Copyrights 101: What You Need to Know

Copyright is an area of intellectual property that is just as important as patents and trademarks. There are a lot of questions and misconceptions about copyright:  How do you get a copyright? Who owns the copyright? When does a copyright take effect?  Step 1 – Date of Creation  In 1989, the United States became a […]

Pass Go & Collect: How to Patent Board Games

The Story of Monopoly… A patent is a limited monopoly that the government grants for an invention. The government granted inventor Charles Darrow a patent US2026082A on the board game Monopoly in 1935. There’s some controversy about the 1935 patent: Darrow learned about another game called “The Landlords’ Game” that was patented in 1904 by a […]

Foreign Filing License & Your Filing Receipt

Most people who are filing for a patent in the United States don’t even realize that, at the same time, they’re applying for a foreign filing license. What’s that? Well, it turns out that if some or all of the inventive process takes place in the United States, before you can apply for a patent […]

What’s So Special About Tyler, Texas, Anyway?

Most people don’t even know where Tyler, Texas, is, but for patent litigators—that is, attorneys that try patent cases—it has become their home away from home. First, I need to give a little bit of background about the federal court system that a lot of people aren’t aware of. The federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction […]

A Personal Story: My Path to Becoming a Patent Attorney (Part 2)

Last time, I explained the circumstances that led me to start law school after I “retired” from chemistry. Now the rest of the story. It’s very different to start law school when you’re…I’ll be kind to myself and use the word…”mature.” I was the second oldest student in my class, and I was the oldest […]

A Personal Story: My Path to Becoming a Patent Attorney (Part 1)

When I meet new clients, they don’t realize at first that being a patent lawyer is actually a second career for me. Since a lot of people find how I got to where I am today an interesting story, I’ve decided to share it with you, my readers. When I was in high school, I […]

Spring is Here and the Patents are Blooming!

Welcome, Springtime! The trees are starting to blossom, little plants are sticking their heads above the soil, the grass is starting to get greener, and I’m sure that just brings thoughts of patents to everybody’s heads. Well, not everybody. We’ve previously discussed utility patents and design patents, but there’s a third type of patent in the […]

What is Patentable? The Phenomena of Nature Exception

The answer to the question “what is patentable?” should be pretty straightforward, because the applicable law says: “a machine, a manufacturer, composition, or a process, or the improvements thereof, are patentable.” However, over the years, the courts have created very specific guidelines concerning what is or is not patentable. One exception to patentability is called […]

What Should an Attorney Charge to File and Prosecute a Patent Application?

Not surprisingly, one of the first questions clients usually ask me is “how much does it cost to get a patent?” While there are some government fees that apply regardless of which attorney you choose to file and prosecute (i.e. prepare the application and shepherd it through to issuance) your patent, the attorneys fees can […]

This Valentine’s Day, Enjoy Your Intellectual Property

{2:30 minutes to read} February 14th is Valentine’s Day. It’s a special day in our household because my youngest grandson, Xavier, was born on Valentine’s Day. To many people, it’s also a good day for romance and love. I’m sure most don’t think about intellectual property such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights, although the romantic […]