Do You Recognize These Winter Patents?

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Our Olympic theme continues as we show you five interesting patents that showcase winter gear that are still very much used today. Chloe Kim’s Gold medal win in snowboarding couldn’t have happened without a snowboard and how would we be able to watch the USA-Canada ice hockey game if the hockey stick was never invented?

Sports technology is constantly progressing as the need for lighter and more aerodynamic materials increases each year. The Olympics often showcase cutting edge equipment that help enable new world records to shatter each year. Whilst people around the world were making variations of the patented items below long before they were officially registered, the patents led to mass production and thus the widespread enjoyment of sports such as skiing and ice hockey.

  1. Snowmaker

The first snowmaker was patented in 1926 by James W. Martin Jr. The design created a method of using carbon dioxide to make snow[1].

  1. Snowboard

Two Swedish brothers and their relative relocated to Illinois and filed the following patent in 1939[2] for the first snowboard that they nicknamed ‘bunker’: The original was described by Burgeson’s son as being a 15lb curved piece of oak that they strapped their feet to with a leather strap. It wasn’t until 2004 when his son found out that the ‘snowboard’ originated from his father’s patent[3].

  1. Ski Lift

The first ‘ski towing device’ was filed in 1939 by George V. Dondero[4].

  1. Hockey stick

In 1925, the two-piece hockey stick was patented by The Hespeler stick company from Ontario[5]. This design was easier to produce in large quantities which led to more availability and production of the sticks.

  1. Skates

O.W. Everett filed a patent for skates that could be attached to a pair of boots in 1901[6].

[1] USPTO

[2] USPTO

[3] Transworld Snowboarding

[4] USPTO

[5] USPTO

[6] USPTO

IP Trends of 2017: Keeping up with the Changing Patent Landscape

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Our IP Trends Indicator gives you a view into what your IP colleagues are doing to keep up with the changing patent landscape. If you are in private practice, you will find plenty of insight into what your in-house clients are facing, so you can better advise and serve them.

This year’s survey showed that overall patent activity and international filing rates rose in 2016 with over 41% of those polled having filed more than half of their patent applications overseas in 2016 (compared to just 34% filing more than half abroad in 2015). The report also shows an increase in the number of patents filed, as nearly three quarters of respondents filed more than four patents, with 24% filing 50 or more (up from 16% in 2015).

This year’s Indicator also reflects an increase in the number of countries where patents were filed compared to 2015. More than 73% of respondents filed patents in four or more countries (up from 62% filing into four or more in 2015). With the increased volume of countries targeted, patent filings expanded into new markets led by destinations in South America and Asia. The overwhelming majority of those (96%) were filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

You can view the full report by clicking here.

WIPO’s IP Facts & Figures Report

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The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently released their annual report, IP Facts and Figures, 2015 based off their more comprehensive release, World Intellectual Property Indicators, 2015. This most recent indicator serves as a quick reference guide for four different areas of industrial property, including patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial design.

Some highlights from this report are highlighted below: 

Overall, global filing activity for patents and trademarks grew in 2014, representing the fifth year that applications have increased for these IP rights. 2.7 million patent applications were filed worldwide in 2014, up from 4.5% in 2013. Trademark filings rose by 6%, similar to the growth rate seen in the previous two years.

Of the estimated 10.2 million patents in force in 2014, 25% were in the United States, followed by 19% in Japan. In China, the number of patents in force doubled from about 600,000 in 2010 to 1.2 million in 2014.

In 2014, a total of 33.1 million trademarks were active in 124 offices worldwide. China accounted for most trademarks, with about 8.4 million. The US and Japan were a close second and third with 1.85 and 1.8 million respectively.

To download the entire report, click here. Also, follow us on Twitter @inoviaIP for more relevant patent and trademark information.

Foreign Filing Roundup

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Good afternoon. Read on for the latest IP headlines from the week of November 30th:

  • The committee in charge of the EPO’s activities in regards to the Unitary Patent reached an agreement on the distribution of income generated by the payment of the uniform renewal fees by patent owners for maintaining their Unitary Patent. Read more on this here. 
  • The EPO signed a 3-year cooperation plan with the IP office of Serbia, as part of the 95th anniversary of IP protection in the country. Read on. 
  • Great read from the NY Times, « The Best Way to Fight a Patent Demand May Be to Do Nothing: Researcher finds that many companies resolve threats by simply filing them away » Click here for the complete article. 
  • Congratulations to RWS Group for winning the Golden Bridge Trade & Export Award in the category for best British medium-sized company last week. The ceremony was held on November 26th in the Belgian Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce Clubhouse.

Have a great weekend. Feel free to follow us on Twitter @inoviaIP for more updates.

Apple to pay $24.9 million in lawsuit

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Apple agreed to pay $24.9 million in restitution to Dynamic Advances and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to resolve a 5-year lawsuit accusing Siri of infringement.

Apple will pay a total of $24.9 million to Dynamic Advances’ with $5 million to be paid after the lawsuit is dropped and the rest to follow later. Apple will also be granted a license to use the technology under the terms of the agreement.

Approximately 50% of the funds will be paid to Rensselaer, however, the royalty rate proposed is still being finalized.

A trial had been scheduled to begin early next month in Syracuse, NY. Dynamic Advances first filed the lawsuit in October 2012 and is in regards to U.S. patent No. 7177798 B2.

Friday Foreign Filing Roundup

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Hello, readers.  Let’s get right to it. Please read on for all foreign filing updates from the week of June 2nd:

  • This great read by the WSJ explores why patents are on the rise (some of the reasons aren’t what you would expect!).  
  • This is the first implementation of fee shifting rules mandated by the Supreme Court in regards to patent trolls. 
  • In country specific news, Denmark has voted yes on the Unified Patent Court (UPC). The agreement will set up a single and specialized EU patent jurisdiction. 
  • This survey indicates that companies are looking forward to the unitary European patent system. 
  • See you back here next week and have a great weekend!

Foreign Filing Roundup

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Good morning, readers. We hope everyone had a great first week of fall 2014. Here are the latest updates in foreign patent filing news:

  • The 54th Series of meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO is currently taking place until September 30th.
  • There is no Oktoberfest without patents and innovation! Read on to see how this Munich festival is truly a showcase for patented technology. 
  • The USPTO and KIPO announced a major cooperation treaty this week, designed to improve that patent granting process through streamlined access to patent documentation. 
  • inovia news: WIPO’s PCT September newsletter is out! We’ve recapped the highlights for you here

Have a great weekend and enjoy this spectacular weather! See you back here next week. 

Top 5 Influential Voting Patents on Election Day

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In honor of election day, check out the most significant voting mechanisms from the past 150 years via the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). We’ve narrowed the list down to the top 5 most influential patents of the bunch:

#5 – Patent no. 248,130 (October 11, 1881) – This nifty gadget prevented ballot stuffing:

Voting Aparatus
#4 – Patent no. 628,905 (July 11, 1899) – Issued as a machine that pulled a curtain around the voter:

curtain machine two

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