A Board Certified Patent Attorney

Pursuing Software Patents? Watch out for this…

In 2010 Google’s innovative Android mobile phone technology was the target of no fewer than 12 infringement suits from rivals Apple, Oracle, Microsoft and others. Part of the problem is the culture clash between old style devotees to intellectual property rights and adherents to the newer, more collaborative environment of open source. But the bottom line is always money: Billions of dollars... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

Are prototypes necessary before you get a patent?

A prototype for your idea is an important part of building the actual product. But for the patent process, it is not necessary. In fact, there are only three things the US Patent Office requires to review your idea. And those are:   1. The application 2. Drawings 3. The application fee   That’s all you need to apply for a patent.   And in fact, building a prototype in some cas... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

7 Reasons Why Trademarks Protect You

If you are in business, and are successful and profitable, your business name should be registered. Why? It prevents others from using it to do the same type of business, represent their businesses as yours, steal your customers and ruin your business reputation. Without it, you have a big liability, almost as if you are leaving the door to the shop open when you leave at the end of the day. Regis... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Trademarks

Patent Riches through Licensing

Patents may grant you exclusive rights to prevent others from manufacturing, selling, and importing your idea…but that doesn’t necessarily mean the money will just fall into your lap. To actually profit from your patent you must do one of three things… 1.       You must create and sell some aspect of the product 2.  &n... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

3 Common Patent Application Mistakes

Patents give you 20 years of exclusive ownership of your idea. That means no one else can sell your idea…no one else can manufacture your idea…no one else can import your idea.  In short, nobody can profit from your idea without obtaining your permission (which you can charge for, by the way!). And if they do, you can sue the pants off of them (sometimes getting as much as 3 times... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

Patent & Trademark Office Commissioner Robert Stoll Visits South Florida

I had the pleasure of meeting Patent Office Commissioner Robert Stolll this week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Commissioner Stoll is the person in charge of the Patent & Trademark Office.  The buck definitely stops with him.  He came down for a Symposium on Intellectual Property at the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Boulevard and gave a fascinating talk on proposed changes and... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patent Cases, News & Updates

Patent Wars: The Fight Over Phone Patents

Recently Newsweek created a fascinating visual detailing the ongoing patent wars between rival smart phone giants. It seems that patent infringement cases are the norm for this cutting edge technology. For example, Motorola is being sued for patent infringement seven times, by five different companies. And has patent litigation against three companies (all of which are also suing Motorola). Plus, ... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

Patent Your Food – A Look at Edible Patents

I received a call a few days ago from a woman who had a secret family recipe for cake. Her bridge friends said that she should get a patent on it, but she didn’t believe it was patentable. While most patents are for mechanical designs or other inedible inventions…new food and food products definitely fall under the realm of patentability (that includes everything from creating new... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

Inventors Reap Rewards from “Cheap” Patents

Have you ever dreamed about inventing a product that raked in millions? Do you think you have to invent the next "big thing" to do so? Not necessarily so. There have been plenty of nickel-and-dime patented products that have gone on to make their owners millionaires. For example, a number of patents that have crossed my desk have helped their inventors live a life they only dreamed ... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

Patents vs. Non-Disclosure Agreements – What Gives You More Protection

If you think your idea is protected because you’ve signed non-disclosure agreement (also known as an NDA or confidentiality agreement), then you are sadly mistaken. While an NDA gives you a limited level of protection (which in many cases can easily be bypassed), a patent offers you rock-solid, legally binding, enforceable-by-stiff-penalties PROOF of idea ownership. But I’m getting ahe... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

The “Lost” Michael Jackson Patent

"You’ve Been Hit By, You’ve Been Hit By…A Smooth Criminal" From Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson  Did you know Michael Jackson holds a patent for a device used in the live entertainment version of Smooth Criminal? Here’s the story… In the 1980’s, Michael Jackson revolutionized pop-entertainment. Other than the moonwalk, one of his most memorable... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Uncategorized

Which patent should you file? Patents in plain english…

Do you know why you might want to file a provisional patent instead of a non-provisional patent? Each has its advantages and disadvantages. And today you’re going to learn which one is best for your needs. First, a little history behind the creation of the two-patent system we enjoy today. Up until 1995, there was only one way to file a patent. You filled out the application in its entirety ... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents

How we went from Patent Attorney’s to The Idea Attorneys®

If you would like have a unique competitive advantage from everyone else in your industry, and enjoy “impossible to forget” status, then I’ve got a quick story to share with you. Over a decade ago, when my partner Glenn and I decided to devote our lives to patent and trademark law, I suggested to Glenn what may have seemed to many be a rather obvious idea. Why not call ... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Trademarks

Trademark on Your Logo Already? Maybe not…

The owner of a Federally registered trademark is presumed to be the exclusive owner of the mark for the goods and services. So, if a word or phrase is already trademarked, does that mean you can’t use it? Most people think yes. But there is a little loophole in trademark law that allows you to use a trademarked term even if it’s protected and widely used. Let’s take a closer... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Trademarks

Think your idea is silly? Check out these patents…

Today, let’s take a look at some of the crazier patents from the USPTO. (As silly as some of these seem, I assure you, they have all passed successfully through the patent office doors). User-Operated Amusement Apparatus for Kicking the User’s Buttocks. Patent No. 6,293,874. (2001) Improvement in Fire Escapes (Short Range Parachute). Patent No. 221,855 (1879) Wiper Mechanism to Keep Ey... Read More
Posted By John Rizvi In Patents