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Apple Patents Multi-Touch 3-D Applications

Apple Patents Multi-Touch 3-D Applications

A new Apple patent reveals the company’s ambition to integrate more gesturing into the iPhone, iPad and other devices produced by the leading tech innovator.
The patent covers a gesture-based editing toolbar for the iPad; it suggests a novel approach to manipulating and controlling media by using gestures in the form nearly everything—shapes, symbols, letters or even user-created patterns.
The patent reveals a menu of selected gestures for a number of actions, including facial recognition, creating associations among objects and pointing—thinks Tom Cruise operating the holographic glove-controlled crime-fighting system in Minority Report.
The patent labels a master table of gestures that is not latent in the patent documentation; however, it seems that a user will be able to create new gestures, raising an extensive freedom for use.
The premise of the patent is gesturing by making motions with hand movements or fingers across a multi-touch screen. The patent also mentions 3-D gesturing using the device’s front-facing camera.

Amazon in the Midst of Patent Battles

Amazon in the Midst of Patent Battles

In a recent filing to American financial regulators, Amazon—the online retail force—said that it has been sued 11 times concerning over 30 alleged patent infringements since the beginning of 2011. The claims suspect Amazon’s website personalization technology, cloud computing services, web service and technologies used in the Amazon Kindle are in violation of United States’ Patent Law.
Thus far, two of the 30 allegations have dismissed by the U.S. court system. 
Amazon, in a statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that it would dispute the remaining claims with vigor. These disclosures draw Amazon further into the sticky realm of patent suits. So far, in 2011, the online retail giant has faced three times as many patent infringement suits than it did in the whole of 2010.
Amazon is likely to be targeted by more claimants as it becomes more of a force in the mobile hardware business with the introduction of the Kindle Fire—slated to hit shelves next month. Currently, all of the major tablet and smartphone makers—including Apple, Google, Microsoft, HTC, Samsung and Nokia—are engaged in patent litigation, both against one another and other companies that habitually exploit patent rights. 

Oracle-Google Patent Trial Postponed to 2012

Oracle-Google Patent Trial Postponed to 2012

The judge presiding over the Oracle Corp’s patent lawsuit against Google said in a filing this week that the trial will not happen until next year.
United States’ District Court Judge William Alsup attempted to get Google CEO Larry Page and Oracle CEO to negotiate out of court in numerous face-to-face meetings in San Jose earlier this month.
With mediation and out-of-trial meetings proving fruitless, Alsup is preparing for a trial that he claimed is likely to take a long time; Alsup also claims that the jury selection process will prove arduous.
In the suit, Oracle claims that Google should pay over $6 billion for java technology it used in its Android mobile operating system—Oracle acquired the technologies latent in the system when it purchased Sun Microsystems.
Google’s legal professionals reject the claim and promise to vigorously defend the tech giant in court next year.

Breast Cancer Gene Patents Still Legal Issue

Breast Cancer Gene Patents Still Legal Issue


Can companies patent the genes that cause some types of breast cancer, so that only they can perform the tests for these genes?  The Federal Circuit has said yes—twice—but their decision is being appealed.  The case, started by the ACLU in 2009, may wind up back in front of the Supreme Court again in 2013 if the court grants certiorari.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 were two of the first genes to be identified in causing breast cancer.  Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation obtained patents on these two genes, and they were the only entities that were allowed to license tests that could detect the presence or absence of the genes.  These patents were rigorously enforced, leading many researchers to halt research on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes due to fears of being sued for patent infringement.

Myriad and the University of Utah Research Foundation even controlled the ability of researchers to look at the genes and create their own testing protocols.  Patent law has long held, even since before the beginnings of the United States, that patents were not available on “products of nature.”  The ACLU interpreted this to mean that the patent on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 was in violation of existing patent law, and they sued in federal district court.

The district court ruled at trial that the patents were illegal, but the appeals court reversed.  The Supreme Court first looked at this issue two years ago and sent the case back to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, saying that it needed to change the way it was looking at the patents.  In September of 2012, the Federal Court of Appeals ruled once again that the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene patents did not violate United States law.

The suit is being filed on behalf of several women with the genetic mutation, including women who were unable to find out about their genetic mutations for some time due to the extremely high cost of testing.  At the time when the lawsuit was filed, testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes could cost more than $4,000.

While the Court of Appeals ruled against the ACLU about the specific patents on the genes, there was a silver lining for people hoping for better access to testing in the future.  The Court of Appeals also ruled that any patents on methods for comparing the genes to “wild-type” genes were not in fact legal according to United States patent and trademark law.

The Appeals Court based its ruling on the idea that once the genes being tested are reproduced in a laboratory and divorced from their constituent chromosomes, they are no longer “products of nature” but rather patentable objects of scientific study.  The court said in its decision that if the United States Congress wanted to, it could constitutionally alter patent law in order to forbid the patenting of specific isolated genes, but that no such laws had been passed by Congress.

Sources: uscourts.gov, aclu.org

Patent Forms

Patent Forms


Application Data Sheet (Instructions)
Disclosure Statement (Instructions)

Patently Offensive

Patently Offensive


Summary of Patently Offensive


The term patently offensive refers to obscenity law under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The term now mainly address broadcasting

standards under the Federal Communications Commission, but it also applies to publications like adult magazines and other types of adult material. 


How does the Supreme Court label something offensive or obscene?


According to the FCC and the Supreme Court, a broadcast is considered offensive and obscene if it meets criteria under three different statements.  The broadcast is offensive if:


·         “An average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material, as a whole, appeals to the prurient (involving sexual desire) interest”

·         “The material must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law”

·         “The material, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value”


Brief History of Broadcasting Restrictions


The set of restrictions listed in the section above is known as the “Miller Test.”  The term comes from a case that was decided by the Supreme Court on June 21, 1973. 


Before the case was brought to court, Miller mailed a large number of advertisements for illustrated books that were referred to as adult material.  Miller was found guilty of distributing obscene material after he sent five advertising brochures to a restaurant in Newport Beach, California.  The manager of the restaurant never asked for the material, and he opened the envelope without knowing it was adult material. 


The restaurant manager and his mother complained to the police, and Miller was found guilty of distributing obscene material and violated California Penal Code §311.2(a).  The case was appealed and affirmed. 


The brochures advertised a total of four books that were titled Intercourse, Man-Woman, Sex Orgies Illustrated, and An Illustrated History of Pornography.  Pictures of genitalia were displayed throughout the books. 


FCC Restrictions for Patently Offensive Material


Even though there is nothing in the First Amendment that can ban indecent material, broadcasting services can restrict the patently offensive material during certain times of the day.  Federal statute prohibits the use of indecent material between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.


There is a difference between offensive and obscene material.  The FCC describes indecent material as “language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measure by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities.”  Simply, less offensive material is indecent while the most offensive material is obscene. 


Can I file a complaint about indecent material?


Yes, you can submit a complaint to the FCC and they will review the material and decide of it violates profanity, indecency, or obscenity laws.  If the FCC does not find the description of the indecent material offensive, they will send a dismissal letter.  You have the option to re-file the complaint if you can provide more information.  You can file a complaint by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC.  If you’re submitting any type of media (like a DVD or CD) with the complaint, use the following address:


Federal Communications Commission

Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau

Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division

9300 East Hampton Drive

Capitol Heights, MD 20743

Sources: https://www.fcc.gov/guides/obscenity-indecency-and-profanity, 

License Agreements

License Agreements

License Agreements

A license is a form of an agreement that can be granted by a licensor to a licensee in order for the licensor to authorize use of the licensed product or the material by the licensee. The license allows the licensor to hold the intellectual property rights of the product and to make money off of the product or creative work by charging for product use by the licensee.
A license protects the proprietary rights of products or ideas such as computer software by giving permission to use a product in a certain way or for a certain activity that would otherwise be considered illegal. This may be done through either proving a status or capability, or by paying a fee. The license agreement may also require the licensee to inform the proper authority or licensor about the type of activity, in order for the licensor to be able to set any limitations or conditions necessary.
When creating a license agreement, it is important to consider the different types of property rights as well as the scope of the rights involved. These can include:
Copyrights for original works that are in a fixed tangible form of expression.
Patents for inventions.
Trademarks for names, words, or symbols that can identify or distinguish a product.
What to Include in a License?
License agreements do not have to be complicated or lengthy, but they should be enforceable and straightforward. Existing license agreements can be helpful to see existing ideas that may be beneficial.
The first thing to set in a license is the license’s scope. It is important to maintain the ultimate rights to ownership of the product while making the agreement broad enough to allow customers some flexibility in using the product. Often licenses are nonexclusive and can be sold to others, except on custom-made products.
It is important that this flexibility to the licensee does not leave room for him to either pirate or produce the product so it can be sold to another third party. A license can allow for controlled reproduction in a given environment through a network license or enterprise license. It can also allow the licensee to resell the license while giving royalties to the licensor.
Defining the Terms for Revenue from the Product
It is imperative to include terms that can control the revenue streams generated the products through the license. Most license agreements on specify a single one-time payment for the license fee at the time of purchase. Other agreements can be made through monthly lease payments, royalties, or even ongoing maintenance charges if necessary.
Other important terms to include in a license:
Any rights given to the licensee to combine or modify the product.
Sublicense and transfer rights.
Length of the agreement or the term.
Uses that are prohibited.
Warranty if included and what it covers.
Rights to the source code.
Other support services available.
Contract termination.
Indemnity for infringement.
Nondisclosure of any confidential information.
Securing Rights with a License
Intellectual property is very complex and a lawyer is usually the most reliable source in order to manage and protect a licensor’s rights. The Unite States Patent and Trademark Office along with the United States Copyright Office administer intellectual property rules and laws. Some protections, like copyrights, may be automatic while others like patents must be granted in a complex application process.

Kolon Industries Executives Stole DuPont’s Kevlar Trade Secrets

Kolon Industries Executives Stole DuPont’s Kevlar Trade Secrets

On October 18, 2012, the Department of Justice announced that executives and employees for Kolon Industries Inc were indicted for stealing trade secrets concerning DuPont’s Kevlar para-aramid fiber and Teijin Limited’s Twaron para-aramind fiber.  

The indictment is asking Kolon Industries to forfeit $225 million of proceeds.  

Kolon is headquartered in South Korea and it makes a product called Heracron—a recent product in the para-armind fiber market.  These types of fibers are used to make body armor, automotive parts, fiberoptic cables, and other industrial parts.

The indictment states that Kolon wanted to improve its products by targeting both current and former employees for DuPont and Teijin.  In 2002, Kolon received inside information about the manufacturing process used by DuPont, and the company started using the same process in just three years.  

The indictment also states that Kolon received information from five employees that formerly worked for DuPont.  These employees provided information about the manufacturing process, blueprints, prices, and even emerging technology.  One specific employee gave Kolon information on a CD about costs for a range of Kevlar products, pricing information for customers, market trends, and more.  

Five men under Kolon were charged.  They are Jong-Hyun Choi, In-Sik Han, Kyeong-Hwan Rho, Young-Soo Seo, and Ju-Wan Kim.  Choi was the senior executive of the Heracron Business Team.  Han led Kolon’s research and development.  Rho was the head of the company’s Technical Team.  Seo was a general manager for the company from November 2006 and on and Kim was a manager from September 2007 to February 2009.  

The theft of trade secrets carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 or twice the gain for each defendant as well as a $5 million fine or twice the gross gain or loss for the corporation.  Since the company tried to conceal the theft, the defendants are also facing 20 years in prison for obstruction of justice and multiple fines.  

Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

All About Patent Offices

All About Patent Offices

Patents Explained:

A patent is an exclusive right granted by a state, particularly a national government, to an inventor or assignee, for a limited amount of time in exchange for a public disclosure of the underlying invention or idea. 
The procedure for issuing patents, the requirements placed on the holder of the patent and the extent to which the exclusivity rights protect the invention or idea will vary widely between countries based on particular national law and international agreement. In most cases, a patent application will include one or more claims to define the invention; to obtain a patent, the idea or invention must be new, useful, non-obvious or industrially applicable. 
A patent offers the creator of a particular invention or idea the exclusive right to prevent others from making, using, distributing or selling the patented invention without permission. A patent is simply, a right to prevent other manufacturers, individuals or producers from using the underling invention or idea. 
Patents are regulated under the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; this organization will make patents available to WTO member states for any inventions or ideas relating to all fields of technology. The terms attached to such patents will offer exclusive rights to holders for a minimum of twenty years; however, different types of patents may have varying terms attached to the exclusivity of the underlying patent. 
What is a Patent Office?

A patent office is a government or intergovernmental organization which is responsible for controlling the issue of patents. As a result of this responsibility, a patent office is required to administer and evaluate all patent applications. 
The patent office therefore will either grant or reject a patent based on an inventor’s or creator’s patent application. The patent office will either issue or reject a patent based on the application’s ability to fulfill the requirements for patentability. 
Within the context a nation’s patent law, an invention or idea is patentable if it meets the relevant legal conditions to be granted a patent. Furthermore, patentability also refers to the substantive conditions that must be satisfied for a patent to be held legitimate or valid. 
Patent laws, which are enforced by the underlying patent office, will typically require that, in order for an invention or idea to be patentable it must satisfy the following requirements:
The invention must be of patentable subject matter, meaning it is eligible for patent production
The invention must be novel or at least some aspect of the invention must be now
The invention must be non-obvious or must involve an inventive step
The invention must be useful or susceptible to industrial application.