by Colin P. Cahoon
Often overlooked when discussing the myriad changes wrought by the America Invents Act (AIA), 35 USC Section 102(b)(2)(C) deserves close scrutiny by any company that hires potential inventors or that enters into joint development agreements with third parties. This new provision created by the AIA provides such companies with a powerful tool for removing potentially harmful prior art from consideration by the USPTO against patent applications that such companies might file in the future. To work properly, though, 102(b)(2)(C) needs to be considered when negotiating a joint development agreement and when first hiring any new potential inventor employees.
By Colin P. Cahoon
In a prior article, we reported on the Patent Prosecution Highway (“PPH”) program developed to promote fast-track patent examination procedures and allow patent offices from around the world to take advantage of work already done by other offices. The PPH was one of the initiatives that was undertaken by the USPTO to help with the always increasing load of patent examinations.
What if there was a new way to manage an international patent portfolio that results in lower costs and quicker issuances of patents? If this question piques your interest, read on as I walk you down that highway, or what the USPTO calls the “Patent Prosecution Highway.”
By Colin P. Cahoon
Years ago a non-patent lawyer colleague of mine told me that he had been asked by one of his clients if it was possible to obtain patent protection on the client’s new stuffed animal design. “There was nothing special about what the stuffed animal did or how it was made. It just looked like, you know, a variation on a teddy bear. The client wanted to know if we could get a patent on the look of this fluffy creation, and I said ‘No.’” I informed my colleague that he needed to call the client back and revise his answer, because he had just given bad advice.