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].



[3] Transworld Snowboarding




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.

Friday Foreign Filing Roundup

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Hello and Happy Friday! We have collected the latest headlines in foreign patent filing news for your consideration:

  • This interesting blog post looks at whether or not song titles should be entitled to IP protection in India.  What are your thoughts on the topic?
  • The US International Trade Commission is investigating US – EU trade-related barriers for small and medium sized corporations.
  • In honor of summer, this article investigates newly issued patents relating to surfing.
  • inovia news: Check out our latest article, “The European Unitary Patent: Updates and Developments”.

Please follow us out on Twitter @inoviaIP.  Have a great weekend, folks!

Friday Foreign Filing Roundup

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Good morning and Happy Friday.  As the summer continues to fly by, take some time to read the latest updates in foreign patent filing news:

  • This week marks the 223rd anniversary of the first granted US patent. Here’s to 223 more years of innovation!
  • To all of our creative readers, Denver is in need of a new name for their U.S. Patent and Trademark office.
  • In preparation for the Unified Patent Court in Europe, changes are being made to EU rules on the jurisdiction of courts and recognition of judgements.
  • Patent trolls have met their match, “Trolling Effects” aims to unite possible victims against the growing problem.

That’s all for this week! Please check back next Friday and follow us on Twitter @inoviaIP.

Friday Foreign Filing Roundup

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You know the drill! Read below for the latest updates in foreign patent filing news. Have a great weekend and enjoy Superbowl Sunday!

  • inovia news: We have a lot of exciting events lined up in the next few months.  If you or your firm will be in attendance, please contact us here.
  • The US Chamber of Commerce released their Global IP Index which ranks a country’s IP protection. 
  • Google and Samsung signed a deal on technology patents, strengthening their alliance against competitor Apple Inc.  The deal covers the two companies’ existing patents, as well as those filed in the next 10 years.
  • 134 years ago this week, Thomas Edison received U.S. Patent No. 223,898, titled “Electric Lamp”.

Check back next week and follow us on Twitter @inoviaIP for more foreign filing updates!

IP5 Offices Agree on Joint PPH Pilot Program

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The five largest Intellectual Property Offices in the world – the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO), recently agreed to launch a pilot program scheduled to kick off in January of 2014.  This program, known as the IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH), aims to improve the accelerated treatment of patent applications between the five offices and encourages a global framework of work sharing.

According to the heads of these five offices, the primary goal of the PPH is to leverage procedures already in place which accelerate patent examination procedures.  Under the IP5, applicants who have been found patentable by one office may be allowed accelerated processing of their applications before the other countries.  In addition to fast tracking this process, the offices involved will exploit existing work results to the extent practicable. 

According to EPO President Benoît Battistelli, the program will have many benefits.  He states, “I am pleased that the first ever all-inclusive PPH pilot program is launched under the PCT framework. It is a very promising step on the way of facilitating the life of users in five big economic regions which represent 85% of the patents granted in the world.  While the program allows the offices to gain additional experience in utilizing each others available work, it will support the aim of promoting the PCT as the primary global framework for work sharing”. 

As Battistelli notes, the IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway program encourages a global commitment to improving and making patent filing more efficient.  For more information on the IP5 PPH pilot program, please contact Eugen Stohr at the EPO, 

Check out the PPH archive of our blog for news about other recent pilot programs. And as always, learn more about inovia’s services by following us on Twitter @inoviaIP.

Study Finds One in Three Jobs in Europe Generated by IP Industry


The EPO released a report on September 30th detailing the effect of Intellectual Property Rights on the economy in the European Union.  The publication looked at the impact of IPR in terms of GDP, employment, wages and trade.  The study concluded that an overwhelming 40% of all economic activity in Europe is generated by IPR industries.  Broken down, this accounts for €4.7 trillion generated in income and 77 million jobs, or 35% of all current employment. 

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier explained how these IP related industries impact all sectors of the economy: “I am convinced that intellectual property rights play a hugely important role in stimulating innovation and creativity, and I welcome the publication of this study. It will help us to further underpin our evidence-based policy making. What this study shows us is that the use of intellectual property rights in the economy is ubiquitous: from high-tech industries to manufacturers of sports goods, games, toys and computer games, all are making intensive use of not just one, but often several types of IP rights.” 

The study, Intellectual Property Rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in Europe, focuses on all facets of Intellectual Property including patents, trademarks, designs, and copyrights .  The publication covers over 300 industries (engineering, real estate, manufacturing of cars, retail, computers and pharmaceuticals to name a few). As this report concludes, almost half of all EU industries are IP-intensive and 90% of Europe’s trade with the rest of the globe is as a result of these industries.

For more information about this study, please click here. To learn more about inovia’s services, please follow us on Twitter and visit our website.

Friday Foreign Filing Roundup

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Hi everyone! Here’s a roundup of the latest foreign filing/patenting news from the week of January 7th:

  • The USPTO opened a new Patent and Trademark resource center this week, and it’s right in our backyard!
  • It’s been exactly one month since the European Parliament adopted the unitary patent. This article details just how the patent system will be reformed and what applicants can expect.
  • Companies are filing more U.S. patents than ever before, with IBM leading the innovation trend.
  • WIPO has put together a FAQ guide outlining their newly-launched ePCT system. Read more >

Are you interested in a broader look at global intellectual property trends from the last year? Check out our annual report which offers a look at the foreign filing strategies of U.S. patentees.

Friday Foreign Filing Roundup

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Hi everyone! We’re wrapping up this week with a look at the best foreign filing news from around the world:

  • The EPO reported a record number of activities for 2012, with over 65,000 granted patents published.
  • The USPTO is teaming up with the Smithsonian Institution to host this year’s Innovation Expo.
  • WIPO’s newly released 2012 IP Indicators Report shows another record year for global patent filings.
  • Our own, Jeff Shieh, provided a quick update on the new PCT-PPH programs that launched this year. Read more >

If you’re an IP professional in the United States, we invite you to participate in our US IP Trends Survey. Each year, we analyze the foreign filing strategies of US patentees and gauge the outlook for the coming year, covering topics such as IP budget changes, preferred filing destinations, and more.