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May 25, 2005

Mettling With Obviousness In Metal

Kenneth Harris and Jacqueline B. Wahl were trying to get a patent "claiming a nickel-based superalloy for turbine engine blades that experience high temperatures." Rejected by the patent office appeal board as obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103, they pressed on, all the way to the Federal Appeals Court (CAFC) (04-1370).

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 1:49 PM | Prior Art

May 23, 2005

IP Foresight Is Missing

Maybe it is just me, but I have grown a little weary of firms complaining about competitive pressures as a reason that their margins are receding. While indeed market pressure are likely the cause of current woes, I think that the real reason for their slow downward spiral is a lack of IP foresight. Their margins are being eroded because they have not competitive advantage. Often firms think they can use their talent to stay one step ahead of the competition. This may very well be the case in some industries; however at some point you will start dealing with incremental improvements. If you have not spent the diligence to protect your early advancements, your firm will be in a features and price war when you were initially the market leader.

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Posted by David McFeeters-Krone at 11:51 AM | Patents In Business

May 19, 2005

Injunctive Relief - Historical Perspective

The U.S. patent office was founded in 1790. Injunctive relief against further infringement for the remaining duration of a patent's life has been available since 1819. From then into the early 20th century, injunctions against further infringement were generally granted as a matter of course.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 2:11 AM | Injunction

May 15, 2005

The Constitutionality of Robbing The Patent Office

"The Congress shall have Power... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"
- U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 2:23 PM | The Patent System

May 14, 2005

Patenting Tips for Inventors

You have a great idea. Now all you need is to wrap it in patent paper.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 2:14 PM | Prosecution

May 13, 2005

Did A Mid-90's PTO Hangover Incite Patent Reform A Decade Hence?

The evidence is anecdotal. Patent examination may have been particularly slack in the early to mid-1990s, which perhaps resulted in a rash of flimsy patent enforcement cases in the past several years that have incited catcalls for patent reform to remedy the granting of weak patents. But that stalking-horse is already back in the barn.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:02 AM | The Patent Office

May 12, 2005

Translogic Zaps Hitachi, Renesas

As of last Friday, 5,162,666 "Transmission Gate Series Multiplexer" wears a price tag of $86.5 million to Hitachi & Renesas Technology America for infringing it. Worse for the infringers, a permanent injunction is imminent.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 7:00 PM | Litigation

Extreme Networks, Patent Infringer, Declares Victory

Extreme Networks, found guilty of infringing a Lucent patent, practically laughed out loud at the Delaware jury verdict, concluding a two-week trial. "We view this as a total victory," said Gordon Stitt, president and CEO of Extreme Networks.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 4:18 PM | Litigation

May 11, 2005

Jump Start Your R&D Through Licensing

IP is commonly regarded as the key currency of the new economy. Lester Thorow has stated, “Intellectual Property lies at the center of the modern company's economic success or failure.” In addition, Gartner research has noted that value of intangibles is increasing to nearly 90% of the entire value of global 2000 firms. The reason is simple - these assets provide the firm with its sustainable competitive advantage. IP includes trademarks, copyright, and less tangible forms, but patents remain a key component. First and foremost they provide a firm with a legal, protectable monopoly in the material covered by patent.

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Posted by David McFeeters-Krone at 2:03 AM | Patents In Business

WSJ's Patenting Guidelines

There was a decent article about patenting in the Wall Street Journal: A Step-By-Step Guide To Getting a Patent.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:53 AM | Prior Art

Patents In Iraq Gone To Seed

This just hit my radar screen, and finding it an interesting read, recommend: Iraq’s New Patent Law: A Declaration of War Against Farmers.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:29 AM | International


When their fabled MTV show wound down, Beavis and Butthead had to find a new gig. While Butthead tanked into suds, Beavis, ever the ambitious one, started a magazine: BeavisWeek. Circulation behaved like, well, Butthead: it tanked. So Beavis hired a marketing goon, who advised a brand name change - "title it like it's serious, and you can put whatever crap you like inside. They read the crap, thinking it's respectable because of the title." And so BusinessWeek was born.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:04 AM | Patents In Business

May 10, 2005

A New Film Experience in Surreal-O-Vision

Microsoft U.K. is sponsoring a film festival on intellectual property theft, offering a £2,000 prize for the best film raising awareness on this very sexy topic.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:00 AM | The Patent System

May 9, 2005

A Modest Suggestion

The prospect of corporate-sponsored patent law mangling is weighing heavily on those who care about a fair patenting regime.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 1:43 PM | The Patent System

Bad Blood Not Shed

PharmaStem Therapeutics has an active patent enforcement campaign ongoing, and that's likely to piss somebody off. It did. But it didn't draw blood.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 1:07 PM | Patents In Business

The Pith of Patents

With regard to patents, the Jedi mind-shit seems to have worked - there is widespread misunderstanding about the very nature of patents, gullible minds warped, the truth obscured by the propaganda of serial patent poachers - that is, frequent corporate patent infringers, who coined and cry "patent troll".

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:01 AM | The Patent System

May 7, 2005

Conventional Claim Construction

PC Connector Solutions had no solution for crappy claims tossed for non-infringement on summary judgment in district court, and upheld in the appeals court (04-1180). The problem: tradition and convention.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 2:13 AM | Claim Construction

May 6, 2005

Patent Marking Fraud - No Biggie

Invitrogen appealed a district court ruling that it had falsely marked some of its products with patents notifications, arising from a case where Clonetech Laboratories alleged false marking against Invitrogen under 35 U.S.C. §292. (CAFC ruling 03-1464)

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:02 AM | False Marking

May 5, 2005

Linux's Free Ride

Heather Meeker and Peter Zura are impressed that open source software, typified by Linux, has been patent litigation free. There are two possible reasons for that: Linux isn't sophisticated enough to infringe patents, and/or whoever owns patents being infringed isn't going to assert them against the companies distributing Linux. Both are true.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 1:14 PM | Litigation

May 3, 2005

HP & EMC Bury the Hatchet, Buy Flowers

In 1999, Hewlett-Packard (HP) switched to Hitachi from EMC for high-end storage products, proclaiming EMC's technology old and proprietary. Little did they know at the time, they at least got the proprietary part right.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:05 AM | Litigation

May 2, 2005

Patent Economics: Part 6 - The Importance of Patents

Before the 1500's, an average human's prospect for prosperity was stagnant. Beginning around 1820, the pulse of economic development quickened, with the Industrial Revolution in England coming into full stride. What changed?

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 10:00 PM | The Patent System