A Board Certified Patent Attorney

Archive for the ‘Advanced Patent Issues’ Category

Inventor Success Story: Video Interview With Founder of Versifloat

Versifloat founder and inventor, Gerard D’Offay came up with his idea in 2006 before seeking out my help to protect his intellectual property : “I sought out Prof. John Rizvi to help me patent my inflatable docking system. As I have grown my operations over the years John has helped me obtain four additional annexes to my original patent, giving me powerful, robust intellectual property protection.” Finding a suitable floating work platform has always been an issue for crew and Gerard’s invention offers an effective solution to just about every marine professional’s needs. You can find out more about the Versifloat story on ThePatentProfessor.com.

Join Prof. John Rizvi, Esq. At His First Ever TEDX Talk

Excitement is building for Prof. John Rizvi, Esq., TEDX talk at West Broward High School on Thursday, November 10th. This will be his first presentation to the independently operated group in Florida and will focus on valuable lessons for inventors learned during his 20 year journey through patent law. Prof. Rizvi will discuss inventor themes that also feature prominently in his upcoming book entitled, Escaping the Gray: When Launching Your Idea Full Throttle is the Only Option, which is fast nearing publication. If you would like to attend the event, please find attendance details on The Patent Professor site which outline scheduling and costs. We hope to see you there!

I Heard it from the Horses Mouth – Attorney Michael Jakes Speaks on the Bilski Case Regarding Patentability of Business Methods and Processes

Awaiting my red-eye flight back home to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after attending a patenting symposium in San Francisco.  I feel privileged to have had an opportunity to hear attorney Michael Jakes and his take on the Bilski case before the Supreme Court on the patentability of business methods.  For the non-patent attorneys out there, the Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments on the patentability of business methods and processes and Michael Jakes is the attorney that filed the brief seeking certiori and argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of Bilski. A summary of the procedural history and background of the Bilski case is available on Wikipedia and you can link to it from here.

Patent Revocation: A Significant Risk?

It is vitally important not to publicly disclose your idea--and in fact not to disclose it except under absolute necessity--before filing for a patent. The USPTO can, and certainly will, reject a patent application for an idea already in the public eye.

Florida and National Patent Rules Have Changed

As of 01 November 2007, new rules are set to govern Florida patent applications, as well as applications from all U.S. states. Specifically, the USPTO calls for no more than two continuation applications plus one request for continued examination (RCE). Previously there were no limits. On the one hand, this limits inventors’ ability to argue its case with a U.S. patent examiner. On the other hand, such limitations mean applications have a foreseeable ending. This gives the inventor a patent faster if the application is approved or more quickly opens the door to other applicants if it is rejected.   An additional change is that patent applications can have no more than 25 claims, with only five allowable as independent claims. If more than 25 claims are presented, applicants must file and examination support document (ESD). Originally, the USPTO wanted no more than 10 claims and every patent application to provide an ESD; this is their compromise. For more information [&helli

Patent Reform Bill To Impede Independent Inventors

An important Patent Reform Bill (S.1145) is under consideration in the Senate, and it carries with it serious implications for independent entrepreneurs and small businesses. Topping my list of concerns: Those in the patent pending stage would be required to publish their patent applications, which could reveal trade secrets to others in various stages with their own applications. The bill calls for a reduction of damages against infringers, which makes infringement more alluring to the ethically challenged. It requires all applicants to submit a search and patentability analysis, which significantly increases costs. In an article at IBLS.com, fellow Attorney Gerry Elman of Elman Technology Law, P.C. reports that there is a very good chance the bill will not pass. However, for the sake of all entrepreneurial inventors and small businesses, a call to your senators would further ensure the bill’s rejection.

Patent Attorneys Know Every Letter of the Alphabet in the Issued Patent Counts!

Can getting a single letter of the alphabet wrong in an issued patent spell disaster when it comes to litigating against infringers?  Unless the mistake is seen as being a minor typographical error that can be corrected by filing a certificate of correction, the answer is a resounding yes. Hats off to Peter Zura of The 271 Patent Blog for his post on Central Admixure Pharmacy Services v. Advanced Cardiac Solutions (06-13-07).  In this case, Central Admixture Pharmacy Services sued Advanced Cardiac Solutions for patent infringment relating to a chemical solution used duriing heart surgery.  A certificate of correction was sought on the patent and was issued by the patent office to replace all instances of the word "osmolarity" with the word "osmolality". You might be thinking that all the certificate does is change the "R" in osmolaRity with a "L" so that it reads osmolaLity.  Well, yes, BUT….  Whether

Patent Application Quantity Not an Accurate Indication of Patent Quality

Hats off to Mark Reichel of The Daily Dose of IP Blog for his post regarding the U.S. Patent Office discontinuing its annual top ten patent holder list. In the Patent Office press release, the PTO announced that it will no longer be publishing its annual ranking of the top 10 organizations obtaining the most U.S. patents in the preceeding year.According to the press release, it is abandoning the list of top ten patent holders and "emphasizing quality over qualtity by discouraging any perception that we believe more is better." About time. I always wondered why the patent office focused so much attention on their "top ten list" as all it really did was provide those few "repeat customers" lucky enough to be in the "top ten" with bragging rights on their level of innovation. I wonder if the patent office’s departure from this "strictly by the numbers" approach is the beginning of a new trend in the intellect

Patent Applications Open to Public Online Commentary?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has launched a community review project according to an article in the Washington Post.  The peer review project will post patent applications to the internet and invite comments on prior art submissions from the internet community. The complete article can be found here and is reproduced below for your convenience: By Alan Sipres Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, March 5, 2007; 3:34 PM The government is about to start opening up the process of reviewing patents to the modern font of wisdom: the Internet. The Patent and Trademark Office is starting a pilot project that will not only post patent applications on the Web and invite comments but also use a community rating system designed to push the most respected comments to the top of the file, for serious consideration by the agency’s examiners. A first for the federal government, the system resembles the one used by Wikipedia, the popular user-created online encyclo

Mediating Intellectual Property Disputes

Todd Mayover, in-house intellectual property counsel for a medical device company in Florida, has an interesting post at the IPCounsel Blog entitled Intellectual Property Mediation:   “Regardless of the situation, without suggesting mediation, it will never happen. The obvious risk is that other party(s) may say no, but this would have no effect on the actual case at hand. At least the parties would know where they stand.”   That being said, it is important to note that the risks of not mediating vary greatly depending upon which milestones have already passed in the litigation.   For example, if the bulk of expert deposition costs happen to rest on your client’s shoulders and these depositions have not yet occurred, it makes sense to consider mediation as an option prior to these costs accruing.   It is my experience that when cases do settle via mediation, one or more parties will invariably lament that they “should have mediated soonerR

Patent Holder Subject to Personal Jurisdiction in Florida

In Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc. v. Metabolite Laboratories, Inc. et al. (Fed. Cir. 2006), the Federal Circuit held that a patent owner’s dealings with a Florida licensee was sufficient to give the court jurisdiction over the patent owner.   Beckenridge filed suit against Metabolite and PamLab in the United Stated District Court for the Southern District of Florida for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement of the patent and alleging state law claims of tortious interference with contract and unfair competition.   The Federal Circuit held that Florida’s long-arm statute authorized personal jurisdiction over Metabolite and that such jurisdiction would comport with due process:   In sum, our case law has held as follows: where a defendant has sent cease and desist letters into a forum state that primarily involve a legal dispute unrelated to the patent at issue, such as an injunction obtained for misappropriation of trade secrets, the exercise of person

United States Patent & Trademark Office May Limit Continuing Applications

On January 3, 2006, the United States Patent & Trademark Office said it may limit the ability of a company to file continuing applications that allow it to revise or modify its existing patent claims, according to an article at MSNBC.com.   The reasoning behind this new rule concerns the growing backlog of patent applications that are waiting to be reviewed by patent examiner’s at the United States Patent & Trademark Office.   Those opposed to these new limitations warn that biotechnology companies in particular rely on continuing applications for products than can take more than a decade to reach the market, and limiting these would curtail competition and the number of claims that could be made, resulting in overbroad and insufficiently protected patents.   This would have a direct impact here, as Florida’s booming biotechnology industry, which includes such corporations as the Scripps Institute, would be forced to limit how they prepare patent ap

Invent Something? Plan Marketing Carefully” Offers Good Advice

In a column in the The Herald in Bradenton, Florida, entitled “Invent Something? Plan Marketing Carefully“, business columnist Jerry Osteryoung offers good advice to inventors looking to hire a patent attorney to assist them in securing legal rights to their ideas.   Jerry Osteryoung is a finance professor at Florida State University and executive director of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at Florida State University’s College of Business.   Jerry makes some good points in his column and I agree with much of the advice given. I would be careful, however, in judging a patent attorney’s capabilities by the average amount of time it takes to get a patent issued.   The time it takes to get a patent from filing to issuance is largely dependent upon a number of factors outside of the control of the patent attorney preparing and filing the patent application. For example, software patents and patents relating to internet-related idea

Comparing Florida Patent Case Timetables

  How do patent cases in Florida compare to the rest of the nation in terms of time from filing to decision?   Well, a lot depends upon whether the case seeks a bench trial or a jury trial as patent cases terminated by bench trials take much longer than cases terminated by jury trials.   According to LegalMetric, LLC, the average patent bench trial nationwide took 37.8 months compared to 27.1 months for a jury trial.   Here is how the numbers looked for patent cases in Florida:   Northern District of Florida 31.1 Months for bench trials; no data available on jury trials   Middle District of Florida 31.9 months for bench trials; 21.3 months for jury trials.   Southern District of Florida 34.3 months for bench trials; 34.8 months for jury trials.   Interestingly enough, trademark cases nationwide showed the opposite trend with 24.o months for bench trials and 26.7 months for jury trials. I have not […]

Overview of the American Inventor’s Protection Act of 1999

If life were like the popular board game Monopoly��, obtaining meaningful patent protection would be as simple as buying up Boardwalk and Park Place. In the board game, you simply purchase the property you want, place houses or hotels on them over time, and eagerly collect a continual revenue stream from the successful venture.   The rules governing monopolies on ideas, however, are significantly more complex and have recently undergone one of the most far-reaching changes in history. As you mull over the unique features of your newly discovered invention or method of doing business, it is important to consider recent changes in patent law and their particular importance to individual inventors.   PUBLISHING OF APPLICATIONS If you are like most inventors, the thought of publicly disclosing the secret details of your invention before a patent has been issued is very unsettling. Few inventors realize, however, that under the American Inventor’s Protection Act of 1999,