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LAW OFFICE OF THOMAS L. ADAMS
In Private Practice for Over 35 Years

 

OBVIOUSNESS

Obviousness is perhaps the most important issue of patent law. Patents are not to be granted or enforced if the alleged invention is obvious. The obviousness determination is central to decisions by the U.S. Patent Office on whether to grant a patent.  The. U.S. Supreme Court established guidelines for determining obviousness in its landmark decision,  KSR v. Teleflex.

WHEN TO FILE THAT PATENT APPLICATION

To ensure that inventors promptly file their patent applications, the U.S. patent law, (35 U.S.C. 102(b)) requires that a filing be made within one year of the date an invention is placed in public use or on sale in the U.S. Unfortunately, the judicial standards for an "on sale" bar can be difficult to apply and inventors may be uncertain as to their deadline for filing a patent application.

WHAT DOES THAT PATENT MEAN, LITERALLY?

The day after Memorial Day 2002 the U.S. Supreme Court killed the controversial patent standards announced by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). The CAFC has almost exclusive appellate jurisdiction in patent matters. This article summarizes the larger issues resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court:

USPTO TAKES THE INITIATIVE FOR COMPUTER AND SOFTWARE PATENTS

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) took the unusual step of ordering on its own initiative, reexamination of a prominent software patent (the Eolas Patent No. 5,838,906). Microsoft, encouraged, reverses course.

PATENTING A LIVING ORGANISM

This landmark decision decides living organisms are patentable.

CLASSIC CASE - PUBLIC USE

Your invention is being used only by a close friend, a relative, or even just your spouse.  Can this be a problem?  See what the US Supreme Court said in 1881.

PATENT OFFICE STRATEGIC PLAN

In a document entitled "The 21st Century Strategic Plan" the U.S. Patent and Trademark office ("PTO") proposed on July 5, 2002 a number of very important changes to the U.S. patent system.  Some of the proposals met with opposition, but the Strategic Plan seems to have weathered well.


Performing a patent search.

Keeping an idea
confidential.

Applying for a
utility patent, or a design patent.

Provisional patent applications.

Protecting your invention abroad especially in
Europe.

Articles

 

The author, Thomas L. Adams, is an intellectual property attorney who has been in private practice for 25 years. He has a B.S.E.E. (N.J.I.T. 69) and J.D. (Seton Hall 75). Mr. Adams has experience in protecting mechanical, electronic and computer inventions. He has secured patents on technology that won the Best New Technology award at COMDEX. Mr. Adams has been trying patent cases since 1978. He is also experienced in the licensing of technology and is skilled in assessing innovation and turning technology into valuable assets.

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