INDIANA PATENT BLOG

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7 Ways to Save Big Bucks On a Patent Attorney

by John Roberts on June 5, 2017

Good tips for choosing and working with a patent attorney-from Entrepreneur.com:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229315

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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New TMEP Available

by John Roberts on May 9, 2017

The USPTO has issued the April 2017 Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP). This revision clarifies USPTO trademark policies and practices and includes relevant Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and court decisions reported before March 1, 2017. This revision supersedes prior versions of the TMEP, examination guides, or any other statement of USPTO policy to the extent that there is any conflict. For a complete list of changes, see the section called “Change Summary.”



John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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The Patents and Trademarks Behind Lucky Charms Cereal

by John Roberts on March 17, 2017

Lucky Charms™ ever-changing kaleidoscope of multicolored marshmallow shapes are covered by a number of design patents for rainbows, clovers, hearts, balloons, horseshoes, shooting stars and more.

Read more about how General Mills protects their product’s unique appearance and branding with patents and trademarks:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/sponsored/patents-and-trademarks-behind-lucky-charms-cereal-180962517/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=socialmedia

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

Sincerely yours,

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Supreme Court Limits Foreign Reach of U.S. Patents

by John Roberts on February 28, 2017

This week the Supreme Court in Life Technologies Corp. et al. v. Promega Corp., No. 14-1538, 580 U.S. __ (2017) (see copy here) ruled that the supply of a single component of a multicomponent invention for manufacture abroad does not give rise to liability under Section 271(f)(1) of the Patent Act, which prohibits the supply from the United States of “all or a substantial portion of the components of a patented invention” for combination abroad. It does not matter if that single component arguably creates “a substantial portion” of the infringing product, because the Supreme Court created a bright-line rule that a single component can never be enough. Thus, to violate 35 U.S.C. 271(f)(1), an alleged infringer will need to have shipped from the United States at least two components of a device, that when assembled in a foreign country, reads on a valid claim of a U.S. patent.

The Supreme Court has not favored bright-line rules in its recent jurisprudence under the Patent Act. In fact, the Supreme Court has often overturned the Federal Circuit for creating such bright-line tests, which make the law easier and more predictable to apply but sometimes at the cost of doing justice in a particular case. Perhaps the Supreme Court has become aware of the havoc they have created with unintelligible decisions like Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. __, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014).


John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Roberts IP Law was pleased to attend the U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce’s Executives Forum and 20th Annual Chinese New Year Dinner Celebration in Chicago on February 2, 2017.

Roberts IP Law would like to thank Siva Yam, CPA, CFA, President of the Chamber, for hosting this event, providing an interesting panel discussion, and inspiring speakers regarding the future of US-Asia business relations. It was suggested that person-to-person social connectivity made possible by recent and forthcoming technology would, over the long haul, tend to bring people of like interests together worldwide.

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Justices to hear free speech clash over offensive trademarks

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Justices to hear free speech clash over offensive trademarks

By Sam Hananel, Associated Press
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will consider whether a law barring disparaging trademarks violates a band’s…

Interestingly, the law in question relates to prohibiting registration of trademarks the government deems offensive. Whether such marks could nonetheless be enforced as unregistered common-law trademarks under state law is a separate but potentially related question.

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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For the first time in 120 years the Supreme Court today delved into the murky waters of design patent law. The Court ruled in Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple that an “article of manufacture” is not necessarily the whole product. This is important because under design patent law an infringer must turn over its profits on the patented “article of manufacture.” In view of today’s decision, Samsung is now free to argue on remand that it should only be liable for its profits on some components of its phones, as opposed to its profits on the entire phones.

But the impact of this victory is unclear, because there will still be arguments about what components are patented here, and how much of their profits should be attributed to those components,
where the design patents appear to cover the overall ornamental appearance of the modern smart phone. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake; stay tuned!

http://abovethelaw.com/2016/12/supreme-court-unanimously-bails-out-samsung/

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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On December 1, 2016, important changes to the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure will take effect. The changes include, among others, amendments to the “3-day service” rules. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(d); Fed. R. Cr. P. 45(c). All counsel and interested parties should review and analyze these amendments to assess how pending and future cases may be affected.

See:

www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/frcv16_757a.pdf (Civil Rules); and

www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/frcr16_mj80.pdf (Criminal Rules).

If you have questions you can call the Southern District of Indiana District Court Clerk’s Office at 317-229-3700. Though the Clerk’s Office cannot provide legal advice, they are usually quite helpful with procedural matters.

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Ever encountered an honest Invention Promotion Company?

by John Roberts on November 7, 2016

Having dealt with patents since the 1990′s, I, personally, have never encountered an honest Invention Promotion Company.

The following article is entirely consistent with what I have seen:

https://inventorwarning.wordpress.com/

Unfortunately, by the time an inventor contacts me after having been engaged by an Invention Promotion Company–even after just one phone call with an Invention Promotion Company–it is almost always too late for me to help them, because the inventor has been told what they want to hear and will usually thereafter refuse to believe or trust any contrary information or advice. Usually these inventors have virtually no money, yet they hand-over whatever life savings they have to the Invention Promotion Company to pursue an idea that I could tell them is not patentable in 5 minutes. It is extremely sad and frustrating.

See also:

https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/web/offices/com/iip/documents/scamprevent.pdf

https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/using-legal-services/scam-prevention

https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/using-legal-services/scam-prevention/published-complaints/published

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

The following companies were tagged by Tom Hammersmith in connection with his blog post above. Roberts IP Law makes no assertions regarding any of the following companies: Davison & Associates, Edison Nation, Enhance Product Development, enhancepd, For Sale By Inventor, Free Inventors Help, Help for Inventors, How to get a patent, How to market an idea, How to market an invention, Idea Buyer, Idea Design Studio, Idea4Invention, Innovative Licensing & Promotion, INPEX, IntroMark, Invent 4 Free, Invent My Idea, Invent4Free, InventHelp, Invention City, Invention Companies, Invention Convention, Invention Developers, Invention Development, Invention Home, Invention Ideas, Invention Marketing Companies, Invention Partner, Invention Promoters, Invention Promotion Firms, Invention rip off, Invention Scams, Invention Submission Corporation, InventionCity, InventionHome, InventionIdeas, InventionLand, Inventions, Inventions International Inc., InventMyIdea, InventorED, Inventors, Lambert & Lambert, LambertInvent, Marketing By Design, My Invention Hub, New Ide, New Product Consultings, Patents, Patents to Retail, PIAUSA, Product Quick Start, Professional Inventor’s Alliance, Ronald J. Riley, The InventHelp Store, The Mars Rising Network, United Inventor’s Association, World Patent Marketing

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Election Year Patents that Rocked the Vote

by John Roberts on November 1, 2016

With the presidential election just around the corner, check out these patented inventions designed to protect your Constitutional right to vote. A big challenge is finding the best way to collect and count those votes. Who can forget the controversies of the 2000 election regarding ballots? Whether it’s a punch card or a touch screen, inventors have worked hard to get your vote… counted that is. History shows that we may yet still have improvements to make, but here are some of the inventions that shaped our voting process over the decades.

Note: This article is part of an ongoing series detailing some of the Inventors Eye staff’s favorite patents. For each article, the writer selects their five favorite patents under a given theme. This list is from Office of Innovation Development Program Planner and Analyst Sean Wilkerson.

Electronic Vote-Recorder
U.S. Patent no. 90,646
Thomas A. Edison’s first patent, issued June 1, 1869, for an “improvement in electrographic vote-recorder” may be one we could all use today. This device allowed legislators to vote by flipping switches: – one end would signify a “yes” vote, and the other a “no” vote – and deliver the information via electric current to a main recorder, which would dispense the votes into two columns. After the legislators voted, a clerk would feed a piece of chemically-treated paper, which would then be used to “print” the votes out for everyone to see. The plan was to speed up the voting process by putting an end to filibustering and coercing others to change their votes. It seems to have been “vetoed” on the spot and despite advancements in technology, legislative votes are still often done by voice to this day.

Voting Apparatus
U.S. Patent no. 248,130
This “voting apparatus” patent was issued to Anthony. C. Beranek of Chicago on October 11, 1881. In his patent, Beranek claimed “by means of this device all fraud is prevented and ballot-box stuffing impossible,” but this design still needed to answer the question of is the hand quicker than the eye? It seems that one could easily press a button twice, if fast enough. This was the first official voting machine patented for use in an American general election.

Ballot Holder
U.S. Patent no. 440,547
Taking accountability, security, and technology to the next step, this patent was issued to Kennedy Dougan of Missoula, Montana on November 11, 1890. Dougan’s “ballot holder” had a roll of paper that allowed a voter to make a perforation for a candidate. The roll would then be advanced to a clean ballot for the next voter. Simple, efficient, and a paper trail. It seems effective as long as you don’t misplace the paper.

Voting Machine
U.S. Patent no. 628,905

This may be my favorite. Issued on July 11, 1899 to to Alfred J. Gillespie of Rochester, N.Y., for a “voting machine.” Gillespie already had a patent on a previous voting apparatus. This particular machine pulled a curtain around the voter in preparation for the votes to be recorded.

Method and Apparatus for Voting
U.S. Patent no. 5,585,612
Nearly 150 years after Edison’s effort to simplify the voting process, technology reached another electoral milestone—maybe not with speed but with accessibility. Patent no. 5,585,612 was issued to Roland J. Harp Jr. of Winchester, Kentucky, on December 17, 1996, for his “method and apparatus for voting. Using an audio presentation, Harp’s machine enabled illiterate and sight-impaired individuals to select the candidate of their choice in private without need for assistance by a third party.

Now get out there and punch, press, or mark your ballot to be counted!

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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