As an inventor, you need a lawyer who is capable of understanding your invention, and its relationship to the existing technology. But protecting the technology of the 21st century requires more than just attention to detail. You also need a lawyer who can strategize your overall protection scheme and help you plan to protect your marketplace.
Michael de Angeli gets results:
Michael M. de Angeli, P.C. is a solo law practice located in Jamestown, Rhode Island, specializing in intellectual property law. Mike de Angeli has over thirty years’ experience in all phases of intellectual property law, including preparation and prosecution of patent applications, enforcing patents in litigation (including significant wins against corporations such as Toyota and Eastman Kodak), obtaining and defending trademarks, copyright prosecution and litigation, trade secret enforcement, and licensing. Mike has also handled patent matters throughout the world, including appeals in the Japanese and European Patent Offices.
Need to protect an invention? Click here for advice to new inventors useful in containing the cost of a patent application.
What sort of protection is available for my ideas? Click here for definitions of patents, trademarks, and copyrights, and for information regarding trade secret protection.
How can I keep patent costs as low as possible? Click here for answers to various questions that often come up, including fees and costs.
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Changes in False Marking Interpretation
In a recent decision, The Forest Group, Inc. v. Bon Tool Company, No. 2009-1044, the Federal Circuit has radically reinterpreted the false marking statute, 35 USC 292. The false marking statute makes it illegal to apply a patent number to a product that is not patented, to use "patent pending" when no application is pending, or to use another's patent number with the intent to decieve the public. A $500 fine is payable for violations. Any person can sue for the penalty, and if successful can keep half the recovery, with the other half going to the government.
Historically, this statute has seen little or any use: who's going to sue for $250? However, the Forest Group decision may change all that. In Forest Group the Federal Circuit held that the $500 fine is payable on a per article basis, not on a per judicial decision basis, as previously. For example, a company that sold 10,000 units of a product with an erroneous patent notice - which could easily happen as old patent numbers were not removed from product labels as they expired - would be liable for $5,000,000.
The statute requires that the fine is only payable if the misleading statement specified were made with the intent to deceive the public. Intent is notoriously difficult to prove per se, but can often be inferred.
There are two action items that should be considered in response to this decision. First, all of one's own product notices, labeling, packaging, websites and the like should be carefully reviewed for complete accuracy. Second, one's competitors' notices and labeling should similarly be reviewed for possible liability.
Feel free to contact me for more information.
Welcome to RIpatentlaw.com
This is my first blog entry on my recently-launched website. Periodically, I will post comments on news of interest to inventors, attorneys, and others in the intellectual property community. A link to subscribe via email and to view an RSS feed will be available shortly. Please check back soon!
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