Harrity & Harrity, LLP is launching a new challenge to test participants’ ability to draft an overview description and a claim for an electronic invention. Winners of the challenge will receive a free Oculus Quest Virtual Reality Headset!
The Harrity Writing Sample Test is used in our application process to screen candidates based on their patent application writing ability. All identifying information is removed prior to grading the test in order to remove any unconscious bias and ensure that the test is evaluated solely on the quality of the candidate’s submission. For this challenge, the Writing Sample Test will be graded based on four areas of criteria: Writing, Technical Proficiency, Instructions, and Claim. Contestants must earn a minimum passing score of 90 points (out of 100) to win an Oculus. The test takes, on average, 2 hours to complete. While Harrity receives hundreds of applications every year, less than 10% of applicants pass the Writing Sample Test.
While only the top performers will win an Oculus, Harrity is adding another reason to participate. The firm will donate $100 to its Harrity 4 Charity partner charities for every individual that takes the test. Participants can choose how to divide up the donation between the American Heart Association, ZERO: The End of Prostate Cancer, Inova Children’s Hospital, and No More Stolen Childhoods.
If you would like to partake in the challenge, the deadline to submit your Writing Sample Test is Monday, March 1st, 2021. Winners will be notified by email and announced to our Social Media Pages on Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021. Feedback will be provided to all contestants via email whether or not they win the challenge, with the goal of helping each participant improve their writing skills.
There is a limit of one prize per person. You must be a registered patent agent or attorney with the USPTO to enter.
Visit harrityllp.com/wst to take the challenge today!
The Right Choice: IP Stakeholders Emphasize Practical Experience, Strong IP Advocacy in Next USPTO Head
Harrity Partner Eli Mazour is featured in IPWatchdog’s recent article as an IP expert regarding what the profile of the next USPTO Director should look like.
January 26, 2021 (IPWatchdog) At 12:00pm EST on January 20, 2021, Joe Biden was sworn in as America’s 46th President. Over the next several months he and his staff will be working to fill thousands of positions within the federal government that have become vacant due to resignations. This is normal and expected. At the end of each presidential term all presidential appointees offer their resignation, which can then either be accepted or not at the discretion of the President.
The position of Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), as well as Deputy, is now vacant. Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld has been vested with the authority to act with the powers of the Under Secretary of Commerce for IP and Director of the USPTO, although he has not been given the title Acting Director. This is almost certainly due to the fact that no one in the federal government can hold a title of Acting head of an agency for more than 270 days.
In our space, the position of Under Secretary and Director of the USPTO is a front-line, top-level position. In the greater political scheme, it is likely we will not have an appointee for many months. President Obama did not nominate David Kappos until June 18 and President Trump did not nominate Andrei Iancu until August 26.
There are many capable people—all realistic, based on party affiliation—who should be considered by the Biden Administration for nomination as Under Secretary of Commerce for IP, but in my opinion several names stand out above everyone else based on their background, ties with the tech sector, and what appears to be a preference on the part of President Biden (at least so far) to appoint those with close ties to the Obama Administration and longstanding ties to the Democratic party..
See these suggestions, and what Eli and the other experts have to say on IPwatchdog.com.
Wish Upon a Star: Experts Share Their Wildest IP Dreams for 2021
Harrity Partner Eli Mazour is featured in IPWatchdog’s recent article as an IP expert.
January 4, 2021 (IPWatchdog) We have already published industry roundups on the biggest moments in IP for 2020 and predictions and thoughts for 2021. But the longest running industry insider feature on IPWatchdog is our annual “wishes” article. Each year, we invite stakeholders to share their wildest IP dreams and wishes for the coming year.
Unlike our Predictions and What Mattered roundups, this series allows our experts to get creative. The responses may have nothing to do with what is likely to happen, but rather gives commenters a chance to explain how 2021 would unfold in their dream scenario. This year, responses remained fairly grounded in reality, with the possible exceptions of hope for clarity on Section 101 law and other issues from the Supreme Court and that Andrei Iancu will remain USPTO Director under future President Biden…
See what Eli and the other experts have to say on IPwatchdog.com.
Some time ago, in discussing humanitarian efforts and engineering, a friend of mine told me about a concept project he worked on to create a new iteration of the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC), an all-terrain wheelchair manufactured by Global Research Innovation and Technology (GRIT). The original LFC was created by engineering graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to allow people with disabilities in developing countries to gain mobility and independence. Conventional wheelchairs didn’t function well on the rugged terrain and rough local roads, and most were difficult and expensive to maintain. The three-wheeled LFC uses a push-lever drivetrain to help people navigate over rugged terrain with ease and is built from commonly found bicycle parts to allow easy maintenance and repair. Naturally, being an intellectual property professional, I started looking into patents related to the LFC.
That’s when I first discovered Patents for Humanity, an awards competition hosted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The creators of the LFC secured US Patent No. 8,844,959 in 2014 and was awarded a Patents for Humanity award in the subsequent year. Nearly a decade has passed since the program itself started, but little is known about it. Given the current situation with the global pandemic, and the season of giving around us, I thought it might be timely to share some information about the awards competition with our network of IP professionals.
Patents for Humanity was launched in February 2012 as part of an initiative to promote “game-changing innovations to address long-standing development challenges” and showcase how patent holders are pioneering innovative ways to provide affordable, scalable, and sustainable solutions for the less fortunate. Awards have been given for innovations that range from Golden Rice that’s genetically enhanced to provide a source of vitamin A for people relying mainly on rice to the LFC to compact human wastewater converters called NEWgenerator.
Two types of awards are given – Patents for Humanity awards and Honorable Mentions awards. Patents for Humanity award recipients are given an acceleration certificate, and of course, public recognition of their work at an awards ceremony sponsored by the USPTO. The certificate can be used to accelerate a patent application examination, ex parte reexamination, and ex parte appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.* Honorable Mentions award recipients receive accelerated examination of one patent application but not other types of matters.
The program is open to patent owners, applicants, licensees (including inventors who haven’t assigned their ownership rights to others), assignees, and exclusive and non-exclusive licensees. Applicants must describe how they’ve used their patented technology or products to address a humanitarian issue, which, for the competition purposes, is defined as “one significantly affecting the public health or quality of life of an impoverished population.”
Applicants using a patent application as a basis for entry to the competition must show that a Notice of Allowance for one or more claims from that patent application has been issued before any certificate is awarded. Applicants mainly compete in the following five categories:
- Medicine: any medical-related technology such as medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, or medical devices.
- Nutrition: technologies which improve nutrition such as higher yield crops, more nutritious food sources, food preservation, storage, or preparation.
- Sanitation: improving lives by addressing environmental factors such as clean water, waste treatment, air pollution, and toxic substances.
- Household energy: technologies providing power to energy-poor homes and communities for household needs like lighting, cooking, and heating.
- Living standards: technologies that raise living standards to empower people to escape poverty, such as literacy, education, communications, information delivery, access to markets, and microfinance.
Applicants may also team together to submit joint applications explaining actions taken by multiple parties. However, only one certificate will be issued to the joint applicants, and the certificate can be redeemed for only one matter.
The applications are then judged under one of two criteria: (1) Humanitarian Use (applying eligible technologies to positively impact a humanitarian issue, focusing on demonstrable real-world improvements) and (2) Humanitarian Research (making available patented technologies to other researchers for conducting research with a humanitarian purpose, particularly areas lacking commercial application).
The applications are reviewed and scored by qualified judges outside of the USPTO, and the USPTO forwards the top-scoring applications to participating federal agencies for award recipient recommendations.
As we prepare to bid farewell to a year that will live in infamy, I think it’s fitting to recognize this year’s award recipients: Global Vision 2020; Sisu Global; Sanaria Inc; Flexcrevator; NEWgenerator; Nonspec; Rubitection; and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Congratulations! Perhaps, now more than ever, we need and should honor more innovation that makes progress in human lives. Keep an eye out for the next awards competition application period.
More information about the Patents for Humanity awards competition can be found at:
For those interested in the details of the Terms and Conditions:
*Inter partes matters and other post-grant proceedings may not be accelerated with the certificate at this time.
Patent owners often obtain patents to protect products, as well as complementary products or use cases associated with those products. However, when selling or licensing the patented products, a patent owner may inadvertently extinguish potential revenue streams associated with the complementary use cases due to the doctrine of patent exhaustion.
Patent exhaustion follows the basic idea that if a company sells or licenses a patented product to a buyer, the company cannot sue the buyer (or a third party that the buyer provides the patented product to under the license) for patent infringement for using the product. Patent owners should take care when preparing and licensing patents to ensure that infringement claims for complementary products or use cases associated with patented products are not exhausted by the sale or licensing of the patented products, as shown by the Federal Circuit case of Helferich Patent Licensing v. New York Times, 778 F.3D 1293 (Fed. Cir. 2015)…
Keep reading on IPwatchdog.com.
To many patent practitioners, the Federal Circuit’s decision in Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. v. LG Electronics, Inc. was a watershed moment. In particular, this decision provided that claims directed to “display interfaces” that “improved” on existing interfaces were patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In other words, Core Wireless decreased the chances of a court finding a graphical user interface (GUI) patent to be directed to ineligible subject matter and therefore invalid.
We don’t have to look far to see the impact that the nearly-three-year-old Core Wireless decision has had. Almost 100 district court decisions have cited the case since it came down in January of 2019, and nearly 30 inter partes review (IPR) proceedings filed after January of 2019 include citations of Core Wireless by practitioners, the Board, or both…
Keep reading on IPwatchdog.com.
Harrity & Harrity’s Shawn Lillemo has been named as a 2020 Intellectual Property Trailblazer by the National Law Journal, which recognizes professionals who have moved the needle in the legal industry.
The publication says the following regarding Shawn’s contribution to legal technology:
Pioneer Spirit Launching his intellectual property career, Shawn Lillemo served as a patent examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In 2018, Lillemo jumped at the opportunity to join boutique patent firm Harrity & Harrity, LLP. “Harrity operates more like a Silicon Valley start-up than a traditional law firm — with a passion to be on the cutting-edge of innovation — in an industry which otherwise hadn’t changed much in a hundred years.”
Trails Blazed Leveraging his skills as a software product manager, Lillemo created several products that allow attorneys to focus more of their time on substantively improving the quality of patents instead of on the menial tasks that can be automated. Patent Draftr gives attorneys a suite of drafting tools that can “turn a 40-hour task into a 10-hour task.” Patent Searchr gives attorneys a state-of-the-art search engine for private patent portfolios so attorneys can find private and pending patent applications. Lillemo’s Patent Sortr software replaces the labor-intensive task of creating patent asset taxonomies. Now asset managers can know in real-time what patent assets they have in any given patent landscape. “Each product was created with a simple goal: we want to allow our lawyers to be heroes to their clients and then go home. It’s doable if you automate as much as you can.” Harrity’s innovative approach to exceptional client services, led largely by Lillemo, landed the firm the 2020 American Legal Technology Award in the Law Firm category.
Future Explorations “We are on the cusp of many disruptive technologies transforming the way patent attorneys perform their work,” Lillemo believes, “including AI, blockchain distributed everything, and augmented reality. I want to move Harrity and our clients to the front edge of the adoption curve in a work paradigm shift as significant as the industrial revolution.”
‘External ownership of law firms could herald an IP revolution but clients will need to be convinced’
Over the summer two US states, Utah and Arizona, opened the door for non-lawyer ownership of law firms. Other parts of the US are also said to be looking at the matter, with the District of Columbia Bar reported to be considering relaxing its rules. What will the potential external ownership of law firms mean for the revolution of IP?
Interviewed by Richard Lloyd of IAM Media, John Harrity added his thoughts:
“New money coming in will be able to fund more technology and innovation, and more firms will realise that in order to stay competitive, they will need to embrace this technology to produce more efficient, accurate, and high-quality work.”
Read the full article only on IAM Media.
About Harrity & Harrity, LLP
Harrity & Harrity is a leading patent preparation and prosecution firm specializing in the electrical and mechanical technology areas, and is considered a Go-To Firm for the Patent 300™. Their clients trust in their high-quality work, experienced people, industry leading innovation, and outstanding service.
This episode of Clause 8 features an interview with trial attorney Frank Jakes – the founder of the Intellectual Property Group at the firm of Johnson Pope in Tampa, FL. There’s a good chance that you have recently seen him questioning Joe Exotic in the Netflix documentary Tiger King. However, even before successfully representing Carole Baskin and Big Cat Rescue, Frank Jakes was already a legendary trial attorney in Tampa who handled lots of cases involving high-profile parties and interesting personalities and won many millions of dollars in verdicts. Many of those cases involved a wide variety of IP rights.
Listen and subscribe on IPwatchdog.com.
Josh came up with the idea for Bunch O Balloons to help his kids fill up 100 water balloons in less than one minute. It eventually became the most popular toy in America. However, before Bunch O Balloons even came to market, another company copied it and started selling its own versions of the product. Luckily – or so he thought at the time – Josh filed a patent application for his Bunch O Balloons invention. He did not know the enormous amount of time, money, and luck it would take to successfully enforce patents that covered his invention. This episode tells the story of what it took, including taking a trip to Bentonville, AR in the middle of the night to try to convince Walmart to stop selling knock offs of his product.
Listen and subscribe on IPwatchdog.com.
Tune into Eli Mazour‘s Clause 8 Podcast for the second and final part of our interview with Kevin Jakel, the founder and CEO of Unified Patents. On this episode, we continue the conversation with Kevin about how Unified Patents operates, discuss Unified Patents’ new program for targeting Standard Essential Patents (SEPs), debate whether the patent troll narrative has been overblown, talk about the patent quality problem, and delve into some other patent policy issues related to IPRs and the PTAB. We also find out what Kevin has in common with George Costanza!
Listen and subscribe on IPwatchdog.com.
“Either because it wants to keep patent owners on edge, does not want to provide ammunition to those who question how independently it really operates from its members, or for some other reason, Unified Patents has not publicly disclosed how it decides what patents to target. This interview with Kevin tries to resolve some of that mystery surrounding Unified Patents.”
Listen and subscribe on IPwatchdog.com.
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Mazour, Partner at Harrity, LLP and host of Clause 8, began the podcast in 2017 as a way to share his passion for discussing intellectual property issues. He routinely meets with the most interesting and influential personalities in the IP field, provoking intriguing conversations on modern patent processes and legal innovation.
Stay in the know by listening and subscribing now at https://bit.ly/39TZP2y.