In the months following the passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, industry observers have highlighted the visionary leader's career path as a shining example of American ingenuity and innovation. The World Intellectual Property Organization has provided more objective support for Jobs' reputation as a shrewd patent manager with a special exhibit showcasing his intellectual property filings.
Although a few lucky entrepreneurs are able to find success seemingly overnight, most understand that true innovations are more likely to come from a deliberate process of research and development than a sudden burst of insight. For those inventors who are convinced they could be on the cusp of an important breakthrough but need time to refine their creations, filing a provisional patent application may be a smart strategy.
With patent defense playing such a crucial role in the intellectual property arena, it can be hard to tell whether legal factors are shaping business decisions or company tactics are influencing litigation strategies. In fact, patenting decisions made in the past few decades have led to a reversal of the traditional cause-and-effect relationships many companies lend credence to.
Time, money and brand equity are just a few of the important resources that companies dedicate to the domain of trademark management. But while the natural inclination is to defend these hard-earned intellectual property rights at all costs, overzealous enforcement could do more harm than good.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's promotion of progress and innovation may soon serve it well in an unexpected manner, as a new competition encourages participants to develop new software that will make patent searches more efficient.
The latest analysis of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office filings has revealed a significant uptick in the issuance of utility patents in recent months, with administrators setting an all-time single-week high, according to PatentlyO.
The Track One Prioritized Patent Examination Program represents one of the clearest signs of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's renewed commitment to efficiency. Approximately six months after the program's enactment, intellectual property experts are beginning to develop a more complete perspective on how this innovative approach is being applied in the field.
The implications of intellectual property management decisions are looming large in the pharmaceutical industry as a number of major manufacturers approach patent expiration dates on some of their most widely-distributed medications. According to analysts from Frost & Sullivan, the next several months will represent a critical period for smaller competitors as a rare market opportunity arises for producers of biosimilar drugs.
It would be hard to understate the importance of the America Invents Act, as it represents the first major overhaul of the U.S. patent system in several decades. Before the majority of the proposed changes go into effect next year, companies should be weighing several important considerations in the interim.
While some firms may be determined to secure intellectual property protections to gain the upper hand on their competitors, new findings from researchers at the University of Buffalo suggest that patent sharing may actually increase the odds of market success while spurring overall innovation.
British Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Wilcox has been touring the facilities of several leading environmental innovators this week and encouraging members of the business community to take advantage of the so-called "green channel," a set of provisions that speed the patent application and review process for firms with eco-friendly new ideas.
Much like a logo applied to physical products, a company's website domain name contains a great deal of brand equity and needs to be protected appropriately. The intellectual property community has come to understand the importance of these issues in recent months as cases of so-called cybersquatting abound and organizations prepare their applications for a new website registration option.
Technology manufacturers who have been following industry headlines in recent months may be getting the impression that it's only a matter of time before one of their old patents or newest inventions becomes the target of an intellectual property dispute. Although infringement filings are on the rise, there are a number of preventative steps companies can take to reduce the odds of receiving an unwelcome subpoena.
German pharmaceutical giant Bayer has for several years retained exclusive intellectual property rights to a revolutionary cancer drug that could also hold the key to progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS. But according to Reuters, the Indian Patent Office "effectively ended Bayer's monopoly" by issuing a compulsory patent license that would allow a local company to produce a less expensive, generic equivalent.
The software industry has emerged as one of the most consistent sources of innovation in the American economy and has been a dynamic landscape for intellectual property management in recent years. Some legal experts have gone so far as to assert that the industry may be outgrowing the patent system as traditional modes of invention disclosure and application filing are becoming impractical.
The academic community has been a consistent source of innovation in the American economy, and universities have often been handsomely rewarded through well-designed patent licensing agreements. As companies look to navigate the new landscape brought on by the shift to a first to file system, it may be wise to follow the lessons observed in the higher-education sector.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's recent report on international protection confirmed on several levels that smart intellectual property strategies can help unlock global opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses. But according to IP Watchdog founder Gene Quinn, many smaller firms still view the patent system from the outside looking in.
Recent research from the National Women's Business Council has taken a closer look at the gender differences among patent applicants in the past four decades, suggesting that the rise of female patent holders may lead to a surge in entrepreneurial activity and women-owned businesses.
One of the largest fundamental changes introduced by the America Invents Act was the expansion of the prior user rights defense to patents covering all technologies, as opposed to prior mandates that limited the defense's application to business processes. Although this provision is expected to provide crucial intellectual property protection to parties that have been using an invention in the field for more than a year, some wonder if the legislation may indirectly foster a culture of secrecy that inhibits invention disclosure.
Agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto recently marked an important victory in an intellectual property dispute with rival firm and DuPont subsidiary Pioneer Hi-Bred International. A court ruling ultimately upheld a Monsanto patent claim even though Pioneer was effectively first to file the original application.