Featured Idaho Patent: Systems and Methods for Performing Wireless Financial Transactions

U.S. Patent Number 8,214,298 - Systems and Methods for Performing Wireless Financial Transactions

Inventor: Steven Harvey McCown (Rigby, ID)

Assignee: RFinity Corporation (Idaho Falls, ID)

This invention deals with processing financial transactions using wireless technology, and specifically by authorizing a transaction using the respective mobile devices of a buyer and a seller.

Featured Idaho Patent: Strap Winder

U.S. Patent Number 8,205,818 - Strap Winder

Every Tuesday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office publishes newly granted patents. This blog post is part of a weekly series in which I pick an interesting new patent that has Idaho connections and briefly describe it.

Featured Idaho Patent: Vector-Specific Haptic Feedback

U.S. Patent Number 8,203,531 - Vector-Specific Haptic Feedback

Every Tuesday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office publishes new granted patents. I thought some of you would like to read about Idaho-related patents--that is, patents having at least one Idaho inventor or assigned to an Idaho company. I'm going to do a weekly series of blog posts in which I will pick an interesting new patent that has Idaho connections and briefly describe it.

Are You Intellectual Property-Aware?

Many small and medium business owners don't know the difference between trademark and copyright, patent and trademark, or design patent and trademark--much less which of these types of IP they actually own. As a result, many business owners miss out on the competitive advantages that come hand-in-hand with their IP rights. They miss out on potentially lucrative opportunities because they don't know how to leverage their IP assets. The United State Patent and Trademark Office has recognized this common ailment and come to the rescue with the Intellectual Property Awareness Assessment Tool.

Published Patent Application Provisional Rights

Last week, I blogged about how the US Patent and Trademark Office publishes pending patent applications under certain conditions. I would like now to build on that topic and discuss one potentially significant advantage for a patent applicant from having her application published.

Publication of Patent Applications

Title 35, Section 122 of the U.S. Code mandates that every patent application be published "promptly" after 18 months have passed after the filing date (if the application is still pending at that time--that is, it hasn't issued as a patent nor been abandoned). The publication of pending patent applications in the U.S. is a relatively new concept. This blog post discusses why the Patent Office publishes patent applications and the potential benefits and drawbacks of having your application published.

How Many Patents Are Currently Alive?

In previous blog posts, I've discussed patent maintenance fees and patent term adjustment, both of which may affect how long a patent may remain in force after issuance. In my experience, people seem to forget that not every patent survives up to its life expentancy due the failure of the patent holder to pay maintenance fees (and that some patents may outlive the typical patent lifespan because of patent term adjustment).

Patents Can Cover Non Earth-Shattering Inventions, Too

I recently read this blog post about a couple of patent applications that are owned by Apple that were recently published.

The Historical Idaho Patents Database

The University of Idaho Law School has a neat website called the Historical Idaho Patents Database that I've explored on a few occasions. It is a user-friendly way to search patents that were granted to Idaho residents. According to the website, the database only covers patents granted during the years 1866-1908 and 1928, but it is being added to continuously. However, I found that the database currently includes patents granted as recently as 1976.

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