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Thinking About Patents

Patent Law Blog

Reviewing the complex area of patent law.

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Sep 03, 2021

Patents and Trade Secrets – to Disclose or Conceal?

United States law offers four types of protection for intellectual property, namely patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Only two of these, patents and trade secrets, can grant you the protection of ideas. Besides this superficial similarity, patents and trade secrets are different, both in the kinds of ideas they can protect and in the responsibilities of the owner of the patent or trade secret. » Read More

Aug 27, 2021

Intellectual Property: What Are the Differences between Patent, Trademark, and Copyright?

While every business recognizes the need to protect its intellectual property, it’s easy to get confused about what each type of intellectual property protects. Even major newspapers often get it wrong, saying a company has a patent on using a word or copyright on a technique or process. » Read More

Aug 20, 2021

Capturing All the Dimensions: Intellectual Property Protection for 3-D Designs and 3-D Printing Methods

Three-dimensional (“3-D”) printing is an innovative way to make products without the expense of machinery in factories. At its core, 3-D printing uses computer code in a computer-aided design (CAD) file to instruct specially designed printers to print three-dimensional physical objects one layer at a time. » Read More

Aug 13, 2021

Form versus Function – Protecting Products with Design and Utility Patents

If you think patents are all about protecting something “technical” or something only a scientist or engineer could appreciate, you are mistaken. Patents can protect how things look as well as how they work. If you want to protect how something works, you need a Utility Patent. » Read More

Jul 02, 2021

Challenging the Validity of a Patent: The Supreme Court Minerva Decision

The Supreme Court of the United States recently held in the case of Minerva Surgical, Incorporated v. Hologic, Incorporated that the doctrine of assignor estoppel (a rule that prevents people who assign their patents to a company from then challenging the validity of their patent) is alive and well, but subject to certain important exceptions. » Read More

Mar 12, 2021

Patenting Recipes – Recipe for Disaster or Sweet Reward

According to the U.S. patenting courts, “new recipes or formulas for cooking food which involve the addition or elimination of common ingredients, or for treating them in ways which differ from the former practice, do not amount to invention merely because … no one else ever did the particular thing upon which the applicant asserts his right to a patent.”  » Read More

Mar 04, 2019

Supernus: Delays Out of the Applicant’s Hands Are Not Applicant Delays

The term of a U.S. patent is typically twenty years.  However, the patent term can be altered as a result of certain Patent Office delays (patent term adjustment) and certain regulatory delays (patent term extensions).  For the former, the Patent Office will adjust the term on a day‑for‑day basis: one day of delay results in one day of adjustment.  » Read More

Feb 11, 2019

Developing IP Strategy for FDA-Regulated Drug Products Requires Special Considerations

Despite the widely diverging needs of the different industries that make use of the US patent system, US patent law applies essentially the same rules to innovations from all technology fields. This means that drug and biotechnology-based inventions are treated no differently by the U.S. » Read More