The Crisis in Software Patents

Programming Code Abstract Technology Background Of Software Deve

There is an international crisis in software patents. The critical, unanswered question is this: When are software inventions eligible for patent?

Billions in corporate assets are Continue Reading

Chicago Cubs Billion Dollar Trademarks

Image from Cubs Facebook Page

Little noticed among this week’s flying blue W flags is the notice of allowance of the W trademark for caps and clothing.

Yes, just Tuesday, November 1, 2016, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office agreed to issue the W trademark to the Chicago Cubs for valuable merchandising rights.

Before winning the World Series, the Chicago Cubs were valued at a cool Continue Reading

Chicago—Home of the Cubs, Hotbed of Innovation

Image from 2thinknow

It’s tempting to segment and isolate innovation, on one hand, from the drama of life, as evidenced in sports, the arts, business, and other fields of activity.

Tempting, but wrong. If you think of “intellectual property” as jars of gray matter on a shelf—that was the image that immediately came to my mind when I first heard the multi-syllable phrase some decades ago—you’re missing great flows of creative juices and Continue Reading

3 steps to patent success

3 Success Steps, Business Concept

In 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

In Defense of the Eastern District of Texas and its Handling of Patent Litigation

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The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) is often painted in a bad light. Among other malignments, the Court has been described as having “earned a reputation as the intellectual property equivalent of Continue Reading

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