U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USTPO) recently inducted 19 of the country’s greatest inventors (nine of which are still living) into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The gala event, held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., spotlighted the transformative role of innovation in our society and reminded us all of the importance of protecting our own innovations.
It is important to understand the implications of technology patents for real-world applications. A thorough evaluation by experienced intellectual-property counsel can uncover ways to use a patent that the owner may not have been previously considered.
The USPTO has recently promulgated new guidance related to computer- and software-related patent applications. The new guidance changes how USPTO examiners are to determine patent eligibility of such applications.
UGG boots have been popular women’s winter wear for more than a decade. For much of that time, UGG’s parent company Decker Outdoor Corporation (DOC) has spent considerable time and effort to protect its soft, moccasin-like boot made of sheepskin with a wooly lining against cheaper knockoffs. Unfortunately, the general appearance of the UGG boots has been challenging to protect, so DOC has recently tried to become more creative in fighting off encroachment.
Intellectual property rights are established to create legal protection so companies do not steal products or ideas. However, there are a growing number of cases where companies are engaging in playful back and forth using parody. This seems to be particularly popular among small craft breweries.
We recently talked about a unique type of trademark based on the senses such as sound, scent and color. As we wrote, these kinds of marks, while rare, can be registered when a color is associated with a product, service or company in the marketplace such as brown with UPS or canary yellow with Post-It notes.
This spring, we posted a series on the theme of this year’s World Intellectual Property Day: “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity.” As we said then, our intellectual property law firm encourages girls and women to continue to excel in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Last week we talked about the most common type of U.S. patent — the utility patent. In that post, we described that utility patents protect invented objects and processes, speaking broadly. Today, we will touch more on the design patent.
The most common kind of patent granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is the utility patent, awarded for a new or improved process, machine, device, product, or composition of matter. For an invention to be patentable as a utility patent, it must be new, useful, and nonobvious.
World Intellectual Property Day was April 26th. We just finished a series of posts celebrating this year’s theme: the ingenuity of girls and women as reflected in their new innovations and inventions that will advance the fields of health, technology, environmental protection, industry, engineering, agriculture, transportation and others.