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What Can the Federal Government Do with March In Rights

What Can the Federal Government Do with March In Rights

March-in rights give the federal government the right to grant other entities licenses or give a license to themselves if they aided the owner of a patent with funding. They will not use their march-in rights unless there is a threat to public safety that the owner of the patent is not equipped to handle. The government is allowed to grant a patent license to the owners own competitors if the government feel it is necessary to do so. 
Aside from public safety issues, the government can grant licenses to patents they helped fund if the small business or non-profit they helped fund has not taken practical steps required to carry out the patent. If the patent is not suitable for public use after having received funding from the government, the government can take away the exclusive rights belonging to the patent holder.
An individual who is looking to patent an item but does not want to deal with the possibility of march-in rights has to be sure of a few things in order to avoid being subject to march-in rights. An inventor should consider if their patent could somehow be used to counter a bio-terrorism threat.
 If the government is likely to use a patent to combat some type of terrorism, an inventor may want to reconsider patenting an item that the government may apply their march-in rights to. Inventors should also consider if their patent could be used to make terrorist threats even if they do not plan to do so.
Avoiding the use of government funding is also a good way to avoid march-in rights. A potential patent holder could seek funding from another source or find another organization to grant licensing to in order to avoid march-in rights.

If government funding is used and there is a chance march-in rights will be applied, an argument against march-in rights should be thought out before the time comes. If march-in rights are used by the government they are required to pay royalties to the patent holder. This is a form a patent protection that not even the federal government can just take away.
The likelihood of march-in rights being exercised by the government is small. March-in rights, to this date, have never been used by the government. However, with technology and terrorism on the rise, the chances that patents could either prevent a terrorist attack or aid one are increasing. 
Since the government has established march-in rights they likely intend to use them one day. It is difficult to argue against the government’s right to use march-in rights since the main idea behind them is public health and safety.

Understanding Non Exclusive Licensing

Understanding Non Exclusive Licensing

Non-exclusive patent license agreements are accepted by a patent holder if they are denied an exclusive patent license agreement or they do not want the pressures of exclusive patent licensing, which include minimum annual royalty agreements. Non-exclusive patent licensing holders do not have the exclusive rights to a patent as suggested by the term, non-exclusive. 
In fact, a licensor can grant many different non-exclusive licenses to different parties and then grant an exclusive license to another party. Once an exclusive license is obtained, no more non-exclusive licenses will be granted for the same patent. Non-exclusive patent license agreements are basically not worth much one a patent has been granted an exclusive patent license agreement.
Non-exclusive patent license agreement holders do not have protection from the licensor in the event of a lawsuit. Non-exclusive patents do not come with any affirmative rights such as ownership that would stand up in a trial. The licensor who granted the non-exclusive license will not and does not have to provide any protection in patent infringement cases, patent abandonment or length of license arguments. 
A non-exclusive patent license agreement could possibly offer protection similar to exclusive agreements but only if the agreement states that such protection will be offered which is highly unlikely.
Licensors offer multiple non-exclusive licenses to assure that the patent will be used to its full potential. If one person is the holder of a license and they do not follow through with the production and distribution of the patent, that patent has gone to waste. 
The more non-exclusive patent licensing agreements granted, the more likely a patent is able to live up to its full potential and the intellectual property can be successfully commercialized.

Officers and Employees of the Patent Office

Officers and Employees of the Patent Office

Director
The Director of the Patent Office is appointed by the President with following input from the Senate. The Director should be a United States citizen with a professional background in patents and trademark law. The Director is responsible for providing leadership and order within the Patent Office. The Director is also responsible for the issuance of patents and trademark registration. These duties must be performed in an impartial manner. An oath is required to be stated before anyone can take over as Director.
Only the President can remove the Director and he must notify both houses of congress when he plans to do so. Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The Secretary of Commerce appoints the Deputy and Deputy Director of the USPTO. The Deputy Director shall act as the Director in the absence of the Director.
Commissioner 
 The Commissioner is appointed by the Secretary of Commerce.Should have management skills. Should have a patent and trademark professional background.Will serve a term of 5 years.Must make sure all office duties including patent and trademark registration run smoothly.Can be reappointed for another 5 years following a term.Can be removed for unsatisfactory performance by the Secretary of Commerce.

Other Officers and Employees

The Director shall appoint officers and employees which includes attorneys to carry out the functions of the office. The Director will delegate the responsibilities of all employees they hire. Will not be eligible to have any inventions or trademarks registered during their time working for the USPTO or for one year removed from their position.

Training of Examiners
         The USPTO shall submit a proposal to congress to train more employees to make up for those that are retiring.

National Security Positions

         The Director shall maintain a program for identifying those best suited for protecting certain inventions or patents that could have an effect on national security.

A Brief Overview of Patent Protection

A Brief Overview of Patent Protection

Patent protection is vital to the economic growth and technological advancement of the United States. People who think of new ideas and are capable of creating new inventions deserve to receive credit for their work and that credit includes monetary values. When a new invention is created, the inventor deserves to have the exclusive rights of ownership belonging to that item. 
Exclusive rights give a patent owner the right to be the only person profiting off of a patent for a set period of time. When a licensor grants a licensee the right to be the only party creating an invention, it is up to the inventor to take advantage of the situation because their exclusive ownership will not last forever. Anyone or group that infringes on a patented item is committing patent infringement.
Why Patent?
Obtaining a patent from the USPTO is the best way to protect intellectual property from anyone looking to infringe on an original idea or invention. If someone invents a new product but does not patent it, that item is not patent protected. If someone steals that item and manages to get the item patent protected with the USPTO, they will receive credit for inventing the item and have the full protection and rights afforded for the USPTO. 
The owner of a patent is entitled to the production, marketing and sales of that patent. One does not want to lose out on the rewards of inventing a useful item because they failed to receive a patent. Those who suffer from patent infringement are able to receive monetary reward if they successfully patented their product prior to the infringement.
Exclusive Licenses

Exclusive licenses give lincensees full legal protection from patent infringement. They are the sole owners of a patent and have the right to sell and profit off the patent. The lincensor may require the exclusive lincensee to meet specific annual royalty minimum quotas. Failure to meet the commercial demands of a patent could result in losing the license or being demoted to a non-exclusive license.

Non-exclusive Licenses

These licenses are not protected by the USPTO in infringement cases unless otherwise noted. Licensors that offer non-exclusive licenses to patent owners do not trust the lincensee to meet the commercial expectations of the licensor so the licensor grants non-exclusive licenses to multiple people. Most owners of non-exclusive licenses would prefer to be exclusive license owners.

Powers and Duties of the USPTO

Powers and Duties of the USPTO

The United States Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) act under the authority of the Secretary of Commerce. The main responsibility of the USPTO is to grant and issue patents trademarks. Providing a seal to represent the USPTO on all trademarked and patented items.
         Govern the conduct of proceedings in the office.
         Facilitate and expedite the process of patent applications which includes filing, storing, processing and searching.
         Judge attorneys and other agents to make sure they are of good character when determining if they are suitable to advise the public on matters pertaining to the USPTO.
         Evaluate cost effectiveness of procedures within the office and pertaining to the public. 
         They may alter, create, create, hold or manage any property within the USPTO if believed necessary.
         May use, with consent, the functions and instruments used by other federal government agencies.
         Retain all revenues and receipts. 
         Advise the President on certain intellectual property issues.
         Provide guidance or support to foreign nations regarding intellectual property issues.
         Shall advise the Secretary of Commerce on research and programs as well as conduct their own.
         Shall authorize along with the Secretary of State, the transfers of no more than $100,000 to international intergovernmental organizations for studies and programs meant to advance international cooperation concerning patents, trademarks and other matters.

The Facts on Software Patents

The Facts on Software Patents

Software patents were not always offered in the United States. There has always been two sides that argue if they should be issued or not issued at all. With technological advancements in current society, it is hard to imagine patent protection not being offered to software. Back in the 1960s, patents were not offered to software. 
This is because the software was simply performing mathematical algorithms which are not patentable. Those against patenting software only saw mathematical equations being performed by a computer and appearing on a screen. There was no other functional or duty being served by the software therefore it could not be patented. Mathematical equations are considered abstract and abstract ideas are not patentable.
In the 1980s, the patent office began to change its position regarding software patents. In 1981, the Diamond v. Diehr case was the first in which the courts ruled a software should be protected by a patent. The software in this case offered instructions for “curing” or molding rubber with heat. 
Rather than just offering equations, the software gave specific instructions for molding rubber and removing the rubber from heat. The court ruled this was a patentable software. This case did not settle all confusion regarding software that contained mathematical equations and other elements that may make it patentable.
In the 1990s, the Federal Court ruled all software that converted numbers into other, real world values could be patent protected. The State Street Bank & Trust v. Signature Financial Group 

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