22 December 2011

File the Patent Application as Soon as Possible

Here's an interesting article from the excellent LoTempio Law Blog.  This post explains how Facebook got lucky in a case where it was found that its software infringed a patent. Fortunately for Facebook, that patent was found to be invalid because of disclosures made before the patent application was filed.

Interestingly, the case shows that the engine running Facebook is someone else's invention. Also interesting are the questions raised by the author concerning Zuckerberg's conduct at the time when he supposedly "invented" Facebook. All very intriguing...

Given the present value of Facebook, the failure to file early was a huge mistake on the part of the patentee.

16 December 2011

Big Bash Out for a Duck

The other day I was busy attempting to fight off the ravages of old age by moving some weights around in my garage. I enjoy listening to "Hot Tomato", a popular local radio station when I do this kind of thing.

My ears pricked up when I heard one of the presenters complain, jokingly, about the branding used by the "Big Bash League", a cricket tournament between various clubs around Australia. The presenter felt that not much thought had been given to the team names. I must agree. Let's see what we have.

"Adelaide Strikers" - not even a scintilla of imagination.
" Brisbane Heat" - sounds like a police show.
"Hobart Hurricanes" - what starts with "H"?
"Melbourne Renegades" - this is cricket...not some revived glam rock band...
"Melbourne Stars" - Ooh, that must have been difficult...

Australia is a vast land full of exciting words and imagery. And this is what they come up with?  Sad, really...

10 December 2011

Effexor Patent Denied Priority Date

Case


Sigma Pharmaceuticals (Australia) Pty Ltd v Wyeth [2011] FCAFC 132

Lesson:

Applicants should always ensure that the specification currently on file tracks developments. For example, when it becomes clear that a preferred formulation is no longer specifically described, action should be taken immediately so as not to lose the ability to protect that formulation. Failure to do so could result in the public release of the formulation before an amendment or a divisional is filed, leading to disastrous consequences, such as the inability to enforce the patent.

06 December 2011

Patent Filings Still on the Increase in the U.S.

Here is an interesting article from the Lo Tempio blog.

It appears that in spite of of all the doom and gloom, there have been a record number of patent applications filed for the United States 2011 fiscal year. If you have the time, the "Performance and Accountability Report" would make interesting reading.

Clearly, even if times are tough, failure to file a patent application can have detrimental consequences in two or three years' time. The reason is simply that both here and in the United States, it can take 2 to 3 years before a patent is actually granted. If the economy has picked up by then and you have failed to file a patent application two or three years earlier, you could be missing out on the gravy train. I suspect this is why the number of applications per year is still climbing in the US and particularly in China.