Insights and Analysis from the Law Firm Evolved
Posts from John Boyd
After several sporadic decisions issued by the Supreme Court impacting the US patent system and years of debate about how the system should be improved, Congress recently passed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (HR 1249). President Obama signed the Act into law on September 16, 2011. The text of the Act can be found here.
The provisions of the new law have a variety of effective dates. Some of the changes take effect immediately. Fee increases will be instituted on September 26, 2011. Other changes will not be implemented until 2012 and 2013.
The ongoing “patent war” between Google, Apple and Microsoft has brought public attention to the value that these companies perceive in their patent holdings. These companies are aggressively buying patents, hoping to integrate those discoveries with their own, but also to preclude their use by competitors through the threat of patent-infringement litigation. Software patents, are playing a pivotal role in this competition, for example, patent-infringement actions against smartphone producers utilizing Google’s Android operating system.
I’m a patent attorney. As a result, I get a lot of questions from people about patents. Questions like: "Do you think this idea is patentable?"; "Do I need to hire an attorney?"; or "How much will it cost to file a patent?"
I’ve always enjoyed interacting with inventors. They are often very excited about their ideas and love teaching others about their innovations. When inventors come to me with a great idea that has potential commercial value, I often encourage them to look into pursuing a patent.
In order to be commercially successful, ideas need to be properly developed and marketed and team and execution are usually the most important factors. However, protecting the idea with available intellectual property rights is often a critical initial step and typically requires preparing, filing and prosecuting one or more patent applications. Deciding which <a href="http://www.rimonlaw.com">law firm</a> or patent attorney to work with is often a challenge.
By a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court rejected Microsoft's argument and affirmed the Federal Circuit's strong presumption of proof that granted U.S. patents are valid.
In Part I, I outlined actions (1) – (5) that can be taken by a business after receiving such a patent infringement notice.
Eventually, you will likely need to form an internal team and an external team. This might prove to be the most important action.
Patents have many legitimate strategic uses, which seem great until you receive a letter or notice from someone claiming you are infringing one or more patent claims.
The following are some actions that can be taken by a business after receiving such a notice.
It’s not easy being a technology startup. There are many challenges, including racing towards product and business development milestones, recruitment and management of employees, funding goals and restraints, fierce competition from big and small competitors, changing legal and regulatory landscapes – just to name a few.
One of the costliest mistakes a startup can make is mismanaging intellectual property rights. A company needs to not only manage its own IP rights, but also avoid those of third parties, including competitors. To be on the safe side, therefore, intellectual property management should include efficiently protecting the startup’s IP rights while also avoiding the IP rights of others.