Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 100)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on May 22, 2008

U.S. Pat. No. 5,533,697: Mouse pad with beverage holder.


What is claimed is:

1. A mouse pad, comprising a generally rectangular sheet of mouse pad material having associated therewith a retaining means for retaining a beverage container, wherein said generally rectangular sheet also has a notch formed therein and a projection extending therefrom, and said projection has at least one dimension greater than three and one-half inches, and said notch is substantially similar in size and configuration to said projection.


They Invented What? (No.99)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on May 14, 2008

U.S. Pat. No. 5,996,127: Wearable device for feeding and observing birds and other flying animals.


I claim:

1. A device for feeding and observing flying animals comprising:
         a hat, the hat including a front portion and a rear portion;
         a first support mounted on the hat and extending forward of the front portion of the hat; and
         a feeder configured to contain food for flying animals mounted on the first support, wherein the flying animals can be observed while they feed.


In Re Bilski En Banc Oral Arguments.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on May 8, 2008

Oral arguments were heard today at the CAFC for In re Bilski.  The CAFC had earlier ordered an en banc hearing of Bilksi to address the following questions:

(1)  Whether claim 1 of the [Bilski] patent application claims patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101?
(2)  What standard should govern in determining whether a process is patent-eligible subject matter under section 101?
(3)  Whether the claimed subject matter is not patent-eligible because it constitutes an abstract idea or mental process; when does a claim that contains both mental and physical steps create patent-eligible subject matter?
(4) Whether a method or process must result in a physical transformation of an article or be tied to a machine to be patent-eligible subject matter under section 101?
(5) Whether it is appropriate to reconsider State Street Bank & Trust Co. v. Signature Financial Group, Inc., 149 F.3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 1998), and AT&T Corp. v. Excel Communications, Inc., 172 F.3d 1352 (Fed. Cir. 1999), in this case and, if so, whether those cases should be overruled in any respect?

Gene Quinn at PLI attended the oral arguments, and has a great post on the conduct of the judges, the opposing parties, and the amici present for the arguments here.

Professor Crouch at Patently-O reads his tea leaves here.

Listen to the oral arguments here.

See our previous AT! post providing background on the case here.

They Invented What? (No. 98)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on May 7, 2008

U.S. Pat. No. 4,905,406: Method and apparatus for attracting insects.


I claim:

1. Process for attracting insects above one’s head comprising the steps of:
          a. securing a member coated or impregnated with an insect attractant to one end of a longitudinal member;
          b. clipping the other end of the longitudinal member onto a hat; and,
          c. spacing the coated member on said longitudinal member a substantial distance above said hat;
          d. placing the hat upon one’s head thus attracting said insects to a position substantially above one’s head.


SIPO Search Engine and New Chinese-to-English Patent Translations.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on May 6, 2008

Per this recent press release at the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of China:

On August 25, Open Day of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of China, SIPO launched a patent information Chinese-to-English machine translation online service, Li Yuguang, Deputy Commissioner of SIPO attended a ceremony to celebrate the event.

SIPO launched the service to meet global demands for Chinese patent information. The service allows English language searching for the bibliographic data and abstracts of the published Chinese patent documents, on-the-fly machine translation English results of the searched fulltexts (claims, specifications) of inventions and utility models will be provided as a helpful way for browsing Chinese patent documents.

The first launch of the patent information machine translation service is mainly for test purpose with an aim to collect users’ feedback during their use, which is of crucial importance for the further improvement of the machine translation readability. Technologies supporting the service are mainly developed by the China Patent Information Center (CPIC), a subsidiary organization of the SIPO.

The new database may be accessed here.