It is easy to have a "That's mine" attitude when it comes to intellectual property. The value inherent in a given piece of IP is often intangible and one of the few ways of making it tangible is by making sure the rights you secured from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are strongly protected. On the flip side, if you're wrongly accused of IP infringement, developing appropriate legal responses is required.
As of the beginning of November, regulators in Europe have new guidelines for how they assess and grant requests for patents. These updates by the European Patent Office have come to be expected annually. Analysts report that the greatest changes this time around deal with computer-implemented inventions (CII) – effectively, computer software.
Is inventiveness simply the result of clever thinkers who get notions and run with them, or is it something more? While the former is clearly valuable in furthering innovation, many observers offer that the latest Nobel Prize for Economics reflects a view that we believe to be equally important. That the most valuable innovations follow from solid research and development supported by the protections provided by strong intellectual property rights law.
Do you remember the VHS-Betamax war? This was the epic struggle between home video recording technologies. By most standards, Sony's Betamax format was considered the best. In the end, however, VHS (Video Home System) claimed the field. Key in the fight was the fact that the formats were device-exclusive. Betamax tapes didn't run on VHS machines and vice-versa.
The patent litigation between dating app sites Tinder and Bumble has raised the stakes in digital patent protection. Tinder’s parent company, Match, filed suit against Bumble over the concept of swiping left or right. Match claims Bumble infringed on Tinder's intellectual property by using the concept of swiping on its dating app. Bumble claims the concept of swiping left or right is just an abstract idea. You cannot patent an abstract idea under U.S. law.