patent application status

Federal Circuit Invalidates "Obvious" Scanner Patent

by Adam Philipp on March 6, 2017

Federal Circuit:

Scanner patent claims should be

Narrowly construed

By Creative Tools from Halmdstad, Sweden – – VIUscan – Laser-scanned – ZPrinter – 3D printed – Viking Belt Buckle 24, CC BY 2.0,

The Federal Circuit has upheld a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), on Inter Partes Review, that the claims of a patent owned by MPHJ Technology Investments were anticipated or obvious in light of prior art.

The case of MPHJ Tech. Invs. v. Ricoh Ams. Corp. (Fed. Cir. Feb. 13, 2017) involves a patent for a “Distributed Computer Architecture and Process for Document Management.”

The patent application describes a system and method that

extends the notion of copying from a process that involves paper going through a conventional copier device, to a process that involves paper being scanned from a device at one location and copied to a device at another location.

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An application

that can save your place in line:

go provisional

Jim Pickerell, 1936
By Jim Pickerell, 1936-, Photographer (NARA record: 4588217) – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain,

As we discussed in this previous blog, filing a provisional patent application can be a good way for a company or individual inventor to "save a place in line" (so to speak) without spending a lot of money.

(It’s important to note that there’s no such thing as a "provisional patent." There are only provisional patent applications. Provisional applications can’t magically turn into granted patents; only non-provisional applications can result in patents.)

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Federal Circuit Limits Application of "On-Sale Bar"

by Adam Philipp on August 13, 2016

Federal Circuit

decision on "on-sale bar"

is good for start-ups

Joanne Mitchell - Own work
By Joanne Mitchell – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

A recent decision by the Federal Circuit limits the application of the "on-sale bar" and could be good for startups and other small businesses.

Under US patent law (35 U.S.C. § 102), an invention isn’t eligible for a patent if it’s been on sale for a year or more before the effective filing date of the patent application.

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Patents Pending

by Adam Philipp on November 6, 2012

On of the most common questions I get asked by clients is some variation on “how is my patent application doing”? Dennis Crouch of the Patently-O Blog had a great article and graph showing the current state of pending patent applications at the USPTO: