Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Boy in Texas seeks patent for device warning police child is in a hot car


An 11-year-old buy, Bishop, in McKinney, TC (north of Dallas on US 175 – Experian is located there now) has invented a device to sense when a child or pet is left in a hot car and that will call police.
 
NBC News has the story here  and it was on nightly news tonight.

This certainly sounds like a good and valid use of patent, and a patent will be applied for.
 
The article also explains the psychology of forgetting a child in a car – competing parts of the brain.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Supreme Court rules that the "commercial" First Amendment protects "disparaging" trademarks in "Slants" case (also would apply to Redskins football)


The Supreme Court ruled, 8-0 (Gorsuch was not yet seated) that the USPTO cannot refuse to register trademarks just because a minority group (or suspect class) finds it disparaging.

Robert Barnes has a detailed analysis in the Washington Post today here.
 
The case is about an Asian-American rock group called the “Slants” that tried to trademark its name, bringing back stereotyped slurs from the days of the Vietnam war. The case is named Matal v. Tan.

Some sources criticize the opinion as saying that the “Bill of Rights is about making money”.  Maybe trademark law really is. That idea could put domain names for efforts not sufficiently commercial at risk, if challenged by others who think that the same wordmarks could make money, employ people, and even pay for health insurance (the Trump effect).


This would mean that the Washington Redskins will be able to trademark their team name (again) and probably won’t do a name change.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Patent claims on notification of customers of delivery


Electronic Frontier Foundation reports on a case “Triple7Vaping.com” against “Shipping & Transit LLC” in a news story here.

The plaintiff claims a patent relating to the reporting of the status of delivery vehicles.  This would seem to jeopardize the normal online access to information on packages you have ordered, at least to a home (maybe not to a UPS store).
 
It’s hard to see how this could be a real patent unless it is a specific smartphone or web application.