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My Blog - Patent Info and Tips

 I created a new blog using Tumblr.  I post daily/weekly tips, information, news and updates relating to patents, copyright, trademark and other areas of intellectual property.  I also post videos relating to news and information pertaining to intellectual property.


Patent & Trademark Blog

  • Working on a new raspberry pi project. Building a game console built into a coffee table. [text] more

  • iPhone five update

    I am really enjoying my new iPhone 5. Siri is definitely worth the price of admission. However, I am frustrated that I can’t get replacement cables for the thing. I have one cable that came with the device when I purchased it. I’ve been checking back every few days with the local Apple store only to discover that they have not received any cables or any other adapters for the new iPhone. Honestly is this anyway to run a railroad? more

  • iPhone 5 Update

    The Siri feature of my iPhone five is proving to be handy. It really saves a lot of typing. more

  • iPhone 5

    So I gave in and bought an iPhone. I was interested in the new voice features of the iPhone. So far, I am pleasantly surprised. Siri is turning out to be a wonderful addition to my life. In fact, I am not typing this message, I am using Siri to dictate it. more

  • Charlie Sheen - Inventor

    I’m not a particular fan of Charlie Sheen (OK, I liked the movie young guns), but I was surprised to discover that along with being an actor, Mr. Sheen is also a patented inventor.  In particular, he obtained a US patent for a “Chapstic dispenser” back in 2001 (US patent no. 6,283,658).  Apparently, Mr. Sheen felt that the current dispensers used for lip balm left much to be desired and he thought he could improve on the design.  He did so, and the US patent office rewarded his efforts with a patent.  I guess being a movie and TV star, Mr. Sheen has more reason to be concerned with the condition of his lips then we lesser men (the only kisses I get are from my wife and daughters).

    Jealousy aside, the revelation that wealthy and famous people like Mr. Sheen are also keen inventors does not surprise me.  Inventing, like art, is a creative process which is inspired by imagination and driven by an internal need to build and create.  Inventors invent from a longing in the heart, not from a longing in the more

  • Windows Phone to Replace iOS?

    An organization by the name of IDS has predicted that by 2016, windows based smart phones will be more popular than iPhones.  Hugh, you say?  Can Windows based smart phones actually outperform iOS phones in the market place?  Can elephants airplanes fly?  No.  Here is why this “prediction” by IDS makes no sense what ever.

    Firstly, this “prediction” is set four (4) years into the future.  Excuse me, but 4 years ago (2008), nobody predicted that apple would release the iPad or that Apple would sell millions of of those iPads every month.  Four years ago, everyone thought that the netbook was going to replace the notebook.  Now, not so much.  Six months is a long time in the world of smart phones & computers.  Four years - well, that’s practically geological in comparison.  Making predictions about the placement of a particular operating system four years in the future is just ludicrous.

    Secondly - look at the trend in the mobile market.  Windows (starting with windows CE) was the dominant operating system more

  • RIM's BBM Trademark Win

    As some of you may have heard, Rim recently wan a trademark dispute with BBM Canada over Rim’s use of the acronym “BBM”.  As Rim users will know, BBM, which stands for Black Berry Messenger, is a popular messaging feature on Rim’s Blackberry devices.  Unfortunately for Rim, BBM Canada is an established Canadian company which uses the same acronym as part of its corporate name.  BBM Canada, being upset that some people might confuse their company’s name with  Rim’s Blackberry device, commenced a trademark infringement action in Canada.  The court recently ruled on the action.

    Despite owning the registered trademark for the acronym, BBM Canada lost its legal action against Rim.  If the acronyms are identical, why did BBM Canada lose the case?  Contrary to popular belief, two trademarks are not necessarily confusing with each other even if they are very similar or even identical.  The court will look at a variety of factors to determine whether or not two marks are confusing: such as the nature of the more

  • Facebook Cell Phone

    Facebook has announced that they are developing a phone which they plan to release.  They announced that they have hired half a dozen former Apple employees who worked on the iPhone.

    From my perspective, what is interesting here is the announcement that Facebook is using former Apple employees to develop the phone.  If that is not a formal request for Apple to sue Facebook, I don’t know what is.  

    As some people may realize, its perfectly acceptable for an employee to leave one company and go work for a competing company, provided:

    1. there was no employment agreement that prohibited working for the competition for a period of time, and
    2. the employee does not reveal any confidential information concerning the old employer and the employee does not use any of the old employer’s intellectual property.

    Given how aggressive Apple is, I imagine that either Facebook is building internal systems to ensure that no infringement of Apple’s intellectual property more

  • Canadian Trademark Searching - Do It Yourself

    A trademark search is a necessary thing to do before adopting or applying for a new trademark.  Detailed trademark searches can be purchased from organizations such as Thomson & Thomson, but there is a cost associated with those detailed searches.  I always advise clients to conduct such a search before adopting a new trademark in order to minimize the likelihood of a trademark dispute.  However, conducting numerous detailed trademark searches can get a little pricey.  That’s why I often suggest clients conduct quick on-line register searches in order to “narrow the field” in order to focus their trademark dollars on promising potential trademarks.

    Conducting a search of the Canadian Trademarks register is quite straight forward. Thankfully, CIPO (Canadian Intellectual Property Office) maintains a free database of registered and applied for Canadian trademarks.  The database can be reached from CIPO’s main web site at  On the left hand side, there is a more

  • Steampunk Patent more

  • Do It Yourself Patent Search

    If your a manufacturer or distributor of products, or even the developer of a new Android or iOS app, then a patent search is a quick and cost effective way of avoiding a lot of problems.  A timely and strategic patent search can reveal potential conflicts and potential opportunities.  The quickest and most cost effective way to have these searches done, is to do them yourself.  Luckily, today there are a handful of useful tools which make do it yourself patent searching a worthwhile venture.

    Before starting the search, the first thing to do is compile a list of key words which describe the key features of the product/service/device/thing that you want to introduce or create.  Try to zero in on the key features of your product.  For example, if your creating a novel iPhone or Android app which uses a blue tooth thermometer to help diagnose when a child is sick, some key words might include “thermometer”, “wireless”, “blue tooth”, “Android”, “iPhone”, “temperature”, “child̶ more

  • Design Patents v Utility Patents

    Design patents?  Utility patents?  What’s the difference?  Actually, quite a lot.  When most people think of a “patent”, they think of a legal document that protects an “invention”.  In effect, they are thinking of a utility patent because they believe that the patent protects the way the invention works.  Utility patents protect the novel and inventive features which make an invention function the way it does.  The utility patent does not usually specify what the invention has to look like specifically.  Protecting how a product looks, however, is important.  Companies like Apple spend a great deal of time and effort perfect the visual appeal of their products, which is one of the reasons why their products sell so well.  The aesthetic appeal (or design) of a product can be protected by a specific type of patent called a “design patent”.  The differences between design and utility patents are significant - they are not interchangeable, and in many cases, perusing one and not the other can be a bad more