Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 220)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on September 19, 2012

U.S. Patent Appl. Pub. No. 20120187627:  Scallywags board game.

JW Note:  In honor of “International Talk Like A Pirate Day”, September 19, 2012 – Yarrrrr.

1. An interactive pirate themed board game comprising: a. a pirate ship shaped game board; b. a plurality of spaces on the game board, where said plurality of spaces are arranged in a plurality of levels; c. a plurality of physically acquired pirate related paraphernalia is provided as a player moves along the plurality of spaces on the game board; d. a starting position, where said starting position is at a lowest level of the plurality of levels; and e. a finishing position, where said finishing position is at a highest level of the plurality of levels, and where said finishing position is associated with physically receiving at least one object and with winning the interactive pirate themed board game.

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They Invented What? (No. 219)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on September 15, 2012

U.S. Patent No. 6,718,554: Hands free towel carrying system.

What is claimed is:

1. A hands free towel carrying system for coupling a towel to a user to prevent loss, theft or contamination comprising, combination: a towel of a generally rectangular configuration comprised of an absorbent material of a color of the user’s choosing, having a loose end, a parallel coupling end and a pair of side edges therebetween, the side edges being between about 15 percent and 25 percent greater than the length of the loose and coupling ends, the coupling end being formed from the folding over of a top end and coupling the top end to an intermediate portion of the towel through stitching thereby forming a tunnel in the coupling end, the region of the towel forming the tunnel being shirred with inner regions and outer regions adapted to expand and contract to allow enlargement and reduction of the size of the tunnel; a neck loop of a generally cylindrical configuration and being comprised of an elastomeric material, the neck loop being adapted to be stretched around a user’s head without messing up the user’s hair and glasses and being adapted to rest around the user’s neck, the neck loop forming a base around which the tunnel of the coupling end of the towel can be formed for enlargement and reduction in size thereby retaining the towel in a convenient enlarged position during donning by the user and reduced configuration during wearing by the user; a pocket positioned on the towel and having a resealable coupling selected from the class of resealable couplings including snaps, buttons, zippers and hook and loop fasteners, preferably a snap, with the pocket being adapted to hold loose objects the user desires to keep in safe proximity; and indicia positioned on the towel, the indicia being selected from the class of indicia including monograms, advertisement, and sports logos.

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Leahy-Smith America Invents Act – One Year Anniversary (September 16, 2012).

Posted in Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on September 15, 2012

The one year anniversary of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) is September 16, 2012.  As most practitioners know, the AIA represents the first major overhaul of U.S. patent law in approximately 60 years.  The AIA has also been implemented in stages, with the one year anniversary representing the next stage of implementation.

Most notable are the following changes to U.S. patent law that will take place on September 16, 2012:

• Inventor’s Oath/Assignment by Assignee – If an inventor has assigned (or is obligated to assign) an invention, the assignee can file the application for the patent if the inventor is unavailable or unwilling to sign.  Also, the requirements for the oath or declaration by the inventor(s) have been streamlined.
• Pre-issuance Submissions By Third Parties – A third party may submit relevant publications for the patent examiner to consider before the earlier of (a) the date the notice of allowance is mailed to an applicant, or (b) the later of (1) six months after the date on which the application for patent is first published or (2) the date of the first substantive office action during the examination of an application.
• Supplemental Examination – Patentee may request supplemental exam “to consider, reconsider, and correct information believed to be relevant to the patent”; must raise “a substantial new question of patentability”.
• New Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)

 Established to handle appeals in the patent process, post grant review (PGR), inter partes review (IPR), and derivation actions.
 Replaces Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI).
 PGR oppositions available for 9 months after issuance of patent.  Only available for patents having an effective filing date (earliest priority date) on or after March 16, 2013.
 PGR Standard – it is “more likely than not” that at least one of the claims challenged is unpatentable.
 IPR and existing ex parte reexaminations available after post-grant review period ends.
 IPR Standard – a reasonable likelihood that the requester would prevail with respect to at least 1 of the claims challenged in the request.
 Transitional Post-Grant Review of Business Method Patents.
 8-year window of time beginning 1 year after the enactment.

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