Patent Glossary

Bounty: a reward offered for a piece of fugitive information.

Bounty Hunters: information holders and sharers. People who respect and appreciate the power and value of knowledge. With BountyQuest, Bounty Hunters can harness their knowledge in order to actualize both its power and its value. Read more

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property, a term generally encompassing patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, rights of publicity and privacy, and moral rights, plays an ever-increasing role in the commercial world. Read more

Patent History

During this last year, there has been a considerable increase in the interest of companies, and the general population in the meaning and use of Intellectual Property (IP) rights, and in particular patent rights. The profile of patent law and IP law in general has increased dramatically. Read more

What’s the Deal with Patents?

Granted, they may not be the topic of your dinner conversation every night; they usually behave more like good wallpaper does, exerting their influence quietly and modestly in the background. But think of all the subtle ways they’re insinuated into daily life, from the patent numbers on the bottles of your prescription medicine to the ubiquitous Patent-Pending messages on everything from cat beds to milk crates to wheelchairs. Read more

Why all the fuss about business method patents?

If you’ve been paying attention to business news recently, you may have noticed that there is a raging controversy over “Business Method Patents,” especially as applied to e-commerce and the internet. This article explains how these patents came to be, and takes some guesses as how it will all work out in the end. Read more

Why all the fuss about biotech/genomics patents?

The idea of patenting human genes has raised significant concerns in both the medical community and public at large. Many have questioned whether patents should be granted for human gene sequences under any circumstances. Read more

Patent Basics: Subject Matter

In order to be patentable, a patent application must cover patentable subject matter. What counts is pretty broad: articles of manufacture, compositions, devices, processes, business methods, software, genes, and many other items. In fact, one court described patentable subject matter as “anything under the sun made by man.” What counts as patentable subject matter has expanded and shrunk over time. Right now, we are at a high water mark for patentability, with algorithms, software, business methods, and the human genome all pushing the boundaries. Read more

Patent Basics: Utility

Patent law is designed to promote innovation in “science and useful arts.” It’s right there in the first Article of the Constitution: in order to be patentable, an invention needs to be useful in some way. Read more

Patent Basics: Nonobviousness

For a patent to issue, the invention must not only be new and useful, it must be “nonobvious.” Unlike the concepts of novelty or utility, you probably don’t have an immediate, intuitive notion of what nonobviousness really is. First of all, isn’t it difficult to define something by what it isn’t? And nonobvious to whom? Read more

Patent Basics: Novelty or Newness

Novelty is one of the basic requirements of the patent statute. In order for a patent to issue, the invention must be new. You might think you know what “new” means. Who doesn’t, right? It’s pretty straightforward, right? Right? Read more

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