Most of us know that DATA, the beloved android from Star Trek, The Next Generation, is an artificial intelligence (AI) life form from the distant future with a high capacity to problem solve and innovate. But, if DATA were present today and invented a new technology, could he be an inventor on a patent for his invention?

The question of whether AI can legally be an inventor on a patent was recently addressed by the European Patent Office (EPO) and The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). The same question is still being evaluated by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) along with solicitation for comments to the patent community.
Continue Reading Could Star Trek’s DATA Be a Patent Inventor?

Each year, the Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA) Invented Here! award celebrates local and regional New England innovation communities by honoring select innovators, their inventions, and the stories behind them. 
Continue Reading 3 Patents Prepared and Prosecuted by Greenberg Traurig Receive 2017 BPLA Invented Here! Honor

uSAOver the last few months I have had the chance to speak to entrepreneurs from Brazil, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Israel, Norway, Singapore and Ukraine seeking to operate and solicit investment here in the U.S.  As an attorney, I’m expected to focus on best legal practices.  They’re indeed important, but perhaps not worth quite so much energy if the company isn’t on a course to succeed as a business.

Among my first questions, I’m curious to know what a company has, why it’s great, who’s willing to pay, and how much.  Then, I explore other challenges facing the business.

For start-up companies that still want to talk, here’s my simplified rundown of business and legal items (for information purposes only, not legal advice):


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Excerpted from the author’s article published in VC List. To read the complete article, please click here.

Patents can provide broad protection for invention and innovation. They can cover almost any novel aspect of a technology, including hardware, software, materials, and business methods. Many innovation developed by an emerging technology company can likely be patented, and patenting those innovations can create significant advantage in the marketplace.

A strong patent portfolio can help attract investments for emerging tech companies. Investors often look to see whether a fledgling company has protected its intellectual property (IP) when determining whether to invest.

Considerations When Disclosing Information about Your Invention

In the United States, as well as most of the world, the prior sale, prior use or public disclosure of the invention by the inventor or others may affect your ability to obtain a valid patent. Inventors may inadvertently jeopardize their ability to successfully apply for or be granted a patent by disclosing information about the invention to the public.

Manage Confidential Information to Avoid Unintentional Loss of IP Rights

One of the most important ways to protect IP is to avoid inadvertent or unplanned public disclosure. If the invention is released into the public domain — whether by publication, presentation, posting on a website, blogging, discussion with potential customers or suppliers — before a patent application has been filed, a total loss of the right to obtain a patent can result. Additionally, such inadvertent disclosure of the invention can reduce or eliminate competitive advantage.

To help protect your IP, there are some very basic documents you should always have in place to protect ownership and confidentiality of your intellectual property. The major ones are invention assignment agreements, NDAs, and employee handbooks.
Continue Reading Managing Your Patent Portfolio to Attract Investments