Author: Reid Creager

Way-backstory on Eclipse Glasses is Cloudy but Interesting

“Don’t blindly trust companies selling bogus eclipse glasses,” the clever headlines said in the run-up to our recent eclipse-o-mania. Hopefully, you learned you needed glasses that were ISO 12312-2 certified—a requirement set by the International Organization of Standards with the backing of NASA. The proper glasses reduce the sun’s brightness by about 5,000 times, Rick Fienberg of the American Astronomical Society told Forbes. Regular sunglasses only reduce sunlight by five times. But who invented these glasses? My patent and copyright searches found nothing definitive. That seemed odd—until one considers that there couldn’t be much of a market for equipment...

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McCartney’s Long and Winding IP Road May Be Over

Updating an August 2016 Inventors Digest item on the Beatles anthem “Hey Jude,” Paul McCartney recently reached a reported settlement with Sony ATV to reclaim rights to 267 of the group’s songs. U.S. copyright law played a major role in the agreement. In 1985, to McCartney’s chagrin, the songs were purchased by late pop icon Michael Jackson for $47.5 million. They were sold by his estate to Sony last year for $750 million, but attorneys for McCartney then filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in a bid to reclaim ownership. They cited a 1976 federal copyright law...

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Patent Process Help

Worried about the daunting prospect of filing a patent? There’s help via a new program from the United States Patent and Trademark Office offering patent process help. The USPTO’s Office of Innovation Development launched a Patent Virtual Assistance Pilot Program in partnership with select Patent and Trademark Resource Centers (PTRCs) throughout the United States. The pilot program offers one-on-one virtual assistance in a WebEx video conference with a USPTO representative, using a PTRC’s privately located, secure computer. You can get answers to questions, present a draft of your patent application for a cursory review, or other options. (USPTO employees...

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Get Keys to Unlocking the Invention Puzzle

USPTO’s Invention-Con to address questions, feature major IP players The invention process is multi-faceted, to the point of intimidating many a creative person. How does one file for a patent or trademark? What about the other myriad considerations that are essential in the process of bringing an invention to market? At Invention-Con 2017, you can get the answers you’re seeking as well as network with important potential contacts. The goal of the Aug. 11-12 conference is to help inventors, makers, entrepreneurs, small-business owners and IP professionals learn the ins and outs of intellectual property. The free, two-day conference at...

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Timing, Marketing Made the Pet Rock Roll

Inexplicable 1970s sensation turned struggling copywriter into a millionaire.    People ran around naked in public. They burned their bras—figuratively, not literally. Long hair and unconventional clothing, which began with the hippies of the 1960s, were now standard for many Americans.   The 1970s were known for individualism. The Me Decade was a time to do what made us feel good, a time when more than just young people were challenging authority and societal norms. Unconventional and weird were widely accepted.   So if Chuck Barris could turn “The Gong Show” into a national obsession, why couldn’t Gary Dahl...

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