10 Patents That Shaped the Intellectual Property World

Intellectual Property Patents

10 Patents That Shaped the Intellectual Property World

Laws that come into order – or laws that are abolished – can have a massive impact on society and the way the world functions. But did you know that this is also applicable to intellectual property? Did you know that there are certain cases of intellectual property and patents that have also shaped the world in a permanent way?

MDE Patents has compiled a list of ten patents that are popular, and have shaped the current world:

1. Dropbox

Filed ten years ago, this patent by MIT alumni Houston and Ferdowski detailed the concept of cloud-based file sharing. Dropbox’s patent described a synchronized manner in which files could be stored online, and multiple users could share them and view multiple versions of the file. Today, Dropbox’s methods are the base for multiple independent creators, personal logs, and businesses.

2. Zynga

Zynga’s name brings to mind the image of mobile based gaming, and multi-player adventures. That is exactly what their patent anticipated, too. Filed in late 2008, Zynga’s vice president detailed a patent for gaming technology where characters and character teams had the ability to challenge other players based on characteristics in the profile. It was a concept that took off with an unprecedented vertical growth, and changed the casual gaming world forever.

3. GoPro

GoPro is such a known name among videographers, travelers, and adventurers that it has almost become a verb instead of a noun. While the concept of recording one’s trip or tricks is not a new one (having been done since the invention of portable cameras), GoPro patented their special harness in early 2004. It detailed the invention as a camera holder that would allow the fixing of a camera on one’s body, which would not dislodge during any activity. While their cameras are more known now, that patented harness is what launched their entire brand value.

4. NASA

NASA patented their weather prediction technology in 2016, in the hopes of preventing future disasters that cost loss of lives, property, and millions of dollars of damage. The earthquake predictive equipment can detect shifts in tectonic activity by measuring fluctuations in magnetic fields. The use of such technology could also change meteorology reports and navigation systems.

5. Walmart

The supermarket chain could not have predicted creating a world-changing patented technology, but it did. Filing a patent for robotic bees, Walmart intends to create a positive effect on the otherwise endangers agricultural industry. The drones are said to be able to identify crops and pollinate them – something that could be potentially lifesaving given the endangered status of bees worldwide.

6. Samsung

A tech giant like Samsung no doubt has multiple patented ideas – and some patent disputes as well. But their healthcare technology takes the cake. Although not the first automated surgical device, the Samsung surgical robot had higher mobility, greater articulation, and an endoscopic camera – all steps forward in the future of medical technology.

7. Crown Cork

An old one but a golden one. The Crown Cork patent by William Painter was nothing short of revolutionary, in that it preserved the fizz and freshness of carbonated drinks in their glass bottles. You can thank Painter for the bubbliness of your soda, or the lack of flat beer when you take it out of the fridge.

8. Kelloggs

A staple to all diets, Kelloggs’ cereal patent is another classic. The patent is technically on flaked cereal, an accidental discovery by John Harvey Kellogg when he forgot to properly store a wheat dough slab. Today, it is one of the most consumed and varied forms of breakfast foods.

9. Marshall

Paul Marshall patented the technology for virtual reality in 2000 in order to analyze financial data, and create improved outputs. Today, two decades later, VR has become a staple icon of futuristic technology. From games to apps, healthcare, and even research – the world has taken the VR concept and transformed it into something new.

10. Apple

Nothing spells transformation like the iPhone. Apple’s cellular device is now a household name, from its software and interface, to its design and name. Funnily enough, the original patent description wouldn’t help you recognize it as the signature iPhone. It was simply for an electronic, handheld device. Nonetheless, it was a game changer in global, private communication.

Visit our website to discover more such interesting pieces of information and exhaustive knowledge on the patent industry.

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michael eisenberg attorney

Protect your invention in the USA by obtaining a patent and trademark now from an attorney. Affordable prices and highest success rate from MDE Patents.

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Who are Patent Trolls? How Do They Work?

Who are Patent Trolls? How Do They Work?

Who are Patent Trolls? How Do They Work?

The patent and trademark legal branch is very closely linked to commercial profit and claim. So, there is no doubt that it has to frequently deal with wrongful claims and defamation, all for the sake of undeserved profit, publicity stunts, or press. Patent trolls happen to fall into this very category of “bad apples”.

In legal jargon, patent troll is actually a word with negative connotations. They are companies or entities who make patent infringement claims in court, purely to make profit or block competitors from being able to make a similar product. It is important to understand that this process is not strictly illegal, but it is frowned upon. One of the main examples in this day and age, are the multiple pharmaceutical companies attempting to patent the research work for potential COVID-19 vaccines and cures.

Another example of a patent troll is a company earning the right to charge tolls for a roadway, but not putting the money to use for repairs and improvements of the roadway. In this case, the patent troll or “patent shark” is using the patent to generate revenue without an equal exchange of any material benefits. The aim of the parent then becomes purely top line generation.

Other instances of patent trolling include buying patents from bankrupt companies for the sole purpose of removing all competitors from the market. Another one is enforcing a patent without intent of manufacturing the product. In all these situations, the intentions of the patent are far from actual protection of intellectual property to preserve the rights of the creator. They exist purely to glean money or to harm others in the same field of work.

One of the reasons why patent trolls are so successful is because of the amount of money that goes into a patent lawsuit. The fees for license lie in the range of tens of thousands of dollars – however, patent lawsuits can run into millions of dollars. As a result, smaller companies who are seen as competitors are likely to settle instead of fighting over the patent, even if no infringement has occurred.

In this way, patent trolls create a monopoly in the industry, one which is not actually beneficial to the industry or its consumers in any way. MDE Patents frequently looks into such thin claims and if you are at the receiving end of one, allow us to help you through it.

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michael eisenberg attorney

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Should you use an asset protection trust?

Should you use an asset protection trust?

It is not an easy thing to plan one’s estate. There is a lot of uncertainty in life always, and it is important to keep plans ready in order to ensure that your descendants and assets are all accounted for. It is best to ensure that arrangements are made to account for potential situations where you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

One of the sought-after methods of protecting one’s assets is to opt for a trust. A trust helps you keep control to some extent on how your money is spent. In this article, we offer some understanding into what a trust is and what some of the pros and cons associated with it are.

What is a trust?

An asset pool that is held for the benefit of and use by a beneficiary or a third party is known as a trust. The beneficiary is given assets in a controlled manner by the trustee. Trusts are of two types: those that are established through a will and those that are established when one is still alive (known as ‘living trusts’).

Trusts remain in place until some conditions that have been set earlier are met. For instance, a common way of designing a trust for young children is to permit them full access once they reach the age of eighteen. Therefore, once the child is eighteen, the trust is ended and the inheritance is transferred to them in its entirety.

The creator of the trust is the settlor. For living trusts, the creator can also be the trustee.

Pros and Cons of a Trust

Trusts tend to be more efficient than simply allocating assets through a will. Through a trust, assets are given in a planned, controlled manner. Trusts also help avoid estate taxes and give you the ability to control the manner in which your beneficiary will be receiving the assets. Therefore, a trust can prevent the beneficiary from squandering away the inheritance.

Trusts can also come in use in situations when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. This can be useful to cover medical care and daily expenses.

However, a disadvantage of a trust is that it is more complex to set up in comparison to a will. A lot of time, funding, and effort goes into arranging a trust. It is also difficult to revoke a trust. While one can create a revocable trust, that introduces more complications.

With MDE Patents, you can get more exhaustive information on asset protection trust and get updated advise on same.

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michael eisenberg attorney

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Understanding Trademarks: The Guide

Understanding Trademarks: The Guide

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a trademark is defined as follows.

“A trademark is generally a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.”

Very similarly, a service mark is defined as given below:

“A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods.”

What a trademark does is protect the good or service that is provided by a particular company from any infringement or damage of reputation that could be caused by another company. A trademark ensures that there is legal recourse available in case any other company attempts to use your likeness in order to support their business ventures. This is true regardless of whether the trademark is registered or unregistered.

In this article, the word trademark encompasses trademarks and service marks.

Even when a trademark has not been registered through the USPTO, it is still protected. In this case, it is known as a ‘common law’ trademark. This is something that can be used for small geographical locations. However, this cannot translate nationally, because it is possible for different companies across the country to have similar logos or names.

By using a trademark without registering it, there is protection via common law. However, it is better to opt for a trademark by registration because more protection is offered.

Registering a trademark ensures the following:

  • A notice given to the public about the trademark
  • The right to use to the trademark across the nation when distributing goods or services becomes exclusive
  • One can bring legal action in federal court in case of infringement
  • It becomes possible to obtain a trademark even in foreign countries
  • It is possible to file with US Customs and therefore, prevent mock goods from being imported into the country

Sometimes, trademarks and trade names are used interchangeably. However, this is incorrect. A trade name is nothing but the name of the business. It is the trademark that goes beyond the name and identifies the brand name of the company. It is possible for the trade name and the trademark to be the same, but the terms themselves are interchangeable.

Since trademarks prevent infringement, having a trademark that is easy to identify, defines the business, and adds value to the brand. A specific and iconic trademark is the best way to go. Having a vague name or logo is not only bad for marketing, but also may not be eligible to even be a trademark.

Companies must keep certain things in mind when considering trademarks. For instance, two businesses in different industries can use the same trademark. It only qualifies as infringement if the businesses operate in the same industry. Furthermore, a state trademark only protects you within a state, not the entire country. Finally, a trademarked good in the US does not protect your trademark in any other country. You must apply for a trademark in every country where you do business.

Once you have registered a trademark, it also becomes your responsibility to protect it. Companies must always be vigilant about other companies that could be using the same trademark. Turning a trademark or the company name into a verb can pose a risk. Use the logo of trademark (™) or service mark (SM) to clearly show your claim to the name. Find ways to distinguish your logo from others by using different styles or fonts.

The effectiveness of the trademark is also retained when the company does not stray away from the style. This is useful for brand recognition.

Trademarks do not cost a business too much. Every five and ten years, they can be renewed for a few hundred dollars. After five years, a company can also apply to have the trademark be ‘uncontestable’. If this application is granted, other companies will find it harder to defend themselves against your company in court.

At MDE patents, we are committed to ensuring that the process to register for your trademark is as smooth as possible. Contact us today!

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michael eisenberg attorney

Protect your invention in the USA by obtaining a patent and trademark now from an attorney. Affordable prices and highest success rate from MDE Patents.

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