The Patent Librarian’s Notebook is the personal blog focuses on patent law of Michael White, a librarian for research services in the Engineering and Science Library at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He has been working with patent information since 1991, including seven years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
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A UK judge has decided that Pringles aren't potato chips, which could save Procter & Gamble millions in taxes every year. The judge based his decision in part on the fact that the chip-like snack is only 42 percent potato. The UK doesn't apply sales tax to most foods, but potato chips and other...
The Globe and Mail has launched a new monthly feature profiling great Canadian inventions and inventors. The first inventor profiled is Al Gross (1918-2000) who pioneered the development of two-way radio systems (walkie-talkie) in the 1930s. Mr. Gross, who was also known as Irving J. Gross,...
PatentScope now includes licensing information for PCT applications. PCT applicants who wish to make their applications available for licensing may request so by filing the appropriate forms. (See the December 2011 PCT Newsletter.) As of March 19, only a handful of published applications have...
Today's Globe and Mail carried a death notice for a Lawrence Abello SJ, a Jesuit priest who passed away on January 22 at the age of 80. According to his obit, Abello earned a PhD in physics from Wayne State University and was an inventor. In 1975 he obtained US and Canadian patents for a device for...
There's a nice summary of the recent changes in U.S. patent law in the Jan. issue of Physics Today, and their relevance to academic scientists and engineers. The American Invents Act moves the U.S. from a first-to-invent system to a (modified) first-to-file system. Under the pure first-to-file...
Wikipedia continues to be a favorite source of prior art references for inventors filing patent applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The number of issued U.S. patents that cite Wikipedia articles increased by 26.3 percent in 2011, reaching an all-time high of 2,425. This is...
Inventor/actress Hedy Lamarr is the subject of a new bio by Richard Rhodes:Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World. New York: Doubleday, 2011. In 1942 Lamarr and composer George Antheil patented (US 2292387) a "secret communication...
In 2011 the USPTO issued 225,777 patents and published 321,181 applications for a total of 568,577 patent documents, a 1.5 percent decrease from 2010. The USPTO has published approximately 2.9 million utility and plant patent applications since March 15, 2001. Published applications now account...
The USPTO is now using series code 13 for patent application serial numbers assigned from the end of 2010 forward. The first application in the series, 13/000,001, was published on May 26, 2011 (2011/0121738A1). Series code 12 was in use from December 2007 to early 2011.
The USPTO has updated its homepage, the first major redesign in more than five years. The new design is modern and eye-catching. Unfortunately, the search interface of the USPTO patent database looks like it did in 1999.