The Traklight Blog

Explore the world of intangible assets and IP with guest blogs, business owner interviews, and more.

Google Attempts to Patent Public Domain Algorithm

Beyond just individual genius, innovation and advancement requires the ability to build upon existing technologies to improve them. It can at times be a fine distinction when thinking about respecting patents, but it is not incompatible to believe that both patents and the freedom of innovation should have equal footing in the intellectual property space.

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The Value of Patents

Patents are an important part of any company's portfolio, but for startups, there can be hesitance to take the necessary steps to obtain a patent for their creation. From cost concerns to the length of the process to the seeming urgency of other requirements, startup founders can cite any number of reasons to put off getting patents. But having patents provides real value to any venture at its earliest stages and beyond.

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Major League Baseball Faces Patent Infringement, Trade Secret Theft Lawsuit

Technology is an increasingly important part of sports, not only in the playing of the games themselves, but in how people are consuming them. Fans have an appetite for more and more information about the action in the games they're watching, especially in the statistics-heavy world of baseball. Major League Baseball has invested heavily in tools that allow teams and fans alike to measure every action on the field, but a recent lawsuit is claiming that some of the developments might be ill-gotten.

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Protecting Your Ideas on a Budget

The birth of a company and the idea that fuels it can come at any time. If entrepreneurs waited until the conditions were ideal to start a business, many of the brands that we've come to know and rely on may never have gotten off the ground. Often early-stage businesses are run on shoestring budgets, trying to stretch every dollar as far as it can go.

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Supreme Court Deals Blow to Patent Trolls

Patent trolls have long been an issue in the world of intellectual property. For innovators, patent trolls represent an ever-present threat to their work, as one lawsuit could mean spending time and money they don't have on a court battle. For many observers, patent trolls are a miscarriage of the spirit of intellectual property laws, using an overly broad patent as a tool to extort money from companies rather than as a means of protecting their creations. But a recent court decision may prove a setback for future frivolous lawsuits.

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Nokia and Apple in Legal Standoff


When it comes to intellectual property lawsuits, there are usually a couple of different types observed. More often than not you can come across a startup or small business suing a major corporation, claiming the industry giant has come in and stolen their idea to further enrich themselves. Within that, there are usually those with a solid case mixed in with those deemed "patent trolls", looking to cash in on their broad patents that otherwise go unused. But on the occasions that you see two big names enter into a legal battle, it is worth noting, as the future of entire industries can shift based on a court decision.

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Patent Infringement Case Between Cisco and Arista Presses Forward

Technology has brought about a new slate of intellectual property issues that see corporations facing off in court. Google and Oracle were engaged in a lengthy court battle over the use of Java APIs in Google's development of Android software, and numerous other companies have taken legal action against their rivals for similarly unseen elements used in the development of software applications. And as more and more companies enter the same space, there is the potential for a proliferation of copyright infringement cases.

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Big Bang or Big Bust?

tv-162002_640.pngFor years I have been a big fan of the clever writing on The Big Bang Theory. We tease various family members about sharing Sheldon’s outlandish tendencies or making the same faces as Penny. However, a recent episode had me laughing for a different reason: patent mistakes!

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Apple Loses to Patent Troll in Court Rematch

Many companies find themselves in the crosshairs of so-called "patent trolls". Smaller businesses often don't have the resources to take on a protracted legal battle, regardless of outcome, and as such look to settle in order to avoid exhausting their resources. But large corporations with considerable resources and crack legal teams aren't immune from the scourge. With massive sales and market share comes a target on your back from non-practicing entities(NPEs) that see a way to exploit their patents to a huge payday if they win. And one such NPE just received a second decision against a tech giant.

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Chinese Scooters Raided at CES for Patent Infringement

As we've previously noted, intellectual property infringement is something of an issue in China. Whatever the underlying reasons might be, the proliferation of counterfeit goods is a problem for manufacturers concerned with losing market share to knockoff copies of their products. Innovators both in the US and abroad have to be vigilant of possible infringement, and willing to take action to stop copycats. One California startup did just that.

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Guest Blog: Three Reasons Your Patent Translations May Be Inaccurate – and Why It May Potentially Cost You Millions

In today’s global economy, inventions and products easily cross borders.  For multinational corporations with intellectual property (IP) at the very foundation of their business, keeping IP secure is essential to survival. This security requires treating the invention as a trade secret or filing patents in specific jurisdictions around the world. Obtaining patent protection in multiple jurisdictions requires patent applications to be translated to and from a variety of languages.

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's...Thermostat Patent? | Allure Energy's IP

Unless you're fortunate enough to live in an area that is always temperate, you'll reach a point in the year where you're grateful for the modern marvel that is climate control. That's especially true here in the valley, where I dare say there's no better feeling than stepping from a blistering 110-degree heat into the cooled confines of an air-conditioned building. And as with most things, technology has greatly improved how we're able to heat and cool our living and working spaces, with companies vying to make the next great innovation. One recent lawsuit proves that the world of air conditioning can be as ruthless as a community college trade school.

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3 Effective Ways to Safeguard Your Ideas

How to safeguard your ideas or inventions is an important concern for many first time inventors or entrepreneurs. A small business, especially one that is looking to grow, has a lot to consider as they move through the winding roads of business success. Often times, small business owners are concerned about whether or not their innovation or IP can be lost.

While the number of ideas that are legitimately stolen is relatively low, it isn’t an unheard of scenario considering IP theft in the US tops $250 billion annually. Each year, hundreds of cases regarding patent, copyright or trademark infringement are heard in US courts. With this in mind, many business owners might wonder what they can do to protect themselves, especially when a small business is in a delicate growth phrase. We’ve collected three easy ways to safeguard a small business’ innovation.

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What Does Intellectual Property Mean for Small Business?

How is intellectual property defined? Intellectual property (IP) pertains to things you create with your mind, not the ideas themselves, but the expression of the ideas in some form. An idea all by itself in your head, is not IP.

If you created something original, you may have a certain degree of protection against someone else using, claiming, modifying, or selling it. There are four common types of IP: copyrights, patents, trademarks (including design rights), and trade secrets. Every once in a while we like to recap these four intellectual property types and distinguish them for our readers. Enjoy!

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Worst IP Mistakes in 2014, Part 3

As we start 2015, this the final of three posts (read Part 2 here) on the worst mistakes I have seen made in 2014.  Of course there is the usual tie to intellectual property (IP) and money or valuation of the venture.

Misunderstanding and waiting on patents

Does this sound familiar: "Get that minimum viable product out there in the hands of customers! Hurry up and finish that prototype! Get that crowdfunding campaign up!" Speed to market is often heralded as paramount. However, showing too much about how your product works in a public way can drastically impact your ability to patent. In turn, it could become an IP mistake you wish you wouldn't have made. 

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Newly Filed Pricing Patent Helps One, Hurts Another | Uber vs Lyft

For those looking for a ride, whether it be heading home after a night on the town or going to the airport to catch a flight, Uber has become the go-to service to get you where you need to be. The service's appeal is based upon its ease of use and relative affordability compared to a traditional cab. With its continued expansion (Uber is now in 50 countries) and lurking competitors, protecting their intellectual property (IP) is a natural step for the company. But one filing has customers and onlookers alike in an uproar.

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