June 30, 2006

Recent changes to the USPTO website have provided for a number of new features and links, including a specific webpage dedicated to providing information on all upcoming USPTO conferences in one location. This webpage (link below) currently provides information for 4 upcoming meetings in July, many of which have already been announced on this blog. At this time, the meetings scheduled (in chronological order) are “China's Impact on Intellectual Property: Protecting Your Intellectual Property in China and the Global Marketplace” to be held in Seattle on July 12th & 13th, “The State of Copyright in the Digital Age” to be held in Nashville on July 17th, “Conference on Intellectual Property in the Global Marketplace” to be held in Nashville the following day, and the “Chicago Regional Independent Inventors Conference” held in Chicago on July 28th & 29th. These conferences are free with the exception of the conference in Chicago ($90 fee for both days).

USPTO Conferences Webpage: LINK
Seattle Conference Information: LINK
Nashville (July 17) Conference Information: LINK
Nashville (July 18) Conference Information: LINK
Chicago Conference Information: LINK

June 29, 2006

On Monday, the USPTO announced a new program that would allow patent applicants to apply for patent and receive a final decision on whether or not the application will be granted or denied within 12 months. The accelerate review can take place in part from the additional information provided by the applicant at the time of filing. According to the June 26 Federal Register, there are several requirements for participation, including an application with a maximum of 3 independent claims and 20 total claims, and must include “a statement that a preexamination search was conducted, including an identification of the field of search by United States class and subclass and the date of the search, where applicable, and for database searches, the search logic or chemical structure or sequence used as a query, the name of the file or files searched and the database service, and the date of the search,” along with a number of additional enumerated requirements. According to the USPTO, “[t]his increased disclosure upfront by applicants will help examiners more quickly make the correct decision about whether a claimed invention deserves a patent.” Some of the requirements for participation in this program are similar to those announced back in January as pertaining to continuation practice, which has, in the opinion of some practitioners (see the reference link below to over 300 comments), have some advantages as well as some specific disadvantages.

USPTO Press Release: LINK
Federal Register Excerpt re: Accelerated Program (June 26, 2006): LINK
Federal Register Excerpt re: Continuation Practice (January 3, 2006): LINK
Public Comments to Proposed Continuation Practice and Related Changes: LINK

June 28, 2006

I will periodically post case citations from the Federal Circuit along with the date of the opinion/order and a brief list of the legal topics discussed therein (specifically those with additional embedded case law citations). This posting covers the fifty-sixth through the sixtieth cases that were appealed from the district court level and decided by the Federal Circuit in 2006. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

Kinzenbaw, et al. v. Case LLC (05-1483; 04/26/2006, non-precedential): appellate review of district court’s award of costs, determination of “prevailing party,” “exemplification” fees & interpretation thereof, costs within and outside the scope of 28 U.S.C. § 1920

Global Maintech Corp., et al. v. I/O Concepts, Inc. (05/02/2006, non-precedential): summary judgment & claim construction appellate standards of review, prosecution history consistency with claim construction

Kyocera Wireless Company v. President Electronics, LTD (05/02/2006, non-precedential): summary judgment standard of review, design patent infringement standard, “ordinary observer” and “point of novelty” discussion, use of expert evidence at trial

In re EchoStar Communications Corporation (05/03/2006): writ of mandamus, scope of waiver of attorney-client privilege, reliance on advice of counsel, use of in-house and trial counsel, discussion of differences between attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine

All Computers, Inc. v. Intel Corp. (05/04/2006, non-precedential): jurisdiction regarding final decision under 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(1) and F.R.C.P. 54(b), determination of final decision/judgment, full adjudication of all claims and counterclaims

June 27, 2006

I will periodically post case citations from the Federal Circuit along with the date of the opinion/order and a brief list of the legal topics discussed therein (specifically those with additional embedded case law citations). This posting covers the fifty-first through the fifty-fifth cases that were appealed from the district court level and decided by the Federal Circuit in 2006. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

Mark Bruckelmyer v. Ground Heaters (04/20/2006): anticipatory document as “printed publication” under 35 U.S.C. § 102, public accessibility of prior art documents, purpose of printed publication provision

Sun Coast Merchandise Corp., et al. v. CCL Products Enterprises, Inc., et al. (04/21/2006, non-precedential): infringement determination & claim construction appellate standards of review, exceptional cases and attorney fees, “ordinary and customary” claim meaning, literal infringement of 35 U.S.C. § 112 par. 6 limitation

Parental Guide of Texas, Inc. v. Thomson, Inc. (04/21/2006): patent contract interpretation, applicability of state law for contract disputes, litigation royalty under 35 U.S.C. § 284, reasonable royalty rate

Kinzenbaw, et al. v. Case LLC (05-1269, -1270; 04/26/2006, non-precedential): court’s claim interpretation with means-plus-function limitation, patent/claim indefiniteness, use of the term “substantially” in a claim

Kwik Products, Inc., et al. v. National Express, Inc., et al. (04/26/2006, non-precedential): claim construction & infringement standards of appellate review, means-plus-function claims

June 26, 2006

This post includes three tidbits from the USPTO from the end of last week, First, the USPTO recently created a list of granted and pre-grant publication documents that have been or soon will be classified in Class 705 (Data Processing: Financial, Business Practice, Management, Cost/Price Determination), Sub 36T (Tax Strategies). The list currently includes 42 issued patents and 61 published applications. Second, it was announced that as of last Wednesday, only one person had submitted a comment to the USPTO in response to the Clarification of Filing Date Requirements for Ex Parte and Inter Partes Reexamination Proceedings (Interim Rule) that was published in the Federal Register and the Official Gazette earlier this year. Third, and as you may have already seen, the USPTO has revised its website once again, the current revision being one of the more substantive ones to occur in a while. One new feature is that from the homepage, you can click on the “Patents” button and a list of 16 commonly used referenced links are presented for quick access to items like searches, fees, and forms. The USPTO is welcoming comments regarding its updated website.

U.S. Patent Classification News Release: LINK
705/36T Document Listing: LINK
USPTO Comment List: LINK
Original Federal Register (with Comment Request): LINK
Joseph Cohen’s Comments: LINK
Updated USPTO Homepage: LINK
Comments Regarding the Updated USPTO Homepage can be E-mailed HERE

June 23, 2006

On the occasion of the 100th DDIP post, I’d like to take this opportunity to recognize those whose time & effort along the way have helped shape this blog into something that is worthy of your continued patronage. I would first like to thank Doreen Gridley and Dona Stohler for their support and assistance in pursuing this idea. I would also like to thank Marty Klaper for his overall support and for being such a good personal and professional mentor. I also thank Judy Okenfuss for working with me to get this project started and for taking the initiative to get me on the right track with my substantive postings. I would also like to thank Tom Walsh, Mike Swift, and Doreen Gridley for their current support for the ongoing blog posts. I also thank Greg Duff, Brad Stohry, and Alex Forman, not only for submitting articles for posting on the blog, but also for helping me from time to time on individual patent and trademark projects I am working on. As you can see, many internal people were and are involved with this project, and I truly appreciate their assistance. I am very fortunate to work with such a good supportive group of people at Ice Miller.

Special thanks to Dennis Crouch of Patently-O blog fame for his support, both offline and online through his blog. When Dennis refers to me or the Daily Dose of IP blog, people become interested, and the interest is definitely welcomed. I wish Dennis nothing but the best.

There are also a number of other people I need to thank for their support that I may or may not have thanked previously. Several people, including Joseph Scott Miller (The Fire of Genius), Gary Odom (The Patent Prospector), Axel H. Horns (IP::JUR), John Rizvi (The Florida IP Blog), Stephan Kinsella (KinsellaLaw Web Log), James E. Hawes (IPthoughts), and Rita's thoughts for linking to, writing about, and/or referencing me or the Daily Dose of IP in their individual intellectual property law blogs. If I left anyone off of this list, I assure you it was not intentional. I sincerely appreciate the support and recognition, and I wish you all the best in your own blogging efforts.

On the technical side, I must admit that Blogger has worked quite well for me. Aside from a couple of minor delays in posting, Blogger has consistently provided excellent service, at the absolute best price (free!). I also use SiteMeter to obtain information on the frequency of hits and geographical locations of those viewing the Daily Dose of IP blog, and I would also recommend this limited free service to those who do not currently have such a feature affiliated with their own website. In addition, I would like to thank Jim Montgomery for his assistance with the logo for the blog. Jim does nice work and I recommend him for any graphic design needs you may have.

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank those who have subscribed to the blog (to receive my daily posting via e-mail), those who have e-mailed me to provide supportive comments and suggestions, and those who read the blog from time to time. In just a few short months, readers from over 35 countries have visited the blog, much to my surprise. I plan to continue this blog indefinitely, and with your support, and spreading the word about the blog, more and more people will have the opportunity to review its content and hopefully benefit in some way from the efforts that go into making this blog a reality.

Thanks again to everyone. Please feel free to e-mail me with any comments, suggestions, and/or questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for visiting, and have a great weekend.

Mark Reichel

June 22, 2006

On Friday, Merck & Co., Inc., may face its first wave of generic competition for its drug Zocor® as the patent is set to expire. U.S. Patent No. 4,444,784, entitled “Antihypercholesterolemic compounds,” issued on April 24, 1984, includes a total of 18 method and composition claims. The patent relates to “6(R)-[2-(8'-acyloxy-2'-methyl-6'-methyl(or hydrogen)-polyhydronaphthyl-1')-ethyl]-4(R)-hydroxy-3,4,5,6-tetrahydro-2H- pyran-2-ones,” including the hydroxy acid form of said pyranones and associated salts, as well as methods for treating hypercholesterolemia. Zocor® (simvastatin) has been sold by Merck to treat high cholesterol for several years, and according to Merck’s most recent Annual Report, sales of Zocor® over the last three years has been $14.6B, while Merck’s R&D expenditures was $11.1B over the same time period. According to the USPTO, Merck (and its international affiliates) were awarded 6,932 U.S. patents, with over 300 currently pending published U.S. patent applications being prosecuted.

U.S. Patent No. 4,444,784: LINK
IndyStar.com News Article: LINK
Zocor Consumer Website: LINK

June 21, 2006

The European Patent Office (EPO) recently released that there were 193,600 patent applications filed in Europe in 2005, a seven percent increase over 2004. During the same year (2005), the EPO issued over 53,000 patents, a figure down 9 percent from the year before (58,700). Patents in the field of Medical Technology were the most popular filings at 11.4% of the total, with Electronic Communications accounting for approximately 10% of the total. Out of the EPO member states, Germany was responsible for the most filings (over 18%, slightly more than the year before), with France second (6.2%, slightly less than the year before) The EPO has approximately 3,600 patent examiners out of a total staff of over 6,100. According to Alain Pompidou, the President of the EPO, "For the current year we expect a further increase in patent applications. The signs are that we shall pass the 200 000 mark for the first time."

EPO Press Release: LINK
Playfuls.com News Article: LINK
EPO Website: LINK

June 19, 2006

On July 12-13, 2006, the USPTO will be presenting its “CONFERENCE ON PROTECTING YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN CHINA AND THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE,” focusing on companies of all sizes looking to market and manufacture their products overseas with a particular emphasis on China. This event will be held in Seattle, WA, at the Grand Hyatt Seattle. According to the conference website, the topics to be discussed include "China’s laws and regulations that may affect how a business protects and enforces its intellectual property, how best to protect business assets to avoid intellectual property problems in the first place, how to recognize when an intellectual property asset has been infringed, what to do if infringement occurs, and what the U.S. government is doing to improve the intellectual property protection and enforcement environment in China." The formal conference agenda was not finalized at the time this post was prepared, but will be available shortly from the conference website link below. Similar to the other recent USPTO global IP conferences, this event is free, but registration is required.

USPTO Conference Webpage: LINK
Online Conference Registration Form: LINK
Grand Hyatt Seattle Website: LINK
Conference FAQs: LINK

June 16, 2006

On June 6th, the Crowd in a Box Corporation of Grover Beach, California, was awarded its third patent on a crowd-simulating apparatus. U.S. Patent No. 7,056,184, entitled “Inflatable humanoid forms,” describes an apparatus “comprising one or more inflatable three-dimensional humanoid figures for use in background scenes associated with still photography, motion pictures and video productions which are low in cost, lightweight, easy to use, easy to store, easy to transport and provides a greater range of viewing angles.” The independent claim of the patent covers a “three-dimensional apparatus for use in simulating a crowd of real people” comprising head, neck, and torso members, all with an inter-connected air-tight inner surface. The claim also includes “one or more narrow tubular sections” situated between the adjacent humanoid figures allowing for all of the connected humanoids to be inflated from one location. The humanoids, according to the claim, “when placed in adjacent stadium or auditorium style seating, simulates a crowd of real people viewing the particular event in the foreground scene when visually recorded in a manner that does not capture a clear image of the plurality of inflatable life-sized humanoid figures as compared to the foreground scene.” This patent discusses the then-current state of the art, which comprised cardboard two-dimensional props, having the noted disadvantages of being “heavy, relatively inflexible, difficult to transport, time consuming to install and remove,” and further noting that they “are susceptible to wet or windy weather conditions” and provided a limited field of view, as when cameras (still or movie) are moved, the props would also need to be moved so that the backing/unfinished sides would not appear in the final video or still product. The Crowd in a Box Corporation website includes product demonstrations, photographs, and video clips of how its inflatable crowd products can be used.

U.S. Patent No. 7,056,184: LINK
Crown in a Box Corporate Website: LINK
Fig. 1 Image: LINK

June 15, 2006

Last week, Nintendo Co., Ltd, obtained a patent on the connection of two video game systems through a web server computer to allow users of the two video game systems to communicate with one another. This patent, issuing on June 6th, is entitled “Messaging service for video game systems with buddy list that displays game being played,” and includes 22 claims on messaging services, messaging server clients, server processes, and a game network server. The first claim of the patent discloses a messaging system comprising a server and a video game system for executing a video game on a storage device. The storage device, while executing the game, activates the messaging service client which establishes a connection with the server via the internet. The connection then sends and received status data, which can be “indicative of video game programs being executed by “video game systems of each of one or more buddies identified on a buddy list previously defined by the user.” The claim includes additional details on the identification of buddies on a buddy list, even if the buddies are playing different games. According to ars technica, even though “the patent itself refers to the Nintendo64 and Game Boy Color by name, some have speculated that this patent could portend an instant messaging system for the Wii.”

U.S. Patent No. 7,056,217: LINK
ars technica News Article: LINK
Nintendo Wii Website: LINK

June 14, 2006

On July 18, the USPTO will hold a “Conference on Intellectual Property in the Global Marketplace” at the Nashville Marriott at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. This single day conference will address topics including the patent prosecution process (U.S. and PCT), trademarks, domain names, the Madrid Protocol, patent enforcement, and Chinese intellectual property issues. Steve Pinkos, the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the Deputy Director of the USPTO, will present the opening remarks at the conference. According to the USPTO conference website, this is a “conference featuring intellectual property basics for small and medium sized businesses, entrepreneurs, and independent inventors and information on the new realities of intellectual property counterfeiting and piracy in the global marketplace.” The conference is free of charge, but you must pre-register to reserve a seat.

USPTO Conference Webpage: LINK
Conference Agenda: LINK
Registration Webpage: LINK

June 13, 2006

I will periodically post case citations from the Federal Circuit along with the date of the opinion/order and a brief list of the legal topics discussed therein (specifically those with additional embedded case law citations). This posting covers the forty-sixth through the fiftieth cases that were appealed from the district court level and decided by the Federal Circuit in 2006. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

Aventis Pharma S.A., et al. v. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (04/10/2006, non-precedential): standards for finding inequitable conduct (materiality & intent to deceive), disclosure of material facts to the USPTO during prosecution, evidentiary requirements to demonstrate intent to deceive

Glenayre Electronics, Inc. v. Jackson, et al. (04/11/2006), errata (LINK) : standard of review for denial of motion to set trial, burden of proof of indirect infringement, reasonable royalty determination, comments on the application of Birdsell, Union Tool, and Aro II; includes 13 page dissent from Judge Newman

Patriot Scientific Corp., et al. v. Moore et al. (04/12/2006, non-precedential): standard to appeal order disqualifying counsel or excluding testimony, attorney criticism within patent opinion, application of state professional conduct rules, court discretion regarding attorney disqualification

Philips Electronics North America, et al. v. Contec, et al. (04/18/2006, non-precedential): claim construction appellate standard of review, discussion of commonly used terms in patent claims, appellate review of denial of summary judgment, damages evidence

Lava Trading v. Sonic Trading Management, et al. (04/19/2006): court’s contextual analysis of product or process during claim construction, two-step infringement analysis, waiver and estoppel, appellate review of specific claim elements; includes dissent from Judge Mayer

June 12, 2006

In the June 1, 2006 Federal Register, the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress published is revised fee listing to take effect July 1st. Starting next month, the basic registration filing fee (as noted in 37 CFR § 201.3(c)) will be $45, an increase of 50% over the previous $30 fee. The cost for registration of a renewal claim without an addendum is increasing $15 to $75, while the registration with an addendum is increasing from $30 to $220. Regarding the "Special Service Fees" listed in 37 CFR § 201.3(d), the service charge for a deposit account overdraft is increasing $50 to $150, and the service charge for a dishonored deposit account replenishment check is increasing from $35 to $75. The proposed fee increase for group registration of photographs (from $30 to $75) was not established, and instead, "the Copyright Office has decided to continue its current practice of charging only the basic registration fee ($45 as of July 1) for group registration of photographs as an incentive to photographers to register their works." According to the Federal Register, "[t]he adjusted fees will recover a significant part of the costs to the Office of registering claims and provide full cost recovery for many services provided by the Office which benefit only or primarily the user of that service."

Federal Register Excerpt (June 1, 2006, listing the revised fees): LINK
37 CFR § 201.3 (including current fee list): LINK

June 09, 2006

One of the more interesting patents to be issued recently is U.S. Patent No. 7,036,449, entitled "Man-Made Island And Resort Complex With Surface And Underwater Entertainment, Educational And Lodging Facilities." Invented by Kimberly Michelle Sutter, this "self-sufficient man-made island complex" appears to have it all. According to the patent, the complex has "a plurality of interconnected islands housing a theme resort simulating a tropical paradise in which the guests have a multitude of activities in which they interact and learn about nature." These activities include basketball, volleyball, racquetball, tennis, underwater ice skating, golf, paint ball, bowling, shark- and whale-watching, shopping, exotic bird-watching, bobsledding, skateboarding, hot air ballooning, skydiving, bungee jumping, and, of course, scuba diving. The patent further explains that the complex includes several dolphin-shaped hotels, various restaurants, an airport, a planetarium, a waterfall, and a wolf habitat. To top it all off, guests can be hurled through the air into the water using a compressed air cannon. No word yet on whether Mr. Roarke and Tattoo greet guests as they arrive.

U.S. Patent No. 7,036,449: LINK

A website presenting additional information about the complex, as well as animations, is located here: LINK

Selected Patent Images:
Man-Made Island And Resort Complex: LINK
Dolphin-shaped Hotel: LINK
Compressed Air Cannon Transporting Guest to Another Island: LINK
Wolf Habitat: LINK

June 08, 2006

I will periodically post case citations from the Federal Circuit along with the date of the opinion/order and a brief list of the legal topics discussed therein (specifically those with additional embedded case law citations). This posting covers the forty-first through the forty-fifth cases that were appealed from the district court level and decided by the Federal Circuit in 2006. All opinions are precedential unless otherwise indicated.

On Demand Machine Corp. v. Ingram Industries, Inc., et al. (03/31/2006): claim construction & jury instruction standards of appellate review, specification scope of invention (as pertaining to the claims), jury’s role with doctrine of equivalents, preamble claim limitations

Athletic Alternatives, Inc. v. Benetton Trading USA (03/31/2006, non-precedential): claim invalidation & prior art, indefiniteness standard, witness credibility determinations, demand for jury trial

Pods, Inc. v. Porta Stor, Inc., et al. (04/06/2006, non-precedential): non-finality of discovery orders, preliminary injunction infringement demonstration

Semitool, Inc. v. Dynamic Micro Systems Semiconductory Equipment GMBH (04/06/2006): summary judgment & contract claim standards of appellate review, claims as defining claim terms, term definitions applying from parent to child patents, specification scope of invention (as pertaining to the claims)

Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc. v. Metabolite Laboratories, Inc. et al. (04/07/2006): general & personal jurisdiction standards of appellate review, federal vs. state law applicability regarding jurisdiction, tortuous interference and unfair competition state law, several cases cited on jurisdictional issues

June 07, 2006

Last week, the USPTO and the China Trademark Office (CTMO) engaged in a program focusing on geographical indications and their protection by the respective trademark offices. Geographical indications identify a good as coming from a particular location; examples provided in the USPTO news release below include “VIDALIA” for onions and “IDAHO” for potatoes. While the USPTO and the CTMO protect these GIs through trademark protection, China has an additional system to protect such GIs. According to the USPTO, “[t]he term ‘geographical indication’ comes from the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS),” which “sets forth standards to regulate international intellectual property protection and enforcement and establishes international minimum standards for the protection of geographical indications.”

USPTO News Release: LINK
USPTO Global GI Website: LINK
How GIs are Used in the U.S. (USPTO Reference): LINK
USPTO Q&A Information on GIs: LINK

June 06, 2006

In celebration of today’s special date, I have searched the USPTO for patents and trademarks including several 6s, and here is my short list of references for your enjoyment:

U.S. Patent No. 6,666,666: “Multi-chamber positive displacement fluid device” - issued December 23, 2003 to Denis Gilbert and Arnoud Struyk. This patent discloses “an improved positive displacement fluid device, such as a pump, having one or more pump sections, the pump sections being adapted for axial stacking which enables high volume, high pressure transport of high temperature production fluid which can contain a substantial degree of contamination.” - LINK

U.S. Patent No. 7,000,666: “Printer” – issued February 21, 2006 to Brent E. Brent et al. This patent discloses “an improved labeler for printing and applying labels which is user-friendly by being low cost, has relatively few parts, is easy to assemble, is easy to load and is easy to use.” - LINK

U.S. Patent D500,666: “Double beam corner support bracket” – issued January 11, 2005 to Richard W. Murphy and John J. Murphy. - LINK

There are sixteen (16) “live” trademark registrations utilizing “666” – here are a few:

76444053: “666” – registered May 11, 2004 to Atitania, Ltd. (Diana Peterson and Jacqueline Peterson) for “computer software for assigning a universal identification code to communication streams and for assigning a universal identification code to entities that can communicate through one or more communication channels.” - LINK

75538510: “CARS-R-COFFINS 666” – registered September 12, 2000 to Thomas K. Everson for “[m]agazines about bicycles, cycling lifestyles, and how cycling is incorporated into everyday life.” - LINK

76381686: “ROUTE 666” – registered September 28, 2004 to Crossgen Intellectual Property for “[p]rinted materials and publications, namely comic books, comic magazines and printed stories in illustrated form featured in books and magazines.” - LINK

June 05, 2006

Last Tuesday, the USPTO issued a patent to Ambrilia Biopharma (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) for a patent to treat advanced metastatic prostate cancer. U.S. Patent No. 7,053,058, issued on May 30th, claims several polypeptides, pharmaceutical compositions, and methods for a specific peptide sequence (PCK3145) and its use to treat prostate cancer. According to the patent, the invention provides chemical compositions and methods “for inhibiting growth of prostatic adenocarcinoma, stomach cancer, breast cancer, endometrial, ovarian or other cancers of epithelial secretion, or benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH).” This patent also claims 63 additional peptide sequences related to PCK3145. According to Ambrilia, PCK3145 “binds to the cell surface laminin receptor and triggers a signaling cascade of events resulting in down-regulation of MMP-9 expression,” an enzyme that breaks down ECM allowing for tumors to spread. Ambrilia has also announced early phase clinical trial data showing the peptide to be non-toxic, and having the ability to lower MMP-9 levels with weekly peptide treatments.

U.S. Patent No. 7,053,058: LINK
Pharmaceutical Business Review News Article: LINK
Ambrilia Biopharma Patent Press Release: LINK

June 02, 2006

Biophan Technologies, Inc., within a span of two months, obtained two U.S. patents on methods to signal the heart. These patents, U.S. Patent No. 7,020,517 (entitled “Fibrillation/tachycardia monitoring and preventive system and methodology,” issued on March 28th) and U.S. Patent No. 7,054,686 (entitled “Pulsewidth electrical stimulation”, issued on May 30th), disclose several devices and methods for maintaining steady heart activity. U.S. Patent 7,020,517 claims a cardiac assist device that comprises a housing (with its own control circuits “to control generation of various electrical stimuli in response to sense conditions of the heart”), a heart sensor, and a lead system “to transmit and receive signals between the heart and said primary housing.” The claim further describes the housing as comprising “a chaos control generator to generate a pre-fibrillation state electrical signal,” along with “a pacing environment enhancement generator to generate an electrical enhancement signal” which effectively lowers “a threshold for pacing the heart when said control circuit determines from the sensed conditions that a natural pacing signal of the heart has fallen below a threshold to trigger the heart to beat.” According to the patent, this invention addresses the need for “a device that can sense or detect an approaching fibrillation or tachycardia cardiac state and take remedial actions prior to the heart entering a dangerous state.” U.S. Patent No. 7,054,686, which references 280 separate U.S. patents and pending U.S. patent applications, discloses “a process for stimulating tissue,” which can include cardiac, nerve, and/or brain tissue, comprising the delivery of an electrical stimulus to the tissue using “about 10 to about 1,000 individual pulses” of varying lengths (1 to 100 microseconds), and two different voltages from “about 10 millivolts to about 100 volts being different from the second voltage.” According to the patent, one object of the invention was “to provide a cardiac assist process which takes advantage of the speed of cellular response to external stimuli, and which is substantially more energy efficient than prior art cardiac assist processes.” According to Biophan’s website, Biophan and its licensors hold over 200 U.S. and foreign patents, patent licenses, or patent applications.

U.S. Patent No. 7,020,517: LINK
U.S. Patent No. 7,054,686: LINK
Yahoo! News Article: LINK
Biophan Technologies, Inc. Website: LINK

June 01, 2006

Earlier this month, Lester Clancy was awarded a patent on a device previously unheard of – a specific type of jump rope, but without the rope. U.S. Patent No. 7,057,243, entitled "Cordless jump rope," discloses two handles, similar to traditional jump-rope handles, but "[a]t the end of the handle, where the rope would typically be, a donut-shaped enclosure is provided and mounted to the handle along its symmetrical axis," and that "[i]nside of each donut-shaped enclosure, a weighted ball or rotating gear system is provided." The patent claims "a pair of jump rope exerciser handles that simulates the effects of jumping rope, each handle forming a linearly elongated grasping member having a first end opposite a second end aligned along a symmetrically balanced central axis." The claim further comprises at least one weighted ball and "a donut-shaped enclosure mounted to said handle along and perpendicular to said symmetrical axis said enclosure forming a circular outer sidewall annularly separated from a circular inner sidewall such that said outer sidewall and said inner sidewall bound and form smooth inner channel that retain and guide said weighted ball such as to form a circular track perpendicular to and symmetrically about said centerline of said handle." In addition, the claimed invention includes "a flexible stretching member attached at said first end, where said flexible stretching member retained at each end within said chamber by terminated each end with an anchor means and retaining one anchor means within a chamber of each said handle." According to the patent, this invention "provides health benefits and aerobic exercise such as increase endurance and stamina," as "[p]hysical fitness and health concerns are among the areas of highest concern among Americans today."

U.S. Patent No. 7,037,243: LINK
CBS News Article: LINK
WISHTV News Article: LINK

WIPO Press Releases

WIPO General News

Patent References

Click HERE to search issued U.S. Patents

Click HERE to search published U.S. Patent Applications

Click HERE to browse the MPEP (E8r6 in HTML and PDF, and E8r7 in PDF)

Click HERE to search patent assignments recorded with the USPTO

Click HERE to search Title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations (rev. 7/1/08)

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

Click HERE to view current USPTO fees


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.

EPO Updates

Trademark References

Click HERE to search issued and pending U.S. Trademarks

Click HERE to search TTAB proceedings (via TTABVUE)

Click HERE to search trademark assignments recorded with the USPTO

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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