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Running a start-up requires addressing big challenges with limited resources. Protecting the company’s intellectual property (IP) is one of the most important. Does your company have a system in place to encourage communication between the employees who generate patentable inventions and trade secrets, and those tasked with protecting them? A company benefits when the employees are incentivized to disclose potentially valuable ideas within the company to those enabled to realize their value. The incentives for…
Scientific information—features of an invention that are known through physical analysis—often provides the foundation for patent claims.  But providing such information can also risk the validity of a patent if it is not clearly explained in the patent.  Since the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc. heightened the patent law indefiniteness standard, courts have been more rigorously looking to the claims, the specification, and the prosecution history (in that…
Since US patent law switched from a first-to-invent­ to first-to-file system, some patent applicants have been racing to the PTO, concerned that a competitor might first file an application potentially covering the same invention. In their haste, these patent applicants may file quickly-prepared provisional applications that adequately describe the invention but that fail to articulate why the invention is novel over the prior art or, still worse, fail to highlight the significance of the differences…
Electric vehicles (EV) will soon get a boost in power and energy due to a relatively new cathode material known colloquially as NMC for its nickel-manganese-cobalt oxide chemistry. Battery experts predict NMC will, in the immediate future, replace the currently commercially used cobalt oxides and nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxides in EV and many other electronic applications. While the consensus is that NMC will play a critical role in the growing rechargeable battery cathode market, there is an…
The claims of an issued patent describe the metes-and-bounds of the invention. However, that depends on the court’s interpretation, i.e., construction, of the claimed terms. Statements made by an inventor in her patent application, or those made during prosecution, may be deemed during claim construction to have disavowed subject matter which an inventor thought was embraced by her patent. When considering whether or not subject matter was disavowed, two recent opinions emphasize that such disavowal…
As set forth in Article I, §8 of the US Constitution, patent law is a utilitarian system designed “[t]o promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”  Yet, today valuable life sciences patents are being invalidated by the courts for failing to meet subject matter eligibility requirements.  While the current anti-patent sentiment may be blamed on abusive…