Management of Intellectual Property Assets at Fairfield University

I am happy to announce that I am once again teaching the graduate engineering course Management of Intellectual Property Assets at Fairfield University, located in Fairfield, Connecticut.
The course will enable students to recognize the different types of intellectual property (IP) and to use corresponding forms of protection. In addition, the students will learn to assess the value of IP to the organization and perceive effective methods for using it to advance important company objectives such as increasing its sales volume, improving its profit margin, or improving the business value, upon its sale. The course also teaches how to determine the monetary value of a company’s holdings in IP and how to establish the policies and processes for protecting them from competition. Throughout the course we will address the legal issues surrounding rights of ownership, the existence of infringement, and technology transfer. The student will develop an ability to recognize the specific issues that distinguish an invention or other form of IP from its potential competition in the market place, causing it to be superior to competitive products or services.
I generally teach this course in the Spring, so if interested, sign up for it in the Fall of 2014.

We serve clients all over the world.

I was recently looking at my client list, view and after 10 years of having my own patent-trademark-copyright practice I realized that I truly have clients all over the world. Here is just a short list of where my international clients are located:

Ilmenau, Germany;
Pforzheim, Fed Rep Germany;
Angus, Scotland;
Brampton, Ontario, Canada;
Shanghai, China.

In the USA, I have clients in 22 states. Some of these clients are located here:

Fairhope, AL;
Phoenix, AZ;
San Diego, CA;
Sacramento, CA;
Saratoga, CA;
Fort Collins, CO;
Ansonia, CT;
Avon, CT;
Beacon Falls, CT;
Berline, CT;
Branford, CT;
Bridgeport, CT;
Bristol, CT;
Brookfield, CT;
Cheshire, CT;
Chester, CT;
Clinton, CT;
Cromwell, CT;
Danbury, CT;
Derby, CT;
East Granby, CT;
East Haddam, CT;
East Hampton, CT;
East Lyme, CT;
Easton, CT;
Essex, CT;
Fairfield, CT;
Gales Ferry, CT;
Granby, CT;
Goshen, CT;
Griswold, CT;
Groton, CT;
Guilford, CT;
Hamden, CT;
Hartford, CT;
Huntington, CT;
Kent, CT;
Killingworth, CT;
Madison, CT;
Manchester, CT;
Meriden, CT;
Middlebury, CT;
Middletown, CT;
Milford, CT;
Monroe, CT;
New Britain, CT;
New Canaan; CT;
New Fairfield, CT;
New Haven, CT;
New Milford, CT;
Newington, CT;
Newtown, CT;
Niantic, CT;
Noank, CT;
Northford, CT;
Norwalk, CT;
Norwich, CT;
Old Greenwich, CT;
Old Lyme, CT;
Old Saybrook, CT
Orange, CT;
Oxford, CT;
Plainville, CT;
Plymouth, CT;
Pomfret Center; CT;
Ridgefield, CT;
Riverside, CT;
Rocky Hill, CT;
Sandy Hook, CT;
Seymour, CT;
Shelton, CT;
Sherman, CT;
Simsbury, CT;
Somers, CT;
Southbury, CT;
South Windsor, CT;
Stamford, CT;
Storrs Mansfield, CT;
Stratford, CT;
Terryville, CT;
Thomaston, CT;
Tolland, CT;
Torrington, CT;
Trumbull, CT;
Uncasville, CT;
Wallingford, CT;
Waterford, CT;
Wethersfield, CT;
West Hartford, CT;
West Haven, CT;
Weston, CT;
Westport, CT;
Winsdor, CT;
Winstead, CT;
Wolcott, CT;
Woodbridge, CT;
Parkland, FL;
Ormond Beach, FL;
Alpharetta, GA;
Canton, GA;
Highland Park, IL;
Pittsfield, MA;
Boston, MA;
Springfield, MA;
Portland, MA;
Alexandria, MN;
Smithfield, NC;
Cary, NC;
Hindsdale, NH;
Stratham, NH;
Nashua, NH;
Ridgefield, NJ;
Morris Plains, NJ;
Stateline, NV;
Yorktown Heights, NY;
Harrison, NY;
New York, NY;
Oneonta, NY;
Flushing, NY;
Long Island City, NY;
Bayville, NY;
New Rochelle, NY;
Brooklyn, NY;
Jamaica, NY;
Staten Island, NY;
Goshen, NY;
Tarrytown, NY;
Sunbury, PA;
Media, PA;
Chattanooga, TN;
San Antonio, TX;
Helotes, TX;
Newport News, VA;
Centreville, VA;
Hampton, VA; and
Rochester, VT.

So please remember, wherever you are in the world, I can provide you with patent or trademark legal services!

Virtual designs are generally eligible for design patent protection

I just read an interesting article here at the patentlyo blog regarding “virtual designs” and how they are generally eligible for design patent protection. Remember a design patent only protects the ornamental design of an object. However, most people think of design patents as applying to physical objects, such as athletic shoes, furniture, lamps, etc. However, the patentlyo article makes clear that design patents can also protect “virtual designs”. Virtual designs mean things such as graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to isolated icons and arrows grouped in USPTO classes D14/485 to 495. So keep that in mind when developing new icons, or software graphical work!

Latest dumb patent…cooling a beer glass!

I recently saw that Patent No. 8,240,155 has issued. What is amazingly dumb about the issuance of this patent is that it purports to cover the invention of cooling a container to below freezing, and then pouring beer (that is above freezing) into the container. I think cooling beer glasses in the freezer has been well known for maybe….at least since the invention of freezers? The claim is reprinted below:

“1. A method for serving beer from a font, comprising the steps of: chilling a container for beer to a temperature of at least C.; and, filling the container with the
beer from the font, the beer being delivered from the font at a temperature
above the freezing point of water for creating a drink having a head of foam and
crystals of frozen beer formed below the head of foam after filling of the
container with the beer.”

So next time you put your beer glass in the freezer and then pour a beer into it from a “font”, you may be infringing the above patent! By the way, I wasn’t sure what a “font” meant with respect to beer. After a little research, it appears that a font is simply the beer faucet you often see in bars.

Patent Trolls revisited.

I was recently quoted by the Waterbury Republican American newspaper regarding patent trolls. The article was written by Phil Hall who interviewed me a couple of weeks ago for this story. Basically the story is about scan to email trolls who go after small business owners who own all-in-one copier/scanner machines. The story is avaible here, mind by permission: Trolls .

Proposed Patent Troll Legislation

The US congress has introduced anti-abusive litigation tactics (patent troll) legislation for discussion purposes. A good discussion and summary of the legislation can be found at The proposed legislation does make it more difficult for patent trolls to sue for patent infringement, but it also makes it more difficult for legitimate patent owners to sue for patent infringement as well. During my quick review of the materials, there is no definition of what a “patent troll” is, or what “abusive litigation tactics” are. Thus, I am reserving judgement on the efficacy of the proposed legislation.M

Patent troll settles with state of Minnesota

Very interesting development in the scan to email patent troll matter. One of my clients in Connecticut dealt with the very same issue. In Minnesota, as reported here, the state’s attorney general settled with MPHJ Technology Investments LLC, a Delaware company accused of trying to wring money out of hundreds of Minnesota businesses on claims the firms were infringing on patent rights by using basic office equipment, namely office scanners. MPHJ Technology and a host of affiliates including BriPol agreed to stop their campaign and to not restart without approval from Minnesota’s attorney general. If the state discovers that any Minnesota residents or companies actually paid MPHJ Technology money for either a license or an alleged infringement, MPHJ will have to pay a $50,000 civil penalty and refund all money.
Turns out the owner of MPHJ is a lawyer named J. Mac Rust in Waco, TX.
Keep this in mind if you get a letter from a troll demanding you pay money for using your scanning office equipment!

Entrepreneurs and Inventors–Sikorsky’s Entrepreneurial Challenge

If you have answers to any of these five questions, you may receive support form Sikorsky to develop your business/invention!

Challenge Questions

  • How can your offering utilize vertical flight to better serve or create new markets?
  • How can your offering enhance transportation and mass transit using mobile devices and apps?
  • How can your offering detect or learn to detect patterns in big, complex, unstructured data sets?
  • How can your offering stop a speeding projectile or prevent an object from being seen, heard or identified?
  • How can your offering allow a complex machine to know more about its own health and capabilities?

See the Echallenge website for more details of this exciting competition. Also, Jonathan Hartman from Sikorsky will be discussing the competition at the next Inventors Association of Connecticut meeting, more details here.