Corridor Law Group’s Passion For Innovation And…Honey!

Corridor Law Group’s Passion For Innovation And…Honey!

Corridor Law Group’s founder and CEO, Bob Fieseler, is passionate about intellectual property law and innovations that change the world–but did you know that he’s also passionate about beekeeping? Yes, it’s true. Bob loves the art of beekeeping and enjoys its many natural health benefits. Local opinion recognizes that Bob has cultivated some of the best tasting honey in Naperville and often sends honey to friends and clients. On any given Saturday morning during the Spring and Summer months, you’d find Bob in his beekeeping suit caring for his bees and their hives. Bob harvested almost 12 gallons of honey, weighing about 125 pounds, from his hive last year!

Here’s a wonderful article about a new innovation that allows beekeepers to collect honey without ever opening the hive. How appropriate—passion and innovation nestled into one really cool product innovation called Flow Frame.™

A Father and Son's Genius Beehive Invention: Collect Honey Without Opening Hive
“The world of bee keeping has been waiting a very long time for a new innovation. The Father and son team of Stuart and Cedar Anderson have come up with a genius way to collect honey without opening the hive. They call this innovation the "Flow Frame.”

According to honeyflow.com (their website):

“Flow™” is the name of our new invention that allows honey to be harvested directly from the hive without opening the hive and with little disturbance to the bees. The Flow frames are the beehive frames that make this possible. The team recently launched a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo and at the the time of this writing, have raised over $2,500,000 dollars. This is pretty amazing considering their initial goal was to raise $70,000.”

 

 

“The Andersons believe that beekeepers and bees have a special symbiotic relationship that goes back thousands of years. We have literally evolved together. We care for them, they pollinate our crops and of course make lots of delicious honey. Without the bees we may not be able to sustain human life as we know it, and without the beekeepers we wouldn’t have enough bees….In this modern world of limited natural habitat, beekeepers have become vital carers of bee colonies. We hope Flow™ hive will encourage thousands more people to become passionate carers and advocates of bees and become more aware of the threats facing not only bees but the matrix of life. For more information check out the Indiegogo Campaign or the HoneyFlow website.”

Corridor Law Group sends out a big “congratulations” to father and son inventors, Stuart and Cedar Anderson! We love your innovation Flow Frame™ and its potential to change the world– one hive (and one jar of honey) at a time. Cheers, guys.


Excerpt from eatlocalgrown.com.
 
 

High Court Rules in Favor of Monsanto in Case Against Farmer Who Re-used Patented Soybeans


We’ve been following this story and case for quite some time, and now a decision has been handed down from the U.S. Supreme Court which protects a company’s most important asset; its technology.

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"Bowman decided that for this crop, he didn't want to pay top dollar for Monsanto's seed. 'What I wanted was a cheap source of seed,' he says. Starting in 1999, he bought some ordinary soybeans from a small grain elevator where local farmers drop off their harvest. ... He knew that these beans probably had Monsanto's Roundup Ready gene in them, because that's mainly what farmers plant these days. But Bowman didn't think Monsanto controlled these soybeans anymore, and in any case, he was getting a motley collection of different varieties, hardly a threat to Monsanto's seed business. 'I couldn't imagine that they'd give a rat's behind,' " he said. Quote and Photo Credit: Dan Charles/NPR

In this case, Monsanto’s patent covered soybean seeds resistant to Monsanto’s RoundUp weed-killer. The Supreme Court ruled that an Indiana farmer violated Monsanto’s patent rights by growing beans from second-generation seeds, without purchasing new seeds from the company.

After the high court’s decision, Monsanto’s attorney David F. Snively, Monsanto’s top lawyer said "The court's ruling today ensures that longstanding principles of patent law apply to breakthrough 21st century technologies that are central to meeting the growing demands of our planet and its people.”

Technology developers and researchers have been following this case very closely in the hope of obtaining general guidance on whether patent rights can still be asserted against downstream users of a patented item once sold. Although the Court answered in the positive, the Court limited its decision to the particular facts of this case alone.

At Corridor Law Group, we firmly believe in the principles upon which Congress first established the U.S. patent system in 1790, and as reinforced in 1858 by Abraham Lincoln, who said that patents “added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things.” In the case of Monsanto’s soybean patent, the ability to receive compensation each growing cycle gave Monsanto the incentive to invest in developing a technology that increases crop yields and feeds more people.

Our clients look to us to write and secure strong patent protection for their company’s most valuable technological assets. It’s encouraging to see that the Supreme Court still agrees with maintaining the strength of our country’s pioneering patents.


Read the full story by Jesse J. Holland of the Associated Press here.
Read the story "Farmer's Fight With Monsanto Reaches The Supreme Court" by Dan Charles of NPR here.

When Patents Become Successful Products

At Corridor Law Group, our greatest satisfaction is seeing our clients patents hit the market and become successful products. It’s our passion and why we’re in business. It’s what we work hard to achieve with our clients.


Here are a couple of success stories involving patents we’ve gotten for clients in the field of chemical sensors:

Combination smoke, propane and carbon monoxide detector (U.S. Patent No. 7,248,156)

Our client, a Chicago-area manufacturer of safety equipment for boats and RV’s, invented a device for simultaneously detecting life-threatening airborne substances such as smoke, carbon monoxide and combustible gases like propane. The device uses visual and audible alarms to signal the presence of those substances, and when more than one is present, the device gives priority signals for which substance should be alleviated first. (Hint: propane explodes, so get out fast; with smoke and carbon dioxide, there’s time to locate the source).
A large conglomerate with a boat and RV equipment division tried to sell our client’s customers the same type of detectors, but for much cheaper, and tried to run our client out of business. Our client sued, and despite attacks on the patent’s validity, the patent held up and our client was able to maintain its customer base while collecting royalties on the conglomerate’s sales of devices covered by the patent.


Thin film gas sensor configuration (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,228,725 and 7,565,827)

A California technology start-up, with a license to commercialize pioneering hydrogen detector technology developed at a national laboratory, needed patent protection for the innovations embodied in products to be sold to large industrial customers. Together with the company’s technical staff, our attorney conducted an initial assessment of the core technologies that differentiated and made the company’s hydrogen detectors superior to those already in existence. Within a few weeks, the company had four patent applications on file, which eventually matured into patents covering the key innovative aspects of the company’s product line. With strong U.S. and foreign patent protection in place, the company was able to attract early-stage investors, who provided capital to bring the company’s products to market. The company was also able to maintain and expand its customer base, with the company’s patents serving as a deterrent to competitors wishing to sell similar hydrogen detectors.


As patent attorneys with decades of technical and legal experience, we’re adept at helping technology developers to identify the key patentable aspects of their developments. Investors and competitors know that a company’s patents help to define its market power. Corridor Law Group understands what it takes to secure patents that will be honored within the industry and help the patented products succeed in the marketplace.

Please check back with us soon for more patent success stories, both from within our firm and from the outside as well.

Defensive Patent Portfolio Strategies

Defensive Patent Portfolio Strategies

Most technology developers think of patents as offensive tools, meant to prevent competitors from knocking off their innovations. Patents can also serve as defensive tools, especially when the innovation you’ve developed is useful, but turns out not to be the best for your company’s product line. Securing protection for alternative ways of carrying out your improvements can be worthwhile, particularly when they leave your competitors with fewer design-around options.

Cover as many alternative ways of carrying out your improvement as possible to achieve the protection that will block your competitors from deriving benefits from your innovative concepts.

First and foremost, patent portfolio strategies should focus on patents that will cover innovations that become incorporated in products that wind up being sold. But alternative embodiments of those innovations can find their way into competitors’ products. For example, your particular innovation might provide the “best” way of carrying out a function, but a competitor could still use your information in a less preferred but “good enough” way to improve their product to better compete with yours. Your patent strategy should therefore seek to cover as many alternative ways of carrying out your improvement as possible to achieve the protection that will block your competitors from deriving benefits from your innovative concepts.

A defensive patent strategy also involves recognizing the geographic limitations of patent protection. Patents are only enforceable in the jurisdictions in which they’re granted. So a company’s approach to foreign patent protection should consider how and to what extent foreign competitors could design around the company’s principal commercial embodiment. If viable alternatives exist, then defensive patent protection for them should be considered as well.

The attorneys at Corridor Law Group have been assisting technology companies and innovators for many years in formulating offensive and defensive patent strategies. They equip their clients with the U.S. and foreign protection that will ward off competitors in their most important markets.

Contact us for a free 20-minute consultation, to learn more about how to secure protection for your patents or ideas, anytime.

Building Patent Portfolios for Valuable Technology

Building Patent Portfolios for Valuable Technology

Building a solid portfolio of patents is the most effective tool for protecting your company’s core technology. In fact, a solid patent portfolio essentially defines who you are, since your company’s patents tell the world how much you value your core technology. Your company’s patents also tell the world how determined you are to protect your company’s most important assets.

There are various strategies a company can employ to build an arsenal of patents around your core technologies. These tactics generally fall into three categories:

  • Patent everything
  • Patent core technology and hold everything else as know-how
  • Patent core technology/disclose non-core technology

The “patent everything” approach involves patenting all aspects of an innovation and its uses. Under this approach, multiple patent applications are filed, even for technological concepts that have not yet shown their full commercial potential, in order to obtain an overall blanket of protection. Not surprisingly, the “patent everything” approach is an expensive way to assure that something that could eventually be valuable to the company hasn’t been overlooked.

The “patent core technology/hold everything else as know-how” approach involves filing patent applications only for specific aspects of the company’s technology that can easily be revealed through reverse engineering. This approach carries substantial risks. A competitor may independently discover the same know-how, patent it, and preclude the company from freely using that know-how in its business. Moreover, a mobile workforce carries the risk that at least some employees will leave the company and take the acquired know-how with them to their next employer.

The “patent core technology/disclose non-core technology” approach is a balanced strategy that focuses aggressive protection on core technology through broadly written patent applications, but permits non-core technology to go into the public domain. This focused approach minimizes patenting costs, but only works where an accurate and insightful vetting process is used to identify what technology is core and what is not.

The attorneys at Corridor Law Group have decades of experience in helping companies and inventors to identify the aspects of their core technology that are worth patenting. Conversely, they also help companies decide which aspects of their technology are not likely to become commercially viable and when patent protection should not be pursued. Once the technology is identified as worthy of patenting, Corridor Law Group attorneys craft patent applications that get results, both from the Patent Office and from the key players in your industry that care about those patents.