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Will patent law support Walmart's application for new system

Most Americans, Texas residents included, do at least some online shopping. This means that traditional brick and mortar businesses like Walmart need to find a way to stay relevant and up-to-date in order to compete with other online retail giants like Amazon. In fact, Walmart is now hoping that patent law will support its application for a new online system that is already being touted as similar to the "Dash" buttons that Amazon uses.

What does patent law say about utility patents?

Once a Texas inventor creates something, he or she needs to take the next step to secure the legal rights to it. Patent law provides for three general patents, one of which is a utility patent. This type of patent covers the inventions functionality and structure. A design patent covers the way an invention looks, and a plant patent covers new variations of plants that are asexually reproducible.

Patent law issues: Responses to an application

Texas inventors know that securing their intellectual property rights is essential. They carefully fill out their patent applications and send them to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to await a decision. At this point, they know that under patent law, they must wait for a response from an examiner.

Two More Patent Casualties to Alice Ruling

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled that two patents held by Twilio Inc. were invalid under Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank because the patents fell under the category of abstract ideas implemented by a computer. This blog has highlighted several patents over the past few months that included an Alice analysis, and this case follows the same line of thinking.

Sen. Orrin Hatch weighs in on patent law case before the USSC

When filing a lawsuit against a company, it needs to be filed in the place where the company was formed or where it has substantial business ties. This location represents the "venue" where the case is heard, which for some companies could include a variety of locations. When it comes to patent law cases, lawsuits are often filed in locations where goods that supposedly infringe on another's patent are sold. It might surprise many people to know that in 2015, a favorite venue for these cases was right here in Texas, according to Sen. Orrin Hatch.

Dow Seeking En Banc Hearing in Patent Infringement Suit

On Monday, April 3, Law360 reported that Dow Agrosciences, LLC ("Dow"), a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, has requested an en banc hearing by the Federal Circuit to review a prior ruling by the Federal Circuit. In March, a three-judge panel awarded Bayer Cropscience NV ("Bayer"), a Bayer Corp. subsidiary, a $450 million judgment in a dispute between the companies over patents controlling weeds. The ruling, issued March 1, held that the review of arbitration awards is "very limited." Dow is now arguing this interpretation is incorrect because the decision violates public policy.

Approved patent law application could charge up smartphones

How many Texas residents have found their smartphones running out of battery life with no way to charge them? Well, that could change now that Sony's patent law application was approved. The tech giant patented a way for one smartphone to draw battery power from another.

Costco Teeing Up A Patent Lawsuit Against One Of Golf's Heavy Hitters

The end of March is always an exciting time for golfers. Spring time is on the horizon, daylight savings has provided us with more sunshine at the end of the day, and the Masters is right around the corner. This year is shaping up nicely - most of the world's top players are playing well early in the season, and Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, and Rickie Fowler have each already won this year. But a few weeks before the Masters, a surprising name is making a splash in the golf industry. On Monday, multiple sources reported that Costco Wholesale Corporation has filed suit in the Western District of Washington seeking a declaratory judgment that it does not infringe on eleven patents for golf balls held by Acushnet, the parent company of industry leader Titleist.

FigureFun Building a Patent Infringement Case Against Lego

On Monday, World IP Review reported that a U.S. based business called FigureFun filed suit against Lego Systems in the Eastern District of Texas on March 8. The suit focuses on Lego's alleged infringement of two patents, Patent. No. 7,001,276 for "Gaming machine and server therefor" and Patent No. 7,338,377 for "Token with built-in IC chip." An IC chip is an integrated circuit chip, which is set of electronic circuits on a single chip. The advantages of integrated circuits are two-fold: they are both cheaper and perform better than a traditional electronic circuit. FigureFun alleges Lego is infringing upon its '276 patent by the development of Lego Dimensions, a video game for PlayStation, XBOX, and Nintendo Wii. FigureFun alleges Lego is infringing upon its '377 patent because characters in Lego Dimensions include "a token for a gaming machine on which a player plays a game by controlling the character."

Does patent law need to be reinvented?

Many Texas residents might feel as though they blink and the technology they use every day changes. Companies in the technology industry always seem to be tweaking and changing existing technology to do more. Just as many people have issues keeping up with the changes, some would say that outdated patent law is having the same problem.

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