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California Patents (Intellectual Property) Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) and Estate Planning for California on
Q: Are patents able to be assigned to other people in a will?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Dec 26, 2018

Yes. A patent is a personal property that one can assign in a will just like an art collection, a car, or a stock portfolio.

How often does a patent pass through will in practice, is a different question. Typically patents are owned by companies, and not by the inventors themselves....
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2 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for California on
Q: Hello i have a question What is the difference between copyright, patent, trademark? Wound i need to have all 3

I want to design a logo so would i need all 3

Trademark, copyright, patent

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Dec 7, 2018

You'd just trademark it.

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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: I have an aluminum foil idea but is it already patented? Or am I allowed to find a manufacturer with my new addition..
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Nov 29, 2018

It sounds like you need to do some searching to see if your new idea is already the subject of an issued patent or a pending application that has been published but not yet allowed. If I am right, then you may want to look at my slide set on patent searching. http://bit.ly/Patent_Searching... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Am I allowed to patent an ingredient in a recipe my bakery business manufactured?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Nov 19, 2018

The ingredient itself, as opposed to the recipe? Yes, you should be able to, provided, of course, that it is new. If you, for example, came up with a new type of a shortening, or new crystalline form of some sugar, etc. then it should be patentable.

You are facing two hurdles, though....
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1 Answer | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: My company has a few IP patents that are important to me as its CEO. If we merge with another company, how will that

affect the ownership of these patents?

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Nov 17, 2018

Typically, if there is a merger, the patents will belong to the new company.

But it does not have to be that way. Issued patents are treated just like any other business asset. Your company can sell the patents along with all the other business assets such as inventory, production...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: US Patent number 7,855,232, maintenance fee is due. This application is a continuation application. Pay will cover all?

This application is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/263,808, filed Nov. 1, 2005, which is a continuation application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/760,741, filed Jan. 20, 2004, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,087,639 B2, issued Aug. 8, 2006, which is a divisional... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Nov 4, 2018

There are often families of patents. They may have an initial provisional application or non-provisional application and then a set of branches with divisional applications, continuation in part (CIP) applications, and continuation applications.

Some of these may issue as patents. There...
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Q: What does California's "ARTICLE 3.5. Inventions Made by an Employee" protect?

I understand that California's law protects employees inventions done on their own time, using their own equipment if unrelated to the employer's business. I'm not clear what constitutes an "invention." Do works of authorship and other copyrightable material count as an invention? Trademarks? Brand... Read more »

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Oct 23, 2018

Well, you are going to have to talk to a California employment attorney to get the best answer. I am not a California attorney, nor an employment attorney, but here are a few points.

(1) You are correct that the trademarks, logos, brand names, sales copies, and like, are likely not...
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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Hi, is there a patent for stainless steel straws? I would like to sell on Amazon in different color variation.

Note: I see there are several Amazon Sellers selling the stainless steel straws? But it looks to me like there is a patent on this? Please advise? Thanks for your help!

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Oct 23, 2018

There likely is not a patent on stainless steel straws. The Gauchos of Patagonia have been using steel straws for generations. There may be a patent on some small variation of it, but you should be able to make and sell stainless steel straws.

But to make sure, buy a package of them, and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: I'm a hobbyist and have an idea to create something

that would be used with a product that has a patent -- can I do this?

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Oct 12, 2018

Generally yes. For example, if you created an accessory that could be used with a patented mountain bike, you could sell that accessory even though it is used with a patented product.

What you cannot do is make a mountain bike from scratch that has your accessory as you do not have rights...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: We are seeking an attorney for infringement on our Patent.

https://patents.justia.com/patent/20110094131

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Oct 8, 2018

Sorry, but you don't have a patent. That patent publication has been abandoned over 4 years ago. You may want to reach out to the patent attorney who prosecuted it to see if there is anything that could be done to revive it.

The best that you could hope for is to see if the infringer...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Does this patent prevent me from designing a reversible razor that changes the razor gap, not the blade angle?
Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Sep 20, 2018

Sorry, the question as passed on to attorneys does not include the patent number. The answer to the question is based on what is in the issued claims. Not the title, not the drawings, not the specification, not the initial set of requested claims but only what is in the issued claims.

I...
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3 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: What types of products can be patented?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Sep 14, 2018

A process, a machine, an article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof. 35 USC 101

Almost any new and non-obvious invention can be patented. You can't patent things like new mathematical formulas, or something that is just purely a mental...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Hi, I'm trying to figure out if Open Table patents apply internationally, or only in the United States. Thank you
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Sep 11, 2018

A patent is good only in the jurisdiction that granted that patent. So US patent is good only in the US.

Now, it is possible that Open Table filed the same patent in other jurisdictions. Usually, these patents have the same inventor, and the same priority. You may search for them at...
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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Snapchat's patent. What is legal?

I am an app developer. I have a few questions regarding Snapchats patent owner rights. Patent no.: US9407712B1 claim 1 states in english that no other application can use automatic deletion for an ephemeral object (a picture). Does this mean that no other app can use the function where you can send... Read more »

Kevin E. Flynn
Kevin E. Flynn answered on Sep 10, 2018

To answer this correctly, a patent attorney would need to read not just the claims but also the complete specification and likely at least a portion of the documents exchanged back and forth with the patent examiner in response to initial rejections of the claim.

This sort of very detailed...
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1 Answer | Asked in Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Can I get a patent for a business model?

I have a solution for sound free providing of mobile power for larger applications.

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 26, 2018

Yes, that sort of a solution to a technical problem should be patentable.

From your question that this might not even be a business method subject matter (which may or may not be patentable), but a technological solution to a scientific or engineering problem (which would be patentable...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Would it be okay to use this specific patent, https://patents.google.com/patent/US20120085587 ?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 21, 2018

That patent case is dead. No reply to the first office action was ever filed, so the patent application went abandoned. You should be able to practice what is described in the invention.

From the engineering point of view, the invention makes no sense (unless you are a believer of...
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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: If a patent is abandoned, can someone use the patent?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 18, 2018

Yes. That's the idea behind patents -- inventors get a patent for their invention, which gives them the right to exclude others from using their inventions, but when the patent expires or is abandoned, other people can use it. You have to be careful that the inventor does not revive the patent... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: Are there any types of inventions that can't be patented?
Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Aug 10, 2018

Yes. This happens all the time.

For example, if you invent something that already exists or was already published, then you cannot patent it because of 35 USC 102. Or, if you did not invent it, then you cannot patent it either.

Or, if you invent something that is obvious in view...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) and Trademark for California on
Q: What kind of rights would I need so nobody can duplicate my idea or what I’m want to do.

I want to create a toy or some kind of figurine of a public figure (not a celebrity)that hasn’t been created yet. As far as my knowledge they don’t have a patent or a trademark on it.

What kind of rights do I need so I can protect my idea and get royalties if it’s every duplicated

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 19, 2018

This is going to be a bit tricky since you are in California. The reason is that California has a law about the Right of Publicity (Calif. Civil Code 3344), which prevents a person from appropriating for his/her own advantage another person's name or likeness. This is somewhat unique to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for California on
Q: I have a question on this new patent. D822147

This product is called hookup caits which consists of a jig head stuck inside a molded plastic tube.

Peter D. Mlynek
Peter D. Mlynek answered on Jul 15, 2018

So, what is your question?

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