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Showing posts from September, 2018

U.S. Tariffs and China’s IP System

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The U.S. tariffs being implemented against various goods imported from China has raised a lot of questions around IP protection strategies.             Historically, enforcing IP rights in China has been difficult, primarily due to a lack of recourse and structure for enforcing rights against infringers. However, in recent years there has been an initiative in China to revamp their IP system, and the result has made filings in China stronger for foreign filers.               So in view of recent tariffs, what makes sense for intellectual property strategies? The answer, is “it depends”.             For companies in industries that are particularly competitive in China right now, such as artificial intelligence, it would be wise to build a portfolio of filings in China regardless of manufacturing location. This approach may prove helpful downstream to block direct competitors from using the same technology. Moreover, if your industry is particularly competitive in China, there may be…

Have a technical question? Look to patent applications!

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My husband and I are in the process of remodeling our house.  Among the more fun tasks associated with the remodel is the selection of new appliances.  During a recent discussion of hot water heaters (we have to upgrade to an instant tankless heater!), my husband mentioned that he was curious how gas-fueled tankless hot water heaters work.  While I had a good guess, I didn’t want to share it with him until I confirmed I was correct.  A quick search on the web sites of some major appliance retailers provided little technical information, so I turned to the source I use daily at work—the USPTO’s patent and patent application database.  To narrow the results, I entered the name of a common manufacturer of hot water heaters into the assignee field, and searched for gas tankless hot water heaters.  The search results produced a few solid patent applications, including one application with a well-written background section that explained the core technology.  By reading the application, I c…