June, 2011

Submarine Patents

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Years ago, so-called submarine patents could torpedo good faith efforts of inventors and their companies. Such hidden patents came about because the USPTO dated a patent application – the application filing date – and approximately two years later the USPTO assigned the application a patent number – the issue date. The inventor had no rights from the date of filing […]

Patent Thickets: A Thorn in the Patent System?

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When manufacturing a product in the semi-conductor or the pharmaceutical industry, a company may unintentionally infringe on a number of patents.  It often has to navigate its way through a dense thicket of patents of possibly hundreds of closely-related and overlapping patents.  To do so may require payment of royalties to a number of contributors to the technology. As a […]