Medical Device Patent News of the Week

Medical Device Patent News

The latest news in medical device patents includes technological advances in cardiac care. Seimens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. has patented a new medical ultrasound pressure gradient measurement. This measurement is used to better serve cardiac specialists in quantifying and monitoring varying activities and anomalies of the heart.

Additional strides have been made by Medtronic in supporting existing cardiac technology. The Patent Office recently approved their medical device patent for a passive charging system that is capable of using wireless systems to recharge the batteries of implanted medical devices. This allows patients with pacemakers and internal defibulators to recharge their implants with greater freedom. It is also expected to positively impact patients with other forms of internal electrical devices.

Other companies are focusing on a different arena. Ulthera, Inc., a growing company in ultrasound technology, has been granted a medical device patent for their Ulthera System, which uses ultrasound engineering to treat hyperhidiosis, a condition characterized by overactive sweat glands. Their system is used to treat the overactive glands. This technology has also been approved for other aesthetic purposes.
Similarly, CoolTouch, Inc. has added to their list of medical device patents with their CoolTouch CoolLipo Trio laser system. It has been approved for the use of thermally induced tissue molding. It uses laser energy to heat tissue underneath the skin, allowing for reshaping of the area. The company holds additional patents for laser treatments on fat and cellulite.

New patents for dental devices are also being approved. An international patent has been approved by the United States for a device and process that is used to better measure the relationship between the teeth and jaw bone. This advancement, claimed by the King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, is easier to use than traditional x-rays to determine and treat conditions resulting in defective teeth and jaw problems.
MediPurpose is another example of international advancement in medical devices. Its babyLance heelstick has been patented in both Japan and Singapore. The outlook for patent approvals from other countries looks very promising. The infant heelstick has been designed to benefit both the baby and medical personnel. It has been created to be more ergonomic, with a secure grip and faster activation mechanism.

These improvements allow for the incision to be made more easily and with less impact on the tender nerve endings of the infant. MediPurpose manufactures and distributes various medical products and is expected to continue to bring their advancements to medical communities worldwide.

Links:
http://www.equities.com/news/headline-story?dt=2012-07-07&val=248697&cat=hcare

http://www.equities.com/news/headline-story?dt=2012-10-17&val=604192&cat=hcare
http://www.bioportfolio.com/news/article/1198791/Ulthera-Announces-Issuance-Of-Patent-For-New-Medical-Field-Of-Use.html
http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb/article/CoolTouch-Issued-Patent-for-Treatment-of-3970396.php
http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/2012/07/11/boukhari-paten/
http://gudelnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1296467

 

 

Medical Device Patent News of the Week

Recent medical patent approvals show that technology continues to advance and simplify healthcare. There is also proof that inventors, engineers, and companies are aware of growing health trends and concerns. These medical device patents reflect a forwarding thinking concern for both patients and physicians.

Sanovas, Inc., known for its work in micro-invasive technology, has obtained a patent on its nested balloon catheter. It is part of a treatment system that allows for diagnostic testing and therapeutic treatment. The catheter allows for a more localized delivery of drugs. This is particularly critical in cancer treatments due to the potential toxicity of chemotherapy tissues surrounding the tumors. The use of the Sanovas balloon catheter has the potential to positively change the treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases by limiting any additional harm to the patient. 

Tissue Regneix Group responded to the rapidly growing number of patients with renal and coronary artery diseases with the development of its patented accellular arteries products. These will advance the treatment and use of dialysis and bypass grafts. Currently, arteriovenous grafts received by those suffering from renal disease have a high failure rate after the first year. The company’s goal is to use their new medical device to extend the life of the grafts needed by dialysis patients. 

Electrochem Solutions, Inc. has added another medical device patent to their portfolio. A company that was founded on the lithium battery invented for implanted pacemakers, Electrochem continues to engineer solutions for longer, more stable forms of battery power. This latest patent incorporates the internal packaging of battery packs and its systems. It improves the life cycle and the ability for these power sources to withstand extreme environmental conditions. These innovations acknowledge the importance of medical power sources and their life-saving roles.

Timedyne, Inc. recently received a medical patent for several laser devices to be used to treat multiple health conditions. The company is actively involved in completing the clinical trials. Its goal is for their laser technologies to soon be part of treatments and surgeries in the United States and internationally. The lasers have the potential to replace some traditional surgeries with less expensive and minimally invasive outpatient procedures.

MMRGlobal, Inc. has obtained another patent for their technological advancements in personal health records and eHealth records. The company is quickly accommodating the demand on all sides for a shared network of health information among various medical facilities and personnel. The benefit of a patient’s doctors having a full medical history, including allergies, blood work, medications and treatments could be life-saving. MMRGlobal and their medical patents are working to ensure this need is met.

Links to stories:

Sanovas Nested Balloon Catheter Receives Patent Allowance

Tissue Regneix Gains New Patent

Electrochem Announces Patent Award for Battery Support System

Trimedyne Announces the Development of New Breakthrough Laser Devices

MMRGlobal Receives Fifth Patent Expanding Rights to Control of Online Medical Records

Medical Device Patent News for November 14


The latest advancements in the medical world include devices that are focused on invasive, internal uses of technology to limit surgical trauma and improve the function of implanted instruments. These accomplishments have recently received medical device patent approvals and are well on their way to changing the look of modern medicine.

Soulor Surgical, a collaboration of Dr. Roger Brecheen and engineer Jack Koehler, has obtained a medical patent approval for a surgical instrument they designed for use in noninvasive gynecological surgeries. The device was specifically created to be used in laparoscopic hysterectomies, which reduce the recovery time from weeks to days. The device is being used in clinical trials at Dr. Brecheen’s home of Powell Valley Healthcare, along with Harvard, Stanford and several other national universities. These trials are expected to lead to full approval from the Federal Drug Administration. 

Titan Medical has also made surgical advancements with the patent approval of its robotic system for medical procedures. The patent protects the methodology and the complete robotic system, which allows for both a smaller incision and is capable of constantly monitoring the pressure of the device and gather data during the procedure. Titan Medical currently has five patents for their work in medical robotics and is actively seeking approval for additional advancements in this area.

Micell Technologies has made great strides in potentially improving the safety and use of stents in cardiovascular patients. The MiStent SES includes their medical patent technology that uses a special coating consisting of an approved polymer and drug combination. This coating improves the ability for the stent to release the drug into the surrounding tissue in a controlled and sustained process. The approval of this medical device patent is believed to lead to several other patents already submitted.

SpinalCycle, LLC has been given a patent for their work with spinal disc regeneration. Their methodology and scaffolding structure combine to allow the human body to regenerate the nucleus of the spinal disc. The scaffolding system allows vertebra pressure to be transferred to the nucleus, allowing it to support the spinal system by distributing pressure. This technology has successfully passed through its first round of animal trials and is well on its way to positively impacting the future of spinal surgery.

Medical Device Patent News of the Week

Medical device patents continue to show the full range research and technology are having on modern medicine. The latest patent approvals include those that affect imaging, cancer fighting therapy, treatment of life threatening aneurysms and interbody devices.

Positron Corporation has received medical device patent approval for their semiconductor detector. This medical device is used to map coordinates and detect ionization particles. It has multiple uses, particularly that involving medical imaging. This device is small, sturdy and requires low voltage, allowing it to bring down the cost of imaging procedures.

Aethlon Medical, Inc. and its patented Extracorporeal Removal of Microvesicular Particles are hoping to make great strides in fighting cancer. This medical device removes immune suppressing particles that are secreted by cancerous tumors. These particles kill the body’s immune response, allowing the cancer to grow. This medical device is able to stop the production of these particles and allow the body to fight cancer growth, particularly during treatment.

Sequent Medical, Inc., a company focused on catheter-based neurovascular technology, has made great strides in the treatment of intercranial aneurysms. It acquired a medical patent for their braiding mechanism and its methodology. This lets medical devices with fine writing to increase porosity and radial compliance. The MicroBraid technology is being used in the WEB Aneurysm Embolization System and allows doctors to treat aneurysms that did not conform to other treatments.

Acacia Research Corporation has recently patented their stent graft technology. The company is active in other medical advancements. Their patent portfolio includes various medical devices and diagnostic research.

SpineSmith and has been given a medical device patent for their VisuALIF. This lumbar interbody device makes the grafting aspect of fusion surgeries less complicated for surgeons. SpineSmith is focused on regenerative medicine and is awaiting approval from several similar patents. The VisuALIF has been a popular tool for surgeons since it achieved FDA approval in 2010.

Titan Spine and been granted a medical patent protection for competitive interbody devices. This patent protects against patents given to other companies that involve interbody devices that would include roughened surfaces, hollow center access, and antiexpulsion edges. Titan Spine now able to protect its innovations, such as nanoFIX Surface technology, and current pending patents in this specific area of medical devices.

www.news-medical.net
USPTO Issues Patent to Positron’s Solid State Sensors


www.devicespace.com
Aethlon Medical (AEMD) Announces Issuance of Cancer Therapy Patent


www.devicespace.com
Sequent Medical, Inc. Awarded U.S. Patent for MicroBraid Technology


www.news-medical.net
Acacia Subsidiary Obtains Patent for Stent Graft Technology


www.news-medical.net
SpineSmith Receives U.S. Patent for VisuALIF Lumbar Interbody Device


www.news-medical.net
Titan Spine Receives U.S. Patent for Competitive Interbody Devices

 

Discussion on the Gene Patent Debate

When geneticists of The Human Genome Project successfully identified approximately 25,000 genes in human DNA, several organizations applied for patents of specific genes and small portions of gene sequences. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted the patents, provoking a national debate on the sagacity of patenting genetic data. 

When companies patent genetic material, they attain ownership of genes, gene fragments, gene tests, gene proteins, stem cells, and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Inventors must specify the product of a gene sequence, identify new genetic sequences, specify how the gene or fragment functions naturally, and enable a skilled user to test the sequence for its prescribed purpose (Human Genome Project Information, n.d.).

Scientific breakthroughs often advance with ethical and legal questions about the effect on human lives. My own reflections on the topic led me to conduct extensive research in an effort to determine whether the science of genetic patenting warranted reason for concern. 

How many genetic patents are out there?

The realization that corporations could eventually secure patents on the entire genetic code of the human body is daunting. There are already 3,000 to 5,000 patents on human genes and 47,000 patents on genetic material that encompasses approximately 20% of the human genome (The Hastings Center, n.d.). 

The questions surrounding gene patenting are many and varied. Is it ethical? Is it legal? Is it wise? Who owns our genes? Will the patenting of genes result in increased medical costs and limited access to specific DNA sequences? Will it create barriers to medical testing and research? What is to be made of the argument that genes, like plant life, are products of nature and cannot be invented? 

The Patent Act of 1952 defines a patent as an invention that is "useful, novel, and nonobvious," or "readily within the skills of a competent artisan at the time the invention is made" (USPTO, n.d.). Opponents of genetic patenting argue that the definition of a patent excludes biological data and provides legal cover for denial of DNA patent rights. 

Opponents also question whether gene patenting may lead to inhibition of biomedical innovation, higher costs of genetic therapies and tests, and unfair monopolization of certain genes that could place limitations on medical diagnosis and research. 

Soaring medical costs spark debate

The debate over gene patenting was largely academic until 2009 when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a court case against Myriad Genetics and the USPTO. In this landmark case, Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. United States Patent and Trademark Office, et al., the ACLU and six cancer patients argued that two of Myriad's gene patents limited access to adequate medical treatment because Myriad owned sole rights to the genes (ACLU, n.d.). 

Women with family histories of ovarian and breast cancers may take a genetic test to identify cancerous mutations on certain genes. In the Myriad case, plaintiffs testified that they were unable to afford genetic assessments for cancer because the company's testing fees were too expensive. The plaintiffs' goal was to persuade the Court to invalidate Myriad's ownership claims and find that genetic materials are not patentable because they are physical products of nature (ACLU, n.d.). The judge ruled for the plaintiffs, but the decision was later reversed on appeal.

Extensive research on genetic patenting has led me to a better understanding of controversies surrounding the topic. As evidenced in the Myriad case, free and open access to all genetic materials would remove financial barriers to medical testing and research. The court case detailed problematic issues in the field of genetic patenting that accentuates the need for greater access to gene sequences and DNA when lives depend on genetic testing. However, the answer is not to discontinue patenting of gene sequences, but to increase access through emphasis on affordable pricing. 

Are genes medical? Or a product of nature (and therefore not patentable)?

Defenders of genetic patenting assert that when genes are isolated and characterized, they are no longer simply products of nature. Because they have been altered, human genes can be patented in the same way as plant material in creation of new pharmaceuticals.

Though opposition to genetic patenting is justified and valid, it is my belief that genetic patenting offers great promise in the field of medicine and medical research. 

Genetic patenting will expand genetic research by decreasing the need for secrecy in invention efforts, allow companies to increase revenue through successful discoveries, ensure that multiple companies do not pursue similar gene sequences that result in duplication of effort, and provide security in creativity by excluding competitors from conducting research on the same DNA sequence. 

Genetic patenting is still a newcomer in the medical research field and the discussions of legal, financial and ethical issues will not soon abate. With reasoned debate and continued exploration, guidelines will be implemented that allow public access to genetic materials for medical testing and diagnosis. Standards will also be created and maintained to protect genetic inventions so that new discoveries can be made.
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References

American Civil Liberties Union. (2010). Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. United States Patent and Trademark Office, et al., Case 1:09-cv-04515-RWS. Retrieved from http://www.aclu.org/files/assets/2010-3-29-AMPvUSPTO-Opinion.pdf 

The Hastings Center. (n.d.). Gene Patents. Retrieved from http://www.thehastingscenter.org/Publications/BriefingBook/Detail.aspx?id=2174

Human Genome Project Information. (n.d.). Genetics and Patenting. Retrieved from http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/elsi/patents.shtml

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (n.d.). Appendix L. Patent Laws. Retrieved from http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/consolidated_laws.pdf

From Tongue Depressors to Pacemakers - Patenting a Medical Device

Since its inception in 1790, the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has issued over 8 million patents. A significant number of those were for medical devices. When you think of the term medical device, a number of things come to mind such as pacemakers, ventilators, and defibrillators. Each is a complex, advanced machine that required significant research and development and some level of skill to operate. It is easy to see the necessity and desire for patent protection.
 
You may be surprised to learn that many simple, ordinary devices such as tongue depressors, bedpans, and bandages are also patented medical devices. Also interesting are the patented devices that have little more than a tangential connection to medicine such as computer software.
 
The 5 Patent Requirements

First, almost anything can be patented. As stated by the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 1980 landmark case, “anything under the sun that is made by man,” can be patented. Patents are important to further research and development. Patents protect intellectual property, the expression of an idea, and give inventors exclusive rights to that property for a set period of time in exchange for public disclosure. The inventor has exclusive rights to the sale or manufacture, and profits thereof until the patent runs out, usually twenty years.

An idea in and of itself cannot be patented. For a patent, you need some type of embodiment of the idea, such as a description, illustration or prototype. In the case of the tongue depressor a simple description and drawing was all that was needed to file for a patent. While almost anything can be patented, there are a few requirements.

Lawmakers set out five basic requirements for patentability: patentable subject matter, utility, novelty, nonobviousness and enablement. Using the example of the bedpan, you can see how even a simple device can be patented. 

Patentable subject matter is any process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter or improvement to any of the preceding. A manufacture is an article or item made from raw materials such as, a hammer, glove, chair, hammer, etc. A bedpan is a manufacture.

Utility or usefulness. An invention must be useful to be patented. An invention must have a defined real world use. Although most people hope they never have to use one, a bedpan does have a real world use. They are used every day in hospitals throughout the world. 

Novelty basically means the invention is new, innovative. It was not know or used by others. When the original patent was filed for the bedpan in 1837, it was a novel idea. 

Nonobviousness is a bit harder to define. The PTO states, “subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole would have been nonobvious to a person having ordinary skill in the art at the time the invention was made.” The nonobvious requirement is much debated by patent attorneys and difficult to define. The reason for the requirement is more illustrative. Issuing patents for every single device that could easily occur to someone skilled in that field, hence obvious, further invention and research would be obstructed rather than stimulated. In the case of the bedpan, it was developed and filed before the nonobvious requirement was enacted. Even so, it is doubtful that a bedpan would have been viewed as obvious in 1837.

Enablement requires the inventor to provide a written description of how to make and use the invention in the patent application. This is basically an administrative task that is taken care of in the filling out of the patent application. 
 
Does It Really Have To Be A Medical Device?

You can now see how simple ideas such as the tongue depressor or bedpan are patentable medical devices. Complexity is not a requirement. Nor is a direct connection to medicine. Computer software used in a medical office has been patented. It can be viewed as a medical device. Not to be confused, however, with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) definition of a medical device. These are two separate regulatory bodies with differing purposes. 

Why would computer software or improved mattresses be considered medical devices in the same category as pacemakers and defibrillators? Step back to the basic reason for obtaining a patent: money. Certainly there are other reasons and those who create for the betterment of society, to improve quality of life, or to further technology. However, if that were the only reason, a patent wouldn’t be necessary. Why not share the innovation freely, let everyone have a go at it. While popular in kindergarten, sharing is overrated. We are not talking about crayons, but often a life’s work and millions of dollars in research. 

If the investors and inventor want to make money from their creation, it will have to be marketed and sold in some form or another. “Patient software” doesn’t have nearly the marketability and newsworthiness as “medical device.” How about “alternating air mattress?” A press release stating that ABC Company was recently granted a patent for a medical device which will help prevent pressure wounds reads better than, ABC Company was granted a durable good patent which helps prevent pressure wounds. In many cases, it may be to the patent applicant’s advantage to describe their work as a medical device. In addition, medical devices as an industry is one of the fastest growing. It helps to be well connected. 

However, an inventor cannot simply state they would like their product classified as a medical device. The Patent Examiners do the actual classification of the patent applications. The examiners determine the classification based on the structure and function of the product as defined in the patent application. If an invention can be connected to medicine, even in a tangential way, it could be considered a medical device depending on the way it is described and defined in the patent application.

Obtaining a patent for a medical device has little to do with the intricacy and sophistication of the device or a direct connection to medicine. All that is necessary is a desire to patent your invention and meeting the five basic requirements for patentability: patentable subject matter, utility, novelty, nonobviousness, and enablement.

Medical Patent Device Drives Video Game Evolution

Here is a tried-and-true way to increase your chances of success with your patent. First, take something that is working in one field. Next, add a little twist that will make it a success in another market.

Sometimes this is as easy as wrapping cardboard around a coffee cup and coming up with a new insulator (yes, that is patented). Other times the technology is not quite as obvious in its applications, requiring some creative thought to provide the best return on the investment. 

Medibotics’ patent for a full body motion control suit is an example of this process in action.

The suit, making use of fluid or air filled tubes, can convert the motion of the body into computer signals, which can be used to control a video game character, or provide telemetry for medical devices. At first glance, the two applications, medical telemetry and video game controller would seem to have little similarity, but in truth they are closely related and can help drive the creation of not just a medical device patent, but several patents. 

While the control suit can be used to provide telemetry for those undergoing physical therapy, or to determine how quickly someone is recovering from an operation, this device can also be used quite effectively in the field of video games. Unlike most techniques, which divorce the user from the action in the game, a full body control suit would allow the user to feel like they were fully immersed in the action, a vital part of what makes a commercially successful video game.

Even better, this use is sufficiently unique from that covered by the medical device patent that the company can easily take out another patent. In this way, the expensive research and development that went into the original concept is repaid twice over. 

It is even possible to relate the two uses to produce third patent.

With the growth and integration of telepresence technology into the medical field, a full body motion control suit could be used to allow nurses and doctors to remotely manipulate robots to permit them to examine and change patients while they remain in their office. Thus, this single concept now generates yet another medical device patent, this time modified from the video game controller patent.

The possibilities are quite literally limitless. 

In today’s financial environment, it is imperative that a company receive the best return on any investment. A concept that can apply to more than one field, especially if it can do so inexpensively, can provide the company with two or more patents, each one of which will generate extra revenue. Since you have already spent the money for the research and development, it makes a great deal of sense to extract all the value you can from your work. 

The difference between success and failure often hinges on how effectively an individual or company can make use of all their assets, and that includes finding new ways to use currently existing assets. The creation of a new patent is one of the best ways to insure a long term and dependable revenue stream, whether from your own use of the patent or simply by licensing the patent out to third parties.

So that leaves us with the final question...what else can you move from one industry to another to get a new patent on?

New Shape to An Old Medical Patent

For decades heart surgeons have used stents to prop open veins and arteries after angioplasty surgery. Now, a new medical patent aims to help keep the “flow” open in other areas of the body as well.

Allium Medical Solutions Ltd. – developer and manufacture of site-specific stents – has just been granted a patent by the Japanese Patent Office for stents used to treat enlarged prostates.

Allium makes an entire line of stents for use in various places along the urethra. But what makes this one different than their other stents (and ones heart surgeons use) is that instead of a balloon-like stent, this one is shaped like a triangle.

Why Patent a Different Shape?

The prostatic urethral lumen (the part that gets “squeezed” when the prostate is enlarged) has a unique size and shape in each man. Sometimes it’s longer. Sometimes it’s shorter. And each prostate has different contours. Because of this, traditional stents that are cylindrically shaped don’t always do a great job of keeping the flow open.

This new patented medical device takes aim at that problem.

The triangular shape of the stent allows it to fit unique male anatomy better, resulting in higher flow volume and improved comfort compared to existing stents.

It’s called the Triangular Prostatic Stent.

Also – and this is what makes it really unique – it doesn’t put the guy’s voluntary continence mechanism at risk. In plain English, guys can control when they go to the bathroom.

What is a Patent Like this Worth?

Let’s take a look at the numbers…

Prostate cancer develops primarily in men over 50 years old, with more than 80% of men developing prostate cancer before their 80th birthday.

It is the most common type of cancer in men in the United States, with 186,000 new cases in 2008 and 28,600 deaths. It’s the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the U.S. and UK behind lung cancer. And the problem is growing.

 

 

And since traditional prostate disease treatments focus on removing the cancer (either through chemotherapy, radiation or surgery), side effects include incontinence and impotence.

Surely, an alternative that reduces these risks would be a welcome option to any patient.

For their efforts, Allium won the 2011 Medical Design Excellence Award competition for the Triangular Prostatic Stent. This competition recognizes the achievements of medical product manufacturers and new medical patents that are changing the face of healthcare.

If you have an idea for a new medical device you think could be patented, request your free “Medical Device Patent Kit” by calling 1-866-433-2288.

The One Letter Medical Patent Mistake

 Patents give you 20 years of exclusive ownership of your idea.

That means no one else can sell your idea...no one else can manufacture your idea...no one else can import your idea.  And if they do, you can sue the pants off of them (sometimes getting as much as 3 times the damages from them as well as reimbursement of your attorney fees).

But that's only if the patent application is properly prepared.

Said another way, if you make a mistake on your application – even a tiny one – you can flush those twenty years of protection down the drain.

How small of a mistake can put your idea at risk?patent_revoked

Very small. 99.99% of your patent application can be squeaky clean: no errors, no omissions, nothing wrong. However, just that .01%...sometimes just ONE letter...and you are out of luck.

And that's exactly what happened that cost one company potential millions of dollars.

The One Letter Patent Snafu

A few years back, Central Admixture Pharmacy Services (CAFC) sued Advanced Cardiac Solutions for patent infringement relating to a chemical solution used during heart surgery. 

A certificate of correction was sought on the patent and was issued by the patent office to replace all instances of the word "osmolarity" with the word "osmolality".

You might be thinking what's the big deal? So they changed the "R" in osmolaRity with a "L" so that it reads osmolaLity. The problem was changing the two words broadened the claims of the patent.

Enough so that even though the district court found the certificate of correction proper, the CAFC disagreed, resulting in massive litigation.

Seeing as average legal costs for patent litigation can easily run over a million dollars through trial, it pays to make sure a patent is written correctly the first time.

With that in mind, let's explore a few common patent application mistakes.

3 Huge Patent Application Mistakes

Patent Application Mistake #1: Not filling out the patent application in its entirety

Believe it or not, patent examiners reject applications simply because they do not contain all the necessary ingredients. If you fail to include required elements, such as a background section or discussion limitations of the prior art, or setting forth scope of the invention in claims...your patent application may be dismissed immediately.

Patent Application Mistake #2: Being too specific

Patents are title to property. And explaining too many aspects of your invention in excruciating detail can actually shrink your intellectual property...and...reduce the profitability in the long run.

For example, imagine you have a new invention that uses a metal spring.

While you are describing your invention in the claims of the patent, you explicitly state it uses a metal spring. Now, what's stopping another inventor from copying your invention piece for piece, but instead of using a metal spring they use a plastic spring, rubber spring or even an elastic band?

Do you see how this seemingly small specific wording could invite other people to copy your idea and make small changes that would invalidate your patent?

Patent Application Mistake #3: Being too vague

Now this may sound contradictory to mistake #2, but too many patent applications do not go into detail about how their idea works. Do not assume your idea is understood. Failing to describe the idea in detail could leave "gaps" in the patent, leaving it vulnerable to being found invalid.  If your patent is invalidated, others can come in sell similar products with no liability.

Make no mistake, applying for a patent is tricky.

Worst of all, you may not know you even made a mistake on your patent until YEARS after submitting the application...when an examiner at the patent office finally gets around to reviewing your patent application.  Sometimes the mistakes are not caught until you are ready to enforce the patent against a competitor. 

A qualified patent attorney can make sure this never happens to you. If you would like free information on the ins and outs of the patent application process (including how to get a patent and the fees involved) go to our free patent information request page. Include your information and we will rush you an informational packet immediately.

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Medical Patent Stories of the Week

Time's Up for Patents on Drugs

Pharmaceutical companies are facing a wave of patent expirations starting this year through 2014. Exacerbating the problem is new competition from generic drugs...and...shrinking new drug approvals from the FDA.

Full story here - Pharmaceutical Company Patents Expiring

Patenting Issues to Blame?

Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announces execution of settlement and license termination agreement with Rex Medical, LP. Further reading exposes failure to protect discoveries with patents, loss of patent protection and liability for patent claims may be to blame.

Full story here - Rex Med and Lax Patent 

Stem Cells vs. Patents

Could pharma patents be holding back stem cell research? Scientists at John Hopkins seem to think so.

Full story here - Bioethicists on Patents

Jellyfish Patent?

A Japanese company has applied for a patent that improves immunity in fish against certain diseases. Surprisingly, this comes from a fish predator...jellyfish.

Full story here - Collagen Patent

Patent helps Patients Breathe Easier

"This particular patent is key to our company's entry into an emerging new field of patient positioning, namely Safe Anatomic Positioning™, or the ability to raise, lower, and adjust selected parts of the body while the patient is on an operating table or in another hospital unit — without requiring nurses to manually lift patients and use towels or linens to prop them up," said Robert Weedling, founder and chairman of AirPal Patient Transfer Systems.

Full story here - Patent for Bariatric Patients