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Patents (Intellectual Property) Questions & Answers

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 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 Arizona on

Q: To Whom It May Concern, I had 2 patent corrections issued yesterday August 20, 2019 by the USPTO. Michael J. Holihan

Patent #US5355677 and #US5269144. When will those patents be picked up so they will be displayed using JUSTIA? In addition, the PAIR data was also fixed.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Holihan

holihan.michael@gmail.com

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 21, 2019

It takes a few days for Google Patents to get the latest material from the USPTO. I do not know for Justia.

To set expectations, a correction in a Certificate of Correction is an addendum that is added to the end of the patent and is never inserted into the patent itself. So the original...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) on

Q: Hello, I would like to know if this prodcut has a patent, someone recommended to me and I’m interested in using it.

In case you have it, i would love to receive it on my personal e-mail or if is a website o link that i can check to see it, thank you so much

clukini.recca@gmail.com

Karima Gulick answered on Aug 20, 2019

You should look for a patent professional who handles the industry this product falls under.

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) on

Q: Hi there! I have a question about the tangle teezer patent. Can someone help me?

I’m interested in putting a brush on the market but I’m not sure if I will have trademark/patent problems.

Karima Gulick answered on Aug 20, 2019

As far as patents are concerned, if the brush you're referring to has existed in the market for a while, then it's probably fallen in the public domain. If this is a new brush, you should hire a patent professional to help you with a clearance search and or freedom to operate.

Trademarks:...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Washington DC on

Q: My wifes dad is Vincent Dotolo is she entitled to these patents?

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 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 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 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) on

Q: hello, is there any patent about changing phase in welding machines?

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 19, 2019

Short answer is that I do not know.

Good news is that there are several free online tools to do patent searching. I gave a talk on these tools

October 2016 presentation at the RTP Frontier as part of the lecture series for Triangle TechBreakfast. Teaches entrepreneurs on how to...
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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.

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 16, 2019

This does not sound like a fit for the patent system.

35 USC 101

Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Probate for Oklahoma on

Q: grandmother died in 1902, prior to receiving patent deed, with no will. received heirs deed, can i file probate?

Richard Winblad answered on Aug 15, 2019

Generally, yes, a probate can be filed irregardless of how long somebody has been deceased. The question is whether such a probate would fix the title issue you have.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright and Patents (Intellectual Property) for Utah on

Q: Can I propogate succulents for fun and to earn a little extra cash?

I have been wanting to propogate succulents for the experiment and fun of it. I also hoped to sell any babies that might be successful for some extra money. However while I did some research I learned that their where certain patent laws that made it illegal for some succulents. What succulents am... Read more »

Wesley Winsor answered on Aug 13, 2019

This is a very nuanced area of law. I do not even dabble in this area. I thought I could provide some self-help resources though.

If you are wondering whether a type of plant has been patented, you will need to search the patent databases for whether the patent has been registered....
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant, Patents (Intellectual Property) and Probate for Texas on

Q: Who would be the owner of a title or have claim to the title to real property if...

My father transfered a property to my mother through a special warranty deed that my grandmother had originally transfered to both of them through a warranty with vendor's lien but prior to this in '72 one half of the interest was transferred by a quitclaim deed to my grandmother while other part... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 6, 2019

The only way any attorney can give you a definitive answer would be to review the entire chain of title with his or her own eyes.

1 Answer | Asked in Copyright, Intellectual Property and Patents (Intellectual Property) on

Q: Does a patent done in the US cover all parts of the world? Does the patent for wighat D814149 extend outside the US?

I want to know if a patent done in the US protects the design in other parts of the world.

What happens if someone else outside of the US also has same idea? Can they go on and bring their idea to life if they're in another part of the world, say West Africa?

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 6, 2019

A patent only applies in the country or regional group that issued the patent. A patent applies to things made in that country and to things brought into that country. If a product is created outside the US and never enters the US, then a US patent is not relevant.

Many companies will...
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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 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 California on

Q: Are Patents issued in the UK restricted to the UK or do they cover all of the EU? What is the life of a patent?

What happens if patent holders allow other competing products on the market that conflict with an existing patent(s)? How many years can thes competitive products be allowed on the market before the Patent becomes unenforceable?

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 5, 2019

A UK patent is a UK patent. There is not yet an EU patent. You can get your patent application examined by the European Patent Office so you only have to do that work once, but the allowed EPO claims are then validated in individual EPO countries such as the UK. So one patent application may end... Read more »

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 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 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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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Arizona on

Q: In claim construction should you use "or" before the phrase "combination thereof?" Some say avoid "or."

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Aug 3, 2019

Or is a red flag to Examiners so try to avoid it. Sometimes you cannot.

Not sure where you are getting the verbiage "or combination thereof" . That is not a standard way to write a claim. A quick search of US patents found many thousands with the word "combination" in the claims. But...
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1 Answer | Asked in Patents (Intellectual Property) for Pennsylvania on

Q: If I want to design a stick such a stick would be for youth what sort of parent would I need and how would I go about it

I have the perfect idea because my son is a coach and many youngsters have given him ideas how do I go about it ?

Kevin E. Flynn answered on Jul 30, 2019

A good place to start is to look at patents for analogous products. That will help you understand what is already patented and how much effort it takes to secure a patent. My slides at http://bit.ly/Patent_Searching will give you some tips on patent searching using free tools.

The patent...
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