The Invention Process

When an inventor has a great idea that they believe is worthy of patent protection, they will naturally wonder when the appropriate time is to file a patent application. The process will vary a bit between different inventions, but the basics remain the same.

The sooner a patent search is conducted and a patent application is filed, the better the inventor’s chances are of obtaining a patent.

By examining the patent process in the U.S., it is possible for inventors to understand why this is so and gauge whether or not it is the right time to seek the advice of a qualified patent attorney.

The Idea

All issued patents begin with an idea. It progresses from a mere spark to something written on paper. The inventor may do some research, build an early prototype and learn a few things through trial and error.

It makes sense to make notes throughout this process. Although the U.S. ceased to be a “first to invent” country and became a “first to file” country in 2013, notes made and dated during the experimentation and development stage may prove valuable should the inventor ever need to substantiate the fact that they didn’t copy someone else’s idea.

Throughout this time, it is wise to treat the invention as confidential. Anyone to whom it is disclosed should be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. This lessens the likelihood that they will be able to steal the idea to use it for themselves. Also, it is necessary to not make public the details of your invention because it may preclude you from obtaining any patent protection.

The Patent Search

How confident are you that your invention is new, novel and not obvious? You may know the industry well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re aware of all of the prior art that may exist.

A patent search performed by an intellectual property attorney may help to determine the patentability of your invention.

The Patent Application

Once the patent application is filed, you can tell people that your invention is “patent pending.” Of course, going from idea to application can be a long journey.

Typically, a patent application is filed after the results of the patent search indicate that the invention may be patentable. The inventor then fully describes the invention to the attorney or patent agent who will be drafting the patent application.

The attorney or agent begins writing a descriptive specification and claims that more specifically point out the subject matter that is intended to be protected by the patent. Frequently, these filings are accompanied by a set of drawings that provide another description of the parts and use of the invention.

Once submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the patent application eventually will be examined by another attorney who is known as an Examiner. The Examiner may reject the patent application if he believes that the invention isn’t patentable. Intellectual property attorneys who work for the inventor are able to argue against this rejection, and they may make amendments to the application.

Requiring two or more years, the application process can be time consuming.

Continuing Development and Finding Investors

While the patent application is being examined, the inventor may build better prototypes and seek partners or investors to help get their venture moving. This is also the right time to create a marketing plan and find distributors who may be willing to bring the new product to the market.

Because the invention is patent-pending, it is perfectly acceptable to start marketing and selling the product before the patent issues. That pending patent application protects the inventor’s idea. They may seek legal redress from any infringers upon the issuance of the patent.

Consider Licensing or Selling the Rights

While some inventors decide to produce and market their invention mainly on their own, others don’t want the responsibility of manufacturing, distribution and related functions. In this scenario, the inventor may be able to license or sell their rights to one or more parties who are willing to take on these tasks. This leaves the inventor free to enjoy the profits of their hard work while also developing their next big idea.

The Invention Process Infograph

Author: Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is an experienced mechanical engineer and lawyer that consults closely with clients in a strait forward and clear manner. He brings a particular set of strengths and unique perspectives to the firm.

Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2005. He was an engineer for a number of years at a number of large corporations before pursuing his law degree. He graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law) with a J.D. in 2010. By combining his education and prior work experience into the field of intellectual property law, Jeff has developed key skills to fully assist clients.

Inventions to Survive a Hurricane


Neccessity is the mother of invention

We are in full swing on another hurricane season and when hurricanes come they bring along destruction on a wide scale. The large area effect becomes one of the biggest issues – too many problems in too large an area.

Inventions are often born of necessity, and natural disasters usually spur new inventive ideas. Perhaps you had an idea or created something to help you get through or cope with the recent storms. If so, feel free to call our intellectual property law office (Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston) for patent advice.

There are some practical, and not so practical, inventions to help survive a hurricane. The first step is surviving the hurricane itself and many of the inventions are not terribly practical for the average person. However, after the hurricane, there are some extremely practical inventions that the average person can do to survive until help arrives.

Step 1 – Surviving the hurricane
Whereas there is no guaranteed way to survive a storm, there are some inventions made to help you do just that.

The Hurricane Bed
The patent application (patent issued 1985) describes a bed that is wind resistant and bolted to the floor. The patent does not describe anything about water proofing and with recent flooding in Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, one cannot help but to imagine a watery grave in a sardine box bolted to the ground.

The Survival Capsule

This capsule is round (for strength) and made to float and be self-righting. The capsules come in various sizes which can hold varying numbers of occupants and all are made to have over one hour of air supply. The capsules can also be fitted with additional air tanks, fresh water to drink, and are insulated for temperature control. The sphere can be tethered if desired and can also be equipped with a GPS system.

For those who live near the shoreline, this capsule is also great for tsunamis. This is a very viable system to survive a natural disaster, but from a practicality standpoint it is hard for every home to be equipped with one at this time.


A Gear Bag

The best way to prepare for a natural disaster is to have a bag packed and ready. Call it a bug out bag, or a “go” bag – it’s a great start to having something you can easily and quickly grab that is full of everything you might need for the near future.

Your go bag should be water proof. Yeti creates a bag called the Panga that is one excellent choice. Ziplocs or pouches like the “Magpul” can be used to store important documents, medicine, papers, and your cell phone.

Clean Water

After a hurricane, one of the biggest problems is access to clean drinking water. The water from a hurricane is not clean rain water. It has mixed with sewage and other contaminants and is now a toxic brew. It can potentially take days or weeks before the normal water supply is available. Though many rescuers bring in water bottles, it may take them time to reach you.

The LifeSaver Bottle is one of several products that can filter water for you. The company also makes larger jerry cans and other products, but a simple small bottle can let you filter up to 4,000 liters of water before needing a filter change. You can use the standing water around you to stay hydrated while being protected from viruses and bacteria. There are also products like the LifeStraw and the Lifestraw Go Water Bottle.

Another invention is the WaterBob. It fits inside a normal bathtub and can be filled with clean water prior to the disaster. It can hold 100 gallons of fresh drinking water.



Light

LuminAid creates a solar inflatable light. When power is out for days and the batteries are all wet or dead, having something simple like a light at night can be a huge morale booster.


Personal Sanitation

Sanitation is one of the largest problems after a disaster as sickness can easily effect a whole evacuation center. Rahim Bhimani created a disaster relief toilet that uses a bagging system to catch and dispose of waste. The unit can be folded down flat, easily assembled and transported.

An often overlooked, little talked about subject is female personal hygiene products. These can be impossible to find after a natural disaster. One option that can easily be packed into your go bag is a new type of “period proof” activewear. Thinx holds several patents on their organic, cotton products.



Food

There are many items here to list, everything from freeze dried food options to portable solar stoves. The important thing is to grab enough food for a few days that is lightweight and easy to prepare.

It is true that one could survive for days without having something as simple as a go bag packed and ready. But there is a huge difference between barely making it out alive and living a little rough for a few days. A prepared kit can make the difference.

Thanks to modern inventors for thinking of such products and how they can help during natural disasters.

If you have an idea for an invention that you would like to discuss – Call our office today!

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Author: Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is an experienced mechanical engineer and lawyer that consults closely with clients in a strait forward and clear manner. He brings a particular set of strengths and unique perspectives to the firm.

Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2005. He was an engineer for a number of years at a number of large corporations before pursuing his law degree. He graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law) with a J.D. in 2010. By combining his education and prior work experience into the field of intellectual property law, Jeff has developed key skills to fully assist clients.

7 Common Sense Inventions

Products that Should Have Been Invented a Long Time Ago

Remember when you were younger and your mom would lose her keys (or her purse, or her wallet, or her kids) and you wondered why there wasn’t an invention out there to make it easier to locate these often lost items? Well, lucky for you while most of us are living in 2019, we have some brilliant inventors living in 2019 supplying us with those common sense inventions that really should have been invented a long time ago.

Rotatable Bench

We have all experienced that earth-shattering, soul-crushing, frustration-igniting moment when you’ve just ran 5-miles (or at least it feels like you’ve chased your two-year-old for 5-miles) and you excitedly walk to a bench ready for a quick-breather only to see that it is soaking wet, or even worse, you only find out after you’ve been sitting on it for 6.7 seconds. No more standing when there is a wet bench right next to you. This rotatable bench allows you to cleverly roll the seat with a nifty lever, making it perfectly safe to sit on without getting your yoga pants wet.

Color-detecting Pen

Have you ever been doodling your next masterpiece on a scrap of paper and remember how much you love that dark maroon dress your mother wore at your 21st birthday party and just wished you had that same shade to finish your drawing? With this color-detecting pen you can have all the shades of the universe at your fingertips, or the tip of your pen. Next time you’re at your mother’s house, or you see a bright, green leaf calling your name, just scan the object with your Scribble pen and doodle away. Even greater, the color-detecting pen stores previously scanned colors so you can re-use that burnt orange color from your trip to the Grand Canyon.

Drop Rest: Smart Coffee Mug

You’ve just printed the final copy of your dissertation. You grab a cup of coffee to sip on while you take one last look through your thesis, and as you’re stirring your creamer into your coffee one, single drop of coffee starts dripping down the side of the mug, making its way to your pristine paper. Everything is going in slow motion as you watch your page get ruined in a second. If only you had this smart coffee mug to save you from such a tragic fate. The Drop Rest mug catches drips in a thin groove around the mug, ensuring they never make it to your paper or table. Never worry about coffee stains again!

Transparent Hole Punch & Laser Scissors

Do you ever have to quickly hole punch a stack of important documents, but struggle to ensure the holes are lined up every single time? Do your kids ever need help cutting pictures for their school project and you fret about looking like a horrible parent when it comes out all raggedy? With the Transparent Punch you can see exactly where you are punching a hole in the paper, saving you from making mistakes and looking like an amatuer hole-puncher. The Laser Scissors help you cut in a straight line every time. Just follow the red ring or the red line and all your projects will look professionally done.

Some inventions are so common sense, that we can’t believe they were only just invented. Gone are the days were we have to face coffee-stained memos and crookedly lined hole punches. We are in a new era where perfection is key, obscure colors are attainable, and bottoms stay dry. Here’s to experiencing 3019 in 2019!

If you need any patent help, give us a quick phone call and we can review your situation and provide all the help you need.

Author: Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is an experienced mechanical engineer and lawyer that consults closely with clients in a strait forward and clear manner. He brings a particular set of strengths and unique perspectives to the firm.

Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2005. He was an engineer for a number of years at a number of large corporations before pursuing his law degree. He graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law) with a J.D. in 2010. By combining his education and prior work experience into the field of intellectual property law, Jeff has developed key skills to fully assist clients.

Top 6 Summer Inventions for 2019

For kids summer means freedom from school and endless fun in the warm sun, for adults it seems like life gets messier and busier. For others it’s a time of inspiration and innovation. Consider investing in some of these innovative summer inventions to help keep your Summer as cool and smooth as possible.

Bite Helper Bug Bite Itch Solution

No one likes the incessant itching that come with mosquito bites. The Bit Helper Bug Bite Itch Solution is a summer must-have to soothe the discomfort. The Bite Helper has a thermo-pulse metal tip on the end. Simply place the device on top of the bug bite and the thermo-pulse technology applies concentrated heat to the area and neutralizes the itching in seconds. Bite Helper is both drug and chemical free, and gentle for kids as young as 4-years-old. The compact device makes it easy to carry on all your summer adventures.


Picnic Backpack

No one enjoys stumbling in the summer heat with picnic baskets, blankets, and dishes, but this picnic backpack can make the whole process more enjoyable. Because of its convenient design, you can be sure that everything you need is one place. From food to plates to glasses to blankets, everything is tucked in neatly. Unlike picnic baskets, this backpack allows you to free your hands and gives you more mobility so you can hike to that perfect view for your romantic picnic.

Portable BBQ Suitcase

No picnic is truly completely without some juicy meat right off the grill. Luckily, with this Portable BBQ Suitcase you can bring the grill with you wherever you go, hassle-free. This portable charcoal grill is made out of high-grade stainless steel and has a convenient mess-free ash catcher. It can only accommodate cooking for two, so this is best used for an intimate event rather than a family reunion at the beach. The Portable BBQ Suitcase locks and closes securely for easy transport. This will definitely impress your picnic date.


Recycled Swim Shorts

If you think paper straws are an ingenious way to save underwater creatures, you’ll love these fashionable recycled swim shorts. These shorts are made by taking nylon waste and depolymerizing it. The material is then transformed into nylon 6 yarn. The yarn is then used to make these eco-friendly swim shorts. Not only will you look stylish splashing into the pool, but you can swim at ease knowing you are saving the planet.

Motorized Luxury Pool Lounger

Does laying on your back for hours while sunbathing bore you? Well, with this motorized luxury pool lounger you can get your summer tan going while having fun zooming through the water. This motorized lounger has twin propellers, and allows you to maneuver left, right, forward, and backward with ease. It’s dual push-button controls make it simple to use, and the lounger is easily assembled in a matter on minutes. The built-in cup holder ensures your cold drink stays safe as you zoom circles around your friends and family.


Mini Desktop Cooling Fan

There is nothing worse than sitting at your desk trying to meet an upcoming deadline but keep getting distracted by the sweat dripping down your face. This Mini Desktop Cooling fan is here to solve that problem this summer. The fan has three adjustable levels of power, and allows you to choose how to distribute the air flow. A single charge powers this small but mighty fan for 6.5 hours, ensuring you have enough breeze to get you through that deadline. The fan has a strong clamp that can easily attach to the edge of your desk, or even your laptop. No more suffocating feeling with the overwhelming heat, this fan will ensure you stay cool all summer long.


Summer is a great time to enjoy friends and family, and hopefully with these inventions summer 2019 will be the best one yet.

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Author: Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is an experienced mechanical engineer and lawyer that consults closely with clients in a strait forward and clear manner. He brings a particular set of strengths and unique perspectives to the firm.

Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2005. He was an engineer for a number of years at a number of large corporations before pursuing his law degree. He graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law) with a J.D. in 2010. By combining his education and prior work experience into the field of intellectual property law, Jeff has developed key skills to fully assist clients.

What or who is the inventor?

When someone has a great idea, it’s natural for them to want to claim ownership over it by filing a patent application. For a single individual who comes up with an invention and reduces it to practice, the concept of inventorship is straightforward.

However, several people frequently work on an invention. Perhaps one, two or even more people will make a significant intellectual contribution, which may make them joint inventors on the patent application.

Other people also may have a hand in the process, but they are not necessarily inventors. For instance, a worker may be asked to build a prototype of the invention. While this worker has participated in the process, they did not make a contribution to the development of the concept.

When several inventors are involved, how do companies and individuals working together decide who is entitled to identification as an inventor on a patent application?


Who Conceived the Idea?

Just because someone builds a prototype of an invention or conducts tests of the prototype does not make them an inventor. If in the process of their work, they introduce significant changes that improve the functionality of the invention, then they may need to be listed as an inventor on any patent application.

U.S. patent law uses the idea of “conception” to identify inventors. The test for determining conception is whether or not the idea was permanent and concrete enough in order for the idea to be communicated to another person who is skilled in the art so they can understand the invention.

A general goal or a plan for researching a solution to a problem is not sufficient to rise to the level of inventorship. Instead, an investor must have a settled idea with specific details to demonstrate a solution to a particular problem. Any individual who contributes to the conception, whether their contribution is large or small, is entitled to be a named inventor on a patent application.

It’s never appropriate name someone who was not an inventor in an application for patent. Doing so may be caused to invalidate the patent later. Accordingly, the company’s CEO or a major shareholder should never be named as an inventor unless they actually made concrete and specific contributions to the new device.

Assigning Rights to the Owner of the Technology

U.S. patent law further states that an inventor must be a person. Accordingly, it is not possible for a company or other entity to be an inventor. Many companies nonetheless own patents, but there is a significant difference between being an inventor and owning a patent.

In situations where the inventor or inventors also are the owners of the patent, all of the inventors own an equal share of the property regardless of the size of their contribution to its creation. Any of the inventor-owners may be able to make, use import, sell and otherwise capitalize on the invention.

Frequently, an invention is made by employees of a business entity. In these cases, the people who created the concept are still the inventors, but the business may wish to own the patent rights. This means that the inventors will have to assign their rights in the invention to their employer.

Assigning patent rights typically is accomplished by means of a straightforward assignment document. These documents may be part of the worker’s employment agreement. Alternatively, a fresh assignment document may be drafted for each individual invention, typically at the time that a patent application is filed.

The assignment may be recorded with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office so that the patent owner is identified to the public. Moreover, the names of the inventors and the owner will be printed on the cover page of any patent that issues from the application.

An intellectual property attorney can help individuals determine whether or not they are inventors and ensure the proper assignment of rights to a business entity.

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Author: Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is an experienced mechanical engineer and lawyer that consults closely with clients in a straight forward and clear manner. He brings a particular set of strengths and unique perspectives of the firm.

Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2005. He was an engineer for a number of years at a number of large corporations before pursuing his law degree. He graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law) with a J.D. in 2010. By combining his education and prior work experience into the field of intellectual property law, Jeff has developed key skills to fully assist clients.

Top 9 Christmas Inventions

At first glance, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may not seem like the most likely place to find some yuletide cheer. However, digging through their records reveals nine charming Christmas-related patents and applications that are certain to bring a smile even to Ebenezer Scrooge’s face.

1. Santa Claus Detector U.S. Patent No. 5,523,741

Parents who want to dial up the magic factor for little ones will love this idea. Essentially, it involves a Christmas stocking that is designed to be displayed on the mantle. Using the means of an “entity detector,” the stocking lights up when Santa is near. Contained within the stocking is a switch, power source and light source so that the arrival of Santa Claus can be announced via the light when activated. Your kids will be certain to scurry up to bed in no time.

2. Automatic Christmas Tree Fire Extinguisher U.S. Patent No. 2,522,020

Accidental fires are always a possibility at Christmas, especially when a real tree is brought into the house. This 1950 patent sought to address this problem by introducing a water-filled star or another ornament that could be placed at the top of a tree. If a fire was detected, the ornament broke open, spilling water on all sides of the tree.

3. Naughty or Nice Meter U.S. Patent Publication No. 2008/0299533

Have your kids been naughty or nice this year? With this meter, you’ll always know, and so will your kids. The meter is equipped with 12 questions that are used to grade the child’s behavior. Figuring out whether to give coal or presents has never been easier.

4. Crayfish Christmas Stocking U.S. Design Patent D290242

A design rather than an invention, this fishy Christmas stocking is the perfect gift for any angler on your list. Other people may find the crayfish-shaped stocking a little off-putting. The hat is a festive touch, however.

5. Smoke Detector Disguised as a Christmas Tree Ornament U.S. Patent No. 5,396,221

Another inventor tackled the problem of flammable Christmas trees in the 1990s. This one didn’t have water in it, but it was shaped like a star and designed to function as a smoke detector. At least it’s more festive looking than a conventional alarm.

6. Kit for Simulating a Visit by Santa Claus U.S. Patent Publication No. 20060116049

This one sounds like a lot of fun. It’s a kit that comes with all sorts of props that are intended to indicate a visit from St. Nicholas. Among the included items are a thank you card, Santa’s driver’s license, a scrap of fabric torn from Santa’s suit and a hoof with which to make reindeer prints in the yard.

7. Christmas Tree Watering Ornament U.S. Patent No. 7,757,435

If you’re constantly worried that you might forget to water your Christmas tree, then this is the solution for you. It’s a tree ornament with a water reservoir. When it senses the tree is low on water, it dispenses the necessary liquid.

8. Edible Gift-Wrap for Pets U.S. Patent Publication No. 2013/0149418

Give your beloved pet some much-needed mental and physical stimulation this Christmas season by wrapping up some treats in this edible gift wrap. When does the human version come out?

9. Semi-Artificial Christmas Tree U.S. Patent No. 2,186,351

This patent from the 1940s is for everyone who can’t decide between an artificial and a real Christmas tree. The invention consists of a metal pole into which real fir branches are affixed. It’s hard to imagine this one catching on.

From our family at the Law Offices of Jeff Williams, want to wish all of our friends, families and readers a very Happy Holiday.

Author: Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is an experienced mechanical engineer and lawyer that consults closely with clients in a strait forward and clear manner. He brings a particular set of strengths and unique perspectives to the firm.

Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2005. He was an engineer for a number of years at a number of large corporations before pursuing his law degree. He graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law) with a J.D. in 2010. By combining his education and prior work experience into the field of intellectual property law, Jeff has developed key skills to fully assist clients.

The End of Innovation? Inventor Protection Act


What is the Inventor Protection Act?

The proposed Inventor Protection Act, otherwise known as H.R. 6557, is sponsored by Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California. Ostensibly, it is designed to protect individual inventors and their rights to the innovations they create, and backers say that it will promote further innovation in the future.

Essentially, the Inventor Protection Act is aimed at counteracting portions of two decisions that were handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in recent years. Both of these decisions are thought to have limited the legal remedies that patent owners can seek when they allege infringement. Moreover, they may limit some options that patent owners used to have when filing a patent infringement case. Specifically, the proposed bill mentions that using an injunction to prohibit others from using a patent’s technology was eliminated in the eBay vs. MercExchange case of 2006. The proposed legislation also mentions that filing patent infringement lawsuits in the patent owner’s jurisdiction was made virtually impossible thanks to the outcome of TC Heartland vs. Kraft Foods Group Brands in 2017.

What Would the Bill Do?

The proposed law is primarily aimed at inventors who are patent owners. Being able to use an injunction and file a lawsuit in their own jurisdiction would be of enormous benefit to these entrepreneurs.

The proposed law further takes aim at many other issues in the patent world. In simple terms, the bill is meant to protect the rights of small inventors. This is a reaction to the feeling that the patent world is one in which only the big players have a viable chance of succeeding. It is an idea that is not entirely unfounded with many multi-national corporations hoarding patents and suing for infringement at the drop of a hat. Individual inventors simply do not have the deep pockets and legal resources that are readily available to large companies. This means that when big business alleges infringement, most small inventors cannot fight.

Accordingly, the proposed law is supposed to protect the rights of inventors who also are patent owners. This means that the inventor has not assigned the rights to their patent over to a business entity, as is a common practice. The reality is that most patents are granted on inventions that employees create in the course of their employment. Usually, these rights are formally transferred to the employer by means of an assignment agreement. This makes the entity the owner of the patent and essentially places responsibility for dealing with any infringement accusations or other matters that may arise on the company.

The Concerns

It is easy to visualize numerous problems that may arise if the law passes as it now exists. Extending protections and options to small inventors is a good idea, but this particular law doesn’t seem to address the problem adequately. For instance, it does not take into account that most patents have more than one inventor. If one inventor falls out with the others, what becomes of the patent rights under the new law? One dissenting inventor can make it impossible to license or enforce an inventor-owned patent.

Moreover, if inventors instead of employers own patents, what happens to those rights when the employee seeks a job elsewhere? It may be that the inventor’s former co-workers will continue to build on the technology, which may lead to a continuation-in-part patent application. If one of the prior inventors no longer is employed at the same company, how is patent ownership divided? The answers to these questions may become increasingly complicated if this new law passes as written.

Innovation is important to America’s future, but the proposed legislation does not necessarily solve as many problems as it purports to do. Making it possible for inventors to file infringement lawsuits in their own jurisdiction certainly makes sense, but it is not necessarily a good idea for all of these benefits to only apply to patents that are owned by inventors. This is because many patents are assigned to small companies and startups that also do not have deep pockets and legal teams on retainer. Unless this law can be extended to protect more innovators than just independent inventors, it is unlikely to have the effect for which legislators are hoping.

If you need assistance with any patents please request a free consultation with the Law Offices of Jeff Williams PLLC.
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Author: Jeff Williams

Jeff Williams is an experienced mechanical engineer and lawyer that consults closely with clients in a strait forward and clear manner. He brings a particular set of strengths and unique perspectives to the firm.

Jeff received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University in 2005. He was an engineer for a number of years at a number of large corporations before pursuing his law degree. He graduated from Texas A&M University School of Law (formerly Texas Wesleyan University School of Law) with a J.D. in 2010. By combining his education and prior work experience into the field of intellectual property law, Jeff has developed key skills to fully assist clients.

Innovations that May Shape the Future

December 18, 2015

Surival Breeds Innovation

As Plato once opined, necessity is the mother of invention. New generations arise, and each one is confronted with a unique set of challenges. Whether they are faced with war, drought, famine or other difficulties, they strive to overcome these obstacles. While finding ways to survive, humans have also sought ways to make life better, easier and more efficient. It is in meeting these necessities that some of mankind’s greatest innovations have seen their genesis.

That spirit of invention continues to thrive today. Could anyone have imagined the prevalence or even the existence of smartphone technology a generation ago? Technological innovation moves quickly. What was new just a year or two before is obsolete now. We have become a people accustomed to newer, better and quicker everything, and the inventions just keep coming.

1. Google Smartwatch

One of the most interesting and potentially life-changing inventions that is now in development is a Google smartwatch that may help diabetics keep a better handle on blood sugar levels without using a needle. To use the device, a person places a detachable component of the watch over their finger. A microparticle is shot to the skin’s surface, neatly and painlessly taking a blood sample. The component is then reattached to the watch where it can precisely determine the user’s blood glucose levels. Google filed a patent application for this innovation. However, they decline to say whether or not the device will soon be on the market. If it should come to fruition, it’s clear that the apparatus would greatly improve the quality of life of the millions of people around the world who suffer from diabetes.

2. Engineered Farming

Another fascinating innovation comes from a network of university researchers from America, the U.K. and Australia. They are working to develop genetic tools that would enable the world’s farmers to boost crop yields to incredible levels. Scientists involved envision a world in which food shortages are a thing of the past thanks to the specialized engineering of plants that allows them to use sunlight far more efficiently. Dubbed C4 photosynthesis by researchers, the invention draws on the more efficient growth rates of sugarcane and corn, re-engineering them to make new varieties of rice and wheat that could potentially feed the world. With hunger a thing of the past, who knows what kinds of new inventions would be enabled?

3. Nanobots

Other researchers visualize a future in which nanobots can be deployed into the bloodstream in order to combat disease. Such nanobots might be used to deliver life-saving chemotherapy with only a fraction of the side effects or to create blood clots that might help with more efficient wound healing. Though still in the early stages, it’s easy to imagine how nanobots might revolutionize human health and longevity.

4. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has been on the horizon for some time, but technology is finally catching up to the imagination of science fiction writers. Researchers are closer than ever to cracking the code that will enable them to “solve intelligence,” making it possible to create from silicon a consciousness that successfully mimics human sensibilities.

Each of these innovative ideas needs intellectual property protection in order to thrive. If you have inventions that are in development, then you need to protect them. Contact Texas patent attorney Jeff Williams to learn about how you can protect your ideas and get your free consultation.