Category Archives: Technology

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Real inventions are not on Shark Tank

Big shark in the oceanariumOn Tuesday evening, I went to a “shark tank” event at TechNexus in Chicago. Thanks to my friend and colleague Nancy Fallon-Houle, the startup business lawyer, for inviting me. Here’s what I’ve learned about inventions and Shark Tank. If you’d like to know more about how to profit from your inventions, this article is for you.… Continue Reading

When Presidents Signed Patents

Patent_CollageOn Presidents Day, it is my pleasure to share with you the Beem Presidential Patent Collection. The collection comprises historic original patents and an original copyright, dated between 1800 and 1843, signed by U.S. presidents (also British monarchs), U.S. secretaries of state, and U.S. attorneys general. Also in the collection are original letters signed by … Continue Reading

Of patents and prizes, or are your engineers smart enough to invent?

Businesswoman Has Won A TrophyLet’s say you own a business that makes something, whether it’s a software product or a hardware device. Your success depends on filling your customers’ needs better than anyone else. You innovate to make your products better, faster, cheaper. You solve your customers’ problems. That’s what your engineers and coders do. But you’re stuck on … Continue Reading

Patent Incentives, Innovation and Profits

Lucky Architects Celebrating A Success“We’ve run out of big ideas,” the Wall Street Journal wails. The voice of Corporate America paints a bleak picture without offering any path forward. In this article, I will provide a simple formula for innovation, market leadership, sales and profits.… Continue Reading

3 criteria for @realDonaldTrump for new Director of Patent Office

US Capitol dome detail with flagThe President-Elect @realDonaldTrump and his transition team @transition2017 are working on appointments to his new Cabinet. One of the chairs is reserved for the new Secretary of Commerce. Following close on Commerce’s heels will be appointment of a new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO … Continue Reading

3 steps to patent success

3 Success Steps, Business ConceptIn the last six weeks, as in the last four decades, I have attended intellectual property (IP) and patent litigation conferences across the country and around the world. Many advanced topics for IP/patent lawyers are discussed in detail at these conferences. I often present on such topics myself. But as in many fields, it’s the basics that… Continue Reading

Would you rather win a Nobel Prize or a Patent?

Alfred Nobel Prize centennial US stamp 2001Which 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 … Continue Reading

5 Ways to Protect Your Proprietary Software after Oracle v Google

Programming concept: Java on Torn Paper backgroundNine 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 … Continue Reading

How long should a patent claim be?

Hand Holding Wooden Folding  RulerHouse 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.generationDoes 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 womanOn 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 … Continue Reading

How Young Turks Can Help Build Your IP Portfolio

37th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon 2015Are 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 … Continue Reading

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

Slide To UnlockIn 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 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 … Continue Reading

Billion Dollar Lego Patent

Lego logo on boxFifty-eight years ago today, Kirk Godtfred of Lego filed his patent application on the basic building block, literally, of Lego’s billion dollar private fortune. Now, here’s the thing: A patent filed 58 years ago is long expired. The then-standard-17-year term ended in 1978. So how is it that Lego is still the only game in town?… Continue Reading
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