"I Built a Better Mousetrap"-- Advice on Protecting Your Creation With a U.S. PatentWritten by Larry Denton
So, you built a better mousetrap. Now, how do your protect your "perfect" creation from being stolen by a Fortune 500 company? The answer lies in United States Constitution which gives U.S. Congress exclusive authority to grant patents for inventions. Patents on new inventions are not an automatic right. Instead, an inventor must apply and be granted a patent by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), an agency of U.S. Department of Commerce. The process is long, laborious and very time-consuming. How do you start tedious process?
A U.S. patent is basically a contract between an inventor and government. The U.S. patent laws were written to provide an incentive to inventors to create and publicly disclose their inventions. In exchange for full disclosure of an invention, government grants inventor right to exclude others from making, selling or importing patented invention.
There are three types of patents, they are: 1) utility patents which protect way an article is used and works; 2) design patents which protects way an article looks; and 3) plant patents issued for asexually reproducing plants. In order to be patentable, an invention must useful, novel (new), and non-obvious--meaning that when viewed as a whole, invention must not have been simply an obvious improvement in invention's field when viewed by one of ordinary skill in that particular field.
The patent application process generally involves three steps. First, person (or corporation) seeking patent must file an application with Patent Office. In addition to including a detailed description of how to make and use invention, application must include patent claims--statements that define scope of invention which inventor is attempting to protect. Once application has been filed, a patent examiner will be assigned to review claims and rest of application.
The second phase of process begins with patent examiner performing a "novelty search"--checking prior patents, and all available literature to determine whether invention is really novel and non-obvious. During course of patent application process, patent examiner and inventor (or his attorney) will communicate back and forth with one another to determine novelty and answer additional questions which may arise.
Some Thoughts about getting Tough...Written by Terry Dashner
Some Thoughts about getting Tough…
Terry Dashner…………………………Faith Fellowship Church PO Box 1586 Broken Arrow, OK 74013
I spent decade of 1990s in law enforcement. I was a police officer in Tulsa, OK until 2003 when I retired. As a police officer, I spent 1990s learning pros and cons of Community Policing. The term essentially defines policing by a proactive means, getting to root cause of crime problem and solving it by enlisting help of all community resources—neighborhoods, schools, community service agencies, churches, politicians, and media.
Policing is still undergoing transformation from reactive policing—running from call to call without getting to heart of crime problem—to a proactive, community policing. To this day policing philosophies weigh in heavily toward one or other. On one hand it's community policing and on other it's old fashion policing—catch them, lock ‘em up, and get back on streets. Both philosophies have strong and weak points, but usually Community Policing generates most heated discussion. Why? Because it gives appearance that law enforcement personnel are soft on crime and cops don’t want to be perceived as being soft, but tough.
Does toughness in law enforcement work to reduce crime? Let’s look at some of current research. Again I quote heavily from Mona Charen’s book, Do-Gooders (Sentinel 2004). She has done her home work and is to be commended for her fine read. Says Mona, “Thanks to self-described do-gooders, America went on a compassion binge in 1960s. The compassion was extended toward poor and minorities; unfortunately, among prime beneficiaries of this tenderness were violent criminals who would go on to terrorize very poor neighborhoods whose well-being liberals supposedly sought.
“An early signal of sixties’ laxity could be found in statistics on punishment. In 1950, expected punishment for murder and negligent manslaughter was 2.3 years in prison. By 1970, this had dropped to 1.7 years. Liberal academics and public intellectuals persuaded nation that we needed to address “root causes” of crime such as poverty and injustice.”