August 31, 2006

Initial details regarding the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) 2006 annual meeting have been released on the AIPLA website. This meeting, to be held on October 19-21, 2006 in Washington, DC, will include sessions on all major areas of intellectual property law. Although the full program information is not yet available, some of the topics to be discussed include recent developments regarding means plus function claims, written description and enablement requirements of 35 U.S.C. § 112, ex parte appeals to the TTAB, the creation of protective orders to limit disclosures of trade secret information, the creation of a successful licensing program, and several others. The early registration fee for AIPLA members is $505, non-members is $790, student members is $55, and government/academic members is $70. Registration forms are available at the AIPLA website, and online registration is available (links below).

AIPLA 2006 Annual Meeting Website: LINK
Annual Meeting Highlights: LINK
Meeting Registration Form: LINK
Online Registration Webpage: LINK

August 30, 2006

The USPTO announced on Monday that once a trademark application has been published by the examiner, any subsequent requests to correct and/or amend the application will be processed as amendments/corrections after publication. The practice of utilizing the TM Photocomp mailbox for amendments and/or corrections to trademark applications after publication is discontinued. The USPTO has stated that "[a]ll post-publications amendments/corrections should be submitted no later than 6 weeks after the publication date to insure that the amendment/correction can be considered prior to the issuance of the notice of allowance or registration certificate." The utilization of this new process (of treating these changes as amendments/corrections after publication) is intended to "ensure that the requested amendment is matched with the proper application, uploaded into the database, and reviewed in a timely manner." Minor typographical errors may still be corrected by e-mailing the USPTO at its designated e-mail address. Statuses of trademark applications can be determined from the Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval (TARR) database link below.

USPTO News Release: LINK
TARR Database: LINK
USPTO Trademark Electronic Business Center (EBC) Webpage: LINK

August 29, 2006

It was announced late last week that Apple Computer Inc. ("Apple") and Creative Technology Ltd. ("Creative") have settled their patent dispute regarding systems and software for digital music players. Creative obtained U.S. Patent No. 6,928,433 (entitled "Automatic hierarchical categorization of music by metadata", referred to by Creative as the "Zen Patent") on August 9, 2005, and claimed that Apple's iPod product line infringes on the Zen Patent. A total of five lawsuits were eventually filed between the parties, which have all been settled under the terms of Apple paying $100 million to Creative to license Creative's Zen patent. As part of the agreement, Creative will be able to design speaker accessories for the iPod product line as a member of Apple's "Made for iPod" program. According to the Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, "This settlement resolves all of our differences with Creative, including the five lawsuits currently pending between the companies, and removes the uncertainty and distraction of prolonged litigation."

U.S. Patent No. 6,928,433: LINK
Washington Post News Article: LINK
ars technica News Article: LINK
Apple Computer Inc. Press Release: LINK
Creative Technology Ltd. Press Release: LINK
Creative Technology Ltd. Zen Patent Webpage: LINK

August 28, 2006

On Friday, the USPTO released its "STRATEGIC PLAN - 2007-2012" for public review and comment. The plan includes efforts to promote quality and efficient patent and trademark examinations, maintaining a rate of new examiner hires, and a focus on international IP protection. The first goal is to "Optimize Patent Quality and Timeliness," discussing new patent examiner hiring (978 hired in 2005, 1,200 planned for this year, and at least 1,000 over the next five years), examiner training, the need for an alternative patent examination system (noting that "[t]he current patent examination system in the United States is basically a one-size fits all process"), examination quality, awareness of IP rights, and the use of information technology in several areas of the examination process. These goals led to specific initiatives and planned accomplishments regarding high quality traditional patent examination, developing ("Patent suite of products") to improve quality and timeliness of patent examination, and improving and integrating existing electronic systems to assist with the examination process. The second goal ("Optimize Trademark Quality and Timeliness"), several objectives are discussed, including a three-month first action pendency (and reducing disposal pendency, exclusive of suspended and inter partes cases), improving examination quality by providing the examiners with quality search tools, providing electronic file management and workflow by the end of the third year of the plan, and developing interactive and online filing by the fourth year of the plan. The third goal ("Improve Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement Domestically and Abroad") discusses the objectives of efforts and initiatives to strengthen IP protection and curb IP theft, focus on the development of unified standards for international IP practice, providing policy guidance on US IP issues, and fostering innovation and competitiveness by educating the international public and providing quality domestic customer service. USPTO management goals and objectives are also discussed, including functioning as a business partner to the IP community, improving operations (financial, HR, and IT) within the USPTO, and simplifying electronic access to USPTO information and data. A public forum on this strategic plan will be held on September 26th at the USPTO.

USPTO Strategic Plan Press Release: LINK
USPTO 2007-2012 Strategic Plan Website: LINK
Draft 6 of the 2007-2012 Strategic Plan: LINK
August 24, 2006 Federal Register Excerpt: LINK

August 25, 2006

It was announced on Wednesday the USPTO and the Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO) have agreed to work on reclassification of issued U.S. patents and published applications in attempt to assist examiners with their review of pending applications. The USPTO, the European Patent Office (EPO), and the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) have worked on a series of new classifications in recognition of several new complex technologies being presented for patent. According to Commissioner for Patents John Doll, "[a]s the amount of patent-related information has skyrocketed in recent years, it is critical that patent offices around the world keep pace in order to ensure that the most relevant information is found quickly and easily by patent examiners." Director General of the DKPTO, Jesper Kongstad, stated that "[w]e are looking forward to combining our expertise with the expertise of the USPTO, and we hope that this will be the first of many projects in cooperation with our international colleagues," further noting that "[w]e have the competence and the available resources to get the job done." The USPTO currently uses utility class numbers 002 through 987 (a total of 436 utility classes used), 33 design classes, and 1 plant class.

USPTO News Release: LINK
Danish Patent and Trademark Office News Releases: LINK
USPTO Classifications Website: LINK

August 24, 2006

According to a recent Rocky Mountain News article, the USTPO is considering opening regional patent office in Denver, Colorado. Recognizing a number of benefits to Denver, including intellectual capital and quality of life, a regional office may become a reality in the near future given the USPTO’s goal of hiring 1,000 examiners each year (as part of the 2003 Business Plan but revised in the 21st Century Strategic Plan). Jon Dudas, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, commented on the salaries paid to examiners with engineering degrees (in the six-figure range), but noted that the decision to open a regional patent office in Denver “is probably not going to happen for a while.” Specific details have not been publicly announced about the potential new office, but it is known that the Governor of Colorado, Bill Owens, specifically “pitched” the idea to a number of officials from the USPTO a few months ago.

Rocky Mountain News Article: LINK
Website for Gov. Bill Owens: LINK
USPTO Careers Website: LINK
USPTO 21st Century Strategic Plan Webpage: LINK

August 23, 2006

In January of this year, Hinerwadel’s Inc. sued Isadore A. Rapasadi & Sons Inc. (“Rapasadi”) and General Bag Corp. (“General”), alleging that General sold unauthorized potato bags to Rapasadi with Hinerwadel’s trademark on them, and Rapasadi filled those bags with its own potatoes for sale to the public. Hinerwadel’s Grove, in business since 1914 and known for its clambakes and salt potatoes, accused General of manufacturing counterfeit salt potato bags, and alleged that the potatoes that Rapasadi used to fill the bags were inferior and harmed Hinerwadel’s reputation. Hinerwadel’s and Rapasadi settled their dispute on August 14th, and although the general terms are not disclosed, Rapasadi is only permitted to sell Hinerwadel’s salt potatoes until December 31, 2007, or earlier if Hinerwadel’s is unable to meet Rapasadi’s demands for salt potatoes. According to The Central New York Business Journal, “[t]he case began when an anonymous caller informed Hinerwadel’s of possible trademark infringement, according to court documents. The caller said Rapasadi & Sons had been selling its own unauthorized “Hinerwadel’s” salt potatoes since 2004 and indicated the company had a stash of several pallets of counterfeit bags bearing the Hinerwadel’s trademark.” Hinerwadel’s has one registered trademark with the USPTO, namely Registration No. 1,193,451, a word mark for Fresh New Potatoes (IC 031/US 046).

The Central New York Business Journal News Article: LINK
Isadore A. Rapasadi & Sons Inc. Website: LINK
U.S. Trademark No. 1,193,451: LINK

August 22, 2006

It was recently announced that Aspect Software, Inc., a company providing software solutions to connect people with customer service providers, was awarded a patent regarding dynamic help capabilities. U.S. Patent No. 7,080,321, entitled “Dynamic help option for internet customers,” issued on July 18, 2006 and includes 31 method claims “for providing assistance to a customer at a web site.” The first claim comprises the steps of “receiving a request for a web page from a customer; sending said web page without a HELP option to said customer; automatically determining if said customer should be provided assistance; determining an estimated time before a customer service representative will be available, and if said estimated time exceeds a predetermined time then delaying a step of sending said HELP option to said customer until said estimated time does not exceed said predetermined time then sending said HELP option to said customer; and wherein said predetermined time is determined based upon measurements of the time between the time that a HELP option is sent to a previous customer and the time that said previous customer responds to said HELP option.” The patent states that “[m]any web sites have a "HELP" button, which allows the customer to "click on" or press that button in order to contact a customer service representative ("CSR") of the company,” but also notes that “the customer must then wait for a reply from the CSR, which can take minutes, hours, or days.” Instead of requiring an internet user to click on a HELP button, this invention also “provides for automatically connecting a customer to a CSR when a CSR is available or is predicted to be available within an acceptable time.”

U.S. Patent No. 7,080,321: LINK
Aspect Software Press Release: LINK
Aspect Software Website: LINK
FY Times News Article: LINK

August 21, 2006

It was announced in Thursday’s Federal Register that the USPTO and the United States Copyright Office (USCO) will be holding a public roundtable discussion regarding the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) effort concerning the proposed Treaty on the Protection of the Rights of Broadcasting Organizations. The Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) at WIPO has been addressing issues regarding the intellectual property of broadcast organizations for several years now, noting that broadcasters currently have some protections under the 1961 Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations and the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. The proposed Treaty considers information gathered from broadcasters, netcasters, internet service providers, telecommunications companies, and other related organizations to address how changes in technology have affected the field of broadcasting. This roundtable discussion, to be held at the Atrium Conference Room at the USPTO, will begin on September 5th at 1PM and will last for two hours. Participation information is included in the Federal Register link below.

Federal Register Excerpt: LINK
Revised Draft Basic Proposal for the Treaty (July 31, 2006 version):
LINK
WIPO “Copyright and Related Rights” Website: LINK

August 18, 2006

It was announced that as of August 16th, Malaysia has become a member country of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). If an applicant now files an international patent application in any country (besides Malaysia) to be processed through the PCT, the applicant may nationalize the application in Malaysia within thirty (30) months of the earliest priority date of the international application. An applicant may now use the PCT/RO/101 form, filed in triplicate, to apply for patent in Malaysia along with the prior 130 signatory countries. According to Datuk Shafie Apda, Malaysia’s Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister, “All you need to do is tick which countries you want to register your patent in. There is no need to spend money to fly to another country to register the patent. This will also expedite the [patent] process.” The website of the Malaysian IP office (the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia, MyIPO) now includes links to PCT reference information as well as a PCT frequently asked questions (FAQ) web page.

Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia News Release: LINK
Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) PCT FAQ Website: LINK
World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) “Services for PCT Applicants” Website: LINK
PCT/RO/101 (PCT REQUEST) Form: LINK

August 17, 2006

In a U.S. patent application made public last week, an invention by Amazon.com regarding user-defined “gift clusters” discloses several methods for creating and ordering such gift clusters. U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2006/0178946, entitled “Providing gift clustering functionality to assist a user in ordering multiple items for a recipient,” was filed on Dec 9, 2005 and includes 37 claims for methods and computer-readable media regarding the gift cluster technology. The first method claim of the application claims a “method for ordering multiple items defined by a user as a group using a client system” comprising “displaying information identifying multiple items previously defined by a user to be a group, and displaying an indication of an action that is to be performed to order the user-defined group of multiple items; and in response to the indicated action being performed, sending to a server computer a request to order the user-defined group of multiple items.” In one embodiment of the invention, a user may name the particular gift cluster, and may choose to include information including but not limited to the recipients, education and income levels, genders, ages, races and ethnicities, religions, occupations, and sexual orientations. According to the patent, once “one [or] more gift clusters have been created, such gift[] clusters can be used for purchasing multiple items for a recipient as a group.” According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Amazon.com does not appear to have any immediate plans to implement this patent-pending technology. This patent application is a continuation of an earlier application filed in 2000 and issued as U.S. Patent No. 6,999,941 earlier this year.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer News Article: LINK
U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2006/0178946: LINK
U.S. Patent No. 6,999,941: LINK
CNET Media Blog Article: LINK

August 16, 2006

CNS, Inc., the manufacturer of Breathe Right® nasal strips and FiberChoice® daily fiber supplements, announced Monday that the USPTO completed its re-examination on one of the company’s patents regarding the Breathe Right® nasal strip. U.S. Patent No. 6,318,362, entitled “Nasal dilator,” was issued on November 20, 2001, and includes 34 claims on the company’s nasal strip technology. The re-examination, initiated at the request of Silver Eagle Labs, Inc., resulted in no modifications to any of the patent’s claims. Silver Eagle Labs, the Nevada-based manufacturer of a national brand equivalent nasal strip, was named as a defendant in a suit filed by CNS in February, 2004, alleging infringement of two patents held by CNS. As an aside, CNS has developed an “Innovation Through Cooperation” web page, which includes a direct link to a web page dedicated to Bruce Johnson, the inventor of the Breathe Right® nasal strip.

U.S. Patent No. 6,318,362: LINK
Yahoo! News Article: LINK
CNS, Inc., Website: LINK
CNS “Innovation Through Cooperation” Web Page: LINK
CNS Web Page for Inventor Bruce Johnson: LINK
Silver Eagle Labs, Inc., Website: LINK

August 15, 2006

It was announced last week that SpaceDev, Inc., a company working on the design and development of space systems, obtained a patent on its hybrid propulsion technology. U.S. Patent No. 7,069,717, entitled “Hybrid propulsion system,” was granted last month and includes 15 claims on systems and methods for altitude control and propulsion. This patent discloses an altitude control system comprising an oxidizer supply and a nozzle connected to the supply, utilizing a pressure regulator within the system to maintain the oxidizer in a gaseous state as it enters to the nozzle. Thrust may be generated by providing the oxidizer to a hybrid rocket motor and regulating the flow and pressure of oxidizer. This invention, according to the patent, solves the “need for an improved hybrid propulsion system that in addition to providing general propulsion, also provides finely tunable attitude control.” This is, according to the USPTO assignment records, the fourth U.S. patent issued and assigned to SpaceDev.

U.S. Patent No. 7,069,717: LINK
Yahoo! News Article: LINK
SpaceDev Website: LINK

August 14, 2006

Delphion, a provider of online research tools and related products, has made its "Gallery of Obscure Patents" available free to the public. This compilation of "strange or intriguing" patents is periodically updated and visitors may also nominate a patent for inclusion on the list. Some patents of note include the "Santa Claus Detector" stocking device (U.S. Patent No. 5,523,741), the "Hat simulating a fried egg" (U.S. Patent No. 5,457,821), and the "Flushable vehicle spittoon" (U.S. Patent No. 4,989,275). Approximately 50 patents are highlighted in this gallery, which was recently named the "Website of the Week" by the Voice of America. Delphion also has a "Gallery of Historic Patents" available, currently highlighting a number of prominent historical patents including "Barbed Wire" (U.S. Patent No. 157,124), "Velvet type fabric and method for producing same" (Velcro) (U.S. Patent No. 2,717,437), and "The Electric Light Bulb" (U.S. Patent No. 223,898).

Delphion’s Gallery of Obscure Patents Website: LINK
Voice of America Article: LINK
Gallery of Historic Patents Website: LINK

August 11, 2006

In a summary judgment order issued on Tuesday, a Federal Court in St. Louis has confirmed the argument that baseball statistics are inherently public and that Major League Baseball has no intellectual property rights in them. In the August 9, 2006 summary judgment order in CBC Distribution and Marketing Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Judge Mary Ann Medler disagreed with Major League Baseball’s argument that reproducing baseball statistics were effectively “stealing” the rights of publicity of the players. According to Judge Medler, “[t]he names and playing records of major league baseball players as used in CBC’s fantasy games are not copyrightable,” and “[t]herefore, federal copyright law does not pre-empt the players’ claimed right of publicity.” Judge Medler also likened baseball statistics to “the names, towns and telephone numbers in a phone book, to census data, and to news of the day.” This ruling has an impact on the operators and participants of fantasy sports leagues, where an estimated 15 to 18 million people participate in the U.S. alone. Major League Baseball reportedly paid $50 million to the players union over a five year period for the rights in the statistics, and then, according to the Los Angeles Times, licensed the rights to a number of organizations, including ESPN, Yahoo!, and CBS Sportsline, for a reported $2 million each. CBC, an online provider of fantasy sports services, was unable to obtain a contract for the statistics in 2005, and suit was filed that year. Major League Baseball has publicly announced its intention to appeal this order.

Yahoo! News Article: LINK
Los Angeles Times Article: LINK
Northwest Herald (Illinois) Article: LINK
Sports Illustrated News Article: LINK

August 10, 2006

On Tuesday, SKYE International Inc., the parent corporation of Ion Tankless Inc., announced that its subsidiary obtained its second patent on its tankless water heater technology. U.S. Patent No. 7,088,915, entitled “Modular Tankless Water Heater,” issued on Tuesday and includes seven method claims of heating water comprising steps utilizing a tankless water heater. On May 16, 2006, ION Tankless obtained U.S. Patent No. 7,046,922, claiming several embodiments of the tankless water heater itself. The first method claim in the second patent claims a method of heating water comprising the steps of providing a tankless water heater module, injecting water into the flow path of the water heater, sensing the rate of water flow and the temperature of the water entering and exiting the flow path, and applying power to the water heater depending on the flow rate and temperature parameters. The tankless water heater itself comprises (in part) a module with a plurality of conduits, a heating element extending through a manifold coupled to the casing of the module defining a specific water flow path. According to the patent, this invention addresses inefficiencies of traditional water heaters (whereby a set volume of water is kept at a minimum hot temperature) and the potential wasting of water while a user waits for hot water at the tap (given that the tankless water heater may be positioned at or near a tap while a traditional water heater is usually found in one or two locations within a residence).

U.S. Patent No. 7,088,915: LINK
U.S. Patent No. 7,046,922 LINK
Business Wire News Article: LINK
SKYE International Inc. Website: LINK

August 09, 2006

According to last Friday’s Federal Register, the USPTO "is revising the results of practice in title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to require that a request for ex parte reexamination or for inter partes reexamination must meet all the applicable statutory requirements in 35 U.S.C. 302 or 311 (respectively) and the regulatory requirements in § 1.510 or § 1.915 (respectively) before a filing date is accorded to the request for ex parte reexamination or for inter partes reexamination." Specifically, the USPTO is amending the rules to address inconsistencies within the aforementioned citations. For example, § 1.510 provides the requirements regarding the content of an ex parte reexamination request, and the former version of § 1.510(d) stated that the filing date of that request is "(1) The date on which the request including the entire fee for requesting reexamination is received in the Patent and Trademark Office; or (2) The date on which the last portion of the fee for requesting reexamination is received." However, 35 U.S.C. § 302 states that "[t]he request must set forth the pertinency and manner of applying cited prior art to every claim for which reexamination is requested." As such, requesters for ex parte reexamination that followed § 1.501(d) and did not refer to 35 U.S.C. § 302 did not comply with the statutory requirements. (A similar inconsistency occurred regarding inter partes reexamination with the former version of § 1.919(a) and 35 U.S.C. § 311(b).). The specific rule changes modify § 1.501(c) and (d), as well as § 1.919(a), to clarify all of the requirements to obtain the respective reexamination filing dates. The changes were effective last Friday.

August 4, 2006 Federal Register Excerpt: LINK
37 C.F.R. § 1.510: LINK
35 U.S.C. § 302: LINK
37 C.F.R. § 1.915: LINK
35 U.S.C. § 311: LINK

August 08, 2006

Cereality Cereal Bar & Cafe was recently able to enforce its trademark against a second potential competitor in the apparently growing cereal restaurant market, and is reportedly working to enforce its rights against a third. Cereality, starting as a small restaurant on the campus of Arizona State University, was first successful in having the Cereology restaurant in Iowa change its business name to Cabinet. It recently enforced its mark against Cerealicious, a company based in Ohio that has several stores in the U.S., and Cerealicious soon thereafter changed its company name to Cereal Central. According to the azcentral.com news article linked below, Cereality may also be aiming to enforce its rights against a Canadian operator of a Cerealicious store in Toronto. Cereality has three locations where it sells bowls of cold and hot cereal, as well as cereal bars, to its patrons. According to Cereality’s website, “customers choose from their favorite brands [of cereal] and toppings. Pajama-clad Cereologists™ fill the orders. And customers choose and add their own milk, just the way they like it.” Cereality has a total of 14 registered and pending marks, including the name “Cereality” (U.S. Reg. No. 2,836,818) and the logo “Cereality Cereal Bar & Cafe” (Reg. No. 2,961,861).

azcentral.com News Article: LINK
Cereality Cereal Bar & Cafe Website: LINK

August 07, 2006

On Friday, Stephen Pinkos, the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO, spoke in New York about the growth of the economy and intellectual property theft. Speaking in front of a group of ConMed Corporation employees, Mr. Pinkos complimented the innovations of that company, but warned that "[p]rotecting intellectual property against piracy and counterfeiting is a key part of economic growth." It is noted by the USPTO that New York’s exports to China have increased significantly over the last few years, topping the $2 billion mark last year. As you may know, the Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) initiative by the federal government is focused on helping businesses enforce their domestic intellectual property rights and to stop the importation and trade of counterfeit goods. ConMed Corporation, according to its website, is "a global medical technology company that specializes in the development and sale of products and services" that provides products to physicians to assist with their patient care. According to the Utica, NY, Observer-Dispatch, ConMed Corporation has a total of 600 pending and issued patents in the United States.

USPTO News Release: LINK
ConMed Website: LINK
uticaOD.com Article: LINK
Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP!) Website: LINK

August 04, 2006

It was announced earlier this week that Silicon Laboratories Inc. and Power-One Inc. have settled their power supply patent dispute. In December 2005, Power-One filed suit against Silicon in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, alleging infringement of two of its patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 6,936,999 ("System and method for controlling output-timing parameters of power converters") and 6,949,916 ("System and method for controlling a point-of-load regulator")). As part of the settlement, Silicon has agreed to join the Z-One™ Digital Power Alliance, where both parties will jointly focus on the development of Z-One compliant products utilizing specific products currently within each party's product respective product lines. In addition, Power-One will offer specific licenses to users of Silicon's Z-One products using the compliant interface, but no licenses are granted specifically to Silicon under this settlement.

U.S. Patent No. 6,936,999: LINK
U.S. Patent No. 6,949,916: LINK
EETimes.com News Article: LINK
Power-One Press Release: LINK
Silicon Laboratories Press Release: LINK

August 03, 2006

If you are like me, you undoubtedly have a number of free legal website resources bookmarked in your browser. In an effort to help you consolidate your own searching, I have developed a list of free legal resources on the left-hand column of the Daily Dose of IP blog. I have included some of the more popular searches, including recent Federal Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court opinions, U.S. patents and published patent applications, U.S. trademark information, the MPEP and TMEP, and statutory references including the Code of Federal Regulations and the U.S. Code. In due course, I will post a link to a more comprehensive free resource blog webpage, of which I hope you will find most useful and hopefully share with your friends and colleagues. If you are aware of a particularly useful free legal research tool, please post a comment to this article and I will work to incorporate your suggested reference into either the resource list of the left-hand column and/or the comprehensive free resource webpage I am currently developing. If you feel that you know someone who may find the Daily Dose of IP blog interesting and perhaps useful to his or her practice, please spread the word - thank you.

August 02, 2006

(Now that I have your attention) – Dunes™ CLE is currently accepting registrations for its "Current Issues in Patent Law" seminar on August 25th at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Topics will include patent law reform, the legal and business impacts of eBay v. MercExchange, non-obviousness reform and Teleflex, Inc. v. KSR Intern. Co., patentable subject matter regarding In re Lundgren and Labcorp v. Metabolite, and others. The seminar offers up to 6.0 hours of CLE credit (1.0 hours of ethics) depending on the state of which you are licensed. The fee for this seminar is $695. No word on whether Danny Ocean and his crew are planning a "visit" to the casino that day (sorry, I just had to). I neither represent Dunes™ CLE, nor do I endorse any particular CLE course.

Seminar Agenda: LINK
Seminar Registration Information: LINK
CLE Credit Information: LINK
eBay v. MercExchange: LINK
Bellagio Hotel & Casino Website: LINK

August 01, 2006

USA Technologies, Inc. recently announced that it obtained a patent on cashless and intelligent vending, the company’s 65th overall patent. U.S. Patent No. 7,076,329 (“Cashless vending transaction management by a vend assist mode of operation,” issued July 11, 2006), includes 35 claims on a “cashless transaction processing system” which may allow the use of credit cards and debit cards at vending machines that traditionally only accept cash. According to the patent, “a long felt need exists for a solution related to a cost effective system and method for remotely auditing vending equipment, and for providing additional payment options at the point of sale for goods and services vended from vending equipment.” This patent discloses the use of the “vend assist mode” which allows a computing platform to oversee, control, and authorize “the vend selection and sale price of a user selected vend item prior to fulfilling the user's request.”

U.S. Patent No. 7,076,329: LINK
USA Technologies Press Release: LINK
USA Technologies ePort® Website: LINK
finextra.com News Article: LINK

WIPO Press Releases

WIPO General News

Patent References

Click HERE to search issued U.S. Patents

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Click HERE to search patent assignments recorded with the USPTO

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Click HERE to browse Title 35 of the U.S. Code

Click HERE to view current USPTO fees

Disclaimer

Copyright 2006-2010, Mark Reichel. The Daily Dose of IP is my personal website, and I am not providing any legal advice or financial analysis. Any views expressed herein should not be viewed as being the views of my employer, Ice Miller LLP. Any comments submitted to this blog will not be held in confidence and will not be considered as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Information submitted to this blog should be considered as being public information, and the submitter takes full responsibility for any consequences of any information submitted. No claims, promises, or guarantees are made or available regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information contained in this blog or otherwise available by searching from or linking away from this blog.

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The DDIP Author





Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

Click HERE to view my full professional bio at Reichel IP LLC.


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