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Questions Answered by Peter D. Mlynek
1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Massachusetts on
Q: Inheritance and patent questions

My great grandfather was an inventor and patented at least 2 machines that I no of. I think he left the family some money

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 22, 2019

A patent that is issued is a legally a personal property, so that it can be inherited just like money, a car, or an art collection. If your great-grandfather owned patents, then it would have passed onto the appropriate heir (either by will or intestate).

The problem with inheriting...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for District of Columbia on
Q: My wifes dad is Vincent Dotolo is she entitled to these patents?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 20, 2019

I presume that your FIL passed away, and you are asking if your wife, the next of kin, gets to inherit his patents.

Generally, patents are legally considered personal property, and thus the heirs can inherit patents just like a car, or an art collection.

Unfortunately, in your...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Georgia on
Q: Hi, Can the inventor of a utility patent claim ownership of a patent if it was never assign to the applicant company?

Patent application #X was originally filed and later published in 2013 as I was employed by Applicant, I assigned it to them, patent was abandoned by applicant. I terminated my employment with them in January of 2016. They refilled the "same" patent in November 2018 but it got a different patent #... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 20, 2019

I am sorry, John, but it is very unlikely that you have any ownership stake in Patent #Y.

If patent #Y has issued, and it is pretty much the same as patent application publication #X, then Patent Application Y somehow claimed priority to X. It had to, because X would otherwise be cited...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Montana on
Q: P#8428453 Most of the claims reflect that of a basic camera app. If I created a picture taking app could Snapchat sue me

Regrading Patent #8428453, it looks like Snapchat has a patent on a simple camera app. The only unique claim I see with this patent is the recording of a video or taking a photo based on the haptic contact time. If I created a camera app that excluded haptic contact time and had a separate button... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 20, 2019

Sorry, but you are going to have to hire a patent attorney who specializes in computer science to really be able to answer this question.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: Can I take a patented product add additional functionality and then package as a new product?

We found a few patented products with cable wired control knobs and buttons. We developed wireless solutions for these products adding functionality and optimisation. Can we incorporate the patented products with our wireless solutions and sell it as a new product with out infringing on the patent?... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 20, 2019

Generally, you cannot avoid infringement by adding features to a patented product. But it really depends on what the patent claims say.

You need to hire a patent attorney to be able to determine what to do. Relying on advice from strangers on the internet makes little sense.

2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Is it possible to patent a voyage?

A thematic cruise route spanning over 4 continents and 10 cities.

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 20, 2019

If it is just a map or an app or a brochure that shows the route that a ship could take, then likely you won't be able to get a patent on it. You may be able to protect it by copyright, though.

If you are talking about operating a business that actually does this type of a cruise, then...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Patent inventor has passed away/ are royalties due his heirs from companies using the patents?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 5, 2019

Theoretically yes, but in practice this is rare.

A patent is considered as personal property, just like a car, a stock portfolio, or an old masters painting. So, yes, you can inherit a patent just like any other personal property.

In order to collect license fees, or "royalties",...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Arizona on
Q: Why is it that in patent drawings, I do not see the invention depicted as it is being used very often?

Is it bad form in a patent drawing to show the invention being used so there is an understanding of how it works? I have a very simple tool to draw and it is probably not clear from just a drawing of the tool how it is used on a workpiece. If the drawings demonstrate the method of using the tool... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 5, 2019

The reason why we have drawings in a patent is to communicate to the reader what the invention is all about. The drawings are there to support the claims. Whatever you claim, make sure that it is fully supported in the description and drawings.

I think that you are correct that many times...
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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Texas on
Q: Am I able to manufacture an item similar to this patented design without repercussions?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 3, 2019

If you are infringing, then no. To get a proper answer, you need to hire a patent attorney.

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2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: Is this patent for invention, design or utility? Can someone with similar(but not exact) design sells own bag?

Infringement type: D816,988

Complaint ID: 6285184641

Its a bag with combo lock. My bag is lightly fatter then this designed in the patent. Also, my bag has bag handle from the left side. The design in the patent has handle on the right side. Is this enough to do not make IP... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 31, 2019

Sorry, but to determine if there is or is not patent infringement takes many hours of work. You are going to have to hire a patent attorney to answer this.

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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for New York on
Q: Is this an actual patent or just an application/publication?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 28, 2019

Is what an actual patent or just an application?

You may want to resubmit this question wither with a link or a document number.

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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Need to know if any royalty payments are due for any of my dads patents I inherited in 1993 by Inventor Allen C. Thomas

I seen 13 patents on your site stated Allen C. Thomas inventor of ,I own all rights due to inheritance

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 22, 2019

Sorry, but I am pretty sure that there are no royalty payments, or any other payments coming your way.

Firstly, I've found 13 patents listing Allen C. Thomas as an inventor. Given that most of these were filed many years after 1993, I think that most are not associated with your father,...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Health Care Law, Juvenile Law and Military Law for Iowa on
Q: 14yo boy steals military explosives and tells therapist in Iowa. Does therapist tell? What's her duty?

This is a question for a test (not real life)

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 19, 2019

This is a classic test question that has to do with the balance of privacy of patients vs the protection of property/health/life.

To answer this question, see Tarasoff. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarasoff_v._Regents_of_the_University_of_California .

I think that the therapist...
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2 Answers | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Pennsylvania on
Q: What is the likelihood of a patent holder being granted a second patent for a variation of his first patent?

If someone else filed for that second patent, I would argue that given my patent, that the second patent is obvious but it really isn't that obvious and I want to be the one to file before someone else does. An analogous example: Think of the old power line communications technology where using a... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 18, 2019

This happens all the time.

Patent 1 is for an invention, patent 2 is an improvement to that invention. You can file an application to patent 2 as a CIP of the first application, or you can add a TD in the second filing, etc. Talk to your patent attorney more about this.

Good...
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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Hello, I am wondering if its worth getting a patent on half page pockets that go inside journals.

I have never seen the type of pocket inside any journal/notebook before. Is it even patentable?

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 15, 2019

A patent is a business tool. In "Ask a Lawyer" we can answer legal questions, but not business questions like if a patent is worth getting.

Let me ask you a few questions that you need to think about: after you spend $10K, $15K, $20K, or more, in getting a patent, what are you going to do...
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Products Liability and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Florida on
Q: I manufacture a simple/basic toilet seat cover. Is it safe to manufacture without violating any patents.
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 13, 2019

If you are making something that has been around 20+ years, then you very likely will not infringe any patents. After all, that is the idea behind patents: after a patent expires (currently 20 years from the filing date of the patent application), then anyone can use whatever is disclosed in the... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) on
Q: Hello, I'm looking to patent a product. I've seen something similar however I'd like clarification, then will patent

I'm looking to patent a biodegradable portable charger for cell phones. I've seen some disposable charger patents however I'd like to clarify if I were to have a different product that essentially can be disposable, if I can patent it in a different way. If possible I'm happy to work with the... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 13, 2019

Congratulations on designing a biodegradable portable cell phone charger. There are hundreds of millions or billions of cell phones which use this product, and the market demands that products are biodegradable, so it sounds like that you are sitting on a goldmine.

Given that no cell phone...
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Q: decorating false fingernail to sell, can a provisional patent application be filed, for process, false fingernail use
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 10, 2019

Yes, it can be done. As a matter of fact, I've written and filed a number of patent applications on fingernail polish and fingernail decorations.

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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Nevada on
Q: Patent lawyer needed. Want to see if the idea I have for a new style of electrical box is already patented

searching to see if a patent is already taken for a new style of electrical box for your home.

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 11, 2019

Innovations in mature industries such as manufacturing of electrical boxes is a tough game. It could, of course, be very profitable, but it takes a lot of money to start putting your products on the shelf.

If you've invented a new style of an electrical box that you are going to...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for New York on
Q: HI. an item what its a public design can be patent if im just making it glow in the dark?

let say if im taking a frame for glasses what it is a public design and im making it glow in the dark can i put a patent?

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jun 21, 2019

Sorry, but no. You will likely not be able to patent glow in the dark glasses, just by taking glasses and putting a glow in the dark paint on them. Putting a glow in the dark tape or paint on things to make those things glow in the dark pretty obvious; that is the whole point of having glow in... Read more »

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