• A Journey Through the Chinese Patent System: The differences in how patent rights are treated

    The trade dispute between the US and China started with a US accusation of intellectual property theft on the part of China.  Is China really “stealing” intellectual property?  I’m not so sure.  Perhaps the Chinese are stealing trade secrets, and if parties are engaged in such activities they should be punished, but there is a lot of taking that has been legitimized – even authorized – by the Congress and the Supreme Court in recent years.  U.S. patent law is today enabling foreign…

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  • Trademarks: What Entrepreneurs Need to Know about Securing and Protecting Trademarks

    Trademarks protect distinctive marks, such as brand names, logos, and designs.  This protection allows a trademark holder to exclude others from using the mark without permission of the owner. The following includes important, basic information about trademarks, as well as how start-ups can protect their trademarked intellectual property.

    The post Trademarks: What Entrepreneurs Need to Know about Securing and Protecting Trademarks appeared first on IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law.

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  • CLE on Analyzing Federal Circuit Opinions

    LexisNexis will be offering a CLE event on “How to Analyze Federal Circuit Opinions on Patent Law” on October 24, 2018 from 3:30 to 4:30 pm (ET) at The National Press Club in Washington, DC. Donald Chisum, the author of Chisum on Patents, will discuss how to analyze the opinions of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to assess their impact on patent law and practice, and will illustrate how to “deconstruct” sometimes opaque opinions using recent cases from 2018 as examples. Cases that will be covered include: • Monsanto v. DuPont: opinion by Judge Wallach on inherent…

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  • Webinar on Patenting Machine Learning and AI Innovations

    Technology Transfer Tactics will be offering a webinar entitled “Patenting Machine Learning and AI Innovations: Strengthen Your Claims to Avoid Rejection” on October 16, 2018 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (ET). Gregory Rabin of Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner will address the following topics: • Definition of machine learning and types of machine learning • Drafting claims for machine learning technology (simple non-real-life example) • Real-life example that overcame a patentable subject matter (35 U.S.C. § 101) rejection • Patent Office Art Units for machine learning inventions • Berkheimer v. HP and its departure from Alice • Patent Office Berkheimer Memorandum…

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    $$ Such distortion functions should be centred on the optical axis. / このようなひずみ関数は、光軸に中心を置かれるべき…

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  • Language Barriers and Machine Translation

    One of the more expensive parts of acquiring global patent protection is having a patent application translated into the relevant language for local patent offices. This is typically viewed simply as an administrative cost of the patent system, though my survey of how scientists use patents suggested that these translation costs may improve access to information about foreign inventions. As I wrote then, “[t]he idea that patents might be improving access to existing knowledge through mandatory translations and free accessibility is a very different disclosure benefit from the one generally touted for the patent system and seems worthy of further study.” E.g., if researchers at a U.S. firm publish their results only in English but seek patent protection in the United States and Japan, then Japanese researchers who don’t speak English would be able to read about the work in the Japanese patent.

    I’ve also been interested in the proliferation of machine translation tools for patents—which can make patents even more accessible, but which also might limit this comparative advantage of patents over scientific publications if machine translation of journal articles becomes commonplace.

    I don’t know of much data on the actual economic impact of any of these translation tools, so I was intrigued to spot a new empirical study about the benefits of machine translation for international trade: Does Machine Translation Affect International Trade? Evidence from a Large Digital Platform. Three researchers from MIT and Washington University, Erik Brynjolfsson, Xiang Hui, and Meng Liu, found that the introduction of eBay Machine Translation increased international trade on the platform by 17.5%. They conclude: “Our results provide causal evidence that language barriers significantly hinder trade and that AI has already begun to improve economic efficiency in at least one domain.”

    Of course, this trade benefit of machine translation is different from the effect on patent disclosure, but the study made me wonder if a similar methodology could be applied by the hosts of patent translation tools (e.g., WIPO, EPO, SIPO) to study the increase in access to patent documents from different countries. Such a study could be a nice complement to survey-based work about how researchers in different countries access information about foreign work, and how machine translation fits into this picture. I’m not currently planning any of this work myself, but if the topic interests you, feel free to email—it seems like a fruitful area for a number of studies, and I’d love to share more thoughts and advice.

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