Startups Can Now Buy Insurance Against Patent Trolls

Probably the worst thing about America's very broken patent system is the existence of patent trolls: companies that own intellectual property for the sole purpose of using it to sue other, actually productive, firms. » 11/11/14 11:00pm 11/11/14 11:00pm

Why is the Patent Office So Bad At Reviewing Software Patents?

Many problems with the patent system—from the explosion in patent trolling to the wasteful smartphone wars—can be traced to the flood of software patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). » 3/18/14 4:40am 3/18/14 4:40am

Apple Has Trademarked the Design of Its Stores

Yes, you are looking at a technical drawing of an Apple store. And yes, it does form part of an approved trademark request which means nobody can imitate Apple's temples to tech. » 1/30/13 5:03am 1/30/13 5:03am

The USPTO Is Asking Developers For Some Pointers on Fixing Software…

The world of software patents is a strange, confusing, inefficient place. There's a pretty serious question as to whether or not software patents should really even exist. Now, the USPTO is making moves to at least step in a better direction by calling out to software developers anywhere and everywhere for advice on… » 1/05/13 12:00pm 1/05/13 12:00pm

Apple's Pinch to Zoom Patent Has Been Tentatively Invalidated

Even though Apple scored a big victory against Samsung inside the court, it looks like Apple is losing its stronghold on its patents. After tentatively invalidating the 'Steve Jobs Patent' on multitouch, the USPTO has invalidated Apple's 'pinch to zoom' patent. The 'pinch to zoom' patent was crucial in scoring a… » 12/19/12 7:21pm 12/19/12 7:21pm

Twitter Is Trying to Patent "Pull to Refresh"

The Pull to Refresh action is a common gesture for mobile apps—used by the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Tweetbot, and Sparrow for a variety of commands. It may soon be a lot less common if the USPTO grants Twitter's patent request. » 3/28/12 1:20am 3/28/12 1:20am

Please Don't Panic Just Because Facebook Trademarked the Word "Face"

Facebook's been trying to register the word "face" as a trademark for a while, but now the US Patent Office has finally decided to grant the social network's application. Here are the details of what happened. » 11/23/10 6:24pm 11/23/10 6:24pm

Someone Should Patent a Fax Rotator So the USPTO Can Read Upside-Down…

Do you know what type of organization that would deny you a fax—by sending you back another fax—to tell you the first fax you sent was upside down? » 2/05/10 12:00am 2/05/10 12:00am

Sony Registers 'Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman!' Trademark

Sony's new trademarked tagline is "HOLY INVASION OF PRIVACY, BADMAN!" It's apparently related to "games" and "optical discs." I think it might be related to "Christian Bale" and a "temper." Would explain all those caps. » 3/30/09 10:30pm 3/30/09 10:30pm

Dell Wants to Set "Netbook" Free

Psion, the wee company that decided no one should say netbook so it could pursue the spoils of trademark battles, just got a kick in the balls from Dell. » 2/19/09 6:40pm 2/19/09 6:40pm

IBM First Company to Win 4,000 Patents in a Year, More Than Microsoft…

IBM has always hoarded patents like a dwarf and his gold. But this year, they're the first company to ever win more than 4,000 in a single year, more than Microsoft and Intel combined. » 1/14/09 10:20am 1/14/09 10:20am

Helio Drift Gone, Helio Mysto Coming Soon

It's been only a year, but the Helio Drift slider has been phased out of Helio's lineup, and should be soon replaced by a Helio "Mysto." Heliocity discovered a new filing at the USPTO for the Mysto, but unlike the FCC, the USPTO doesn't tell tales of lovers gone by. It's unlikely that the Mysto is the next generation … » 10/02/07 4:46pm 10/02/07 4:46pm

Apple Working on Origami UMPC?

With all the UMPCs being rolled out lately, Apple appears to be preparing one of its own, filing patents for a number of telltale technologies. First, in a patent application dated today, we see a single-arc QWERTY keyboard similar to Microsoft Touchpack software, with this drawing describing "activation of virtual… » 4/20/06 7:58am 4/20/06 7:58am