Although patent law may be perceived as a very serious and sophisticated practice, it can also be fun! Other than practicing at the intersection of technical and legal knowledge, patent law also provides protection for a number of suprising and unexpected inventions. For example, a method of exercising a cat was found to meet the requirements for patentability. It is a common misconception that patented inventions must be groundbreaking or scientifically complex. In fact, inventions are patentable, or capable of achieving patent protection from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), despite their deceptive, bizarre, or menial purposes. In the United States, inventions are patentable if directed to patentable subject matter that is new, useful, nonobvious, and. But, you may be wondering, who evaluates whether these “wacky inventions” meet these requirements and how are the patents obtained? Let me explain.
Imagine this: you have just been diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis is serious, and if untreated, will end your life. But good news – there is a lifesaving treatment available! It will just cost you $150,000 a year. Not only are you left with the emotional stress of a serious diagnosis, but now have the added financial stress of the unaffordable price tag that comes with the treatment. Is there anything that can be done to make the treatment more affordable? Continue reading “High Drug Prices: Meet Bayh-Dole”
I still remember my first sparring match vividly. It was a 3-minute practice combat session in my childhood martial arts class. I practiced techniques, learned the rules, and prepared myself for controlled combat with a partner. I instantly fell in love with the competitive spirit of sparring. Recently, I was reminded of that spirit when I discovered patent litigation as a law clerk.
Like many other engineering graduates in the state of Michigan, I started my engineering career in the automotive industry. Lucky for me, I landed a pretty fun job in vehicle safety. The crash lab located in the space behind my office ran full speed crash tests on a daily basis. However, I spent most of my day behind a computer analyzing vehicle structures for crashworthiness.
Continue reading “Cash Rules Everything in IP”
The Legend of Zelda is a Nintendo video game series centered around protagonist Link. One of the newer installments of the series, Breath of the Wild, has won several awards in the gaming industry. But, what in the world does the Legend of Zelda have to do with patent law?
Brad Loren is an associate at McAndrews Held and Malloy Ltd. (McAndrews).
Prior to attending law school, Brad attended the University of Iowa where he earned a B.A. in Chemistry and Political Science. After earning his undergraduate degrees, Brad attended Purdue University where he earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. Brad’s Ph.D. research focused on pharmaceutical development, specifically organic synthesis and drug delivery. After earning his Ph.D., Brad attended Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he graduated cum laude in 2021. Continue reading “A Journey from the Lab to the Office: An Interview with Brad Loren”
When most law students think of protecting an invention or technology, they immediately jump to patents, which is a type of IP granted by the government to protect inventions. However, trade secrets are also a type of intellectual property that can protect technology. And, trade secrets can sometimes be more useful – and valuable – than patents. As we will see, companies are increasingly turning to trade secrets as a means of protecting their intellectual property. Some of the biggest IP litigation cases in recent years have involved trade secrets. Almost every company uses trade secrets to protect information. A downside to trade secrets however, is that they are sometimes difficult to protect. Continue reading “The Benefits (and Difficulties) In Protecting Trade Secrets in a Digital Age”
As a summer associate working in patent litigation, I kept seeing the same judge’s name in the same district court. At first, I had no idea why this was the case. However, I’ve since learned how important venue is in patent litigation.
Selecting the right venue is crucial in patent litigation cases, because where a case is filed can impact its likelihood of success. So, what exactly is venue? And why is it so important to patent litigation? Allow me explain.
I came to Loyola with an interest in intellectual property, specifically patents. Patents are granted by a country to protect inventions by granting the inventor certain rights. When it came time to start my job search for my 1L summer, I knew I wanted to try and get experience in the field of IP. In every IP interview I’ve had thus far, the interviewer has always asked what kind of patent law I want to practice. Do I want to “prosecute” patents, meaning writing and obtaining a patent for an inventor? Or, do I want to litigate issues for granted patents? These are the two most common areas of patent law. In my early interviews, I would answer patent litigation. I have previous experience as a litigation consultant prior to law school, and have always romanticized being a trial attorney. However, as I gained interview experience and spoke with more attorneys, I realized there were many different areas of patent law of which I had no idea existed. I realized I had an interest in a lot of them. After learning more about these fields, I was able to better tailor my job search to firms that offered those types of patent law.
When people think about musicians, they usually don’t think inventor. But some musicians broke the mold when they patented their inventions. Let’s explore these true renaissance people. We should make note of these talented folks who generally own both copyright on their music (and sound recordings) AND patents on their inventions