Thursday, May 14, 2009

$25,000 Reminder

(image courtesy of Flickr)

Just a quick note: While a patent is one of the most useful incentives to invention, direct financial incentives work too. If you know any promising collegiate inventors (graduate or undergraduate), please help them submit their work to the National Inventors Hall of Fame Collegiate Invention Competition. They are giving out over $50,000 in awards with the winner receiving $25K. Application info can be found here:

Monday, May 11, 2009


One of the most interesting new services out there for both inventors and patent professionals is an NSF-funded start-up called TeamPatent. It is designed to enable faster and more accurate patent drafting, and looks to also have immediate uses for speeding certain patent examination tasks as well (verifying support in the spec for new claims, checking complicated claim dependencies, determining if there is inconsistent element numbering / descriptions in the drawings, etc.). The site is open for free Beta testing while they advance development.

Flash demo from their site below.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Quick note: 

Much of the discussion of patent quality or patent reform, fundamentally depends on the quality of the art available to those making the determination of patentability. Ensuring that every relevant document which could potentially invalidate a given application is considered both by the applicant in making a filing determination, and the examiner in determining claim scope and patentability in an examination, is one of the most critical inputs to the patent process. 

With respect to this goal, one of the most useful new sites for patent professionals is Intellogist from Landon IP (one of the firms the USPTO uses for outside PCT searching assistance). It provides a free online repository of patent searching resources and IP software package reviews. While some content still needs to be updated, as is, it seems to be a very useful resource. 


Friday, May 1, 2009

NIHOF Collegiate Inventors Competition

The National Inventors Hall of Fame has an excellent invention competition for both undergraduate and graduate student inventors. If you know of a worthy student project, please encourage them to apply.

The 2009 Collegiate Inventors Competition is now accepting applications! This prestigious program shines a spotlight on deserving researchers and innovators early in their careers in an effort to provide support and inspiration to those who have tremendous potential to make the world healthier, the economy stronger, and the planet safer.    Go for more information and to download the application.

Grand Prize $25,000

Top Undergraduate Prize $15,000

Top Graduate Prize $15,000

Up to 12 Finalists will be selected to advance to the final judging round.   Each will 1) receive an all-expense trip to the final judging round and awards ceremony 2) meet and present their work to a distinguished panel of judges and 3) receive a $2000 cash prize per team. Advisors to the Grand Prize, Top Undergraduate and Top Graduate Prize winners will also be awarded a cash prize.  The presenting sponsors of this year’s Competition are the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Abbott Fund.

You can find an informational brochure on the 2009 CIC at:  You can view video from last year's Award's ceremony at

Questions?  Please email or call Joyce Ward  at 800.968.4332, ext. 6951 for guidance on the advisor requirement, invention summary, the patent search or any other parts of the application. Not sure whether your project is actually an "invention", call or email

Don't miss this incredible opportunity. All applications must be postmarked by June 16, 2009.