Microsoft Files Application on Digital Art Program

Recently, we took a look at some recent Microsoft Xbox patents over at IPWatchdog as a part of our “Companies We Follow” series. In doing our research, we noticed an interesting innovation related to Microsoft’s digital art programs, which is included in most versions of its computer operating systems, such as Windows. This digital paint program includes more dynamic functions for the artist’s palette, such as a more realistic experience involving oil paints and worn-out brushes.

The application is U.S. Patent Application No. 20130326381, which is titled Digital Art Program Interaction and Mechanisms.

Digital applications for creating art have long been found on computing devices. From basic programs that offer the ability to draw straight lines with a mouse, to applications for mobile devices that respond to user touch through a touchscreen, digital art programs on consumer devices have greatly increased in capability during recent years. Today, graphic designers and artists are capable of using computer software to create intricate images that achieve many of the same aesthetic effects of actual paints or other materials.


How to Write a Patent Application

How to Write a Patent Application is, in my opinion, a “must have” for patent attorneys, patent agents and law students alike. It is a crucial hands-on resource that walks you through every aspect of preparing and filing a patent application, from working with an inventor to patent searches, preparing the patent application, drafting claims and more. I have used this treatise when I teach law school classes on how to draft patent applications. I am a big fan.

The author of the treatise is Jeff Sheldon, who is a partner with Sheldon Mak & Anderson. In addition to being the author of this highly regarded treatise, Sheldon is recognized by California Lawyer as one of the 20 best intellectual property lawyers in the state, he teaches law school, and serves as an expert witness. His presentation of the material makes the treatise unique (in my humble opinion) because it is approachable by those who are new to the material, but also useful for those who have everything up to more advanced levels of experience.


Uncertainty and Ambiguity Leads to a 112, 2d Rejection

In a patent system where there are approximately 500,000 patent applications a year with somewhere between 200,000 to 250,000 issued patents a year, it is foolish to think that everything will run with 100% efficiency and accuracy all the time. But how is it possible that claims that are horribly written and terribly disjointed can be allowed after examination by a professional patent examiner?

Take for instance U.S. Patent No. 6,757,068, which relates to what is described as a sourceless tracking system. The claims of this patent are extremely broad and suffer from defects not associated with prior art. A patent like the ’068 patent is cat-nip to the anti-patent community and an all too familiar illustration that the Patent Office makes mistakes.


12 Strange and Amazing Patents

To break up the monotony of all work and no play, I wanted to share with you a great slideshow from The slideshow lists 12 “strange and amazing” patents that are remarkable, and mostly ridiculous. From the high-five machine (US 5356330), to the kissing shield (US5727565), to the burial structure for human remains and significant memorabilia  (US 6799399) whose resemblance to the Great Pyramids at Giza is uncanny.

Check out the slide show in its entirety here. In case you thought I was kidding about the remarkable and ridiculous nature of these patents, check out the drawing of the patent for the Interactive Life-Sized Bowl of Soup (US 6168531). That’s right, an interactive life-sized soup bowl not only exists, but there’s a patent for it.

Top 5 Patent Law Blog Posts of the Week

Today we continue our weekly installment highlighting the best of the patent blogosphere from the past week. If there are any patent blogs you think should be highlighted by our Top 5, please comment on this post and we’ll check them out.

1) IP Watchdog: Patent Drawings: An Economical Way to Expand Disclosure – This post discusses the importance of including patent drawings within patent applications that  show every feature of the invention specified in the claims, and explains when and where the applications would best serve the applicant.

2) Chicago IP Litigation Blog: Determining Senior User is Not an Issue for Motion to Dismiss – This post reports on Arcadia Group Brands Ltd. v. Studio Moderna SA, No. 10 C 7790, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 15, 2011), including both parties’ arguments as well as the judge’s decision. (more…)