Trump and Pumps: a Tale of Two Tariffs

Trump’s proposed tariffs bode poorly for small business. When you work with startups, you get a ground-level view of economic trends in action. In the last few weeks we’ve been watching how the Trump administration’s new trade threats are affecting our clients. As you probably know, President Trump just announced tariffs of 25 percent on about …

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The Mamas of Invention

Q. What do these innovations have in common? – The Space Suit – Step-On Garbage Cans – The Bra – Random Radio Frequency – Kevlar ® – AZT – The Mars Rover A. They were all invented by women. We learned this from the awesome book Patently Female: From AZT to TV Dinners, Stories of Women …

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Eccentric Inventors, Boring CEOs

THE HEALTHY DIVIDE BETWEEN INNOVATORS AND MANAGERS Karen James is one of those software developers: focused, methodical, binary. She is also inventive. She can envision a solution to a problem via lines of code. In the early 90’s Karen wrote a software application that medical staff could use to keep track of patients and manage …

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Eighty Percent of our Clients are White Males.

(Originally published May 8, 2019) Eighty percent of our clients are white males. That’s cool, but we’d like to see more women and BIPOC inventors represented. So would the patent office. To that end, the United States Patent and Trademark Office is soliciting comments during open sessions to promote the SUCCESS Act of 2018. Here’s …

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Six Lawsuits Filed Against Humira Maker

Pharma Company Accused of Using Legal Tricks to Squash Generic Version Last October, we wrote about the tactics used by pharma company AbbVie to artificially extend its patents on its billion-dollar drug Humira. Now six groups are filing lawsuits against AbbVie for “anticompetitive conduct.” Humira is a rheumatoid-arthritis and gut-disorders drug that enjoys sales of …

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Ford: Making Tailgating Great Again

Not to be outdone by Toyota’s “Party Mode” feature, Ford just patented its new “Portable entertainment support system for a pickup truck box” (Patent #10,207,623). It’s an entertainment center for the back of your pickup truck, offering a “plurality of receptacles in sidewalls of a truck box spaced above a truck bed” that make it …

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World’s biggest-selling drug company cheats competitors and consumers as they extend their exclusive right to sell Humira

The makers of the world’s biggest-selling drug cheat competitors and consumers as they extend their exclusive right to sell Humira. Humira is a rheumatoid-arthritis and gut-disorders drug that enjoys sales of around $18 billion a year. Last Tuesday, one of its patents was set to expire. When a drug’s patent expires, generic manufacturers are free …

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The Perils of Gaming the Provisional Patent

The US Patent and Trademark Office gives inventors a sort of patenting grace period in the form of a provisional patent. Companies and inventors who think they can exploit this can end up burned. Protecting an innovation with a patent is an enduring American tradition dating back to the time of Thomas Jefferson. The patent …

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Fear Sells, and Amazon Wants to Sell It.

(Originally published Dec 20, 2018) Amazon applied for a patent that decides whether the face in your peephole belongs to a “suspicious” person. “Generating Composite Facial Images Using Audio/Video Recording and Communication Devices”
uses facial-recognition technology to compose an image of the face of the person at your door. The image would be sent by smartphone …

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A Patent is as Strong as Its Claims

Not all patents are created equal. If you browsed through the eight-million-plus patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) since 1836, you would find a surprising number of inventions that would not stand against infringement.  Some patents are considered stronger than others. The difference lies not just in the usefulness of …

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