Archives for June 2013

The Improvement Patent: An Easier Way to Get Patent Approval

The Improvement Patent: An Easier Way to Get Patent Approval

Let’s say the invention idea you had in the middle of the night turns out to already be patented. Time to move on and generate a different invention idea, right? Wrong! Examine your idea from a different perspective and perhaps it may qualify to be submitted for an Improvement Patent. johnny_automatic_eyeglasses

The Improvement Patent is the most common patent type issued today. It is also the most profitable. So what’s an improvement patent? Basically it’s an improvement made to an existing patented device. Improvements have to be new and non-obvious and the new improved product must be exceptionally better than the original.

Depending on the scope of the patent your improved device is issued, you may or may not need to negotiate a royalty fee with the owner of the original patent. Obviously, the more extensive your changes, the more likely you won’t be required to pay royalty fees.

Improvement patents are broken down by invention type as follows:

Addition inventions

An addition patent requires that new components be added to the existing patented device. A good example might be the original vinyl record player. Initially it was a one record device, yet at some point someone patented a mechanism which allowed multiple records to be stacked and played sequentially.

Substitution inventions

A substitution patent can be issued to devices that have had major component or material changes which result in a better product. This is perhaps one of the easiest patents to acquire, given the dizzying array of new materials developed annually. A great example of this type of patent is the rubber automotive tire. The basic design remains unchanged, but changes to the rubber compounds and the tread patterns have yielded hundreds of new patents.

New Use Patents

New Use Patents basically provide new uses for old inventions. A great example is the Tempur-Pedic mattress, a very successful product in today’s marketplace. Yet the cushioning material was originally invented and patented by NASA to protect astronauts as they encountered forces of up to 36 Gs as their vehicles re-entered Earth’s atmosphere. In the 1980s NASA released the patent to the general public and a lot of people have slept more comfortably since then.

Improving existing devices is a great and perhaps easier way to develop patents. The Improvement Patent was developed for just that purpose and is the most approved type of patent issued today. If your latest and greatest idea has already been patented, take a closer look at the original patent’s design specifications. Perhaps what you had in mind is different enough to qualify for a patent after all.

Contact us and we’ll be happy to refer you to a patent attorney, help you with your patent drawings or even create a solid model. We will make sure to find a  way to make your dream come true.

 

 

New Chapter In “The Clash Of The Titans”

Apple‘s supremacy in the mobile phone and tablet markets has been under assault by Samsung over the past couple of years. Apple has not been passive in its response. Beginning in 2011’ the technology innovator based in Cupertino, CA has launched a multi-pronged assault against Samsung, claiming patent infringement.

Samsung has retaliated with a number of lawsuits of their own. The debate has extended across numerous jurisdictions, from the USA to the UK. Suits are also underway in a host of other European countries, including the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Italy.

Now the UK High Court has rendered a decision in one of Samsung’s retaliatory patent infringement suits. The court has ruled that, no, Apple did not infringe upon three of Samsung’s  patents. These patents specifically pertained to how mobile phones send and receive data over 3G networks. Not too surprisingly, Samsung i ssued a statement expressing its disappointment with the High Court ruling. It further stated that it would consider an appeal.

This defeat for Samsung came just a week after it failed to secure an iPhone ban in Japan it yet another Apple vs Samsung clash.

So, in the early rounds of this “Clash of the Titans,” Apple is prevailing. The stakes are high, to say the least. It is not only the monetary damages that may be awarded. Products that the two giants hope to market in dozens of countries for many years to come will potentially be affected.

Right now, it’s potentially just “a billion here and a billion there.” Long-term however, this Apple v. Samsung clash may affect profits measured in the tens of billions. Hundreds of patents protecting intellectual property could potentially come into play. A consolidation of suits in certain jurisdictions may streamline the process. Such an effort has already been promoted by federal judges in the United States.

At Inventia Patent, we help enterprises both large and small to secure their rights via the patent process. For more information, please contact us.

[Latest] Spring 2013 USPTO News Related Articles

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a number of press releases in the Spring of 2013 the regarding awards, updated patent Patentsrules, and collaboration partnerships. Inventia Patent Drafting offers the following summaries of these announcements along with links to the original press releases.

May 6, 2013USPTO Commissioner for Patents Named Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal Finalist. The USPTO Commissioner for Patents Margaret A. Focarino is among 31 finalists to be honored in Washington D.C. as part of Public Service Recognition Week for her contributions in stimulating job growth and the economy through improvements to the USPTO’s patent operations. Focarino has led a team for the last several years that implemented bold reforms. Those include giving examiners more time and flexibility to handle cases, new incentives for examiners and new performance requirements for examiners and managers. She also increased employee training and leadership development opportunities and developed a comprehensive set of metrics to monitor patent quality.

April 3, 2013USPTO Updates Professional Conduct Rules and Registration Examination for Patent Attorneys. The USPTO’s Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) developed revisions which update the questions on registration examination and more closely align the rules with general legal ethics guidelines. This first major update to professional conduct rules since 1985 brings the discipline rules in the USPTO in line with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct of the American Bar Association. Perhaps most relevant are the updates to the content of the registration examination to include provisions of the America Invents Act that took effect on March 16, 2013. These rule changes will modernize the practice of law before the USPTO.

March 5, 2013USPTO and AutoHarvest Collaborate to Accelerate Advanced Manufacturing. The two organizations today announce the signing of an MOU creating collaboration to spur innovation and generate jobs in advanced manufacturing.  Focused in Detroit and surrounding regional areas, the partnership will help advance manufacturing businesses and individual inventors to obtain patent protection and commercialize their inventions. The partnership will result in an online environment for the exchange of information, technical discussions and encourage entrepreneurial activities.

To view and subscribe to all the USPTO press releases for 2013, visit their site. For professional assistance in trademark and patent drawings, please contact us at Inventia Patent Drafting today.

How to Find a Good Patent Illustrator Part ll

We received a lot of emails asking about our article published earlier this week about finding a good patent illustrator.  I thought a second article would be better than emailing everyone. . .  So here goes.

If you have an invention or design that you would like to patent, your first step (assuming that you have already built a prototype) is to study the requirements for obtaining a patent at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Although the language is a little hard to understand, you will see right away how important the drawings are to the process. Unless you are extremely proficient in illustration yourself, you should not attempt to submit your own drawings. You need professional help.

How do you find a good illustrator? Here are some steps you could take:

Ask for referrals. Many inventors share information on forums which could be helpful to you. However, be cautious about accepting a referral for professional work without checking references. The inventor making the referral may not disclose the personal interest he has in the illustrator he’s recommending. For all you know, it could be his brother-in-law.

Ask to see a portfolio. When you do locate an illustrator, ask to see his work. The artist must demonstrate a proficiency in creating accurate patent illustrations. According to the USPTO guidelines, the details of the illustrations must be discernible when they are reduced to two-thirds the original size. The artist also must demonstrate a mastery of shading when preparing design drawings.

Ask about availability. Good illustrators are in demand, so make sure that the one you choose will commit to having your project done within the time you specify.

Ask about pricing. Once you are satisfied that the illustrator you select has the skills and the time to take on your project, then you agree on a price. Along with the time frame, this is something you should get in writing so that both of you are clear on the terms. Make sure you also specify a timeline for updates on the project.

Inventia Patent Drafting employs skilled artists who use state-of-the-art technology in rendering patent illustrations. With considerable experience in both utility and design patent drawings, we invite you to peruse our portfolio and contact us with your illustration needs.

Patent Illustrations Demand Great Precision

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the agency that grants patents to inventors. A patent on an invention allows an inventor to sue imitators for monetary damages, which are then granted if a court finds that someone else’s product copied essential components from the patented design.

In order to be granted a patent, the inventor must submit a description and drawings of the design to the USPTO. The specifications for illustrations for a utility patent (the most common type of patent granted) are very precise. Following are the subheads of requirements for drawings with a brief description.

Inventia Patent Drafting is experienced in the production of patent illustrations for utility and design patents. We use state-of-the-art software to create the drawings, which are then formatted to meet the specifications set by the USPTO. For help with your patent illustrations, contact us today.

Apple vs. Samsung and Other Patent Industry News

The most recent development in the Apple vs. Samsung patent infringement litigation took place March 7, 2013, when U.K. judge Christopher Floyd ruled that Samsung’s disputed patents do infringe on Apple’s proprietary rights and are therefore invalid.

The extended patent war between the technological giants began in April of 2011 with Apple’s contention that Samsung, Asia’s largest electronics manufacturer, was “slavishly copying” Apple products. While Apple declined to immediately comment on the most recent ruling, a Samsung spokesperson said that the company was “disappointed,” but would review the decision before making a determination as to an appeal.

In other news, this USPTO press release of March 5, 2013, announces the creation of a formal collaboration with the AutoHarvest Foundation to encourage innovation and employment in advanced manufacturing. The Memorandum of Understanding signed by representatives of both parties stipulates that “entrepreneurs and corporate executives will have direct access to a centralized online collection of databases, information resources, software and analytical tools designed to help inventors better understand the process of obtaining, maintaining and commercializing their intellectual property.”  This cooperative effort is based on the fact that helping inventors better understand the patent process will lead to economic stimulus derived from the use of the patents.

Another press release of February 25, 2013, unveils the collaboration of the USPTO with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to produce an updated beta version of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s IP Awareness Assessment Tool, which is intended to help those in business gauge their awareness of intellectual property.

The need for this tool is shown in the resident value of a business’ or individual’s intellectual property, of which the originator may be unaware. Becoming aware of his rights, and how to safeguard his own property, will enable the owner to more easily profit from his invention. The IP Awareness Assessment Tool is available here.

To safeguard your intellectual property, have a professional draw patent illustrations for you that conform to exacting USPTO standards. Contact Inventia Patent Drafting to see how we may assist you today.

How To Find A Good Patent Illustrator In 6 Simple Steps

One of the most important, yet overlooked, part of an invention patent process is the illustration that reflects the idea cleanly and correctly. Patent examiners sift through hundreds of patent applications every day, and organized applications that maintain compliancy throughout the report will see a faster processing time. Flawed illustrated applications also face numerous rejections, adding on several hours of revising time on top of the long wait due to an unsystematic submission. It is vital to understand how to find a good patent illustrator.patent illustrator

It is imperative that an inventor find an illustrator that not only understand the rules of the patent process but can also reflect the invention idea correctly. When it comes time to prepare the application for an invention, there are several caveats you should consider when choosing a good patent illustrator.

Electronic illustrations

Verify the illustrator is well versed in drawing electronically. Ask for a portfolio to review, that displays the illustrator’s previous work. When the illustrator has completed the patent drawing, insist on several electronic file formats, such as .tiff, .jpg, .bmp, and .png.

Verify current software

The correct software is important for a patent drawing. Make sure that only the top designing software is used, such as CAD, Autodesk, SolidWorks and Adobe for all illustrations. Every illustrator should have only the current versions of the software chosen to use for drawing, and it is just as important as using the right software. Anything older than three years old is too old.

Laser hard copies

As important electronic copies of patent drawings are, you’re draftsman should be able to provide hard copies printed via a laser printer if needed. Inkjet printers are less accurate when it comes to lines and the ink is notorious for fading, running and smearing which can result in a rejection of your drawings by the USPTO. Laser copies last longer and display a much more accurate replica of an electronic illustration.

Use illustrators that specialize in patents

Many designers may be proficient in CAD or another well-known drawing software, but only those who specialize in patents knows and understands the USPTO rules. When it comes to patents, there is not a lot of leeway for mistakes. Stick with someone to strictly works with patent drawings.

Prototypes and pictures

High quality pictures are best if you cannot provide your draftsman an actual prototype – not any of your own drawings or sketches. The illustrator must walk into the job with a fresh mind and outlook, not tainted by previous mock ups.

Confidentially agreement and security

Never overlook the value of security. Have a confidentially agreement written up and signed by the illustrator. Make sure that they are also working in a protected environment – behind a firewall and running current software for virus protection.

Once you understand how to how to find a good patent illustrator, the process of elimination becomes much easier in narrowing down the right person or group to handle your patent drawings.

Still unsure about how to find a good patent illustrator? Feel Free to contact us anytime.

Apple vs Samsung Or Similar Cases Illustrate High-Stakes World Of Patent Cases

The high-stakes world of patent infringement has been perhaps better illustrated by the Apple-Samsung patent dispute than by any other case in the 21st century.

Apple vs Samsung or similar major patent infringement cases are a growing phenomena. In Apple vs. Samsung, lawsuits have been filed and heard in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California. The jury reached a verdict in case 11-CV-1846 in August 2012. It found that Samsung had indeed infringed upon six of Apple’s mobile device patents. Apple was awarded an unprecedented $1.05 billion in damages. Not surprisingly, Samsung expressed its intent to file an appeal.samsung-vs-apple23

The drama accelerated on February 12, 2013 when Apple filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. On that date, Apple asked that the court halt the sales of certain Samsung smartphones and tablets. Apple stated that Samsung had taken market share through a “deliberate copying of Apple’s innovative iPhone and iPad products” and asked the court to halt the sales.

The re is also yet another new twist to the dispute. Federal Court Judge Lucy Koh, of the Northern California District, has asked the parties to agree to freeze another smartphone patent dispute that is currently scheduled to go to trial in March of 2014. At a February hearing, Judge Loh stated from the bench, “I was going to ask if we can stay this case while the other appeal is going on. Any possible resolution of the conflict will be “global” and cover technologies contested in both suits. I don’t know if we need two cases on this.” Judge Koh has given the parties until March 7th to indicate whether they agree to put case 12-CV-630 on hold while the earlier case is appealed.

Previously, Judge Koh had ordered both parties to reveal financial information that neither company wants to divulge. An appeal of her decision will be heard before the U.S. Appeals Court in Washington D.C.
On March 26th.

Inventia Patent can guide inventors through the labyrinth of patent application requirements. The stakes can be high. At the same time, the opportunities inherent in securing valuable patents are evident. Please contact us for further assistance.