When you get a letter from the IRS, the biggest mistake you can make is to ignore it. Issues with the tax collector are serious and only compound if disregarded. The same advice follows if you happen to be a trademark owner who recently received a notice from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The issue is a trademarks security breach.
Some compare being a patent holder to holding a lottery ticket. Just because you have the number doesn't mean you're a winner. Some dismiss the whole idea of pursuing a patent for that reason. They might believe the costs of seeking a patent are so unknown or so high, and that the odds of making any money off the idea are so low, that it's not worth the effort. But, as the old line goes, you can't win a game if you don't play it.
The legal trade features an expansive glossary of terms. There are so many that are so confusing that it suggests Winston Churchill's quote, "It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma." In patent law, the term "claim construction" is one that is enigmatic, and because it is making headlines, it may be worth looking at a little more deeply.
What is it like to obtain a patent? Ask Billy Beane, the one-time baseball general manager. As he expressed in the movie "Moneyball," "It's a process. It's a process. It's a process." In Beane's case, the process involved data analytics about on-base percentages and persuading his team to play to maximize that metric. It worked. But it took time.
If you ever stray into a conference of patent attorneys, you might feel you just walked into a bar on an alien planet. Conversations don't seem to be taking place in English. The seemingly incomprehensible language of the patent world is something that has developed over the course of decades, driven by the demands of the practice.
If you are an inventor, then you know just how valuable your ideas are and how important it is to protect them from others who may attempt to counterfeit or copy them as their own. One of the most important steps in terms of protecting your intellectual property is to apply for a patent for your invention.
Creative expression is a unique feature of what it means to be human and government recognizes the value that expression delivers to society through intellectual property law. Obtaining a copyright from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is clear recognition of a work's originality and that the holder has the right to derive the monetary benefit from that work.
If anything in patent law triggers a love-hate reaction it is likely the processes related to inter partes review (IPR).
Do you know who Walter Hagen is? He was a professional golfer prominent in the first half of the last century. He was so good that he ranks third in the world for the number of men's major championship wins. Jack Nicklaus is first. Tiger Woods is second. That's ironic because Hagen is also the guy credited with saying, "No one remembers who came in second."
People, being people, have disagreements. Relationships of all kinds get put at risk if disputing parties let the issue fester. Within the legal context, the traditional approach to this dilemma has been to litigate. Historically, the process involves bringing the dispute into the open. Negotiations follow, pressed by the knowledge that unresolved issues could wind up in court.