Patent

Patent Law Basics
  • What is a Patent?  In short, a patent is a right to exclude others from making, using, or selling a particular invention for a limited time.  More »

 

Small Entity Articles Related to Patent

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City Kitty Cat Toilet Training Seat on Shark Tank

Rebecca Rescate’s Citi Kitty cat toilet training set is doing well.  With over $1.4 million in sales though her website alone, you could say she’s doing very well. But Rescate thinks she can do better, so she hit the set of ABC’s Shark Tank seeking help from the investors.  In the end, she agreed to [...]

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Onesole Interchangeable Shoes on Shark Tank

When I saw pharmacist Dominique McClain Barteet presenting her Onesole interchangeable shoe invention on Shark Tank, the first thing I thought was, “Hmm, where have I seen this before?”  Then I remembered – USA Network’s now-dead show Made in the USA featured a collapsible and interchangeable shoe idea back in 2004. On the USA show, the [...]

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“Fridge Fronts” Magnetic Appliance Covers Appear on Shark Tank

Jan Anderson and Jason Augenstein took their magnetic appliance covers to the Shark Tank last week. The invention is simple: it’s a magnetic, decorative sheet that can be applied to the surface of an appliance to dress it up a bit. Anderson explained that the idea came to her while she was living in military [...]

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Pawn Stars shows Antique Curta Calculator

Last night’s episode of Pawn Stars featured an Antique Curta Calculator. Introduced in 1948 by Austrian Curt Herzstark, this mechanical device was the world’s first handheld four-function calculator. Herzstark filed for U.S. patent protection in October 1949 for his “Independent Actuator Tens Transformer” invention.  Patent #2,588,835 issued to Herzstark in 1952. As Rick Harrison mentioned [...]

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Apple Filed Patent Application For Mobile Device Tracking

The recent discovery that Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices track their owner’s movements and store that information in a database shocked privacy advocates.  Apple quickly issued a statement denying the claims, explaining that they are tracking the device’s location, not the owner’s location.  Get that?  They’re not tracking you, they’re tracking something you always carry [...]

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Pocket Bra Inventor Claims Patent Infringement

Pocket Bra Inventor Claims Patent Infringement

Wisconsin resident Tammy Pintor has filed suit against fellow Wisconsinite Leslie Van Dorf and her company Purse-Les for allegedly violating her US Patent on the Pocket Bra. From the Chicago Tribune: Tammy Pintor, owner of TJ Secret in Menomonee Falls, has a patent for a brassiere that holds and conceals electronic devices, cosmetics, money or [...]

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Qubits Construction Toy Featured on Shark Tank

Qubits Construction Toy Featured on Shark Tank

Architect and Inventor Mark Burginger pitched his Qubits construction toy on Season 1 of ABC’s Shark Tank. Billed as “The Construction Toy of the Future,” Burginger describes Qubits as a building-block toy superior to others on the market because if its ability to form curved structures. Burginger’s invention is disclosed in US Patent #7036277, titled [...]

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Waterphone instrument makes appearance on Storage Wars

Waterphone instrument makes appearance on Storage Wars

A recent episode of A&E’s Storage Wars television show featured a show participant acquiring a strange musical instrument known as a Waterphone. While the instrument itself is not familiar to most, chances are you’ve heard this instrument in any number of Hollywood horror movies, usually right before something really, really scary happens.   On the [...]

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Ride-on Carry-on Travel Stroller Featured on Shark Tank

Ride-on Carry-on Travel Stroller Featured on Shark Tank

Having trouble keeping track of both your kids and your luggage while rushing through the airport?  Don’t want to send the bag or the child through baggage claim?  Here’s an idea: why not strap your kid to your luggage?  This way, you’ll only have to keep track of a single item instead of two. That’s [...]

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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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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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What is the difference between a Patent Attorney and a Patent Agent?

What is the difference between a Patent Attorney and a Patent Agent?

This site uses the terms Patent Agent and Patent Attorney somewhat interchangeably.  However, there are differences between the two. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires that all individuals prosecuting patent applications be registered with the Office. (Though there is an exception that allows an inventor to prosecute his own application.) The USPTO [...]

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What is a Patent?

The short answer is that a patent is a right to exclude others from making, using, or selling a particular invention for a limited time. I’ll say that again, and shorten it: A patent is a right to exclude. Note the negative, not positive, language of that statement. It’s important to understand that a patent [...]

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Dragons Den Michael Pritchard’s US Patent Application for Anyway Spray

Dragons Den Michael Pritchard’s US Patent Application for Anyway Spray

Inventor Michael Pritchard appeared on Season 7 of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den touting his “Anyway Spray,” a product that allows a household spray bottle to operate an any orientation through the use of a selectively permeable tube.  I thought the invention was brilliant, and wondered why the Dragons were giving Pritchard such a hard time. There [...]

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