Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 154)

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

U.S. Pat. No. 5,896,810:  Poultry frying apparatus.

JW Note:  Wishing you a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving 2009!


I claim:

1. A poultry frying apparatus comprising:
          a liquid retaining vessel having a bottom surface and a first diameter;
          a raised rack comprising a support base and a central rod extending upwardly from the support base to terminate in an upper end thereof;
          the support base having an overall dimension smaller than the first diameter;
          the upper end of the central rod including an attachment portion; and
          a handle for selectively engaging the attachment portion for removal and insertion of the rack from the vessel;
          the support base including a spacer portion for spacing at least part of the support base from the bottom surface of the vessel when the support base is inserted in the vessel.


Time’s 50 Best Inventions of 2009.

Posted in Science and Technology by Jake Ward on November 23, 2009

Annually, TIME picks the best new gadgets and breakthrough ideas of the year.  This year’s list was recently published here.  According to TIME, the top 5 inventions in 2009  include: 1) The NASA’s Ares Rockets; 2)  The Tank-Bred Tuna; 3) The $10 Million Lightbulb; 4) The Smart Thermostat; and 5) Controller-Free Gaming.

The full top-50 list, plus the 5 worst inventions of 2009, may be viewed here.

Bilski-Hitler Satirical Video.

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

JW Note:  Hat-tips to Zura’s 271 Blog and IPBIZ.  Hilarious spoof on Youtube related to the ongoing Bilski v. Kappos case being considered at the SCOTUS.  Apparently some patent attorney has had way too much time on his hands.  Enjoy! 



NYT Op-Ed – Inventing a Better Patent System.

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

An interesting op-ed article at the New York Times this week by Robert C. Pozen, the chairman of MFS Investment Management and a lecturer at Harvard Business School, on reforming the patent system in the United States.  Check it out here.

They Invented What? (No. 153)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on November 13, 2009

U.S. Pat. No. 5,741,240: Float tube urinal.


What is claimed is:

1. A containment device for receiving and containing urine and being capable of direct attachment and support along a leg of an individual between the leg and external forces that would tend to collapse the containment device against the leg, the containment device being configured for use by a person using a float tube, said device comprising:

          a substantially rigid case having opposing inner and outer walls, said inner wall being configured for support against the leg of the individual, said outer wall being configured for counter support against the external forces, said rigid case defining a containment volume between the inner and outer walls for receiving and temporarily containing the urine;
          support means extending between the inner and outer walls for maintaining the containment volume and resisting collapse of the outer wall against the inner wall in response to the external forces;
          a fluid containment compartment positioned within the containment volume;
          inlet means for transporting urine from the individual to the containment compartment; and
vent means disposed in communication with the containment volume between the inner and outer walls for venting air from the containment volume to thereby facilitate receiving and temporarily containment of urine within the containment volume, the vent means comprising a flexible tube configured for extending from the case to a position out of a pair of waders to vent air from the containment area.


“Patentable Subject Matter After the Bilski Oral Argument” Webcast – November 19, 2009.

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

The American University, Washington College of Law (WCL) is cosponsoring a program on November 19, 2009, titled “Patentable Subject Matter After the Bilski Oral Argument”.  Per the WCL website:

A Telecast by the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, Washington College of Law, American University and the Federal Circuit Bar Association

November 19, 2009, 4:30-6:30 pm
Washington College of Law, Room 603

In Bilski v. Kappos, the U.S. Supreme Court will address limitations on patentable subject matter in the context of a business method invention, analyzing a body of case law in such a way that some say could wrongly call into question the validity of many other patents and types of claims, while others argue it is not restrictive enough. The oral argument – and the subsequent decision – will be studied by a broad range of members of the patent community who are seeking to determine its effects on innovation, prosecution, licensing, and litigation. PIJIP and the FCBA will host a panel of experts to discuss the case shortly after the Court hears the oral argument.
The panelists for this program include: Raymond T. Chen, Solicitor, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Counsel for Respondent, J. Michael Jakes, Finnegan Henderson, Counsel of Record for Petitioners, Nancy Linck, Rothwell, Figg, Counsel for Amicus Curiae BIO, and Randolph Moss, WilmerHale, Counsel for Amici Curiae Bank of America et al. A period for questions will follow. Thomas C. Goldstein, Akin, Gump, Counsel for Amicus Curiae American Bar Association and Professor Joshua Sarnoff, Washington College of Law, American University, Counsel for Amici Eleven Law Professors and the AARP will moderate.
In addition to on-site attendance, the FCBA will also broadcast the program live via the web on November 19, 2009 as a part of its regular Horizons series.    

This likely will be an excellent panel discussion of the recent oral arguments in Bilski v. Kappos.  More information on the program, and details how to participate, may be found here.

USPTO Director Kappos Launches Blog.

Posted in General Commentary by Jake Ward on November 10, 2009

Per this press release today at the USPTO: 

Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) David Kappos today launched a blog to foster a direct dialogue with the USPTO’s stakeholders and the general public.

“It’s important for me to be able to hear directly from the IP community, and that is why we are establishing this open channel for sustained dialogue and the exchange of ideas,” said Kappos. “I hope that the public will find this blog to be a useful vehicle for providing input to me directly and giving us the feedback we need to be able to better serve our constituents and the American people. I am looking forward to hearing from all segments of the IP community and encourage you to share your ideas and concerns with me on an ongoing basis.”

Kappos’ first post marks his first 90 days in office and focuses on his participation in the agency’s 14th Annual Independent Inventors Conference held at the USPTO last week.  The post highlights key accomplishments and initiatives specifically geared toward assisting small entity inventors. Mr. Kappos also addresses areas of the proposed patent reform legislation that are of particular concern to this group.

The new blog is part of an extensive effort to reach out to the IP community and actively engage USPTO stakeholders in an effort help to the agency better serve the American public.

The blog is available via the USPTO home page and at

Bilski v. Kappos: Notable Quotes from the Oral Arguments.

Posted in Litigation Commentary by Jake Ward on November 9, 2009

The link to the transcript for the November 9th oral arguments before the SCOTUS in Bilski v. Kappos can be found here.

Per usual, we will preface our thoughts with the following disclaimer:  “It is generally a futile effort to predict how the Supreme Court will rule on any given issue.”  That being said, below are some quotes that we found of particular interest: