Among other events that occurred on this date in history, U.S. Patent 942,699, directed to the first synthetic plastic, Bakelite, was granted to inventor Leo Baekeland. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Baekeland was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1978. When the Bakelite patent issued in 1909, the world seemed to […]
Business—at least as waged between competitors—is war. That observation was made in 1832 by Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz in his magnum opus, On War, based on his service in the Napoleonic Wars. We see this in the field of intellectual property (IP) rights. What is a patent, if not a competitive advantage, the legal […]
On Tuesday evening, I went to a “shark tank” event at TechNexus in Chicago. Thanks to my friend and colleague Nancy Fallon-Houle, the startup business lawyer, for inviting me. Here’s what I’ve learned about inventions and Shark Tank. If you’d like to know more about how to profit from your inventions, this article is for you.
If you’re an inventor, engineer, or programmer—if you’re an entrepreneur, owner, or prime mover in a business—if you use technology to make better products for your customers— Here’s a toast to you! More than a toast, my gift to you today is
Let’s say you own a business that makes something, whether it’s a software product or a hardware device. Your success depends on filling your customers’ needs better than anyone else. You innovate to make your products better, faster, cheaper. You solve your customers’ problems. That’s what your engineers and coders do. But you’re stuck on […]
“We’ve run out of big ideas,” the Wall Street Journal wails. The voice of Corporate America paints a bleak picture without offering any path forward. In this article, I will provide a simple formula for innovation, market leadership, sales and profits.
The President-Elect @realDonaldTrump and his transition team @transition2017 are working on appointments to his new Cabinet. One of the chairs is reserved for the new Secretary of Commerce. Following close on Commerce’s heels will be appointment of a new Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO […]
There is an international crisis in software patents. The critical, unanswered question is this: When are software inventions eligible for patent? Billions in corporate assets are
It’s tempting to segment and isolate innovation, on one hand, from the drama of life, as evidenced in sports, the arts, business, and other fields of activity. Tempting, but wrong. If you think of “intellectual property” as jars of gray matter on a shelf—that was the image that immediately came to my mind when I first […]
In the last six weeks, as in the last four decades, I have attended intellectual property (IP) and patent litigation conferences across the country and around the world. Many advanced topics for IP/patent lawyers are discussed in detail at these conferences. I often present on such topics myself. But as in many fields, it’s the basics that