An Overview and Comparison of U.S. and Japanese Patent Litigation

Kyle Pietari

In recent decades, patent systems have taken a lead role in shaping the global economy. This trend has been particularly clear in the U.S. and Japan, two of the world’s largest economies that are home to two of the most utilized patent systems. Many people are familiar with how patents are enforced in one of these nations, but not the other. With globalization, patent litigation is becoming an increasingly international practice, and understanding the fundamentals of patent litigation in multiple key jurisdictions can be of crucial importance for a party to a patent dispute. 


Written By: Roland Casillas
      Web and Blog Editor

Patent No. 6,481,784 B2

Pickup Truck Tent Camping System

Inventors: Lee B. Cargill

Assignee: Enel Company


When All You Have is a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail
In re Tam and the Federal Circuit's Conflation of Federal Trademark Registration and the First Amendment

Drew Jurgensen

In December 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) issued an en banc decision in the In Re Tam case. The decision of the Federal Circuit reversed settled case law that has stood for the past seventy years. The court held that the “disparaging provision” of the Lanham Act is unconstitutional on its face because it fails the strictest form of judicial scrutiny in violating the First Amendment rights of a trademark owner without offering a narrowly tailored regulation that directly advances a compelling government interest. The disparaging provision, which allows the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to deny federal trademark registration to marks that “disparage . . . or bring [a substantial composite of a referenced group] into contempt, or disrepute,” has now been effectively removed from the USPTO’s toolkit by way of the federal circuit court that has direct appellate review power over the Office.

Written By: Roland Casillas
     Web and Blog Editor

Patent No. 3,375,836A

Folding and Automobile-Transportable Camping Tent

Inventors: Lara Domeneghetti


The Patent Attorney in Popular Culture 

Robert M. Jarvis

Popular culture is filled with lawyers. Prosecutors and defenders are the most commonly seen, with civil litigators following closely behind. Patent attorneys, on the other hand, almost never appear. Still, with enough digging, such characters can be located. Discussed below are the ones I have been able to find. (See article for footnotes).


Evolution of Music Players

Written By: Roland Casillas
      Web and Blog Editor

With Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival currently taking place, I thought it would be interesting to look into our past and see what portable music devices were used. Here is a brief history of our portable music devices.

First, starting with the Transistor Radios, U.S. Pat. No. 2,892,931, Richard Koch designed a miniature sized transistor radio that could fit inside an ordinary shirt pocket. To make this device commercially acceptable, he had to come up with an acceptable battery life, meaning create circuitry to consume minimal voltage so as to power the device for longer period of time.

Second, the Portable Lightweight Record Player, U.S. Pat. No. 3,218,081, Augusto Gentilini designed a portable record player that would fit inside of a small suitcase. The reason for a reduction in size was because of the altered motor arrangement. This arrangement also limited the vibration caused by the motor due to the connection with a suspended rubber plate and offsetting the weight of the motor by adding an adjustable weight. 


Patents in Outer Space: An Approach to the Legal Framework of Future Inventions

Juan Felipe Jiménez

Space is a challenge for patent law. From the first Apollo moon mission, to the astronauts on board today’s International Space Station, man has used technology in outer space. But what happens if the technology used on these missions is patented on Earth? Because patent rights are territorial, use of patented technology in outer space is presumptively non-infringing, and accordingly requires no license. As increasingly frequently private commercial actors are exploring space, this lack of patent enforcement has the capacity to distort incentives to invent technology that is primarily designed for use outside the Earth’s boundaries. While some countries have tried to solve this problem by applying their domestic patent law extra-territorially, an international solution is required.


From Camera Obscura To Camera Futura - How Patents Shaped Two Centuries of Photographic Innovation and Competition

Elliot Brown, Ben Hattenbach, and Ian Washburn

The development of photographic technology has been one of the defining achievements of the last several centuries. About a thousand years ago, the state of the art approach to recording imagery involved what was called a ”camera obscura.” This device was a large box or even a full room with a hole in one side, which was used to project an upside-down image of its surroundings on a screen, enabling one to trace the image onto paper. Less than two hundred years ago, the cutting-edge technology for imaging was the daguerreotype, an expensive and unwieldy process through which a delicate image could be etched onto silver-coated copper plates that had been sensitized in iodine vapor. Today, in contrast, the Internet provides ready access to gigapixel imagery captured by space telescopes of galaxies billions of light years away. Even run of-the-mill consumer equipment offers image-stabilized autofocus lenses and image sensors whose tens of millions of pixels can capture details in near darkness.

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