Sunday, November 06, 2005

Some Patents Aren't Meant to Be

For the bulk of my career I have marketing things, mainly semiconductors (aka "computer chips). More recently I have marketed services, specifically outsource manufacturing services.

Now I am marketing...knowledge. My new job title is Director of Business Development and Licensing. That last part of my title opens up a whole new area of knoweldge for me, so I will be spending a lot of time learning the intracacies of patents and licensing contracts - which means readers of this blog will do the same.

Right now I am reading up on patent law, which is pretty dry unless "real world" examples are used, in which case it becomes pretty interesting. For example, the process of invalidating or contesting a patent is a lot more interesting when it examines stupid patents that have been granted and overturned. For example :

  • System and method for providing reservations for restroom use
  • Repetitive strain injury assessment
  • Device for perfusing an animal head

The website where these were found has an issue with business-method patents, which I agree has some serious issues, but isn't what I am doing since I am licensing utility patents - i.e. valid methods of manufacturing. Utility patents are pretty straight forward in the U.S., but the area I have to watch out for - and that is most applicable to my job - is overseas patent enforcement, especially in China. So expect some blog entries in the future on this area of development.

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