You Do About Cybersquatting?

Cybersquatting occurs when someone registers an online domain name that includes trademarked content that does not belong to them. Their hope is that the trademark owner will pay them a significant amount of money in exchange for handing over use of the domain. A domain name means the online address for a website. For instance, if someone who didn’t work at Microsoft bought the rights to use the website Microsoft.com Read More

Provisional Patent Applications: What You Need to Know

The obvious choice for many inventors and innovators who are either unsure of the profit potential of certain patentable subject matter or, simply, in need of more time to optimize products is to file a provisional patent application (PPA). This application allows the filer to avoid the costs and effort associated with filing a non-provisional (regular) patent application. Before going forward with this decision, Read More

Distinctions Between Utility and Design Patents

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office offers three types of patent protections to patentable subject matter: utility patents, design patents, and plant patents. The first two are the most common types of patents inventors and entrepreneurs pursue. There are quite a few distinctions between utility and design patents, and many inventors apply for both types of protection for one article. We’ll explore the general Read More

Considerations for Outside Companies Looking to File Patents in U.S.

Filing a patent in the U.S. from outside the country is advantageous for many reasons. To preface any benefits, it should be noted that anyone, regardless of citizenship or commercial presence in the U.S., may file a patent application with the USPTO. That is good news for anyone looking to take advantage of the world’s largest GDP and robust legal protections inside the U.S. for registered intellectual Read More

An Overview of Patent Assertion

The terminology surrounding patents can be confusing or, even, somewhat counterintuitive. Getting a patent approved with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is referred to as patent “prosecution,” although there is no criminal or civil wrong. When someone or some entity actually takes an (alleged) action that infringes on an existing patent or patent application, the patentee takes an action known as “patent Read More

Freedom-to-Operate Analysis

It goes by several different names—product clearance searches, right-to-use opinions, and other terms. For the purposes of this blog, we will refer to the process of studying the potential risks of commercializing a new product or service as the “freedom-to-operate analysis.” This is an important step for companies and firms looking to profit off of an invention or innovation that could ultimately receive patent Read More

An Overview of Patentability and Certain Barriers

Filing a patent application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the first step toward protecting your invention and securing your commercial interest in the invention. There are strict legal requirements for an invention to be considered patentable. Generally, there are five types of subject matter that are eligible for patent protection:  A new process or method A machine (with moving parts) A Read More

How are Damages Awarded in Patent Infringement Cases?

Just like the years-long process of applying for and receiving a patent from the USPTO, a patent infringement case can also last several years while you continue to lose money. Infringement disputes are often settled out of court for this and other reasons. Because of the complexity of markets and existing patent laws, calculating damages in these cases are often reached after testimony from expert witnesses. Judges Read More

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Effects of Court Cases on Procuring Software Patents

The ease of procuring patents for software and computer programs has ebbed and flowed over the decades since the Supreme Court’s first ruling related to software patentability, Gottschalk v. Benson (1972). After a considerable period in which patents were readily approved by the USPTO, a spike in litigation occurred. Partly in response to this spike, U.S. courts began issuing rulings that effectively tamped down the Read More