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Intellectual Property (ref: Engineering by Design by Gerard Voland)

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Presentation on theme: "Intellectual Property (ref: Engineering by Design by Gerard Voland)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Intellectual Property (ref: Engineering by Design by Gerard Voland)

2 Types of Property real real –tangible and usually not movable (houses and land) –ownership is legally indicated by a deed personal personal –tangible and usually movable (clothing, furniture, automobile) –ownership is legally indicated by a sales receipt intellectual intellectual –intangible (ideas or concepts such as inventions, works of art, music, product names, recipes) –ownership can be legally indicated via trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, or patents

3 Trade Secrets legal protection provided by the government of the United States that allows an individual or company to maintain the secrecy of a particular process or product (formula for Coca- Cola is a trade secret) legal protection provided by the government of the United States that allows an individual or company to maintain the secrecy of a particular process or product (formula for Coca- Cola is a trade secret) advantages advantages –no time limit –property remains a secret known only to owner(s) –provides legal protection against others attempting to learn the secret disadvantages disadvantages –belongs to owner only if they can keep it a secret; may be legally reverse engineered

4 Trademarks protects product names, logos, and other identifiable and commercially valuable property (brand names and brand marks, i.e. Coke, Band-aids, Kleenex) protects product names, logos, and other identifiable and commercially valuable property (brand names and brand marks, i.e. Coke, Band-aids, Kleenex) advantages advantages –renewable every five years –unlimited time limit (simply renew) –provides legal protection disadvantages disadvantages –belongs to owner only if it does not become used generically to identify the product "type" (aspirin, nylon, formica, linoleum, shredded wheat)

5 Copyrights protects intellectual forms of expression such as artwork, books, music protects intellectual forms of expression such as artwork, books, music only the form of the expression is protected, not the idea or concept itself (although there are many books that present the theory and applications of calculus, each author or publisher can receive protection for the particular expression of these ideas) only the form of the expression is protected, not the idea or concept itself (although there are many books that present the theory and applications of calculus, each author or publisher can receive protection for the particular expression of these ideas) advantages advantages –renewable –very long lasting legal protection (for copyrights issued since 1977 this protection extends until 50 years after the death of the author) disadvantages disadvantages –time limit (although lengthy) is finite, after the copyright protection expires the work enters the public domain –only protects the specific form of expression, not the idea or concept itself

6 Patents the United States patenting system is based upon the principle of quid pro quo (something for something) the United States patenting system is based upon the principle of quid pro quo (something for something) in exchange for publicizing the invention, a utility patent gives the awardee the right to exclude others from making, selling, or using the invention in the United States for a period of twenty years from the date of application (prior to 1995 for seventeen years) in exchange for publicizing the invention, a utility patent gives the awardee the right to exclude others from making, selling, or using the invention in the United States for a period of twenty years from the date of application (prior to 1995 for seventeen years) the potential of financial (and other) rewards acts as an incentive to invent the potential of financial (and other) rewards acts as an incentive to invent Types of patents Types of patents –utility patents - protect functional products or concepts (of most interest to engineers) –design patents - protect the form or shape of an object, do not protect the functional capabilities of a design, only the appearance –plant patents - protect asexually produced plants (produced through grafting, budding, cutting, layering, or division)

7 Utility Patents Section 101 of the Patent Act "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 requirements of this title." Section 101 of the Patent Act "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 requirements of this title." Criteria for utility patents - patent examiners are particularly concerned with three criteria in determining if an applicant should be granted a utility patent: novelty, usefulness, and nonobviousness Criteria for utility patents - patent examiners are particularly concerned with three criteria in determining if an applicant should be granted a utility patent: novelty, usefulness, and nonobviousness

8 Novelty the invention must be demonstrably different from the "prior art" (all work in the field of the invention is "prior art"; an inventor is expected to be familiar with this prior art material) the invention must be demonstrably different from the "prior art" (all work in the field of the invention is "prior art"; an inventor is expected to be familiar with this prior art material) in the United States the person/s recognized as the first to invent (as opposed to the first to file) is/are granted the patent for an invention in the United States the person/s recognized as the first to invent (as opposed to the first to file) is/are granted the patent for an invention the inventor must demonstrate both of the following two conditions hold the inventor must demonstrate both of the following two conditions hold –the earliest date of conception of the invention –diligence in reducing the invention to practice without any period of abandonment it is imperative that the inventor keep complete records during the period of development before filing the patent application it is imperative that the inventor keep complete records during the period of development before filing the patent application –records should be kept in a bound laboratory notebook with numbered pages –obtain competent witnesses of the recording disclosure before filing a patent application should be avoided - once disclosed the inventor has one year from the date of disclosure in which to apply for patent protection disclosure before filing a patent application should be avoided - once disclosed the inventor has one year from the date of disclosure in which to apply for patent protection

9 Usefulness desired objective(s) must be achieved by the invention - there must be some practical utility associated with the invention that is specific, demonstrable, and substantial. desired objective(s) must be achieved by the invention - there must be some practical utility associated with the invention that is specific, demonstrable, and substantial.

10 Nonobviousness the invention must be deemed to have required more than ordinary skill to design or the mere addition/duplication of components found in previously patented inventions the invention must be deemed to have required more than ordinary skill to design or the mere addition/duplication of components found in previously patented inventions nonobviousness focuses upon the differences between the invention and the prior art and the level of skill necessary in creating such differences nonobviousness focuses upon the differences between the invention and the prior art and the level of skill necessary in creating such differences secondary considerations used to help evaluate nonobviousness secondary considerations used to help evaluate nonobviousness –satisfying an unmet need (inventions that meet long-standing unmet needs might be assumed to be nonobvious) –enjoying unexpected levels of commercial success (such products may not have been obvious or they would have been developed sooner) –the level of effort exerted by others in (unsuccessfully) solving the problem

11 Patent Disclosures the application to receive patent protection for an invention the application to receive patent protection for an invention claims claims –should describe the real advantages of the invention –determine the legal coverage to be provided –ordered from the most general to the most specific –strive to generate as many claims as possible for an invention in order to maximize the legal protection provided by a patent (two conflicting goals: claims must be sufficiently narrow and precise, as required by patent law; however, they also should be broad enough to protect all appropriate aspects of the inventor's intellectual property)

12 USPTO Patent Fees (2009) see USPTO current fee schedule see USPTO current fee scheduleUSPTO current fee scheduleUSPTO current fee schedule filing fee: utility $330, design $220, plant $220 filing fee: utility $330, design $220, plant $220 issue fee: utility $1,510, design $860, plant $1,190 issue fee: utility $1,510, design $860, plant $1,190 maintenance fees must be paid on a utility patent in order to prevent the patent from expiring (due at 3.5 years $980, at 7.5 years $2,480, and at 11.5 years $4,110) maintenance fees must be paid on a utility patent in order to prevent the patent from expiring (due at 3.5 years $980, at 7.5 years $2,480, and at 11.5 years $4,110) fees are reduced by 50% for applicants who are "small entities" such as individuals, small business concerns, or nonprofit organizations fees are reduced by 50% for applicants who are "small entities" such as individuals, small business concerns, or nonprofit organizations

13 Conducting a Patent Search


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