Era Of 3D Printing Begins


3D printing has always been an interesting side technology. It's now about to become a mainstream technology. Until recently, the majority of applications for this technology have been limited for several reasons. First, there simply isn't enough history to bet the bank on commercial manufacturing using 3D printers. The initial patent for fused deposition modeling was issued in 1986, but ... » read more

Crazy Christmas Patents


For the past several years, I have been writing a blog that pokes fun at patent applications related to Christmas. It now appears that I am an expert in this subject matter because I received two e-mails during the course of this year. One asked how they should go about getting their Christmas ornament manufactured and marketed. The other asked if I would feature their newly released ornament i... » read more

Joint R&D Has Its Ups And Downs


As corporate spending on research and development dwindles, enterprises are reaching out to colleges and universities to supplement their R&D. And they often are finding eager partners in those endeavors, as professors and their graduate students look for help, financial and technical, in addressing long-term research projects. “Pure research is just a luxury no one can afford anymore,... » read more

Unintended Patent Consequences


Section 101 of the U.S. patent law limits the types of things for which patent protection can be sought. It says: "Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title." In 2012, the Supreme Court made what they t... » read more

Inventing Christmas


Christmas has been a tradition in many countries for a considerable number of years. In fact, some of the associated decorations, such as the Christmas Tree, have their roots in 16th century Germany. So you would think that by now there would not be too many new inventions that pass the tests of being novel and non-obvious to those skilled in the art. A quick search using Google yielded more... » read more

Laws Don’t Apply Anymore


One of the nifty things about technology is that it's always new and always being refreshed. That creates problems, though. The speed with which technology is overhauled or changed out is so much faster than the social and legal infrastructure built to support and protect the people buying it, that the two worlds are now years, if not decades, out of sync. The first whiff of this came in 198... » read more

Rethinking Patents


Over the past few years the pressure on the patent system as a means of protecting intellectual property has been tested to the limit, and many changes are being made in an attempt to keep it viable. But in an age of globalization, coupled with the fact that for the patent system to work there has to be an infrastructure of suitable enforcement, it may be time to rethink its viability—especia... » read more

Patents And EDA Making Waves


If the old adage “may you live in interesting times” is true, then lawyers must be wondering if they should be very happy or scared. The rate at which [getkc id="16" comment="patent"] law, and patents in general, are changing should give everyone pause – including the future competitiveness of the United States and the value of patents to EDA. The World Intellectual Property Organizati... » read more

Feathers Ruffled By IEEE Patent License Changes


Standards are essential for any market to grow. Products that are completely proprietary tend to serve small niche markets whereas those based on standards can grow through collaborations, independent content creation, and many other ways. Just think about where we would be if there were no communications standards – no WiFi, no cellular standards. You would be locked into buying all of your ... » read more

The Week In Review: Design/IoT


Mergers/Acquisitions Lattice Semiconductor agreed to pay $600 million for Silicon Image, which makes connectivity solutions for high-definition content for mobile and consumer electronics. Lattice already makes programmable connectivity solutions, so the combined IP portfolio is expected to strengthen its position in wired and wireless markets. Tools Cadence expanded the tool portfolio it ... » read more

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