What did switching to First to File do to the number of patents filed in the First to Invent system just prior to the switch?

By Debby Wintersfirst to file v first to invent

If you are interested in patent filing numbers, this post by Dennis Crouch on Pre-AIA Filing Numbers will interest you.

In January and February 2013, filing averaged about 7,100 non-provisional applications per week. In the three weeks before the change-over, the filing increased substantially. In all, about one-month worth of extra applications were filed during those three weeks (about 33,000 non-provisional applications). Applicants also ramped-up filing of provisional applications with 24,259 filed in the week before the change and 32097 in the month of March compared to 8,761 filed in the month of January and 12,616 filed in the month of February.

I believe the number of provisional applications will continue to be higher now that we are under the AIA system, as inventors will want to get something on file as soon as they can, even if the invention is not fully developed. Filing a provisional patent application will be the way to go. If you need help filing your patent application, contact me.

National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees

By Debby Winters

Seems like there is a Hall of Fame for everybody…even an Inventors Hall of Fame. The USPTO just announced the 2013 list of inductees. See if you recognize any of the names or inventions. I bet you’ll recognize some of the inventions, even if you’ve never heard of the inventor.

Arthur Ashkin

Optical Trapping – At Bell Labs, Ashkin invented optical trapping, also called optical tweezing, a process that traps molecules and macroscopic particles by using laser light. The technique utilizes radiation pressure, when light or other forms of radiation exert force on an object. The process has allowed for the study of small particles in many fields.

Donald Bitzer, Robert Willson, Gene Slottow (1921-1989)

Plasma Display – In the mid-1960s, Don Bitzer and Gene Slottow, faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and graduate student Robert Willson, worked together to create the first plasma display. A new display was needed for the PLATO computerized learning system that had been created by Bitzer because traditional displays had no inherent memory, lacked high brightness and contrast, and flickered.

Garrett Brown

Steadicam® camera stabilizer – Brown invented the Steadicam camera stabilizer, ushering in new technology that enhanced movie and television production by allowing directors to obtain shots that were previously thought impossible. His invention is a body-mounted stabilization device so camera operators can move freely while filming remains smooth. Among other inventions, Brown also created the Skycam system that changed how sporting events are filmed by allowing moving aerial views.

John Daugman, Leonard Flom, Aran Safir (1926-2007)

Iris Recognition – Flom and Safir patented their idea for an iris identification system in 1987, basing their work on the fact that every iris, including in identical twins, is unique. Daugman then went on to invent the iris recognition biometric algorithms used in the identification of people using the iris. Today, iris recognition is considered the most accurate in the field of biometric identification based on physical or behavioral characteristics.

Irwin Jacobs, Andrew Viterbi

CDMA Technology – Jacobs and Viterbi, two of Qualcomm’s co-founders, were major contributors to code division multiple access (CDMA) technology that is used in cellular telephone networks. CDMA now supports over 1.6 billion subscribers in developing and developed countries with voice and high speed Internet access. It was standardized for North America in 1993.

Joseph Lechleider

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) – While working at Bellcore, Lechleider was the first person who demonstrated the feasibility of sending broadband signals over copper. His work turned the existing copper wire phone network into a high-speed broadband delivery instrument, allowing for transmission of data at equal rates in both directions. He also suggested that larger amounts of data could be sent in one direction and smaller amounts in the other, which came to be called asymmetric DSL, or ADSL, the standard used today in much of the world’s DSL connections.

Samuel Alderson (1914-2005)

Crash Test Dummy – Alderson was a pioneer in developing the crash-test dummy, a full-scale anthropomorphic test device. The crash-test dummy has provided automotive engineers with valuable information, enabling them to design more effective safety features including seat belts and air bags. From its beginnings of use in the automotive industry, dummies have gone on to provide valuable data in all kinds of development and testing, from aircraft to medical technology.

John Birden (1918-2011), Ken Jordan (1929-2008)

Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) – Birden and Jordan were working at Monsanto’s Mound Laboratory when they developed the RTG, a self-contained power source that obtains its power from radioactive decay. RTGs have powered most of the exploration vehicles the United States has launched into deep space, where the sun’s intensity is not sufficient to generate electricity with solar cells and steady, reliable power is needed in unmanned situations.

Alfred Loomis (1887-1975)

Long Range Navigation System (LORAN) – Among Loomis’s many innovations, his LORAN radio navigation system for marine and flight navigators is probably the best known. LORAN used fixed land beacons that allowed navigators to determine a vessel’s location, and it remained an essential tool until the introduction of the Global Positioning System in the 1990s.

Robert Moog (1934-2005)

Moog Synthesizer – In 1964, Moog introduced the first complete voltage controlled modular synthesizer, an instrument capable of producing a wide variety of electronic sounds. His synthesizer helped revolutionize the face of music, giving artists and composers the capability to create a brand new palette of sounds.

Grote Reber (1911-2002)

Radio telescope – Reber, a pioneering radio astronomer, built the first substantial radio telescope dedicated to astronomy. Radio astronomy allows for the detection of objects and phenomena not possible with optical astronomy, utilizing a radio receiver that can amplify faint cosmic signals, making the waves strong enough to be recorded and charted.

Congrats to all!

Confidentiality Agreements for new inventions

By Debby Winters

It is critical to have a confidentiality agreement setup when you are discussing your invention with a stranger or another company prior to a patent filing. Confidentiality agreements (CDAs) and Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) should be used anytime you are disclosing detailed information about your invention to someone and they are especially important to use if you have not yet filed a patent application

What are Confidentiality Agreements and Non-disclosure Agreements?

A confidentiality agreement (CDA) is a legal agreement between two or more parties that allows for the exchange of secret or confidential information. Usually one party is known as the “discloser” and they are the ones disclosing confidential information to the other party known as the “recipient”. Confidentiality agreements are sometimes called non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). The information being disclosed can be from one party to the other and is then called a one-way NDA. Or both parties can disclose confidential information and create a mutual NDA.

When should I use a CDA or NDA?

You should use a CDA or NDA anytime you want to share secret or confidential information with another party. Ideally you will get one of these agreements in place before you share your information but it is possible, but not preferable, to pre-date your document and get one in place after you share your information.

CDAs and NDAs are important for new inventions

CDAs and NDAs are important for new inventions because they require the other party to keep your information secret. This is important for patent reasons because if you publicly disclose your invention then you could lose patent rights. By having a CDA in place, your disclosure will not count as a “public disclosure” in the eyes of patent law, and thus will not hurt with the USPTO. CDAs and NDAs can also limit what the other party can do with the information you provide them. This is important if you don’t want the other party to steal your ideas and make their own commercial products with your information.  These agreements also give you legal remedies should the party you share this confidential information breaches the agreement.

What should a good CDA or NDA include?

A good CDA should include the follow items:

  • Clearly define what is considered to be “Confidential Information”
  • Clearly define what is not “Confidential Information”
  • State the purpose and what the receiving party can use the information for
  • Define a term (how long does the party have to keep the information confidential)
  • Define what should be done with the confidential information once the term is over.

To Blog Or Not To Blog…

By Debby Winters

If you own a business and are thinking about whether you should start a blog or just stick with posting on social media,
consider the advantages of doing both. Blogging provides your business an opportunity to share meaningful knowledge with potential clients and customers. This in turn let’s them like and trust you. And it is a good way to get these potentials to know you because once they know, like and trust you and your company, the sale isn’t too far behind. The two combined are great for a marketing push.

People have to subscribe to your blog. This takes time, but by pushing educational blog content out via social media, you introduce your thought leadership to an entirely new audience of perfectly targeted prospects. Show your brilliance about the business through your blog.

Consider these 4 ideas when combing your blog with your social media marketing:

  1. Build your reach. Make a concerted effort to grow your social media numbers. These numbers include total Facebook friends, LinkedIn followers, Twitter followers, Google + followers and other social sites that pertain to your business. Actively work to grow them. This includes making sure those profile pages are built out and have educational content on them for visitors to see, read and share. Consider creating a contest. One idea is to see who can get the most new followers on your company’s LinkedIn page.
  2. Make the commitment. Blogging and building your social media reach requires a true commitment to the cause. Set time aside each day, every few days, or at least once a month to write.
  3. Be creative. Blogging can and should be fun. Use pictures, infographics, charts, graphs and anything that will catch the eye of a potential reader. And try to keep it under 800 words. That gives you enough room to make a point without losing interest.
  4. Blogging will make you better. There is, without a doubt, something incredibly remarkable about your company. Use that to help generate content that your clients or customers want to know about. Blogs are meant to inform and educate clients and customers on answers they don’t have and things they want to know about.

Just in case you were wondering, this blog has 377