Robo Development 2008


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This is the presentation that I gave at RoboDevelopment in Santa Clara, CA

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Robo Development 2008

  1. 1. Key Intellectual Property Issues Brian J. Colandreo Mark H. Whittenberger
  2. 2. OVERVIEW <ul><li>IP Prosecution 101 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>trade secrets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>trademarks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>copyrights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>patents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>IP Litigation 101 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>enforcement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>leveraging your IP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>raising capital </li></ul></ul>Overview <ul><li>IP Management & Best Practices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lab note books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provisionals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NDAs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Q&A Session </li></ul>
  3. 3. Elements of Intellectual Property <ul><li>Trade Secrets </li></ul><ul><li>Trademarks </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright </li></ul><ul><li>Patents </li></ul><ul><li>Mix n’ Match all Pieces to Build a Valuable IP Portfolio </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why Bother? <ul><li>Ownership and Control of IP Raises Bottom Line </li></ul><ul><li>Risk Management Addresses Potential Problems </li></ul><ul><li>Provides Cross-Licensing Opportunities if Sued </li></ul><ul><li>Provides Credibility to Shareholders / Investors </li></ul><ul><li>Provides Freedom to Operate and Focus on Business </li></ul><ul><li>Beneficial When Trying to License to Large Companies </li></ul><ul><li>Business Plans Should Layout a Detailed IP Plan </li></ul>
  5. 5. Trade Secrets <ul><li>WHAT IS IT: A Form of Protection Against those that Misappropriate Confidential Information </li></ul><ul><li>Two Basic Requirements: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1) Information Must Have Commercial Value; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2) Information Must Be Maintained as a Secret. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No Applications... No Filing Fees... </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly State law </li></ul>
  6. 6. Trademarks / Service Marks <ul><li>WHAT IS IT: Any word, phrase, symbol or design, or combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, which identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods / services of one party from those of others. </li></ul><ul><li>Anything Can Identify Products / Services! </li></ul><ul><li>NBC Chimes... Pink Fiberglass... Nike Swoosh... Golden Arches... </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Registration Requires Use in Interstate Commerce </li></ul>
  7. 7. Copyrights <ul><li>WHAT IS IT: Protection for the Expression of Creative and Original Works </li></ul><ul><li>Inexpensive and Long Lasting </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright Protection Exists Automatically! No Filing Requirement or Notice Needed </li></ul><ul><li>BUT - Copyright Notice Prevents Claims of Innocent Infringement; (e.g.: © Copyright 2008 XYZ Corporation, All Rights Reserved) </li></ul><ul><li>Filing Application within 3 Months of Publication / Distribution has Benefits (e.g.: Statutory Damages) </li></ul>
  8. 8. What Is a Patent? <ul><li>WHAT IS IT: Protects an Idea Itself, as Opposed to Just the Expression of the Idea </li></ul><ul><li>Right to Exclude Others from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Making, Using </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selling, Offering to Sell </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Importing the Claimed Invention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>of the Issued Patent! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>20 Year Term from Earliest Filing Date </li></ul><ul><li>Quid Pro Quo: Temporary Monopoly in Exchange for Disclosure </li></ul>No Trespassing!
  9. 9. Who Is Entitled to a Patent? <ul><li>U.S. has a “First to Invent&quot; System and not (yet) a “First to File” System (like other countries) </li></ul><ul><li>Keep Detailed Records Documenting the Date of Invention: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Engineering Notebooks or Electronic Records </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each Page Dated, Initialed & Witnessed (for notebooks) & Validated Backups for Softcopies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defensive Purposes - Show First to Invent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interference Proceedings – Prove First to Invent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incremental Provisional Filings? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Is a Patent Necessary if You Have Copyright Protection? <ul><li>Patents Protect the Idea Itself </li></ul><ul><li>Copyrights DO NOT Protect Functional Concepts or Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Copyrights ONLY Protect the Expression of an Idea </li></ul><ul><li>Copyrights Do Not Protect Against Independent Creation </li></ul><ul><li>Copyrights and Patents are NOT Mutually Exclusive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A Software Program may be Protected by both a Copyright and Patent. A Copyright may protect against Outright Copying and the Patent may protect the Implemented Methodology </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Is a Patent Necessary if You Have Trade Secret Protection? <ul><li>Trade Secret Protection is LOST if the Invention Becomes Known through Reverse Engineering, Subsequent Independent Discovery, or Authorized or Unauthorized Disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Some Inventions Cannot be Commercialized without Disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Trade Secret Protection DOES NOT Prevent a Competitor from Patenting “your” Invention </li></ul>
  12. 12. What Can Be Patented? <ul><li>Patentable Subject Matter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apparatus (Machine or Device) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Processes (Method) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Article of Manufacture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Composition of Matter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improvements of Existing Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Utility Patents protect Functional Features </li></ul><ul><li>Design Patents protect Aesthetic Features </li></ul>
  13. 13. What SHOULD Be Patented? <ul><li>Commercially Valuable Systems, Devices, and Methods </li></ul><ul><li>Devices and Processes Unprotectable by Trade Secrets </li></ul><ul><li>Inventions that have a 4+ Year Lifespan </li></ul><ul><li>Inventions that have Sufficient Claim Scope to Avoid Design Arounds </li></ul><ul><li>Inventions that Support the Business Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Inventions for which Infringement is Detectable </li></ul><ul><li>The GOAL Should NOT BE just a Patent, but a Commercially-Valuable, Valid and Enforceable Corporate Asset </li></ul>
  14. 14. Prerequisites for a Patent are that the Invention is: Useful Non-Obvious New
  15. 15. U.S. Statutory Bars (35 USC §102) <ul><li>You are NOT Entitled to a U.S. Patent if: </li></ul><ul><li>Before the Date of Invention, the Invention was Already Known / Used in the U.S. or Published / Patented / Sold / Used Anywhere by a Third Party </li></ul><ul><li>More than 1 Year Before the Filing Date, the Invention was Disclosed in a Printed Publication Anywhere or in Public Use / Sold / Offered for Sale in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Most Foreign Patents Require ABSOLUTE NOVELTY </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, Disclosure Prior to Filing Results in a Loss of Foreign Patent Rights </li></ul>
  16. 16. Foreign Statutory Bars <ul><li>Absolute Novelty Requirement: Patent Application MUST BE Filed before ANY Public Disclosure is Made </li></ul><ul><li>Events that MAY Destroy Foreign Rights (varies by country) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Divulging&quot; of the Invention (e.g., Public Use, Public Testing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Printed Publication or Descriptive Marketing Materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other Disclosures (e.g., Speeches at a Technical Conference) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sales that Effectively Operates as a Disclosure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where Are You Testing Your Robots? </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Implementation of Strategy <ul><li>Decide Goals (Offensive, Defensive, Market Valuation) </li></ul><ul><li>IP Audit – Define ALL Possible IP </li></ul><ul><li>Allocate a Budget </li></ul><ul><li>Establish Corporate Patent Procedures </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Written Invention Disclosures and Invention Harvesting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patent Evaluation Committee to Ensure Robust Program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educate Employees (including Marketing and Sales) to Statutory Bars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mark Products with Patent Numbers </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Utility Patent <ul><li>Protects Functionality: Processes, Methodologies, Devices, Business Systems, Product-by-Process </li></ul><ul><li>Fairly Expensive to Prepare & File </li></ul><ul><li>Formal Drawings Required </li></ul><ul><li>Takes Time to Draft and File for Inventor and Attorney </li></ul><ul><li>Subject to Rigorous Examination & Office Actions </li></ul><ul><li>Takes Multiple Years to Prosecute to Issuance </li></ul><ul><li>Requires Payment of Issue Fees & Maintenance Fees </li></ul>
  19. 19. Provisional Patent Application <ul><li>ADVANTAGES : </li></ul><ul><li>Easier to File than Utility, Less Formality, Less Expensive </li></ul><ul><li>Filed Quickly Before Disclosures / No Claims Needed </li></ul><ul><li>Provides “Patent Pending” Status & Preserves International Rights </li></ul><ul><li>1 Year to Assess Market </li></ul><ul><li>Never Published so RETAINS Trade Secret Status </li></ul><ul><li>DISADVANTAGES : </li></ul><ul><li>Never Examined / Does Not Issue </li></ul><ul><li>Delays Issuance </li></ul><ul><li>Provides False Sense of Security </li></ul><ul><li>Requires Conversion to a Utility / PCT Application </li></ul>
  20. 20. Summary <ul><ul><li>Enforce the Patent Against Infringing Competitors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the Patent as Leverage When You're Accused of Infringing a Patent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the Patents to Raise Capital </li></ul></ul>Now That You Have a Patent, What Do You Do with It?
  21. 21. Summary <ul><li>Patent Cases Brought in Federal Court with Jurisdiction </li></ul><ul><li>Infringer's Product Must Meet Each Limitation of the Claims to Infringe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Under the Doctrine of Equivalents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Function/Way/Result </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Patent Gives You a Negative Right </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Right to Keep Others From Making, Using or Selling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does Not Necessarily Give You a Right to Make, Use or Sell </li></ul></ul>Enforce the Patent Against Infringing Competitors
  22. 22. Summary <ul><li>Average Cost of Patent Litigation from Beginning to End </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$600,000 to $2.5M (Less than $1M to $25M at Risk) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Source - AIPLA Report on the Economic Survey 2007 </li></ul></ul></ul>Patent Infringement Actions Are Expensive
  23. 23. Summary <ul><li>Discovery (Document Production, Depositions, Location) </li></ul><ul><li>Discovery Disputes </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonableness of the Parties </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prosecution History (claim construction, multiple continuations, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Counterclaims (Invalidity, unenforceability, counterclaim for infringement) </li></ul>What Influences Cost of Litigation
  24. 24. Summary <ul><li>Opposing Party Will Seek Everything That Relates to the Patent and Products-in-Suit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing Documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial Documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emails </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meeting Minutes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Notebooks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prosecution Files (including communications with prosecution counsel) </li></ul>Discovery
  25. 25. Summary <ul><li>Limit Claims </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emails to Prosecution Attorney describing the invention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal emails and memos about the invention and product </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Limit Damages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing materials discussing competition and/or their products </li></ul></ul>Everything You Say Now Can and Will Be Used Against You In Litigation to:
  26. 26. Summary <ul><li>Once You Instigate a Patent Suit, You Will Be in Until Settlement or Trial </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even if you want to drop your suit, opponent's counterclaims may keep you in the litigation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Declaratory Judgment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you accuse someone of infringing your patent, they can file a declaratory judgment for non-infringement and invalidity </li></ul></ul>Pit Falls to Patent Litigation
  27. 27. Summary <ul><li>If You Are Accused of Infringement, You Can Counterclaim with Your Patents </li></ul><ul><li>If You Can Potentially Kick the Competitor's Product Off the Market, There is a Better Chance for a Business Solution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-Licensing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Walk Away </li></ul></ul>Use the Patent as Leverage When You're Accused of Infringing a Patent
  28. 28. Summary <ul><li>Venture Capitalists and Angels Will Want to See Strong IP Portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Why Would These People Invest If Someone Could Just Walk into the Market You Establish? </li></ul><ul><li>Provides Credibility to Shareholders / Investors </li></ul><ul><li>Can License to Larger Company ( i.e. – levels the playing field) </li></ul><ul><li>Protects You in Joint Development/Marketing Ventures </li></ul>Use the Patents to Raise Capital
  29. 29. Summary <ul><li>Will the Other Side Sign? </li></ul><ul><li>What Happens If the Other Side Discloses Anyway? </li></ul><ul><li>Are your Rights Preserved? </li></ul><ul><li>Can You Collect Damages? </li></ul>Non-Disclosure Agreements
  30. 30. Summary <ul><li>Why Bother? </li></ul><ul><li>First to Invent Country </li></ul><ul><li>What is Needed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bound Book </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entries Signed / Dated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Written in Ink </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Witnessed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blank the Blanks </li></ul></ul>Lab Notebooks
  31. 31. Summary <ul><li>Again...Why Bother? </li></ul><ul><li>Cumulative or Non-Cumulative? </li></ul><ul><li>How Often? </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimal Cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows Maintaining of Trade Secrets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protects Against Inadvertent Disclosure and Loss of Foreign Rights </li></ul></ul>Incremental Provisional Filings
  32. 32. Summary <ul><li>The Four Main Types of IP all Play a Role in Protecting and Successfully Commercializing Your Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Invest Strategically in IP protection. IP Protection and Enforcement can become Very Costly, So Focus on IP Investments that Truly Support your Business Objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Inexpensive and Easy to Follow Procedures may Protect Against Loss of Rights </li></ul>Summary