Airdrop Irrigation System

November 12, 2011 in News

The 2011 James Dyson Award has just been handed to Edward Linacre of Melbourne, Australia for his Airdrop irrigation system — a device capable of transforming drought-ridden areas into fertile farmland. The Airdrop is modeled after the Namib Desert beetle, which is able to live in the driest of conditions by capturing and collecting small amounts of water from the air. Linacre’s irrigation system harvests tiny amounts of moisture from even the driest climate and then pushes the moisture through a network of piping that condenses it and funnels it directly to the roots of crops. Linacre’s winning design netted him a prize of about $16,000, which he’ll use for testing.


Your experience with Davison?

October 27, 2011 in News

For Release: July 18, 2008

Invention Promoters Will Pay $10 Million to Settle FTC Charges

The owners of an invention promotion operation have agreed to pay $10 million in consumer redress to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they deceived consumers across the country. The settlement includes a cash payment of $6.9 million, plus other property valued at $3.1 million.

According to the FTC, the defendants charged up to $12,000 to evaluate and promote consumers’ inventions. The defendants enticed consumers with false claims about their selectivity in choosing products to promote, their track record in turning inventions into profitable products, and their relationships with manufacturers. They also deceptively claimed that their income came from sharing royalties with inventors, rather than from the fees consumers paid.

Under the proposed settlement, in connection with providing research, patent, marketing, and/or invention promotion services, the defendants cannot misrepresent that they’re selective in accepting inventors, and that they have a stake in an invention because they “work for free” and/or receive significant income from royalties. They also can’t misrepresent how many consumers have contracted with them, how many of those consumers realized a net profit, or how many product licenses they obtained for consumers.

The settlement also bans the defendants from misrepresenting that they’ve helped inventions become products without disclosing whether consumers have profited from the product, and that they have a vast network of corporations with which they regularly negotiate licensing agreements. They also can’t misrepresent that their services are necessary for consumers to license their ideas, and that they prepare objective and expert analyses of the marketability or patentability of ideas.

The settlement requires the defendants to post on any Web site or advertising, and to furnish to prospective clients, an affirmative disclosure statement that clearly and unequivocally states:

  • How many consumers submitted ideas within the past five years;
  • Of those, how many were offered, and how many signed, agreements for defendants’ several services including research, presentation, and licensing services; and
  • How many consumers succeeded in licensing their ideas, how many made more money in royalties than they paid the defendants in fees, and the percentage of the defendants’ income that comes from royalties earned from their customers’ inventions.

The statement must include, in bold print, how many consumers in the last five years made more money in royalties or sales proceeds than they paid the defendants, and the percentage of the defendants’ income that came from royalties paid on licenses of consumers’ products.

The defendants are Davison Design and Development, Inc., formerly known as Davison & Associates, Inc., and its principal, George M. Davison III; Manufacturer’s Support Services, Inc. and its principal, Gordon M. Davison, and his wife, Barbra M. Davison; and relief defendant Barbara L. Davison, who is George M. Davison’s wife. The settlement ends the litigation between the FTC and the defendants.

Earlier, after a trial, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania entered a $26 million judgment in favor of the FTC against the defendants, except that it limited Barbra M. Davison’s liability to $8 million and imposed no liability on Barbara L. Davison. The proposed settlement will suspend the judgment once the defendants transfer cash and other assets valued at about $10 million, including residences in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania. The cash payment includes $6.8 million specifically listed in the order, plus approximately $105,000 in interest on a cash bond. The FTC has established a telephone line for consumers who may have been harmed by the defendants’ conduct. Consumers may call 216-263-3434 for more information.

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the proposed consent order for permanent injunction was 4-0. The order was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on July 14.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,500 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

Frank Dorman
Office of Public Affairs
Steven W. Balster
FTC’s East Central Region

(FTC File No. X97-0085)


Great Artists Steal?

October 26, 2011 in Quotes

What is your take on “Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal” by Pablo Picasso?


20% Time Concept

October 19, 2011 in Idea Hunting

Few single tactic comes up more in innovation circles than Google’s concept of 20% time.  Google employees devotes 20% of their time — that’s one day a week — to special projects of their own design. In addition, Google avoids rigid organizational structures and organizes interacting small teams to help drive innovation.

Actually, the 20% time concept isn’t new. 3M developed a 15% time rule in the 1950s with similar intentions and philosophy.  Two notable products, Masking tape and Post-it notes, were concieved and developed by individual engineers in their 15% time.


How to Produce Drawings for Patent Application?

October 19, 2011 in Patent

Accelrys Draw (ISIS Draw)

Chemistry drawing software  for the accurate representation, registration and searching of structures, reactions and biological sequences, and the production of publication-quality graphics.

Note: You may use this software to draw other objects.



How to prepare PDF files for filing?

October 19, 2011 in Patent

CutePDF Writer

Convert to PDF documents on the fly — for Free!

Portable Document Format (PDF) is the de facto standard for the secure and reliable distribution and exchange of electronic documents and forms around the world.  CutePDF Writer is the free version of commercial PDF converter software. CutePDF Writer installs itself as a “printer subsystem”. This enables virtually any Windows applications (must be able to print) to convert to professional quality PDF documents – with just a push of a button!

FREE for commercial and non-commercial use!  No watermarks!  No Popup Web Ads!

Note: If you use CutePDF to “Print” PDF files, these files seem to be accepted by EFS-Web without warnings or errors.  If you use “Save As PDF” within Microsoft Offices, you may run into some problems with embedded fonts.

Free Download Free Download (3.83MB)  (Windows 7 Ready)


How to file patent online?

October 19, 2011 in Patent

EFS-Web is the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) Web-based patent application and document submission solution. Using EFS-Web, anyone with a Web-enabled computer can file patent applications and documents without downloading special software or changing document preparation tools and processes.

EFS-Web logo

EFS-Web utilizes standard Web-based screens and prompts to enable you to submit patent application documents in PDF format directly to the USPTO within minutes. When creating your PDF documents, you choose the tool, process and workflow with which you author your documents, convert them to standard PDF files and then submit them to USPTO’s secure servers. Additionally, EFS-Web allows submission of PCT-EASY .ZIP compressed files to submit International PCT applications and ASCII text files (.TXT) to submit your bio-sequence listings, computer program listings, mega tables, etc. EFS-Web is safe, simple and secure and gives you all of the same benefits as paper filings, including an electronic receipt that acknowledges your submission date.


How to Obtain a Digital Certificate

October 17, 2011 in Patent

The USPTO provides a high level of security for e-Commerce users through a security architecture called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

  •  Apply for a Digital Certificate

This information will be used to generate a certificate that will be used to uniquely identify you and allow secure access to your patent data.  To assure the security of your data, follow the policy described in the Subscriber Agreement.

PKI Subscriber Agreement (Dec2009) [PDF]

Now that you have obtained a Customer Number and read the Subscribers Agreement, you can download and complete the

Certificate Action Form [PDF]

Have the Certificate Action Form notarized by a notary and mail the original form (no faxes or copies) to:

Mail Stop EBC Customer Number
Commissioner for Patents
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

Certificate Action Form Instructions [PDF]

  •  Obtaining the Access Codes

After the Certificate Action Form has been processed and approved you will receive two codes:

1) Authorization Code and 2) Reference Number .

The Authorization Code will be sent via e-mail and the Reference Number by U.S. mail. In addition, for customers with U.S. residence only, the Patent EBC will attempt one phone call to deliver the Reference Number . The Reference Number will be given only if the requestor is reached, otherwise a message will be left that their Reference Number will be mailed and to contact the Patent EBC with any questions.

Once you have both codes, you will be able to access Private PAIR and take advantage of electronic filing via EFS-Web. For any customer who would like to receive their Reference Number before it arrives via U.S. mail, please contact the Patent EBC at 1-866-217-9197.

  •  Access Code Recovery

The life span of the Access Codes is 90 days, starting on the date of issuance. If your codes expire or have been lost, contact the Patent EBC at 1-866-217-9197 to request reactivation. The Authorization Code will be sent via e-mail.  The Reference Number will  be given to the requestor via telephone after the requestor calls the EBC.   International customers will receive their Reference Number in a separate e-mail from the Authorization Code.

  •  Digital Certificate Management

Use the Digital Certificate Management site to manage your digital certificate contact information, create a set of recovery codes and to perform self-recovery of damaged or lost digital certificates online.


How to Obtain a Customer Number

October 17, 2011 in Patent

  • Apply for a Customer Number

A Customer Number allows you to easily correlate all your filings and correspondence with a single mailing address, eliminating typographical errors or variations in addresses that can make it difficult to correspond with the USPTO. This Customer Number will also ensure that only you can access your patent application information.

To get your unique Customer Number, please download and complete the

Customer Number Request form [PDF] and fax it to the Electronic Business Center at 571-273-0177.

* If you are a registered attorney or patent agent, or a person granted limited recognition, then your registration number or limited recognition number must be associated with your Customer Number. This is accomplished by adding your registration number to the Customer Number Request form.

  •   Update a Customer Number

If you already have a Customer Number and you would like to update the information associated with that number, please download and complete the

Customer Number Data Change form [PDF] and fax it to the Electronic Business Center at 571-273-0177.

* This may be useful to attorneys changing firms or organizations that are reorganizing the management of a group of patents.

  •  Associate Existing Patent Applications to a Customer Number

If you do not have any applications on file with the USPTO, please skip to step 2. However, if you already have patent applications on file with the USPTO, you need to associate these applications with your Customer Number.

To associate existing patent applications to a Customer Number, please download and complete the

Customer Number Upload Spreadsheet [MS Excel]

This information can be sent on a diskette to:

Mail Stop EBC Customer Number
Commissioner for Patents
P.O. Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313-1450

* To associate a PCT application in the International phase with a Customer Number for purposes of viewing the PCT application in Private PAIR, please download and complete the

Request to Update a PCT Application with a Customer Number form [MS Word] and fax it to the Electronic Business Center at 571-273-0177.


Should you consider becoming a REGISTERED eFILER?

October 17, 2011 in Patent

A Registered eFILER has both an assigned Customer Number and Digital Certificate for secure access to application documents both during and after the filing of a patent application.

  • Digital Certificates provide an e-Filer with the ability to authenticate sessions by requiring positive identification of a customer using Public Key Infrastructure technologies.
  • Holders of Digital Certificates can take advantage of streamlined logins.
  • Registered e-Filers who authenticate can save “in-progress” submissions and return to edit them prior to completing filing.
  • This ability to save “in-progress” submissions provides added protection against loss of data in the event of a localized internet or office equipment failure or in the event of an unplanned system outage during an online filing session.
  • Registered e-Filers can electronically process subsequent actions on electronically filed cases without delay.
  • Registered e-Filers can review their confidential Private PAIR records for most of their electronically filed cases.

 YES! I want to become a REGISTERED eFILER – Tell me how to obtain a Customer Number and register for a Digital Certificate now.