20

This is a great question, with no one right answer. The strength of a patent comes from the ability to enforce it. If the patent owner cannot enforce it for whatever reason (such as a lack of funding), the patent is effectively toothless. But your competitors will likely not know that. They may therefore be dissuaded from infringing simply by the existence ...


18

List of Patents This appears to be the guts of the billion dollar suite: Patent Application #US20080168404 "rubber-banding" patent: Yes for all devices. Patent Application #US20080168384 "pinch-to-zoom" patent: Yes for all devices except for Intercept and Replenish smartphones. Patent Application #US20080094368 "tap-to-zoom" patent: Yes for Droid Charge, ...


16

Become a troll. Or join up with one. Or sell out to one. Or sell to someone else who wants your patent for other reasons. There are now a very large number of investors and attorneys who will help you to monetize your patent - provided they think they can make money from it. Almost all of them would be described as patent trolls, more politely known as "...


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

Board game mechanics (the process for playing the game) are patentable. A Google Patent search for "board game" turns up lots of results. So no, just changing the artwork is not enough to avoid infringement if the game mechanics are patented. (See the article Patenting Board Games 101 for more information.) In the legal battle surrounding Scrabble, the ...


12

My answer is yes, and I agree with Maca. I'll add that your ability to enforce it might change in the future. I'm not implying that your situation is the same as mine, but consider this: In my industry at my company, we basically lack the ability to enforce the patent as well, but the more patents we have that our very large competitors infringe or might ...


11

The fundamental description of infringement is given in USC 35 section 271(a) as: "Except as otherwise provided in this title, whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States, or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent."...


10

How was this guy able to get a patent? First, it's important to consider that while you have a utility patent, the two 9 Square patents are design patents, which protect the ornamental design of an article of manufacture (i.e. what the thing looks like). The applicant cited your patent as relevant prior art to the Patent Office during prosecution, so the ...


9

There are lots of approaches here. The only one that satisfies your 100% criteria is to give up and go home. I.e., none of the approaches are satisfactory. However, your risk here is probably relatively much less than other entrepreneurial risks associated with this venture. (1) you can conduct a freedom-to-operate search that will perhaps get a ...


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. ...


7

Here are the Apple patents either claimed or proved to be infringed by Samsung. Here's a list of them with brief description: '381 patent Besides the "rubber band" effect where a page "bounces" when a user scrolls to the bottom, '381 also includes touch-screen actions like dragging documents and multi-touch capabilities like pinch to zoom and twist to ...


7

Find patent attorney and figure out best strategy Let the patent attorney to contact with that company who infringes your patent. Try to negotiate.


7

This patent covers an invention by a prominent US patent attorney (WESLEY W. WHITMYER) and enforced through is company (Whitserve). A jury found claims 10 and 15 of the patent enforceable and that judgment was recently affirmed on appeal with the exception that the Federal Circuit found Claim 10 invalid as anticipated by prior art. A dissenting opinion in ...


7

That's a good question. In general you can use Public PAIR to find out a lot of detailed information about issued patents and pending patent applications. A good example is this is the touch screen patent by Steve Jobs: US7479949. The patent was subject to re-exam and all claims stand rejected in a non-final office action. The '949 patent provides an ...


6

If your patent attorney determines that your idea is the same as the other patent - you WILL be liable for infringement of the patent. It doesn't matter if you charge for it or give it away for free - it is an infringement. Now if you have noble intentions of release, you may want to contact the patent assignee and see if they are willing to grant you ...


6

Making the accusation of willfulness is trivial; proving it at a trial is more difficult. Simple failure to search is not sufficient basis for a finding of willfulness. Some showing of actual knowledge of infringement or likely infringement is required. Notification (whether by the patent holder or any other party) is evidence of knowledge. As with so ...


6

The US patents that you mentioned should both be expired. In particular, US5390937 was issued on Feb 21, 1995. At that time, US patents were given patents that lasted 17-years from issue date. The result is that the patent expired on Feb 21, 2012. The second patent (US5649862) issued in 1997 and would have two-years of term remaining except that patent ...


6

This is precisely what Acacia Research does. If you have an issued patent that is being infringed, then Acacia will assess its value, then if the numbers work, have you transfer ownership of your patent to a separate legal entity (business shell) that both you and Acacia own. Acacia then spends their resources to collect compensation on the intellectual ...


6

Suppose you own a patent with claims that may be infringed through, at least in part, software. You think some company, call them Acme, infringes at least one of your patent claims. In the US, you are required to perform a reasonable investigation into Acme's products and services to make the claim that Acme infringes your patent. Because source code MAY be ...


6

When filing a patent, the goal of the Independent Claim(s) is to define the invention as broadly as possible. Your goal is to obtain Freedom to Operate, with enough "white space" around your Preferred Embodiment that competitors cannot change minor details to avoid licensing your patent. Dependent claims provide paths to multiple embodiments of your ...


6

What you are looking for is Freedom-to-Operate. There are quite a few articles written on this subject, and most of them deal with the inherent difficulty you describe. I've stitched together some excerpts from those articles, hopefully into a coherent meta-article: Crouch, D. Facilitating Freedom-to-Operate Searches. Patently-O. September 17, 2010. A ...


6

Yes. The patent holder may sue for lost profits and/or reasonable royalties. Wikipedia sums it up well: Under 35 U.S.C. § 284, a patent owner is entitled to "damages adequate to compensate for the infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty."[9] Lost profits that result from infringement of their patent are also compensable. Which by ...


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 ...


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

Unfortunately no. Unlike copyright, infringing a patent doesn't require that you copy anything. Independent invention is not a defense. However, there is a small consolation: you won't be liable for intentional infringement, which would mean you would be on the hook for 3 times the amount that the patent holder would normally be entitled to. Now, the story ...


5

In short, yes. While the "corporate veil" protects an individual from personal liability in many instances, this isn't always the case when dealing with infringement of intellectual property. A few ways the director may be held personally responsible include: (1) The court pierces the corporate veil. If the company is undercapitalized, is used to commit ...


5

You can disclose your ideas, designs and product plan details in various ways to try to make them readily findable by patent examiners doing searches. One defensive publication site is IP.com. It is fee based. But the best way to have a high probability of a patent examiner finding your defensive publications when examining someone else's application is to ...


5

You can't enforce a patent application. You can simply respond politely inviting him to bug off, or more usefully to let you know if a patent ever issues. You can't file a patent application after someone else has published the invention in the US. So your website would count as prior art, as would the products you shipped, any documentation you published, ...


5

I concur with vallismortis's answer, but here are my views since I am a software / firmware developer too. What I have learnt over the years is not to go out looking for in your words "possible patent infringements" that "are buried in these hundred thousands lines of code." (search for "willful infringement" to understand my practice). Here are three ...


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