Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 130)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on February 25, 2009

U.S. Pat. No. 6,060,700: Microwave oven with removable storage cassette in dashboard of motor vehicle.


What is claimed is:

1. A microwave oven adapted for use within a motor vehicle dashboard area, said oven comprising a cavity wherein foods and beverages are heated by a microwave generating magnetron powered directly or indirectly by power source means, said microwave oven being configured within the dashboard area of said motor vehicle, said cavity accommodating a removable storage cassette, means electrically connected to said power source means and said magnetron for preventing said magnetron from receiving electrical power when the storage cassette is inside said cavity, said microwave oven having a door.


USPTO Deferred Examination Roundtable Video Available.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on February 24, 2009

A video of the USPTO roundtable discussion 0n February 12, 2009, relating to a potential “deferred examination” or “request for examination” procedure, has been made publicly available here.  

As stated at the USPTO website, the purpose of the roundtable was to obtain public input on the practice from diverse sources and differing view points.  The roundtable appeared to have accomplished that goal.  The participant list included representatives from the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), as well as members of academia and numerous IP attorneys. The roundtable was moderated by John Whealan, Associate Dean for Intellectual Property Law Studies, The George Washington University Law School.

Written comments on the proposal are being solicited by the USPTO and are due by February 26, 2009.  Comments may be sent by electronic mail message over the Internet addressed to  Comments may also be submitted by mail, marked to the attention of Robert W. Bahr and addressed to:

Mail Stop Comments— Patents
Commissioner for Patents
P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313–1450

Increase in Wikipedia Citations During Examination.

Posted in Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on February 19, 2009

The Patent Librarian has an interesting post this week on the increasing number of Wikipedia citations during patent prosecution, by both applicants and examiners (despite the ban by the USPTO).  Specifically, the Patent Librarian has stated:

Back in September 2006, the USPTO ordered examiners to stop using Wikipedia as a source of information for determining the patentability of inventions. However, examiners and applicants continue to cite it. The number of patents issued in 2008 that cited Wikipedia articles nearly doubled to 477.



See also our previous post titled Arbitrary and Capricious, where the U.S. Court of Federal Claims discussed the dangers of relying upon Wikipedia as a source of “reliable” information in the legal practice.

They Invented What? (No. 129)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on February 19, 2009

U.S. Pat. No.6,926,629:  Attachment for blade of hockey stick.



A hockey stick is a structure that can hit an object, such as a hockey puck, with great force, with great control, and over a relatively great distance. For example, when hit by a hockey stick, a hockey puck can fly from one end to another end of a hockey rink at 100 mph or more precisely into a desired corner of the net.

Yard waste often includes undesirable refuse such as rotten hornet-infested crab apples and dog waste. Such refuse is undesirable for a number of reasons, including the consistency of the refuse such as its relative hardness or softness and the odor given off by the refuse. If the waste is being picked up by an apparatus, the apparatus may not have features permitting one to fling the waste to a desired spot such as a compost heap, and the apparatus may not have a sufficient length permitting a spacing of one from the waste. If the waste is being picked up by hand, one must bend down relatively close to the waste that may have an undesirable smell. If the waste is to be flung by hand to a desired location such as a compost heap, the waste may crumble upon the head of one who throws the waste.


What is claimed is:

1. An attachment for a blade of a playing stick, wherein the playing stick includes a proximal end portion with a handle and a distal end portion with the blade, wherein the blade includes an upper edge and a lower edge, wherein the attachment comprises:
          a) a base portion engaging the blade;
          b) a floor extending from the base portion and comprising a leading edge, with the floor extending generally from the lower edge of the blade;
          c) whereby the leading edge can be slipped under an object which then can be played by the blade having the base portion;
          d) and further comprising the playing stick, wherein the playing stick is a hockey stick.


Manufacturing Letter on Patent Reform to President Obama.

Posted in Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on February 15, 2009

A joint  letter from 135 U.S. manufacturers to President Obama, dated February 10, 2009,  has been circulating the patent blogosphere recently.   In the letter, the manufacturers caution against drastic changes to U.S. patent law, such as reducing penalties for patent infringement, which they believe will discourage innovation and result in reduced investment and lost jobs in our country.  The letter encourages only those legislative changes that would benefit the broad spectrum of patent stakeholders (alluding to the fact that changes to patent infringement penalties were primarily supported by high-tech companies, and few others).  A copy of the letter may be found here.  

The following list of companies signed on to the above-mentioned letter.


They Invented What? (No. 128)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on February 4, 2009

U.S. Pat. No. 5,182,857:  Shaving apparatus.


What is claimed is:

1. A shaving apparatus comprising a housing (10) and a shear plate (11) with a hair entry slot (24) wherein inside the housing (10) there is provided a device (12) for generating a laser beam (13) which acts as a cutting means and which impinges on the inner side of the shear plate (11) in the proximity of the entry slot (24) where it acts upon and severs the hair, said laser beam (13) impinging on said shear plate (11) and being reflected along the entry slot (24) in a reflecting zone of incidence (23) on the shear plate (11).


USPTO Virtual Job Fair.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on February 2, 2009

Via the Just-n-Examiner blog today:

On February 10th, the USPTO will host two virtual booths at the Engineering Virtual Career Fair online, from 9AM to 8PM EST.  Candidates can visit the USPTO virtual “Entry Level” or “Electrical Engineering” booth to learn about the USPTO and obtain key agency information such as patent examiner vacancy announcements, employee benefits, and incentives.  Candidates may also participate in live chat sessions with recruiters to obtain more detailed information about patent examiner job opportunities.

Interested individuals may click here to register for the Virtual Career Fair.  For more information, contact Patricia Mendoza at the USPTO Office of Human Resources at (571) 272-2813.

New Inter Partes Reexamination Treatise.

Posted in Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on February 2, 2009

Matthew A. Smith, a member of the adjunct faculty at George Washington University Law School and a Foley Lardner attorney experienced in reexamination, has now published a practical treatise on inter partes reexamination.  Mr. Smith has provided a sample copy of this book, free for copying and redistribution.

Mr. Smith particularly points out the section on Third Party Requester win rates (beginning on page 47 of the book), and the below graphic related thereto.


The treatise is based on Mr. Smith’s day-to-day patent reexamination practice, and he believes that the treatise is a comprehensive study of the inter partes reexamination process.   Enjoy!