Browsing all articles from March, 2011

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First Defense Nasal Screens profiled on Shark Tank

First Defense Nasal Screens profiled on Shark Tank

Joseph K. Moore and his company First Defense Nasal Screens were profiled on this week’s episode of Shark Tank. Moore’s invention is simple – it’s an inexpensive, adhesive nasal filter that the user applies to the exterior of their nose. Moore filed for patent protection in October 2007. (Patent Application Number 11/928,226, based on U.S. [...]

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Is there even $75 trillion dollars in the entire world?

Copyright law allows a copyright holder to collect what are termed “statutory damages” in an infringement case. Unlike traditional injury-based damages, statutory damages are not related to the actual harm done to a plaintiff.  Instead, they are set by Congress, and are defined in the copyright statute.  (Hence the term.) The copyright statute provides: (c) [...]

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Interesting Inventions: Penn Jillette patents Hydro-Therapeutic Stimulator. For women.

Interesting Inventions: Penn Jillette patents Hydro-Therapeutic Stimulator. For women.

Ah, Penn Jillette. He’s a magician. He’s a comedian. He’s an actor. He’s a thinker. He’s a skeptic. He’s a writer.  And he’s also an inventor.  I have to wonder, is there anything this guy can’t do? In 1999, Jillette was granted US Patent 5,920,923 for his creation of a “Hydro-Therapeutic Stimulator,” an invention geared [...]

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Interesting Patent: Magic the Gathering

Interesting Patent:  Magic the Gathering

In the early 1990’s, mathematics professor Richard Channing Garfield invented a collectable card game called “Magic: The Gathering.”  In case you haven’t heard, Magic (or MTG) was a great international success. The game won scores of awards, created an active collector market, and even spawned a professional player circuit. The game has been credited with [...]

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Copa di Vino showcases wine-by-the-glass invention on Shark Tank

The first installment of the second season of Shark Tank also brought us James Martin and what he described as his “revolutionary” invention that allows wineries to package wine into individual per-serving portions. The vessel is a plastic-covered cup, and to drink the wine inside one need only to peel back the plastic & imbibe.  [...]

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Würkin Stiffs “Power Stays” keep your shirt collar in place with magnets

Würkin Stiffs “Power Stays” keep your shirt collar in place with magnets

ABC’s Shark Tank is back for its second season, and the first episode introduced us designer Jonathan Boos.  Boos and his company “Wurkin Stiffs” have invented a novel way of keeping a shirt collar in place – namely, magnetic collar stays. Boos received this patent in 2008 for a “Method and apparatus for keeping a [...]

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Microsoft Holds Patent on “Electronic Sticky Notes”

Microsoft Holds Patent on “Electronic Sticky Notes”

Electronic Post-It Notes have been around about as long as the GUI interface, but that didn’t stop Microsoft from filing this patent for the “electronic sticky note” in 2003.

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Interesting Inventions: Improved Ouija Board Patent

Interesting Inventions:  Improved Ouija Board Patent

Harry Bigelow of Milwaukee, WI sought and received this 1920 patent for an improved Ouija board.  No word on whether the device caught on commercially, but the patent went on to be cited as prior art for both a fortune telling device and a “frog support.” Whatever that is. .

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Can Public Domain Works be re-Copyrighted?

The Supreme Court looks to answer that question when they take up Golan v. Holder this fall. The Supreme Court says it will hear a case considering whether public domain works can be pushed back into the copyright closet. And advocacy groups say that free speech is at stake in this fight. Congress’ decision to [...]

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