2012年10月31日 星期三

ITC裁定Samsung侵害Apple四件專利


在先前美國ITC作出Samsung等(包括hTC)的Android作業系統的智慧型手機侵害Apple的4件專利(對不同廠商有不同的專利訴訟組合),並作出初步裁定(preliminary ruling),4件專利有1件設計案、1件硬體、兩件多點觸控軟體專利。



被告侵權的Samsung產品如下(資料來自訴訟狀/FOSS Patents):
  • Samsung smartphones
    • Galaxy S 4G
    • Fascinate
    • Transform
    • Captivate
    • Intercept
    • Infuse 4G
  • Samsung tablets
    • the original Galaxy Tab
    • the new Galaxy Tab 10.1
經初步瀏覽這些專利,大約就是Apple的核心專利(之四)的組合,而就以我的初步判斷,都確實是很基本的技術,要專利無效就看是否有前案技術,如果沒有,確實頗為嚇人。

就設計專利D618,678所界定的電子裝置來看,為iPhone三代的設計,其母案可追溯至2007年:




US7,479,949涉及一種觸控屏裝置,以及相關觸控方法與使用者介面,特別的是,Steven P.(Steve) Jobs列為第一發明人。
這件2008年提出專利案的母案可以追溯到2006提出的美國臨時案,顯然也是Apple觸控相關專利的核心之一。就其主張專利侵權的Claim 1來看,主張的範圍為一計算器,包括有觸控顯示器、處理器、記憶體,以及儲存在記憶體內的程式(這就是Apple一貫軟體專利的撰寫方式),程式包括多個指令(instructions),指令包括:偵測手指接觸觸控屏的事件、判斷命令(command)、處理這些命令,相關的事件有以手指朝縱向的一維捲動、根據手指操作的二維轉移(translation),以及根據顯示的項目(item)顯示下一個項目(next item)。
1. A computing device, comprising:
a touch screen display;
one or more processors;
memory; and
one or more programs, wherein the one or more programs are stored in the memory and configured to be executed by the one or more processors, the one or more programs including:
instructions for detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display;
instructions for applying one or more heuristics to the one or more finger contacts to determine a command for the device; and
instructions for processing the command;
wherein the one or more heuristics comprise:
a vertical screen scrolling heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command rather than a two-dimensional screen translation command based on an angle of initial movement of a finger contact with respect to the touch screen display;
a two-dimensional screen translation heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to the two-dimensional screen translation command rather than the one-dimensional vertical screen scrolling command based on the angle of initial movement of the finger contact with respect to the touch screen display; and
a next item heuristic for determining that the one or more finger contacts correspond to a command to transition from displaying a respective item in a set of items to displaying a next item in the set of items.
再是US RE41,922所界定提供半透明影像的方法與裝置,其中應用在有應用程式產生一個影像(base image),再有另一個應用程式產生另一個半透明影像蓋在之前別的應用程式產生的影像上,半透明影像會顯示出被覆蓋的另一影像的部份身影。
我認為這樣的軟體專利寫法值得學習的地方是,如果真的沒有人做過,就盡量放大專利範圍,(如果想要告人,就自行限縮,改寫成有把握的範圍,就如這件,在Re-issue新增專利範圍,並補述功能描述 updated on Oct. 31, 2012),尤其是討論影像相互疊影時的軟體方法,頗為有趣。
根據主張專利侵權的Claim 29(Re-issue所新增)所界定的範圍,其中界定一種在電子裝置上顯示器上顯示的方法,包括顯示一個基底影像(base image),接著顯示另一個半透明影像,其中被覆蓋的部份有部份可見(partially visible),重點是:其中被覆蓋與覆蓋的半透明影像都可以接收使用者的操作指令。
29. A method for displaying images on a display screen of an electronic device, comprising the steps of:
displaying a base image on a display screen of the electronic device; and
displaying a translucent image on said screen such that portions of said base image which are covered by said translucent image are at least partially visible through said translucent image,
wherein said translucent image and said base image are selectably active to receive user input and the base image remains at least partially covered by said translucent image even when selected.

(母案Claim 1,保留在re-issue案,並未提出侵權主張 updated on Oct. 31, 2012
1. A method for establishing a translucent window having a translucent window background and a translucent window frame on a display screen of a computer system, comprising the steps of:
displaying a translucent window on a display screen such that a base window can be seen through said translucent window, and
conducting image operations on at least one of said translucent window and said base window.
 
US7,912,501涉及一種聲音輸出入耳機插入偵測電路,這件案子頗不像Apple的專利,因為是一種耳機的電路,並且顯然就是iPhone/iPad上的耳機孔的相關電路,因為Apple賦予耳機孔有除了聲音輸出外的其他功能,此專利明確表示,耳機介面(插頭)的訊號有4個區域,當有耳機插座插入裝置的插孔內,電路將偵測相關可用的功能,比如耳機拔出後,電路將偵測到有訊號遺失,將中斷通話。

主張侵權的專利範圍Claim 1如下,重點是microphone detection circuitry:
1. A system for detecting which type of plug is received by a portable electronic device, the system comprising:
a jack constructed to receive a plug selected from at least a microphone type and a non-microphone type, wherein the jack comprises a microphone connector electrically coupled to CODEC circuitry and microphone detection circuitry, a ground connector coupled to a ground source, a right connector coupled to the CODEC circuitry, and a left connector coupled to the CODEC circuitry, and wherein the ground connector is positioned between the microphone connector and either the left connector or the right connector;
the microphone detection circuitry operative to:
determine whether the received plug is the microphone type or the non-microphone type; and
provide a signal indicative of whether the received plug is the microphone type or the non-microphone type.
2011年Apple提出訴訟書:
AppleVsSamsung_11.07.05

Ron
資料參考:FOSS PATENTS, Scribd

2012年10月30日 星期二

Apple對於英國法院判決的公開信

可先參看之前的報導與分析:http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2012/10/apple.html
 
updated on Oct. 30, 2012
因應法院法官的要求,Apple在其英國官方網站上公佈一則"公開信":

公開信內容提到2012年7月9日的「高等法院」判決認為Samsung平板電腦並無侵害Apple個歐洲設計專利,並提供判決文連結:http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html
摘錄其中重點:先提到Apple設計專利的訴求,特徵描述就如同描述一台iPAD似的,著重極簡的設計,特別是正面的邊角形狀,重點是"cool"。
接著,提到Samsung的平板電腦,認為其"正面"設計就如同Apple設計專利一般,不過"背面"的細節就不同了,再補充一句"not as cool"。

接著提到2012年10月18日的上訴法院的決定,連結為http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html
最後提到其他各國的判決,如德國、美國,確定Samsung的侵權行為。


England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions




在上訴法院的判決文中,提到各種觀點,也比對設計專利與Samsung平板設計,如下圖,Apple的設計中有個90度角的銳利邊緣,稱為"crisp edge",但Samsung平板電腦的邊緣(如下圖SGT7.7,8.9,10.1)則較為尖銳而沒有垂直向下的邊,因此認為Samsung在此有不同的設計:

結論告訴我們,根據英國法院的決定,Samsung平板的正面如同Apple的設計,但是邊緣與背板不同。

Ron

2012年10月29日 星期一

從IP學地理--阿曼

按照wikipedia的介紹,阿曼(Oman)是簡稱,全文是Sultanate of Oman(阿曼蘇丹國),中國古代稱其為「祖法兒」,位於阿拉伯半島上。
曾有接觸這個國家的專利(商標)代理人, 都有留個大鬍子,很貴氣的感覺!


一些有關阿曼王國的專利與商標資訊:
  1. 阿曼王國是PCT的會員
  2. 使用阿拉伯語
  3. 為海灣合作委員會(Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC)專利局的一員
  4. 註冊商標應包括有特色的形狀,包括字、標誌、字母、圖案、符號、標題,或其組合
  5. 可註冊商標類別排除含酒精成份的物品
  6. 商標註冊可於公開後30日內提出異議
  7. 商標註冊一次有10年權利,之後再行恢復
  8. 五年未使用商標可能會被撤銷
  9. 可專利性規定:如果是新的創新概念,有工業可利用性,其新的工業產品,使用的工業方法或以已知的方法或手段的新的應用,且不違反公眾秩序與道德或是影響國家安全與伊斯蘭教義的發明,可註冊為專利
    [英文]
    An invention is eligible for a patent if it is new, includes an innovative concept, and is industrially applicable, be it for new industrial products, used industrial methods and means or by a new application for known industrial methods and means, and is not violating the public order and morals, affecting national security or conflicting the principles of the Islamic Shari’ aa.
  10. 其他規定如申請人(共同)、優先權、公開使用喪失新穎性等規定,如一般國家
  11. 官方意見發出後15天內可提出回應
  12. 專利公開後60日內可提出異議
註:
GCC是多個阿拉伯國家組成的委員會,主要目的是加強各會員國工業、農業、科學的合作,會員國共有:阿拉伯聯合酋長國、阿曼蘇丹國、巴林王國、卡塔爾國、科威特國、沙特阿拉伯王國。
GCC專利局為GCC下轄的地區性的專利主管機關。

Ron

2012年10月25日 星期四

連續觸控事件的專利,荷蘭法院判決Samsung並未侵害Apple專利

EP2098948是Apple公司定義觸控事件(touch events)的方法、軟體、裝置以及API,專利範圍對觸控事件的發生、辨識、軟體處理以及回應,用各種不同的方向進行專利權主張,包括裝置、觸控裝置、軟體、記憶媒體、方法步驟,技術目的主要是針對各種不同的觸控事件進行處理,簡化軟體的作業,對同時的觸控事件做出選擇與回應,大概也算是專利範圍寫作的範本,至少是個教材!

專利技術看這個流程就是了:
updated on Oct.25,2012 afternoon

專利範圍中,先定義出視區(views),當手指觸碰時產生觸碰事件(第一位置),接著手指在沒有離開原觸碰位置而移到另一位置(第二位置)時,產生一個連續的觸碰行為,對應軟體將執行回應,(updated on Oct.25,2012, afternoon),並排除無關目前軟體所需觸控事件的區域,因此可以產生特定的觸控行為,並簡化軟體處理,專利範圍真是無所不包,列舉一些:
1. A method for handling touch events at a multi-touch device, comprising:
displaying one or more views;
executing one or more software elements, each software element being associated with a particular view;
associating a multi-touch flag or an exclusive touch flag with each view;
receiving one or more touches at the one or more views; and
selectively sending one or more touch events, each touch event describing a received touch, to one or more of the software elements associated with the one or more views at which a touch was received based on the values of the multi-touch and exclusive touch flags.

11. A method for recognizing one or more touch events at a multi-touch device, comprising:
defining one or more views;
assigning an exclusive touch or a multi-touch flag to each view; and
accepting one or more touch events detected in each view in accordance with the exclusive touch or multi-touch flag for each view.

12. A computer readable medium comprising a plurality of instructions configured for execution at a multi-touch device, the instructions being configured to cause the multi-touch device to:
display one or more views;
execute one or more software elements, each software element being associated with a particular view;
associate a multi-touch flag or an exclusive touch flag with each view;
receive one or more touches at the one or more views; and
selectively send one or more touch events, each touch event describing a received touch, to one or more of the software elements associated with views at which a touch was received based on the values of the multi-touch and exclusive touch flags.

27. A multi-touch enabled mobile telephone including a computer readable medium comprising a plurality of instructions configured for execution at the mobile telephone, the instructions being configured to cause the mobile telephone to:
display one or more views;
execute one or more software elements, each software element being associated with a particular view;
associate a multi-touch flag or an exclusive touch flag with each view;
receive one or more touches at the one or more views; and
selectively send one or more touch events, each touch event describing a received touch, to one or more of the software elements associated with views at which a touch was received based on the values of the multi-touch and exclusive touch flags.

此件專利算是Apple的觸控相關的核心專利之一,法院稱為「pinch to zoom」的專利,也就是描述手指連續觸碰觸控顯示器產生的指令,幾乎每個歐洲主要國家都有相關的訴訟在進行,包括德國(不過被認定專利無效)、英國等,被告也包括hTC。而此次荷蘭法院認為Samsung並未侵害此件專利,顯然是參考了英國與德國的決定,但理由是根據Samsung提出德國法院的意見(updated on Oct.25,2012, afternoon)。但其中有關專利無效的議題尚未有結論。

補充(updated on Oct.25,2012, afternoon)
以下內容節錄荷蘭法院判決文,是參考了一些其他國家法院的意見(荷蘭語轉為英文):
2.9. By judgment of 24 August 2011, the judge of this court ruled in an Apple against Samsung brought summary proceedings (case number / docket number 396957 KG ZA 11-730). In that case, Apple took the view that, by bringing the Samsung Galaxy products infringe include EP 948. The judge has ruled that the hands attacked Galaxy products not covered by the scope of EP 948 traps. He therefore dismissed the claims as far as they were based on EP 948.
2.10. By judgment of 4 July 2012, the British court ruled in an Apple against HTC Corporation (HTC) case brought (High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, Patents Court, the Hon Mr Justice Floyd, July 4, 2012, [2012 ] EWHC 1789 (pat)). In that case, Apple has taken the position that HTC infringed on the British part of EP 948 by marketing products that have Android version 2.3. The British judge ruled in favor of Apple rejected on the grounds that HTC products not covered by the scope of EP 948 and EP 948 are not inventive. Apple has appealed against this judgment. There has not yet ruled on the appeal.
2.11. By judgment of 21 September 2012, the Landgericht Mannheim ruled on an Apple against Samsung Electronics and Samsung Electronics Co. GmhH. Ltd.. case brought (Geschäftsnummer 7 O 337/11). In that case, Apple has taken the position that the defendant Samsung companies have infringed the German part of EP 948, by bringing Galaxy products that have Android version 2.3.3 and version 3.0. The German court has rejected Apple's claims grounds that such products are not within the scope of EP 948 traps.  

本案討論過程片段(荷蘭語轉為英文):
5.7. Based on the foregoing, it must be held that the Galaxy products running under Android version 2.3 or version 3.0 and higher, Samsung is not within the scope of the independent claims of EP 948 traps. It follows that Samsung products that does not infringe on Apple invoked dependent claims. The claims Apple must therefore be rejected.

5.8. The court finds that the outcome of this case is equal to the outcome of the 2.10 and 2.11 above British and German cases and that the foregoing explanation of the element "selectively send" is also consistent with the way the British court corresponding element of the British section of the patent explained.

5.9. Apple will if the unsuccessful party will be ordered to pay the costs. Samsung claims the entire proceedings an amount of 325,247.55. That amount is, in view of the interests at issue, in the opinion of the court, reasonable and proportionate within the meaning of Article 1019h Rv. The fact that Apple has made ​​less cost, in this case can not lead to a different conclusion. Samsung has rightly pointed out that Apple EP 948 also maintains and defends against parties other than Samsung. Since these proceedings are conducted similar arguments, Apple's costs spread over more procedures than Samsung.

5.10. Apple has argued that two thirds of the costs should be allocated to the convention and one third to the counterclaim. Samsung has not contradicted this division. Therefore, the Court will also assume convention and thus the amount of € 216,831.70 (2/3 × 325,247.55)
(賠償金) to assign.

本案結論(荷蘭語轉為英文):
訴訟駁回、要求Apple賠償21萬歐元
6.1. dismisses the claims,
6.2. condemns Apple in the proceedings, on the part of Samsung to date budgeted at 216,831.70,
6.3. declares this judgment in the terms of the cost award enforceable,


Ron
資料來源:FOSS Patents, Thomson Reuters
http://zoeken.rechtspraak.nl/resultpage.aspx?snelzoeken=true&searchtype=ljn&ljn=BY0961

2012年10月24日 星期三

韓國新型專利被核駁的理由

根據韓國「新型專利法」額外規定非發明專利法的規定,以下整理一些不准予韓國新型專利的理由。

其中有個用字"mutatis mutandis"是指"作了適當的修正",特別是指新型專利法是由發明專利法的適當修改而來,也註解於第11,15條中:
Article 11 Mutatis Mutandis Application of the Patent Act
Articles 33 to 35, 37, 38, 41, 43, 44, 46, 47, 51, 52, and 54 to 56 of the Patent Act apply mutatis mutandis to the requirements of utility model registration and the applications for utility model registration.

Article 15 Mutatis Mutandis Application of the Patent Act
Articles 57, 58, 58bis, 60, 61, 63bis, 64 to 66, 66bis, 67, 67bis, 68, and 78 of the Patent Act apply mutatis mutandis to any examination or decision pertaining to an application for utility model registration.

 
新型專利法:
新型專利的核駁理由包括:
(i) 不符本法第4條的完成申請的要求、違反第6條無法專利的標的的規定、違法第7條先申請主義的規定,以及第25條與未授權自不同人的前申請案的申請案規定者;
(ii) 非法定申請人,如發明人自己、繼承人、受讓人等;
(iii) 違反國際公約;
(iv) 違反能據以實施、Claim撰寫規定、適格(單一裝置)的撰寫方式;
(v) 改請後(convert)專利態樣不符,比如發明案有方法請求項,將不能改請為新型案;
(vi) 經修改後超出原揭露內容;
(vii) 分割案的範疇超出原母案揭露範圍。

[英文版]
Article 13 Decision to Refuse a Utility Model Registration
Where an application for utility model registration falls under any of the following subparagraphs (referred to as "the reasons for refusal"), an examiner (referred to as "an examiner"), under Article 57(1) of the Patent Act as applied mutatis mutandis under Article 15 of this Act, shall refuse to register the utility model:
(i) where the utility model is unregistrable under Articles 4, 6 and 7(1) to 7(3) of this Act and Article 25 of the Patent Act as applied mutatis mutandis under Article 3 of this Act or Article 44 of the Patent Act as applied mutatis mutandis under Article 11 of this Act;
(ii) where the applicant is not entitled to register a utility model under the main part of Article 33(1) of the Patent Act as applied mutatis mutandis under Article 11 of this Act or the utility model is unregistrable under the proviso of the Article 33(1) of the Patent Act;
(iii) where the registration of the utility model violates a treaty;
(iv) where the registration of the utility model fails to meet the requirements of Articles 8(3), 8(4), 8(8) and 9 of this Act;

(v) where the converted application is beyond the scope referred to in Article 10(1) of this Act;
(vi) where the amendment is beyond the scope referred to in Article 47(2) of the Patent Act as applied mutatis mutandis under Article 11 of this Act; or
(vii) where the divisional application is beyond the scope referred to in Article 52(1) of the Patent Act as applied mutatis mutandis under Article 11 of this Act.

請求項撰寫要求被說明書支持、明確且簡要:
Article 8 Application for a Utility Model Registration
(4) The claim(s) under paragraph (2)(iv) must describe the matter for which protection is sought in one or more claims (referred to as "claim(s)"), and the claim(s) must comply with each of the following subparagraphs:
(i) the claim(s) must be supported by a detailed description of the device;
(ii) the claim(s) must define the device clearly and concisely
(iii) deleted.

實用性、新穎性要求:
新型專利的標的為物品的形狀或結構,或其組合,若申請前被公眾知悉、有公開文件,則無新穎性
(1) A utility model may be granted for devices that are industrially applicable and relate to the shape or structure of an article or a combination of articles, unless they fall under either of the following subparagraphs:
(i) devices publicly known or worked in the Republic of Korea or a foreign country before the filing of the utility model application; or
(ii) devices described in a publication distributed in the Republic of Korea or in a foreign country before the filing of the utility model application or made available to the public through electronic telecommunication lines under Presidential Decree.

進步性要求:申請日前由發明相關的一般技術人員輕易達成
Article 4 Requirements for Utility Model Registration
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph(1), where a device could easily have been made before the filing of the utility model application by a person with ordinary skill in the art to which the device pertains, on the basis of a device referred to in either subparagraph of paragraph (1), a utility model registration may not be granted to that device.



Ron

2012年10月23日 星期二

美國專利改革法案後的103條款

筆記

美國專利改革法案後的103條款

35 U.S.C. 103 Conditions for patentability; non-obvious subject matter.
(a) A patent for a claimed invention may not be obtained, notwithstanding that the claimed invention though the invention is not identically disclosed or described as set forth in section 102 of this title, if the differences between the claimed invention subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the claimed invention subject matter as a whole would have been obvious before the effective filing date of the claimed invention at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which the claimed invention said subject matter pertains. Patentability shall not be negatived negated by the manner in which the invention was made.

(b)
(1) Notwithstanding subsection (a), and upon timely election by the applicant for patent to proceed under this subsection, a biotechnological process using or resulting in a composition of matter that is novel under section 102 and nonobvious under subsection (a) of this section shall be considered nonobvious if-
(A) claims to the process and the composition of matter are contained in either the same application for patent or in separate applications having the same effective filing date; and
(B) the composition of matter, and the process at the time it was invented, were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.
(2) A patent issued on a process under paragraph (1)-
(A) shall also contain the claims to the composition of matter used in or made by that process, or
(B) shall, if such composition of matter is claimed in another patent, be set to expire on the same date as such other patent, notwithstanding section 154.
(3) For purposes of paragraph (1), the term "biotechnological process" means-
(A) a process of genetically altering or otherwise inducing a single- or multi-celled organism to-
(i) express an exogenous nucleotide sequence,
(ii) inhibit, eliminate, augment, or alter expression of an endogenous nucleotide sequence, or
(iii) express a specific physiological characteristic not naturally associated with said organism;
(B) cell fusion procedures yielding a cell line that expresses a specific protein, such as a monoclonal antibody; and
(C) a method of using a product produced by a process defined by subparagraph (A) or (B), or a combination of subparagraphs (A) and (B).
(c)
(1) Subject matter developed by another person, which qualifies as prior art only under one or more of subsections (e), (f), and (g) of section 102 of this title, shall not preclude patentability under this section where the subject matter and the claimed invention were, at the time the claimed invention was made, owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.
(2) For purposes of this subsection, subject matter developed by another person and a claimed invention shall be deemed to have been owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person if -
(A) the claimed invention was made by or on behalf of parties to a joint research agreement that was in effect on or before the date the claimed invention was made;
(B) the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement; and
(C) the application for patent for the claimed invention discloses or is amended to disclose the names of the parties to the joint research agreement.
(3) For purposes of paragraph (2), the term "joint research agreement" means a written contract, grant, or cooperative agreement entered into by two or more persons or entities for the performance of experimental, developmental, or research work in the field of the claimed invention.


根據103的修訂,103變得十分簡潔,從追蹤修訂的標示可以看出,改成發明人先申請主義確實簡化了103的判斷。
首先,將subject matter改為claimed invention,這應該是與invention的決定在於申請日的改變相關;接著是強調了"有效申請日",即簡單判斷與102所界定的前案比對之下,即便有差異,但是差異在"有效申請日"之前為顯而易知(obvious),則不予專利;其中判斷的基準日變成"有效申請日",而刪除了原條文寫的"at the time the invention was made"。

Ron
資料來源:http://www.bitlaw.com/

中國專利的"改請"規定


「改請」這件事,依據中華民國專利法的規定包括有:「發明或新式樣」改請為「新型」、「新型」改請為「發明」、「發明或新型」改請為「新式樣」、「獨立新式樣」改請「聯合新式樣」、「聯合新式樣」改請「獨立新式樣」等。
而改請的時間點限制為:原申請案准予專利之審定書、處分書送達後(不得改請);或於原申請案不予專利之審定書、處分書送達之日起六十日後,不得改請

因此,當發明/新式樣被核駁而決定不繼續答辯時,可以考慮在期限內提出改請新型案。

而在中國專利法並無明確規定如何「改請」,但可以透過「國內優先權」的方式在一定時間內提出改請案件,相關優先權的規定可見於以下規定:

中國專利法
第二十九条 申请人自发明或者实用新型在外国第一次提出专利申请之日起十二个月内,或者自外观设计在外国第一次提出专利申请之日起六个月内,又在中国就相同主题提出专利申请的,依照该外国同中国签订的协议或者共同参加的国际条约,或者依照相互承认优先权的原则,可以享有优先权。
  申请人自发明或者实用新型在中国第一次提出专利申请之日起十二个月内,又向国务院专利行政部门就相同主题提出专利申请的,可以享有优先权。

大陸專利法實施細則
第三十三条 申请人在一件专利申请中,可以要求一项或者多项优先权;要求多项优先权的,该申请的优先权期限从最早的优先权日起计算。 
  申请人要求本国优先权,在先申请是发明专利申请的,可以就相同主题提出发明或者实用新型专利申请;在先申请是实用新型专利申请的,可以就相同主题提出实用新型或者发明专利申请。但是,提出后一申请时,在先申请的主题有下列情形之一的,不得作为要求本国优先权的基础: 
  (一)已经要求外国优先权或者本国优先权的; 
  (二)已经被授予专利权的; 
  (三)属于按照规定提出的分案申请的。 
  申请人要求本国优先权的,其在先申请自后一申请提出之日起即视为撤回。


Ron
感謝同事分享

2012年10月22日 星期一

改版後的patent search APP

不少不錯的patent app出現在app store或是play store,先前曾有一點介紹,可先參考:http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2011/01/ipadiphone.html

這個Patent Search改版過:
開始前有些新功能介紹




可多國檢索


可匯入dropbox

可直接看pdf圖檔
這是Android版的PatentBuddy:
但是其中一些數字有點問題!
 

Ron

2012年10月19日 星期五

Apple在英國的設計專利訴訟

相對於先前在美國贏了Samsung的設計專利訴訟(可參閱:http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2012/08/applesamsung.html),英國在原地方法院法官認為Samsung的平板電腦並未侵害Apple的設計專利,理由是Samsung的Galaxy Tab平板電腦沒有iPad來得(not as cool)!也就是Samsung平板少了一個cool factor(極簡),Apple即便上訴,還是輸了訴訟,法院並要求Apple在媒體宣告Samsung並沒有仿冒的問題。
(倫敦法院的說法:『He said at the time that Samsung's devices were not as "cool" because they lacked Apple's "extreme simplicity".』)

特別的是,Apple在這次設計訴訟中,對它在歐洲"登記"的設計專利宣稱其重要的特徵並非整體設計,而是其中"正面"(front face)與整個平板的"形狀",企圖用這個正面視覺感官影響法官的判斷,理由是使用者總是拿著看著平板電腦的屏幕(正面)。
(BBC: Apple had reasserted its claim saying that the front face and overall shape of the tablets was the most important factor - rather than the overall design - because users would spend most of their time looking at a tablet's screen and holding it.)

涉及的設計專利為:
Registered Community Design No. 000181607-0001

Apple設計專利與Samsung產品比對:
(畫面來源:英國法院判決書)

其中有個法官也是擁有一個iPad,他的意見是,這個案子在很多國家都受到大眾的關心,已經沒有設計專利關心的混淆(confusion)的問題。
"Because this case (and parallel cases in other countries) has generated much publicity, it will avoid confusion to say what this case is about and not about,"

另一個判斷不侵權的理由是,Samsung將自己的標記(logo)置放在平板電腦的正面,藉此區隔Apple沒有任何裝飾的設計專利。另外又提到一些在設計上的不同,包括邊緣的形狀、前後面的顏色、照相鏡頭的位置等。

Samsung作出的回應自然是針對法院的決定,也就是認為法院同意Apple並非是"圓形的角落與矩形的形狀"的第一個設計者,而非缺少那個cool factor的尷尬問題:
We welcome the court’s judgment, which reaffirmed our position that our GALAXY Tab products do not infringe Apple’s registered design right. We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple’s registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art. Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited.

整體看來,Apple在歐洲各國的相關訴訟相繼受挫,不同於美國法院的判斷。(可參考:http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2012/07/xoomipad.html
我覺得,原因之一是歐洲設計專利為登記制,相較之下比較無力,另一原因是,蘋果這個「極簡」的設計實在太簡單,感覺應該有很多前案吧!

附註:
用OHIM官方版線上檢索:

用OHIM eSearch Plus的檢索畫面:

Ron
資料參考:Engadget, BBC, http://techcrunch.com, FOSS PATENTS, ...

2012年10月18日 星期四

美國專利改革AIA後的102條款

筆記

bitlaw網站所載的102條款的追蹤修正內容表示,102整個被改寫!

35 U.S.C. 102 Conditions for patentability; novelty and loss of right to patent.

(a) NOVELTY; PRIOR ART.--A person shall be entitled to a patent unless--
(1) the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention; or
(2) the claimed invention was described in a patent issued under section 151, or in an application for patent published or deemed published under section 122(b), in which the patent or application, as the case may be, names another inventor and was effectively filed before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.
(b) EXCEPTIONS.--
(1) DISCLOSURES MADE 1 YEAR OR LESS BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE FILING DATE OF THE CLAIMED INVENTION.--A disclosure made 1 year or less before the effective filing date of a claimed invention shall not be prior art to the claimed invention under subsection (a)(1) if--
(A) the disclosure was made by the inventor or joint inventor or by another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; or
(B) the subject matter disclosed had, before such disclosure, been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor.
(2) DISCLOSURES APPEARING IN APPLICATIONS AND PATENTS.--A disclosure shall not be prior art to a claimed invention under subsection (a)(2) if--
(A) the subject matter disclosed was obtained directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor;
(B) the subject matter disclosed had, before such subject matter was effectively filed under subsection (a)(2), been publicly disclosed by the inventor or a joint inventor or another who obtained the subject matter disclosed directly or indirectly from the inventor or a joint inventor; or
(C) the subject matter disclosed and the claimed invention, not later than the effective filing date of the claimed invention, were owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person.
(c) COMMON OWNERSHIP UNDER JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENTS.--Subject matter disclosed and a claimed invention shall be deemed to have been owned by the same person or subject to an obligation of assignment to the same person in applying the provisions of subsection (b)(2)(C) if--
(1) the subject matter disclosed was developed and the claimed invention was made by, or on behalf of, 1 or more parties to a joint research agreement that was in effect on or before the effective filing date of the claimed invention;
(2) the claimed invention was made as a result of activities undertaken within the scope of the joint research agreement; and
(3) the application for patent for the claimed invention discloses or is amended to disclose the names of the parties to the joint research agreement.
(d) PATENTS AND PUBLISHED APPLICATIONS EFFECTIVE AS PRIOR ART.--For purposes of determining whether a patent or application for patent is prior art to a claimed invention under subsection (a)(2), such patent or application shall be considered to have been effectively filed, with respect to any subject matter described in the patent or application--
(1) if paragraph (2) does not apply, as of the actual filing date of the patent or the application for patent; or
(2) if the patent or application for patent is entitled to claim a right of priority under section 119, 365(a), or 365(b), or to claim the benefit of an earlier filing date under section 120, 121, or 365(c), based upon 1 or more prior filed applications for patent, as of the filing date of the earliest such application that describes the subject matter.

A person shall be entitled to a patent unless -
(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent, or
(b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States, or
(c) he has abandoned the invention, or
(d) the invention was first patented or caused to be patented, or was the subject of an inventor's certificate, by the applicant or his legal representatives or assigns in a foreign country prior to the date of the application for patent in this country on an application for patent or inventor's certificate filed more than twelve months before the filing of the application in the United States, or
(e) the invention was described in - (1) an application for patent, published under section 122(b), by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent or (2) a patent granted on an application for patent by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent, except that an international application filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) shall have the effects for the purposes of this subsection of an application filed in the United States only if the international application designated the United States and was published under Article 21(2) of such treaty in the English language; or
(f) he did not himself invent the subject matter sought to be patented, or
(g)(1) during the course of an interference conducted under section 135 or section 291, another inventor involved therein establishes, to the extent permitted in section 104, that before such person's invention thereof the invention was made by such other inventor and not abandoned, suppressed, or concealed, or (2) before such person's invention thereof, the invention was made in this country by another inventor who had not abandoned, suppressed, or concealed it. In determining priority of invention under this subsection, there shall be considered not only the respective dates of conception and reduction to practice of the invention, but also the reasonable diligence of one who was first to conceive and last to reduce to practice, from a time prior to conception by the other.

除了以下情況外,發明應獲准專利:
102(a)(1)
專利申請案涉及的發明「已經曾被專利」、「記載於公開文件」或「公開使用或販售」,或在該專利申請案有效申請日之前「被公眾知悉」;或
102(a)(2)
專利申請案所涉及的發明已經在有效申請日前描述於「其他發明人」在之前申請的相關「領證專利」中,或是「公開或視為公開的專利」中。
例外:
102(b)(1)
在有效申請日前一年之內的揭露不能作為專利申請案所主張發明的前案,如果(也就符合下列規定的揭露不會影響專利所載發明的新穎性):
102(b)(1)(A)
揭露的人為專利的發明人、共同發明人,或其他直接或間接由發明人或共同發明人授權取得的人;或
102(b)(1)(B)
專利標的被發明人、共同發明或其他被發明人授權取得的人所公眾公開。

102(b)(2)
在前述102(a)(2)所規範的先前公開不得成為前案(也就是即便是其他人的先申請案,若符合下列條款也不得成為前案),如果:
102(b)(2)(A)
所揭露的內容是直接或間接由發明人或共同發明所取得;
102(b)(2)(B)
在申請案有效申請日前,由發明人或共同發明人,或直接或間接由發明人授權取得的他人所公開揭露;或
102(b)(2)(C)
在發明申請案有效申請日前,相關的發明由擁有該申請案的同人或是應該授讓的人所揭露。

102(c)
同人或應該授讓的人所提出的專利申請案,不被自己揭露的內容影響新穎性,如果:
102(c)(1)
在共同研發合同下的一或多方在有效申請日前的先前揭露;
102(c)(2)
在共同研發合同下,專利申請案主張的發明活動;
102(c)(3)
在共同研發合同下,由其中的各方揭露或是經修改而揭露。

102(d)
判斷專利或是申請案是否具有前述102(a)(2)其他發明人揭露的前案時,包括:
102(d)(1)
如果不適用102(a)(2),發明之有效申請日即為真正的申請日;或是
102(d)(2)
如果專利申請案(包括延續案)主張另一前案優先權,有效申請日為最早申請日。


新修訂的102條於AIA實施日起18月後生效,也就是2013年3月16日(AIA實施日為2011/09/16)。
適用的專利案為申請日(有效申請日)在2013年3月16日當日與以後的專利申請案,以及相關延續案,包括120條規範的CA, CIP案、121條規範的分割案以及主張適用前申請案優先權的專利申請案。
 
Ron
updated on Oct. 19, 2012,之前的分享:http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2011/10/102.html

2012年10月17日 星期三

中國實用新型的用處

筆記

曾如中國大陸的專利侵權訴訟"Chint vs. Schneider"案件中,法院判定了金額達人民幣3億的侵權賠償金(RMB 334 million (US$ 53.4 million) damages),特別一提的是,其中涉及的專利權是沒有實際審查的「實用新型案」。(代理人的newsletter中提到外國申請人大多在中國申請發明專利,但中國申請人則有99%為實用新型案)

在中國,如同台灣,實用新型的專利申請案取得專利並不需要實際審查,因此多半用於技術水平較低、生命週期較短的技術或產品上,或是有費用考量的專利權人上。而且不經審查則會取得專利權,也在較短的時間內會被公告,這些都是實用新型的好處。

在中國,更厲害的是,同意同一申請人可以就相同的技術、相同的發明、相同的申請專利範圍同時提出發明專利與實用新型的申請案,並且與現行台灣的方式不同。台灣會要求一個發明一個專利,當遇到同天有同人而相同權利範圍的發明與新型時,會要求申請人擇一;當遇到不同天而相同權利範圍的發明與新型時,則會以先申請者取得專利為主。

中國的實用新型制度採取並行制(parallel filing rule),同一申請人在「同一天」可以就相同的發明(相同的申請專利範圍)同時提出發明專利與實用新型的申請案。一般來說,實用新型因為沒有經過實際審查,會先公告核准,之後才會有發明申請案的公開、審查與核准,一旦發明案核准後,這時中國專利局會要求申請人放棄實用新型案,而以發明案為後續主張的專利權。這樣的制度讓申請人可以在就同一發明早期取得新型專利,並於日後發明案核准後再以發明案延續專利的權利,時間可達20年,保護同一發明的時間變得更長,更有彈性。

但提醒的是,這樣發明、新型並行的制度並不適用來自WIPO進入中國的專利案,因為WIPO並不會判斷發明或新型型式的專利,也不確定申請人提出PCT案後是否會進入中國。

另有提醒的是,若要此用並行制度的好處時,發明與新型一定要同一天提出申請,否則先申請案會影響後申請案的新穎性(就同一發明、同一申請專利範圍而言)。

更者,當申請人同時提出發明與新型申請案,若兩個案子的權利範圍有不同的範疇,可以同時保留兩個專利權。實務上,若申請日當時的發明與新型案有相同的權利範圍,但經過實際審查的發明案通常會有修正、限縮,最後造成與新型案有不同的專利範圍,如此,申請人也可保留兩個專利權。

在新型案的審查標準較低的情況下(申請人或他人可以要求技術評價),水平較低的技術可以考慮提出實用新型案,審查委員在審查過程中不會引用過多的前案(兩件以內),以及會用相同的技術領域的前案作出評價。

就專利無效的處理時間需要1-2年來看,新型專利的佈局是個彈性又有用的方式,若又搭配一個發明案的並行,又可以將專利權延長至20年。

Ron資料參考:
VIVIEN CHAN & CO.電子報
http://www.chinaipmagazine.com/en/journal-show.asp?id=258

2012年10月16日 星期二

美國專利實務-影響寫作的判例

美國專利實務-影響寫作的判例




(updated on Jan. 25, 2013)
其他參考:
負面表示:http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2008/10/about-claims-xiii.html
coupled to or electrically connected:
http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2013/01/coupled-toelectrically-connected.html

Ron
部份資料參考:uspto, wikipedia, cafc

均等論的判斷

筆記

Graver Tank & Mfg. Co. v. Linde Air Products Co., 339 U.S. 605 (1950)

這個1950年的美國最高法院判例涉及均等論的判斷方法,也就是確立常見的Function, Way, Result的判斷依據。

美國專利US2,043,960,為一個電子焊接的技術,以及相關的熔劑。


判例決定的重點:

均等論的適用在於,如果兩個裝置以"實質相同"的方法(way)做相同的工作,並達成"實質相同"的結果(result),表示這兩個裝置即便有不同的名稱(name)、形式(form)或是形狀(shape),但判斷為相同的東西。
The doctrine of equivalents is founded on the theory that, if two devices do the same work in substantially the same way and accomplish substantially the same result, they are the same, even though they differ in name, form or shape.

在判斷均等條件時,應考慮專利中成份的目的、與其他成份組合的特性、欲產生的功效,以及判斷是否該領域技術人員可以知道有任何該專利中未出現而可以取代的成份。
In determining equivalents, consideration must be given to the purpose for which an ingredient is used in a patent, the qualities it has when combined with other ingredients, the functions which it is intended to perform, and whether persons reasonably skilled in the art would have known of the interchangeability of an ingredient not contained in the patent with one that was.

Ron

均等論的適用條件

均等論的採用是能適度讓專利權可以涵蓋一個合理的範圍,而不致被專利範圍的描述文字所限制,一方面保護專利權人有一定的法律保障,也杜絕利用文意迴避的方式抄襲別人發明的惡意行為。

但均等論若遭濫用,也可能讓專利權人有不當擴大專利範圍解釋的可能,因此需要規範出均等論的適用條件,並且均等論的適用也被專利獲得前答辯過程所拋棄的權利範圍所限制,在美國專利中,均等論是逐條權利項討論,甚至是逐元件判斷均等論的適用(element by element basis),並非整體觀之。

1997年的判例(Warner-Jenkinson Co. v. Hilton Davis Chem. Co. (1997))確認一個產品是否侵害某一專利權的判斷是判斷被告產品與申請專利範圍文意上的差異是否為非實質的差異(insubstantial)。也就是說,當判斷被告產品與權利範圍的文字描述的差異並非實質(insubstantial),則落入均等範圍。

比對被告產品與申請專利範圍間的差異是否足夠判斷侵權,引用一種"triple identity"的測試,也就是常見的"function", "way" and "result".
  1. It performs substantially the same function
  2. In substantially the same way
  3. To yield substantially the same result
若被告產品與專利都是執行實質相同的功能、用實質相同的方法,以及產生實質相同的結果,三個判斷都符合時,即便有文意上的差別,經均等論判斷為侵權成立。(這裡並未詳述均等論判斷同時考慮禁反言)

此判例為美國最高法院的決定,其中提告者為Hilton Davis Chemical Co.,是個染料製造商,開發出一個可以純化染料,擁有美國專利US4,560,746。在此專利答辯歷史中,申請人修正了「超微過濾(ultrafiltration)」製程中溶液的酸鹼度(PH值)為6.0到9.0之間,這是為了迴避審查意見引用的前案提到PH值在9.0以上。在此案例中被告Warner-Jenkinson Co.的產品使用的溶液PH值為5.0

專利範圍,整個一口氣(貼出來只是交待一下):
1. In a process for the purification of a dye selected from the group consisting of the disodium salt of 1-[(6-methoxy-4-sulfo-3-methylphenyl)azo]-2-naphthol-6-sulfonic acid, the disodium salt of 1-[(4-sulfophenyl)azo]-2-naphthol-6-sulfonic acid, the trisodium salt of 1-[1-(4-sulfonaphthyl)azo]-2-naphthol-3,6-disulfonic acid, the disodium salt of 2-[1-(4-sulfonaphthyl)azo]-1-naphthol-4-sulfonic acid and the sodium salt of 2-(2-quinolyl)-1,3-indanedione-sulfonic acid as the products resulting, respectively, from the diazotization of 5-methoxy-2-methylsulfanilic acid in water with sodium nitrite in the presence of hydrochloric acid followed by the coupling under alkaline conditions of the resulting 5-methoxy-4-sulfo-2-methylphenyldiazonium chloride with sodium 2-naphthol-6-sulfonate; the diazotization of sulfanilic acid in water with sodium nitrite in the presence of hydrochloric acid followed by the coupling under alkaline conditions of the resulting 4-sulfophenyldiazonium chloride with sodium 2-naphthol-6-sulfonate; the diazotization of 4-aminonaphthalene-1-sulfonic acid in water with sodium nitrite in the presence of hydrochloric acid followed by the coupling under alkaline conditions of the resulting 1-sulfonaphthyl-4-diazonium chloride with disodium 2-naphthol-3,6-disulfonate; the diazotization of 4-aminonaphthalene-1-sulfonic acid in water with sodium nitrite in the presence of hydrochloric acid followed by the coupling under alkaline conditions of the resulting 1-sulfonaphthyl-4-diazonium chloride with sodium 1-naphthol-4-sulfonate; and the condensation of 2-quinaldine with phthalic anhydride followed by sulfonation of the resulting 2-(2-quinolyl)-1,3-indanedione, said dye being present in the resulting reaction mixtures, along with impurities, the improvement which comprises:
subjecting an aqueous solution of the reaction mixture resulting from said coupling or said sulfonation to ultrafiltration through a membrane having a nominal pore diameter of 5-15 Angstroms under a hydrostatic pressure of approximately 200 to 400 p.s.i.g., at a pH from approximately 6.0 to 9.0, to thereby cause separation of said impurities from said dye, said impurities of a molecular size smaller than the nominal pore diameter passing into the permeate on the downstream side of said membrane and said dye remaining in the concentrate, and when substantially all said impurities have been removed from said concentrate, as evidenced by their essential absence in said permeate, recovering said dye, in approximately 90% purity from said concentrate by evaporation of said concentrate to dryness.

上述紅色字就是此件專利為了迴避前案所加入的限制。

於是,Hilton Davis Chemical Co.對Warner-Jenkinson Co.提出專利侵權訴訟,告訴人先承認被告的產品並未落入申請專利範圍的文意,於是採用均等論解釋被控侵權的產品為侵權。
在1986,Warner Jenkinson Co.開發了一種運作在薄膜孔徑在5-15 Angstroms與壓力200到500 p.s.i.g.(壓力單位)並PH值在5的「超微過濾」製程。

爭議就在專利權人在獲取專利期間為了迴避前案而修改了專利範圍,也就是PH值的上下限,但是主要是"上限",因此是否均等論可以適用"下限",也就是專利權人主張"下限"為"6"仍應均等涵蓋到被告的"5"。最高法院法官認為,如果告訴人可以證明專利取得過程在"較低"的PH值的限制並未限制專利範圍,仍可判為侵權!

此件侵權案的結果:
在地方法院中,陪審團認為,被告Warner-Jenkinson Co.侵權事實成立,但是判斷為非故意侵害(not intentionally),僅判賠Hilton要的20%賠償金。
另外對Warner-Jenkinson Co.發出禁制令,禁止該公司使用壓力在500 p.s.i.g.以下、PH值9.01以下的「超微過濾」製程以及以此製程生產的產品。
接著,最高法院同意地方法院的判斷,認為被告產品與專利範圍沒有實質上的差異(not substantially different from...'746)

結論,這件案子建立了均等論的適用條件,同時也確認答辯歷史禁反言(prosecution history estoppel) 仍可為專利權的限制條件,也為被告侵權者的答辯理由,但是專利權人仍能主張在答辯歷史的修改並未影響其專利權的主張。法院也應考慮答辯過程中修訂的目的,判斷修訂是否為影響均等論的適用。

Ron
資料參考:Wikipedia

2012年10月12日 星期五

蘋果再獲一件滑動解鎖

蘋果公司於2012年10月9日再獲一件滑動解鎖的專利,但這應該不會是新鮮事,因為這是一個家族的佈局,蘋果公司一定會想盡辦法用專利佈局的方式建立一個「進入障礙」,可以參考:http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2012/05/blog-post_16.html

這篇內容整理了一個族譜:

其中13/204572案為先前核准案的延續案(CA),專利核准公告為US 8,286,103,在相同的概念下,顯然會有不同的專利範圍。
核准範圍共有12項,摘錄Claim 1如下,描述方法與權利範圍與先前獲准的案子不一樣:
1. A method of unlocking a portable electronic device, the device including a touch-sensitive display, the method comprising: 
detecting a contact with the touch-sensitive display on an unlock image displayed at a first location on the touch-sensitive display, wherein the unlock image is a graphical, interactive user-interface object with which a user interacts in order to unlock the device; 
(偵測在第一位置的顯示的解鎖圖案上的觸控事件)
continuously moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display in accordance with movement of the detected contact while continuous contact with the touch-sensitive display is maintained; 
(連續移動解鎖圖案)
if moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display results in movement of the unlock image from the first location to an unlock region on the touch-sensitive display: 
unlocking the portable electronic device; and 
ceasing to display the unlock image; and 
(如果解鎖圖案從第一位置移動於解鎖區域時,即解鎖裝置,並終止解鎖畫面)
if moving the unlock image on the touch-sensitive display does not result in movement of the unlock image from the first location to an unlock region on the touch-sensitive display: maintaining the device in a locked state; and 
maintaining display of the unlock image. 
(如果解鎖圖案並未從第一位置移動於解鎖區域時,保持裝置在鎖住的狀態,並繼續顯示解鎖圖案)

從這個範圍可知,不同於先前獲准的案子的「解鎖圖案」須要從一個預設位置移動到另一個預設位置才能解鎖的請況,這件專利彷彿有較大的範圍,因為,只要將「解鎖圖案」移動到一個區域(unlock region)時,無須到設定的另一個預設位置,就完成解鎖

沒有「預設位置」、「第二預設位置」等限制。
實際做起來大約是,當使用者按壓著解鎖的指示圖(如箭頭、方塊),拉到另一個位置時,就可解鎖,這可以對比android在畫自己設定的解鎖圖形的解鎖方式,或是如將解鎖圖案拉向一個方向就解鎖的方式。不過,「unlock image」仍是必要條件

沒有解鎖圖案的方式才可迴避,有些Android的方式則如:


沒有unlock image的解鎖方式:
http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2012/05/blog-post_16.html

Ron

簡單中的天才

Genius in its simplicity

資料來源:
http://mathieson.typepad.com/genwow/2012/09/coca-cola-magazine-ad-turns-into-a-speaker-system-for-your-iphone-video.html
http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681668/in-a-pinch-this-coca-cola-ad-doubles-as-an-ipod-dock

Coca Cola公司委託JWT Brazil公司的廣告設計,讓雜誌變成手機喇叭的擴大器:


但是,如果有雜誌要仿效,可能要處理著作權的問題,"目前10.12.2012"沒看到有相關的設計專利或是實用專利

這個廣告設計公司超酷:
http://www.jwt.com/brasil

感謝客戶提供資訊

Ron
資料參考:http://coca-cola.fm/

2012年10月10日 星期三

Graham v. John Deere Co. 判例

這是一個回顧,也是一個現在進行式
美國專利審查中,顯而易見(obviousness)的判斷往往是個答辯上最重要需要克服的問題,也是爭議所在,為了要降低審查委員的主觀意識、後見之明,因此歷史上一直產生著最高法院的對於obviousness意見的爭議,最有名的而且現階段審查委員提出不符103核駁理由時仍會引用的判例:Graham v. John Deere Co., 383 U.S. 1,148 USPQ 459 (1966)

在此判例出現之前,在1950年的判例Great A. & P. Tea Co. v. Supermarket Equipment Corp.中確立了除了新穎性(Novelty)與實用性(Utility)的判斷(new and useful test)之外,賦予專利權之前,應測試該專利是否有顯而易見性(obviousness),也就是是否該專利標的的相關領域一般技術人員在發明完成時(at the time the invention was made)能基於先前技術(prior art)而視為顯而易知(obvious)。
Great A. & P. Tea Co. v. Supermarket Equipment Corp., 340 U.S. 147, 71 S.Ct. 127, 95 L.Ed. 162 (1950), the Congress has for the first time expressly added a third statutory dimension to the two requirements of novelty and utility that had been the sole statutory test since the Patent Act of 1793. This is the test of obviousness, i.e., whether 'the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains.

根據目前的實務來看,當收到美國專利審查意見(Office Action)時,若遇到101核駁理由則可能會提到Bilski的判例,當遇到判斷申請專利範圍所載的功效是否有進步性時,可能會提到KSR判例或是TSM的判斷原則,孰不知,在判斷專利是否為non-obvious的判斷時,審查委員通常會引用Graham v. John Deere Co., 383 U.S. 1,148 USPQ 459 (1966)判例所作出的幾點考量:
  1. Determining the scope and contents of the prior art.(確認前案的範疇)
  2. Ascertaining the differences between the prior art and the claims at issue.(查明權利範圍與前案的差異)
  3. Resolving the level of ordinary skill in the pertinent art.(分辨發明相關領域的一般技術水平)
  4. Considering objective evidence present in the application indicating obviousness or nonobviousness.(考慮申請案中顯而易見或非顯而易見的的客觀證據)
    這部份也就是日後稱為Graham factors -- secondary considerations:商業上成功、解決長期未解決的需求、克服別人的失敗
可參考:http://enpan.blogspot.tw/2008/09/103a_25.html

Graham v. John Deere Co., 383 U.S. 1,148 USPQ 459 (1966)判例中,Graham是擁有US2493811(1950年)與US2627798(1953年改良案)的告訴人,對John Deere公司提出侵權告訴,被告產品自然就是一種犁(plow)。其中較有爭議的是以US2627798所提出的侵權訴訟在另一訴訟中類似的議題的專利被認為無效,因此讓本案法院同樣也作出專利無效的判斷以及不侵權的決定。其中專利無效的理由就是改善的技術(相對於自己的前案US2493811)並無產生新的結果,而為顯而易見(obvious)的技術。

一般來說,田裡的土壤應該是比較沒有石頭或是堅硬的東西,因此相對較硬的犁在犁田時應該不致於容易被損毀。但是,如一些美國北部的州,確實遇到此類有堅硬物質的土壤,因此,犁在這樣的土壤中經過時容易有很大的撞擊與震動,相對的發明因應而生。

US2493811(1950年1月獲准)揭露一種具有減震效果的犁(vibrating plow),在犁田時犁與鋤過地面的石頭可能造成損壞,因此提供可以吸收犁田時的震動的裝置。
根據Claim 1的描述,此犁包括有具有向下開口的托架、拴與設於其上的支柱、與拴樞接的桿子,穿過托架的開口,可以利用提供犁柄與拴之間足夠的相對移動,以容納犁柄的擺動、桿子與彈簧、托架連接產生擺動,可以減輕因為與地面的震動產生損壞的問題。
可參考下圖中犁上方與柄的一端設置具有彈簧的結構,目的是能減輕與地面互動時產生的損壞問題。

US2627798(1953年2月獲准),接著於兩年後提出一個改善方案,改變於犁柄下方設有鉸鏈盤(hinge plate),根據Claim 1的記載,一個具有架子與地面工作部位的犁在其柄的部位有個長形的鉸鏈盤,鉸鏈盤有個下表面對應固定部下表面,使得鉸鏈盤位於犁柄與固定部之間,犁上面的彈簧結構的一端設於固定部,連結於犁柄。這個設計可以縮小犁柄移動的距離。

根據法院的解讀,這件專利範圍與811案的差異僅在於:
(1) the stirrup and the bolted connection of the shank to the hinge plate do not appear in '811; and
(2) the position of the shank is reversed, being placed in patent '811 above the hinge plate, sandwiched between it and the upper plate.
但這些差異被認為顯而易知,不能給予專利!

經此設計,當犁經過石頭土壤時,仍引用前案(811案)吸收犁震動的技術,即便有結合前述鉸鏈盤不同的位置,但不同法院有不同的意見,在另一訴訟案(Jeoffroy Mfg., Inc. v. Graham, 219 F.2d 511, cert.)中類似的專利議題被認定為並未產生新的結果,因此不具專利性。同樣此案也以相同的理由認為專利無效,因此侵權不成立。



在此判例確立了專利必須符合新與有用以外,即便與前案有差異,但此差異為顯而易知,仍不能賦予專利權。
('A patent may not be obtained though the invention is not identically disclosed or described as set forth in section 102 of this title, if the differences between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains. Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.' The section is cast in relatively unambiguous terms. Patentability is to depend, in addition to novelty and utility, upon the 'non-obvious' nature of the 'subject matter sought to be patented' to a person having ordinary skill in the pertinent art. )

Ron