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David E Blau

David E Blau

  • Patents
  • Massachusetts, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
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  • Patents
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Massachusetts
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U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
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Education
Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology
J.D. (2007) | Law
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Honors: CALI Excellence for the Future Award (highest grade in Advanced Issues in Patent Law seminar course)
Activities: Editor-in-Chief, Chicago-Kent Journal of Intellectual Property
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California Institute of Technology
B.S. (1998) | Mathematics and Computer Science
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Legal Answers
5 Questions Answered

Q. How long does it typically take the patent office to review a patent?
A: The answer varies depending on the type of technology, but generally between 22 and 30 months. However, there is a great deal of variation, even within each area, based on whether there are enough knowledgeable examiners on staff and how "hot" the technology is, among many other variables. The US Patent and Trademark Office keeps detailed statistics at their Data Visualization Center: https://www.uspto.gov/dashboards/patents/main.dashxml. The time between filing an application and concluding the application process is known as "traditional total pendency," and is graphed here: https://www.uspto.gov/corda/dashboards/patents/kpis/kpiTCTotalPendency1.kpixml.
Q. Hi, I was wondering if you are able to file patents for video game ideas that are built on a 3rd party platforms.
A: The short answer is: yes, it's possible. Almost all patents are based on improving technology originally developed by someone else. A patent can be filed on any new and useful process or improvement to a process. Playing Minecraft is a process (believe me, I know). You probably wouldn't file for a patent on actually playing the game, because enforcing that patent would mean suing potential customers. But looking at the situation in reverse, a computer performs certain processes to "present" a game of Minecraft to a player, and you can file for a patent claiming an improvement to those "presenting" processes. That patent would be aimed at a competitor running your game, not at customers (or at Mojang / Microsoft Studios, for that matter). That being said, you can only obtain a patent on an improvement that is not "obvious" (that's that the legal term). Whether or not your particular game type improves the underlying technology in a non-obvious way is something you would want to explore with a patent attorney that you hire. You may also want to consider getting a copyright on any expressive in-game content.
Q. Is there a risk to submit my patent to P&G's Connect + DevelopSM Innovation Portal to realize my idea ?
A: Generally, no patent may be obtained for an invention that is available to the public before an application is filed with the patent office. The US has some limited exceptions, including disclosures made by the inventor less than one year before the application is filed, but the patent office will award the patent to the first person to apply for it (not the first to invent it). As to your particular situation, you may benefit from tailored legal advice, but for that you should hire a patent attorney.
Q. Can you recommend an attorney who can manage the patent process and the marketing management of the patent to sell it?
A: Due to international law, a European patent provides no enforceable right in the United States. To obtain patent protection for a product sold in the United States requires a patent issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The best recommendations usually come from people you already work with and trust. My suggestion would be to ask your European patent attorney for American colleagues that they would trust to help you. They are likely to give you a strong recommendation, because their reputation in your eyes is at stake.
Q. what does this mean: 2017-04-28 ABANDONMENT FAILURE TO RESPOND OR LATE RESPONSE 2017-04-28 ABANDONMENT NOTICE MAILED
A: Abandonment means that an application has been filed with the Patent and Trademark Office, and the Office found some deficiency in the application that requires a response from the Applicant, but the Applicant failed to respond within a set time period so the application has been denied. An Applicant may petition the Office to "revive" an application (that is, to withdraw the denial) if the failure to respond was not intentional. In some cases, the petition to revive must be received within a limited period of time following the denial. If the application is for a trademark, more information may be found at: https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/abandoned-applications If the application is for a patent, more information may be found at: https://www.uspto.gov/patents-application-process/petitions/09-revival-based-unintentional-delay
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