Archive for the ‘ip’ Tag

Don’t Miss the AIPLA 2013 Mid-Winter Institute!   Leave a comment

The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) is trying something new for its 2013 Mid-Winter Institute which will be held in Tampa, Florida on January 30-February 2, 2013.  For a description of the program see the  AIPLA 2013 Mid-Winter Institute flyer.

The focus of the meeting will be on why Intellectual Property is THE business asset of the 21st Century.  IP attorneys and company executives will work side by side to present how they work together to face the challenges presented by today’s economy and protect IP in the global marketplace.

Here are some of the advantages of attending the meeting, alone or with a client:

  • attend the sessions and think through best practices and procedures to determine how to best maximize IP protection
  • learn directly from business executives and leaders why IP protection is so important to companies today
  • the conference will provide an intense primer on IP protection, including patent, copyright, trademark, as well as trade secret protection
  • this is a great opportunity to network with in-house or law firm attorneys and to learn from each other how to best maximize IP protection
  • learn how a working knowledge of IP has benefited business executives, CEOs and CTOs straight from the source
  • learn how IP matters to Angel and Venture investors
  • learn about global IP issues in biotechnology, chemistry, high-tech fields and other technical areas
  • learn how start-ups can best maximize the value of their IP and attract investors

If you want to receive more information from the AIPLA on the 2013 Mid-Winter Institute as it becomes available, click here.  I am one of the organizers and will attend the Mid-Winter Institute.  I look forward to seeing you there!

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Posted November 4, 2012 by deboraplehn in AIPLA

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Google Patents Now Redirects to the Main Google Home Page   Leave a comment

Some of you may have noticed that if you try to go to the Google Patents homepage, you are now automatically redirected to the main  Google Home Page.  In fact, without much warning, Google decided to integrate Google Patents with its main Google search engine.

Google calls it part of its “Spring Cleaning in Sping” in its official blog.   Here is what they say about Google Patents:

  • We’re redirecting the old Patent Search homepage to google.com to make sure everyone is getting the best possible experience for their patent searches. Over the past few months, we’ve been making updates and improvements to the Patent Search functionality on google.com—not only are you able to search the same set of U.S. patents with the same advanced search options, the new experience loads twice as fast as the old Patent Search homepage, contributes to a unified search experience across Google, and sports Google Doodles as well. The team looks forward to including patents from other countries soon, and will be rolling out additional features to Patent Search on google.com in the future.

This is part of an initiative by CEO Larry Page to streamline the services offered by Google.  Some of the other services that have also been shut down are Google Flu Vaccine Finder, Google Related, Google Sync for Blackberry, Google Talk’s mobile web app and One Pass.  For a complete list of services that have been affected, read here.

The good news is that Google Patents is not gone altogether, and the Advanced Search Page is still active, as Google explained in their blog, cited above.  It is also encouraging that Google plans to add additional features, such as the addition of patents from other countries.  In a previous blog post, I reported that Google is now archiving US patent file histories from public PAIR.  Hopefully, Google will continue to expand its patent-related services.  Keep checking back for updates!

Posted May 6, 2012 by deboraplehn in Google

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Interview: Drew Smith, developer of MPEP Plus iPad App   Leave a comment

I recently interviewed Drew Smith, the developer of the MPEP Plus iPad App.  He had sent me a free copy of the app to try out, and I decided that rather than write a review, it would be interesting to interview him to find out about how he decided to become an app developer while still in law school.

1.  How did you come up with the idea for your MPEP Plus iPad App?

My firm does a good amount of international work through foreign agents, and I initially planned to make a database of global patent laws and procedures.  My thinking was that it’d be extremely useful to have quick access to, say, rules on novelty in Brazil, without having to search the web and click through a lot of clutter.  But while simple to code, the app became a little problematic, interestingly enough, because of IP issues.  Many foreign governments hold copyrights on their government works.  I found a good number of English translations of foreign-language laws, but many of those were the result of someone’s creative translation.  After a while, my app was so gutted of information that it was essentially just the sites of USPTO and WIPO, with poor auto-translations of a handful of government works.  I refocused the app to only provide the MPEP and supporting materials.  The “PLUS” was my personal joke about my app being better–as if the MPEP, the bible of the industry, is somehow inadequate!

2.  There are already other MPEP apps on the market–how is yours different?

After I released the first version of this app, I looked to see what had already been done.  Surprisingly, there are very few apps that focus on the MPEP, despite the fact that every patent attorney and agent uses it.  I wanted to incorporate things that make the iPad fun, such as touch gestures, animation, and vibrant colors.  I like to think that the use of public-domain patent drawings add a touch of humor, and that the patent-retrieval system is an intersting twist on just punching in a number.  If you’re going to make a program for such a powerful platform, why subject users to page after page of black text?

3.  You are a patent agent and are about to be admitted to the NY bar, right?  How did you become interested in becoming an app developer?

Yes, I’m an agent for about one more week, until I’m sworn in as an attorney.  I’ve always liked programming, probably because it’s in my blood.  My dad got his undergraduate degree in applied math, which was computer programming when computers were the size of a small car.  Later, in the mid-1980s, he was one of the first attorneys to use a computer in his law practice, then started his own software company in the 90s, and put out his own iPad app, Form 14, in January.  (It calculated child support using Missouri guidelines.)  I took a programming class in college, but didn’t consider it as a career.  Later, as an engineer, I modified pieces of software that were in place at the time.  I dabbled in coding a game for the XBox but never made anything worth releasing.  When I started in patent law, I realized that I needed something to distinguish myself as a patent professional.  There will always be people with better degrees, or better grades, so why would a client pick me?  So I’d say I got into iOS programming half for my own enjoyment, and half to show a subset of potential clients that I can handle at least some of their inventive subject matter.

4.  Do you have any advice for others who are interested in developing their own apps?

I’d say dream big, but start small.  My first app, Dial-a-Patent, was a slightly tweaked calculator from the first tutorial of Paul Hegarty’s iOS development class on iTunes U.  I wanted to do amazing things, but I had to keep it in perspective.  Also, I’d estimate that learning Objective-C and Xcode took me around fifty hours.  That’s just time spent running through tutorials and reading about syntax!   That being said, if a person is dedicated enough, once they get past the initial learning curve, integrating functionality is not nearly as daunting.  If a person has capital but not time, there are lots of talented programmers out there who would make an app for cheap.

5.  Are you currently working on new apps?  Any hints?

Since I’ve started developing, I’ve had people approach me with a few non-legal ideas, almost all of which incorporate the  most interesting features of iOS: animation, facial recognition, photo integration, geolocation, 3D modeling, RSS feeds, and so on.  Unfortunately, because they are for other people or entities, I can’t really discuss them.  I’ve considered doing apps for other areas of law, or law students, but don’t have a “hook,” like patent illustration, just yet.  The next thing that I’ll release will probably be a patent form app.  It would be useful if you need to fill out an IDS, or declaration, and don’t have your computer in front of you.  In addition, there will be a couple of other features that I hope will utilize the benefits of the hardware.

6.  What are your favorite apps for (a) work and (b) play?

I  don’t use too many apps at work, other than my own!  But I can say that Penultimate and iAnnotate PDF really helped when I was studying for the patent bar.  For fun, the app I’ve used most, hands down, is Hipstamatic.  I play a good number of games on the subway, like NBA 2K12 and Final Fantasy Tactics.  And apps like HBO Go and Netflix provide a good dose of entertainment at the end of the day.

Announcing New AIPLA Women in IP Blog   Leave a comment

Many apologies for the recent silence. I have been working on a new blog for the American Intellectual Property Association (AIPLA) Women in IP Committee. I am happy to announce that the blog is up and running.  Visit www.womeninip.wordpress.com for news, announcements, articles, book reviews and inspiration!

The blog was officially unveiled at the AIPLA Mid-Winter Institute in Las Vegas this week, during the Women in IP Breakfast that was sponsored by my firm, Drinker Biddle & Reath.  The breakfast was a great success, and I really enjoyed the entire meeting.  It allowed me to connect with other IP attorneys and to make valuable new friendships and connections.

Posted January 27, 2012 by deboraplehn in AIPLA

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