Stella Ennals: A Legacy of Innovation and Independence

As we commemorate the end of Black History Month, it is crucial to celebrate the stories that highlight the intersection of diversity, innovation, and resilience. Stella Ennals, a black female inventor, embodies this convergence through her journey to overcome personal and systemic barriers with her groundbreaking invention. This Driving Diversity blog post aims to shine a light on Stella’s invention, a device designed to empower individuals with disabilities, showcasing her perseverance and the impact of her work on fostering independence.

In Bethesda, Maryland, Stella Ennals embarked on a journey that would not only challenge her physical limitations but also the systemic obstacles that often hinder black female inventors. Her invention, a device enabling those with disabilities to transport their own trays, was born out of a necessity for independence after a personal physical injury left her desiring more autonomy.

Stella’s path to innovation was marked by a relentless pursuit of self-sufficiency and a desire to contribute a solution that would assist others facing similar challenges. Her invention is not just a testament to her engineering ingenuity but also to her deep understanding of the everyday hurdles faced by people with disabilities. By addressing a specific need, Stella’s device offers a broader message of empowerment and inclusion, underscoring the importance of accessibility in all aspects of life.

Reflecting on Stella’s journey, it’s evident that her fortitude and persistence were her greatest assets. Her ability to navigate the patent process and bring her invention to fruition is inspiring, particularly when considering the additional layers of challenge presented by systemic biases. Stella’s story is a powerful reminder of the impact one individual can have on improving the lives of many, driven by the simple yet profound goal of enhancing independence.

Stella Ennals stands as a beacon of innovation, resilience, and independence, her story resonating deeply as we celebrate Black History Month. Her invention transcends its practical application, symbolizing the broader struggles and triumphs of black female inventors against systemic barriers. Stella’s legacy encourages current and future generations to persevere in the face of adversity, innovate for the greater good, and strive for a more inclusive and accessible world for all.

Want more Driving Diversity? Check out other videos with Elaine Spector here!

The Art of Examiner Interviews: A Strategic Approach for Success

In the complex and nuanced world of patent prosecution, examiner interviews stand out as a crucial element in navigating the approval process efficiently. George Howarah shares his invaluable insights on how to leverage examiner interviews to their full potential. This blog post delves into the strategic preparation necessary for conducting successful examiner interviews, highlighting George’s expert perspective.

Understanding the Client’s Goals

The first step in preparing for an examiner interview involves a clear understanding of the client’s objectives. Whether the aim is to expedite claim approval within a reasonable scope or ensure the claims align with a specific product or standard, identifying these goals upfront is critical. This initial clarity guides the strategy throughout the interview process, ensuring that the direction pursued aligns with the client’s expectations.

Analyzing the Prosecution History

A thorough examination of the application’s prosecution history is essential. This involves distinguishing whether the application is original, a continuation, or a divisional. Understanding the nuances between the current claims and those in previous applications helps tailor the approach to the interview. Additionally, recognizing the stage of prosecution is key. An aggressive stance might be more suitable at the beginning, whereas a more conciliatory approach could be beneficial in later stages, aiming for a middle ground that maintains the claims’ integrity.

Evaluating the Examiner’s Position

Assessing the examiner’s posture towards the application and the specifics of any rejections is another critical step. This includes reviewing past interactions for any precedents of overcoming objections and scrutinizing the current office action for potential misunderstandings or oversights by the examiner. Such an evaluation helps in anticipating the examiner’s concerns and preparing a more effective response.

Assessing the Strength of the Rejection

Finally, George emphasizes the importance of analyzing the strength of the rejection. Whether dealing with a 102 (novelty) or a 103 (non-obviousness) rejection, it’s vital to give the examiner the benefit of the doubt while also firmly advocating for the patent’s validity. This may involve deciding on the necessity of claim amendments to navigate around the rejection.

The preparation for an examiner interview is a multifaceted process that requires a deep understanding of the client’s goals, the application’s history, the examiner’s perspective, and the nature of the rejection. George’s approach showcases the importance of meticulous preparation and strategic planning in achieving successful outcomes in patent prosecution. By adopting these strategies, patent practitioners can enhance their effectiveness in examiner interviews, leading to more favorable results for their clients.

Want more Precise Prosecutor? Check out other videos with George Howarah here!

Unlocking Genius: Empowering Black Innovators in the World of Patents

In the tapestry of American history, Black innovators have woven a rich legacy of ingenuity and resilience, yet their contributions often remain underrecognized in the annals of patent law. Dr. Charles Richard Drew, a surgeon and medical researcher renowned for pioneering blood plasma storage methods, exemplifies this legacy of innovation. As we delve into his story and the broader narrative of Black excellence, a pressing question emerges: How many potential Einsteins are we overlooking in our Black communities? During Black History Month, it’s imperative to confront the stark underrepresentation of Black professionals in the patent field—a reflection of a wider systemic disparity that limits the realization of Black potential in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The story of Dr. Charles Richard Drew is not just one of historical significance but also a beacon of inspiration, highlighting the transformative impact that individuals from underrepresented backgrounds can have on society. Despite such monumental contributions, the patent field reveals a disheartening disparity: while 14% of Americans identify as Black, a mere 1% of patent holders are African American. This is in stark contrast to the 7% of STEM jobs held by African Americans, underscoring a significant gap between potential and realized opportunities for innovation.

This discrepancy not only dims the prospects of individual Black innovators but also deprives society of diverse perspectives and solutions. Addressing this gap requires a multifaceted approach, focusing on foundational issues such as access to education and resources. Enhancing STEM education, providing mentorship, and ensuring access to necessary resources are critical steps towards empowering Black individuals to invent, patent, and lead in the realm of technology and innovation.

Organizations like Invent Together are leading the charge by creating accessible educational resources, such as the Inventor’s Patent Academy, that aim to demystify the patenting process and make it more inclusive. By leveraging these resources and fostering a supportive community, we can start to bridge the gap for Black innovators.

The underrepresentation of Black professionals in patent law is a glaring issue that requires immediate and sustained action. By addressing systemic barriers and providing targeted support, we can pave the way for a new generation of Black inventors and innovators who will shape the future of technology and society. Let us commit to being part of this transformative journey, recognizing and uplifting the contributions of Black innovators not just during Black History Month, but all year round. As we reflect on the legacy of pioneers like Dr. Charles Richard Drew, let’s ask ourselves how we can contribute to creating a more inclusive and equitable patent field, where every potential Einstein has the opportunity to thrive.

Want more Driving Diversity? Check out other videos with Elaine Spector here!

Harrity Ascends to 27th on the Top Patent Firms List, Showcasing Unprecedented Growth

Washington, D.C.: Harrity & Harrity, LLP has marked a significant milestone in its journey towards excellence in patent law, securing the 27th spot on the esteemed Top Patent Firms List, an annual ranking of the leading firms obtaining US utility patents each year. This remarkable ascent is not only a testament to the firm’s unwavering dedication to innovation and quality but also highlights the exceptional growth trajectory it has maintained over the past five years in the highly competitive patent legal landscape.

From its 87th rank with 306 patents in 2018 to its current standing, Harrity & Harrity has not only advanced in rank year after year but has also more than quadrupled its patent output. In 2023 alone, the firm outperformed its previous year’s achievement by almost 60%, securing 1458 patents compared to 923 in 2022. This remarkable upward momentum is reflective of Harrity & Harrity’s robust strategic focus and the high-caliber proficiency of its team.

Harrity & Harrity’s progression in the rankings is particularly impressive given its focus on primarily domestic work in the electrical, mechanical, software, and business methods patent spaces— areas that exclude the life sciences spaces and the high volume of foreign-originated work that many of its competitors handle. In fact, when you consider strictly electrical, mechanical, software, and business methods patent work, Harrity jumps to the 19th spot on the Top Patent Firms List. Furthermore, Harrity achieved its 2023 number with a comparably small team of 40 professionals, while the majority of other firms in the Top 30 have well into the hundreds.

This data-driven success narrative exemplifies the firm’s “small firm, big impact” philosophy, illustrating how a concentrated team can deliver exceptional results that rival and even surpass those of much larger firms. Harrity & Harrity’s rise in the rankings is a testament to their strategic problem-solving approach, and a clear indicator that the firm is achieving the seemingly impossible through diligence, innovation, and a commitment to quality.

Harrity & Harrity’s unique story is one of a forward-thinking firm that thrives on real-world applications of advanced patent analytics and automation technologies, setting a new standard for what a specialized patent practice can accomplish.

For more insights into Harrity & Harrity’s remarkable growth and to explore their contributions to the patent field, please contact Samantha Sullivan and we would be happy to set up an interview with one of our partners.

About Harrity & Harrity:

Harrity & Harrity is a forward-thinking patent law firm in the Washington, D.C. area, specializing in electrical and mechanical technologies. Known for its innovative approach to patent law, the firm is committed to increasing diversity in the patent field and to giving back through its various charitable initiatives. For more information, please visit www.harrityllp.com.

The Underrated Key to Patent Prosecution Success: Examiner Interviews

In the realm of patent prosecution, there’s a tool that often goes underutilized, yet holds the potential to significantly streamline the patenting process, ensuring clarity, efficiency, and a stronger patent position. In this week’s Precise Prosecutor vlog, George Howarah brings to light the importance of examiner interviews, a strategy that can pivot the usual course of patent prosecution towards more favorable outcomes.

George points out a common pitfall in patent prosecution where practitioners might lean heavily on written responses to office actions. This method, while traditional, might not always capture the examiner’s perspective accurately, potentially leading to miscommunications, unaddressed rejections, or, in some cases, creating estoppel issues that could weaken the patent’s enforceability.

Examiner interviews stand out as a solution to these challenges. Engaging in a dialogue with the examiner post-office action not only clarifies the examiner’s stance but also opens the door for direct feedback on proposed arguments or amendments. This proactive approach can lead to more precise adjustments, avoiding the back-and-forth that often characterizes patent prosecution.

George advocates for scheduling an examiner interview after every office action, highlighting the benefits he has observed in his practice. These benefits include demonstrating a commitment to the patent application, reducing the time and cost associated with obtaining a patent, and minimizing the risk of prosecution estoppel.

George’s advice to fellow practitioners is clear: leverage examiner interviews as a standard step in your prosecution strategy to foster a more efficient, transparent, and successful patent prosecution process.

Want more Precise Prosecutor? Check out other videos with George Howarah here!

Bridging the Gap: Elevating Black Inventors in the Patent System

This February, as we observe Black History Month, we turn our focus to an often-overlooked arena where black excellence continues to fight for recognition and equity: the patent system. The underrepresentation of black inventors is not just a statistical oversight; it’s a reflection of systemic barriers that have persisted for far too long. These barriers not only hinder individual aspirations but also deprive our society of diverse innovations and contributions.

The systemic challenges faced by black inventors in navigating the patent system are multifaceted. From limited access to resources and networks to the financial burdens of patenting, the obstacles are significant. However, the tide is beginning to turn, thanks to the efforts of organizations committed to fostering diversity in innovation.

Invent Together stands out as a beacon of hope, offering free online programs designed to guide first-time patent applicants through the intricate process. By demystifying the patent application process, Invent Together is breaking down one of the significant barriers to entry for underrepresented inventors.

Moreover, educational institutions across the country are beginning to recognize the importance of supporting diversity in innovation. By adopting resources like those offered by Invent Together, universities, colleges, and institutes are laying the groundwork for what we hope will be a new era of inclusivity and diversity in the field of invention and innovation.

The path toward a more inclusive patent system is long and fraught with challenges, but it’s a journey worth embarking on. By supporting initiatives like Invent Together and encouraging educational institutions to play their part, we can begin to dismantle the systemic barriers that have sidelined black inventors for too long.

As we celebrate Black History Month, let’s commit to making a difference, not just this month but every month. The contributions of black inventors, both past and present, deserve recognition and support. By working together, we can ensure that the future of innovation is as diverse as the society it aims to serve.

Visit TIPA’s site to learn more and help us empower the next generation of inventors. Your support can change the course of history.

Want more Driving Diversity? Check out other videos with Elaine Spector here!

Elaine Spector Provides Data-Driven Perspective at 2024 AIPLA DEIA Colloquium

In an inspiring gathering at the 2024 AIPLA DEIA Colloquium in Puerto Rico, Elaine Spector, Partner at Harrity & Harrity, LLP, provided an enlightening presentation that underscored the crucial role of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity within the intellectual property (IP) realm. This significant event, held in partnership with the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC), ASIPI, and Invent Together, served as a platform for thought leaders to exchange insights and advance the conversation around DEIA in the IP field.

Elaine’s presentation delved into the current state of diversity in IP law, offering a comprehensive, data-driven analysis that illuminated both the progress made and the challenges that lie ahead. By leveraging empirical evidence, she highlighted the underrepresentation of diverse groups in the patent field and the untapped potential this presents for innovation. Elaine’s adept use of data not only provided a clear picture of the current landscape but also underscored the importance of strategic efforts to enhance diversity within the profession.

Elaine Spector on DEIA Panel

A standout moment of the colloquium for Elaine was meeting Aina Breen, a patent agent hired by Harrity out of our Patent Pathways™ program.  Patent Pathways™ is a groundbreaking 501(c)(3) organization that aims to bridge the diversity gap in the patent field by offering free training and mentorship to individuals interested in becoming patent professionals who are currently facing underrepresentation and socioeconomic barriers.

“The icing on the cake was meeting our extraordinary Patent Pathways™ (a 501(c)(3) organization) hire Aina Breen. Aina has a degree in mechanical engineering and rocked the patent bar exam on her first try! What an honor it is to know her and mentor her, and now, to meet her in person!” Elaine shared on LinkedIn.

Aina’s presence at the colloquium embodied the success of targeted efforts to foster inclusivity and support underrepresented talent in the IP sector.

Elaine Spector and Aina Breen

Elaine Spector’s participation in the 2024 AIPLA DEIA Colloquium not only reinforced Harrity & Harrity’s dedication to advancing DEIA in the IP field but also sparked meaningful discussions on how to continue this important work. Through a combination of data-driven insights and real-life success stories, the presentation highlighted the firm’s strategic approach to nurturing a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for innovation.

As we reflect on the insights shared at the colloquium, it’s evident that while strides have been made, the journey toward full inclusivity and representation in the IP field continues. Harrity & Harrity remains at the forefront of this endeavor, committed to leveraging data and real-world outcomes to guide their efforts in making the patent world a more diverse, innovative, and accessible place.

For more information about Harrity & Harrity’s diversity initiatives and services, please visit harrityllp.com/diversity.

Harrity Wins ‘Patents Law Firm of the Year in Virginia – 2024′

Harrity & Harrity, LLP and John Harrity Awarded Patents Law Firm & Patents Lawyer of the Year in Virginia – 2024 by Corporate International

Harrity & Harrity, LLP is honored to announce that John Harrity has been named the ‘Patents Lawyer of the Year in Virginia – 2024,’ with the firm winning ‘Patents Law Firm of the Year in Virginia – 2024’ by Corporate International, a prestigious recognition as part of their 17th Global Awards. This award celebrates our commitment to excellence in the patent law field and underscores our dedication to innovation, quality, and diversity in our practices.

The Corporate International Global Awards mark a significant achievement in the legal industry, highlighting firms and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding merit and competence in their respective fields. The selection process is comprehensive, involving nominations from peers, evaluation of our work, consideration of our firm’s rankings, the expertise of our partners and directors, our previous awards and recognitions, network affiliations, reputation in the legal community, contributions to publications, and participation in speaking engagements.

This year’s awards were the most competitive to date, with a record number of nominations received. Being chosen as a winner from such a distinguished pool of nominees not only reflects the high caliber of our team’s expertise but also our consistent ability to exceed the expectations of our clients and peers.

This recognition is a testament to our firm’s unwavering commitment to fostering diversity, driving innovation, and delivering high-quality patent services. It is also a reflection of our dedication to supporting our clients in protecting their intellectual property in the computer, electrical, and mechanical fields.

We thank Corporate International for this honor, to our clients for their trust and collaboration, and to our dedicated team for their hard work and commitment to excellence. This award motivates us to continue our efforts in making significant contributions to the patent field, pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and maintaining our status as a leader in the legal community.

We look forward to continuing to serve our clients with the highest standards of quality and professionalism and to furthering our contributions to the legal field through our innovative practices and dedication to diversity and charity.

Harrity & Harrity, LLP remains committed to improving the patent field and creating a progressive, innovative workplace. We are proud of this recognition and excited about the opportunities it brings to further elevate our firm and the services we provide to our clients around the globe.

About Harrity & Harrity, LLP

Harrity & Harrity, LLP is a boutique patent law firm specializing in electrical, mechanical, and computer technologies. Based in the Washington, D.C. area, the firm is committed to fostering an innovative, progressive, and inclusive workplace. With a nationally dispersed remote team of skilled patent attorneys, patent agents, and support staff, Harrity & Harrity is at the forefront of providing high-quality, efficient, and automated patent services.

 

Maximizing Patent Value: A Strategic Approach to Claim Management

In the intricate world of patent filings, understanding how to leverage the structure of your patent application can significantly impact its value. One area that often goes underutilized is the strategic management of claims within an application. As Neil Kardos highlights in this week’s Practical Patents series, a nuanced approach to claim management can not only streamline the patent prosecution process but also ensure clients receive maximum value for their investments.

In the United States, the initial patent application filing fee covers the inclusion of up to 3 independent claims and a total of 20 claims. It’s a common misconception that the quantity of claims within a patent directly correlates with its strength or value. However, the strategic composition and management of these claims can significantly enhance a patent’s effectiveness and its potential to protect innovative technology comprehensively.

During the patent prosecution phase, it’s not uncommon to amend claims to align with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requirements for patentability. This often involves consolidating the concepts of multiple dependent claims into fewer, broader independent claims to facilitate application approval. Yet, this consolidation presents a unique opportunity for strategic claim management.

Neil emphasizes the importance of adding a new dependent claim for every claim that is canceled. This practice ensures that the final patent utilizes the full quota of claims that the filing fee entitles, thus maximizing the patent’s breadth and flexibility without incurring additional costs. It’s a practice that, surprisingly, not all patent practitioners follow, as evidenced by numerous patents issuing with fewer than the allotted 20 claims.

The implications of this strategy extend far beyond mere numerical optimization. Each claim in a patent application can be viewed as a unique tool for protecting different facets of the invention. By ensuring that each patent utilizes its full complement of claims, inventors can secure a more robust and nuanced protection. This not only enhances the patent’s defensive capabilities but also its value in potential licensing discussions or infringement disputes.

Furthermore, this approach demonstrates to clients a meticulous and value-driven management of their intellectual property. In a landscape where every detail counts, the strategic addition and adjustment of claims can significantly differentiate a patent’s quality and its potential for commercial success.

Neil’s insights into claim management offer a valuable perspective for anyone involved in the patent filing process. By understanding the strategic potential of claims adjustment and ensuring that patents utilize their full entitlement, practitioners can deliver enhanced value to their clients, reinforcing the importance of detail-oriented strategies in patent law.

Stay tuned for more insightful tips and tricks from Neil Kardos in our Practical Patents series! Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Unveiling the Power of Bubble Charts in Competitive Intelligence: A Quantum Computing Perspective

By Rocky Berndsen, Head of Analytics

In the realm of competitive intelligence, especially within the patent field, traditional metrics such as patent counts have long been the standard for assessing a company’s patent portfolio strength.  However, this quantitative approach often overlooks the qualitative aspects of patents, which can provide deeper insights into a company’s technological prowess and strategic positioning.  Our recent Quantum Computing – Patent Pulse Report introduces an innovative approach to competitive benchmarking that utilizes bubble charts, offering a more nuanced view of the landscape.  To download the complimentary Quantum Computing Patent Pulse Report, CLICK HERE.

Beyond Counting Patents: The Need for Deeper Insights

While the number of patents a company holds is an important indicator of its activity in a particular technology area, it doesn’t tell the whole story.  Two crucial qualitative metrics often overlooked are the influence of a patent, measured by the number of forward citations it receives, and the scope of its claims, typically gauged by the word count of the first claim.  These metrics provide insights into the patent’s potential impact on future technologies and its breadth of coverage, respectively.

The Bubble Chart: A Visual Representation of Patent Quality and Quantity

The bubble chart featured in our Quantum Computing report illustrates how these qualitative metrics can be visualized alongside quantitative ones.  By plotting companies across two axes—average number of forward citations (influence) and average first claim word count (scope)—and using the bubble size to indicate the number of patents held, the chart provides a comprehensive view of each company’s patent portfolio in terms of both quality and quantity.

This visualization technique allows stakeholders to quickly identify leaders in the technology area, not just by the volume of their patents but by their potential impact and breadth.

Insights from the Quantum Computing Patent Landscape

The Quantum Computing – Patent Pulse Report reveals intriguing trends and strategic positions among key players in the quantum computing field.  For example, D-wave Systems Inc. stands out with patents that have the highest average first claim word count and the highest average forward citations.  To download the complimentary Quantum Computing Patent Pulse Report, CLICK HERE.

The Strategic Value of Bubble Charts in Competitive Benchmarking

The use of bubble charts for competitive benchmarking analyses offers several advantages:

  • Comprehensive Insights: It provides a holistic view of a company’s patent portfolio, combining quantity with qualitative metrics.
  • Strategic Decision-Making: Companies can identify not only their position but also their competitors’ strategic focuses, guiding R&D investments and patenting strategies.
  • Identifying Innovation Leaders: Stakeholders can pinpoint which companies are setting the pace in technological advancements, potentially guiding partnership or acquisition decisions.

Conclusion

As the patent landscape becomes increasingly complex, tools like bubble charts that offer multi-dimensional analyses become invaluable.  Our Quantum Computing – Patent Pulse Report is a testament to the power of such analytical tools in revealing the nuances of competitive positioning and technological leadership.  By moving beyond simple patent counts to a richer, more informative analysis, we can gain true insights into the dynamics of innovation across industries.

Elevating Patent Clarity: The Strategic Use of ‘Threshold’ in Patent Drafting

In this edition of the Practical Patents series, we delve into the nuanced use of the term ‘threshold’ in patent language, guided by Neil Kardos. This exploration highlights the importance of precision in patent drafting, a critical skill in the art of protecting intellectual property.

In the meticulous realm of patent drafting, every word counts. The term ‘threshold’ might appear straightforward, yet its application in patents is anything but. Neil explains this with two insightful examples.

1. Achieving Precision Over Vagueness

Clarity is the cornerstone of effective patent drafting. Generic terms like ‘high’ and ‘low’ are laden with ambiguity, often leading to Section 112 rejections. Neil’s advice is to opt for phrases such as ‘satisfies’ or ‘does not satisfy a threshold.’ This method enhances clarity and strengthens the enforceability of the patent.

2. Broadening Patent Scope Through ‘Threshold’

In instances where an inventor provides a specific number or range, the term ‘threshold’ can be used to expand the invention’s scope. By defining these figures as examples of satisfying a ‘threshold,’ a patent can encompass a broader range of applications, enhancing its protective coverage.

Neil emphasizes caution in using ‘threshold.’ He advises against framing claims based solely on a value being ‘greater than’ or ‘less than’ a threshold. Such language can inadvertently open doors for competitive workarounds.

Instead, Neil recommends a more comprehensive approach: asserting that a value ‘satisfies the threshold’ or ‘satisfies a condition.’ This strategy, when combined with a detailed specification, provides a stronger, more defensible patent.

As we conclude this discussion, we’re reminded of the critical role precise language plays in patent law. Neil’s insights into the use of ‘threshold’ underscore the importance of thoughtful and strategic patent drafting.

Stay tuned for more insightful tips and tricks from Neil in our Practical Patents series! Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Harrity Named US News 2024 Best Companies to Work For: Law Firms

Harrity & Harrity, LLP Named a ‘Best Company to Work For: Law Firms’ by US News & World Report, Reflecting Excellence in Employee Satisfaction and Workplace Environment

Washington, D.C. – January 30, 2024

Harrity & Harrity, LLP is honored to announce its recognition as one of the Best Companies to Work For in 2024: Law Firms by US News & World Report. This prestigious distinction is based on a comprehensive evaluation method that highlights the firm’s commitment to creating an outstanding work environment.

The US News & World Report’s methodology for this ranking involves a detailed analysis of various factors that contribute to a positive workplace. These include quality pay and benefits, work/life balance, job stability, professional development opportunities, and overall employee well-being. This thorough assessment, leveraging data from Revelio Labs and Leopard Solutions, reflects the real-world experiences and perceptions of employees.

“Our inclusion in this list validates our efforts in providing a fulfilling and supportive workplace,” said Paul Harrity, Managing Partner. “At Harrity & Harrity, we strive not only for excellence in serving our clients but also in ensuring our team members have the resources and environment they need to thrive.”

The ranking process involved scaling and standardizing various metrics on a 1-5 scale, reflecting the firm’s outstanding performance in critical areas like compensation, job security, and employee satisfaction. This recognition underscores Harrity & Harrity’s dedication to fostering a culture of respect, inclusivity, and professional growth.

About Harrity & Harrity, LLP

Harrity & Harrity, LLP is a boutique patent law firm specializing in electrical, mechanical, and computer technologies. Based in the Washington, D.C. area, the firm is committed to fostering an innovative, progressive, and inclusive workplace. With a nationally dispersed remote team of skilled patent attorneys, patent agents, and support staff, Harrity & Harrity is at the forefront of providing high-quality, efficient, and automated patent services.

 

Maximizing Efficiency: A Case Study on Using the Patent 300® Report for Assessing Law Firm Performance

By Rocky Berndsen, Head of Analytics

In the ever-evolving realm of patent law, in-house attorneys face the critical task of assessing and optimizing the performance of their outside counsel. This blog post delves into a practical case study illustrating how an in-house attorney can leverage the insights from the Patent 300® Company Report to evaluate and enhance the effectiveness of their law firms in patent prosecution.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Analyzing Key Metrics: The report provides comprehensive data, including total patents issued, average cost, office action frequency, and more. By comparing these metrics across different firms, an attorney can identify performance trends and cost-efficiency.
  2. Benchmarking Success Rates: Through examining specific metrics like interview success and extension of time requests, attorneys can benchmark their firms against industry standards, pinpointing areas for improvement.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness Evaluation: The average cost per patent metric is pivotal for assessing the financial aspect of the firm’s performance, helping in making budget-conscious decisions.
  4. Strategic Decision Making: With a detailed breakdown of each firm’s performance, an attorney can make informed decisions about continuing, modifying, or terminating relationships with specific outside counsel.
  5. Future Planning: The technology breakdowns and patent prosecution stats offer insights for future patent strategies, ensuring alignment with the company’s overall IP goals.

This case study exemplifies how an in-house attorney can transform raw data into actionable insights, leading to a more efficient and strategic approach in managing outside counsel for patent prosecution.

By embracing the detailed analysis offered by the Patent 300® Company Report, attorneys can not only assess but also significantly improve their firms’ performance, aligning it with the company’s broader intellectual property objectives.

Download a Complimentary Report on Your Company HERE

Review our Sample Report on Nvidia:

Nvidia - 2024 Patent 300® Company Report

Looking for more detailed analytics on your company or your competitors?

CONTACT US HERE

High Level Patent Portfolio Assessment Using Harrity’s Patent 300® Company Report

By Rocky Berndsen, Head of Analytics

Could a Glance at the Big Picture Reveal Secrets to Refining Your IP Strategy?

In the intricate world of intellectual property, IP counsel often find themselves deeply immersed in the minutiae of patents and portfolios. The challenge is real: staying afloat in a sea of detailed legal and technical complexities. But, what if the key to a breakthrough in patent strategy lies in a broader perspective? Could stepping back to observe high-level trends be the game-changer for assessing and enhancing your patent practice?

A Key to Unlock Patent Insights

Our Patent 300® Company Report is more than just a document; it’s a window to a world of strategic insights. With this report, IP counsel can transcend beyond the everyday details and gaze at the bigger picture. This high-level view offers a unique opportunity to understand the broader trends in patenting, helping you refine and realign your IP strategy effectively.

Exclusive Sample: NVIDIA Report

To give you a taste of what our report offers, we have attached a sample report for NVIDIA. This sample includes high-level patenting trends, detailed patent prosecution stats, insights into outside counsel costs, and a breakdown of technological focuses. It’s a glimpse into the kind of comprehensive analysis and strategic guidance that our full report offers.

Nvidia - 2024 Patent 300® Company Report

At Harrity, we believe in the power of perspective. It’s why we are excited to offer a unique tool that unlocks this very insight – the comprehensive portfolio report for companies on the distinguished Patent 300® List.

DOWNLOAD A COMPLIMENTARY COMPANY REPORT HERE

Your Guide to the Patent 300 Landscape

Are you curious to see who made it to this year’s Patent 300 List? We’ve got you covered. Visit HERE to discover the companies leading the charge in innovation and intellectual property.

Dive Deep into Patent Trends

The Patent 300® Company Report is not just about lists and numbers. It’s a deep dive into the world of patent trends, offering insights into patent prosecution statistics, technology breakdowns, and even metrics on outside counsel costs. This level of detail is invaluable in crafting a strategy that is not only responsive but also proactive in the face of evolving IP landscapes.

Download and Transform Your Approach

Ready to realign your IP strategy? Download your copy of the report HERE. Dive into the details, discover the trends, and start transforming your approach today. The insights you gain might just be the key to unlocking a more refined and effective IP strategy.

Patent Data Reveals Unique Continuation Practice Amongst Patent 300® Companies

By Rocky Berndsen, Head of Analytics

Continuation practice in US patent law refers to a procedure where an applicant files a subsequent application based on the disclosure of a prior non-provisional application, while the prior application is still pending.  This strategy can be used for various reasons, such as refining claims, pursuing different scopes of protection, or keeping a patent family alive as the business strategy or technology develops.  The Patent 300® data, focusing on the highest and lowest percentages of patents issued in 2023 that were continuations, provides fascinating insights into the innovation and patenting strategies of top companies.

Strategic Use of Continuation Practice Found in Numerous Industries

The chart above indicates that companies like Sonos, Edwards Life Sciences, and Ebay lead with the highest continuation percentages.  For example, the data shows that 88% of Sonos’ patents issuing in 2023 were continuation applications.  This approach suggests a targeted approach to innovation, where companies are keen on fortifying their market position by building robust patent portfolios around their core products and services.  Continuation practice allows these companies to create a thicket of patents, making it harder for competitors to navigate without infringing.  It also provides them the flexibility to adapt to technological advancements and market changes by updating or expanding their patent claims.

Moreover, continuation practice might be indicative of a strategic layering of patent protection that enables companies to keep certain innovations under initial protection while testing the market or developing further improvements.  For companies like Palantir and Dolby, whose products involve complex software or hardware, the ability to file continuations means they may have the ability to continually update their patent claims to cover the latest iterations of their technology.

Continuation applications can also serve as a legal strategy to keep competitors uncertain about the final form of the patent claims, which could deter potential infringement or at least make it more difficult for competitors to design around an applicant’s patent portfolio.

Why are some companies not filing many continuation applications at all?

The Patent 300® data also reveals a set of companies that utilize continuation practices minimally in their patenting efforts.  Notably, this list includes a significant number of automotive manufacturers, highlighted above, such as Subaru, Mazda, and Honda, all showing low continuation percentages.  This pattern could suggest a distinct approach to portfolio management within the automotive industry, where innovation is rapid and product development cycles are aligned with manufacturing and release schedules.

Another reason for the minimal use of continuation practice could be budgetary constraints.  Continuation applications incur additional costs, not just in filing fees but also in legal and administrative expenses over time.  For some companies, the cost of maintaining a high number of continuations may not justify the potential benefits.  Some companies may opt to instead focus on obtaining patents for newly developed technologies.

Additionally, the strategy behind claims could influence the use of continuation practice.  Companies may choose to file comprehensive initial patent applications with broad claims to cover their inventions fully from the outset.  This approach could reduce the need for subsequent continuation applications to refine or broaden the scope of the original claims.  Some companies may prioritize filing detailed applications that anticipate future product developments, thereby lessening the need for continuations.

Moreover, the breadth of patenting may reflect an applicant’s innovation strategy.  Companies with a wider range of products and services may prefer to obtain a broader spread of original patents rather than deepening the protection around a narrower technology area through continuations.  This approach can create a more extensive barrier to entry for competitors across a wider technology landscape.  Automotive companies, with their frequent iterations of vehicle models and technologies, might find more value in creating a broad patent portfolio that covers a range of innovations rather than focusing on continuing applications for specific technologies.

In sum, the Patent 300® data offers a revealing glimpse into the nuanced strategies behind continuation practices in patent law.  While certain companies leverage this mechanism to build a dense web of protection around key products, adapting to market and technological shifts, others in sectors like automotive opt for a broader innovation footprint, potentially driven by cost considerations, a preference for comprehensive initial filings, or the strategic spread of their patent efforts across a wider range of technologies.  These divergent approaches underscore the complexity of IP management, where each applicant crafts a strategy aligned with its business goals, market position, and the dynamic landscape of technological advancement.  The data not only reflects the tactical choices of individual companies but also illustrates broader industry trends in patenting, revealing the careful balance between depth and breadth in securing intellectual property rights.

Inside the European Patent Revolution: An Analysis of Emerging Unitary Patent Data

Inside the European Patent Revolution: An Analysis of Emerging Unitary Patent Data

By Ayana Marshall, Patent Data Analyst

Brief Introduction to the Unitary Patent System

Launched on June 1, 2023, the Unitary Patent System, managed by the European Patent Office (EPO), simplifies patent protection across participating European Union (EU) member states.  Replacing the need for separate validations in each state, it allows a single application and fee for protection in all participating countries.  Based on the European Patent Convention (EPC), the system enables patent holders to seek uniform protection post-grant in 17 initial EU member states.  The Unitary Patent is described as a “European patent with unitary effect”.  The system includes the Unified Patent Court (UPC), comprising judges from participating states, adjudicating on Unitary and European patent infringements and validity.  This system signifies a streamlined approach for patent protection in the EU.1-5

Trends in Unitary Patent Registrations

The European Patent Office (EPO) has compiled and shared data from the launch of the Unitary Patent System up to January 15, 2024.  This includes various statistics and insights into how the system has been utilized.  The following discussion will delve into the key elements and findings from this data set.

Requests for Unitary Effect

The data above reveals that the Unitary Patent System received 18,273 requests for unitary effect, with 17,733 successfully registered as patents.  Additionally, the uptake rate for the system in 2024 stands at 17.3%.  This statistic represents the proportion of total requests that resulted in registered patents within the specified timeframe.6

The chart above tracks unitary patent request trends from December 2022 to December 2023.  Monthly request volumes, shown via bars, are aligned with the left vertical axis.  The right axis and line graph represent the cumulative total of requests.

From December 2022 to June 2023, the chart shows a rise in monthly requests for unitary patents, starting below 1,000 and reaching around 2,000 by May with a peak of almost 3,000 in June 2023.  July 2023 through September 2023 saw a decline in requests for unitary effect followed by a slight increase of just over 2,000 in October 2023.  There was a subsequent decline to approximately 4,000 by December 2023.  This illustrates the evolving interest and engagement with the Unitary Patent system over the year.  The cumulative line shows a consistent and steady upward trajectory throughout the year, reflecting the addition of each month’s new requests to the total count.  Starting at almost zero in December 2022, the cumulative count surpasses 20,000 by December 2023.  This upward trend suggests growing interest in and engagement with the Unitary Patent system over the year.

Top 25 Companies (Proprietors)

The chart above displays the number of unitary patent requests filed by the top 25 companies.  The bars are color-coded to represent different regions: EPO states, the US, Japan, China, Korea, and Others.  Johnson & Johnson holds the top position in terms of requests with the highest tally, followed by Siemens AG trailing by a narrow margin.  Both corporations submitted requests in the mid-two-hundreds.  Similarly, Qualcomm, Inc.  and Samsung Group exhibit parallel levels of requests, showcasing comparable engagement in the unitary patent application process.  The chart demonstrates a diversity of companies across different regions, with several companies from EPO states and the US occupying the top spots, while companies from Japan, China, and Korea also feature prominently, although with fewer requests.

Origin of Proprietors

The map above illustrates the geographic distribution of patent proprietors, with Europe and North America exhibiting higher volumes of requests.  Europe is particularly prominent, with requests ranging between 3,000 to 4,000, while the United States shows a lower range of approximately 2,000 to 3,000 requests.

WIPO’s Technology Fields (IPC)

Medical technology and electrical machinery are the most represented technology fields, suggesting robust activity and interest in these areas.  The technology fields are classified by the International Patent Classification (IPC) system, detailing the distribution of unitary patent requests across various sectors.  The size of each block in the image corresponds to the number of requests in that technology field, with larger blocks indicating more requests.  The technology fields include Medical technology, Computer technology, Pharmaceuticals, Civil engineering, Transport, Measurement, ‘Machine tools, Handling, and Other special machines.

Each technology field in the image above is quantified with a count and percentage, indicating its share of unitary patent requests.  Medical technology leads with 2,135 requests, accounting for 11.7% of the total.  Civil engineering, Transport, and Other special machines,  also feature significantly with 1080 (5.9%), 1,000 (5.5%), and 971 (5.3%) requests respectively.  Other fields like Computer Technology and Handling show smaller proportions, with 792 (4.3%) and 756 (4.1%) requests.  The distribution of requests across these fields suggests a varied interest in unitary patent protection across different technology sectors.

Status of Registration

The status of registration represents the proportions of unitary patent applications in each stage of the registration process.  The chart above quantifies and categorizes unitary patents according to their registration status of registered, pending, and rejection.  Dominating the chart is the registered category with 17,733 cases, accounting for 97.0% of the total, while pending applications comprise 2.8% with 509 cases followed by the 23 (0.1%) cases that were withdrawn.  The rejected category, representing the smallest segment, includes only 8 cases, making up a 0.04% of the total.  This chart highlights the number of successful registrations in the unitary patent system.

Translation and Procedural Languages

Data on translation and procedural languages used reveals that English is commonly used for both, with German and French also being used.  English is used in 73.3% of procedural languages, a significant lead over German and French.  Spanish is the mostly commonly used translation language outpacing English by a narrow margin.

In summary, the consolidated data provides insight into the unitary patent system as it currently stands.  It appears to indicate active participation across various technological sectors, a high rate of patent registrations, and a wide geographic distribution of proprietors.  The diverse origins of the applicants appear to highlight the system’s potential global appeal, and the significant majority of finalized registrations appear to suggest its efficiency.  These details offer an understanding of how the system is being used, positioning it as a potentially key mechanism for safeguarding modern innovations.  The detailed breakdown of request origins, technology fields, and registration statuses offers stakeholders an understanding of the system’s current scope and functionality.

For those interested in accessing customized analytics, contact Harrity Analytics today!

Stay tuned for more insights and analyses from Harrity Analytics, as we continue to explore the ever-evolving world of patents and innovation.

  1. https://www.epo.org/en/applying/european/unitary/unitary-patent
  2. https://www.epo.org/en/legal/guide-up/2022/uppg_a_v.html#:~:text=32The%20primary%20aim%20of,obtaining%2C%20maintaining%20and%20managing%20them.
  3. https://www.unified-patent-court.org/en
  4. https://www.epo.org/en/legal/guide-up/2022/uppg_a_iii_1.html
  5. https://www.epo.org/en/applying/european/unitary
  6. https://www.epo.org/en/about-us/statistics/statistics-centre#/unitary-patent
  7. All images were obtained from https://www.epo.org/en/about-us/statistics/statistics-centre#/unitary-patent

 

 

Enhancing Patent Drafting: The Essential Role of Claim-Figure Mapping

Welcome back to another edition of the Practical Patents series. This week Neil Kardos brings his seasoned perspective to an often-overlooked yet pivotal aspect of drafting: the strategic alignment of claims with figures in patent applications.

Neil emphasizes the importance of creating a mapping between the figures and claims in a patent application. This step, often overlooked, is crucial in ensuring a coherent and comprehensive patent specification. By mapping each figure to the claims they support, patent drafters can establish a clear connection, laying the groundwork for a well-structured specification.

The beauty of this approach lies in its simplicity and efficacy. When you start working on your figures, Neil advises, make it a point to identify which claims each figure relates to. This mapping acts as a guide, ensuring every claim has a corresponding figure where it can be effectively described. If you find a claim that doesn’t neatly align with any of the figures, it’s a clear sign that you need to either introduce a new figure or revise an existing one.

This proactive strategy offers two significant benefits. Firstly, it eliminates the risk of ending up with unsupported claims in your patent application – a common pitfall that can lead to lengthy revisions or, worse, a weakened patent. Secondly, it serves as a remedy for writer’s block. Knowing exactly what to write for each figure can streamline the drafting process, making it more efficient and less daunting.

Neil warns of the pitfalls of neglecting this step. Without pre-mapping your claims to figures, you might find yourself with a draft specification and unsupported claims. At this juncture, the options are limited and unappealing: either retrofit your figures (and consequently, the specification) to accommodate the orphaned claims or force them into sections where they don’t quite belong. Both scenarios lead to a disjointed and potentially weaker patent application.

In summary, Neil’s advice is straightforward yet powerful: map your claims to your figures before diving into the specification. This method not only saves time but also ensures that each element of your patent application is well-supported and clearly articulated.

Stay tuned for more insightful tips and tricks from Neil in our Practical Patents series! Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Analyzing Technology Trends from the 2024 Patent 300® List

Harrity Analytics is proud to announce the release of the 2024 Patent 300® List, an exclusive ranking of the top 300 companies, organizations, and universities obtaining US utility patents. This year’s list offers a comprehensive view of the intellectual property landscape and highlights the innovative strides made by leading technology firms.

The Top 15 Innovators of 2023 have showcased their commitment to innovation, collectively accounting for 16% of the 312,563 total utility patents issued. Despite a 3% drop from the previous year, these organizations have continued to push the boundaries of technology and innovation. Take a look at the top technology areas obtaining patents over the last 12 months.

Electronics and Semiconductors: The Front Runners
Samsung leads the pack with a staggering 9,036 patents, doubling the amount secured by the second-place LG. This indicates a strong focus on advancing consumer electronics, mobile communication technologies, and the underlying semiconductor technology. The emphasis on semiconductors is further highlighted by the presence of TSMC and Qualcomm in the top ranks, underlining the critical importance of these components in a multitude of devices.

Cloud, Software, and AI: The Digital Backbone
IBM, ranking third, along with Alphabet and Apple, emphasize the growing significance of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and software innovation. These patents reflect not only their prowess in hardware but also their forward-thinking in the realms of software and services.

Optics, Imaging, and Automotive: Enhancing Vision and Mobility
Canon’s strong showing indicates a continued excellence in optics and imaging, a field that’s increasingly intersecting with automotive technologies, as seen with the presence of companies like Alphabet and Huawei. Such innovations are crucial for advancements in autonomous vehicles and connected mobility solutions.

Aerospace and Defense: Protecting and Exploring New Frontiers
Raytheon Technologies, known for its expertise in aerospace and defense, has maintained its position, signaling ongoing advancements in technologies critical for national security and exploration.

The Global Technology Landscape
The geographical diversity among the top 15 innovators, with companies from the United States, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, underscores the global nature of technological advancement and the interplay of different markets in driving innovation.

The 2024 Patent 300® List by Harrity Analytics not only celebrates the achievements of these innovators but also provides insights into the technology trends shaping our future. We invite industry professionals, analysts, and technology enthusiasts to delve deeper into our findings to understand the direction of innovation and its implications for the global market.

For a detailed exploration of the Patent 300® List and to gain more insights into these trends, visit our interactive Patent 300® Dashboard here.

For those interested in accessing customized analytics, contact Harrity Analytics today!

Stay tuned for more insights and analyses from Harrity Analytics, as we continue to explore the ever-evolving world of patents and innovation.

 

Elevating Patent Application Efficiency: The Case for a Claims-First Approach

Welcome to another installment of the Practical Patents series, where we delve into the art and science of patent drafting. Today, we’re exploring a provocative statement by Neil Kardos, an experienced patent attorney and advocate for strategic patenting: “If you’re not drafting claims, then figures, then the specification in that order, you’re doing it wrong.”

At first glance, this assertion seems to challenge conventional wisdom. Traditionally, many practitioners draft the figures and specifications first, leaving the claims for last. However, Neil’s approach, honed through experimentation and practice, suggests a radical departure from this norm.

Traditionally, the process begins with drafting detailed figures and a comprehensive specification. The rationale? It’s believed that having a clear visual and descriptive foundation paves the way for more precise claims. However, Neil’s experience tells a different story.

Neil discovered that this traditional method often necessitated significant rework. Terminology used in the specification might not align with the nuanced language of claim drafting. Questions arise: should it be “one or more” or “at least one”? “Multiple” or “a plurality”? Furthermore, naming conventions in the specification might not resonate with the intricate requirements of claim language, leading to a laborious cycle of revision and alignment between the claims, figures, and specification.

Advantages of a Claims-First Approach

  1. Clarity in Novelty and Non-Obviousness: Drafting claims first forces a focus on the invention’s novel aspects. It lays bare the innovative heart of the patent, guiding the subsequent detailing in figures and specifications.
  2. Efficiency in Drafting: By starting with claims, Neil found that subsequent steps became more streamlined. The figures and specification could be tailored to support the claims, reducing the need for iterative revisions.
  3. Strategic Focus: This approach ensures that the specification and figures emphasize the invention’s most crucial aspects, enhancing the patent’s overall strength.

Neil’s method turns traditional patent drafting on its head, emphasizing a strategic, claims-first approach. While it may not be a one-size-fits-all solution, it certainly provides food for thought for anyone involved in the patenting process.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Elevating the Craft of Inventor Interviews

Navigating inventor interviews without a robust disclosure document can be a daunting task for even the most experienced patent professionals. In this week’s Practical Patent series, Neil Kardos shares invaluable tips for transforming these challenges into opportunities for deeper understanding and more comprehensive patent applications.

Tip #1: Record the Call

Recording inventor interviews is a game-changer. It allows patent professionals to immerse themselves in the conversation, fully absorbing the inventor’s insights without the distraction of note-taking. This approach ensures no crucial detail is overlooked, capturing the essence of the invention in its entirety.

Tip #2: Use a Structured Question Checklist

Neil emphasizes the importance of a structured approach, beginning with high-level questions to grasp the overall concept before delving into the finer details. This technique not only clarifies the invention’s framework but also reveals its unique aspects and potential improvements.

The Kardos Questionnaire: Your Blueprint for Success

  1. Identifying the Problem: Understanding the specific issue the invention aims to solve sets the stage for assessing its significance and market relevance.
  2. Summarizing the Solution: This helps in evaluating the innovation’s practicality and its effectiveness in addressing the identified problem.
  3. Exploring Existing Solutions: Knowing what’s already out there highlights the invention’s unique selling points and potential competitive advantages.
  4. Comparing the Invention: This comparison sheds light on why and how the new invention stands out in the existing market landscape.
  5. Uncovering Additional Benefits: Often, inventions have secondary advantages that can broaden their appeal and marketability.
  6. Identifying Novelty: Pinpointing the novel aspects of an invention is crucial for determining its patentability.
  7. Assessing Business Value: Understanding which elements of the invention hold the most commercial potential can guide strategic patent drafting.

For process inventions, a step-by-step walkthrough reveals the intricacies of the method, while mechanical inventions benefit from a detailed analysis of component interrelations. Brainstorming sessions about enhancements and alternatives further refine the invention’s scope and applicability.

Neil’s approach culminates with an open-ended query, inviting any additional insights or overlooked aspects, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the invention.

By adopting these strategies, patent professionals can adeptly navigate inventor interviews, laying a solid foundation for robust and defensible patent applications.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Harrity Recognized as an Inclusive Workplace by Best Companies Group

Harrity & Harrity, LLP Recognized as a Top Inclusive Workplace by Best Companies Group

January 4, 2024 – Harrity & Harrity, LLP, a leading patent law firm based out of Fairfax, VA, is honored to announce its recognition as a Top Inclusive Workplace by Best Companies Group and COLOR Magazine for 2023. This prestigious acknowledgment highlights Harrity & Harrity’s unwavering commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

The Top Inclusive Workplace Program, initiated by Best Companies Group in partnership with COLOR Magazine, evaluates organizations on various aspects of workplace inclusivity, such as inclusion, belonging, psychological safety, community, and purpose. Harrity & Harrity’s approach to fostering an inclusive workplace aligns perfectly with these criteria, as the firm continuously implements initiatives and policies that encourage diversity and belonging.

“Our firm believes in the immense value of a diverse workforce and the positive impact it has on our services and innovation,” said Managing Partner Paul Harrity. “We are dedicated to creating an environment where every member of our team feels valued, heard, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives.”

This recognition is not merely an accolade but a testament to Harrity & Harrity’s significant efforts in ensuring all employees, regardless of their background, feel included and engaged. This commitment has not only enhanced employee satisfaction and retention but has also contributed positively to the firm’s brand recognition and reputation within the patent law field.

The firm’s diverse and inclusive culture serves as a beacon in the industry, demonstrating the benefits of prioritizing belonging and inclusivity in the workplace. “We are proud to set an example in the legal industry and will continue to advocate for and implement practices that promote inclusivity,” Harrity added.

Harrity & Harrity looks forward to continuing its progress in fostering an inclusive work environment and is excited about the positive impacts this will have on both its team and clients. The firm will be celebrated alongside other recipients in the Winter 2024 Top Inclusive Workplaces digital publication by Best Companies Group and COLOR Magazine.

For more information about Harrity & Harrity’s diversity initiatives and services, please visit harrityllp.com/diversity.

**About Harrity & Harrity, LLP**

Harrity & Harrity, LLP is a boutique patent law firm specializing in electrical, mechanical, and computer technologies. Based in the Washington, D.C. area, the firm is committed to fostering an innovative, progressive, and inclusive workplace. With a nationally dispersed remote team of skilled patent attorneys, patent agents, and support staff, Harrity & Harrity is at the forefront of providing high-quality, efficient, and automated patent services.

 

AI Prompts Do Not Compromise Attorney Confidentiality Obligations

In a detailed article on IPWatchdog, Harrity attorney Alexander Zajac provides a nuanced analysis of how the use of large language models (LLMs) aligns with the confidentiality obligations of attorneys. Addressing the concerns of IP attorneys about the remote storage of LLM queries, he compares this to the routine use of web search engines and cloud storage, which also involve sharing queries with third-party servers.

Alex scrutinizes the data retention policies of Google and OpenAI, explaining how they collect and use data, and how users can opt for more privacy. He emphasizes that if standard digital tools like email and cloud storage are trusted for confidential information, then the robust security measures of Google and OpenAI should be equally reliable. He suggests that attorneys can adjust settings on these platforms to enhance privacy, rather than avoiding LLMs altogether.

This thoughtful exploration by Alex sheds light on the intersection of technology and legal ethics, urging the legal community to adapt to technological advancements while maintaining client confidentiality. To delve into the specifics of these policies and comprehensive perspectives on AI as a legal resource, read the full article on IPWatchdog HERE.

Decoding the Patent Puzzle: Key Tips to Crystal-Clear Patent Applications

In the intricate and often bewildering terrain of patent applications, achieving clarity is both an art and a science. This is particularly true for software or process-based inventions, where conveying complex ideas in a comprehensible manner is crucial. Neil Kardos offers his expert advice, sharing pivotal strategies to demystify these often perplexing documents. In this blog post, we’ll delve into two of Neil’s key tips, which promise to bring much-needed lucidity to your patent applications.

Tip #1: The Power of Descriptive Naming

Neil’s first tip revolves around the strategic use of descriptive names for devices in patent applications. This approach goes beyond mere labeling; it’s about creating an intuitive understanding of each device’s role. For example, naming a device that handles user verification as an “Authentication Device” instantly reveals its function. This practice ensures that every mention of the device within the document not only identifies it but also reminds the reader of its purpose, thus maintaining a clear focus on the invention’s core functionalities.

Tip #2: Artful Separation of Function and Form

In his second tip, Neil highlights the importance of distinguishing between what devices do and what they are. He recommends that the narrative in the “Invention Detail Figures” should concentrate on the devices’ roles in the invention’s process. For example, describing a user device transmitting credentials to an authentication device should be about this process, not about the possible physical forms of the user device. The comprehensive description of the devices’ physical forms and variations should be allocated to the “Device Environment Figure.” This methodical separation ensures the patent application remains streamlined and focused, facilitating a smoother reading experience.

By implementing these tips, inventors and patent drafters can significantly enhance the readability and clarity of their patent applications. Neil’s guidance is not just about simplifying content; it’s about structuring it in a way that guides the reader through the invention’s narrative with ease and understanding.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Mastering the Art of Clarity in Patent Applications

The world of patent applications is intricate and demanding. Among the numerous challenges faced by inventors and patent practitioners, one that stands paramount is the art of drafting a clear and engaging patent specification. Neil Kardos offers profound insights into enhancing the readability of patent applications.

The heart of Neil’s advice lies in the organization of the patent specification. The traditional approach of hopping between figures can be disorienting, leading to confusion. Neil advocates for a more linear, structured approach. This entails starting with an introductory paragraph for each figure, detailing its contents thoroughly, and concluding with a summary. Such an approach doesn’t just enhance readability; it builds a narrative, making the invention’s journey through its various stages more comprehensible and compelling.

Neil delves into two scenarios frequently encountered in patent drafting:

  1. Sequential Storytelling with Figures: Often, a series of figures (e.g., Figs. 1a to 1c) is used to unfold the invention step-by-step. Neil suggests employing a single introductory and concluding paragraph for the entire series. This technique ensures a seamless narrative flow, making the progression of the invention easier to follow and understand.
  2. Balancing Overview and Detail: When one figure presents an overarching view (e.g., Fig. 1) and another dives into granular details (e.g., Fig. 2), Neil recommends a delicate balancing act. Mention Fig. 2 while discussing Fig. 1, but save the in-depth discussion for later. This approach keeps the reader anchored in the broader context before delving into specifics, thereby maintaining engagement and understanding.

Neil’s methodology extends beyond mere structural organization. It embraces the art of storytelling within the technical confines of patent law. By treating each figure not just as a visual representation but as a chapter in the story of the invention, the drafter can create a more immersive and understandable narrative. This approach resonates with examiners and potential licensees, making the invention not just a list of technical features but a compelling innovation journey.

In the realm of patents, clarity is not just about compliance; it’s about captivating the reader, be it an examiner, a judge, or a potential investor. By adopting these strategies, patent practitioners can transform their applications from mere technical documents to engaging narratives that effectively communicate the essence of their inventions.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Crafting the Narrative in Patent Applications

In the realm of patent applications, the art of storytelling is often overshadowed by the complexity of technical details. However, Neil Kardos brings a refreshing approach to structuring patent applications, emphasizing not just the technicalities but the story of the invention itself. His method improves readability and enhances the experience for inventors and in-house counsel alike.

1. Setting the Stage with Background
Neil begins by advising the inclusion of a background section. This part introduces the technology behind the invention. Depending on the familiarity and complexity of the technology, this section can vary in length. For well-known concepts, a few sentences suffice, but for more intricate technologies, a detailed exposition might be necessary.

2. Identifying the Technical Problem
Following the background, Neil emphasizes the importance of clearly outlining the technical problem addressed by the invention. This step is crucial as it sets the stage for the solution and helps the reader understand the necessity of the invention.

3. Introducing the Technical Solution
Next, a high-level explanation of the technical solution is presented. This part showcases how the invention solves the identified problem. It’s a strategic move to keep this explanation at a high level, ensuring clarity and engagement.

4. Highlighting the Technical Benefits
Neil suggests elucidating the technical benefits of the invention. This section reinforces the value of the invention and its contribution to the field.

5. Diving into the Details
The fifth part of the structure delves into the specifics of the invention, including various options, alternatives, and detailed benefits. This comprehensive exploration allows for a deeper understanding of the invention’s potential.

6. Standardized Figures and Descriptions
Finally, standardized figures and descriptive language, particularly important for hardware supporting process-based inventions, are placed towards the end of the application. Neil’s rationale for this arrangement is to captivate the reader’s interest with the most significant elements upfront, avoiding boredom or confusion.

Neil’s recommended structure is not just about organizing content; it’s about crafting a narrative that makes patent applications more accessible and engaging. By following this structure, patent professionals can effectively communicate the essence of an invention, making the complex world of patents a bit more approachable and relatable.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

2023 Harrity Holiday Gift Guide

Are you doing some last minute holiday shopping? Stumped on what to get that one person on your list who seems to have everything? Don’t worry- Team Harrity has got you covered!
 
We have put together our official holiday gift guide for all the tech lovers, remote workers, self care queens, and fitness fanatics in your life. These carefully curated gifts have been hand-selected by our team members and include things that we all use in our everyday lives!

 

 

TECH

 

Ray-Ban Meta Wayfarer Smart Glasses

 

Listen to music, take photos and videos, and livestream on social media all from your Ray Bans! This is tech that our team is so excited about!

You can buy it here

 

Wireless Charging Stand

 

 

Charge all your devices wirelessly with this neat tabletop gadget!

You can buy the Belkin charging stand here.

 

Apple AirTag

 

We’ve all been there… you’re running out the door but the keys are nowhere to be found. Lost keys no more! The Apple Airtag is a versatile item that helps keep your valuables organized.

You can find it here.

 

LIFX Lightstrip

 

Upgrade virtually any space in your home with these smart lights! Choose any color via an app on your phone to take your desk, kitchen, bedroom, or game room into an oasis.

You can find it here.

 

Hatch Restore 2 Sunrise Alarm Clock

 

A favorite amongst the parents at our firm, the Hatch sunrise alarm makes waking up, dare we say it, peaceful! The alarm/white noise combo makes for the best night of sleep ever.

You can find it here.

 

Pura 4 Smart Diffuser

 

The Pura smart diffuser brings customized luxurious, clean scents to your home at the touch of a button (on an app!) The coolest thing is the adaptive diffusion and the smart scheduling functions.

You can find it here.

 

Polaroid Hi-Print Bluetooth Printer

 

Send your favorite photos straight to this pocket sized printer and instantly get beautiful, high quality business card sized prints!

You can find it here.

 

 

BOOKS

 

These books are all Harrity favorites, and are reads that we recommend again and again!

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Find the leadership book we recommended to the Minority Firm Incubator firms here.

 

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz

Find this must read book that we send our newly hired attorneys here.

 

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Find this practical self help book that our Marketing Director, Samantha Sullivan, recommends here.

 

The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by Shawn Achor

Find this “life-changing” guide to happiness that our Firm Controller, Sandra Maxey, recommends here.

 

Audible Subscription

Listen to these books we recommend plus so much more with a subscription to Audiobook.

 

 

WORK FROM HOME ESSENTIALS

 

Being a fully remote firm, Team Harrity has definitely come across some must have items for those who work from home.

Standing Desk

 

If you haven’t bought into the hype of a standing desk yet, now is the time! Being able to stand and stretch and move around during meetings is a gam changer for productivity. Pair this with the under desk treadmill we recommend in this guide to get your heart pumping, or with this ergonomic mat to take the pressure off your feet and ankles.

You can find that we recommend here.

 

Phone Tripod Stand with Bluetooth Remote

For someone who is creating content (videos, taking photos, etc.), this phone tripod is awesome. We really love it because it has a bluetooth remote so you can start and stop the video without having to do the awkward “press record and step back quickly” move.

You can find it here.

 

Desktop Ring Light

Have you seen Elaine Spector‘s Driving Diversity videos? Her secret to looking professional and polished in those videos and in meetings? A ring light!

You can find the one that we recommend here.

 

Coffee Mug Warmer

Sometimes when you get focused on work, you can forget about you wonderful caffeinated drink. And nobody likes cold coffee. This is the perfect gift for the coffee lover in your life!

You can get the one that we recommend here.

 

Mini Fridge

 

Anyone who works from home knows that the worst thing ever is having to interrupt your flow to get a drink or a snack. This mini fridge is perfect to keep in a home office so you can just reach over and get what you need!

Find this one here.

 

Eye Massager

 

After a long day of looking at a screen, this eye massager with heat is a gam changer for avoiding eye strain and headaches.

You can find the one that we love here.

 

ErgoFoam Under Desk Foot Rest

 

If you are sitting at your desk for long periods of time, this foot rest really makes a difference in how comfortable your feet and legs are!

You can find this one here.

 

Wearable Blanket Hoodie

 

 

It’s oversized, it’s warm, it’s cozy… Need we say more?

This one specifically makes an appearance on our support staff meetings every now and then. Find it here.

 

 

WELLNESS FINDS

 

2 in 1 Under Desk Treadmill

 

This under desk treadmill is the perfect way to get your steps in and close your rings while working. Pair it with the standing desk converter for the perfect office set up!

You can find the one we recommend here.

 

Hoka Bondi 8

 

These are worth the hype! Not only are they stylish, but they are really like walking on clouds!

Wear these on your next walking meeting by purchasing them here.

 

Peloton Guide

 

This super cool device turns your TV into an AI-powered personal trainer to give you a great workout at home!

You can find it here.

 

Massage Gun

 

If you are have a fitness fanatic in your life, this gift will basically be like giving them gold. This deep tissue massage gun provides quick pain relief for those overworked muscles.

You can get the one our team recommends here.

 

STANLEY QUENCHER H2.0 FLOWSTATE™ TUMBLER | 64 OZ

 

Staying hydrated is so important, and it’s actually pretty easy when you’re using a cute water bottle! We love this Stanley because at 64 oz, you’ll spend less time refilling at the fridge.

You can get it here.

 

Ninja CREAMi Ice Cream Maker

This viral healthy ice cream maker is a favorite of our Co-Founding Partner, John Harrity.

You can get it here.

 

Bentgo Prep 100-Piece Meal Prep Starter Kit

 

This meal prep kit comes from a highly recommended brand and is a great price!

You can get it here.

 

 

HARRITY FAVES

 

Swag from our Harrity 4 Charity Online Shop!

Shameless plug, but our Harrity 4 Charity swag is really pretty awesome! There is never a shortage of Harrity sweatshirts or Patent Pathways™ tees on our firmwide meetings. The best part? 100% of net proceeds go to our partner charities!

You can shop our essential & holiday collection here.

 

Sugarwish

 

This super cool gifting site lets you pick the category and size of a gift for your loved one, and then allows them to choose the exact gift that they want. So, no more guessing games with holiday gifts!

You can shop here.

 

Lootcrate Tees

 

This shirt subscription box is sure to be a big hit for the t-shirt loving individuals in your life. Shirts tend to run small and shrink, though, so we would recommend sizing up when ordering.

You can shop here.

 

Artificial Flower Bouquet

 

A bouquet that will never wilt or need to be thrown out? Yes please!

Shop faux holiday arrangements from the site we love here.

 

A Donation to One of Our Partner Charities!

Now through the end of the year, we will be matching gifts made to our Harrity 4 Charity partners: Patent Pathways ($50,000 match), Inova Children’s Hospital ($100,000 match), Change the Conversation ($50,000 match) and ZERO—The End of Prostate Cancer ($100,000 match), and starting 12/1, the American Heart Association ($25,000 match). Please consider making a donation in your friend’s or family member’s name by the end of the year to have your impact doubled!

Donate here.

 

 

Navigating the Maze of Machine Learning Patents: Strategies for Steering Clear of Obviousness

In the ever-evolving domain of machine learning, securing patents for novel inventions is a complex challenge. Neil Kardos shares his expert strategies in this week’s Practical Patents series. His focus is on the intricacies of drafting machine learning patent applications that stand out, avoiding the common trap of obviousness.

Neil stresses the significance of meticulously detailing machine learning patents. Building on the insights shared in last week’s blog post, which highlighted the importance of delineating the inputs to the model, the outputs generated, and the resultant actions, he now introduces three advanced strategies to further distance machine learning models from the risk of being deemed obvious.

Strategy 1: Novel Inputs

Neil’s first strategy centers on the unique choice of inputs in machine learning models. He advocates for leveraging unconventional inputs with significant predictive power to strengthen the non-obviousness of a patent application. For example, he cites the intriguing correlation between an individual’s time spent in a car and their smartphone purchasing preferences as a potential differentiator in a patent application.

Strategy 2: Diverse Outputs and Actions

The second strategy Neil suggests relates to the outputs of the models and the corresponding actions. He points out that beyond the typical binary actions, incorporating a range of responses based on different levels of probability can impart a unique edge to a patent. This could involve varying marketing tactics depending on the predicted likelihood of a customer making a purchase.

Strategy 3: Continual Model Refinement

Neil’s final strategy emphasizes the ongoing improvement and adaptation of machine learning models, especially through feedback mechanisms for re-training. Such adaptive features are often viewed positively by patent examiners and can be crucial in either the independent or dependent claims of a patent application.

Neil offers these strategies as a guide for those seeking to navigate the intricate world of machine learning patents. His insights shed light on effective approaches to elevate machine learning patent applications above the standard threshold of obviousness.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Harrity Analytics Presents: 2023 U.S. Patent Office Superlatives

In the dynamic world of patents, it can be difficult to stay informed about the latest trends and statistics. Harrity Analytics has compiled a fascinating series of USPTO Superlatives for 2023, highlighting key players based off of statistics from the United States Patent Office. Let’s dive into these insightful findings:

1. US City with Most Inventors on Granted US Patents (2023):
-San Diego, CA stands out this year with the most inventors! Inventors from this vibrant city have been listed on 18,429 patents granted in 2023. This is an impressive figure, showcasing the city’s thriving innovation ecosystem.
– Historical Leader (Since 1999): San Jose, CA holds the long-term crown. With its deep-rooted connection to Silicon Valley, inventors from San Jose have been listed on US granted patents a staggering 206,363 times since 1999.

2. World City with Most Inventors on Granted US Patents (2023): – Tokyo takes the global lead! This year, inventors from Tokyo have been listed on 25,317 US granted patents. Since 1999, the total reaches an impressive 403,818.
– Runners-up: Beijing and Seoul follow closely, with 22,585 and 22,205 listings respectively, demonstrating the global spread of innovation.

3. US State with the Most Patents Granted (2023):
– California (CA) leads the race in the United States, with CA inventors being listed on 153,141 granted patents in 2023. This reinforces California’s position as a hub of innovation and technological advancements.
– Following CA are Texas (TX) and Massachusetts (MA), with 31,757 and 25,214 patent listings in 2023 respectively, highlighting the diverse geographic distribution of innovation in the US.

4. Country with Most US Patents Listing Foreign Priority (2023):
– Japan is at the forefront in this category. Out of 329,056 US patents granted so far in 2023, 39,919 claim foreign priority in Japan. This is a testament to the strong innovation links between Japan and the US.
– China and Korea are not far behind, with 25,598 and 25,567 patents claiming priority respectively, showing a significant Asian influence in US patent filings.

These superlatives not only reflect the current landscape of patent filings but also highlight the global interconnectivity in the field of innovation and intellectual property. For those interested in diving deeper into these trends and accessing more analytics, visit Harrity Analytics.

Stay tuned for more insights and analyses from Harrity Analytics, as we continue to explore the ever-evolving world of patents and innovation.

 

Decoding the Art of Machine Learning Patents

In the dynamic and ever-changing world of machine learning (ML), creating a standout patent application is akin to solving a complex puzzle. It’s a landscape where innovation meets the challenge of differentiation. Neil Kardos offers insightful strategies to navigate this complexity, ensuring your ML patents are not just innovative but distinctively non-obvious.

The crux of patenting ML innovations lies in surpassing the “non-obviousness” threshold. This is where Neil’s expertise becomes invaluable, guiding inventors to develop patents that truly stand apart.

Strategy 1: Capitalizing on Unique Inputs

Neil highlights the significance of the inputs used in ML models. The key is in leveraging unconventional inputs that provide predictive insights. Imagine an ML model predicting consumer behavior based on seemingly unrelated data, like time spent in a car. These unique inputs can dramatically strengthen the non-obviousness of a patent application.

Strategy 2: Leveraging Outputs and Actions

The second strategy delves into the outputs of ML models and the subsequent actions they trigger. Neil suggests focusing on how these outputs, often probabilistic, can dictate varied actions at different confidence levels. This nuanced approach adds a layer of sophistication to your patent, exemplified by a navigation system that adjusts routes based on the ML model’s confidence levels.

Incorporating these strategies into your patent claims is essential. Neil advises that if these innovative approaches are central to your invention, they should be included in independent claims. However, if they are supplementary, consider adding them to dependent claims or the specification. This method ensures robustness during the patent prosecution process, especially against potential prior art challenges.

In the intricate dance of ML patenting, it’s the nuanced details and strategic claim drafting that make all the difference. With Neil’s guidance, your ML inventions can transcend the ordinary, securing a place in the ever-growing patent landscape.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Efficient Patent Application Drafting: Minimizing Rework in Inventor Interviews

In the world of patent application drafting, efficiency is key. Neil Kardos offers valuable insights into making the process more streamlined, especially in handling inventor interviews. A common trap many patent practitioners fall into is the inadvertent engagement in rework, particularly in the way inventor interviews are conducted. Transcribing or listening to the entire recording of these interviews, as it turns out, is a significant time sink.

Recording inventor interviews is useful as a backup, but relying on them extensively for information can lead to inefficiency. Instead, Neil advocates for effective note-taking as the cornerstone of efficiency. This involves preparing questions in advance, written in blue ink, and noting down answers in red during the interview. This method is flexible, working well with both traditional and digital note-taking methods.

In this process, strategic note-taking is key. It’s important to avoid noting down information that is already known or included in the invention disclosure form (IDF). The focus should be on clarifying ambiguities and jotting down new insights. If you fall behind in note-taking, marking the time elapsed in the interview can help you quickly locate the needed section later, should you need to revisit the recording.

Modern technology, such as screen sharing, can further enhance the efficiency of reviewing recordings, allowing for quick navigation to relevant sections. A critical aspect of this process is setting aside time for a post-interview debrief. This could range from determining focus areas for claims to drafting the claims and figures. Neil describes this method as “frontloading,” a highly effective strategy that he discusses in more detail in another presentation.

Neil’s advice highlights subtle but impactful methods for refining workflow in patent application drafting. By adopting these strategies in inventor interviews, patent practitioners can transform a routine task into a significant efficiency booster.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Harrity 4 Charity Announces 2023 Charitable Contribution Matching Campaigns

Harrity 4 Charity, the giving-back initiative of Harrity LLP, is excited to announce our 2023 Giving Matches. Now through the end of the year, we will be matching gifts made to our Harrity 4 Charity partners.

Harrity 4 Charity will be matching donations gifted to Inova Children’s Hospital, Change the Conversation, ZERO—The End of Prostate Cancer, Patent Pathways™, and the American Heart Association for our 2023 Matching campaign! Please consider making a donation to have your impact doubled.

Patent Pathways™

Running through 12/31, Harrity 4 Charity is matching donations made to Patent Pathways™! Every donation up to $50,000 will be matched to provide essential trainings that support diversity and inclusion in the patent field. Click here to donate to Patent Pathways.

Change the Conversation

In an effort to put an end to childhood sexual abuse and help survivors with recovery, we are matching $50,000 of donations made to Change the Conversation by December 31st. Please click here to contribute.

Inova Children’s Hospital

Harrity 4 Charity will double $100,000 of donations made to Inova Children’s Hospital from now until the end of the year. All donations will go directly towards purchasing toys and books, and providing support for children undergoing treatment and surgery at Inova Children’s Hospital during the holidays for Poppy’s Toy Drive — an initiative started by eight-year old cancer survivor, Poppy, who spent 160 days at Inova in 2018. Click here to donate to Poppy’s Toy Express.

ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer

Harrity 4 Charity is proud to support ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer with a one day 4X match up to $100,000! You can join the fight against prostate cancer and support prostate cancer education, testing, patient support, research and advocacy by donating here.

American Heart Association

Harrity 4 Charity will be continuing our support of the American heart association with an end of year matching campaign up to $25,000! Donations made to the American Heart Association, the largest non-profit organization dedicated to fighting heart disease, through the upcoming Lawyers Have Heart event will be doubled through 12/31. Click here to donate and to register for the 2024 LHH 5K, 10K and Fun Walk on May 18th, virtually or in-person. You can also make a donation by simply texting ‘RUNLHH’ to 41444.

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity pledges to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300 ™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

Revolutionizing Patent Applications: The Case for Clarity in Language

In the intricate world of patent law, the clarity of legal documents is not just a nicety but a necessity. Neil Kardos, a vocal advocate for more readable patent applications, recently highlighted an issue that’s often overlooked yet crucial. Patent applications, by their nature, are complex. They are technical documents, intricately detailing how new technologies function. However, Neil points out an additional layer of complexity that stems not from the content but from the style of writing.

Patent professionals are experts in their fields, with rich backgrounds in science, math, and engineering. However, Neil observes that this technical focus often comes at the expense of writing skills. The result? Patent applications that are not just technically dense but also linguistically challenging. Adding to this complexity is the traditional use of legal jargon, or legalese, which can make documents even more daunting.

Neil suggests a simple yet effective change: replacing “said” element with “the” element in patent claims. While this might seem minor, the impact on readability is significant. He draws on a Patently-O article, which indicates that in the 1970s and 1980s, about 90% of patent applications used “said”. Today, this usage has reduced to around 20%. Neil argues that even this is too high. By embracing simpler language, the patent community can make these vital documents more approachable and understandable.

What sets Neil apart is his approach to this issue. He doesn’t just propose a change; he invites a discussion. This open invitation is more than a call for change; it’s a call for a community-wide reflection on how the patent world communicates.

Neil’s advocacy for clearer writing in patent applications goes beyond merely suggesting a change; he fosters a dialogue towards a future where legal documents are not barriers but bridges to understanding. By adopting simpler language, the patent community can ensure that these crucial documents are not only legally sound but also broadly accessible.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

The Art of Precision: Enhancing Patent Illustrations with a Touch of Expertise

Navigating the patent process is akin to crafting a masterpiece—each line, shade, and angle contributes to the final depiction of innovation. In this intricate dance, the initial sketches set the stage. Neil Kardos, like a skilled artist, starts with strokes of inspiration, transforming the abstract into tangible hand-drawn figures.

This is where the journey from concept to concrete begins. It’s a pivotal transformation, facilitated by the adept hands of a Visio specialist at Harrity. With an arsenal of tailored templates and precision stencils, these initial sketches are elevated to the standards of professional patent drawings—often within the span of a day.

For many practitioners, however, such in-house luxuries may be a distant dream. Neil advises those in the wider legal landscape to seek out and foster relationships with professional drafters or specialized firms. Particularly for elaborate mechanical applications, where the minutiae matter, these partnerships can be invaluable.

Neil’s strategic advice extends beyond the logistics of drafting—it’s a philosophy of time management and focus. For the modern attorney, particularly in the world of fixed fees, the importance of honing in on crafting claims and the specification is paramount. Neil shares some of his personal tips to cut down on the drafting drudgery: avoid redrawing components that can be pulled from an IDF or another application—simply annotate “copy from slide 7 of the IDF” as a directive. And when it comes to modifications, why not start with a print-out of an existing drawing and manually add your edits?

At the heart of Neil’s methodology is a balance between efficiency and quality. By delegating the drawing process, attorneys at Harrity & Harrity are empowered to dedicate their expertise to the core elements of patent applications. This not only enhances the firm’s productivity but also upholds the high-quality standard that clients have come to expect.

What inventive methods do you employ in your practice to ensure your patent drawings are the epitome of efficiency and precision? At Harrity & Harrity, we’re committed to learning and sharing insights that propel us all towards excellence in the ever-evolving patent landscape.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Streamlining Inventor Approvals in Patent Drafting

As patent attorneys, one of our principal objectives is to draft applications that not only meet legal standards but also receive the nod of approval from the inventors we represent. It’s a delicate balance of interpreting technical ingenuity and presenting it through the stringent lens of patent law. Join us this week in our Practical Patents series, as Neil Kardos offers seasoned advice on how to navigate this process effectively, ensuring that when inventors review our applications, their most frequent response is an affirming “looks good.”

The process begins with the inventor interview—a critical juncture where the foundation for a robust application is laid. Here, we delve into the nuances of the main embodiment of the invention. Yet, it’s not just about the present innovation; it’s about potential future iterations as well. This is where the art of questioning becomes paramount.

Neil advises that to unlock the full narrative of an invention, one must go beyond the surface. It starts with identifying the novel aspects of the technology at hand. The question “What are some other ways this could be done?” not only helps in outlining potential alternatives but also safeguards against future design-around efforts. By brainstorming these alternatives preemptively and discussing them with inventors, we can stimulate a more dynamic and comprehensive exploration of the invention’s scope.

The inquiry doesn’t stop at what exists; it extends to what could follow. Asking inventors to envision further improvements or next steps in their innovation journey can reveal valuable insights into the invention’s future applications or enhancements. This foresight is crucial in crafting a patent application that is not only relevant today but will stand the test of time.

Lastly, a thorough wrap-up question such as “Is there anything we’ve overlooked?” ensures that all relevant details have been captured. It’s an essential part of the interview that can uncover overlooked aspects, leading to a more complete and robust application.

Setting expectations with the inventor is equally vital. The level of detail and focus in the patent application often correlates with the inventor’s experience with the patent process. For newcomers, it’s beneficial to outline what the patent application will include and why certain aspects will be highlighted over others. This clarifies the document’s focus on novel elements and prepares the inventor for the application’s format and content.

By adhering to these strategies, Neil asserts that patent attorneys can significantly reduce the need for subsequent revisions and increase the likelihood of obtaining that initial “looks good” from inventors. This approach not only streamlines the review process but also fosters a collaborative relationship with the inventor, ultimately leading to higher-quality patent applications.

The key is about understanding the inventor’s vision and ensuring that the patent application accurately and effectively communicates that vision within the legal framework. By incorporating these practices, patent attorneys can enhance their drafting process, resulting in greater satisfaction for both the inventors and the legal professionals tasked with protecting their creations.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

The Evolving Landscape of Automotive Patents Among German Automakers

The patent landscape in the automotive industry has been a topic of interest for stakeholders seeking to navigate the technological advancements and innovations shaping the market. A recent analysis by Harrity Analytics illuminates how the tides have turned in patent acquisition among Germany’s top three automakers—Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche—over the last two decades.

In the early 2000s, Mercedes led the pack in annual patent acquisitions. This period can be characterized as one where Mercedes aggressively sought to protect its intellectual property, a strategy that aligned well with the company’s pursuit of technological leadership in the industry.

However, a noticeable shift occurred around 2010. At this juncture, Mercedes began acquiring fewer patents annually, leveling the playing field for BMW and Porsche. Both companies seized this opportunity and started acquiring patents at a rate that put them in line with Mercedes. The trend suggests a strategic repositioning by BMW and Porsche, possibly driven by a need to catch up with Mercedes’ early lead and to solidify their own footing in rapidly evolving areas like electric vehicles, autonomous driving, and connected services.

The most significant transformation has been observed in the past five to seven years. During this phase, BMW and Porsche have not only caught up but have surpassed Mercedes in annual patent acquisitions. This shift signals a substantial realignment in the industry’s innovation focus, with BMW and Porsche ramping up their efforts to secure technological advancements through intellectual property. Conversely, Mercedes has fallen well behind, prompting questions about its long-term strategy in a landscape increasingly defined by disruptive innovations.

Understanding these shifts is crucial for industry players, investors, and policymakers as it provides insights into the competitive dynamics and innovation strategies of these automakers. The data suggests that while Mercedes may have been an early pioneer, BMW and Porsche have been more agile in adapting to new technological paradigms, as evidenced by their more robust patent portfolios in recent years. It will be interesting to observe how technological advances continue to disrupt the automotive industry and whether these three big players will adjust their patent strategies.

Keep an eye on the Patent 300® Dashboard to see how these trends play out!

Check out our other Patent Analytics services HERE.

Understanding the Sequence: Navigating the Nuances of “First” and “Second” in Patent Claims

In the meticulous practice of patent application drafting, the choice of words can be as crucial as the invention itself. Neil Kardos explores the subtleties of using sequential terms in the latest edition of the Practical Patents Series. Clarity and precision in claim language are the cornerstones of a robust patent application, a principle that Neil emphasizes in his discourse.

The common practice of denoting elements or steps as “first” and “second” serves a fundamental role in distinguishing components within patent claims. However, Neil cautions that these seemingly straightforward terms can be a double-edged sword. He presents a scenario that many practitioners encounter: defining a sequence within an invention. The term “first” might intuitively imply the beginning of a sequence, but as Neil elucidates, its interpretation in patent law can be broader.

Neil urges that when the order is pivotal to an invention’s functionality, the terms “first” and “second” should be used with discernment. For instance, if the intention is to specify the very start of a sequence, more explicit language might be warranted, such as “an initial time period” or “the earliest-occurring time period.” These alternatives leave no room for ambiguity and ensure that the claims are understood as intended.

In his practical guidance, Neil also highlights the importance of aligning the specification and drawings with the claims. This harmony across the patent application is vital for delineating the exact meaning of sequence terms, especially when dealing with inventions where timing is key.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Monitoring U.S. Patent Maintenance Fee Data: A Look at Strategy Shifts

Monitoring U.S. patent maintenance fee data provides valuable insights into the behavior and strategies of patent owners. At Harrity & Harrity, we have been actively tracking this information since 2015. Our analysis reveals a consistent pattern in maintenance fee payments, with data generally falling within a single standard deviation. However, 2020 stands as an exception, with activity moving outside this range for the first time. This anomaly could be attributed to various factors, such as the economic uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic or shifts in specific technology sectors.

As we look toward 2024, it becomes increasingly important to observe whether this data will experience further deviations. These trends could indicate either a return to previous payment behaviors or the emergence of new strategic approaches by patent owners. Factors like innovation cycles, market demands, and global crises could all contribute to shifts in data.

For patent owners, the implications of this analysis are significant. A consistent reevaluation of patent maintenance strategies is advisable to ensure alignment with long-term organizational goals and current market conditions. Harrity & Harrity’s commitment to patent analytics and consultative services aims to provide clients with the necessary insights to navigate the complex landscape of intellectual property rights effectively. As we approach 2024, we will continue to monitor these trends closely, offering valuable data to help patent owners stay informed and agile in their maintenance fee strategies.

Check out our Patent Analytics services HERE.

Navigating Patent Prosecution: Understanding Your Examiner for Better Outcomes

In the world of patent prosecution, understanding the intricacies of the process can be the key to success. Neil Kardos shares some invaluable insights into how to achieve better outcomes during patent prosecution. With a background as a former patent examiner at the USPTO, Neil brings a unique perspective that can significantly impact your patent application journey.

Neil’s journey from a patent examiner to his current role at Harrity has given him a unique perspective on the patent world, and he’s here to shed light on a crucial aspect of the process – working effectively with examiners.

When Neil embarked on his career as a patent examiner, he encountered the familiar hesitation that often plagues newcomers in the field when it comes to allowing patent applications. This sentiment was widespread among his peers, and the challenges were amplified by his assignment to a business methods art unit. Neil’s early experiences reflect the reality of the patent landscape, as his examiner score in PatentPrufer started at a modest 56 out of 100.

Experience Breeds Confidence

Time and experience proved to be Neil’s greatest allies. With the accumulation of years spent in patent examination, he gradually became more comfortable with granting patents and, equally crucial, collaborating effectively with applicants to fine-tune claims for a higher likelihood of success. Neil’s journey underlines a universal truth in patent prosecution: grasping the unique dynamics of your assigned examiner is a cornerstone of success.

In the world of patent examination, each examiner brings their distinct perspective, expertise, and approach to the table. Acknowledging and embracing this individuality is pivotal in navigating the intricacies of patent prosecution. At Harrity & Harrity, we recognize this fundamental truth.

Harnessing the Power of Examiner Analytics

Within our firm, we harness the potential of examiner analytics to make well-informed decisions during the prosecution process. A critical judgment involves evaluating whether to request the presence of a primary examiner during inventor interviews. This decision hinges on the experience level of the examiner assigned to your application.

Moreover, you have the opportunity to request a specific primary examiner based on their performance score. This score offers a rough indication of their likelihood to allow your patent application. It’s a strategic move that can significantly impact your prosecution strategy.

In closing, Neil’s remarkable journey underscores a profound truth: the art of patent prosecution is as diverse as the examiners themselves. By delving into the intricacies of each examiner’s approach and leveraging the power of examiner analytics, you hold the key to unlocking a world of possibilities in the ever-evolving landscape of patents. As you embark on your own patent prosecution journey, remember that knowledge truly is power, and harnessing it can lead to transformative success.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Revolutionizing the Patent Landscape: The ‘Driving Diversity’ ADAPT Webinar Unpacks the Future of Diversity in Patent Law

Today, we’re diving into a subject that’s close to our hearts: the advancement of diversity in the patent law field. If you’re as passionate about this issue as we are, you’ll want to know all about the Diversity Dialogue: ADAPT Webinar that recently took place. This event brought together some of the brightest minds in the industry to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in patent law.

In a world where innovation drives progress, it’s important for the teams behind the patents to reflect the diversity of the world they serve. This isn’t just an ethical imperative; it’s a business necessity. Diverse teams bring fresh perspectives that can catalyze groundbreaking ideas. And that’s where the ADAPT initiative comes in, as a collaborative effort aimed at making tangible changes in the industry.

Harrity’s Elaine Spector was joined by panelists Gail Su (Google), Mike Binns (Meta) and Judy Yee (Microsoft) as this collective wisdom came together to delve into the ADAPT initiative, each contributing their unique perspectives and expertise.

How ADAPT Came to Be

Elaine Spector kicked off the discussion by recounting the founding story of ADAPT. The goal? To transition from mere talk to meaningful action. The thought that collective action from power players like Google, Meta, and Microsoft was the key to making waves in the patent law ecosystem. So they formed a DEI collective and gave it a name worth remembering: ADAPT.

Why DEI Isn’t Just a Buzzword

DEI isn’t a corporate fad—it’s a corporate strategy. Gail Su hit the nail on the head, reminding us that diverse teams don’t just check boxes; they break new ground. Also, Mike Binns pushed us to think broader about what diversity means. It’s not just about color or gender; it’s about varied educational backgrounds, experiences, and even diverse ways of thinking.

The Progress So Far

ADAPT is more than just a collective on paper; it’s making real moves. From mentorship programs to data analytics for tracking DEI metrics, this initiative isn’t playing small. ADAPT isn’t here for the short game, but is looking to build sustainable diversity.

As we look to the future, the objectives for ADAPT extend well beyond the present moment. The panelists articulated a strategic vision aimed at institutionalizing DEI practices within the patent law ecosystem. Elaine Spector emphasized Harrity & Harrity’s unwavering commitment to not only supporting but also actively contributing to these pioneering initiatives. The ambition is to elevate DEI practices to the level of an industry standard, setting a precedent for excellence and inclusivity that other firms in the patent law field will aspire to meet.

Questions to Spark Your Imagination

  1. How can your firm adopt a data-driven approach to keep DEI at the forefront?
  2. What unorthodox strategies could you utilize to attract and retain diverse talent?
  3. Could DEI be the secret sauce for your organization’s long-term success?

If this post has piqued your interest, don’t miss the chance to watch the entire ADAPT Diversity Dialogue Webinar here. Until we meet again, let’s continue to challenge the status quo and reshape the future landscape of patent law.

Watch the full webinar here:

Want to get involved? Check out the useful link below!

ADAPT.LEGAL


Want more? Watch Elaine Spector’s Driving Diversity series HERE. Elaine shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in this weekly short-video series.

Leveraging AI in Gap Analysis Reports

Gap Analysis Reports are instrumental for companies to understand the comparative strengths and weaknesses in their patent portfolios. At Harrity & Harrity, we have begun to incorporate generative AI technology like ChatGPT to rapidly identify and summarize these crucial differences between portfolios, based on data provided by the Harrity Analytics Team. The use of AI in this context is not just an experimental venture; it presents a significant opportunity to make the patent analysis process more efficient, quicker, and potentially less costly, particularly in matters of litigation and licensing.

Our Patent 300® Dashboard helps users easily filter between companies and technology areas for easy to view gap analysis, which AI can then quickly delineate. Let’s take a case study that involved comparing the patent portfolios of NVIDIA and Intel Corporation. This analysis highlighted several interesting differences and competitive focuses between the two tech giants. For example, NVIDIA has a noticeable lead in ray-tracing technology with 33 patents, while Intel trails with only 13. When it comes to learning methods, a domain essential for artificial intelligence, Intel surprisingly leads with 31 patents as opposed to Nvidia’s 14. In the areas of texture mapping and processor architectures, both companies appear neck-and-neck, each holding five patents, suggesting a mutual recognition of the importance of these technologies. Furthermore, while NVIDIA has made some headway in cooling technologies with four patents, Intel has none. On the flip side, Intel dominates in the domain of remote windowing with eight patents, dwarfing Nvidia’s single patent. Lastly, in terms of the organizational structure of processors, Intel holds twice the number of patents that Nvidia does, with six against three.

The potential implications of this rapid, AI-driven comparative analysis are significant. Firstly, by providing quick and accurate insights into patent portfolios, the AI can significantly reduce the time and financial resources usually required for litigation and licensing processes. Secondly, these insights can also be instrumental for a company’s strategic planning, particularly for directing R&D investments and identifying areas for competitive positioning. Finally, when aggregated across multiple analyses, this data may also serve as an industry barometer, signaling where innovation is heating up and where it is cooling down.

Overall, the integration of generative AI technology like ChatGPT in the patent analysis process offers promising advantages. By parsing large sets of complex data with both speed and accuracy, we are poised to provide our clients with more cost-effective and timely solutions without compromising the quality of insights crucial for strategic decision-making. The challenge now lies in considering how to further harness this technology.

Could there be other facets of the patent field where the capabilities of generative AI could be further explored for better efficiency and cost-effectiveness? Let us know your thoughts!

Check out our Patent Analytics services HERE.

Providing Context in Patent Applications: A Strategic Approach to Storytelling and Claiming

Patent professionals understand that the choice of language in patent applications can have far-reaching implications. This week, Neil Kardos explains how one such term fraught with peril is “background.” The concerns around this terminology are twofold:

  1. Admitted Prior Art: Any information presented in a section labeled as “background” may be considered as admitted prior art, which can negatively influence the patent examination process.
  2. Obviousness Rejection: Describing the problem solved by the invention under “background” could provide the examiner with a basis to argue that the solution is obvious, thereby facilitating an obviousness rejection.

Alternatives to ‘Background’

So, how can one maneuver around these pitfalls? Neil explains that there are two strategies that can be employed:

Omission or Renaming

The first strategy is to either omit a section explicitly called “background” or to rename it to something like “Introduction” or “Technical Field.” By doing so, you reduce the risk of the examiner interpreting this section as an admission of prior art.

Contextual Placement

The second strategy involves placing the context or “background” information within the “Detailed Description” section. Here, you can set the stage for understanding the technical problem without overtly admitting it as prior art.

Tailoring Context to the Nature of the Invention

Different types of inventions require different levels of contextual detail:

  • Technical Standards-Related Inventions: For an invention that closely aligns with technical standards, it’s crucial to clarify any standard-specific terminology. Failure to do so could lead to an examiner or court misconstruing your patent claims.
  • Consumer-Friendly Inventions: For inventions that are easier to comprehend, such as extending a phone’s battery life, a shorter, less technical explanation would suffice.

Addressing Section 101 Rejections

For inventions that stand a high chance of facing Section 101 rejections, it’s beneficial to frame the invention as a technical solution to a technical problem. This could make it easier to argue against any 101-based rejections.

In conclusion, Neil explains that choosing the right language and placing it appropriately can make a significant difference in the outcome of a patent application. By considering the nature of your invention and the potential pitfalls surrounding the term “background,” you can craft a more compelling and robust patent application. This strategic approach not only improves the chances of success at the patent office but also sets a strong foundation for any subsequent legal evaluations.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Rocky Berndsen Recognized as World Leading IP Strategist in 2023 IAM Strategy 300 List

Harrity & Harrity is pleased to announce that our Head of Analytics, Rocky Berndsen, has been honored by IAM as a 2023 World Leading IP Strategist. This prestigious award serves to recognize individuals who are at the forefront of developing and executing strategies that maximize the value of intellectual property portfolios.

As stated by IAM-Media.com, the selection process for this accolade is rigorous and involves confidential online nominations. The comprehensive research methodology includes face-to-face and telephone interviews, as well as email exchanges with senior figures in the global IP community.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that Rocky has earned a spot on the IAM Strategy 300 List, underscoring his consistent excellence and leadership in the field.

“Proud and humbled to be named among the top IP strategists in the world by IAM Strategy 300. It’s a testament to my team’s relentless pursuit of innovation and excellence in the IP world. Grateful for the opportunity to contribute to such a dynamic field!” he shared.

Rocky Berndsen leads the analytics group at Harrity & Harrity, specializing in delivering data analytics services to corporate clients. These services are designed to provide valuable insights and intelligence regarding not only the clients’ own patent portfolios but also those of their competitors, their external legal teams, and the patent industry at large.

The Power of Checklists in Patent Application Drafting

When it comes to the intricate process of drafting patent applications, even seasoned professionals can find themselves submerged in a maze of technicalities, client-specific requirements, and meticulous details. Neil Kardos highlights a simple yet effective strategy for navigating this complex terrain: the use of a checklist. This blog post delves into how a well-crafted checklist can not only improve the quality of your patent applications but also bring a new level of efficiency to your work.

The Quality Factor: More Than Just a Safety Net

First and foremost, let’s talk about quality. It may seem like a given, but when you’re working on something as complex as a patent application, it’s surprisingly easy to forget the basics. Running a spell check or utilizing patent proofreading tools might seem rudimentary, but these are the steps that ensure the polished finish of a professional application. Here, a checklist acts as more than just a safety net; it becomes an essential quality control measure. By ticking off these checks as you go, you make sure that no minor or major step gets overlooked, thereby elevating the quality of your entire application.

Navigating Client Preferences: A Customized Approach

In a professional landscape where one size rarely fits all, it’s imperative to cater to the unique needs of each client. Whether it’s about the sequence in which they want to review the application—be it claims, figures, or the entire draft—or the mode by which they prefer to receive submissions, client preferences can vary widely. This is where a customized checklist shines. Not only does it serve as a reminder of the individual needs of each client, but it also acts as a flexible tool that can be adapted to different processes, ensuring you hit the mark every time.

Drafting: An Art and a Science

When it comes to the art and science of drafting a patent application, most of us don’t approach it in a linear fashion. Neil, for instance, prefers to start with the context for the invention and the details of the invention itself. This initial focus allows him to fine-tune the claims, which are the backbone of any patent application. Once the claims are set, he then circles back to complete the summary, flow chart descriptions, and other interconnected sections. Here, the checklist serves as a tactical guide, ensuring that not only do all these pieces get the attention they deserve, but they also follow an optimized sequence for maximum efficiency.

At its core, a checklist is more than just a list of tasks; it’s a strategic tool that enables better planning, higher quality, and efficient execution in the patent application drafting process. Neil recommends creating master checklists that can be customized according to the diverse needs of each client. This approach not only fosters quality and efficiency but also brings a newfound level of clarity to your drafting process.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

The Art of Word Selection in Patent Application Drafting

Drafting a patent application is an art form that requires meticulous attention to detail, especially when it comes to language use. Neil Kardos accentuates this point by highlighting the potential pitfalls of using terms like “first” and “second” in patent claims. Such terms, while seemingly straightforward, can introduce ambiguity that may have far-reaching legal implications.

Neil presents a compelling example to illustrate the complexities involved. Imagine a claim that involves multiple signals, say a “first signal” that generates a “second signal.” If additional claims reference other signals, labeling them as “third,” “fourth,” etc., could create significant confusion. This is not just a theoretical concern; such ambiguity could actually compromise the enforceability or scope of the patent claim.

Strategic Approaches to Resolve the Issue

  1. Specific Labeling: One way to avoid confusion is to adopt specific labels for these signals. However, care must be taken to ensure these labels do not unintentionally limit the claim’s scope.
  2. Dependent Claim Labeling: Another approach Neil recommends is to only use “first” and “second” in the independent claim. This allows for the use of distinct labels for signals in dependent claims, minimizing the risk of confusion.

Considerations for Long-term Strategy

As patent attorneys, agents, and support staff, it’s crucial for us to think beyond the immediate challenges of patent drafting. For instance, how can we adopt an analytics-driven approach to identify common pitfalls in patent application drafting? How could automation aid in standardizing terminology and reducing errors?

Neil’s advice is not just a set of drafting tips but also a call for critical thinking in the patent field. His insights remind us that every word in a patent application carries weight and could have long-term consequences for innovation in the computer, electrical, and mechanical fields. As we continue our pursuit of innovation and quality in patent law, taking heed of such expert advice is indispensable.

Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Mastering the Art of the Inventor Interview: Ensuring Confidence While Asking the Right Questions

Greetings fellow patent enthusiasts! An inventor interview is not just an information-gathering session; it’s an opportunity to build rapport and trust between the inventor and the patent professional. Join us this week as Neil Kardos explains how the nuances of these interactions can significantly impact the inventor’s confidence in your capabilities to represent their interests adequately.

Pre-Interview Research: A Non-Negotiable Step

Before the interview, always take the time to research any unfamiliar concepts in the inventor’s documentation. This not only prepares you for the discussion but also avoids asking questions that could potentially undermine the inventor’s confidence in your expertise. A simple web search for unknown terms or concepts is often enough to provide the necessary context.

Tackling the Unknown: Phrasing is Key

There will inevitably be times when prior research doesn’t yield clear explanations for certain terms or technologies. In such instances, how you pose your questions can make all the difference. Here are some strategies:

1. Acknowledge Your Effort

Example: “I searched the web for XYZ, but I couldn’t find a really good explanation. Can you explain it to me?” This approach shows that you have made an effort to understand but have hit a roadblock, inviting the inventor to fill in the gaps.

2. Draw Parallels with Familiar Concepts

Example: “I’m familiar with how ABC works, but I don’t understand XYZ. Can you explain it to me?” This method acknowledges your expertise in related areas and humbly asks for clarification on the specific topic at hand.

3. Navigate Company-Specific Jargon

Example: “I saw that you’ve used the term XYZ in your documentation, and I couldn’t find a good explanation of what that is. Can you explain that to me, or is there another term for this that I could look up?” When dealing with internal jargon, this approach shows that you are proactive and willing to learn.

The inventor interview is a crucial aspect of patent law practice, requiring a blend of expertise, humility, and strategic questioning. A well-prepared and conscientiously executed interview not only yields the information necessary for drafting a robust patent application but also establishes a positive working relationship with the inventor.

So the next time you’re preparing for an inventor interview, remember these tips. A little preparation and strategic questioning can go a long way in ensuring a productive and confidence-inspiring conversation. Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

A Strategic Approach to Preparing Patent Claims for Multiple Jurisdictions

Welcome back, fellow patent enthusiasts! In the dynamic world of patents, one size does not fit all, especially when considering international filings. As a seasoned patent professional, Neil Kardos delves into strategic tips tailored to the unique requirements of several major jurisdictions.

1. Understanding U.S. Application Trends: For U.S. applications, it’s customary to file with 3 independent claims and 20 total claims, maximizing the filing fee benefit without incurring additional charges for excess claims. As an illustration from software patent applications, Neil frequently files:

  • 7 method claims
  • 7 device claims
  • 6 computer-readable medium claims

2. European Patent Office (EPO) Strategies: The EPO permits 15 claims without additional fees. A savvy approach Neil adopts is leveraging method claims to craft a nuanced computer-readable medium claim. This involves:

  • Using the 7 method and 7 device claims from the U.S. application.
  • Adding a unique 15th claim: “A computer program product that, when executed by a processor, causes the processor to perform the method of any of claims 1 to 7.”

Further, utilizing multiple dependent claims, which the EPO allows, can be beneficial.

3. Navigating Claim Filings in China and India: Both China and India allow a filing of up to 10 claims without surplus fees. Given that each additional claim costs under $25, Neil suggests submitting between 10 to 20 claims from the U.S. application. Filing all 20 claims in these jurisdictions would cost approximately $250, a stark contrast to the EPO’s fee structure.

4. The Canadian Perspective: Canada presents a unique scenario, as there aren’t excess claim fees. Neil’s strategy here often involves deferring examination until the entire U.S. patent family (inclusive of parent applications and continuations) is finalized. Subsequently, a Patent Prosecution Highway request is filed with an amendment encompassing all claims from the sanctioned U.S. applications.


In conclusion, effectively preparing patent claims for international jurisdictions demands both a deep understanding of regional nuances and a strategic mindset. Neil’s insights, as presented, provide a robust foundation for such endeavors.

Thank you for reading, we invite you to share your experiences and tips regarding claim preparation in these or other jurisdictions. Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Paul Harrity Featured in Washington Lawyer Magazine

In a recent feature by the Washington Lawyer Magazine, Paul Harrity, Managing Partner at Harrity & Harrity, LLP, shared his experiences and insights on the revolutionary ChatGPT technology.

In the article, Paul and other law firm leaders discuss the power of ChatGPT in boosting efficiency, experimentation with the tool’s capabilities when it comes to legal tasks, the ethical considerations, including the importance of confidentiality, to take into account when using ChatGPT, and the overall industry perspective of incorporating the use of AI into what once was a very traditional practice.

In particular, Paul’s exploration of ChatGPT underscores the potential of AI in revolutionizing the legal field, while also highlighting the need for careful consideration of ethical implications.

You can read the full article HERE.

 

Enhancing Claim Readability for a Competitive Edge

Greetings once again, esteemed patent aficionados! We’re back this week with Neil Kardos’ Practical Patent tips, as he shares a valuable tip that can not only enhance the readability of your patent claims but might also bestow a subtle psychological advantage when liaising with a patent examiner.

In the complex field of patent drafting, clarity and precision are paramount. Neil shares a valuable insight into refining the presentation of patent claims. The objective? To make them more reader-friendly and potentially create a positive impression on patent examiners.

Typically, claims are drafted using sizable blocks of text for each step or component. These blocks are neatly separated by semicolons and start on fresh lines with an indent. But what happens when a single step or component spans over four lines or more?

Neil suggests, “If you encounter a step comprising two lines, followed by a ‘wherein’ clause also spanning two lines, it can be cumbersome for readers. Instead of presenting it as a continuous four-line chunk, break it up.” He recommends placing a comma at the end of the first two lines, then initiating the ‘wherein’ clause on a new indented line. This technique breaks the invention down into bite-sized, easily digestible segments.

Possible Psychological Advantage with Examiners

Another potential upside to this approach is its optical effect. The same word count, when spaced out, consumes more lines on paper, possibly giving the impression of a more detailed claim. Kardos, drawing from his experience as a former examiner, expresses skepticism about the weightage of this theory. He says, “In my examiner days, I was mostly hunting for the claimed invention, irrespective of its presentation.” However, if an examiner vacillates about an allowance, and this presentation nudges them towards granting it, then the strategy surely holds merit.

Enhanced Readability Equals Improved Quality

Neil emphasizes that the chief advantage of this technique lies in its improved readability. An easily comprehensible claim not only facilitates the examiner’s job but also ensures that reviewers and inventors can accurately gauge if the invention has been captured aptly.

He concludes, “In the intricate realm of patents, clarity is a boon. By adopting this simple strategy, patent attorneys can significantly enhance the quality and perception of their claims. I genuinely hope practitioners find this tip beneficial.”

Thank you for reading, and we invite you to explore more insights and strategies in the patent field on our Practical Patents blog series. Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Honing Business Methods Patent Applications: A Shift Towards Technicality

Welcome back, fellow patent enthusiasts! We’re back this week with Neil Kardos’ Practical Patent tips, as he draws on his experience as a former business methods patent examiner and his extensive work in the field, to offer strategic insights for navigating the complex terrain of business methods patent applications. Neil emphasizes the imperative of transitioning the focus from primarily business methods to technical aspects.

Understanding the Shift

Business methods often grapple with a common conundrum: they are inherently business-centric, which makes them particularly susceptible to invalidity challenges. The magic lies in reframing the invention’s narrative. Neil’s approach hinges on the following:

  • Engaging in Inventor Conversations: Start by discerning the technical elements during initial discussions with inventors. This sets the groundwork for refocusing the application.
  • Identifying Key Technical Aspects: Using an example of a system harnessing transaction data to inform users about sales in nearby stores, Kardos underscores the value of delving into the ‘how’ of the invention. This includes understanding:
    1. The mechanisms behind determining a user’s shopping preferences.
    2. The methodologies for identifying stores with ongoing sales.
    3. The intricacies of location-based messaging.

By interrogating these technical dimensions, the narrative can shift away from targeted advertising to spotlight the innovation’s technical prowess.

Deep Dive into Technicality

To reimagine a business methods patent application with a technical lens, consider the following questions:

  1. Data Processing & Analysis: How is the user data processed? Are there any transformative elements involved? Does the system employ machine learning techniques?
  2. Sales Data Acquisition: Does the system utilize web scraping? Is there an element of natural language processing involved? How are emails analyzed for sales information?
  3. Messaging Mechanism: How is location-based messaging achieved? How does the system discern store locations? What decision-making algorithms are in place for timely and relevant messaging?

Addressing these inquiries aids in capturing the essence of the invention’s technical novelty, presenting it in a light more favorable for patent allowance.

Conclusion

The patent application domain is rife with challenges, especially for business methods. However, with a tactful shift towards highlighting technical components, these hurdles can be effectively navigated. Neil Kardos’s expertise and willingness to share knowledge offer a beacon of hope for those navigating this intricate field.

Thank you for reading, and we invite you to explore more insights and strategies in the patent field on our Practical Patents blog series. Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Paul Harrity and Elaine Spector Named 2023 Patent Stars in MIP’s IP Stars Rankings

Harrity & Harrity is pleased to announce that Paul Harrity & Elaine Spector were recently selected by Managing IP, the leading specialist guide to IP law firms and practitioners worldwide, as 2023 Patent Stars.

The annual “IP Stars” list recognizes leading lawyers and law firms for intellectual property work in more than 125 jurisdictions.

Paul is Harrity’s Managing Partner. He focuses on preparing and prosecuting patent applications. He began his career in 1991 as a patent agent at the United States Patent and Trade Office. Since leaving the USPTO, Paul has prepared hundreds of patent applications and thousands of Patent Office responses.

Elaine is a Partner at Harrity and has over 20 years of experience in intellectual property law. Her current practice consists primarily of prosecuting patent applications with a focus on electromechanical technologies. Prior to joining Harrity & Harrity, Elaine worked in private practice for over 15 years handling various intellectual property matters, including patent application drafting and prosecution, trademark prosecution and enforcement, as well as litigating complex patent cases in federal courts. Elaine’s extensive litigation experience provides her with a unique perspective in prosecuting patent applications.

 

Crafting Single-Party Infringement Claims: A Strategic Approach

Hello there, fellow patent enthusiasts! We’re back this week with Neil Kardos’ Practical Patent tips, as he explains how drafting claims capable of being infringed by a single party (as opposed to multi-party infringement) enhances the enforceability of your patent rights. Neil shares a pattern that he has found immensely useful in drafting such claims, particularly for process-based inventions. The pattern revolves around three key steps: Reception, Determination, and Transmission.

1. Identify the Inventive Device: “Where is this Invention Happening?”

When working with a process-based invention, it is essential to pinpoint the inventive device. This could be a server on the back end, a client device on the front end, or a router. Understanding the core hardware is the foundation for creating robust and clear claims.

2. Determine the Trigger: “What Triggers the Inventive Device to Perform the Invention?”

The inventive process often begins with a reception or “receive” step. Knowing what triggers the inventive device allows you to craft the initial steps of your claim more accurately.

3. The Novelty Lies in Determination: “What Does the Inventive Device Do With the Information?”

This stage often includes one or more “determine” steps and usually houses the novel aspects of the invention. The language here might vary, but focusing on what the inventive device does with the received information is pivotal.

4. Conclude with Transmission: “What’s the Result?”

Often, the inventive process concludes with a “transmit” step. Identifying what the inventive device does with the determination helps in framing the claim in a manner that aligns with single-party infringement.

Neil Kardos’ pattern of (1) Reception, (2) Determination, and (3) Transmission serves as an efficient framework for drafting patent applications for process-based inventions. While not universally applicable, it offers a cohesive approach to ensure claims are infringeable by a single device, and hence, a single party that controls that device.

Understanding the nature of the inventive device, the sequence of steps involved in the invention, and the novelty can streamline the claim-drafting process. This methodology not only simplifies the legal proceedings for clients but fosters innovation by providing a clear pathway to protect new inventions.

Thank you for reading, and we invite you to explore more insights and strategies in the patent field on our Practical Patents blog. Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Elaine Spector: Thoughts on Mandatory Returns to Office

Elaine Spector shares her candid thoughts on law firms requiring an in-person return to office as we transition into a post-COVID environment below.

“I get so frustrated when I hear about another Biglaw firm requiring their lawyers to return to the office full-time with minimal remote work options. While various factors may drive these changes, they have the potential to affect lawyers, particularly those with families, disproportionately.

Remote work has proven to be a game-changer for many professionals, allowing them to effectively manage their careers and personal responsibilities. The legal field is no exception, as countless lawyers have thrived while juggling complex cases and family commitments from the comfort of their homes. However, a shift away from remote work in certain Biglaw firms could inadvertently create an uneven playing field, disadvantaging those who rely on remote work options to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Lawyers with families, in particular, could face challenges due to this shift. Many parents find remote work a lifeline, enabling them to be present for their families while delivering exceptional legal services. Eliminating or limiting remote work opportunities may unfairly bias these dedicated professionals. It doesn’t need to be this way.

When I went remote six years ago, my life completely changed. I didn’t have to waste time in my car commuting, and I could attend to my family and work more readily. I was so much less frazzled and present and happy. I became a top biller and a top rainmaker. Don’t you all want your lawyers to feel balanced and happy? I guarantee they will overperform if they are.

Are you feeling frustrated by the return to the office edicts? I’d love to hear your comments.”

Want more? Watch Elaine Spector’s Driving Diversity series HERE. Elaine shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in this weekly short-video series.

Elaine Spector Honored with the 2023 Stars of the Bar Award

In a remarkable acknowledgement of excellence, Elaine Spector, a partner at Harrity & Harrity, has been awarded the 2023 Stars of the Bar Award by the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia (WBA). This award celebrates women who have made significant contributions to the legal community and is emblematic of Elaine’s steadfast commitment to the principles that define her legal career and our firm’s mission.

About the Stars of the Bar Award

The Stars of the Bar Award is an annual recognition by the WBA Foundation, designed to honor exceptional women attorneys who have demonstrated leadership, community service, professional growth, and commitment to the WBA’s mission of maintaining the honor and integrity of the profession. This award adds to Elaine’s rich legacy of excellence in the legal community.

Dedication to Diversity

Elaine’s work in promoting diversity within the patent field echoes Harrity’s focus on increasing diversity and championing underrepresented groups in intellectual property law. Her alignment with the values recognized by the Stars of the Bar Award further emphasizes her dedication to this vital cause.

Innovation and Quality

Elaine has actively contributed to our firm’s endeavors in automation, quality, analytics, and innovation. Her role in building a progressive environment aligns with the innovative spirit rewarded by the Stars of the Bar Award and highlights Harrity’s leadership within the patent law industry.

Community Involvement

A firm believer in giving back, Elaine’s community involvement resonates with Harrity & Harrity’s values and the WBA’s focus on community service. Her generous efforts have fostered a culture of responsibility and compassion, reflecting the ideals celebrated by the Stars of the Bar Award.

Elaine Spector’s receipt of the 2023 Stars of the Bar Award by the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia is a notable acknowledgment of her professional excellence, innovation, commitment to diversity, and community service. This award aligns perfectly with Harrity & Harrity’s values, making it a proud moment for our firm. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Elaine and eagerly anticipate her continued achievements in patent law.

Want more? Watch Elaine Spector’s Driving Diversity series HERE. Elaine shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in this weekly short-video series.

Handling Different Types of Invention Disclosure Forms (IDFs): A Practical Guide with Neil Kardos

Greetings, fellow patent enthusiasts! We’re back this week with Neil Kardos as he shares invaluable insights into handling different types of IDFs in preparation for inventor interviews.

Understanding the “Good IDF”

According to Neil, IDFs commonly fall into three categories: the “good IDF,” the “sparse IDF,” and the “huge IDF.” In this particular discussion, he zeroes in on the “good IDF,” which many practitioners would consider the dream scenario.

With a “good IDF”, you find that the materials clearly elucidate the workings of the invention. You read through them, and you have a lucid grasp of the concept. There might be minor details that elude you, but for the most part, you understand it.

But here lies the pitfall.

The Trap of the “Good IDF”

If you’re operating in a fixed-fee world, it may be tempting to expedite the inventor interview. Neil narrates a familiar sentiment: “Thank you so much inventor. The materials you shared are fantastic, and I understand your invention. I just have two quick questions, and then we can both be on our way.”

This approach, Neil warns, is a grave mistake for two reasons:

  1. The Human Connection: You might perceive yourself to be in the patent business, but, as Neil underscores, you’re really in the people business. This interview might be the inventor’s only chance to thoroughly articulate their invention to someone. Rushing through the process might lead the inventor to think that you’re not giving their project the attention it deserves.
  2. Missing Out on Insights: Without delving into the invention, you may overlook misunderstandings or additional features the inventor wants to emphasize. Moreover, rushing the interview may rob you of the opportunity to brainstorm on the call, possibly missing key aspects that could enhance the patent’s value.

Conclusion: Embrace the Process

Neil’s parting wisdom is this: don’t succumb to the allure of the “good IDF” by thinking that you can bypass the inventor interview. You might save some time, but the loss in understanding and human connection will cost you in the long run.

His advice is not merely about patent law but transcends into the realm of human relations and communication. Thanks for watching, and we hope this guidance from Neil helps those venturing into the complex and nuanced world of IDFs. Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Essential Tips for Conducting Inventor Interviews with Minimal Documentation

Greetings, fellow patent enthusiasts! We’re back this week with valuable insight from Neil Kardos as he unveils a strategic approach for acquiring comprehensive information about an invention when faced with limited initial documentation. In scenarios where only the title of the invention or a few descriptive sentences are available, this guide can be instrumental.

Understanding the Challenge

Sometimes, patent professionals receive scant details about an invention before an inventor interview. Reaching out to inventors for more information might be an option, but not always feasible. In such a scenario, Neil has perfected an approach that’s applicable to virtually any technology.

A Generic Outline of Questions

Years ago, Neil created a generic outline of questions, adaptable to different technological contexts. When dealing with a sparse disclosure document, this outline can be supplemented with specific inquiries about the invention.

High-Level Orientation

The outline begins with broad questions to set the context:

  1. What is the background and context for this invention?
  2. What is the problem being addressed?
  3. What are the advantages of this invention over alternatives?
  4. What are the novel elements of the invention?
  5. How does the invention align with business strategy?

Detail-Oriented Approach

After establishing the context, Neil delves into the intricacies. His inquiry typically focuses on two general questions:

  1. How does the invention function step by step? This question seeks to uncover the mechanisms, alternatives, and possibly the independent claims and flowcharts of the patent application.
  2. In what environment does the invention operate? This inquiry aims to identify crucial devices or components that elucidate how the invention functions.

Practical Recommendations

Drawing from his extensive experience, Neil recommends patent professionals to compile their list of questions or adapt his outline to individual needs. Being prepared with these questions ensures that even with minimal information, one can glean everything necessary about the invention during the inventor interview.

In conclusion, navigating an inventor interview with limited information need not be a daunting task. By following Neil’s structured approach, patent professionals can master the art of extracting vital information about an invention. His advice stands as a testament to effective preparation, innovation, and adaptability within the patent field, helping to ensure clarity and thoroughness in each patent application.

Thank you for reading! We hope these tips help you improve your patent drafting skills. Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Efficiently Handling Overwhelming Amounts of Invention Disclosure Materials

Greetings, fellow patent enthusiasts! We’re back this week with valuable insight from Neil Kardos on dealing with a common challenge faced by patent practitioners: receiving an overwhelming amount of invention disclosure materials prior to a call with inventors. While most patent professionals might be familiar with handling situations where there is too little material, Neil sheds light on what to do when faced with an abundance of information that can potentially consume an entire day of review.

Navigating the Flood of Invention Disclosure Materials: When confronted with a plethora of materials, Neil advises that the first step is to skim through the documents to get an overall sense of the content. The main objective at this stage is to identify technical information and elements that appear new and innovative. Making a note of the slides or pages that contain interesting technical content is crucial to preparing efficiently for the inventor call.

Framing the Conversation: Once Neil has an idea about the potential new features, he supplements his regular outline of questions for inventor interviews with inquiries specifically related to those features. This tailored approach allows him to focus the conversation on the most relevant and critical aspects of the invention. During the inventor call, he also sets the tone by addressing the abundance of materials and enlists the inventors’ help in identifying content that is pertinent to the patent application, particularly focusing on the novel technical aspects.

Efficiently Capturing the Invention: By framing the conversation around the key features and focusing on what’s new and innovative, Neil ensures that the conversation is purposeful and streamlined. This approach enables him to efficiently capture and flesh out the details of the invention without being bogged down by unrelated or extraneous material.

Confirmation and Adaptation: During the call, if the inventor verifies Neil’s assumptions regarding the new features, he proceeds with his supplemented outline of questions to delve deeper into the invention’s specifics. Additionally, he makes sure to address the slides or pages that he earlier identified as important. However, if his initial assumptions were incorrect, Neil seamlessly transitions back to his original outline of questions to gain a comprehensive understanding of the invention.

In conclusion, handling an overwhelming amount of invention disclosure materials can be daunting, but using Neil’s practical approach provides valuable guidance for patent practitioners facing this challenge. By quickly skimming through the materials, focusing on the new and interesting technical aspects, and seeking the inventor’s input, one can efficiently navigate through the flood of information and conduct a productive and insightful inventor call. This not only saves valuable time and effort but also ensures that the patent application process is effective and aligned with the invention’s core features.

Thank you for reading! We hope these tips help you improve your patent drafting skills. Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting!

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Boosting Patent Application Drafting Efficiency and Quality

Greetings, fellow patent enthusiasts! Today, we’re excited to share an invaluable tip from Neil Kardos on how to improve the efficiency and quality of your patent application drafting. We’ll delve into the benefits of this approach and explore how it can streamline the patent application process.

When it comes to patent drafting, timing is everything. One of the most significant time-saving strategies Neil employs is to draft claims and figures promptly after conducting an inventor interview. By capturing the essence of the invention while it’s fresh in his mind, he achieves remarkable results.

Here’s how he does it: After scheduling an inventor interview, Neil blocks off a few hours afterward to work on claims and figures. By setting aside a dedicated block of time immediately after the call, you can capitalize on the freshness of the invention in your mind, ensuring top-notch claims and figures. Ideally, he aims to draft the complete set of claims and figures right after the call. In certain cases where he’s deeply familiar with the technology, and the inventors are savvy, he may even prepare an independent claim before the call and get real-time feedback from the inventors—an incredibly beneficial practice.

In the real world, though, urgent tasks can sometimes intervene. Neil has a savvy solution for this too. At the very least, he outlines an independent claim and explores some dependent claim ideas before attending to other pressing matters. This keeps the momentum going and avoids the common pitfall of relearning the invention from scratch later on.

Neil’s method is a game-changer, providing a structured and streamlined approach to patent application drafting. With this technique, you’ll not only increase efficiency but also enhance the overall quality of your work.

Thank you for reading! We hope these tips help you improve your patent drafting skills. Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series. Until next time, happy patenting! ????????

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Improving Patent Application Readability and Avoiding Misinterpretation

Greetings, patent enthusiasts! In this latest blog post, Neil Kardos sharessome valuable tips for enhancing the readability of your patent applications and avoiding potential misinterpretations that could arise due to wordy writing.

As patent lawyers, we often find ourselves delving into complex technical details and intricate legal concepts, which can lead to a natural tendency to be wordy in our writing. However, it’s crucial to remember that great writing is often characterized by its conciseness and clarity. Therefore, we urge you to embrace brevity when drafting your patent applications.

One common issue Neil encountered while reviewing a patent application the other day was the excessive use of the phrase “in order to” instead of simply “to.” It might seem like a minor difference, but it can significantly impact the clarity of your patent application. In fact, Neil firmly believes that you can replace the phrase “in order to” with the word “to” in 100% of cases without losing any meaning.

Let’s take a look at an example to understand the significance of this change:

“The system may process multiple events… In order to save time.”

On the surface, this sentence may appear harmless, and most of us would interpret it as the system processing events to save time. However, if we reevaluate the phrasing, another interpretation becomes possible:

“The system may process multiple events in order… To save time.”

Here, the meaning slightly changes, leaving room for ambiguity. Are the events processed to save time? Or are they processed in a specific order that ultimately saves time? Such ambiguities can introduce uncertainties in your patent application and potentially lead to challenges during the examination process.

To uphold the clarity and precision of your patent application, it’s crucial to be succinct in your writing. As they say in the movie Ocean’s 11, “Don’t use seven words when four will do.” By trimming unnecessary phrases and being concise, you can convey your ideas more effectively and minimize the chances of misinterpretation.

In conclusion, it is strongly recommended to adopt a succinct writing style for your patent applications. Not only will this improve the readability for patent examiners and other stakeholders, but it will also reduce the risk of ambiguity and potential challenges during the examination process.

We hope these tips help you improve your patent drafting skills. Thank you for reading! Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series.

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Navigating the Pitfalls of “At Least One” in Patent Claims

Greetings, patent enthusiasts! In this latest blog post, Neil Kardos shares some valuable tips on how to avoid common mistakes in patent applications.

When it comes to drafting patent applications, precision in language is crucial. One common mistake is the misuse of the phrase “at least one of.” In patent applications, it is customary to include this phrase to indicate that certain data or elements can be present in different combinations. However, there is a significant distinction between using the word “and” versus “or” in this context.

Let’s consider an example: “Wherein the data includes at least one of a name, an address, or a phone number.” Notice that the word “or” emphasized. Unfortunately, some patent practitioners use the word “and” instead, which can be a mistake.

To illustrate why using “and” can lead to confusion, let’s use a simple analogy. Imagine someone saying, “I’m going to the grocery store, and I’m going to buy at least one of an apple, a banana, and a carrot.” Does this mean they intend to purchase at least one apple, at least one banana, and at least one carrot?

Most patent practitioners would not intend such an interpretation with this statement, but it’s easy to see how this wording could be misinterpreted. In contrast, if the statement were, “I’m going to the grocery store, and I’m going to buy at least one of an apple, a banana, or a carrot,” it would be clearer.

In this revised version, the speaker could buy only an apple, and the statement would still hold true regardless of how you interpret it. Of course, in real-life conversations, nobody talks like this. So, perhaps a simpler approach would be to drop the “at least one of” altogether and say, “I’m going to the grocery store, and I’m going to buy an apple, a banana, or a carrot.”

However, the desire to be explicit about the acceptability of combinations of an apple, a banana, and/or a carrot is understandable. This is where the phrase “at least one of” comes into play. Some practitioners may also include “or a combination thereof” at the end of the list. There are various ways to convey your point clearly, but our recommendation is to avoid saying “at least one of a, b, and c.”

In conclusion, using the word “and” instead of “or” in patent applications when expressing options can lead to confusion and misinterpretation. To avoid this common mistake, it’s essential to choose your words carefully and consider the implications of your language choices. Precision and clarity are key when it comes to drafting successful patent applications.

We hope these tips help you improve your patent drafting skills. Thank you for reading! Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series.

Note: This blog post is based on the opinions and observations of the author and should not be considered legal advice. Consult a qualified patent attorney for specific guidance on patent application drafting.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Eli Mazour on The Art of SEP Claim Drafting: SEP Couch Podcast

In a recent episode of the SEP Couch Podcast, Eli Mazour, Partner at Harrity and head of our Prosecution Team, shared his insights on the complex world of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs). The conversation revolved around the intricacies of patent drafting, the unique nature of SEPs, and the challenges faced by innovators in the current patent landscape.

In the episode, Eli emphasized the importance of understanding the complexity of SEPs. He explained that SEPs are not just about the technology they cover, but also about how they map to the standards. This mapping is a complex process that critics often overlook.

The conversation also touched on the increasing volume of SEPs due to the complexity and size of modern technologies like 5G. Eli noted that there’s more SEP activity because there are more inventions happening. He also highlighted the trend of implementers trying to obtain more SEPs, with companies like Apple and Google building up 5G teams.

Also discussed are the threats posed by third parties challenging patents, a practice made possible by the American Invents Act. He expressed concern about the impact on independent inventors, as it makes it harder to enforce patents. He also questioned the value of these third party challenges, suggesting that it increases transaction costs and diverts resources from innovation.

The podcast also delved into the proposed European Commission regulation to set up a register for SEPs. Eli expressed skepticism about the feasibility and effectiveness of such a register, given the complexity of determining essentiality and the potential for data manipulation.

In his advice to in-house counsel and outside counsel, Eli stressed the importance of not getting stuck in “zombie mode” and continuing to obtain patents in the same way as in the past. Instead, he urged them to think about the best way to build a patent portfolio with valuable patents in a cost-effective manner, in line with where technology and patent law are heading.

The podcast provides a deep dive into the world of SEPs, highlighting the complexities and challenges involved. It underscored the need for a nuanced understanding of SEPs and a strategic approach to patent portfolio building in the face of evolving technology and legal landscapes.

Listen to Eli’s full episode on the SEP Couch Podcast with Tim Pohlmann below for a deeper understanding of SEPs and the evolving patent landscape:

Check out the SEP Couch Podcast HERE and subscribe on your favorite podcasting app!

 

Vault ‘Quality Of Life’ Rankings: Harrity Named Best Midsize Law Firm To Work For 2024

Harrity & Harrity has been named the Best Midsize Law Firm to Work for in the Vault’s 2024 rankings, among additional recognitions.

With an overall score of 9.594/10, Harrity & Harrity maintained the top spot in Vault’s Annual Associate Survey for 2024, making it the best midsize law firm to work for in the 2024, 2023, and 2021 rankings. The firm also nearly swept the rankings in individual Quality of Life markers, earning first or second place in 12 of the 15 categories.

The detailed rankings are as follows:

Overall Ranking: #1
Associate/Partner Relations: #1
Diversity: #1
Firm Culture: #1
Informal Training, Mentoring, & Sponsorship: #1
Selectivity: #1
Technology & Innovation: #1
Wellness: #1
Formal Training: #2
Hours: #2
Quality of Work: #2
Satisfaction: #2
Transparency: #2
Compensation: #4
Career Outlook: #7
Pro Bono: #17

Associates at firms with 200 attorneys or fewer were asked to rank factors most relevant to their overall quality of life, including overall satisfaction, firm culture, hours, compensation, quality of work, informal and formal training, mentorship, sponsorship, business outlook, career outlook, associate/partner relations, leadership transparency, and more.

Congratulations to everyone at Harrity & Harrity for our impressive performance in the rankings!

See the full Vault Best Midsize Firms to Work For Rankings HERE.

To learn more about working for Harrity, click HERE.

Harrity & Harrity LLP Achieves High Accolades in IAM Patent 1000 Rankings

In a profession where intellectual prowess and precision matter the most, being recognized by a prestigious global ranking is an achievement worth celebrating. We are proud to announce that Harrity & Harrity, LLP, has made the IAM1000 ranking. This is a significant achievement that demonstrates the firm’s leadership, excellent service, and depth of expertise in the patent law arena.

According to IAM, the world-renowned patent intelligence source, Harrity & Harrity, LLP is not just a part of the list but is highly recommended for its consistent provision of superior services. This ranking further cements Harrity’ s status as a leading provider of patent services, giving clients more confidence in our capabilities.

Harrity’ s recognition extends beyond the entity itself to the talented individuals that form its pillars. Five partners from Harrity have also been recognized in the individual rankings by IAM Patent 1000. Paul Harrity, Paul Gurzo, Elaine Spector, John Harrity, and Neil Kardos have all been included as recommended individuals in the 2023 rankings.

  • Paul Harrity – Known for his meticulous attention to detail, Paul is a force to reckon with in patent law. With deep industry knowledge and experience, he is admired by clients and peers alike. His recommendation underscores his considerable contributions to the intellectual property law sector.
  • Paul Gurzo – As one of the brilliant minds at Harrity & Harrity, LLP, Paul Gurzo has a proven track record in successfully guiding clients through the complexities of patent law. His recognition as a recommended individual is a nod to his diligence, expertise, and client-focused approach.
  • Elaine Spector – Elaine’s exceptional talents, skills, and dedication to her craft make her stand out. Her understanding of the nuances of patent law, coupled with her diversity centered initiatives, has rightly earned her a place in the IAM Patent 1000 ranking.
  • John Harrity – John’s profound understanding of patent law, combined with a strategic mindset and dedication, have paved the way for his inclusion in this prestigious list. His steadfast commitment to protecting clients’ intellectual property rights reflects his outstanding abilities as a patent lawyer.
  • Neil Kardos – Neil’s proficiency in the field of patent law is second to none. His ability to deliver high-quality services, coupled with his commitment to client satisfaction, have earned him his recommendation in the IAM Patent 1000 rankings.

This recognition from IAM Patent 1000 is a testament to Harrity’ s commitment to providing the highest level of service to its clients. It speaks volumes about the individual expertise of the team members and the collective capabilities of the firm. These are well-earned accolades and serve as proof that the firm is a trailblazer in the world of patent law.

At a time when innovation is crucial, and the protection of intellectual property is more important than ever, the services of proven experts like those here at Harrity are indispensable. The IAM Patent 1000 rankings provide an assurance that clients are entrusting their intellectual property matters to a firm and individuals who are at the top of their game.

The Harrity team continues to strive for excellence, anchored by our dedication to the craft, in-depth knowledge, and unparalleled customer service.

See the full list by IAM1000 HERE.

To learn more about our patent services, click HERE.

Tips for Improving Readability of Patent Claims

Greetings, patent enthusiasts! In this latest blog post, Neil Kardos shares some valuable tips on how to enhance the readability of your patent claims.

As we all know, patent claims can be challenging to comprehend due to the presence of legal and technical terminology. Neil sheds some light on one particular aspect of claim language: antecedent basis and how it affects the readability of your claims.

Antecedent Basis and Awkward Wording: Antecedent basis refers to using the word “the” to refer back to a word or phrase previously introduced in the claims. This practice often leads to peculiar phrasing, making the claims less accessible to readers. To illustrate this point, let’s consider an example. If the phrase “at least one widget” is used, referring back to it would require saying “the at least one widget,” resulting in awkward language.

Simplifying the Language: A simple solution to improve readability by replacing “at least one” with the phrase “one or more.” By using “one or more,” you can refer back to the widgets as “the one or more widgets.” This change brings the language closer to standard usage, eliminating the unusual phrasing of “the at least one widget.” In some cases, an even better alternative is to use the indefinite article “a” or “an.” For instance, instead of “the system includes one or more widgets,” you can state “the system includes a widget” and then refer back to it as “the widget.” In terms of claim interpretation, saying “the system includes a widget” is equivalent to saying “the system includes one or more widgets.”

Avoiding “One of a”: Try avoiding the phrase “one of a,” as it leads to cumbersome wording when referring back to it. For instance, using “one of a plurality of widgets” would result in “the one of the plurality of widgets.” A more concise alternative by rephrasing it as “a widget, of a plurality of widgets.” This way, you can easily refer back to it as “the widget.”

Enhancing Clarity: In general, it is crucial to be vigilant for instances where phrases create awkward wording upon reference. By identifying these situations, you can find alternative ways to make the language more fluid and understandable. The goal is to improve the readability of your patent claims for a wider audience, including examiners, potential licensees, and competitors.

In conclusion: Neil’s tips provide valuable insights into enhancing the readability of patent claims. By simplifying language and avoiding awkward phrasing caused by antecedent basis, you can make your claims more accessible to readers. Clear and concise claims are essential for effective communication and successful patent prosecution.

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Unraveling the Intricacies of Negative Claiming

In this latest blog post, Neil Kardos brings to light an essential tip about drafting patent claims – the art of sidestepping negative claiming.

Negative claiming occurs when something that doesn’t happen is claimed, a phenomenon that can make patent claim drafting quite convoluted. For instance, consider the situation where your cell phone receives a specific request from a cell tower and usually responds by sending back a message.

However, imagine if the invention introduces a unique twist where the phone, upon detecting a certain condition that the cell tower isn’t aware of, chooses not to respond as per the norm. For instance, the phone may identify that it’s running low on battery or the request is inapplicable for some other reason, leading to the phone’s decision to abstain from responding.

The traditional patent claim language for this scenario might be: “(1) receiving a request, (2) determining that the request isn’t applicable, and (3) not responding to the request?” However, this formulation feels somewhat cumbersome, and patent examiners are known to frown upon such negative limitations.

Neil has developed a handy workaround for these situations – the use of the word “refrain.” This term implies a deliberate decision to abstain from an action or to halt an event, effectively conveying the same meaning without resorting to negative claiming. Thus, in the given example, the claim could be elegantly rephrased as “refraining from transmitting a response to the request.”

Have you discovered other effective strategies to handle such scenarios? If you’ve encountered similar situations and found effective ways to deal with them, we’d love to hear it!

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to come back for more tips in the next installment of the Practical Patents Series.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

The Global Impact of Pro Bono Intellectual Property Work – Alexander Zajac

Alexander Zajac‘s article, “The Global Impact of Pro Bono Intellectual Property Work,” discusses the significant global effects that pro bono intellectual property (IP) services can have for the American Bar Association’s Landslide Magazine.

Despite the reluctance of lawyers to perform IP services pro bono due to liability concerns and marketing goals, Zajac argues that there are worthy clients with cross-border legal needs that can greatly benefit from such services.

Zajac identifies several impediments to global pro bono services in IP. Lawyers are often risk-averse, fearing malpractice liability from pro bono activities. The decentralized nature of licensure also makes cross-border pro bono work difficult. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these difficulties were exacerbated as more attorneys began working remotely from jurisdictions in which they were not licensed. Additionally, many lawyers look for pro bono opportunities that seem particularly philanthropic, and some believe that IP work does not help disadvantaged people and thus is not philanthropic.

However, Zajac argues that trademarks, patents, and copyrights are not mere tools of profitability. They can be used to fundraise for humanitarian causes or to keep unsafe products off the market, among other philanthropic uses. Even if pro bono IP services are not provided directly to disadvantaged people, social enterprises may benefit from pro bono IP services and use their saved costs and IP rights philanthropically.

The article presents two case studies to demonstrate the global impact of pro bono IP services. The first case study is Shimmy Technologies, a company that uses artificial intelligence to help apparel workers upskill and reskill in light of ongoing automation. The company benefited from pro bono IP work, which helped it protect its inventions, copyrights, and trademarks when it expanded into new countries. The pro bono work also provided peace of mind to the company, allowing it to focus more on developing its products and continuing to roll out upskilling programs.

The second case study is Be Girl, a social enterprise dedicated to providing access to sanitary supplies that are appropriate to cultural practices and socioeconomic conditions. The company’s founder, Diana Sierra, understood the importance of obtaining a patent on her invention and was able to accelerate her fundraising abilities with a pending patent application. As Be Girl grew, it continued to receive pro bono assistance, which helped it expand its patent portfolio and trademark filings. This expanded patent portfolio opened discussions with big players in the sanitary supplies market and allowed Be Girl to insist on the safety and affordability of sanitary supplies before such products are pushed to market.

In conclusion, Zajac emphasizes that providing pro bono IP advice and services can have positive global effects. There are many well-meaning enterprises that would benefit from pro bono IP services, and many of these potential clients have cross-border legal needs. For companies like Shimmy and Be Girl, receiving pro bono IP assistance helped them pursue their goals of upskilling workers and furthering female education around the globe.

Read the full article to learn more about the global benefits of providing pro bono intellectual property work.

 

Improving Clarity in Patent Applications: The Red Flag of “It”

In this latest blog post, Neil Kardos shares why the seemingly innocuous word “it” can lead to ambiguity and misinterpretation in your descriptions, and offer an alternative approach to improve your patent application writing.

The Ambiguity of “It”: Consider this example sentence: “When the client device communicates with the server, ‘it’ may send a message based on a triggering event.” Now, pause for a moment and ask yourself: What exactly is the subject of the sentence? Is it the client device or the server that may send the message? Unfortunately, the word “it” leaves room for uncertainty, and its usage can create confusion, especially when different interpretations are possible.

Plain English vs. Translations: Even in plain English, determining the intended meaning of “it” can be a challenge. However, when patent applications are translated into languages with different grammar rules, the potential for misinterpretation grows significantly. Each language has its own structure and syntax, and relying on a vague pronoun like “it” may lead to inaccurate translations and misunderstandings.

The Importance of Clarity in Patent Prosecution: In patent prosecution, the clarity and precision of your language are crucial. A well-crafted patent application should support the claims and clearly define the scope of the invention. Using the word “it” can inadvertently weaken your case by introducing ambiguity that could be exploited by competitors or create confusion during examination.

Addressing the Issue: To avoid these complications, it is advisable to replace the word “it” with the actual name of the subject you are referring to. In our example sentence, instead of using “it,” you could specify whether it is the client device or the server that may send the message based on the triggering event. By explicitly naming the subject, you provide clarity and eliminate potential misunderstandings.

In conclusion, the word “it” may seem innocuous, but in the context of patent applications, it can introduce ambiguity and create confusion. By replacing “it” with the actual name of the subject, you enhance the clarity of your writing and reduce the chances of misinterpretation, especially in translations and during patent prosecution. Remember, precision and clear communication are essential in protecting your invention and establishing a strong patent. Thank you for reading, and I hope this tip helps you improve your writing in patent applications.

 

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Harrity Named Top 10 Firm in Four USPTO Tech Centers

In the competitive landscape of patent law firms, staying at the forefront of quality and innovation is crucial. Harrity & Harrity, a leading intellectual property law firm, has once again demonstrated their commitment to excellence by achieving top rankings in the prestigious 2023 Patent Bots Quality Scores. The firm’s consistent dedication to providing exceptional service and expertise has earned them recognition among the elite players in the industry.

The 2023 Patent Bots Quality Scores have positioned Harrity & Harrity among the top law firms in four main USPTO Tech Centers:

#1 in Tech Center 2100
#2/3 in Tech Center 2400
#4 in Tech Center 2600
#1 in Tech Center 3600

The rankings are a testament to the firm’s unwavering focus on quality patent prosecution and their ability to consistently deliver outstanding results for their clients. This recognition not only reaffirms Harrity & Harrity’s position as a leading player in the field but also showcases their commitment to excellence.

Harrity & Harrity’s success in the Patent Bots Quality Scores can be attributed to their unique approach to patent prosecution and thoroughly vetted firm of superstars. With a team of experienced attorneys and agents who specialize in various technology areas, the firm provides comprehensive and tailored legal solutions to a diverse range of clients. By combining technical expertise with a deep understanding of intellectual property law, Harrity & Harrity consistently delivers high-quality patents that stand up to scrutiny.

The recognition in the 2023 Patent Bots Quality Scores highlights Harrity & Harrity’s commitment to continuous improvement and innovation. The firm consistently invests in cutting-edge technologies and resources that enhance their patent prosecution process. By staying ahead of industry trends and adapting to new developments, Harrity & Harrity remains at the forefront of the intellectual property landscape, providing their clients with a competitive edge.

Harrity & Harrity’s impressive rankings in the 2023 Patent Bots Quality Scores are a testament to their unwavering dedication to quality, client satisfaction, and innovation. As a leading intellectual property law firm, they continue to set the bar high in patent prosecution, providing exceptional legal services that protect their clients’ innovations. With a client-centric approach and a team of highly skilled attorneys, Harrity & Harrity is well-positioned to navigate the ever-evolving world of intellectual property law and contribute to their clients’ success.

See the full list by Patent Bots HERE.

To learn more about our patent services, click HERE.

The Transformative Power of Mentorship: A Spotlight on the Patent Pathways™ Mentor Program

In the realm of personal and professional development, the role of mentorship is often underscored. The Patent Pathways™ program, a unique initiative designed to guide budding patent practitioners, is a testament to the transformative power of mentorship. Ayana Marshall, the chair of Patent Pathways™, recently shared her insights on the profound impact that mentors can have on the lives of their mentees in the following video.

Ayana’s journey into the patent field was sparked by an inadvertent mentor, a woman she met at a conference who spoke with infectious enthusiasm about her career in technology transfer and patent work. This encounter, though seemingly incidental, had a profound impact on Ayana’s career trajectory. It led her to delve into the patent field, a domain she might not have discovered otherwise. This story underscores the immense influence mentors can wield, often without even realizing it.

However, the Patent Pathways™ program is not about inadvertent mentorship. It’s about intentional mentorship. The mentors in this program consciously choose to guide, support, and inspire their mentees. They are the catalysts for change, the guiding lights that illuminate the path for future patent practitioners.

The mentors in the Patent Pathways™ program are not just diversifying the patent field; they are creating a ripple effect that transcends generations. This is particularly significant for minorities, who, with the right guidance and support, can make their mark in a profession that is not only financially rewarding but also instrumental in driving innovation.

By becoming a mentor for this unique program, you have the power to shape the future of the patent field and, more importantly, to make a difference. You have the opportunity to be the intentional mentor that will change the trajectory of an individual’s life, and future generations to come.

The impact of mentorship, as exemplified by Ayana’s story and the Patent Pathways™ program, is profound and far-reaching. It’s about more than just guiding someone through their career; it’s about inspiring them, supporting them, and helping them realize their potential. As a mentor, you have the power to change lives. If you are passionate about increasing diversity or helping others, become a mentor, and make a difference today. Your commitment can shape the future of the patent field and the lives of the individuals within it. Get started by clicking here: BECOME A MENTOR

Check out more ways to get involved below!

JOIN A PATENT PATHWAYS COMMITTEE
BECOME A LAW FIRM PARTNER
BECOME A CORPORATE SPONSOR
APPLY TO PARTICIPATE IN PATENT PATHWAYS

Mastering the Art of List Management in Patent Applications

Neil Kardos covers “Mastering the Art of List Management in Patent Applications”, in this Practical Patents short blog.

Today, we’re diving into the practical patents segment with an essential tip on handling lists in patent applications, particularly in the specification section. In our pursuit to create precise, clear, and efficient patent applications, even the way we handle lists can make a significant difference.

Providing lists of items in patent applications has been a long-standing practice to explain terminology or enumerate examples. For instance, “the sensor data may indicate temperature, pressure, speed, etc.”

Notice the use of the term “etc.”, which is quite prevalent in patent drafting. However, this approach could be improved upon. To illustrate this, let’s understand the intention behind using a list in the specification. There are two key points that we aim to convey:

  1. The items in the list serve as examples.
  2. The items in the list can be applied individually or in a combined manner.

“Et cetera,” or its commonly used cousin, “and so forth,” attempt to encompass both these aspects. However, in reality, they fall short. While they do indicate that the list consists of examples, they don’t explicitly mention that the items can be used individually or in combination.

“Et cetera” translates to “and the rest,” and the usage of “and” in the list might suggest that all items are necessary, which is not our intention. So how do we refine our list handling in patent applications?

To address the first point, it’s crucial to explicitly state that the list consists of examples. You could use phrases like “for example,” “in some implementations,” or “such as.”

For the second point, we want to clarify that the items in the list can be applied individually, in groups, or in entirety. My preferred term for this is “and/or,” as it directly represents the concept we’re trying to express. So our initial example transforms into, “For example, the sensor data may indicate temperature, pressure, and/or speed.”

Now, I’m aware that the usage of “and/or” in patent applications might ruffle some feathers in the patent practitioner community. For those who shudder at its mention, there’s an alternative phrase you could use: “or some combination thereof.”

In conclusion, the way we present lists in patent applications holds more weight than we might initially think. Implementing these strategies can significantly enhance the clarity, precision, and overall efficiency of your patent applications.

Thanks for reading. I hope you find these insights helpful on your patent journey!

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Avoiding Anthropomorphizing in Patent Applications

Neil Kardos covers why “Avoiding Anthropomorphizing in Patent Applications” is important, in this Practical Patents short blog.

Today, we will discuss a term that seems out of place in the sphere of patents, yet often finds its way into the discussion: anthropomorphizing.

At its core, anthropomorphizing involves attributing human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities, including animals, natural phenomena, and yes, even devices. While this can serve as an imaginative exercise in storytelling, it can lead to confusion when applied to technical documents, such as patent applications.

When inventors conceive a novel device, they often inadvertently anthropomorphize it. The device might “know” something, or perhaps it “tells” another device something. This language may work as shorthand for internal discussions and preliminary design documents, but it introduces potential inaccuracies and ambiguities when drafting patent applications.

Consider a simple scenario: An inventor may describe a device that “knows” its location. While this is an easy-to-understand description, it is not technically precise. When translated into patent-speak, the device does not “know” anything – it’s an inanimate object, not a sentient being. Rather, the device may store or process information that identifies its location.

Similarly, if a device “tells” another device about its location, we’re again sliding into anthropomorphizing territory. A more precise technical description might be that the device transmits a location identifier to the other device.

Why does this matter? When drafting a patent application, it’s crucial to maintain technical precision. The words and phrases you use in your specification could later be needed for the claims. You want to ensure you’re using language that will stand up under scrutiny and is as clear and precise as possible.

Moreover, when dealing with patent examiners and courts, using language that attributes human qualities to your device could lead to a misunderstanding of its functionality and scope, possibly impacting your patent’s enforceability.

And here’s a bonus tip: Avoid using jargon or excessively long words, like “anthropomorphizing,” in your patent applications. While they might showcase your expansive vocabulary, they do little to enhance clarity. Use simple, clear language that accurately describes your invention and its unique features.

Remember, the goal of a patent application is to clearly define the unique features and operation of your invention. Avoiding anthropomorphizing language helps to ensure the focus stays on the technical and mechanical aspects of your device, aiding in the creation of a robust, enforceable patent.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Leveraging the Patent 300® Dashboard for Competitive Intelligence

The Patent 300® Dashboard, created by Harrity Patent Analytics, is a powerful patent analytics tool that provides valuable insights into competitive intelligence. It offers a comprehensive view of patent portfolios, prosecution metrics, and technology areas, enabling companies and law firms to make informed decisions and strategic adjustments.

One of the key features of the Patent 300® Dashboard is its ability to provide a high-level view of a company’s patent portfolio. For example, by examining IBM’s portfolio, we can see the overall rank, the percentage of patents obtained, the overall pendency, and the total number of patents. The dashboard also provides a breakdown of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) subclasses, giving a clear picture of the technology areas where the company is patenting.

The dashboard also allows for competitive analysis. By selecting a specific technology area, such as transmission of digital information, we can see who the company is competing against from a patent perspective. This feature allows companies to benchmark their statistics against those of the technology field, providing insights into their performance from a patent prosecution perspective.

Another powerful feature of the Patent 300® Dashboard is the ability to analyze law firm performance. Companies can benchmark the performance of law firms working for them, identifying areas of practice where some firms’ stats are higher than others. This can help companies decide who should handle the next case and understand how law firms are practicing.

The Patent 300® Dashboard also provides insights into costs. By customizing costs based on what a company pays for various patent prosecution activities, the dashboard can calculate the actual prosecution history of patents and determine where the costs are. This can help companies benchmark the relative costs of their firms and decide where to allocate their budget more effectively.

The dashboard also offers a portfolio gap analysis feature. This allows companies to compare their patent portfolios side by side from a CPC perspective. This feature can be used for licensing purposes, pre-litigation analysis, and mergers and acquisitions analysis.

The Patent 300® Dashboard additionally provides examiner and art unit statistics, giving a high-level view of examiner and art unit statistics in all prosecution areas. This can be particularly useful for law firms wanting to understand how they are performing in specific technology areas.

Another useful feature of the dashboard is that it provides insights into maintenance fees. Companies can see where the costs are in their patent portfolio and compare their maintenance fee strategies with competitors. This can help companies adjust their maintenance fee strategies and manage their patent portfolio more effectively.

Overall, the Patent 300® Dashboard is a powerful tool for gaining competitive intelligence. It provides a wealth of information that can help companies and law firms make informed decisions and strategic adjustments. Whether you’re looking to understand your patent portfolio, benchmark your performance against the field, analyze law firm performance, manage costs, or gain insights into maintenance fees, the Patent 300® Dashboard has you covered. Check it out now at https://harrityllp.com/patent300!

See a detailed tutorial on using the Patent 300® Dashboard for Competitive Intelligence in the video below:


Patent Pathways™ Webinar: Law Firm Partnership Informational Session

Patent Pathways (a 501(c)(3)) is a virtual program that focuses on helping the least represented demographic in patent law, Black women, by aiming to register participants with the patent bar and matching them up with mentors and job offers over the course of just one year. The entire program, including patent bar preparation and exam fees, is free to participants thanks to the generosity of Patent Pathways™ sponsors, partners, mentors, and volunteers.

Harrity’s Elaine Spector was joined by panelists Rosa Walker (Pillsbury Law), Mehul Shah (Juniper) and Heather Molleur (Micron) to discuss the program and the multiple opportunities for patent law firms to work alongside each other to make a difference in this one of a kind program.

Webinar topics included a summary of the current demographics of patent law, what Patent Pathways™ is doing to improve diversity in the patent field, the benefits of joining Patent Pathways™, and the many ways you can get involved.

Watch the full webinar here:

Want to get involved? Check out these useful links below!

JOIN A PATENT PATHWAYS COMMITTEE
BECOME A MENTOR
BECOME A LAW FIRM PARTNER
BECOME A CORPORATE SPONSOR
APPLY TO PARTICIPATE IN PATENT PATHWAYS

Want more? Watch Elaine Spector’s Driving Diversity series HERE. Elaine shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in this weekly short-video series.

How a Track One Patent Filing Could Increase Your Chances of Getting a Patent

Neil Kardos covers “How a Track One Patent Filing Could Increase Your Chances of Getting a Patent” in this Practical Patents short blog.

Here is a compelling reason for you to consider prioritized examination, known as “Track One,” at the USPTO, beyond simply obtaining a patent more quickly. Were you aware that filing a patent application with a Track One request could potentially enhance your likelihood of securing a patent? Our patent analytics team at Harrity conducted a comparison between Track One and non-Track One filings and discovered that Track One patent applications exhibit approximately a 10% higher allowance rate than non-Track One applications.

In the realm of business methods, the allowance rate for Track One applications is notably 21% higher! Now, the pertinent question arises: Is the Track One request directly responsible for this elevated allowance rate, or are patent applications with inherently higher chances of success, owing to their “more patentable” subject matter, more likely to be filed with Track One requests?

In conclusion, it is presumed that it’s a combination of both factors. Theoretically, Track One applications tend to be assigned to seasoned patent examiners who are more inclined to grant patents. Therefore, if you possess a patent application encompassing a significant technological advancement, it would be wise to consider filing it under Track One to heighten your prospects of securing a patent.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

Sandra Maxey Featured on World of Marketing Podcast

Harrity’s Firm Controller, Sandra Maxey, was featured on Foster Web Marketing’s World of Marketing Podcast! Along with host, Tom Foster, Sandy discusses her snowbird lifestyle, her proudest moments, meditation, and why she regrets jumping out of an airplane!

You can listen to the full interview here!

John Harrity & WashingtonExec’s Rachel Kirkland: American Heart Association’s Lawyers Have Heart 10K, 5K and Fun Walk

WATCH NOW: Lawyers Have Heart Co-Chairs John Harrity, David Jaffe on May 20 10K, 5K and Fun Walk

Heart health is a topic that resonates with people from all walks of life, but for some individuals, it holds an even deeper significance. In a recent interview conducted by Rachel Kirkland of WashingtonExec, the co-chairs for the American Heart Association’s Lawyers Have Heart 10K, 5K, and Fun Walk shed light on the importance of this issue. Co-Founding Partner John Harrity shares a harrowing personal experience of a “widow-maker” heart attack that left him hospitalized for weeks, transforming heart health into a matter of life and death. His story serves as a powerful reminder of the fragility of our cardiovascular systems and the need for proactive measures to safeguard our hearts.

David Jaffe, Dean of Students at the American University Washington College of Law, emphasizes the vital connection between heart health and mental well-being. Jaffe highlights how our emotional and mental states can significantly impact our cardiovascular health, underscoring the importance of addressing both aspects holistically. This interview showcases the multifaceted nature of heart health and the importance of raising awareness about this critical issue.

As the Lawyers Have Heart event approaches on May 20, it serves as a timely reminder for everyone to prioritize their heart health. Whether through participating in the 10K run, the 5K race, or the Fun Walk, individuals can come together to support a cause that affects millions of lives. The personal narratives shared in this interview remind us that heart health is not merely a medical concern but a holistic one, intertwining physical and mental well-being. Let us take inspiration from these stories and make conscious choices to lead heart-healthy lives. And, if you are able, please consider making a donation to ensure a brighter and healthier future for ourselves and our loved ones.

Harrity & Harrity LLP is matching up to $50,000 in donations, doubling the impact of your dollars! Click HERE to make a donation through 6/30/2023.

Follow Harrity on LinkedInFacebookTwitter, and Instagram and use #RUNLHH.

Hindsight Bias in Patent Examination: How Language Models Can Help

Derek Abeyta covers “Hindsight Bias in Patent Examination: How Language Models Can Help” in a featured article for IPWatchdog.com.

The article discusses the issue of hindsight bias in the patent examination process and proposes the use of artificial intelligence (AI) models, specifically large language models, to address this problem. Hindsight bias occurs when a patent examiner unknowingly uses their knowledge of the invention to reject a claim as obvious. This can lead to incorrect determinations of obviousness, prolong prosecution, and result in unfair narrowing of independent claims. AI models can help mitigate this bias by providing an objective and consistent standard for determining obviousness. These models can analyze the examiner’s rationale for an obviousness rejection and identify instances of impermissible hindsight, thereby assisting the examiner in providing a more reliable assessment of patentability.

“Language models have the potential to reduce the likelihood of appeals and legal challenges, streamline prosecution, and lead to more consistent and cost-effective patent examination,” Derek says.

The article also highlights the challenge of determining whether an invention would have been obvious to a person of ordinary skill at the time of filing and how to overcome this challenge, the potential benefits of using language models, and whether they outweigh the initial costs and cons.

Read the full article to learn if language models offer a promising solution to mitigate hindsight bias, improve the patent examination process, and ensure consistency and objectivity in determining patentability on IPWatchdog.com.

An infographic image depicting the top 15 companies that obtained patents in 2022

Infographic of the Top 15 Companies Obtaining Patents in 2022

Each year, Harrity Analytics releases the annual Patent 300® List, a ranking of the top 300 companies, organizations, and universities obtaining US utility patents.  Patents reflect a company’s investment in innovation and their commitment to protecting their intellectual property.

This ranking is based on a count of the total number of US utility patent obtained in 2022.

The Top 15 Companies represent 15% of the 323,018 total utility patents issued in 2022.  The total patents issued in 2022 dropped 1% from the prior year.

Click HERE for a larger version of the infographic.

 

The Importance of Using Commas After “Such As” in Patent Applications

Neil Kardos covers “The Importance of Using Commas after ‘Such As’ in Patent Applications” in this Practical Patents short blog.

As patent applications are legal documents, it is crucial to draft them accurately and without any ambiguity. A common grammatical error that can lead to unintentional narrowing of the scope of a patent application is the improper use of the phrase “such as.” In most cases, the intention of using this phrase is to provide examples of the items listed after it, but failing to use a comma before “such as” can result in the items being considered restrictive clauses and limiting the scope of the application.

For instance, consider the sentence “the network device may transmit packet data, such as a source address or a timestamp.” Here, the intended meaning is that a source address and a timestamp are examples of packet data. However, if there is no comma before “such as,” it becomes a restrictive clause, meaning that only a source address or a timestamp will be considered as packet data, not any other data like a destination address or a packet header.

Using a comma before “such as” can convert the phrase into a non-restrictive clause and make it clear that the items listed after it are only examples and not the only items that can be considered packet data. Therefore, it is essential to include a comma before “such as” to avoid any unintentional narrowing of the scope of a patent application.

In conclusion, patent applications require careful drafting and precise language to avoid any misinterpretation or ambiguity. Proper use of punctuation, especially commas, can help prevent unintentional narrowing of the scope of the application and ensure that the application provides adequate coverage of the invention.

Want more tips? Check out other Practical Patents videos with Neil Kardos here!

The Diversity Problem in Patent Law

Harrity’s Elaine Spector explains what the diversity landscape in patent law looks like, why the current approaches aren’t working, and what we can do to improve diversity and inclusion in the field as a community in this brief video on ‘The Diversity Problem in Patent Law.’

Patent Pathways (a 501(c)(3)) is a virtual program that focuses on helping the least represented demographic in patent law, Black women, by aiming to register participants with the patent bar and matching them up with mentors and job offers over the course of just one year. The entire program, including patent bar preparation and exam fees, is free to participants thanks to the generosity of Patent Pathways™ sponsors, partners, mentors, and volunteers. We are scaling up the program to 50 participants this year, and need your help!

Want to get involved? Check out these useful links below!

JOIN A PATENT PATHWAYS COMMITTEE
BECOME A MENTOR
BECOME A LAW FIRM PARTNER
BECOME A CORPORATE SPONSOR
APPLY TO PARTICIPATE IN PATENT PATHWAYS

Want more? Watch Elaine Spector’s Driving Diversity series HERE. Elaine shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in this weekly short-video series.

Patent Pathways™ Webinar: How You Can Get Involved & Help Solve the Diversity Problem in Patent Law

Patent Pathways (a 501(c)(3)) is a virtual program that focuses on helping the least represented demographic in patent law, Black women, by aiming to register participants with the patent bar and matching them up with mentors and job offers over the course of just one year. The entire program, including patent bar preparation and exam fees, is free to participants thanks to the generosity of Patent Pathways™ sponsors, partners, mentors, and volunteers.

Harrity’s Elaine Spector and Ayana Marshall hosted a webinar to share more about scaling up the program to include 50+ participants, and opportunities for our patent community as a whole to work alongside each other to make a difference in this one of a kind program.

Other speakers included:

  • Cass Dottridge, Cargill
  • Maeve Carpenter, IBM
  • Phong Dinh, Microsoft
  • Shruti Costales, Dell
  • Scott Markow, Stanley Black & Decker
  • Richard Watkins, Medtronic
  • John Harrity, Harrity & Harrity
  • Steve Kontos, Harrity & Harrity
  • Samantha Sullivan, Harrity & Harrity
  • Ryan Thelen, Harrity & Harrity

Webinar topics included a summary of the current demographics of patent law, what Patent Pathways™ is doing to improve diversity in the patent field, the benefits of joining Patent Pathways™, and the many ways you can get involved.

Watch the full webinar here:

Want to get involved? Check out these useful links below!

JOIN A PATENT PATHWAYS COMMITTEE
BECOME A MENTOR
BECOME A LAW FIRM PARTNER
BECOME A CORPORATE SPONSOR
APPLY TO PARTICIPATE IN PATENT PATHWAYS

Want more? Watch Elaine Spector’s Driving Diversity series HERE. Elaine shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in this weekly short-video series.

Elaine Spector Featured in The Patent Lawyer Magazine in a Women in IP Leadership spotlight on inspirations, experiences, and ideas for equality.

Elaine Spector is determined to bring equality and diversity to the patent world, and she’s not afraid to show it. She recently sat down for an interview with The Patent Lawyer magazine to discuss her inspirations, experiences, and ideas for equality in the industry.

With over 25 years of experience in intellectual property law, Elaine is a partner at the IP boutique, Harrity & Harrity, and is the first female partner in the firm’s history. She holds a degree in mechanical engineering and is dedicated to improving diversity in the field of patent law. Elaine serves as the co-chair of Harrity’s Diversity Committee and as the vice-chair of IPO’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Elaine’s passion for patent law started in high school, where her love for math and science intersected with her interest in law. For those starting their career, she advises advocating for oneself and valuing the unique skills you bring to the table. Her career path involved working at various firms and transitioning into a role as a Tech Transfer Intellectual Property Manager at Johns Hopkins before joining Harrity & Harrity, where she was able to work remotely and on a flexible schedule. Elaine encourages women to set boundaries and not compromise themselves. She faced challenges in balancing work and family life early on in her career, but was able to set boundaries and find more flexibility in her schedule as her children grew older.

Of her greatest achievements in her career, Elaine recounts the memory of joining Harrity in 2017 at a time when it was a smaller firm of only about 14 lawyers (and they were all men!). Fast forward to 2023, and Harrity boasts up to about 45 practitioners now, including multiple women attorneys. This rapid growth has helped the firm move very quickly on new initiatives without much red tape. During the six years Elaine has been at Harrity, their diversity committee has launched numerous external diversity initiatives to improve the pipeline with regard to the patent bar, all with visible impacts. She mentors young women in the profession and hopes to see a more diversified patent bar in the future. Elaine’s future career aspirations include developing DEI initiatives to improve diversity in the patent bar, specifically by expanding their Patent Pathways program to support more Black women, and then shifting the program to help other underrepresented groups in the future.

In the next five years, Elaine hopes to see the patent community take a more active role in promoting diversity and equality through engagement in DEI programs like ADAPT (a coalition of various companies including Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Google, Cruise and Disney. ADAPT stands for Advancing Diversity Across Patent Teams, and provides a platform for in-house patent attorneys and law firms to get engaged in various DEI programs) and by taking action to support initiatives like Patent Pathways. She emphasizes the need for collaboration and involvement from the larger patent community to effect meaningful change.

“I really would like to see more firms and corporations not just talking the talk and actually taking action to make these initiatives successful. My firm can’t do it by itself; we need the patent community at large to step up and get involved in programs like ours,” Elaine states.

Hear about these initiatives, the advice Elaine has to give, and more in this exclusive interview with The Patent Lawyer Magazine. Read the full article HERE.

Want more? Watch Elaine Spector’s Driving Diversity series HERE. Elaine shares tips and sparks conversations to drive diversity in the legal field in this weekly short-video series.

John Harrity Featured in Law 360 on Disrupting Law Firm Models

John Harrity interviews for Law360 Pulse On Disrupting Law Firm Models

Law360 reported that Harrity is disrupting the traditional law firm model with significant contributions in charitable giving, diversity in the profession, and the automation of legal tasks. Co-founder John Harrity said the firm is doing things differently from many others in the field and plans to continue disrupting industry norms. This includes a goal to offer attorneys, patent agents, and staff a four-day workweek with the help of automation.

Harrity has grown from 14 attorneys and patent agents in 2017 to 45 today, and attributes some of its success to high-profile charity and diversity programs, which aim to improve the representation of minority groups within patent law through free education, training, and ongoing resources.

During the past five years, Harrity has increased its own number of practitioners from underrepresented groups from 8% to 40%. John discusses the firm’s diversity programs, including the Minority Firm Incubator that helps women-owned and minority-owned patent law firms grow and fine-tune their practices; the Harrity Academy, which brings more people from underrepresented groups into patent law; and the Patent Pathways™ (501 (c)(3)) program that specifically brings Black women with technical degrees into the field.

“In a few years, we’re going to look back at this Patent Pathways program and say it was the most impactful diversity program ever created. So that’s a pretty big intro to a program you probably haven’t heard of yet,” John states.

Hear about these and other firm initiatives in this exclusive interview with Law360 Pulse. Read the full article HERE.

Want more? Listen to Eli Mazour‘s Clause 8 Podcast featuring John Harrity HERE. John shares his thoughts on everything from how firms in the patent law space should be innovating, to some of the secrets of our own firm’s success.

Elaine Spector on How to Make the Future DigitALL: Persevere

Elaine Spector, Partner at Harrity & Harrity, LLP, and ChIPs Washington D.C. Member, was featured in ChIPs recent spotlight, “How to Make the Future DigitALL,” which focuses on improving diversity and inclusion for women in IP. Her response? Persevere! Read the full interview below.

Q: What actions are needed to keep more women and diversity in the rooms where innovation is happening?
A: I think the most impactful action step to keep more women and diversity in the rooms where innovation is happening is to inform women about the innovation process as well as careers in the intellectual property (IP). Many women with STEM degrees don’t know that they can enter the patent profession without going to law school. You will find that many of us who entered the profession were told about it through a family member or family friend. As we inform women about the innovation process as well as careers in IP, they can then take the steps needed to be included by speaking up and being proactive with regard to invention submissions. If innovation is not their thing, they can be part of the innovation process by becoming a registered patent practitioner without having to go to law school. I am a true believer that knowledge is power! And we, as women, are more powerful than we even know.

Q: What actions can open pathways for the next generation to thrive?
A: We need more outreach programs to women to get them interested in STEM fields, as well as well as being proactive in nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit in women. Men are taught to take risks, while women are taught to be perfectionists. We need to encourage the younger generation of women to take risks. My advice for the girl or woman behind me is to not give up, to persevere. I strongly suggest building a network of like-minded women (and men) who can support you during the tough times. I’ve developed amazing friendships with women who are very similar to me, who absolutely understand my struggles. Feeling seen and heard and cared for you other women has been integral to my success.

Q: What advice would you give to the girl or woman coming up behind you?
A: My advice for the girl or woman behind me is to not give up, to persevere. I strongly suggest building a network of like-minded women (and men) who can support you during the tough times. I’ve developed amazing friendships with women who are very similar to me, who absolutely understand my struggles. Feeling seen and heard and cared for you other women has been integral to my success.

Q: How does your company embrace equity?
A: Harrity & Harrity, LLP is one of the few law firms that dedicates thousands of hours to outreach programs to change diversity of the patent profession.

[Harrity & Harrity’s diversity programs include Harrity for Parity Women’s Patent Workshop, Patent Pathways for Black women, the Minority Firm Incubator 2.0 for minority-owned firms, and the Harrity Academy™. To learn more about Harrity & Harrity’s diversity programs, visit: https://harrityllp.com/diversity.]

Q: How do you innovate? How do your life experiences
impact your innovation?
A: I am so grateful to be part of a law firm that prides itself on innovation. Harrity innovates in many areas, including automation, analytics, charity, and diversity. For me personally, I have always been a problem solver, so innovation is second nature to me. As a child, when something would break, my mind would always go to finding a solution to get it back working again. Being at a firm that embraces my innovative spirit has led to a lot innovation in the diversity space! I am so grateful, likewise, for the innovative spirit of the members of Harrity’s Diversity committee, as we truly make an impact in diversifying the patent bar.

Celebrating Women’s History Month – MFI 2.0 Spotlight – Shawna Lemon

To celebrate Women’s History Month, and what is to come for women in our field, Harrity is highlighting Shawna Lemon, a graduate of our Minority Firm Incubator 2.0 Program and Co-managing Shareholder of Stanek Lemon, a majority female-owned IP law firm!

During this interview, Shawna candidly discusses what she is most proud of in her position as a firm leader, her advice to others, and how the MFI 2.0 program took her business to the next level.

Watch the full video:

The Minority Firm Incubator 2.0 program is a new & improved 42-week program that provides the training and tools needed to propel female and minority-owned patent law firms, existing or yet to be launched, to the next level of success. This program includes free training & strategy classes, concluding with a pitch session with a panel of in-house IP attorneys. The MFI 2.0 is an integral part of Harrity’s ongoing diversity initiative to recruit, retain, and advance attorneys who will contribute to the diversity of the patent field.

We are currently accepting applicants for the 2024 program. You can learn more and apply now HERE.

Harrity Named Juristat Top Patent Firm for 4th Year

Harrity & Harrity has been named a Top Patent Firm by Juristat for a fourth consecutive year.

The list, backed by a database of more than 10 million pending, abandoned, and granted patent applications, objectively analyzes the performance of every law firm practicing within the USPTO to establish the rankings.

Juristat’s rankings consider both volume and performance in that specific technology center, with rankings based on how well a firm performed in three key metrics over a 12-month period. These metrics are:

  • Number of applications filed
  • Allowance rate
  • Average number of office actions before allowance

Harrity came in at #1 for Technology Center 2400 (Computer Networks, Multiplex, Cable and Cryptography/Security) and Technology Center 2600 (Communications).

See the full list by Juristat HERE.

To learn more about our patent services, click HERE.

Elaine Spector Featured on Inclusion Evolution Podcast

Harrity Partner & Diversity Co-chair, Elaine Spector, joins Judy Yee (Microsoft) as guests on Inclusion Evolution, a podcast hosted by Lisa Mueller & Mike Kasdan focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession, the technology space, the world of sports, and our everyday.

This episode covers why Harrity & Elaine are so passionate about diversity; the various DEI programs we’ve launched, including the Minority Firm Incubator programs, Annual Harrity for Parity Women’s Patent Law Workshop, the Harrity Academy™, and Patent Pathways™; ADAPT.legal (Advancing Diversity Across Patent Teams)’s efforts to improve #DEI together, and much more.

It’s a fantastic episode that you won’t want to miss. Listen now at:
Apple: https://lnkd.in/gXJRA4tw
Spotify: https://lnkd.in/gW8guR5f

 

Celebrating Women’s History Month – Harrity for Parity Spotlight – Bree Vculek

To celebrate Women’s History Month, and what is to come for women in our field, Harrity is highlighting Bree Vculek, a participant from the 2022 Harrity for Parity Women’s Patent Workshop!

Harrity for Parity™ brings women from across the country together to participate virtually in this free, four-day long annual program geared towards an introduction to the practice of patent law, patent skills, and career training.  The program, founded in 2017, is open to female science and engineering students, law school students, recent graduates, and current practitioners.

The Harrity for Parity™ Women’s Workshop includes prominent guest speakers who are women in the patent field; Patent Law Introductory Training; Patent Preparation Skills Training; Patent Prosecution Skills Training; Writing Skills Training by Writing Expert, Julie Seitz; Resume and Interview Preparation Workshops; Law School Career Mentoring; Patent Attorney Q&As; Patent Bar Preparation; and Networking Opportunities.

This week, Bree, a Patent Scientist and 4L Law Student, shared her experience with the Harrity for Parity Women’s Workshop. 

“My name is Bree Vculek and I currently work as a patent scientist at Davis Wright Tremaine. I am a fourth year, evening part-time law student at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. My technical background is biology, chemistry and biotechnology. I’ve worked in that area in a variety of different sectors, most recently within the patent space, and I’m now working in artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well.

I am excited to weigh in today. I’m going to start with how I found Harrity for Parity, and specifically how I found the Women’s Patent Workshop. So I attended the workshop last May of 2022. I came across it on my favorite social media platform, LinkedIn. Harrity & Harrity Partner Elaine Spector had made a LinkedIn post announcing the event. They were taking applications and I got super excited. I think I applied the same day, because I was just starting to work in patent law at a boutique firm. I had completed many of the patent law and all of the intellectual property law courses at the George Washington University Law School.  I was really excited and applied the same day, and was lucky enough to get accepted into the workshop.

I had an amazing experience. To be honest, I was reflecting a little bit, and even though I had started working in patent prosecution, and even though I attend a law school with a highly ranked intellectual property law program, I still felt that there were important pieces of the patent preparation and prosecution puzzle, if you will, that were missing in my comprehensive and holistic understanding of the practice. And so when I was thinking about my favorite part of the workshop, or really what my takeaways were, I had several.

I would say, first of all, I loved meeting so many of the other women who are at various stages of their careers, both in private practice and in-house, as well as at the USPTO, and getting their perspectives on what it’s like to be a woman in patent law. Also, to learn from them what works, what didn’t work, and what advice they have. I found that to be really a connective force. I think having this community, albeit virtual a lot of the time, is so incredibly important for minorities within a certain practice, such as patent law. So that was one thing that I really loved and enjoyed.

And second to that, I really liked that the workshop provided us with practical experience. We had the opportunity to draft claims and receive feedback, and to practice reading through and familiarizing ourselves with Office Actions from the USPTO and responding to 101, 102, 103, and 112 rejections, and just kind of understanding how it all works and different strategies. And so I really enjoyed that. I still, to this day, take a lot of those foundational skill sets that I learned in the Women’s Patent Workshop and apply them to my practice today, so that was really an incredible experience.

I also wanted to mention one additional thing – so I talked a little bit about community and conductivity and collaboration. I met a another student through Harrity for Parity, and we’ve developed a friendship. We saw each other a couple of months after the workshop actually, in-person at interviewing events, and have kept in touch thereafter. And ultimately, we are going to be working close by following graduation. So I think that was again just a really cool opportunity to make friends within the practice, make connections, and that was something that I didn’t necessarily expect but I really was was longing for. It was kind of like a cherry on top.”

Watch the video here:

 

We’re currently accepting applicants for our 2023 Harrity for Parity Women’s Workshop, scheduled for May 22-25th. Learn more and apply HERE.

 

Celebrating Women’s History Month – Harrity for Parity Spotlight – Bree Vculek’s Advice for Others

To celebrate Women’s History Month, and what is to come for women in our field, Harrity is highlighting Bree Vculek, a participant from the 2022 Harrity for Parity Women’s Patent Workshop!

Harrity for Parity™ brings women from across the country together to participate virtually in this free, four-day long annual program geared towards an introduction to the practice of patent law, patent skills, and career training.  The program, founded in 2017, is open to female science and engineering students, law school students, recent graduates, and current practitioners.

The Harrity for Parity™ Women’s Workshop includes prominent guest speakers who are women in the patent field; Patent Law Introductory Training; Patent Preparation Skills Training; Patent Prosecution Skills Training; Writing Skills Training by Writing Expert, Julie Seitz; Resume and Interview Preparation Workshops; Law School Career Mentoring; Patent Attorney Q&As; Patent Bar Preparation; and Networking Opportunities.

This week, Bree, a Patent Scientist and 4L Law Student, shared her advice for others entering the field. 

“The advice I would give other women, or really any anyone interested in patent law, is to be mindful that we are all training to be advocates. Typically, it’s advocates for our clients, the inventors, the innovators, etc. I want to remind you that it’s equally, or arguably more important, that we’re advocates for ourselves.

Now, that can look a variety of different ways. But the way in which I see it playing out is by seeking out different opportunities, like attending the Harrity for Parity Women’s Patent Workshop. There are other opportunities, like taking classes, that might be a bit more intimidating or challenging. You can do it, you know, I believe in that. And the way in which we believe in that is by taking more opportunities and showing to ourselves, gathering more data that can be directed, that you can do it. And whether it be volunteering on a committee that you’re a part of, in an association or something like that, I think that’s really important, and something that I’m kind of learning as I go, and I wish I learned prior.

I think it’s a really valuable mindset to be mindful. Of course, we support others, we support our colleagues, we support our classmates, we support our clients, absolutely. But we ought not to forget to support ourselves as well. I’m a big fan of holistic support, and that includes wellness as well: mental, physical, spiritual, financial, the whole wellness wheel. I think that is really incredibly important to be mindful of. It’s a really rewarding and fulfilling career and not only do you deserve, but your colleagues or clients or classmates etc. deserve to see you or to interact with you as your very best self. So that’s kind of a long winded advice that I would give. Seek out opportunities, and be relentless in your pursuit. And again, I highly, highly, highly recommend without reservation, the Harrity for Parity Women’s Patent Workshop.”

 

Watch the video here:

 

We’re currently accepting applicants for our 2023 Harrity for Parity Women’s Workshop, scheduled for May 22-25th. Learn more and apply  here.

 

Celebrating Women’s History Month – Harrity for Parity Spotlight – Bree Vculek’s Experience in the Field

To celebrate Women’s History Month, and what is to come for women in our field, Harrity is highlighting Bree Vculek, a participant from the 2022 Harrity for Parity Women’s Patent Workshop!

Harrity for Parity™ brings women from across the country together to participate virtually in this free, four-day long annual program geared towards an introduction to the practice of patent law, patent skills, and career training.  The program, founded in 2017, is open to female science and engineering students, law school students, recent graduates, and current practitioners.

The Harrity for Parity™ Women’s Workshop includes prominent guest speakers who are women in the patent field; Patent Law Introductory Training; Patent Preparation Skills Training; Patent Prosecution Skills Training; Writing Skills Training by Writing Expert, Julie Seitz; Resume and Interview Preparation Workshops; Law School Career Mentoring; Patent Attorney Q&As; Patent Bar Preparation; and Networking Opportunities.

This week, we sat down with Bree, a Patent Scientist and 4L Law Student, to hear about her experiences as a young woman entering the patent field. 

“My name is Bree Vculek and I currently work as a patent scientist at Davis Wright Tremaine. I am a fourth year, evening part-time law student at the George Washington University in Washington, DC. My technical background is biology, chemistry and biotechnology. I’ve worked in that area in a variety of different sectors, most recently within the patent space, and I’m now working in artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well.

So thus far, my experience in patent law has been quite positive. I have worked now in both an intellectual property boutique firm, as well as in big law. I have found, at times, it’s lonely, for sure. But I think that there are events like the Harrity for Parity Women’s Patent Workshop, as well as tools like LinkedIn, or various other groups like AIPLA, ChIPs, Women in IP in DC, that I have specifically involved myself in to help continue to foster that community and that sense of belonging. It’s also, I think, important to share, have shared experiences, but also learn from one another and maybe ask questions like, how did you navigate this situation? And so I found that to be really an incredible piece to my early practice, if you will.

Actually, this week, we’re going to file my first provisional patent application. This is through the George Washington University Intellectual Property Technology Clinic. We’re going to file our first provisional patent application, that is an entire women team. So the inventor is a woman. And then I’m one of the student attorneys, my co-counsel is also a woman, and the director and the patent attorney that we’re going to file under is also a woman – so a comprehensive, holistic, all women team! It’s a first across the board, and I’m just really, really excited to have that opportunity.

I think that kind of explained my experiences thus far, but also what’s possible and what’s out there and what we’re, you know, fingers crossed, going to see as we continue to navigate and progress in the field of patent law. So whatever that may mean, I remain hopeful and excited from what I’m seeing in law school, and acknowledging that we still have a lot of work to do. I’m grateful for programs like Harrity for Parity’s  Women Patent Workshop – that’s really what I consider a launching pad in my career in patent prosecution, to be honest, it really opened my eyes to what is possible, and helps give me that next level of confidence in my skill set and in myself, that you know, I belong and I add value, and I’m worth taking a chance on. So that was really another beautiful experience and a little bit about what my early career has been like as a young woman in the practice of patent protection.”

 

Watch the video here:

 

We’re currently accepting applicants for our 2023 Harrity for Parity Women’s Workshop, scheduled for May 22-25th. Learn more and apply HERE.

 

Sandra Maxey Recognized at ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer Bold for Blue Awards

ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer is the nation’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to ending prostate cancer. With research advances, educational resources, and comprehensive support for prostate cancer patients, ZERO has improved the lives of thousands of men and their families over the past twenty years.

Harrity 4 Charity is a proud partner of ZERO and applauds their perseverance in eradicating the disease, which impacts so many lives worldwide. This cause is particularly meaningful to us, as Harrity Controller Sandy Maxey’s own father passed away from prostate cancer.

This week, Sandy was honored with a ZERO Prostate Cancer Bold for Blue Award for her contributions to prostate cancer awareness and research. This award is a testament to the importance of working together to find a cure for this devastating disease.
 
“Prostate cancer affects millions of men around the world, and it is a cause that is very close to my heart. Through my work and advocacy, I have seen firsthand the impact that this disease can have on individuals and families. That’s why I am so grateful for the opportunity to make a difference through the Zero Prostate Cancer Bold for Blue Awards program.
 
I am humbled and honored to be recognized alongside so many amazing individuals and organizations who are making a difference in the fight against prostate cancer. This award is a reminder that every action we take, no matter how small, can make a big impact.
 
I want to thank everyone who has supported me in this important work, including my colleagues, family, and friends. I look forward to continuing to collaborate and advocate for prostate cancer awareness and research, and I encourage everyone to get involved in any way they can.
 
Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by prostate cancer and move closer to a cure. Thank you again for this incredible honor,” she shared.

To learn more about Harrity 4 Charity and to become involved in ZERO or our other partner organizations, visit harrity4charity.com.

 

About Harrity 4 Charity

Harrity 4 Charity represents a partnering of law firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP, with charities that are near and dear to our hearts. Harrity partners pledge to give five percent of profits to partner charities and all Harrity employees pledge to donate a portion of their paychecks. Harrity & Harrity is a patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300™. Our clients have come to trust in our high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service. For more information, visit harrityllp.com.

Diversity Dialogue ThinkTank: An Update on Programs to Increase the Representation of Women in IP

Harrity Partner and Diversity Co-Chair Elaine Spector meets with Meredith Struby (MCC IP Law), Lisa Mueller (Casimir Jones) and Carlyn Burton (OBWB) for a discussion on the 2022 ThinkTank initiative to increase the representation of women in patent law and the progress each firm has made in the implementation of their new programs brought about from the brainstorming sessions.

Questions covered in this discussion include:

  • What do you think is preventing women with science and engineering degrees from registering with the patent bar?
  • What can we do about the problem of women not getting technical degrees in science and engineering?
  • I know there were likely a number of different programs that came up during each brainstorming session. Can you tell us a little bit about the program you decided to undertake and why?  Have you done some similar programs in the past to help underrepresented groups?  Can you tell me a little about them?
  • How do you go about recruiting participants into the program? Is it hard in trying to target women?  How do you get the word out?
  • If you were starting the program all over again, would you do anything differently?
  • What are your biggest setbacks so far?
  • How do you get to the right person at a university or high school?
  • What impact do you anticipate it having, in terms of the # of participants, percentage increase in awareness, or similar?
  • If someone in the audience wants to start a program to bring diverse people and women into the patent field, what would you recommend?
  • What opportunities are available in your programs for people in the patent field to get involved?

You can watch the full session below.

 

To learn more about Harrity’s diversity efforts, visit harrityllp.com/diversity. For more diversity resources, including all Diversity Dialogue webinars, check out The Diversity Channel.

To get involved in any of the above initiatives, please reach out to Elaine at espector@harrityllp.com.

 

Celebrating Black History Month – MFI 2.0 Spotlight – Ted Wood

To celebrate Black History Month, Harrity is highlighting the black-owned law firms that participated in the 2022 Minority Firm Incubator 2.0 program!

This week, we sat down with Ted Wood, Managing Partner of Wood IP, a black-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned patent law firm. 

Ted candidly discusses his time in the military, how he faces others’ expectations as a black patent attorney, and his advice to those looking to enter into the patent field.

Watch his entire interview here:

 

ABOUT MFI 2.0:

The Minority Firm Incubator 2.0 Program is Harrity’s 42-week program that provides the training and tools needed to propel female and minority-owned patent law firms, existing or yet to be launched, to the next level of success. The program includes free training & strategy classes, concluding with a pitch session with a panel of in-house IP attorneys. The MFI 2.0 is an integral part of Harrity’s ongoing diversity initiative to recruit, retain, and advance attorneys who will contribute to the diversity of the patent field.

In November 2022, 7 minority-owned law firms graduated from the first iteration of this program after intensive law firm operations trainings from Harrity partners and pitches to a panel of in-house attorneys. You can learn more and apply to the 2024 program here.

 

Celebrating Black History Month – MFI 2.0 Spotlight – James Bennin

To celebrate Black History Month, Harrity is highlighting the black-owned law firms that participated in the inaugural Minority Firm Incubator program and the 2022 Minority Firm Incubator 2.0 program!

This week, we sat down with James Bennin, Founder & Owner of Onyx IP Group, a black-owned patent law firm. 

James got candid about his accomplishments as a new firm owner, the driving force behind Onyx IP Group, and his advice to those wanting to join the #patent field.

Watch his entire interview here:

 

ABOUT MFI 2.0:

The Minority Firm Incubator 2.0 Program is Harrity’s 42-week program that provides the training and tools needed to propel female and minority-owned patent law firms, existing or yet to be launched, to the next level of success. The program includes free training & strategy classes, concluding with a pitch session with a panel of in-house IP attorneys. The MFI 2.0 is an integral part of Harrity’s ongoing diversity initiative to recruit, retain, and advance attorneys who will contribute to the diversity of the patent field.

In November 2022, 7 minority-owned law firms graduated from the first iteration of this program after intensive law firm operations trainings from Harrity partners and pitches to a panel of in-house attorneys. You can learn more and apply to the 2024 program here.

 

Celebrating Black History Month – MFI 2.0 Spotlight – Arlene Neal

To celebrate Black History Month, Harrity is highlighting the black-owned law firms that participated in the 2022 Minority Firm Incubator 2.0 program!

This week, we sat down with Arlene Neal, Founder & Managing Attorney at Neal Blibo, a black-owned, woman-owned law firm. 

When asked about being a black-owned, woman-owned law firm, Arlene said, “I see a lot of black-owned firms and I see a lot of women-owned firms, but I don’t see a lot of the combination- black and woman-owned. And I’m thinking to myself, “Well, I gotta be proud!”

Watch her entire interview here:

 

ABOUT MFI 2.0:

The Minority Firm Incubator 2.0 Program is Harrity’s 42-week program that provides the training and tools needed to propel female and minority-owned patent law firms, existing or yet to be launched, to the next level of success. The program includes free training & strategy classes, concluding with a pitch session with a panel of in-house IP attorneys. The MFI 2.0 is an integral part of Harrity’s ongoing diversity initiative to recruit, retain, and advance attorneys who will contribute to the diversity of the patent field.

When speaking on this program, Arlene says, “As a Managing Attorney, I am always seeking out the best practices in running my firm. The MFI program exposed me to new processes for managing my firm and also helped me to refine current processes.”

In November 2022, 7 minority-owned law firms graduated from the first iteration of this program after intensive law firm operations trainings from Harrity partners and pitches to a panel of in-house attorneys. You can learn more and apply to the 2024 program here.

 

Elaine Spector Goes Viral with #BreakMomBias

Harrity Partner & Diversity Co-chair, Elaine Spector, recently went viral in a LinkedIn post sharing her thoughts on how mothers are treated in the field of law, in response to a leaked text message from a male attorney to his female colleague in Ohio.

In short, the female attorney was asked to work while on maternity leave, and later resigned. She received the following text from a male partner at her firm.

“What you did — collecting salary from the firm while sitting on your ass, except to find time to interview for another job — says everything one needs to know about your character. Karma’s a bitch. Rest assured, regarding anyone who inquires, they will hear the truth from me about what a soul-less and morally bankrupt person you are.”

Elaine’s post reads:

“‘Collecting Salary From the Firm While Sitting on Your Ass’

We can all look at the statement and think it is atrocious. But what is more atrocious is that the firm leadership’s first response was to “explain” the exchange. I am happy to hear that the lawyer who sent the text was fired, but why didn’t that happen initially?

And what unnerves me the most is that many lawyers think this way. That somehow, maternity leave is easy where we just “sit on our ass” and eat bon-bons.

Let me tell you something. Growing a human inside of me (three times) was the most physically challenging time in my life, not to mention the trauma of birth. I had no idea the recovery would be so painful. Imagine having surgery and then being woken up in the middle of the night every 2 hours to nurse a child. It is absolutely physically exhausting. I needed every day of the 12 weeks I had off to recover from birth, as well as bond with my child.

So, as a show of solidarity with the woman who received that horrific text, I am posting a picture of me just after I gave birth to my first child 20 years ago. It was harder than any race I have run.

We are warriors!”

Shortly after, Elaine was featured in an article for Above the Law by Wendi Weiner, who discusses the curtailing impact of why toxic culture is to blame for women leaving law firms.

“Elaine Spector, a patent lawyer, posted in solidarity about her pregnancy and subsequent harsh recovery. Both of these posts and countless others sent a very loud and clear message: maternity leave is definitely not ‘sitting on your ass,'” the article, titled Why Toxic Culture Is To Blame For Women Leaving Law Firms reads.

At Harrity, we believe in equal treatment and opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We are also committed to maintaining a respectful, inclusive, and supportive workplace for all employees.

In support of all working women and all moms throughout the world, if you haven’t already, we encourage you to post a picture of yourself either after childbirth, mothering your children, or whatever you have, to demonstrate our support of one another and as a way to break the bias towards moms! Please include the hashtag #BreakMomBias.

You can see more of Elaine’s insights in her weekly vlog, Driving Diversity, on LinkedIn. Learn more about our Diversity Initiatives here and join our Diversity Mentor Network here.

Harrity Analytics’ Top Patent Firms List Featured in Law360

The newly released 2022 Top Patent Firms List by Harrity Patent Analytics and accompanying data is featured in a recent Law360 article, titled This Firm Keeps Reeling In The Most Utility Patents.

“The law firm that won the most utility patents in 2021 has again taken the No. 1 spot in 2022, with nearly 5,200 secured utility patents, according to a new report from Harrity Patent Analytics.

Fish & Richardson PC increased the number of patents secured by the firm by 4% in 2022, obtaining 5,186 patents compared to 2021’s 5,004, according to Harrity’s 2022 Top Patent Firms. Sughrue Mion PLC and Oblon McClelland Maier & Neustadt LLP again rounded out the top three.

‘The list demonstrates which patent firms are still big players, while providing insight for both clients and firms to make strategic decisions moving forward,’ Rocky Berndsen, the head of Harrity Patent Analytics, said in a statement.”

Read the full article at HERE.

See the 2022 Top Patent Firms List HERE. Learn more about our patent analytics capabilities by visiting the Harrity Analytics site HERE.

Bloomberg Features Patent 300® by Harrity Analytics

The newly released 2023 Patent 300® List by Harrity Patent Analytics and accompanying data is featured in a recent article by Brody Ford for Bloomberg, titled IBM Loses Top Patent Spot After Decades as Leader.

“International Business Machines Corp. dropped from the top spot for US patents in 2022, the first time in decades Big Blue hasn’t claimed the most in a year, signaling a strategy shift at the longtime intellectual property leader,” the article begins.

“IBM’s patent count declined 44% to 4,743 patents in 2022, falling to No. 2 behind Samsung Electronics Co.’s 8,513, according to Harrity LLP’s Patent 300 list. Technologies such as semiconductors and hardware memory saw the largest drop in IBM patents, though the reduction was across all major types.”

Read the full article at HERE.

See the 2023 Patent 300® List HERE. Learn more about our patent analytics capabilities by visiting the Harrity Analytics site HERE.

Harrity Welcomed Seven Exceptional Attorneys in 2022

Harrity & Harrity, LLP is excited to report that we have added 7 exceptional patent professionals to the team this year! Over the last 12 months, Harrity has welcomed Allison Howard, Derek Abeyta, Ryan Heavener, Nathan Gundlach, Nicholas A. Mihalic, Stephen Kontos, and Spencer Peterson to the firm. With six decades of combined experience amongst them across a variety of complex technologies, each hire is a valuable addition to the team. “Through our meticulous hiring process, we have added 7 outstanding patent superstars to our team! To say that we are excited to have them join us is an understatement.”, Managing Partner Paul Harrity says of the firm’s recent growth. Adding these individuals has increased our total percentage of diverse patent professionals to 41%. 

 

Allison Howard | Boulder, CO (Joined 5/31/2022) 

Allison Howard is a patent agent specializing in patent preparation and prosecution before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She utilizes her intellectual property experience to aid clients in obtaining protection of their intellectual property. Prior to joining Harrity & Harrity, Allison worked in private practice specializing in patent preparation and prosecution for a variety of technologies. Over the past years, Allison has volunteered as a math and science tutor for the I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County, assisting with English as a Second Language students. 

Learn more about Allison here. 

 

Derek Abeyta | Peoria, AZ (Joined 5/31/2022) 

Derek Abeyta is a patent attorney with considerable experience in preparing and prosecuting patent applications for clients, both in the United States and in foreign countries. Such patent applications relate to a variety of mechanical, electrical, and electromechanical fields, including telecommunications, extended reality systems, camera processing, power electronics, and more. His law practice has focused on patent preparation and prosecution, as well as patent infringement and validity counseling. Derek currently resides in Peoria, Arizona with his wife and kids and enjoys playing softball, exploring the outdoors, and listening to music.  

Learn more about Derek here. 

 

Ryan Heavener | Chester Springs, PA (Joined 8/15/2022) 

Ryan Heavener specializes in the preparation and the procurement of patent assets. He leverages his expertise to build formidable patent portfolios that are optimized with the unique business objectives of his clients. Ryan focuses on electrical, electromechanical, and mechanical arts. For over 3 years, Ryan worked in Germany as patent counsel for one of the world’s leading semiconductor companies. During his tenure, Ryan managed the procurement, development, and maintenance of the company’s vast patent portfolio through frequent interaction with engineers and outside counsel, while remaining budget conscious.  

Learn more about Ryan here. 

 

Nathan Gundlach | Clearfield, UT (Joined 8/15/2022) 

Nathan Gundlach is a registered patent agent with experience drafting and prosecuting patent applications related to memory technologies, wireless communications, home automation and security, encryption/decryption, machine learning, neural networks, and database management. Prior to joining Harrity & Harrity, Nathan worked for another firm where he handled preparation and prosecution matters for various clients and technologies, and as a graduate research assistant at the University of Utah. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys volunteering with the Utah Food Bank and other charity initiatives in his local community. 

Learn more about Nathan here. 

 

Nicholas Mihalic | Madison, OH (Joined 8/29/2022) 

Nick Mihalic is a patent attorney with considerable experience in client counseling and patent preparation and prosecution. With an advanced degree in electrical engineering, he excels at quickly comprehending complex inventions and converting them into high-quality patent applications. His practice focuses primarily on electrical, electromechanical, and computer technologies. Prior to joining Harrity, Nick worked for mid-size and small Intellectual Property boutique firms. He also served as general counsel for a Nevada-based corporation where he gained invaluable experience. 

Learn more about Nick here. 

 

Stephen Kontos | Royal Oak, MI (Joined 9/8/2022) 

Stephen Kontos is a patent attorney with experience drafting and prosecuting patent applications for a variety of technologies. Leveraging his electrical engineering background and experience as outside intellectual property counsel to some of the largest companies in the world, Stephen helps in-house IP teams strategically patent innovative technology. Stephen supports diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal industry, particularly with respect to the LGBTQ+ community. His services help in-house legal departments meet their supplier diversity goals. 

Learn more about Stephen here. 

 

Spencer Peterson | Boise, ID (Joined 9/30/2022) 

Spencer Peterson is a registered patent agent with experience drafting and prosecuting patent applications in both the U.S. and in foreign jurisdictions. He has drafted and prosecuted patents in the fields of volatile and non-volatile memory cell technologies, memory device processes and communications, wireless telecommunications, and semiconductor fabrication and design. In his spare time, Spencer enjoys spending time with his wife and kids (preferably outdoors), playing sports, reading, and watching documentaries. He also volunteers as a leader of a local youth group.  

Learn more about Spencer here. 

 

Elaine Spector Featured in Brink News Article, “Why Is There a Chronic Lack of Diversity in the Legal Profession?”

Harrity Partner & Diversity Co-chair, Elaine Spector, was recently featured in an interview with Brink News, where she shared her thoughts on the lack of diversity in the legal field and her ideas on how to improve diversity and equity in law.

You can read the entire article on Brink’s website.

You can learn more about our Diversity Initiatives here and join our Diversity Mentor Network here.

John Harrity Receives Distinguished Achievement Award from American Heart Association

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives, recently announced the recipients of this year’s Eastern States Volunteer Awards. We’re excited to announce that John Harrity has been honored with the Distinguished Achievement Award for his outstanding commitment to the cause and extraordinary collaborative achievement to advance the organization’s mission to improve health and well-being for all.

The Distinguished Achievement Award specifically recognizes a volunteer’s regional impact on the organization and those who have demonstrated outstanding collaboration and commitment to advance the Association’s work.Five Volunteers Recognized for Outstanding Contributions that Save and Improve Lives

Harrity began his involvement with the American Heart Association in 2016 when Harrity & Harrity, LLP began to sponsor the Lawyers Have Heart 10K, 5K & Fun Walk. In 2018, he became part of the Lawyers Have Heart Executive Leadership Team. He co-chaired the event in 2020 during the start of the pandemic and is currently serving as the co-chair for his fourth consecutive year. As co-chair in 2022, John Harrity helped Lawyers Have Heart raised a record-breaking $1.26 million for the American Heart Association. Having recently joined the organization’s Greater Washington Region Board of Directors, Harrity is driven by his own story of being saved by CPR and surviving a “widow-maker” heart attack. He has shared his personal journey at numerous events and meetings as well as through local and national media.  Read more about his story on the DC Bar’s website.

The Lawyers Have Heart 10K, 5K and Fun Walk returns on May 20, 2023 to West Potomac Park — the original site of the inaugural Lawyers Have Heart race held in 1991 —  an exciting change from Georgetown in recent years. The new 10K course will cross the Arlington Memorial Bridge featuring stunning views of the Potomac River, circle the Tidal Basin, and head down East Potomac Street.  The new location also boasts a larger space for the finish line festival, with plans underway to add more activities for the entire family, including a kids’ fun area, a dog zone, and a larger hospitality garden, in addition to the numerous sponsor meet-up areas and interactive booths where participants can learn Hands-Only CPR, pay tribute to a loved one, and take team photos.  A virtual option is also available for individuals around the globe to participate wherever they are located.

To kickstart fundraising for the 2023 campaign, Harrity & Harrity LLP will match up to $50,000 in sponsorships, donations, and registration fees between December 1 – 31, 2022,  doubling the impact each dollar has.

Registration is open with virtual and in-person options; prices to enter will increase in 2023. Join Team Harrity here and donate today to have your impact doubled!

Start up your own team at www.LawyersHaveHeartDC.org. For sponsorship opportunities, email patricia.hevia@heart.org. Follow Harrity on LinkedInFacebookTwitter, and Instagram and use #RUNLHH.

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