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28

Yes, there is a process for invalidating older patents. It is called reexamination. However, the process is costly (~$16k in filing fees) and somewhat complex. Provided you have the killer prior art that is needed to invalidate a patent, you will need more skin in the game than simple indignation to go this route. But you can still ask for or post prior ...


25

Yes, you can submit a YouTube Video as prior art as long as the YouTube video is publicly available. YouTube videos usually have the publication date under the video, such as "Uploaded by X on Oct 17, 2011". If you provide a hard copy of the video itself, it be hard to prove that the video was public or its publication date, especially if the public version ...


18

There are lots of potential benefits for engineers who understand patent law and who take some time to understand what competitors are trying to protect. However, the question focused on problems associated with using this site. Two potential legal problems are (1) being charged with willful infringement (or inducing infringement); and (2) beign charged ...


17

Patent pending means that a patent has been filed but not issued. Filing a patent is expensive serious business and not a flim flam. The notice is there to put potential infringers on notice, like a no trespassing sign. There isn't any real security in it for the maker because if the patent is rejected it means nothing.


14

The recent $1 billion verdict in Apple v. Samsung offers a contrast to ordinary patent infringement damages. In that case, a number of Apple's patents were "design patent." Design patents protection ornamentation (i.e., the interesting shape) of a device rather than technological development that is the province of utility patents. By quirk of history, ...


13

Treble damages are awarded on a discretionary basis by the judge in the case, however, enhanced damages are only applicable in cases of willful infringement. The judge determines as a matter of law what is willful infringement by using a two-prong test: (1) "that the infringer acted despite an objectively high likelihood that its actions constituted ...


12

There are a few issues hidden in your question. I'm first going to write about whether these postings create prior art. Next, I'll write about whether a suggestion from a third party alters inventorship. Prior art and online postings: Public discussions create create prior art. If done in a public online written forum then the postings will count as "...


10

As Duckpaddle has said, the mark "patent pending" means that a patent application has been filed but has not yet issued as a patent. The mark generally has no legal effect, except for the provisional rights described in the next paragraph below. In order for the mark to be used properly, however, a patent application must actually have been filed or else a ...


10

Yes. An issued patent is presumed to be valid, but a challenger can produce prior art to demonstrate that the claims of the patent were anticipated or rendered obvious. There are administrative post-grant procedures for challenging an issued patent, and, of course, anyone who is sued by a patent holder can support a defense of invalidity by producing prior ...


9

Under the law, prior art must fit within one of the categories defined in 35 U.S.C. 102. The most likely categories for a youtube video are (1) a "printed publication" or (2) evidence of the invention being "known ... by others in this country." There is at least one case holding that a video is NOT a printed publication. Diomed, Inc. v. AngioDynamics, Inc....


9

For the moment, I'm going to ignore the possibility that their patent actually covers something significantly different than your tracker, and just deal with the matter of dates. They have 1 year following the invention within which to file the patent, so your invention would need to predate the patent by at least 1 year to qualify as statutory prior art. ...


9

The question asked for an explanation of inter partes review and ex parte reexamination when considering challenging patent with prior art. This is a big question that cannot be fully answered here. These are the two primary administrative procedures currently available to a third party to challenge an issued US patent. My answer on this other post ...


9

I'll go ahead and address 1) whether you can use other media that describe your invention like a patent, and 2) whether you can use other media to invalidate someone else's patent. Note that the law has changed to first-to-file effective March 16, 2013. Most of the below is a pre-F2F answer. However it is still a good answer for applications filed ...


8

Does this still stand? Yes. Deceptive use of 'patent pending' is an offense. More here from USPTO And more here from UK IP Office If I put a Patent Pending notice in a product do I have to describe it in the product? Not required. But you have to mention the patent application number and the country where the patent is applied for. UK information here. ...


8

Note that as of March 2013 (for apps filed after then) these rules change in the US; there is still a one-year grace-period -- but only as to your own disclosures. If someone else publishes the concept (or something that would make your invention obvious) before you file then you are (probably) out of luck.


8

In the United States, for any invention you have 1 year to file: 35 U.S.C. 102 Conditions for patentability; novelty and loss of right to patent. A person shall be entitled to a patent unless — (b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country, more than ...


7

As far as I'm aware, a block of code or a piece of software can't be patented, period. That's strictly copyright territory. What can be patented is the process that the code implements. And to that end, a program licensed under the GPL may implement a process covered by a patent. GPLv3, however, mandates that you grant all downstream users a license on the ...


7

The answer to this turns on 35 USC § 102(a), which reads: A person shall be entitled to a patent unless— (1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or (2) the claimed invention was described in a patent ...


6

I have seen a YouTube video cited as prior art in an Office action, and a claim rejection was based in part on the YouTube video. So yes, YouTube videos can be prior art. In the Office action, the Examiner provided a screenshot of the video as well as its URL.


6

As long as your Thesis was published, then it can be used as prior art. You'd have to figure out what CWRU did with Master's Thesis at that time. Determining if it's actually prior art against a particular patent requires knowing which patents and seeing your Thesis.


6

I believe you are asking about Patent Marking. Patent Marking is when you indicate on your product that it is patented for the purpose of giving due notice to the world about your patent. It is not required, but it has very important benefits which is why most practitioners suggest marking your products. 35 USC 287 deals with giving notice by marking your ...


6

The key legislation here is the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA) that makes some changes in the definition of prior art and in the types of post-grant review proceedings. The changes to prior art definitions will only apply to patent applications with an effective filing date of on or after March 16, 2013. Thus, the old law would apply to a ...


5

In addition to DuckPaddles answer regarding not issued. Many companies only file to be granted Provision Patents (PPs) and each year when the Patent comes up for review they ask for it to be put at the bottom of the pile. This way companies dont have to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars until they realise the idea is good enough and ...


5

First, the law (35 U.S.C. 284): Upon finding for the claimant the court shall award the claimant damages adequate to compensate for the infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for the use made of the invention by the infringer, together with interest and costs as fixed by the court. When the damages are not found by a jury, the court ...


5

Rumour has it that triple damages aren't guaranteed, but a judge can decide whether to award them or not. Just because an engineer looks at this site doesn't mean that (a) he understands what he is reading, (b) realises it applies to what he is working on or (c) realises it applies to another teams work within the same organisation. As others have commented ...


5

In patent law, it is the "claims" that define the scope of the exclusive patent right. Claims that are more broadly written cover more potentially infringing activity and are thus seen as valuable (though more likely to be attacked on validity grounds). One potential way to greatly increase claim scope is to draft a claim with functional limits rather ...


5

Yes, a master's thesis can be used as prior art to invalidate a patent. I have been personally involved in a case where we got a case dismissed with prejudice, based on a doctoral dissertation which was apparently only ever published on paper, in Australia. We found somebody who lived near the college in Australia, photocopied the dissertation, and sent it ...


5

In most cases the inventor (or assignor) assigns all of it's rights in the patent to the assignee. Thus, only the assignee has any rights in the patent. Accordingly, only the assignee can bring a suit for patent infringement. For more information see the USPTO's Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, Ch. 300.


5

That said, the America Invents Act does create a new avenue for challenging patents, albeit a limited one. It allows third parties to introduce evidence of so-called “prior art” (proof the invention had already been invented) to block patents from being issued, and it also introduces a new framework to challenge patents in a “post-grant review” ...


5

The short answer is that an essential patent is a patent that covers technology required to implement a technology standard. Often, it is used more specifically to refer to patents owned by companies that work together to create a standard, and agree to license their "essential patents" to other people who are implementing the standard. But in some ...


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