Supreme Court Rules “.com” Trademarks Registrable

SCOTUS Rules That Addition of “.com” to a Generic Term Can Be Protected by Trademark On June 30, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the addition of “.com” to a generic term can be protected by trademark law, affirming a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. (United States Patent […]

Patents on Anti-Piracy Software that Use Creative Tactics to Protect Intellectual Property

With hundreds of millions of people involved in online piracy each month, unauthorized file-sharing costs entertainment industry companies and content owners billions of dollars each year. To address this problem, NBC Universal has patented a system for detecting high-volume peer-to-peer file-sharing activity. Peer-to-peer file sharing can be used for lawful purposes, but it is often an indicator of online piracy. This high-volume file-sharing, called a “swarm,” also puts strain on internet service provider networks. NBC’s new system can detect and target these swarms. The system functions by setting a threshold of data activity. When enough data is being exchanged, an alarm is triggered and high-risk swarms are then tagged. The data collected from swarms can be used to issue “takedown messages” to internet service providers, and to throttle or limit network resources.

Federal Judge Rules Virus-screening Software Method is Patent Eligible

Under U.S. patent law, patent-eligible subject matter includes “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof”. The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that abstract ideas and natural laws, by themselves, are not patent-eligible. A test for patent eligibility In its Alice Corp v. CLS Bank Int’l decision, the Supreme Court set out a test for determining whether the application of such abstract concepts is patent-eligible. If a patent claim or patent application involves an abstract idea, the second step under Alice is evaluating whether there is “an inventive concept” that makes such an idea eligible for patent protection. Well-known and conventional activities that have been routinely used in that field are not sufficient to show this requirement. The Alice decision made clear that merely using a computer to perform an ordinary business task that in the past was performed manually is not enough to obtain a patent. Finjan behavior-based virus screening determined patent-eligible Since the Supreme Court issued its Alice decision, many federal courts have invalidated software patents. However, in 2018 the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the patent-eligibility of virus-scanning software. In Finjan, Inc. v. Blue Coat Systems, the Circuit Court determined that, although virus-screening alone is considered an abstract idea, Finjan’s virus-screening software enables the detection of unknown threats, and is therefore patent-eligible. Here is why:

Sign of Booming R&D: IBM Obtains Record Number of Patents in 2017

Growth in these fields has spurred the development of high-performance microchips, including ones from IBM. Other areas with rapid growth include 3-D printing, cloud technology, and drones. Overall, the most popular category of patents are related to hardware and software for digital data processing. IBM had the highest projected number of patent family applications in 2017, and 9,043 patents were assigned to the technology company. For the 25th year in a row, IBM received more patents than any other company. IBM’s 9,043 patents include 1,400 related to artificial intelligence and 1,200 related to cybersecurity. It also obtained patents for simplifying blockchain transactions and machine learning patents involving autonomous vehicle behavior in emergencies.

Who Owns a Patent? The Employer or Employee? The Student or University? It Depends.

Generally, if you create patent-eligible products, including software, while at work or performing your duties as an employee, your employer owns the patent. Under U.S. patent law, the original patent applicant is assumed to be the patent owner, unless there is an assignment of interest in the patent to another person or entity. The law is murkier when you create something as an employee, but with your own resources. The outcome may also be different depending on the state law that applies. Employee pre-invention assignment agreements are key to protecting a company’s assets and research investments. Assignment agreements have become common, not only in engineering and computer science related work, but in any type of creative field.

Low on Time or Money? Try a Provisional Patent

There is a lot at stake when applying for a patent. Depending on how you write the claims and the specification of your patent application, and how you prosecute the patent in front of the Patent Office, you could lose potential patent rights at any point in the examination process. Filing A Patent Application Before you file a patent application, you should determine what types of patent applications apply to your invention, e.g. utility, design, and/or plant. Then you should determine your filing status: ● Large Entity - These entities pay full application fees ● Small Entity - Universities, nonprofits, individuals & small business (generally defined as having fewer than 500 employees) can receive a 50% discount on application fees ● Micro Entity - Individuals with a gross income less than 3 times the U.S. median household income, who qualify as a Small Entity, and who have not previously been named as an inventor on more than four U.S. patent applications can receive a 75% discount on their application fees.

7 Things Documentary Filmmakers Need To Know About Copyrights and Fair Use

Art doesn’t come from nowhere. Cultural progress depends on the ability of artists to make reasonable use of preexisting material, and that includes copyrighted material. This is especially true for filmmakers who operate in today’s media-saturated environment. In order to be able to comment on or depict our environment, filmmakers need reasonable access to other […]

Prior Art Primer

As you may already know, before a patent can be issued, a formal patent application must be filed with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). A patent application contains both a description of the invention written in a way to enable others to make and use the invention and one or more patent claims identifying what aspects of the invention will be owned exclusively by the patent holder if the patent is granted.

Benefits of Utility Model Patent Protection in China

There are many countries around the world that have a system in place for protecting minor inventions, such as Germany, Australia, Japan and South Korea. China has implemented this type of system via utility model patents. The Chinese Utility Model is generally meant to protect simpler improvements such as new apparatus, shapes or structures (processes and compositions of matter are excluded), but utility model patents can actually be used broadly by companies because they tend to be faster, easier and less expensive to obtain, while providing many of the same benefits and features as invention patents. However, unlike Chinese invention patents which can last for 20 years from the filing date, utility model patents have only a 10 year term of protection.