Patent

MICROMANAGING THE “MICRO-ENTITY” PATENT FEE DISCOUNT


More than five years after Congress threw a little bone to start-up inventors, we’ve learned a few things. The good news is that you might qualify for reduced patent fees under the patent laws, thanks to a “gift” from Congress to small inventors. I didn’t follow the battle, but I expect it was a way for them to look like they are being generous in some small way when  [...]

HOW “KEEP-ALIVE” PATENT STRATEGY KEEPS THE “INFRINGEMENT WEASELS” AWAY


Mustela frenata AKA the Common Weasel. AKA the lawyer for the guy who’s infringing your patent. Imagine being a general going into battle, and all the unanticipated intelligence about your enemy is gained as the battle is engaged.  Now imagine having a magic “pause” button that halts the battle, and enables you to resupply, re-arm, and redeploy your troops in the  [...]

HOW TO KILL A BAD PATENT BEFORE IT KILLS YOU


As I’ve written before, sometimes the Patent Office grants a patent that simply shouldn’t have been granted. (Even government employees make a mistake now and then, after all). The important question is what do you do when you’re accused of infringing a patent you think should never have been granted? One famous but harmless example of a bad patent was the  [...]

Stop the Worrying!


To SHOT or Not to SHOT? Before I start the main story, I have to address what everyone is asking me about: Will there be a SHOT Show?  My current take is that it might happen in some form but would be a faint shadow of its usual self, with many companies pulled out for the year, and many regular attendees skipping.  Some data points I have heard but can’t confirm:  No  [...]

Managing Uncertainty


It’s taken me 30 years of practice to realize it, but most of what I do is help clients manage decision making in an uncertain world.  Getting comfortable with uncertainty, and managing it wisely are keys to success. The Covid-19 pandemic is a good example.  At the outset, it looked like it might be very bad.  I’m talking about ambulances hauling away dead neighbors  [...]

WHAT I LEARNED FROM PATENTING MY OWN INVENTIONS


After 30 years as a patent attorney, I find that inventing and pursing my own patents keeps me sharp and stimulated. I’ve written about how hobbies that train me in technology (like camera lens repair) make me a smarter patent attorney. Years ago, I got a patent on a drop in part for a Steyr AUG trigger that reduces the heavy pull weight, and it’s been featured in a  [...]