What do Top Publications have to Say About Biden’s IP Roadmap?

Biden's IP Roadmap

The world is anxiously waiting for revolutionary change as Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States, and Vice President Kamala Harris prepare to make history. Topics of interest focus on how the Biden-Harris administration will deal with the impacts and consequences of the nation’s intellectual property (IP) law and policies.

This article provides insight as major publications post comments and concerns about Biden’s IP policy approach. However, they each share perceptions that speak to the need to fortify U.S. IP protection as an incentive to continue developing inventions, technology innovations, and research patents to retain America’s lead in advancements.

U.S. businesses and inventors are concerned about how IP laws and policies could influence opportunities for supplying goods and services to support continued growth in commerce within the public and private market sectors. Therefore, president Biden’s plan needs to facilitate a more efficient patent filing process that secures and protects IP transfer and trading practices within domestic and international markets.

Overall, the community’s consensus sees the next four years highlighting the Biden-Harris administration’s effort to improve U.S. IP policies at home and abroad, contributing to America’s economic recovery.

Challenges for the U.S. – How Will Harris Influence IP Law in the Biden Administration? – The Diplomat

The Diplomat – Contributing author Robert Farley commented on the influence that Vice President Kamala Harris brings to the table. Securing her position in U.S. history as Vice President, the post states how “Harris would influence both the executive branch policy and legislation while presiding over a closely divided Senate.”

As a sponsor of the DEFEND ACT during her tenure as Attorney General of California, Harris legally pursued producers in India and China for IP violations based on fair trade and law-abiding principles. In her current position as U.S. Vice President, there is no doubt that her influence will carry both inspiration and encouragement for patents filed in the United States.  

The certainty of the Biden-Harris administration’s views on IP law and policies will focus on leveling the playing field for American enterprises and research organizations looking to gain a fair share of the supply markets.

Ruling on Technological Policies – Gina Raimondo pledges tough line on China – The Washington Post

Washington Post – Covering world business Jeanne Whalen reported on the Commerce Department nominee Gina Raimondo, pledging to join the fight against unfair trade practices. However, Raimondo did not share any details on how she planned to proceed – instead, Rhode Island’s governor said, “I believe America has to lead in standards-setting, particularly in new technology.” Raimondo continued, “It’s one way we could help Americans to compete, lead and win.”

China is the target in this article, charged with intellectual theft and misuse of patents with the intent to use stolen technology as a source to spy on other nations. Historically, the United States has held the number one position globally for filing the most international patents comprised of technological advancements, making it a primary target. 

China misjudged the strength and resilience of the United States as a global competitor in the trade as U.S. enterprises continued to develop technology and venture into new research discoveries.

Foreign Competitor Enforcement – Biden’s Commerce Pick Vows to Combat China and Climate Change – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

New York Times – Ana Swanson, who covers trade and international economics, reported on Rohde Island’s Governor, Gina Raimondo’s discussions on the Department of Commerce’s “Entity List” prohibiting companies from selling American products and technology to individual foreign firms without a license.

The Department of Commerce added the names of IP violators to the Entity List to protect America’s technology and business invention patents, allowing organizations to pursue open and fair markets actively. In addition, the Department pledged to continue its enforcement of foreign attempts at intellectual property theft and inappropriate (unlawful) acquisitions of patented data.

The article cites Raimondo’s praise by her peers for her public and private interest, dedication to dealing with the pandemic, increased investments in U.S. businesses, and promote marine and space economies.

Raimondo’s comments and the Department of Commerce’s actions to protect American intellectual property encourage new inventions and continued research advancements to drive the U.S. economy forward.

The U.S. Patent System – Innovation Alliance Urges Biden Administration to Support Patent Rights (ipwatchdog.com)

IPWatchdog – The article mentions the disarray in the U.S. patent process. Brian Pomper, Executive Director of the Innovation Alliance, sent a letter to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris outlining the need to support patent rights to meet enforcement challenges brought on by foreign competitors.

President Biden’s Plan for Rural America mentioned similar upsets of the U.S. patent process, declaring a recommended change on how patents are awarded. In one area pertaining to research, President Biden proposed that agricultural patents granted to private entities for inventions derived from publicly funded research deprive the public of duly earned benefits.

To protect the American people, “Biden encourages the U.S. to re-invest in land grants for universities’ agricultural research so the public, not private companies, would hold title to agricultural research patents.”

Beyond the U.S. Borders –  Biden must do better than Trump’s tariffs in challenging China on intellectual property | The Hill 

The Hill – Marc L. Busch, Karl F. Landegger Professor of International Business Diplomacy at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, addressed two IP concerns associated with the forced-technology transfer through joint-venture and government subsidies funding research and development.

China was accused of forcing businesses to hand over their intellectual property to access their market. China then claimed the technology benefited from production and sale. Developing a legal partnership is a business strategy that allows the patent holder to sell or license the intellectual property rights to an authorized party for a specified duration and receipt of payment, royalties, or fees.

Busch suggested it may be a viable solution for new or existing patent holders to participate in secondary market spillovers as the concept offers economic benefits while spearheading new market patent developments. 

Trade Secrets at Home – Biden Plans to Ban Noncompete, No-Poaching Clauses (shrm.org)

SHRM – Society of Human Resource Management responded to an issue closer to home for U.S. employers and its workforce. President Biden’s platform included eliminating or at least minimizing employee non-compete clauses and no-poaching agreements.

Biden, specifically, said he would support federal legislation to eliminate most non-compete agreements – allowing only those necessary to protect a narrowly defined category of trade secrets.

Employer IP practices came into play as standard employment clauses and agreements to legally deter employees from sharing company information or competitors from soliciting employees to obtain trade secrets or data. However, over time, employment IP protection took on a broader role that interfered with workers’ rights to seek other employment in similar industries.

Employers could secure and protect patented investments by detailing the IP clauses and agreements to guard new technology, confidential information, trade secrets, inventions, or brand data.

A Quick Wrap Up

In summary, President Biden made two key points in his “Made in America” program; to provide incentives and support companies sourcing and manufacturing products within the United States and to protect U.S. patent rights by challenging attempts to steal American intellectual property.

How to Do A Patent Search Yourself (Without Worrying About Complex Key Strings)?

Prior Art Search Made Easy With PQAI

Artificial Intelligence is changing the world around you. For example, from suggesting videos, you may like to drive cars. But can AI accompany you on your patent search spree? Let’s find out.

To Pursue or Not to Pursue? – That is the question

If you are one of the inventive types, you must have many ideas as you go about your day, as if problems are waiting for you to arrive and provide a solution. However, you also know the power and perils of ideas. Pursue the right one, and you can make a fortune; pursuing the wrong can lead to wasted effort.

So it would help if you pursued the ideas most likely to give you high returns. But how do you know in advance?

There is no simple answer to this question but a few loose rules. One is that it is better to pursue ideas that are new and never thought of before. This is important because if you market your idea, you can also get a patent. On the other hand, if your idea is not new, you won’t have exclusive access to it and may not even be able to market it.

Many inventors don’t pay sufficient attention to it. Or they assume that if an idea has not been turned into a product, they have no risk in bringing it to market. It couldn’t be farther from the truth. Only a tiny fraction of the actual ideas that have been patented are realized in the products. Therefore, it is vital to run a prior art check before you begin to pursue any idea and be sure that you would be able to patent and, thus, have exclusive rights to market it.

Patent Search | Challenges

Plenty of free resources are available for you to run a patent search. These give you access to thousands of patents. But navigating through that heap of documents is a task of days. Not just that, these search engines require you to create sophisticated search strings. Here is what a sophisticated boolean search string looks like:

The state-of-art patent search tools cater to those who know what to look for and how and where to look for them. But you are an inventor who might not have a legal background. Don’t worry, though. There is a patent search engine that understands natural language and is super easy to navigate through search results. It’s PQAI – Patent Quality Artificial Intelligence. When AI can drive cars, it can make the patent search less complex.

PQAI – An AI-Powered Patent Search Tool

When using PQAI, you don’t have to worry about keywords and search strings. You don’t have to worry about using operators to sieve your results. PQAI also helps you locate prior art without a classification search. Enter your idea into PQAI in plain English. And PQAI shall present to you only the top 10 results closest to your invention. The best part is, each result shows the relevant texts from within the document matching your query. This saves you from reading the patent documents or research papers in full detail.

It’s So Easy You Can Do It Yourself

Let’s assume that your idea is to create a lightweight, portable Bluetooth speaker with an in-built light that glows like a real flame together with your music.

Before investing time and resources into this venture, let’s check for related prior art using PQAI. Go to projectpq.ai and enter the description of this invention in plain English. We did it for you, as shown below.

When we ran this query through PQAI, the AI algorithm curated the top ten most relevant representative results. And at the fourth position, we found a patent close to the invention in question. It’s titled – “Portable Bluetooth Camping Light.” Presented below is the snapshot of the result. It also contains a table showing query element mapping with the relevant text from the patent document.

Here are a few drawings from the patent mentioned earlier that match our invention query.

Look at the prior art shown by PQAI. The invention seems to be already patented by someone else. This means it might not be wise to pursue the idea any further.

It’s time for you to look for prior art matching your invention for real. Based on the results you receive, you can choose to modify your query. You can also save the results you like to view later. We are sure you would be surprised to see the insightful results matching your invention.

You can further modify the results by adding filters. For example, you can filter the results based on publication date, document type, and source.

How The Dataset Of PQAI looks like?

The results that PQAI curates for you are not limited to just patents. This tool gives you results that include articles, research papers, R&D, and more. PQAI’s database currently stands at 11 million US patents and applications and nearly 11.5 million research papers in the fields of engineering and computer science.

What sets this apart and allows you more time is how you consume the results you are given. The tool will provide representative results from different sectors relevant to your idea. Further, it extracts relevant snippets and maps them to different parts of your query. This saves the time you spend reviewing or analyzing an entire document to locate possible prior art

Let’s Sum It Up

PQAI has been created after mindful research and is still a work in progress. We have considered the concerns of inventors and are continuously training the AI engine to provide even better results. Easy, curated access to millions of documents and easy search navigation make this the ideal place to begin your patenting/entrepreneurial journey. Patent searches don’t need to be a chore anymore, especially for inventors like you! Happy inventing!

The Ultimate Guide To Prior Art For Inventors

The Ultimate Guide To Prior Art For Inventors PQAI

Inventors get many queries like: Can I get a patent on my invention? What is prior art? Can a YouTube video count as prior art? We have prepared this guide to prior art to help inventors succeed in their patent-seeking journey.

Can I Get A Patent On My Invention?

You came up with a breakthrough idea, a cot that can put babies to sleep using a particular vibration pattern and soothing music. Many parents can’t get enough sleep if their babies don’t sleep well at night. You have solved a problem that a lot of parents face. A lot of parents might be interested in buying such a cot. You see a possibility of a significant revenue stream. And because you feel your invention is novel, you see that it has the potential to be patented.

However, there is a possibility that someone else has already come up with a similar invention and received a patent on it. Now that patent is a “prior art” that can stop you from receiving a patent on your invention.

I hope this example gave you the basic idea of prior art. In this post, we have provided a detailed, visual, and very clear explanation of everything you need to know about it. We have also shared how you can conduct a “Zero Budget Prior Art Search.”

What is Prior Art?

Prior art is any evidence that an invention is already in existence or publicly available prior to the patent application filing date. The invention does not need to be commercially available or exist physically to be prior art. It suffices that the invention has been previously described or shown to be something that contains the use of technology like your invention.

So, if you file a patent without searching for prior art and the patent examiner finds that your invention is not novel (new), you receive ‘§102 type rejection’: “Non-novel or not new.”

21.28% of patent applications got rejected over a period of ~4 years from 2017 to September 2020 because they did not meet the ‘novelty’ criterion.”

There is one more common reason for rejection: ‘§103 type rejection’: “Obvious improvement over the prior art.”

46.95% of patent applications got rejected over a period of ~4 years from 2017 to September 2020 because they did not meet the ‘non-obviousness’ criterion.”

Note: Stats are based on the rejections (Final +Non Final) given by the Patent Examiners for the US applications from 2017 to September 2020

The §102 and §103 constitute 68.23% of the total rejections. This indicates that either an examiner found a prior art questioning the novelty of an invention disclosed or an examiner combined two or more references to prove that an invention disclosed is obvious.

Inventors must invest in a thorough search of past and present products and patents before they conclude on the novelty and non – obviousness of their invention.

Does this count As Prior Art?

A similar invention is available in a video on Youtube. Does this mean we cannot obtain a patent for that invention?

It certainly can, depending on the similarity with your invention.

Credits: r/patents

Inventors often have queries about what counts as prior art and if a piece of certain public information can be the reason for the rejection of their patent application. Such disclosures can act as a prior art depending upon the level of similarity with your invention.

Any invention publicly disclosed or made publicly available in any language or any part of the world may be considered prior art. 

It can be a:

  • a product that was available for sale,  
  • an invention used commercially, 
  • printed or electronic forms of articles, 
  • publications, texts, journals, 
  • presentation at a public event, 
  • or any form of public use of the invention.

An existing product or patent is the most obvious form of prior art. Unfortunately, inventors often assume that because they cannot find a current commercial product containing their invention, their invention must be novel. 

This assumption is far from reality. Inventions often never become products, yet there may be public records showing their existence. That record counts as prior art.

Does This Not Count As A Prior Art?

Generally, publicly available information after your patent application’s ‘effective’ filing date (or priority date) would not qualify as prior art.

Also, patent applications filed after yours generally would not qualify as prior art.

#sidenote: A trade secret does not count as prior art.

Also, patent applications that are filed after yours generally would not qualify as prior art.

#sidenote: A trade secret does not count as a prior art.

What Is Prior Art Under AIA:  §102, §103?

The America Invents Act (AIA) is a complex bill that includes a significant change to U.S. patent law. The AIA relates fundamentally to whether or not an invention can be classified as prior art, with arguably the most impactful change being the shift from a “first to invent” system to a “first inventor to file” system on March 16, 2013.

Section 102: First to Invent Vs. First Inventor to File

Pre-AIA Sections 102(a) and 102(e): Patents were granted using the “first to invent” system. The section provides that an inventor is not entitled to a patent if the claimed invention was already patented, described in a patent or is in public use by another inventor before the claimed invention.

For example, under old U.S. patent law, an inventor could rely on the earliest documented date of the invention and obtain priority to another inventor with an earlier-filed application.

AIA Section 102(a): Prevents a patent if the claimed invention was described in a patent or patent application filed before the effective filing date of the invention.

For example, under the AIA, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will award a patent to an inventor with the earliest effective filing date. The earliest effective filing date is the original date that the application was filed.

Section 103: Obviousness

Pre-AIA Section 103: Prevents patenting of an invention if it would have been evident at the time the claimed invention was made.

AIA Section 103: A patent may not be obtained if the invention had been obvious before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.

Example: Prior-art reference (1) teaches encryption. Prior-art reference (2) teaches how to send an email. Then sending an encrypted email would not be novel. It would be ‘obvious’ because there is a motivation to send emails in a form that would allow them to be read only by the intended recipient. 

How To Conduct A Prior Art Search?

  • telling your innovative idea to a friend,
  • and asking the friend if he has heard or seen something like it.
  • assuming that the friend knows it all if he says he has not heard of it;
  • your invention is new, and there is a possibility of getting a patent over it.

Because you want to determine if your invention is new or novel enough to get a patent on it.

However, that’s the ideal scenario and far from reality.

Free Prior Art Search Resources

It can be pretty challenging for an inventor who is (often) not skilled to conduct a prior art search. Although many free resources for patent or prior art searching are available, most do not understand natural language queries. To name a few:

Besides, companies often use deceptive language in patents to hide their I.P. activity from competitors. That makes it further challenging to find the relevant prior art.

Inventor’s Plea

Look at the snapshot below; we have picked this from Reddit (r/patents). Clearly, the inventor tried to look for prior art in USPTO and Google patents but faced difficulty with language and search navigation.

Credits: r/patents

Challenges To Prior Art Search 

The Right Keywords (Synonyms)

“Bendable,” “Foldable,” and “Flexible” are some synonyms that can be used to refer to the same aspect of an invention. Of course, different patent drafters would have used other terms. However, you don’t want to miss out on any relevant results; hence, it would be necessary to take care of synonyms while searching.

The Complex Search Queries

The patent databases are a vast set of information. Thousands of results are received for a single query. Complex search queries are the only way to narrow down the results. These queries are nothing but keywords arranged with a specific logic (Boolean (AND/OR) search string) to get relevant prior art results. 

The Patent Language

The patents are usually drafted in precise language, which is difficult for a person with a non-IP background to comprehend. For example, a computer might be written as “an information exchange system” to cover other similar devices like phones, tablets, etc. 

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Prior Art Search Done?

Professional Search Fees

According to UpCounsel if you hire a professional to conduct an in-depth prior art search, it shall cost you anything between $1000 to $3000 based on the complexity of the invention.  

  • $1,000 to $1,250 for simple inventions
  • $1,250 to $1,500 for slightly complex inventions
  • $1,500 to $2,000 for moderately or relatively complex inventions
  • $2,000 to $3,000 for highly complex inventions or software

Government Search Fees

The USPTO fee for conducting a patent search or prior art search varies according to the entity size. The fee is less for small and micro entities, so it’s less for individual inventors like yourself. ($40 to $700)

The snapshot presented below is from USPTO’s website, which shares complete details of patent-related fees.

Depending on the type of patent, the fee is different: Utility, Design, or Plant.

Here are quick definitions for different patents based on which you can decide which category your invention falls.

Utility Patent

It protects a useful machine’s process, manufacture, and composition of matter.

Design Patent

It protects the product’s shape, appearance, patterns, design, layout, or looks.

Plant Patent

It protects a new and unique plant’s key characteristics from being copied, sold, or used by others.

How To Conduct A Prior Art Search Yourself With Zero Budget?

You need money or skill to conduct a comprehensive prior art search. With money, you can hire an I.P. research firm to perform your prior art search. With skill, you can use other prior art search engines that require you to create sophisticated keyword search strings and go through hundreds of documents to find relevant prior art.

However, if you want to determine the novelty aspect of your invention, you neither need money nor skill.

Yes, you read it right!

We would say, don’t go by our words. Try it out yourself!

A quick search on PQAI (An Initiative by AT&T ) is enough for you to determine the novelty of your invention.

Prior Art Search Using PQAI

Here is how you can conduct the search:

  1. Go to search.projectpq.ai
  2. You shall see a search query box as shown below.
PQAI Prior Art Search Tool Snapshot

3. Let’s try a sample query. How about – “A machine learning based system to sort out the waste based on the images captured by the camera in the past”?

PQAI Prior Art Search Tool Snapshot

Now, let’s take a look at the snapshot presented above. We found a prior art similar to the invention query we entered.

4. The best part is each result shows the claim mapping. That means the relevant section in the prior art document matches the invention query. This makes it super easy for the researcher to look for matching elements between the invention and the result.

5. The following options accompany each result:

  • Save – Like you bookmark the web pages, you can save the results. Saved results are available for your future reference.
Saved Results Section - PQAI Prior Art Search Tool Snapshot
  • Find Similar – This option helps in further refining the search results. As the name suggests, you get to see ten more similar results matching that selected result.
  • View Document – With this option, you can view the selected result document in a new tab. Example: If it’s a U.S. patent, you will be directed to the Google patents link for the selected patent.
  • Feedback – With a thumbs up or thumbs down, you can give feedback on the relevancy of the result.

6. If this has given you a decent idea of how you can use PQAI to conduct a prior art search. Go ahead and give it a try!

Once you establish the novelty of your invention, the next step is to fill out the invention disclosure form. An up-to-date invention disclosure form shall help you prepare for a meeting with a patent attorney.

Let’s Sum It Up

You don’t want USPTO to reject your patent application because someone else has already patented an invention like yours. To ensure the same, it’s necessary to find out if your invention is new before filing a patent. The easiest and most cost-effective way is using PQAI Prior Art Search Engine.

Besides determining the novelty of your invention, you need to check your invention for patentability. First, you must ensure that your invention is a patentable subject matter.

Conducting a prior art search benefits you in many other ways than just novelty determination. To name a few:

  1. Conducting a prior art search early in the process shall help you save resources that would have been otherwise used in pursuing it for patenting. It won’t make financial sense if someone else has already patented it.
  2. When you read the patents on inventions like yours, you will be better positioned to refine your idea. And refine it in a manner that it’s new and non-obvious.

If you have any queries about prior art searches using PQAI, feel free to write to us “[email protected]”.