First Inventor To File

First Inventor to FileThe America Invents Act, or senate bill S.23 and house bill H.R.1249, has stirred controversy since it’s inception, but the most attention has been focused on the switch from a “First to Invent” to a “First to File” patent system.

This is a misconception that needs to be cleared up.  The new patent laws do not define the United States Patent & Trademark Office to operate under a first to file policy, but rather a first inventor to file concept.

This is an important difference as it requires the potential patentee to sign an oath of declaration that they are in fact the true inventor or face criminal charges.  So if an inventor discloses their idea to a shady individual and that person runs to the patent office, they would not have a legitimate claim on the invention.

This leaves the only possible scenario in which an inventor could lose their rights is simultaneous, non collaborative development on the same idea.  There is a very small chance of this occurring – .01%  according to USPTO statistics.  There has also never been a case where a true first inventor has not won the patent dispute.

We feel the current patent reform is heading in the right direction and the concern over the inventor to receive patent issuance is unwarranted.  The new changes will allow individual inventors and small businesses to obtain more affordable patents at a faster rate.

The increased power of the patent office will also reduce costs for inventors defending patents.  Overall the patent reform bill will perform as expected – reducing the USPTO backlog and stimulate innovation in our distressed economy.

 

Add Your New Invention To Invents.com!

inventions logoWe are excited to announce the availability of our product listing page.  You are now able to create your own web page for each of your inventions with a unique name, such as “Bob’s-Hamburger-Maker”, hosted on Invents.com.  These product listings are available from your Inventor’s Dashboard, available to you after you complete our simple and free registration process.

Functionality is currently limited to uploading images and text describing your product, along with preferred contact information.  Our programmers are still hard at work, and will not stop there.  We have plans to implement many more features, including the ability to password protect your page.

Once your create your product page, your invention will be added to our directory of new ideas.  Give the masses a chance to see your new invention and contact you with feedback or if they are interested in investing in your product!

Ode to Les Paul – Guitarist and Inventor

As you may have noticed, Google.com has posted an interactive guitar widget as their “logo of the day” to honor Les Paul – who passed away in August of 2009.  Lester William Polsfuss, or “Les Paul”,  was a famous guitarist and inventor.  His contributions to the music industry are legendary, most notably his innovative developments of the solid-body electric guitar.
Although Les Paul was not the first on the electric guitar scene, his approaches to overdubbing,  phasing effects, multi-track recording, and delay effects were the first to attract the public’s eye.  He was also an inventive guitar player, developing many new styles and techniques on instrument.  Les Paul was, and still is,  a legend in the industry and is one of very few artists with a permanent display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  He would have turned 96 this year – Rest in peace Les Paul.

New Features for Inventors coming soon!

We are always looking for ways to better serve inventors and give them the tools they need to succeed.  As such, we are proud to announce the development of our new site addition – Invention Idea Pages.  This feature will allow inventors to upload their invention information along with photos or drawings.  You will also be able to enter your relevant contact information.  Inventors can create and edit as many pages as they wish and can choose to make them private (accessible only with a username and password) or public – available to everyone on the internet.  The pages will allow inventors to gain additional exposure on the web, and can compliment the Press Release section already hosted on our site.   We will be launching this feature in the upcoming weeks and hope to see your new invention listed soon!

Martin Jetpack Brings Personal Aviation to New Height

Christchurch, New Zealand – Jetpack developer Martin Aircraft Company have successfully tested their new jetpack.  The device reached 5000 ft at a climb rate of 800ft per minute, shattering the previous record of 50ft at 100ft per minute.  After reaching the peak altitude the pilot successfully deployed the ballistic parachute – a safety feature other jetpacks have lacked until now.
The test flight lasted just under ten minutes over the Canterbury Plains.  The Jetpack’s inventor Glenn Martin said “This successful test brings the future another step closer”.  The company hopes the newest snapshot of the Jetpack’s development generates new excitement for the project.  The invention was first introduced to the public in 2008 at the Oshkosh Air show and touted breakthrough advances in jet pack technology.  At that time the previous record for flight duration was only 26 seconds – the Martin Jetpack was able to stay airborne for up to half an hour.
Interested general aviators and governments alike  are anxiously awaiting the international launch of the product, even at a hefty projected price tag of $100,000 per unit, sales are expected to represent a major source of export income for New Zealand.  Among the expected initial customers are military procurements and emergency response teams.   The extremely small profile of the unit allows the aircraft to land and fly in areas to dangerous for helicopters.  Both manned and unmanned versions will be made available, expanding it’s use for military and government operations.

Gravity Probe B confirms Einstein Genius

The fine folks at NASA have confirmed two of the predictions formulated from Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.  Through the use of ultra-precise gyroscopes housed in a satellite orbiting the earth, scientists have measurable results that indicate both the geodetic effect and frame dragging do occur.  The geodetic effect is the warping of space and time around an object, in this case the earth.  The most simple way to visualize this,  is the bowling ball on a mattress example.  As you look closer to the ball, you will see increased curvature in the mattress.   The effect know as frame dragging takes that same concept and factors in the rotation of the earth.  Imagine a ball floating in honey,  if you  were to rotate the ball you would see the honey begin to swirl around the ball.

To prove these predictions, scientists had to measure their effects within  milliarcseconds, a margin of error about the width of a human hair over 10 miles.  The required precision is exactly why Einstein himself told the scientific community that they should not bother trying to perform laboratory experiments to find the effects.  NASA conducted their tests by using a “start tracker” to point on end of the gyroscope axis at a star, IM Pegasi, while in a polar orbit above the Earth.  Over the course of a year, scientists found the spin axis had changed about 6600 milliarcseconds.  Their findings confirm that the Earth’s mass and rotation had effected the orientation of the gyroscope’s axis and thus proving the predictions true.

The ingenuity of creating this experiment is a great example of human innovation, but the fact Einstein derived at such finite detail through theoretical science provides further proof that he was the greatest mind in our history to date. (For those who doubted it)

The Three-Track System

The Three-Track System: Proposed Changes to the U.S. Patent Revue Process

Inventors seeking U.S. patents may be able fast-track their applications’ reviews by paying an additional surcharge. The unspecified fee will be levied on top of the existing charge for a patent review and would likely result in a final decision within a year.

The proposed changes to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s review process come in response to pressure to curb wait times which have skyrocket in the past several years. In 2003, inventors could expect a decision in just under 27 months, on average, compared with nearly 35 months in 2009. As patent office chief David Kappos points out, “Not every application needs to go at the same speed.”

The new system would divide the queue into three “tracks”. The middle track is similar to the standard process used today, but for an additional fee applicants will be able to have their application moved onto the fast track where they can expect, ideally, to have a first action on the patent’s merits within four months and after given priority status, a final decision within a year. Conversely, applicants not in a rush to get approval may, for a reduced fee, put their application into the third, slowest line, where they can leave it for up to 30 months before being examined. Kappos has also tossed around the idea of splitting up the slow track and its fees into an application and a search stage, and later if the applicant wishes to move forward, the full examination stage.

The change in the USPTO’s system would not mark the first time a government department has charged fees to expedite applications. There is already a similar system in place for passport applicants to speed things up for an extra $60, and for the last year or so the patent office has selectively offered the fast track to applicants working on “green” technologies and those with multiple applications who are willing to drop one.

Critics of the proposed changes worry that the new system will favor big businesses who can afford to pay the additional fees for their inventions, and leave the little guy in the dust. However, small-scale inventors currently pay 50% less than the standard $1090 application fee, and Kappos has suggested that small businesses may, with Congressional approval, receive these same discounts on the fast track, which would keep the playing field as level as it currently is under the first-come, first-served system. Fast track fees will likely be set prohibitively high in order to prevent big businesses, who will receive no discount, from gaining the advantage as a result of the changes.

It has been proposed that the slow track also may give an unfair advantage to some by enabling businesses to hide their inventions from other companies, thereby slowing the traditional process of innovation where one development leads to another. The American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Q. Todd Dickinson, who raised this concern, suggested the problem may be avoided if there were a provision making it mandatory that applications be published within 18 months of filing for a patent, regardless of approval.

The new three-track system stands to solve two problems at once: bottlenecks in the patent review process and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s ongoing money woes. It is part of a greater effort by Kappos and the Obama administration to improve the overall efficiency of the patent office. Under the current process, everyone alike is suffering due to the bottleneck in applications. With the new system, Kappos hopes to be able to bring wait times for the middle track to less than 20 months, which would mark the lowest in nearly a decade, with the added benefit that fees for fast-tracking projects will inject some cash into the struggling USPTO’s coffers.

Kappos’ proposed changes may also ease another current problem in which delays have become so long that by the time patents are approved, the technologies concerned are no longer necessarily new. Such incidents have led to lengthy and expensive legal battles, the costs of which far exceed the new fees, which in any case are optional.

New article on The Patent Process

patentEverything you need to know about the patent application process!  Check out our new article on filing a patent application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office.  We discuss how to search for existing patents, register with the USPTO, efile your application, and respond to your first office action.  Stay tuned for more in depth information on the invention and patent process.

Space X Plans Manned Missions

SpaceX, the pioneer in privatized space missions, is currently planning on sending manned space ships to Mars within the next 10 to 20 years.  In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, claimed they will send people in space in lest than 3 years, and has colonization in the company’s long term goals.

“I want SpaceX to help make life multi-planetary,” he said. “We’re going all the way to Mars, I think. Best case, 10 years, worst case, 15 to 20 years.”

The young entrepreneur, best known for co-founding PayPal and Tesla Motors, went on to clarify that SpaceX had no political interest in expanding human interest to other planets, but rather aims to serve as simply a transportation provider. “We want to be like the shipping company that brought people from Europe to America, or like the Union Pacific railroad.” said Musk.  ” Our goal is to facilitate the transfer of people and cargo to other planets, and then it’s going to be up to people if they want to go,”

While this goal is certainly ambitious, many critics have said it cannot be achieved in the set timeline, Elon is generating excitement (and jobs)  in a field that has remained stagnant for many years.  Whether or not he makes it to Mars, he is sure to be on the forefront of innovation in space travel.