Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 145)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on July 30, 2009

U.S. Patent No. 3,307,285:  Pneumatic method for catching or scaring fish.


What is claimed is:

1.  A method of preventing movement of aquatic organisms in a body of water toward a prohibited region thereof comprising:  placing at least one pneumatic shock wave generating device in said body of water between said prohibited region and said aquatic organisms; and actuating said device to explosively release high pressure gas, thereby producing a shock wave in said body of water rising to an initial pressure peak within 25 five milliseconds and propagating at high velocity.

JW Note:  Will be out over the next week for my annual fishing trip – so today’s TIW? theme seemed appropriate.  Will be thinking about patents only occasionally next week, for example, during those times when the walleye are not jumping into my boat!

The Vendor-Client Relationship Video.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on July 30, 2009

As first seen at Peter Zura’s 271 Patent Blog here.  Absolutely hilarious, and shockingly familiar to many practitioners.  Enjoy!

Implementation of USPTO e-Office Action Program.

Posted in Practice Commentary by Jake Ward on July 22, 2009

Per this press release at the USPTO yesterday:

“We received very positive feedback from applicants who participated in the pilot program,” said Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO John Doll. “Not only have we dramatically reduced paper processing and mailing costs but also expedited notification allowing applicants to take full advantage of their time period for reply to an office action.”

The e-Office Action program minimizes the possibility of lost or delayed postal mail and makes it faster and more efficient for participants to process and docket USPTO communications in electronic format, thus reducing processing costs. During the pilot, participants were able to retrieve office communications several days faster than postal mail. Participants in the pilot program have also suggested several enhancements to the system which will be under consideration for future implementation as the IT infrastructure is strengthened.

Participation in the e-Office Action program is optional and open to any registered attorney or agent of record, or pro se inventor who is a named inventor, in a patent application associated with a customer number. Program participants also will have the flexibility to opt-out of the e-Office Action program at any time and return to receiving office communications through the postal mail.

The program includes provisional applications and non-provisional applications including utility, plant, design, and reissue applications and national stage applications. International applications, reexamination proceedings, and interference proceedings are not included in the program.

The Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced today the implementation of the e-Office Action program following a successful pilot project. Under the program, patent applicants receive an e-mail notification of office communications instead of paper mailings. An e-mail is sent to program participants when new office communications are available for viewing and downloading in Private PAIR, the patent application information retrieval system that allows applicants electronic access to the entire file history of their applications.

A listing of requirements for e-Office Action program participation, as well as training and other program resource information, are available at the USPTO website  here.

They Invented What? (No. 144)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on July 22, 2009

U.S. Patent No. 6,854,374:  Explosion containment net.


I claim:

1. A system capable of minimizing an explosive force of an explosive-laden device, the system comprising: a net manufactured from an explosion containment material, the net having an outer periphery, a central point and a nozzle located at the central point; a gun capable of propelling the net; a first tank having a fire suppressant agent therein; a conduit extending between the first tank and the nozzle via the gun; and wherein the gun propels the net at the explosive-laden device and the fire suppressant agent is discharged out through the nozzle under control of the gun once the gun propels the net, and such that the net acts as a containment system that contains the explosive force from the explosive-laden device and the fire suppressant agent minimizes the explosive force.


Edge of Discovery.

Posted in Science and Technology by Jake Ward on July 18, 2009

CNN operates an interesting website titled “Edge of Discovery“.  The website has the following tagline:

Around the globe — and throughout the universe — innovations are not only creating breakthroughs in technology but changing the way we live our daily lives. Discoveries are expanding how we explore science, technology, medicine and space.

The website has a number of interesting articles, including video articles,  about inventions and other innovations.  Check it out!

The Basics: How Do I Get A Patent?

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on July 18, 2009

J. Douglas Miller had a nice post at his blog, Small Business IP Protection and Management, on how individual inventors and small businesses can get started along the patenting process.  Since patent practitioners often field such questions, we thought it worthwhile to reproduce Doug’s thoughts below.


2nd Annual Quad City Symposium – Pushing the Envelope on IP Reform.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on July 14, 2009

The 2nd Annual Quad City IP Symposium will be held this Friday, July 17, 2009 at the University of Dayton, from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM.  The title of the Symposium is “Pushing the Envelope on IP Reform”.  The Symposium is co-sponsored by the Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Toledo IPLAs, and has been approved in Ohio for 3.0 CLE.

The speaker for Friday is Mr. Nicholas Godici (Former Commissioner for Patents, 2000-2005).  The topic for Mr. Godici’s presentation is “Patent Reform in the 111th Congress”.  Notably, Mr. Godici will also be able to speak on his recent appointment as consultant to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The Symposium will also include two panel discussions on the topics of:  1)  Short-Term Patents & Post-Grant Opposition – Does Europe Have the Answer?; and 2) Dayco/McKesson/Larson – What Can Congress Do to End the Plague of Inequitable Conduct?

The panel participants will include:  

1) Does Europe Have the Answer – Timothy R. Holbrook (Professor Chicago-Kent); Matt Buchanan (Promote the Progress); Jim Dottavio (Owens-Corning); – Moderated by:  Roddy Bullock (Procter & Gamble); and

2) What Can Congress Do to End the Plague of Inequitable Conduct? – Judge Damich (Court of Claims), Judge Avern Cohn (EDMI), Judge Rice (SDOH), Matt Buchanan (Promote the Progress), Art Stein (Hahn Loeser) – Moderated by: Tim Hagan (Dinsmore & Shohl).

A copy of the Symposium agenda may be downloaded here.  Persons interested in attending the Symposium may register at the Cincinnati IPLA website here.

JW Note:  This should be a great program, and we look forward to seeing you there!

The Top 50 Patent Blogs.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on July 12, 2009

We are pleased to announce that the Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog (AT!) has been ranked in the top-20 patent blogs of the Internet.


The admittedly non-scientific survey was conducted by Gene Quinn at IPWatchdog, and took into consideration objective links and traffic data, and the results of a poll administered at his website. 

JW Note:  Many thanks to Gene for the good work he put into this survey, and to our readers who kindly cast votes in our favor!