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The patented boat that won the war

by John Roberts on May 14, 2019

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The patented boat that won the war

In the early hours of June 6, 1944, more than 135,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, in northern France. In spite of stiff resistance and heavy losses, the largest seaborne invasion in history prevailed, paving the way toward Nazi Germany’s surrender 11 months later.

This staggering logistical feat could not have succeeded without the efforts of a rough-and-tumble shipbuilder from New Orleans named Andrew Jackson Higgins.

Each month, our Journeys of Innovation series tells the story of an inventor or entrepreneur whose groundbreaking innovation has made a positive difference in the world. Delve into the past to learn about one of history’s great innovators.

Born in Nebraska in 1886, Andrew Higgins had an unimpressive childhood. A Life magazine article from 1942 summed up his early years: “Two things seem almost certain: Higgins was interested in boats at a very young age, and he fought at the drop of a hat.”

Image: The patent for Higgins Industries “Eureka” boat. The patent for Higgins Industries “Eureka” boat

The brash young Higgins was often in trouble for brawling and would eventually drop out of high school. After a stint in the Nebraska National Guard, he left the state to work in the lumber industry on the Gulf Coast.

It was during his time there that Higgins first began to think about innovative boat designs to improve how the work gets done. While navigating the swamps and bayous, he conceived of a compact shallow-water boat that could remove and transport heavy logs through challenging, debris-laden waterways.

While improving his designs, Higgins bought a small boatyard in New Orleans and founded Higgins Industries. He branded his improved shallow-water boat, with characteristic flair, the “Eureka.” It would eventually form the foundation for the iconic Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) or “Higgins Boat” that landed Allied troops not only at Normandy, but on the beaches of North Africa, Italy, and countless islands across the Pacific, as well as the German banks of the Rhine River in March 1945.

Throughout the 1930s, Higgins fought to establish his company’s reputation and convince a skeptical military establishment of the merits of his boat designs. He convinced the U.S. Coast Guard to buy his boats, which in turn drew the attention of the U.S. Marine Corps. At the time, the options available for amphibious landings were inadequate. Although the Marines lobbied the Navy to consider Higgins’ boats, Navy leaders were developing their own designs and were uninterested.

Undeterred, Higgins journeyed to the Navy’s Bureau of Ships in Washington, D.C., to argue for his designs. While there, he looked at the blueprints of the Navy-designed boat and scrawled on it, “This boat stinks – A.J.H.” After the Navy’s designs failed during trials, they finally agreed to test the Eureka boat. The ensuing trial proved Higgins’ design had the right stuff and led the Navy to award his small, little-known company with a contract to build landing craft for the military.

Image: Andrew Jackson Higgins. Andrew Jackson Higgins. Image courtesy of the National WWII Museum.

Higgins extended the Eureka into a series of military boats, including the Landing Craft, Personnel (LCP) and Landing Craft, Personnel (Large) or LCP(L). Higgins received U.S. patent no. 2,144,111 for boat hull construction on January 17, 1939. This patent protected the unique hull design that allowed his boats to land on beaches without getting their propellers stuck in the sand—a distinct military advantage that opened up many new options for planners to determine where to attack from sea. An early deficiency of the LCP(L), however, was that troops had to climb over its sides in order to disembark and unload supplies, exposing them to enemy fire.

After learning of U.S. Marine Lieutenant Victor Krulak’s account of a Japanese landing craft with a retractable bow ramp during Japan’s 1937 invasion of China, Higgins modified his craft to include this feature. He filed for a patent on December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The LCVP’s ramp, protected by U.S. patent no. 2,341,866, would become America’s not-so-secret weapon for quickly offloading machinery and troops throughout the war.

Image: U.S. Patent 2,341,866 filed December 8, 1941 and issued February 15, 1944. U.S. Patent 2,341,866 filed December 8, 1941 and issued February 15, 1944

The LCVPs could be configured for various payloads—36 combat-equipped infantrymen, or a jeep and 12 troops, or 8,100 pounds of cargo—while maintaining the ability to float in three feet of water. Having solved a longstanding problem in warfare, the U.S. now turned to producing as many of these boats as possible. In this, Higgins’ own dynamic personality proved just as critical to the Allied war effort as his patented design. Even Hitler begrudgingly called him “the new Noah.”

Image: General Eisenhower addresses troops from the 101st Airborne Division the day before the Normandy landings. General Eisenhower addresses troops from the 101st Airborne Division the day before the Normandy landings. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

“If Higgins had not designed and built those LCVPs, we never could have landed over an open beach. The whole strategy of the war would have been different.”
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Many people are puzzled by the fact that a man of Higgins’ drive and imagination did not amount to more before the war,” wrote Life in 1942. Indeed, America’s entry into the Second World War energized Higgins, a brawler by nature. With the “aggressive self-confidence of a heavyweight champion” he quickly opened new plants in anticipation of the military’s needs and exhorted his workers to churn out boats as fast as possible.

Image: The Higgins Industry factory floor was a busy hive of activity. The Higgins Industry factory floor was a busy hive of activity. Photo courtesy of the National WWII Museum.

In the high rafters overlooking production floors, he hung huge banners that read, “The guy who relaxes is helping the Axis!”

“I operate in a big way and I don’t give a damn about money,” Higgins boasted to the Life reporter. As Higgins Industries’ production increased, the company expanded from one boatyard with 50 employees to seven plants employing more than 20,000 people.

Like fellow National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee Henry Ford, Higgins developed assembly line techniques to meet demand. Higgins Industries would churn out more than 20,000 boats during the war, encompassing multiple designs, from heavy tank landers to speedy patrol boats. By 1943, an astounding nine out of 10 vessels in the U.S. Navy were designed by Higgins Industries.

Image: This war bond poster depicts an amphibious landing, including a Higgins Boat unloading soldiers in the bottom right. This war bond poster depicts an amphibious landing, including a Higgins Boat unloading soldiers in the bottom right. Image courtesy of the Bangor Public Library.

Though famous for his profanity, “which when called into play flows as naturally as water from a spring, [and] is famous for its opulence and volume,” Life reported that his employees “admire him personally, hang on his words, and understand his blunt frankness.”

His employees had another reason to eagerly work at breakneck speed for Higgins: He would “take a chance on practically anybody with a plausible idea. His stable includes recent graduates of technical schools, inventors of national repute, and long shots picked up here and there.”

In spite of being (or perhaps because he was) tough, he was also fair, and he sought first and foremost ability in others. Higgins Industries was the first company in New Orleans to racially integrate, and Higgins paid all his employees equal wages for equal work, regardless of race or gender.

A former adviser of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Raymond Moley, wrote in a 1943 Newsweek article that “Higgins’ assembly line for small boats broke precedents, but it is Higgins himself who takes your breath away as much as his remarkable products and his fantastic ability to multiply his products at headlong speed. Higgins is an authentic master builder, with the kind of will power, brains, drive, and daring that characterized the American empire builders of an earlier generation.”

Higgins died in 1952, and Higgins Industries—once one of the most successful boat companies in the United States—closed its doors in 1959. But the legacy of Higgins and his patented boat lives on. Today, the National WWII Museum is located in New Orleans on Andrew Higgins Drive, a fitting tribute for an inventor and entrepreneur who played a key role in America’s victory.

Higgins was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2019, and to mark the forthcoming 75th anniversary of D-Day, the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum “landed” a restored Higgins Boat in front of the museum and United States Patent and Trademark Office headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, on April 27. Through the end of July, visitors are invited to climb aboard and experience firsthand the boat that won the war.

Image: Through the end of July 2019, visitors can climb aboard a restored Higgins Boat outside the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. Through the end of July 2019, visitors can climb aboard a restored Higgins Boat outside the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

References

The above article published by the federal government at https://www.uspto.gov/dwcstories/higgins.html and citing:

Andrain, Lewis. “Landing Craft: Naval Craft.” Encyclopedia Britannica, online. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, n/d. https://www.britannica.com/technology/landing-craft.

Burk, Gilbert. “Mr. Higgins and His Wonderful Boats.” Life Magazine, August 16, 1942.

Higgins, A.J. Boat hull construction. U.S. Patent 2,144,111 filed December 24, 1937 and issued January 1, 1939.

Higgins, A.J. Lighter for mechanized equipment. U.S. Patent 2,341,866 filed December 8, 1941 and issued February 15, 1944.

Strahan, Jerry, Andrew Jackson Higgins and the Boats That Won World War II. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 1998.

National World War Two Museum. “New Orleans: Home of the Higgins Boats”. Accessed April 17, 2019. https://www.nationalww2museum.org/sites/default/files/2017-07/higgins-in-new-orleans-fact.pdf.

–John

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Image: Port City® Brewing Company founders Bill and Karen Butcher in the brewery’s taproom hold six packs of some of their registered trademark beers, including, from left, Optimal® Wit, Metro Red®, Monumental® IPA, and Integral® IPA.

Brewing the brand

Food and beverage trends are often fleeting, but over the past decade one has remained; with hundreds of new breweries opening each year, it’s clear that craft beer in America is here to stay. And while the choices for beer lovers have never been more abundant, this presents challenges to those who are trying to compete and innovate in a crowded marketplace. For one brewery, leveraging their intellectual property has become as important to success as quality and taste.

Each month, our Journeys of Innovation series tells the stories of inventors and entrepreneurs who accomplish great things. This month, go on location with us to follow their journey.

“It’s been said that the next scarce resource in craft beer is trademarks,” says Bill Butcher who, along with his wife, Karen, owns and operates Port City® Brewing Company in Alexandria, Virginia. “Everybody likes to have a clever name for their beers, and it seems that as craft beer has gotten more popular, all the good ones have been taken.”

Established in 2011 as the first packaging brewery in the Washington, D.C., area since Prohibition, Port City opened with four tanks. Growing an average of 25 percent each year, their current capacity of 13 tanks produces 18,000 barrels of beer a year.

Image: Port City’s registered trademark logo has evolved over the years with the first iteration in 2010 and second in 2014. Top image: In the taproom, Port City® Brewing Company founders Bill and Karen Butcher hold six packs of beer featuring their registered trademarks. (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO) Above image: Port City’s logo incorporating its registered trademark has evolved over the years with the first iteration in 2010 and second in 2014. (Courtesy of Port City Brewing)

While up to 90 percent of Port City’s business is in the Washington metro area, they are sensitive to protecting their brand nationally and worldwide. Various ratings apps, trade magazines, and enthusiastic consumers seeking out regional offerings across the country make it critical for names of individual beers to stay unique to the brewery that makes them.

Image: Examples of the Port City® registered trademark used in commerce here as seen on six pack packaging. Examples of the Port City® registered trademark on the clean and contrasting packaging the brewery has developed to make their brand stand out. (Photos by Jay Premack/USPTO)

“There’s a lot of ways in the industry that there could be confusion even if your brewery is in a different location,” says Karen.

Choosing a name for a new beer at Port City is always a momentous occasion. “Our strategy at the beginning was to try and have words that evoke a feeling or a state of mind,” says Bill.

“There’s an ongoing conversation between production, between marketing and the sales team and even with our wholesaler. We test out names and toss things about with our customers to try to figure out the way forward.”

Optimal®, Port City’s witbier (a Belgian-style wheat beer) and most popular seller, is a prime example of their strategy. “We think it’s distinctive, and [the name] is evocative of an ideal state.”

Port City had another advantage that positioned them to leverage intellectual property (IP) from the start: Karen is a practicing trademark attorney.

“I come to it as a lawyer, but a lot of what I’m doing is trying to make sure that our strategy is so simple that we don’t have to spend a lot of cost on legal work,” she says.

Image: Bottles of Optimal Wit, Port City’s most popular seller. Bottles of Optimal® Wit, Port City’s most popular seller, make up more than 40 percent of total annual sales. (Photos by Jay Premack/USPTO)

Along with trademarks, Port City deploys other types of IP rights to ensure their brand is known for quality in the marketplace, including patenting a process that overcomes a prevalent brewing problem.

Oxygen is a double-edged sword for brewers; during fermentation, it is essential for yeast to develop healthy cell walls and propagate, but after that is complete, oxidization harms flavor and causes the beer to deteriorate quickly. Hoppy beers in particular do not like oxygen, and with the common technique of adding more hops to beer days or weeks after primary fermentation ends (known as “dry hopping”), many breweries have struggled to minimize contamination of air.

Port City’s head brewer, Jonathan Reeves, developed the Hoopzooka® to inject hops into finished beer without introducing oxygen. The system uses carbon dioxide to purge air and pressurize a vessel of hops before literally shooting them into the fermentation tank. The result is a brighter hops flavor that stays fresher longer.

Port City received U.S. patent no. 9,303,241 for an “Apparatus, system and method for adding hops or other ingredients to beverage.” Reeves is the sole inventor on the patent.

Image: Karen and Bill Butcher stand next to the patented Hopzooka ®, invented by head brewer Jonathan Reeves at right. Karen and Bill Butcher stand next to the patented Hopzooka®, invented by Head Brewer Jonathan Reeves, at right. (Photos by Jay Premack/USPTO)

According to Karen, “The strategy of patenting the Hopzooka wasn’t to make money necessarily. It was a recognition of the level of innovation that it brought.” Nevertheless, it is an important tool in the brewery’s marketing strategy. The name itself is a registered trademark and branded with an iconic label, which is placed on packaging to alert customers they’re drinking beer that has undergone a quality improvement process.

To capitalize the Hopzooka’s marketing potential, Port City’s salespeople educate restaurants, bars, and retailers about the device and how it contributes to quality, which their patrons will eventually recognize and associate with the Port City brand. In this way, Hopzooka® melds both trademarks and patents in a potent IP strategy unique within the brewing industry.

Image: Logo used on packaging for beers that employ the Hopzooka® Logo used on packaging for beers brewed with the Hopzooka®, Port City’s patented mechanism for adding intense hops flavor to fermented beer. (Courtesy of Port City Brewing)

Though the Hopzooka is patent-protected, Port City offers a no-cost license to any brewery wanting to use the process to improve their own beer, so long as their packaging or signage attributes ownership of the process to Port City.

“If there’s better quality beer in the marketplace, that’s good for everybody,” says Bill.

Beyond trademarks and patents, Port City also leverages a third kind of intellectual property; trade secrets protect the recipes for their different beers, which employees agree to keep confidential. Trade secret protection does not require a formal application process with a government entity, making them “a simple step that everybody can take when they’re starting out,” says Karen.

Even as finding distinctive, unregistered names for individual craft beers become more difficult, Bill stresses that collaboration and cooperation are the defining traits of the business. “I think it’s one of the things that sets it apart and makes our industry fun. We’re not trying to crush our competition.”

And while Karen points out that some trademark disputes have arisen between other breweries, “Everyone has the same goal of creating great craft beer.” In the few instances where Port City has had to contact another brewery about trademark issues, “typically we’ve resolved them through just business-to-business discussions.”

Image: Pete Wheeler, Production Technician and Bottling Line Operator inspects bottles of Optimal Wit. Production Technician and Bottling Line Operator Pete Wheeler inspects bottles of Optimal® Wit as they come off the bottling line. (Photo by Jay Premack/USPTO)

With new breweries opening every day across the country, the Butchers offer some advice for anyone thinking about starting one: “Plan for success and act as if your brand names are going to have value in the future,” says Bill. “Treat your intellectual property accordingly and give it the due process to make sure that when you become successful, your IP is protected.”

Karen adds that it pays to hire an IP professional in the beginning. “You can spend a little money up front getting yourself in a good position, and that tends to save you a lot more money later.”

In the vibrant marketplace that has sprung up around craft beer, breweries like Port City are establishing innovative IP strategies and helping improve not only the quality of their product, but the overall strength of the industry.

Image: Empty bottles await filling and packaging.
Image: Volume measures on a fermentation tank.
Image: A brewer checks the clarity of finished beer from fermentation vessel to bright tank.
Image: The Hopzooka®; and pressurized lines crisscross a drain trench.
Images of brewing: Empty bottles await filling and packaging; volume measures on a fermentation tank; a brewer checks the clarity of finished beer from fermentation vessel to bright tank; pressurized lines crisscross a drain trench. (Photos by Jay Premack/USPTO)

https://www.uspto.gov/dwcstories/port-city.html

–John

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Ford Bronco patent application? Roll-up roof becomes slide-out canopy
–John

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https://www.thewrap.com/grumpy-cat-wins-710001-in-copyright-lawsuit-memes-have-rights-too/

John Roberts

IndianaPatentLawyer.com

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USPTO to remain open during government shutdown

by John Roberts on January 20, 2018

According to sources within the USPTO, they will continue to operate normally for at least a few weeks during a government shutdown by relying on fees collected in the previous year. Even after that they reportedly intend to keep accepting new application filings and to keep their IT systems operating.

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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USPTO Fee Schedule Update

by John Roberts on January 17, 2018

On Jan. 16, adjusted Patents fees became effective. The USPTO Fee Schedule has been updated to reflect the fee changes. For more information on the revised fees, see the Federal Register Notice of a final rule: Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees During Fiscal Year 2017 (Effective January 16, 2018).

The fee schedule provides information and fee rates for products and services provided by the USPTO.

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Patenting better ways to pick up Fall leaves

by John Roberts on November 15, 2017

There have been numerous inventions directed to making the task of leaf removal easier, including the following:

Improvement in Rakes
U.S. Pat. No. 148,660

One of the earliest patents on a rake, U.S. Pat. No. 148,660 granted to Edmund Brown, March 17, 1874, is directed “to iron-tooth handrakes, such as commonly used in cleaning leaves and other debris…” The main appeal of the rake was an automatic cleaning feature because conventional rakes required frequent cleaning of the teeth by hand. The additional movable bar (B) could be forced down to clean the teeth.

Rolling Leaf Removal Device
U.S. Pat. No. 8,297,034

One inventor’s problem can be another’s solution: Edmund Brown recognized that leaves getting caught on the tines of a rake could be solved by being able to push the leaves off with a retractable metal bar. Brett Muller used this same principle to his advantage for his invention “Rolling Leaf Removal Device”, Pat. No. 8,297,034 granted Oct. 30, 2012. In this instance, leaves catch on the spikes of the roller to collect them, and then the spikes are retracted to release them.

Hand Scoop for Grass and Leaves
U.S. Pat. No. 4,378,670
Hands are a natural tool, but they are not the most efficient means by which to remove leaves. The innovation of Mathias Check and Ellia Goodby was to extend the efficacy of hands by making a pair of scoops, one for each hand, having a small rake at the end of them. The two scoops work together to sandwich debris between them, and they were granted Pat. No. 4,378,670 on April 5, 1983.

Yard Waste Collection System
U.S. Pat. No. 8,429,887

A lot of tools have multiple functions. While it is conventional to have a grass catcher attached to a lawn mower, an ordinary grass catcher can be easily overwhelmed; leaves can quickly create a large volume of material. Alan Sadler invented a collapsible collection system that works in tandem with a lawn tractor, and for his efforts he was granted Pat. No. 8,429,887, issued on April 30, 2013.

Backpack Blower
Pat. No. 5,813,088

Finally, one of the most efficient modes of leaf removal is the backpack blower. These are great at moving leaves and are not limited by the topography of the yard, but they are noisy and the leaves still have to be picked up (don’t blow them into the neighbor’s yard). A backpack blower allows the user to carry a larger motor than the user would be able to fit comfortably in the hand. Given the fixed position of the motor on the user’s back, the user still needs to be able to control both the speed and direction of the blower easily. Wagner et al. invented a backpack blower having a flexible arm with convenient hand controls and were granted Pat. No. 5,813,088 on Sept. 29, 1998.

Still, there remains room for improvement …

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Mark Twain’s role in establishing modern copyright law

by John Roberts on November 15, 2017

“A day will come, when, in the eye of the law, literary property will be as sacred as whiskey, or any other of the necessaries of life.” — Mark Twain, speech in Montreal, Quebec, 1881.

And so it is. Mark Twain had an important role in establishing the Copyright Act of 1909, which allowed for renewal of copyright, bringing it to a total of 56 years. But it was not until 1976 that American authors were finally granted Mark Twain’s wish for copyright protection for “life and fifty years afterward.”

Mark Twain’s Copyright Fight | USPTO

Mark Twain’s Copyright Fight | USPTO

By Inventorseye Newsletter
“A day will come, when, in the eye of the law, literary property will be as sacred as whiskey, or any other of t…

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Invention of the sports bra

by John Roberts on September 14, 2017

Today in 1993, two women inventors received a patent for a protective and supportive brassiere, otherwise known as a sports bra. Their idea developed during a conversation on the fact that there were many male inventors but not enough inventions for women. After discussing what they would invent for women, inventors Sheryl C. Unsworth and May N. Moy Au recognized that female joggers needed more support while exercising. Their invention includes rubber-covered plastic cups with air holes that provide ventilation and shock absorption.

See https://goo.gl/29LwyZ

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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“A patent is an incentive to develop technology to begin with and to tell people how it works,” said Chief Economist Alan Marco at a recent TEDxTysons presentation. Marco talked about patents and the market for technology, and how it all fits in with economic growth. Learn more by watching his presentation on the parable of the Land of Lincoln and what it has to do with the patent system: http://bit.ly/2g5LJ6z.

John Roberts

812-418-3663

www.indianapatentlawyer.com

7 Ways to Save Big Bucks On a Patent Attorney

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

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 […]

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The Patents and Trademarks Behind Lucky Charms Cereal

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

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 […]

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U.S.-China Chamber of Commerce’s Executives Forum and 20th Annual Chinese New Year Dinner Celebration

February 3, 2017

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 […]

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“The Band Who Must Not Be Named” – Supreme Court to decide whet her the law prohibiting offensive trademarks is unconstitutional

January 16, 2017

Justices to hear free speech clash over offensive trademarks 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 […]

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Supreme Court Unanimously Bails Out Samsung? Not so fast…

December 7, 2016

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 […]

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December 1, 2016 changes to the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure

November 28, 2016

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 […]

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Ever encountered an honest Invention Promotion Company?

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 […]

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Election Year Patents that Rocked the Vote

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, […]

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Got IP? Intellectual Property supports 45 million higher-wage jobs

October 14, 2016

About one in every three jobs in the workforce is supported by patents, copyrights, or trademarks, according to a new Department of Commerce report. A U.S. Chamber study shows that workers in IP-intensive industries are paid about 30% higher wages than their counterparts in non-IP-intensive industries. The numbers also show how IP works for America: […]

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Using Patents to Cure Cancer?

September 27, 2016

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the winners of the USPTO Cancer Moonshot Challenge. The challenge was launched by the USPTO in August as part of the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force, which aims to speed up patient-focused cancer treatments, increase patient access to clinical trials and therapies, and align […]

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Indiana city has one of fastest rates of startup growth in country

September 13, 2016

Columbus, Indiana-home of Roberts IP Law-has the 15th highest rate of start-ups in the country: http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2016/09/12/indiana-city-has-one-fastest-rates-startup-growth-country/90275856/ John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Teddy bear patents for Teddy Bear Day:

September 9, 2016

https://scontent.ford1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/t31.0-8/14195311_1375345849145569_7593285716083779719_o.jpg John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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​Implications of Brexit on the Unitary patent for Europe

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The Unitary patent was initially established with the intent of providing a single European patent covering 25 nations. Countless roadblocks have occurred leaving applicants wondering if and when the EU patent will come into effect. With the recent decision surrounding Brexit, it looks unlikely that applicants will be able to secure patent protection universally throughout […]

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PTAB to Host Webinar on 6/7 re. Best Practices for Effective Arguments

June 1, 2016
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101 Subject Matter Eligibility Law Finally Beginning to Evolve After Alice

May 20, 2016

The USPTO just issued new guidance for patent examiners in dealing with Section 101 issues in view of Alice, which should help with some software patent applications. The upshot is that patent examiners should be careful not to simplify the claims into an abstract idea and then move straight to the second step of the […]

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Trade Secret Law Goes Federal: The Defend Trade Secrets Act

May 13, 2016

Innovators of all types, from independent inventors to large corporations, rely on trade secrets to safeguard their creativity, gain competitive advantage, and further their business goals. But until this week, trade secrets were protected civilly only by state law, and those laws varied slightly state-by-state. Congressional passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, and the […]

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Trademark Processing Gets Visual Descriptors

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On May 7, 2016, the USPTO launched a new status feature in TSDR called the TM5 Common Status Descriptors. This feature provides status of trademark applications and registrations at the USPTO using a uniform set of icons and terms that were cooperatively developed by the TM5. Find more information about the TM5 on the USPTO […]

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New Trade Secret Law Requires Employers to Take Immediate Action

May 11, 2016

Not often does an intellectual property issue arise that requires everyone to take immediate action, but this is one of those rare times. If President Obama signs the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) as expected today, then starting May 12, 2016 all employers will be required by Federal Law to provide a notice of “whistle […]

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New precedential decisions from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)

May 10, 2016

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has designated the following five decisions as precedential: Garmin Int’l v. Cuozzo Speed Techs LLC, IPR2012-00001, Paper 26 (Mar. 5, 2013) – This order discusses the factors considered in evaluating motions for additional discovery in IPR proceedings. Bloomberg, Inc. v. Markets-Alert Pty, Ltd., CBM2013-00005, Paper 32 (May 29, […]

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Your Invention on TV – Win a Million Dollars

May 1, 2016

Roberts IP Law was contacted yesterday by central casting for the television show America’s Greatest Makers. They are looking for inventors, technical designers, engineers, and the like who are interested in winning an ultimate prize of one million dollars by developing an innovative invention using new technology from Intel. See the following link for details: […]

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Video Games: Intellectual Property and History

April 28, 2016

This year’s World IP Day celebrates “Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined.” For the video, “Legend of World IP Day,” the USPTO focused on the digital creativity of video games. Go behind-the-scenes and learn about the intellectual property and history of video games – spoiler alert: “failing” is an important step to innovation: World IP Day World […]

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Indiana Lawyer Magazine Features Roberts IP Law Client

April 28, 2016

Bloomington startup cultivates patents for novel way to garden: Bloomington startup cultivates patents for novel way to garden | The Indiana Lawyer Bloomington startup cultivates patents for novel way to …Entrepreneurs in Bloomington have a new and improved answer for the question, “How does your garden grow?” View on www.theindianalawye… Preview by Yahoo John Roberts […]

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Merle Haggard had just turned 5 when the “Jeep” was patented

April 7, 2016

http://scontent.ford1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/t31.0-8/12901085_1254264121253743_211343378956501458_o.jpg View on scontent.ford1-1.fna…. Preview by Yahoo John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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More changes coming to the rules of practice before the TTAB

April 5, 2016

On April 4, 2016, the USPTO issued a notice of proposed rulemaking relating to miscellaneous changes to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Rules of Practice in the Federal Register. There is a 60-day comment period for the notice, which was published at 81 FR 19295 and is available at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-04-04/html/2016-06672.htm John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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$85 million patent verdict, largest ever against Google, wiped out on appeal

April 4, 2016

A lot can turn on the meaning of words in a patent claim: $85 million patent verdict, largest ever against Google, wiped out on appeal $85 million patent verdict, largest ever against Google,…Patent describes a failed company’s 1996 desktop notification system. View on arstechnica.com Preview by Yahoo John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Patented and Patent-Pending by Roberts IP Law

April 2, 2016

Organic Container Gardening — How & Why the Garden Tower 2 Works Organic Container Gardening — How & Why the Garden… View on www.youtube.com Preview by Yahoo John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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new PTAB rules published today

April 1, 2016

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced that its Final Rule regarding changes to trial practice under the America Invents Act (AIA) published in the Federal Register today. This Final Rule addresses the claim construction approach for AIA trials involving soon-to-be expired patents, testimonial […]

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USPTO Partners with Law Schools to Hold PTAB and TTAB Trial and Appeal Proceedings

February 11, 2016

USPTO Partners with Law Schools to Hold PTAB and TTAB Trial and Appeal Proceedings The USPTO is pleased to partner with law schools across the country to showcase actual PTAB AIA trial proceedings and actual TTAB trial and appeal proceedings. In addition to the Board proceedings, the USPTO and partner law schools will offer educational […]

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USPTO computer systems crashed

December 23, 2015

According to the USPTO: “A major power outage at USPTO headquarters occurred last night resulting in damaged equipment that required the subsequent shutdown of many of our online and IT systems. This includes our filing, searching, and payment systems, as well as the systems our examiners across the country use. We are working diligently to […]

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Federal Litigators Take Note – New Rules!

December 2, 2015
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Patents: Update of Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP)

November 1, 2015

A Revision to the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) has been Published On October 29, 2015, the USPTO issued the Ninth Edition, Revision 07.2015, of the MPEP, which incorporates changes to the laws, rules, and practice necessitated by, or made as a result of, the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 (PLTIA), Public […]

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Trademarks: Update of Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP)

October 30, 2015

On October 30, 2015, the USPTO issued the October 2015 TMEP, which incorporates USPTO trademark practice and relevant case law reported prior to October 1, 2015. The policies stated in this revision supersede any previous policies stated in prior editions, examination guides, or any other statement of USPTO policy, to the extent that there is […]

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How an “F” Student Became America’s Most Prolific Inventor

October 26, 2015

How an F Student Became America’s Most Prolific Inventor How an F Student Became America’s Most Prolific InventorMad, fascinating, lucrative, questionable science. Ideas from America’s most productive inventor. View on www.bloomberg.com Preview by Yahoo John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Client gets patent – and cover of the local newspaper

September 14, 2015

Roberts IP Law client Brian Irwin recently obtained a utility patent. In fact, Roberts IP Law staff hand-delivered the newly-issued patent to him today at his place of employment, Northside Middle School in Columbus, Indiana. This timing worked well because the story of how he patented his invention was published* in the local newspaper today: […]

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Are you developing wearable or smart-connected technology?

September 1, 2015

Roberts IP Law has been contacted by a casting agent for a new competition television show being produced in conjunction with Intel. They are looking for inventors that are developing wearable or smart-connected technology. If this is you, feel free to give me a call. John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Prioritized Examination Increasingly Popular with Small and Micro Entities

August 25, 2015

Independent inventors are increasingly taking advantage of a service that puts their patent applications in the examination fast lane. Since 2012, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has offered a prioritized examination process called Track One, which potentially reduces the amount of time for a patent to issue. Track One is a type […]

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A Tangled Dream

August 24, 2015

Free couples counseling doesn’t sound like a pitch for a drain cleaning product, but that’s exactly what one inventor has been told her device provides—in addition to getting a dirty job done. You don’t even realize what my wife’s long hair does to our marriage!”—it’s a variation on a theme Jennifer Briggs, Inventor of the […]

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Case dismissed! – patent invalid under Section 101 in view of Alice.

July 29, 2015

Roberts IP Law working in conjunction with The Law Office of Manuel de la Cerra just obtained dismissal of a federal patent lawsuit at the initial pleading stage with a Rule 12 Motion to Dismiss, prior to claim construction. We successfully persuaded the Court that the patent was invalid under Section 101 because it was […]

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Update of Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) and TEAS Forms

July 11, 2015

On July 11, 2015, the USPTO issued the July 2015 TMEP, which incorporates changes made in accordance with the following rule: Changes in Requirements for Collective Trademarks and Service Marks, Collective Membership Marks, and Certification Marks, published June 11, 2015 at 80 FR 33170. For a listing of all the revised sections, see the “Index […]

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New, inexpensive way to get a design patent world-wide coming May 13

May 7, 2015

The Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague Agreement) will go into effect for the United States on May 13, 2015. Accordingly, beginning May 13, 2015, it will be possible for U.S. applicants to file a single international design application either with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) […]

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Brain technology patents soar as companies get inside people’s heads

May 7, 2015

Brain technology patents soar as companies get inside people’s heads Brain technology patents soar as companies get inside pe…By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) – From ways to eavesdrop on brains and learn what advertisements excite consumers, to devices that alleviate depression, the… View on news.yahoo.com Preview by Yahoo John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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From: SPAM-delete

May 7, 2015

Hi! How are you? Have you seen this http://internet-blurb.ru/thought.php ? It was shown on the Oprah’s show! Best wishes, SPAM-delete

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Free Webinar May 21, 2015 Helping Inventors With Patent Filings

April 20, 2015

USPTO Is Hosting a Free Webinar on May 21, 2015 Focused on Resources for Securing Legal Representation and Assistance with Patent Filings The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, May 21, 2015 from 2 to 5 pm Eastern Time about resources to help applicants secure legal representation […]

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USPTO Announces 2015 Patents For Humanity Winners

April 13, 2015

In 2013 Roberts IP Law client Intermark Partners Strategic Management LLP won the Patents for Humanity Award, for extracting edible protein and vitamins from waste rice bran in Latin America. Today the U.S. Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced the latest winners of the Patents for Humanity program. The Patents for […]

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Strategies for Protecting Your Company’s IP Globally

January 14, 2015

Join Experts from USPTO, CBP, and FBI in Silicon Valley to Explore Strategies for Protecting Your Company’s IP Globally, while Exploring Global Opportunities in Advanced Transportation, Clean Energy, Air, Water and Land Use: The U.S. Commercial Service, in cooperation with NASA, is hosting a dynamic three-day forum, Discover Global Markets: Sustainable Solutions, February 9-11, 2015 […]

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From SPAM-delete

January 12, 2015

Hi! How are you? I saw it on TV! http://baliwiki-tourism.com/means/interest.php CNN said it really works! SPAM-delete

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Indiana Lawyer magazine features John Roberts in article re. patent trolls

December 17, 2014

Frustrations with patent trolls spark push for pest control http://www.theindianalawyer.com/frustrations-with-patent-trolls-spark-push-for-pest-control/PARAMS/article/35895 John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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USPTO releases new guidance on patentability of software

December 16, 2014

Today the USPTO issued new guidance on the patentability of software and other inventions that have been recently struck down as “abstract ideas” under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Alice decision. The updated guidance entitled “2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility” can be found here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-12-16/pdf/2014-29414.pdf Example […]

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Do you have a patent troll story?

December 5, 2014

Have you or your company ever received a demand letter or been sued by a patent troll? If so, please tell me your story. I am assisting with putting together an article. Thank you. John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Trademarks: New Guidelines on Service Mark Specimens

September 15, 2014

A new examination guide, “Service Mark Specimens,” is now available on the Trademark Examination Guides page at www.uspto.gov/trademarks/resources/Trademark_Exam_Guides.jsp. The guide describes the elements of an acceptable specimen for services; discusses specific issues and potential refusals; addresses commonly submitted specimens for modern technology-related services; and provides examples of acceptable and unacceptable specimens. John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Patent Litigation Toolkit for Small Companies

September 12, 2014

USPTO to Host Free Webinar about its Patent Litigation Toolkit Resources The USPTO has launched an updated online library of free resources on the USPTO website to help smaller companies, “Main Street” businesses, and individual consumers better understand what steps they can take if they are subject to a patent infringement lawsuit and/or if they […]

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Patents for Kids! – www.uspto.gov/kids

September 9, 2014

USPTO Launches Redesigned KIDS! Web Pages Pages provide intellectual property education resources for parents, teachers, and students of all ages The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the launch of its newly redesigned KIDS! Web pages aimed to encourage students of all ages to learn about the importance […]

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Innovation Festival at the National Air and Space Museum in November

September 5, 2014

USPTO and Smithsonian Launch New Joint Effort to Showcase American Innovation Innovation Festival, exhibits, and educational programs on innovation to be featured in National Museum of American History, Museum of American Art, and National Air and Space Museum The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today reported that it and […]

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USPTO to Host America Invents Act Roadshow Online and in Seven Cities Nationwide

August 27, 2014

USPTO to Host America Invents Act Roadshow Online and in Seven Cities Nationwide Agency officials will discuss the First Inventor to File provision of the AIA WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced that it will host seven roadshows across the country between September 16 and […]

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Fun Summertime Patents

August 7, 2014

Options for summer fun are limitless: cookouts, picnics, barbeques, ice cream socials, camping, riding bicycles, and so much more. But how fun would summer be without some of the great inventions that help us enjoy the season? Portable Barbeque Grill Assembly U.S. Patent No. 4,878,476 Over the years, outdoor grilling has become a favorite pastime […]

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Patent Owners – Beware of Maintenance Fee Scam

August 6, 2014

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has previously warned stakeholders about unsolicited communications regarding maintenance fees, but it’s something that bears repeating. Many patent owners have received unsolicited communications that at first glance appear to be “official” but are not actually from the USPTO. These communications usually contain warnings about the expiration of patents […]

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Data on your phone is now safe(r): a warrant is now required to search your phone (usually)

June 25, 2014

Today the U.S. Supreme Court actually ruled in favor of an individual’s privacy over government snooping (see opinion, linked-to below). The rule in California had been that police could search a person’s phone without a warrant whenever they were arrested for any reason, unless the data on the phone was encrypted. The Supreme Court today […]

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Today the U.S. Supreme Court reported its long-awaited business method / software / computer system patentability decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International.

June 19, 2014

Today the U.S. Supreme Court reported its long-awaited business method / software / computer system patentability decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International (link below). The Court affirmed that Alice’s patents for computer-implemented methods of reducing settlement risk were unpatentable “abstract ideas.” This case reached the high court after a severely split Federal Circuit […]

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Also today, the Supreme Court made method claims harder to infringe

June 2, 2014

Today the U.S. Supreme Court also decided Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc., and reversed the Federal Circuit’s en banc holding that a defendant need not perform all of the steps of a claim to infringe where it performs some and induces third parties to perform the rest. No. 12-786, slip op. at 1 […]

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The Supreme Court just changed the “definiteness” requirement for patents

June 2, 2014

Today the U.S. Supreme Court in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc. changed the standard for definiteness required to fulfill the statutory requirement that patent claims particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter that the applicant regards as the invention. In Nautilus, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected the “insolubly ambiguous” standard previously […]

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What Angel Investors Look For in a Startup:

May 8, 2014

*Skin in the game *Scalability *Personal integrity http://www.inc.com/abigail-tracy/david-rose-talks-angel-investing.html John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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Think you’re safe from being sued for patent infringement? Think again.

April 10, 2014

http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2014/04/09/rise-of-the-patent-troll/ This fun video explains why anyone who does anything on the Internet is an open target for being sued in federal court for patent infringement, which is rightly known as the “root canal” of litigation. John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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USPTO Issues New Patentability Guidelines on Products of Nature, Laws of Nature, and Natural Phenomena

March 5, 2014

The USPTO has issued a new set of training materials to guide patent examiners in determining whether patent claims improperly encompass laws of nature, natural principles, natural phenomena, or products of nature, which are not patentable. The updated guidance is necessary based upon the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad […]

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Apply For Indiana Tech Innovation Awards – Only Two Days Left

January 29, 2014

Elevate Indiana has an awards program that could provide Indiana innovators some great visibility. But the deadline is looming this Friday–see details below: Nominate or Apply to be a Winner Today! Tech Innovation of the Year Tech Services Award Tech Sales and Marketing Award Tech Startup of the Year Emerging Tech Company of the Year […]

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Some USPTO Patent Fees Lowered Effective January 1, 2014

January 7, 2014

In early 2013, the USPTO raised many of its fees while a few were lowered (see Federal Register Notice re: Final Rule – Setting and Adjusting Patent Fees (Effective March 19, 2013) [PDF] (January 18, 2013)). While the fee increases took place almost a year ago, the following fee reductions were delayed until January 1, […]

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Timeline Comparing USPTO Patent Application Initiatives

December 26, 2013

The USPTO has released a new Patent Application Initiatives Timeline web page to assist patent applicants. This new web page displays patent application timelines for various USPTO patent programs and initiatives, including: Track One Prioritized Examination Accelerated Examination Full First Action Interview Pilot Patent Prosecution Highway 2.0 Petitions to Make Special Ombudsman Program Information Disclosure […]

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Gun Patents Set 35-Year Record

December 6, 2013

Of 6,077 patents issued in the firearms class since 1977, 19 percent issued in the past four years, while a record 370 issued last year, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-02/gun-patents-set-35-year-record-as-limits-on-sales-fail.html John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com

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USPTO Designates Kentucky Library a Patent and Trademark Resource Center

December 5, 2013

USPTO Designates Kentucky Library a Patent and Trademark Resource Center Center now open to support intellectual property needs of inventors and entrepreneurs Washington – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently announced the opening of a new Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) at the W. Frank Steely Library […]

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Poinsettia Patents (image)

December 3, 2013
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Poinsettias, Patents, & My Former Hometown of Encinitas

December 3, 2013

Patently Poinsettia Children are said during the holidays to have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads—although it is unclear how many children today know what a sugar plum is—but the poinsettia remains the favorite of holiday home decorators. Its multitude of colors, range of sizes, and rich varieties make the poinsettia a classic […]

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USPTO’s After Final Consideration Pilot Extended

November 26, 2013

Announcing Extension of AFCP 2.0 The After Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 (AFCP 2.0), which had been scheduled to expire on December 14, 2013, has been extended through September 30, 2014. The terms of the AFCP 2.0 program, as implemented May 13, 2013, are unchanged. Visit www.uspto.gov/patents/init_events/afcp.jsp to learn more about AFCP 2.0. Like AFCP, AFCP […]

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USPTO 2014-2018 Strategic Plan Available for Public Review and Comment

November 22, 2013

The USPTO posted a draft of its Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2014-2018 for public review and comment on the USPTO website: http://www.uspto.gov/about/stratplan/index.jsp The plan sets out the USPTO’s mission-focused strategic goals: to optimize patent quality and timeliness; to optimize trademark quality and timeliness; and to provide global and domestic leadership to improve intellectual property […]

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USPTO releases new TMEP (Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure)

October 30, 2013

On October 30, 2013, the USPTO issued the October 2013 TMEP, which incorporates USPTO trademark practice, amendments to the Trademark Rules, and relevant case law reported prior to October 1, 2013. The policies stated in this revision supersede any previous policies stated in prior editions, examination guides, or any other statement of USPTO policy, to […]

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USPTO Annual Independent Inventor Conference

September 11, 2013

USPTO to Host 18th Annual Independent Inventor Conference Two-day event to address intellectual property topics relevant to inventors and small businesses Washington – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced that it will host its 18th Annual Independent Inventor Conference on October 11-12, 2013, at the USPTO headquarters […]

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The Impact Of The Acquisition And Use Of Patents On The Smartphone Industry

August 14, 2013

New study reveals the impact of patents on the smartphone industry << clip_study.pdf

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USPTO to Seek Feedback on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy

August 13, 2013

USPTO to Seek Feedback on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy The Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force (IPTF) released, Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy, a green paper and starting point for a broader discussion on policy issues critical to economic growth. The U.S. Patent and Trademark […]

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Hot Off The Presses – USPTO Issues New TBMP

June 28, 2013

On Thursday, June 27, 2013, the USPTO’s TRADEMARK TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD (TTAB) issued the June 2013 update of the TRADEMARK TRIAL AND APPEAL BOARD MANUAL OF PROCEDURE (TBMP), attached. The new TBMP incorporates current Board practice and precedential decisions that issued between March 3, 2012 and March 1, 2013, as well as the changes, […]

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The Supreme Court Got It Right Today, Unanimously Ruling That Human Genes Cannot Be Patented.

June 13, 2013

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled today, June 13, 2013, that human genes cannot be patented. Isolating genes not enough; but synthetic genes probably still patentable. “Genes and the information they encode are not patent-eligible under [federal law] simply because they have been isolated from the surrounding genetic material,” said Justice Clarence Thomas for the 9-0 […]

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White House Announces New Task Force on High Tech Patent Issues — Issues Report on Patent Trolls

June 7, 2013

Today the White House announced major steps to improve incentives for future innovation in high tech patents, a key driver of economic growth and good paying American jobs. The White House issued five executive actions and seven legislative recommendations designed to protect innovators from frivolous litigation and ensure patent quality. The White House cites the […]

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USPTO recognizes a collaboration of Indiana inventors

June 4, 2013

USPTO recognizes Roberts IP Law client Intermark Partners Strategic Management LLC, a collaboration of Indiana inventors, for changing lives with their invention. Opportunity at the Base of the Pyramid: Lessons from Patents for Humanity The power to invent gives us the power to change lives, and every day we experience this through modern technologies that […]

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Should you register your trademarks? Get the basic facts:

May 31, 2013

http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/BasicFacts.pdf John Roberts 812-418-3663 www.indianapatentlawyer.com BasicFacts.pdf

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Vermont’s anti-patent-troll act: something for Indiana to consider?

May 28, 2013

Patent trolls often send baseless demand letters to small businesses that are less expensive to pay than to fight Vermont is attempting to make its state more attractive to businesses by enacting an anti-patent-troll act at the state level Roberts IP Law has several clients in Indiana who have been burdened with these types of […]

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Roberts IP Law client wins Patents for Humanity Award – Congratulations!

April 12, 2013

The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced that Roberts IP Law client Intermark Partners Strategic Management LLP won the Patents for Humanity Award, for extracting edible protein and vitamins from waste rice bran in Latin America. The Patents for Humanity Award is a pilot program recognizing patent holders who are addressing global humanitarian challenges.

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First Inventor to File Is Here: Learn How It Works

April 10, 2013

On March 18, 2013, the United States implemented one of the most important components of the America Invents Act (AIA) by adopting a “first-inventor-to-file” patent system. The new system brings more certainty and objectivity to the patent process. In addition, it brings the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in line with other nations […]

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Recognizing those who use patented technology to aid the less fortunate

April 3, 2013

USPTO and Kauffman Foundation to Announce Patents for Humanity Winners Pilot program encourages patent holders to address global humanitarian challenges Washington – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will honor patent holders who have made use of patented technologies to address humanitarian challenges on April 11, 2013, at a Capitol […]

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USPTO Reminder for Public Forum to Discuss First-Inventor-to-File, Micro Entity, and Patent Fee Final Rules

March 14, 2013

Reminder to Join the USPTO on March 15 for a Webinar Regarding Important Changes in US Patent Procedure Reminder that the USPTO is hosting a public forum tomorrow, Friday, March 15th to discuss the final rules and guidance for the first-inventor-to-file, micro entity, and patent fee setting provisions. These provisions become effective in the next […]

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Bartholomew County Bar Association has a new website

March 6, 2013

* Bartholomew County Bar Association has a new website at columbusindianalawyers.com * Private Forum for Bar Members * Special Thank You to MLT Innovations and BreenaChelle Photography As a member of the Board of Directors of the Bartholomew County Bar Association, I was tasked last year with creating an updated website that would better serve […]

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Important USPTO Webinar on March 15

February 26, 2013

Join the USPTO on March 15 for a Webinar Regarding Important Changes in US Patent Procedure Changes Take Effect on March 16 and 19 The USPTO has announced a public forum focused on the first-inventor-to-file, micro entity, and patent fee final rules and guidance. The date for this event is now FRIDAY, MARCH 15TH in […]

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Antigua is the Land Of The IP-Free

February 1, 2013

The WTO has ruled that Antigua is no longer obligated to respect the IP rights of U.S. companies as a sanction for the U.S. killing Antigua’s online gambling industry. <<http://www.antiguaobserver.com/?p=87122>> Antigua (which uses country code top level domain (ccTLD) “.AG”) may now provide a safe haven for business models that run afoul of U.S. IP […]

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File your patent applications ASAP. First-To-File and the New 102 are coming March 16.

January 25, 2013

U.S. patent law is changing dramatically on March 16, 2013. Patents based on applications filed before March 16 will be awarded to the “first-to-invent.“ Patents based on applications filed on or after March 16 will be awarded to the “first-to-file.“ Inventors should file patent applications before March 16 to avoid losing their patent to a […]

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