Well, the Supreme Court has apparently heard all of its cases for the October 2006 term, and we are anxiously awaiting for the other shoe to drop on the KSR v. Teleflex opinion (the first shoe being oral arguments, previously reviewed by the AT! here: KSR v. Teleflex: Notable Quotes from the Oral Arguments, and generally indicating that changes to the obviousness standard is likely).
Per U.S. Supreme Court procedures, during the months of May and June, the Court meets at 10 a.m. every Monday to release opinions. During the last week of the term (before recess in late June/early July . . . lasting until the next term starting the first Monday of October), additional days may be designated as “opinion days.”
Accordingly, we could conceivably have a decision tomorrow (Monday, April 30th), and almost certainly within the next month or two.
See the following link for some excellent commentary from Prof. Crouch at Patently-O regarding more conjecture and evidence (via Hal Wegner) of an upcoming gift of new continuation and examination rules from the USPTO. Looks like it may be a not-so-nice Christmas in July for the Patent Bar.
Per previous AT! commentary, the proposed continuation rules, comments from the Bar, and continuation rumors may be viewed here: Proposed Limits on Continuations No More?
U.S. Pat. No. 5,505,207: Character distinguishing sized blood pressure cuff system.
1. A series of blood pressure cuffs of predetermined known serial sizes; each cuff comprising, at least in part, an inflatable bladder having at least one port for inflation and deflation thereof, attachment means provided on the cuff to permit its attachment about the limb of a patient through circumferential wrapping of the limb of the patient, at least two indicators of size on the cuff, a first size indicator being a sequential indication and a second indicator being a size indication provided by predetermined caricatures representing subjects of different size present on the cuffs wherein the second indicator is a series of animal depictions and the animals depicted increase in size as the cuff size increases in size, each of the animals depicted belonging to a different species.
2. The blood pressure cuff according to claim 1 wherein the first indicator is sequential numbering of the blood pressure cuffs.
3. The blood pressure cuff according to claim 1 wherein said first indicator is sequential lettering from the Arabic alphabet.
4. The blood pressure cuff according to claim 1 wherein the animal depictions comprise in part a rabbit, a bird and a dinosaur.
According to this article at Discover Magazine, recent studies suggest that nearly 60 million blogs exist online, and about 175,000 more crop up daily (or about 2 every second). Analysts have been able to track trends in blogs (specifically, links between blogs), and one analyst recently collected and plotted 6 weeks worth of data. A few of his plots may be viewed here.
The plots are interesting, although their practical signficance may be questionable. That being said, we query where the community of intellectual property law bloggers might exist on these maps? Our guess is that most of the patent law blogs exist in Group 4, i.e., a balanced sociopolitical discourse with a sort of metadialogue between bloggers who hurl headlines at one another. This feels sort of like metadialogue, right?
At the risk of losing the interest of the reader in the first sentence of this post, the below is a book review that has no real scandal and that does not appeal to any prurient interests. The book is titillating (pun intended) only in its informative and enlightening look at the Patent Office and its approach to sex. Sorry to disappoint.
The Hidden History of Sex at the U.S. Patent Office: American Sex Machines by Hoag Levins is quite an interesting, and at times disturbing, look at patented devices involving human sex organs and copulation. Levins carefully researched the patent archives and found more than 800 inventions pertaining to the subject matter. Levins then organized the inventions into various categories such as: early american sex (the rubber revolution, contraception, etc.); the male reproductive organ; the bra and industrialization of the breast; and the modern era of sex (anti-rape technology, means for stimulation, exercisers, etc.). The book starts with a plethora of devices aimed at curbing maturbation (a nineteenth century obsession) and spans to the field of AIDS-inspired protection devices such as oral condoms and condom garnments. The remarkable display of inventiveness spans from odd to downright dangerous and becomes an absolute page turner.
In the book Levins weaves a wonderful thread and balance of describing the inventions and societal preoccupations of an era through the eyes of the Patent Office. The book is scholarly and enlightening; for instance, the history of the brassiere is detailed and concise and dismisses various urban legends and other nonsense pertaining to the invention of this device. American Sex Machines contains a section of chapter notes describing the source material and additional readings, and includes a solid index. The book is written with grace, style, and a good deal of humor and leaves the reader well informed, if not enlightened.
Came across this article from the AP today, and thought it an interesting read.
The International Exhibition of Inventions is the world’s largest “invention fair.” More than 700 exhibitors from 42 countries present approximately 1,000 inventions. The exhibitors include industrial and commercial companies, independent researchers, and amateurs.
Inventions can only be entered only once and must be patented. The website for the International Exhibition of Inventions may be found here.
Well, a new set of patent-related legislation has arrived in the U.S. Congress. In recent years, patent reform legislation has been proposed, but has stalled each time the topic was raised. It remains to be seen whether this round will be different.
We also suggest perusal of an interesting article on the Patent Reform Act of 2007 from the Washington Post. This article points out the industry giants (Big Pharma versus High Tech, for example) taking sides on patent reform, and their clashing views of how the patent system should work. A good read if you have a few minutes.