Keeping a Good Invention Notebook Still Makes Good Sense

Every invention starts out with an idea, but you cannot patent something that is merely an idea. In order to obtain a patent, the idea must mature into an invention. Think of it as crossing over the idea-invention boundary, if you like. Start with a general idea and then build upon that idea by layering specifics and nuances as you move from idea to invention. Eventually you will have more than a mere idea and enough tangible and concrete that it will be worthwhile to inquire about obtaining a patent, perhaps by beginning the process with a patent search.

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USPTO Releases 2018-2022 Strategic Plan to Optimize Timeliness and Quality

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently released its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, setting various goals to ensure high quality services for the agency’s customers and stakeholders aligned with the Department of Commerce’s strategic objective to strengthen intellectual property protection. The USPTO’s strategic plan is primarily focused on optimizing the quality and timeliness of patents issued and trademarks registered by the agency as well as the provision of leadership, both domestically and globally, to improve IP policy and enforcement across the world.

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Why IP Protection is Important for Every Start-up

A start-up is a new business venture that aims to meet a marketplace’s need, want or solve problems by developing a viable business model around products, services, processes or platform. It goes without saying that almost every tech start-up has an idea that’s probably worth protecting. An idea is nothing but an intellectual property (IP). An idea can take form of codes, algorithms, research findings etc. A start-up that relies on IPR must ensure that their IP is fairly protected. Unfortunately, this area remains neglected in the race of giving best products or services to satisfy clients. As a result, an IP on which a start-up actually relies is not sustained longer. The question looms that “do they really know about the legal rights while protecting IP?”

It is important for start-ups to secure all their legal aspects and have a clear vision on how to proceed with their idea. Understanding legal rights would help start-ups avoid IP disputes which can incur hefty fine, litigation cost or even closure. The most important IP rights under which a start-up could protect its intangible assets and amass financial benefit from their usage are patents, trademarks and designs.

Most start-ups have informal working atmosphere since they majorly constitutes friends, colleagues and relatives. Such start-ups may face problems in the long run especially if certain formal requirements are not fulfilled. Legal agreements in the form of non-disclosure agreements, among the founders, employees and vendors are extremely important in order to protect the intangible assets of an organization from infringement and to protect trade secret. During commercialization, a start-up should always keep in mind the disclosure of the inventive product or process before the registration because IP rights would be of no use without prior disclosure. Accordingly, founders must take expert opinions regarding product commercialisation and process disclosure before patenting or applying for industrial design. Once these aspects have been strategized, and required measures are taken, the product may be launched into the public domain.

IP is an interesting area of law and is extremely relevant for start-ups and entrepreneurs. Knowing just the benefits of IP are not enough, start-ups also need to know their legal rights, since a small mistake might end up costing them millions.



Source: Entrepreneur India

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Do Amazon’s Movement-Tracking Wristbands Violate Workers’ Privacy Rights?

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently granted Amazon two patents directed to remote control of human hands. The Amazon patents are able to obtain and record users' location and the detailed movements of their hands. Therefore, highly private information such as when an employee takes a bathroom break or pauses to scratch may be obtained and recorded by the patented system. That, in turn has led to concerns that the patents could violate protected privacy rights of employees under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment applies to government actions, and would be implicated in a legal challenge to the Amazon patents, since patents are issued and enforced by the government. In addition, Amazon patents can run afoul of state statutes and common law privacy protections, which have adopted similar Fourth Amendment privacy standards.

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