Would you rather win a Nobel Prize or a Patent?

Alfred Nobel Prize centennial US stamp 2001

Which would you pick: The Nobel prize or a patent? If you’re like me, your instinctive reaction is to choose the Nobel. Its scarcity, prestige, and certainty of financial reward are unequaled. In this article, we’ll compare the merits of the Nobel award with the value of patents. Alfred Nobel himself will be our primary case study.  Continue Reading

5 Ways to Protect Your Proprietary Software after Oracle v Google

Programming concept: Java on Torn Paper background

Nine billion dollars. That’s what Oracle wanted from Google for the unauthorized use of 37 Java APIs in Android, which runs most of the world’s smartphones.

Zero. That’s what Oracle has been awarded by a California jury, which decided on May 26, 2016, that Google’s use of the APIs is “fair use” and thus permitted under copyright law.

If your company develops proprietary software and sells or uses it for a profit, how can you prevent a competitor from copying it (or the best parts of it)? If you want to skip ahead, the answer, in the form of 5 tips, is at the end of this short article.  Continue Reading

How long should a patent claim be?

Hand Holding Wooden Folding  Ruler

House counsel for a large software company has written an open letter to me titled Pursuit of Extremely Short Patent Claims. He has thrown down the gauntlet in a public forum. Here’s what he said to me, followed by my response.  Continue Reading

How to Select Country of First Patent Filing, Get Foreign Filing License, and Comply with Export Controls

Globalization Connection Internet Technology.generation

Does your company have foreign competitors? Business is global, but each patent—a weapon for market advantage—is an armament of one nation. Treaties notwithstanding, the power of a patent usually stops at the border.

In this article, I will discuss how to cover the globe with a minefield of  Continue Reading

Three Takeaways from Computer Chip Patent Wars

Circuit woman

On April 25, 1961, Robert Noyce, then of Fairchild, was issued U.S. Patent 2,981,877 for the first silicon-based integrated circuit. The earlier-filed patent application of Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments (TI) was still in the queue at the U.S. Patent Office. In the end, Intel would become Fairchild’s heir and boast annual sales of over $50 billion, leaving TI and other companies in the dust. Much can be learned from Intel’s (and Noyce’s) success, which grew out of the integrated circuit (or computer chip) wars of the 1960s. Those wars were fought over people, inventions, and patents. Here is the bloody story in brief, concluding with three profitable takeaways.

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How Young Turks Can Help Build Your IP Portfolio

37th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon 2015

Are you protecting your company’s patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property (IP) internationally? If not, you’re missing out! The Young Turks of IP, literally in Turkey and figuratively elsewhere, can help you to advance your company’s business interests through better, stronger IP protection. Here’s what’s at stake, with 7 tips on how and when to protect your IP internationally, and a pair of guidelines specific to Turkey. Continue Reading

What everyone should know about Apple slide-to-unlock patent vs. Samsung

Slide To Unlock

In the last inning of the Apple-Samsung game of smartphone hardball, Samsung slid into home. Apple failed to make the tag. “Samsung is safe!” cried the umpires. The inning was umpired by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which held Apple’s slide-to-unlock U.S. Patent 8,046,721 invalid. See Apple v. Samsung (Fed. Cir. Feb. 26, 2016).  Continue Reading

How to get lucky in basketball and in patent cases

Flaming basketball

Luck, resources, or skill: Which factor is most important in basketball? In patent cases? In basketball, one counts on a bit of luck as the ball rolls around the rim. Talented players are the key resources. For skill, look at the coaches. In patent cases, judges and juries are drawn randomly. The top resources—and the biggest liabilities—in patent cases are the facts. The skill of effective advocacy is provided by the lawyers. The real question is, what does it take to winContinue Reading

How to make patent profits – iPhone maker Foxconn buys Sharp for $3.5b

HONG KONG - MAY 5, 2015:  interior of Apple store. Apple Inc. is

Foxconn has agreed to acquire Sharp for a mere $3.5 billion, says a Reuters headline. Foxconn, as you may know, is the maker of the Apple iPhone. It wants Sharp’s technology, patents and manufacturing. Continue Reading

How to Profit from Patents While Apple, Samsung Weigh In At Supreme Court

Money making idea. Light bulb with Dollar symbol.

The Supreme Court has granted Samsung’s appeal of a $500 million dollar judgment rendered on the latter’s infringement of Apple’s smartphone (iPhone) design patent. If your company owns patents, you may wonder: What effect will Apple-Samsung have on your patent program? More practically, how can you and your company make money on your patents starting now, in the “incubation period” of the decision that will be announced in about a year? Read further for one simple tip that can make millions for you and your company. Continue Reading