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BananaIP Counsels > Patents (Page 53)

Wacky Patents 2 – Ouija Board

This image depicts the name of OUIJA Board. This image is relevant as the post is all about OUIJA board and its use. CLick on the image for more information.

Next up in the series of Wacky Patents is a board game which has spooked people for ages! This humble board game has been a source of spook for many. Ouija (pronounced wee-jee) is derived from compounded French word, ‘Oui’ and German word, ‘Ja’, both meaning “Yes”. It was originally a trademark owned by Kennedy Novelty Co. which later became generic when people started to use the word for any talking board. What was previously used as a medium for communication with the dead, was later patented with certain improvements.

The US Patent Office granted Letter Patent No. 446,054 in 1891 to Elijah J Bond, for his invention of a certain new and useful improvement in “Toy or Game”. In the patent application, Bond says that his invention relates to improvements in what he designates as “The Ouija or Egyptian-luck Board”. The invention discloses a Board of suitable size and thickness with letters of the alphabet, numbers from 0-9, ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ in the corners and ‘Good-bye’ at the bottom in combination with a table provided with legs and a pointer which is operated by hand.

Wacky Patents 1 – Method of Presenting Beer

The image depicts a Bottle of beer being poured into a Glass. This image is relevant as the post deals with patent issues for the style of presenting beer. Click on the image for more information

There is nothing more refreshing than a pint of chilled beer and a hearty chat with friends after a generally lousy week. But beware! You may be infringing a patent while sipping down the chilled “barley juice”. Here is why – Below is the description of a patent granted for the “Method of Presenting Beer” which is our Wacky Patent No. 1.

US Patent No. 8,240,155 B2 relates to a Method of Presenting Beer. Filed in August, 2007, the patent was granted in August, 2012, which means that the patent is still in force. Here is how the invention actually works. The problem sought to be solved by this invention is regarding beer being served chilled. Beer is normally served at a temperature above zero degrees since chilling beer to near zero degree results in loss of flavor. So the inventor, Kevin Dale, came up with this invention to serve beer chilled at near zero temperature without compromising on taste.

Reverse Engineering is Legitimated by Reason: Sega v. Accolade

This image depicts two person trying to put the puzzle together. This image is relevant as it was decided in the case of Sega vs Accolade that Reverse Engineering is limited by Reason. Click on the image for more information

In one of our recent posts on reverse engineering, we discussed fair use for intermediate copying. Today, we will look into another landmark case that legitimizes copying based on a justifiable reason! In Sega v. Accolade, Accolade used a two-step process to create video games compatible with the Sega Genesis game console.

The first step was to reverse engineer the system and create a development manual. Accolade purchased a Genesis video game console and three game cartridges. Then the system was wired up so that the data moving between the cartridge and the console during game play could be examined. The engineers retrieved the code from the cartridges, disassembled it and studied it.

Dr. Jonas Salk – The True Humanitarian

This image depicts a Black & WHite Photograph of Jonas Salk. This image is relevant as he is a true humanitarian who has invented Polio Vaccine. Click on the image for more information

Some people work towards finding solutions to a better way of life, round the clock. The youth of today is independent, confident and progressive. The world feels like a wonderful place to live in. But we wouldn’t have been able to “stand on our own legs”, literally, if not for a wonderful human being called Dr. Jonas Salk. October 28, 2014, on the day we celebrate as the birth centenary of the man who made billions of kids stand on their own legs, a small tribute to the great soul will be given by narrating the story of how, not owning a patent saved millions of lives and still counting!

Polio or Poliomyelitis is an infectious viral disease which generally affects young children and spreads mainly through faecal-oral contact. Caused by the Polio Virus, it infects the brain and cripples the child leaving limbs paralyzed, among other things. During the mid 1900s, there was nothing more deadly in the United States than the rampant Polio epidemic. When Dr. Salk was appointed as the Director of the Virus Research Laboratory at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine, he was determined to find a vaccine to rid the world of the Polio menace. The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis funded the project taken up by Dr. Salk and field trials were set up on a massive scale. When the vaccine was finally found out to be successful, Dr. Salk became the saviour of the world. When asked about the patent on the Polio vaccine, Dr. Salk politely stated, “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?”, owing to the global necessity and vitality of the vaccine.

The Chemtura Case – Assent from US’ BPAI, but Dissent from India’s IPAB

This image depicts a Gavel, a court hammer. This image is relevant as the post is about Chemutra Case. Click on the image for more information

Intellectual Property Appellate Board, ORA/14/2009/PT/MUM ANDORA/14/2009/PT/MUM

Decision Date: 24 AUGUST 2012

This post focuses only on the inventive step analysis of IPAB. The question of inventive step arose in a revocation petition before IPAB in which lack of inventive step was one among several grounds. SiNApSE readers will recall this case for its ratio on Section 8 of the Patents Act.

Patent: The patent in question relates to a side bearing pad assembly for absorbing and cushioning compression forces and that dampen lateral rolling motions that occur during the movement of railroad cars.

Intro to Patent Law and Patentability Requirements – Presentations by Dr. Kalyan Kankanala at NLSIU

This image depicts the Title Intro to patent Law and Patentability Requirement, a PPT Presentation given by Dr. Kalyan Kankanala. Click on the image to view full post

The presentations embedded in this post have been delivered by Dr. Kalyan Kankanala in his Patent Law course at National Law School of India University, Bangalore. The presentation on Intro to Patent Law gives an overview of patent philosophy. It covers social, economic and utilitarian rationales and gives an introduction to the tragedy of commons dimension. It also covers the patent life cycle, and public interest aspects of patent law. This presentation is an updated version of the 2013 presentation.

Featherbed Frame: The Frame That is Revolutionizing Motorcycle Construction

This image shows a Featherband Frame beside a Motorcycle. This image is relevant as the post is about the revolutionizing changes the new Featherbed Frame is giving to the Motorcycle. Click on the image for more information

The chassis or the frame is part of a vehicle that is of paramount importance. It is like a skeleton that defines the shape of the vehicle and holds all the associated components of the vehicle together. There are different types of motorcycle frames such as single cradle, half duplex cradle, full duplex cradle, perimeter, beam, trellis etc., Though single cradle or single down-tube cradle frame is the simple and most commonly found frame on motorcycles, it is quite inferior to its counterpart in terms of handling.

The Featherbed Frame is a type of full duplex cradle or double down-tube frame, and was invented by Mr. Richard McCandless aka Rex, in the year 1949 for UK based Norton Motorcycle Company. Rex developed the Featherbed Frame for the Norton Motorcycle Company, primarily for improving performance of their racing motorcycles for the Isle of Man TT, as several of Norton’s Garden Gate frame buckled under the extreme stress of racing. The term Featherbed Frame was coined by Mr. Harold Daniell (an elite Isle of Man TT racer who won several trophies during his era) after trying out the new frame developed by Rex. He declared that it was like, “riding on a featherbed” when compared with riding the “garden gate” frame.

Intellectual Property Protection for Computer Programs – Part IV

This image depicts compilation of source code of a program. This image is relevant as the post is about Intellectual property protection for programs. Click on the image for more information

In the final post of this series, we shall be looking into the concept of software patents and examining the extent to which patent law is effective in protecting computer programs.

As mentioned earlier, protection of computer programs under the Copyright Law is limited to the protection of the literal elements of a computer program, i.e., the source code and the object code, and does not extend to the underlying idea and functional elements of the software. A patent, on the other hand, grants a more secure protection than Trade Secret or Copyright, since the protection is determined by the scope of the Patent and not how the product was developed. Moreover, the law of patents can be used to protect ideas and functional aspects in a software and can be enforced against anyone who has copied, reverse engineered or developed the same product independently. These are some of the benefits of opting for patent protection of computer programs.

Invention that Revolutionized the Industrial Revolution!

This image depicts the Steam Engine invented by James Watt. This image is relevant as the post is about the invention which has brought the Industrial Revolution. Click on the image for more information

Most of us have learned about the Industrial Revolution that took place in the 18th and 19th centuries, that ultimately resulted in the transition to the new manufacturing processes found even today. While I was reading about the industrial revolution, the question that flashed in my mind was, “Is there any invention that fueled the revolution?”.

Well, surprisingly (or not), the answer is a Yes! It’s nothing but the Steam Engine. Let me tell the interesting story of the Steam Engine and its world famous inventor for our Readers who have a special love for history. The name associated with the Steam Engine is James Watt, a Scottish inventor. However, Watt was not the first person to invent the Steam Engine. According to sources, the first commercial steam engine appeared in the year 1698. Later, in the year 1712, Mr. Thomas Newcomen improved the base version. However, Newcomen’s version of the steam engine had many flaws. For example, lower efficiency in terms of fuel and performance.

Can There be a Patent for a Method of Patent Trolling?

This image depicts a Monkey standing with a stick and trying to describe what Patent Troll is with the basic definitions written in the Background. This image is relevant as USPTO has granted a Patent for a method of Patent Trolling. Click on the image for more information

How about committing the crime of killing all the criminals so as to prevent crime? Sounds outrageous, doesn’t it? Well, then how about patenting the patent troll in order to prevent patent trolling? The USPTO is proof enough for granting some of the weirdest and craziest patents. But this one seems to be the cherry on the icing on the cake. Halliburton Energy Services Inc. has made an Application No. 11/741429 before the USPTO titled Patent Acquisition and Assertion by a (Non-Inventor) First Party against Second Party.

Here is how the invention actually works. The First company does not invent anything. It will find a Second company which invented something but chose to keep it a secret instead of patenting it. Then the first company drafts patent claims to cover the technology that the Second company is using and files it before the Patent Office and obtains a patent. By this, the First company will acquire an equity interest in the technology which they never invented. Once the patent is granted, a license of this patent is offered to the Second company. If the Second company refuses to obtain a license, then the First company threatens the Second company to sue for patent infringement. Now, the Second company doesn’t have an option but to pay a price for its own technology and obtain a license. The applicant also gives an option of obtaining either monetary considerations or a cross license from the Second company in return for the license of the patented technology. Then the proceeds from such a monetary settlement are distributed among the First party and the inventor.

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