FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION

877-354-0809


Oct 14, 2022

Patent Lawyer Jurisdiction

Article By
Do I need a patent lawyer near me?

Patent law does not have the same jurisdictional restrictions as most other areas of law. Therefore, a patent lawyer may practice across state borders and oftentimes does. Bullock Law is a patent law firm in Melbourne, FL. However, the law firm represents many clients based in states outside of Florida and the country. Because patent law is a federal practice, you are able to take advantage of the expertise and experience of a Florida patent lawyer no matter where you are located.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Jan 26, 2022

Patent Searches

Article By
An inventor may, but is not obligated to have their patent attorney perform a patent search. A patent attorney performs a patent search to see if there are any patents or published patent applications that are the same or similar to an invention. This is done to evaluate how the patent office may treat an inventor’s application should they receive one.

Some inventors begin with a patent search as an initial step. Some inventors file a provisional patent application first and then perform their patent search afterward. Other inventors don’t have the patent attorney perform a patent search at all.

Once a patent attorney performs a patent search, the patent attorney is obligated to disclose the relevant results of that patent search to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) upon the filing of a non-provisional utility patent application.

Some inventors believe performing a patent search is a prudent way to determine whether they would like to pursue a provisional patent application or a non-provisional patent application. Other inventors use a patent search as a means to determine what may exist in a particular technology field so that they can improve upon it or modify their own invention to differ from what exists.

Some inventors are secure enough in their creation that they do not want to perform a patent search. These inventors will often engage the patent attorney to draft and file a provisional patent application or a non-provisional utility patent application without spending the time or money on a patent search.

There are pros and cons to performing a patent search that should be considered by each inventor. A benefit to having a patent attorney perform a patent search is that the patent attorney can use their patent prosecution experience to evaluate the patent search results.

One drawback of a patent search is that no patent search can ever be completely conclusive. That is because there are millions of potential references that could be cited in a patent search. Many times, the subjective mindset of the person performing the patent search plays into whether the results are relevant or not.

The patent examiner assigned to a patent application will perform their own patent search, which may differ from the patent attorney’s search. This is because the patent examiner may be searching with a different database. Or, the patent examiner may consider other references to be applicable, which the patent attorney does not consider relevant.

There are pros and cons to patent searches that should be discussed with your patent attorney to determine if a patent search fits your time, budget, and patent protection strategy.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Aug 25, 2021

Patent Lawyer Qualifications

Article By
In order to become a patent lawyer a person must have sufficient scientific and technical training to the satisfaction of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Furthermore, the patent lawyer must have passed their state bar exam and be admitted to practice as a lawyer in at least one U.S. jurisdiction. Additionally, a patent lawyer must have passed the patent bar exam instituted by the USPTO.

Therefore, the three main requirements to become a patent lawyer are:

1. Scientific and Technical Training;
2. Passed State Bar and Admitted to Practice as a General Lawyer;
3. Passed USPTO Patent Bar and Admitted to Practice as Patent Lawyer;

Scientific and Technical Training generally means obtaining at least a bachelor’s of science degree in a technical subject such as computer science, computer engineering, biochemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, or biology, etc. The degree must include a substantial amount of physics courses required of physics majors.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Feb 24, 2020

Copyright Damages Bar

Article By
A Federal Appeals court recently held that a copyright owner may be barred from statutory damages if they failed to register their work promptly. The Copyright Act allows for the recovery of statutory damages and attorney’s fees for infringement of registered work. However, the court ruled that these remedies are not available to a litigant that registers their copyright after the defendant infringes their work.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Feb 21, 2020

Licensing a Patent

Article By
The Federal Circuit, which is the high court for patents, ruled recently that a licensed patent also implies a licensing agreement for continuations of the patent. This is because a continuation includes the underlying patent therein. A continuing or continuation patent application is one in which the applicant wishes to move forward with a different set of claims than those pursued in the original application. The new claims must be wholly supported by the original application. A continuation-in-part patent application is one that includes all of the disclosure of the original patent application, plus some additional information.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Feb 11, 2020

Client Email on Trademarks

Article By
The USPTO has passed a rule making it a requirement that clients provide their email addresses to be publicly displayed on trademark applications. The move has sparked a backlash from trademark attorneys that say it leaves clients susceptible to phishing scams and other types of fraud. Although the new rule goes into effect February 15, 2020, there is a petition circulating among trademark practitioners to delay it. However, at this time the USPTO has not shown signs of delaying implementation.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Feb 2, 2020

Apple's $837M Patent Loss

Article By
A California jury found Apple and Broadcom liable for $1.1B in patent infringement damages. The California Institute of Technology won a two week long jury trial against the two companies for stealing its patented technology. The patents covered irregular repeat-accumulate codes used in low-density parity checks that allow for faster data transmission over Wi-Fi networks. Broadcom produced Wi-Fi chips with the technology that Apple used in over 598 million iPhones, iPads, Macbooks, and other devices. According to Cal Tech’s argument, the technology allowed Apple to manufacture and sell smaller devices with improved Wi-Fi and battery-life.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Oct 25, 2019

Can AI own a patent?

Article By
The question has arisen as to whether AI can own a patent. In August 2019, a British university filed for patents on inventions it claims were created solely by artificial intelligence. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) now grapples with the question of whether a machine can be an inventor.

USPTO Director Andrei Iancu asked "Is it a machine that’s the owner? Is it the owner of the machine? Is it the folks who created the machine or fed the data into the machine? Who is it? What are the disclosure requirements?".

For now, it seems unlikely that a machine will be granted a patent. However, the question may not be so easily answered in the future.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Oct 8, 2019

Can I Patent My Idea?

Article By
Yes, with a little work. Inventions are patentable whereas ideas are not. The difference between the two is sometimes subtle. The standard that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) uses is whether a person having ordinary skill in the subject matter of the invention could read your description and recreate it. Oftentimes a patent application can take an idea and turn it into an invention. This is because a patent application must be detailed enough to enable the device. The application itself can force an inventor to think through the details of their idea and connect the dots that otherwise weren’t connected.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Sep 9, 2019

Can You Patent Software? Yes

Article By
After the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Alice v. CLS Bank, software patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) sharply declined. That decision emphasized that abstract ideas are not patentable. The application of that decision was then applied against software. However, in the past couple of years the court system has carved out enough exceptions to the general rule to safely say that software is in fact patentable so long as that software meets certain criteria. An amalgamation of case law has formulated a two-part test to help fine tune that criteria, although the test is not bright lined.

In an attempt to codify the case law and bring clarity to the two-part test, on January 7, 2019 the USPTO issued guidelines that added a "practical application" question to the analysis. Meaning, according to the USPTO, if otherwise abstract ideas have a practical application, they may be patentable. While many practitioners rejoiced, that celebration was premature.

On Monday, April 1, 2019 the Federal Circuit, which is the high court for patents, ruled in Cleveland Clinic Foundation et al. v. True Health Diagnostics LLC that the court system is not bound by the USPTO guidelines. The court made it clear that the status of the law still rests with the court system itself.

So, what does this mean? We are back to a system where case law and a mastery of the legal issues is paramount when prosecuting a software patent application. Having a patent attorney with a computer science background as well as a litigation and trial background to help navigate a USPTO 35 USC 101 rejection based on abstractness is key.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Sep 3, 2019

Recent Medical Device Inventions

Article By
Several companies have revolutionized the medical device industry with breakthrough technology. This article highlights a recent few.

Virtual Reality Surgical Simulator

FundamentalVR has developed a way to train surgeons using a combination of virtual reality and haptic feedback to provide the look and feel of real surgery without a patient. The company offers pricing plans intended to make the product accessible to all surgeons.

Handheld Brain Scanner

BrainScope has developed a handheld device for physicians to quickly assess both traumatic brain injury as well as concussions. The device measures and interprets brain activity and neurocognition without invasive procedures.

Smart Watch Blood Pressure Monitor

Omron has reduced the component size of traditional blood pressure measurement methods and has incorporated an inflatable cuff in the watch band. Wearers can take individual readings as well as monitor their blood pressure range.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Sep 2, 2019

Protecting Your Software User Interface

Article By
The recent scrutiny of software patent applications has resulted in more creative lawyering to protect software. In particular, design patents are now being used to protect the look of a software owner's user interface. Most marketing experts agree that the usability and aesthetics of software contribute to a more positive user experience, which translates to more commercial viability. Therefore, protecting the look of software in some instances can be as important as protecting its functionality. A design patent protects the ornamental features of an invention. Traditionally design patents have been used for things like furniture and cars. However, a recent shift in thinking has now expanded the reach of design patents to include software user interfaces.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Aug 28, 2019

Passenger Playlist Software Patent

Article By
The popular ride-hailing company Lyft has just received a software patent on a driver jukebox system. The system allows a passenger to control the car's music for the duration of the passenger's trip. It works by having the driver and the passenger both participating in a third-party service whereby the passenger's playlist controls the driver's phone. The playlist is then played through the driver's phone, which should be connected to the car's audio system via Bluetooth or other means.

This is yet another step forward in the pursuit of broader patentability for software.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Aug 27, 2019

Can you Copyright that Banana Suit? Yes.

Article By
Silvertop Associates, Inc. went bananas when they realized another company slipped up by selling knock-off banana costumes that were eating profits. They made a split decision to serve the company with a suit.

In 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court laid out a two-part test for whether an artistic feature of a functional work is copyrightable. The test is:

(1) can the artistic feature of the article be perceived as a two- or three-dimensional work of art separate from the article? and
(2) would the feature qualify as a protectable pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work either on its own or in some other medium if imagined separately from the article?

In Silvertop Associates Inc. (d/b/a Rasta Imposta) v. Kangaroo Manufacturing Inc., the Third Circuit peeled back layers of the Supreme Court's test to find the Plaintiff's banana outfit copyrightable.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Apr 9, 2019

Can You Trademark a Smell?

Article By
It may not be the type of smell that perfumes a room. However, the smell of Play-Doh is a distinctive one that has conjured up playful memories from over 3 billion cannisters over the past 60 years. The "scent of a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, combined with the smell of a salted, wheat-based dough" overcame rejections from the U.S. Trademark Office to become registered as a non-visual scent mark. Very few such marks have been registered by the Trademark Office because of the difficult task of concretely describing an abstract concept and attaching it to a product. Furthermore, the smell cannot be a part of the product's functionality. It will be interesting to see how the company enforces its Trademark.
If you have questions regarding protecting your intellectual property, contact Patent Attorney Stephen Bullock at 877-354-0809.


Bullock Law

Orange County - Orlando, FL

Brevard County - Melbourne, FL

MAIN OFFICE
1900 S. Harbor City Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32901

Brevard County - Rockledge, FL

© 2019-21 by Bullock Law
Office consultations available by appointment