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Showing posts from May, 2017

TIRE PRESSURE COURT RULING

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In a ruling issued April 4, 2017, the Federal Circuit has upheld a PTAB decision to invalidate claims 1-5, 10-19, and 21 of patent 5,602,524 to Wasica Finance GmbH and Bleuarc Finance AG (the ‘524 patent).  The ‘524 patent is related to a tire pressure monitoring system where pressure data received from respective pressure measuring devices are sent to corresponding receivers with corresponding, unique identification signals that specify the original transmitter.  The Federal Circuit found that the claims were anticipated by Italian Patent No. 1,219,753 (“Oselin”) and/or obvious over Oselin and various secondary references.  Oselin discloses vehicular systems for monitoring tire pressure.  The crux of the asserted differences between the claims of the ‘524 patent and Oselin lied in the construction of the claim terms “pressure measuring device,” “electrical pressure signal,” and “pressure transmitting signal.”  Therein, Wasica asserted Oselin failed to disclose such elements because …

WOMEN IN IP

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It is well reported that women face many hurdles in achieving equality in the workplace.  Intellectual property is one area where women are still generally under-represented.  A study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research published in 2016 concluded that women are greatly under-represented as patent holders.  For example, in 2010, only 18.8% of all patents included at least one woman inventor.  While the representation of women as patent holders varies greatly among patent classes, only one class (chemistry: natural resins or derivatives) includes at least 50% of all patents having at least one female inventor.
While such a disparity between male and female inventors is likely caused by under-representation of women in STEM fields, other factors may be at play also.  A recent study looked at the number of interruptions that occur during the proceedings of the Supreme Court.  The study looked at interruptions between justices and also advocates arguing in front of the justice…

MAKING THE MOST OF AN IP PORTFOLIO

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As mentioned in our previous post, approaches for developing and managing your IP portfolio need to change to keep up with changes in technology.  Due to rapid progress in technology, a patented technology may only be commercially desirable for a limited amount of time, such as a few years.  However, patents typically have a term of twenty years.  How can you make the most of your patent during the entire duration of its term?  One approach during concept development and drafting of the patent application may be to include disclosure of how your inventive concept could be used in technologies that are only newly emerging, but may be mainstays down the road.  For example, in automobiles, it may be wise to consider how an inventive concept could be used in a hybrid or all electric vehicle, or how the inventive concept could be used in an autonomously-driven vehicle.  You could include claims directed to the use of the inventive concept in these newly-emerging technologies, or file a co…

Is Patent Licensing a Domestic Industry?

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One powerful tool for domestic industries is a complaint at the International Trade Commission (ITC) under Section 337. The ITC does not award money damages, but can stop importation in the United States, and patent infringement by a foreign competitor is one basis for obtaining such relief. However, another requirement is that the complainant must show economic damage to a domestic industry caused by the patent infringement. A recent case found that the economic damages can be proven by showing loss of patent licensing revenue. That such activity can be considered a domestic industry is a significant issue as enabling non-practicing patent owners access to the ITC has a significant effect on the relative leverage among such patent owners and their targeted potential licensees.
The case before the US ITC is in the Matter of CERTAIN SILICON-ON-INSULATOR WAFERS (337-TA-1025). The initial determination was summarized by the Administrative Law Judge as follows:


While this case is ongoing…

PORTFOLIO DEVELOPMENT

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As technologies progress and change, so should your approach to developing and managing your IP portfolio.  Years ago, it used to be sufficient to secure one or two patents on a new product.  These days, more and more companies are looking to expand developed concepts across many platforms in order to secure robust and broad IP portfolios.  As one example, reported in SAE, Case Construction Equipment recently filed thirty (30) patent applications on a compact dozer loader.  The compact dozer loader represents a cross-over between features of a compact track loader (CTL) and features of a bulldozer, and is configured to run all of the attachments that one might use for skid steers and CTLs, thus reducing the need for contractors or other users to own multiple pieces of equipment.  The patent applications are directed to many concepts, from the frame to the CTL-dozer cross-over controls.
To develop a broad IP portfolio in heavy industry, consider how products across various lines could…

Announcing a new blog dedicated to Industrial Intellectual Property

Welcome to the Industrials Intellectual Property blog, a blog dedicated to intellectual property matters relevant to the industrials.  Written by experienced intellectual property law professionals and skilled engineers, this blog includes provocative discussion and technical analysis covering patents, trademarks, branding, copyright, and trade secret issues as they relate to the heavy industry and transportation industries.  Here, you can find everything from answers to your questions about how to protect innovation to informative discussion regarding trends and IP-related news.  Join us as we explore the extraordinary world of industrial IP.