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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

The United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent

The United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent

What is the USTPO?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office is a government agency in the United States Department of Commerce, which issues patents to inventors and businesses for the production of new inventions. The United States Patent and Trademark Office also will supply individuals or businesses with trademark registrations for products and intellectual property identification purposes. The USTPO is located in Alexandria, Virginia, following a 2006 move from the Crystal City jurisdiction of Arlington, Virginia. 
The USTPO is headed by David Kappos, who was sworn into office following the United States Senate’s confirmation of his appointment by the President Barack Obama. The USTPO cooperates with various patent offices, such as the European Patent Office and the Japan Patent Office as one of the three international Trilateral Patent Offices. 
The Mission of the USPTO is legally based in Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, where the powers of Congress are defined as possessing the ability to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”
The mission of the United States Patent and Trademark Office is to promote industrial and technological progress in the United States and to strengthen the United States economy by administering the laws relating to patents and trademarks; advising the President of the United States, the Secretary of Commerce and the administration on patent, trademark and copyright protection and to provide advice on the trade-related aspects of intellectual property. 
What is a USTPO Patent?

A USTPO 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 an invention or idea.
The procedure for issuing a USTPO patent, the requirements placed on the holder of the USTPOI patent and the extent to which the exclusivity rights protect the invention or idea will remain constant in varying locations. That being said, there are different types of USTPO patents available depending on the underlying invention or idea. In most cases, a USTPO patent application will include one or more claims to define the invention; to obtain a USTPO patent, the idea or invention must be new, useful, non-obvious or industrially applicable. 
A USTPO 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 USTPO 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. 

World Intellectual Property Organization Patent Search

World Intellectual Property Organization Patent Search

What is the WIPO Patent?

The World Intellectual Property Organization is one of the sixteen recognized agencies of the United Nations. The WIPO was created in 1967 to promote and encourage creative activity in alignment with the tangible production of inventions. Furthermore, the WIPO was created to inform and protect the protection of intellectual property throughout the world. The WIPO has 184 member states and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. 
As a result of the WIPO’s mission, the agency aims to inform inventors and those seeking to protect their inventions, as to the intricacies associated with their respective country’s patent laws. One of the fundamental resources offered by the organization is the WIPO patent search. 
The WIPO patent search enables an inventor or business entity to search through over 1.9 million international patent applications to view the latest documents and information available to the International Bureau.  As a result of this comprehensive research tool, the WIPO patent search is used by inventors to cross-reference their particular invention to ensure that they have not infringed upon any previously-invented goods or products. 
The WIPO Patent search sifts through the 1.9 million patented inventions by sorting the various products or creations based on their publication number, application number, publication date, inventor name, English title, national phase country, English abstract international class, a description of the invention or any claims associated with the invention. 
Why is the WIPO Patent Search Important and how do I conduct one?

The WIPO Patent Search is crucial for all inventors because researching which creations are already patented will allow the inventor to refrain from infringing on any ideas or inventions. If an inventor creates something that already has a patent in place, the individual would be unable to create or distribute the product. As a result of this impediment, it is necessary to observe all issued patents if you are interested in obtaining a patent for your unique invention. 
To conduct a WIPO patent search you must visit the World Intellectual Property Organization’s website, located at www.wipo.int. Once you arrive at the WIPO’s website, you can search for the WIPO search tool or you can simply go to www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/ to access the WIPO patent search tool directly. When you access the tool you can enter information regarding your invention or you can research patents that have been issued for a creation similar to yours.

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. 

What Does Patent Pending Mean?

What Does Patent Pending Mean?

The term “patent pending” is often used on certain products by inventors that have begun the application process in regards to securing patent protection and have submitted the application for review to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  
The granting of a patent by the USPTO is known to be quite a lengthy procedure, often times taking up to three years to issue the patent. During such time, the owners of the invention or the patent holders will often affix the words “patent pending” on their invention or product in order to give notice to others that the patent application process is underway. 
Conditions to Use Patenting Pending
In the United States, there are certain requirements imposed by applicable patent laws in regards to the correct usage of “patent pending” notices on inventions or products. The most important requirement would prove to be obvious, which is to formally have an actual patent application filed with the USPTO. 
The type of application in regards to the patent may not matter for the use of the patent pending notice, though it is normally associated with the provisional patent application. The provisional patent application will not commence the formal investigation process until after a year from the date of the application. 
Furthermore, no claims are necessary to be included in the application. This allows for the inventor to make the proper adjustments to the invention in order to be within the constraints of patentability. 
In the case that the patent pending statement is used on an invention or product, it is conditional upon having to file for a standard, non-provisional patent within 12 months from the date the application was filed. 
In order to legally use the patent pending mark, the application for registration must have already been started and can only be affixed by the creator or owner of the invention. The patent pending mark is to be temporarily used until a formal and official patent number is given upon granting patent rights. 
Using the patent pending mark on a product or invention that has not undergone the necessary application procedures is considered to be a federal crime in accordance to United States patent laws and statutes.  Violating such imposed regulations can result in heavy fines and possibly even imprisonment. 

Extent of Protection with Patent Pending
 It is crucial for inventors and potential patent holders to be aware of the fact that a patent pending notice does not offer the same protection as a patent that is appropriately registered. A patent pending mark does not exclude others from making and selling similar inventions or products. However, it does give notice that the particular invention or product may become the sole and exclusive property of the patent owner within a matter of time. 
Patent pending does not guarantee that the actual invention or product will be granted patent protection. It is not uncommon for many inventions to be denied patent rights or require that the inventor make amendments and modifications are re-submit an application for approval.