Patenting the Results of Collaborative Research

In the past, research was carried out primarily by employees who had an obligation to assign ownership of their inventions to the same employer.  It was often the case that an employee conceived an improvement to another employee’s invention that might be deemed obvious (and, hence, unpatentable) in view of the original invention.  To avoid [...]

Patenting Lots of Related Inventions


Some inventors are lucky enough to be able to focus on inventing in a single field or technology area.  Often, they generate lots of inventions that are related in some way.  In the recent past, when the fees that the UPTO charges for examining related inventions were lower, it almost always made sense to cram [...]

Ownership of New Plants in Government-Funded Research


The ownership of inventions that are conceived or first actually reduced to practice in performance of a U.S. Government-funded experimental, developmental or research project by a small business (e.g., a person or company) or a nonprofit organization (e.g., a university) is controlled by the Bayh-Dole Act.  With technology inventions (e.g., machines, articles of manufacture, compositions [...]

Overcoming Business Method Claim Rejections, after Bilski

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued interim guidelines for USPTO Examiners to use in determining whether patent claims describe the kinds of things that can be patented, i.e., whether the claims describe “statutory subject matter.”  The guidelines are “interim” because the U.S. Supreme Court has indicated that it will review the [...]


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