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.

Microsoft Sued over Skype

In an article of May 1, 2013, C/Net reports on the patent lawsuit filed by CopyTele against Microsoft over some of the technology used in Skype. Specifically, CopyTele is suing over the infringement of two patents originally granted in 2005.microsoft-skype

The first patent that CopyTele claims ownership of concerns the transmission of information over the internet using public-key and private-key encryption, and the second patent refers to a security device, which the company defines as any device with a keyboard and microprocessor that has multiple inputs and outputs. CopyTele claims that any device running Skype qualifies as a security device under its patent definition.

CopyTele seems to be universally recognized as a patent troll. As such, they purchase early or vague computer-related patents and then sue any company involved in information technology. Patent trolls have previously been very successful in essentially blackmailing companies with lawsuits, due to the extraordinary expenses associated with defending oneself against such lawsuits.

Forbes’ coverage of the lawsuit identifies the plaintiff outright as a “patent troll.” The CEO of CopyTele, Robert Berman, frankly admitted to Forbes reporter Erika Morphy that his company was all about “patent monetization”—making money off the patent lawsuits, not the patented inventions themselves. His explanation to her was that, “It can be difficult for small inventors to work the system especially when their patents are used by big name companies. . . . ‘We provide a service to these inventors. They don’t have sophistication and expertise to monetize their inventions and we will help them do that.’”

There has been some speculation that, because the patents themselves are so vaguely worded, and the technology so widely used, that these latest lawsuits may not be as profitable as previous efforts.

Keep up with the latest in patent news with Inventia Patent Drafting. And for the professional rendering of your patent drawings, contact us today.

CLS Bank v. Alice Corp. Patent Infringement Case

In a patent case that may have far-reaching implications, a Federal Circuit court has ruled that Alice Corporation’s claim to have patented a computerized system is unfounded because the software is ineligible to be patented.

The case raised a number of questions, resulting in seven written decisions among the ten-member judicial panel. While not agreeing on any one opinion, seven of the judges concurred “that the method and computer-readable medium claims lack subject matter eligibility.” That was the extent of the agreement, as the justices were divided over what approach would prove suitable as a pattern for granting future patent claims in the information technology field.

As summarized by the linked article above, five members of the panel concurred with three grounding points codified by Judge Lourie. They are:

1. Patents must not be used to stifle creativity and discovery. They must embody more than an abstract idea or natural process, and they must not infringe on future applications of the patented process.

2. The protocols established for granting patents must not become so rote and predictable that they can be “gamed” by opportunity-seekers who do not exert genuine creativity.

3. The patent-review process must retain flexibility and open-mindedness to judge unknown future patents on individual merits.

The bulk of Alice Corporation’s patent claim lay in the “abstract idea” of a third party’s acting as an intermediary between two transactional parties to insure that the requirements of both are met before allowing their interaction to be fulfilled. Since abstract ideas are ineligible for patenting, the judges then had to consider whether the remainder of the patent added significantly more. Five of the judges decided that it did not, so Alice Corporation’s claim was denied.

It will be interesting to see how this decision comes to play in future technological patent cases. Keep abreast of patent news with Inventia Patent Drafting. For professional design assistance, please contact us today.

Proper Design Patent Drawings Safeguard Your Intellectual Property

This recent article in Technical Advisory Service for Attorneys entitled “Caution! CAD Drawings May Be Fatal to Your Design Patent” highlights a weakness of many inventors who submit drawings to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a design patent.

While the article must be read for complete comprehension of the author’s point, it centers on a lawsuit for patent and copyright infringement in which the author was hired as an industrial design expert witness for the defendant. The lawsuit centered on the defendant’s reproduction (at the request of an agency of the United States government) of a piece of furniture created by the plaintiff. At the time of the request, the defendant was not informed that the plaintiff had filed design patents and copyrights on his furniture.

Upon being informed of the filings, the defendant redesigned his submission, at which time the plaintiff filed suit for infringement by both of the defendant’s designs. The expert was then called in to make a determination as to whether the defendant’s designs infringed on the plaintiff’s intellectual property rights.

The expert determined that neither the defendant’s first or second designs infringed on the plaintiff’s property because “all of the drawings in both the design patents and the copyrights were straight forward, unmodified CAD drawings that did not include any surface shading that is required to distinguish between open and solid surfaces in design patent drawings.” (See the linked article for examples of the drawings.)

The expert then quoted the stipulation of the USPTO’s Guide for the Preparation of Patent Drawings that shadings are essential in determining the uniqueness of the object’s design. As a result of his findings, the plaintiff withdrew his lawsuit.

The expert concludes, “it is all right to produce CAD drawings as the basis for a design patent application, but make certain that the drawings are modified to conform to the rules of the USPTO, or the design patent may be doomed to protect that which it was intended to protect.”

At Inventia Patent Drafting, we are well aware of the USPTO’s stipulations for design patent drawings. Please note the examples in our portfolio which exhibit the fine detail and shading necessary to realistically render the features of the object portrayed. You may have complete confidence in the professional nature of the drawings we do for you. Contact us today for help with your design patent drawing.

How to Protect Your Idea or Invention Before Getting a Patent

It’s a sad fact of life that there are people looking to steal anything they think will profit them. So if you’re working on some great new idea or product, you have to protect your intellectual property. (“Intellectual property” is defined as your ideas that you express in a form that can be sold.) If you ask an attorney or businessman how you should go about protecting your idea, he will tell you to get a patent.

Good plan! However, a patent requires that you submit drawings for a finished product to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. (It is possible to file for a provisional patent, but there are some serious drawbacks to doing so, the primary one being that it only lasts a year. Before the end of the 12 months, you must file a corresponding non-provisional application or lose the benefits of the provisional patent.)

So how do you protect your idea before you’re ready to patent it?

The first and most general guideline is, don’t talk about your idea. Don’t show it to anyone. If you need expert input from others, it’s better to pay them for their time on a limited basis rather than show them too much of your invention.

Suppose you need more extensive collaboration or financial backing? Then you may need to take on a partner. In this case, you should have a clear understanding with your partner(s) about the confidentiality of your project. (Absolutely, the fewer people you take into a partnership, the better your chances of keeping it confidential.) A handshake agreement is not adequate here; you must put everything in writing and take it to an attorney to make sure the contract covers every contingency and will stand up in court.

Then when you are all ready, send your project to Inventia Patent Drafting. Using state-of-the-art CAD/design software, we at Inventia produce superior technical illustrations that will be accepted by the USPTO for patent protection of your product. We treat our clients with the respect and confidentiality you deserve. So contact us for help in protecting your great idea.

Inventia Patent offers the latest USPTO news related articles

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a number of press releases announcing new developments. Inventia Patent Drafting presents the following summaries of a few of these news items with links to the original releases:

January 23, 2013. USPTO’s Patents for Humanity Wins 2012 LESI Award. The USPTO’s “pilot program designed to encourage the use of patented technology to address humanitarian challenges” was recognized by the nonprofit organization Licensing Executives Society International at LESI’s annual Global Technology Impact Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. The program, highlighted here, encourages patent owners to use their innovations for the benefit of the world’s poor. It reflects the growing conviction that technological tools, properly used, can provide solutions to major world problems.

January 2, 2013. USPTO and EPO Announce Launch of Cooperative Patent Classification System. The USPTO and the European Patent Office “today announced the formal launch of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) system, a global classification system for patent documents.” In recognition of the emergent global economy, the new CPC combines the best practices of the United States with those of the European system for classifying technical documents used in the process of granting patents. With over 45 patent offices and 20,000 examiners using the same standards, the CPC should quickly be adopted as the international standard. (See more on the background work here.)

December 21, 2012. USPTO Announces New Patent Prosecution Highway Partnership (PPH) With Taiwan Intellectual Property Office. “The permanent PPH program, which started on September 1, 2012, will continue to permit each office to benefit from work previously done by the other office, which reduces the examination workload and improves patent quality.” This represents another acknowledgment of the importance of international cooperation in sharing knowledge and fast-tracking innovation which powers startups around the world. The businesses built on new technologies and processes help improve the standard of living for all the communities that support them.

See all the USPTO press releases for 2013 here. And for professional assistance in preparing technical illustrations for your trademark or invention, please contact Inventia Patent Drafting today.

USPTO Standards for Trademarks

Your trademark is the most visible representation of your company or product to the public; therefore, getting it right is critical to your success. If you’re not sure about the process of trademark creation and registration,

Registered Trademark

let’s start with the basics:

A trademark is a unique word, symbol, image or combination of these elements in a simple, recognizable form to distinguish one company’s products or services from those of another company or another market. In the United States, the trademark symbol (™) may be used without registration, while the registered trademark symbol (®) may only be used upon registration of the trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Registering the trademark guarantees its exclusivity and protection.

Before you register a trademark, you must insure that it is not similar to any other trademark registered with the USPTO. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make a trial sketch of what you have in mind for your trademark. With this in hand, your next step is to perform a search at the USPTO site above. If your search turns up anything that is too similar to what you want, you’ll need to make revisions to your design.

Once you are satisfied that your trademark is unique, send your rough drawings to us. Inventia Patent Drafting will translate your ideas into a crisp, professional design that will reproduce well however it’s rendered.

You will then begin the process of registering your professionally designed trademark here. You may prefer to hire an attorney, but it is not essential because the USPTO will assign a law office to walk you through the process. There is a nonrefundable filing fee for application, and the trademark must be renewed in ensuing years in order to keep it active, so be sure to keep good records and highlight the renewal periods in your files.

When the process is complete, and you are able to place that registration symbol beside your trademark, it confers a real sense of professionalism. Let Inventia Patent Draftinghelp you with that today.