Is the word “contains” construed in an exhaustive sense or in an inclusive sense? Paul Goodall reviews a recent alleged infringement case which sheds light on the use of the word in the context of claims.
Inventions and innovations in electronic and electromechanical technology have revolutionised and continue to change the modern world. Nikola Tesla’s patent for his alternating electric current generator was one of the earliest granted patents in the field of electrical engineering, and the multiple number of patents in the scientist’s name underlined the importance of patents in his time. The importance of patents still holds true at present, when electronic and electromechanical technology is a key foundation upon which many industries rely.
The electronics and electrical engineering industry is a fast moving sector for development with innovation as a driving force. The sector covers fields as diverse as transaction terminals to laser engineering and is one of the most heavily patented technology sectors in the world.
As long as your electrical engineering or electronic device invention is new and inventive, it should be patentable in most countries around the world. Additionally, circuit board layout designs can be protected as design registrations in many countries, and could also be protected under copyright laws in many instances.
Filing early is particularly important in filing patents in order to maximise the gains from the particular invention.
One example of the successful research and protection of electrical technology is by the CSIRO in Australia. They developed Wi-Fi technology that is found in most wireless routers in homes and businesses around the country. The core parts of this technology was developed incidentally in the early 90s by a team of CSIRO researchers in their search for black hole echoes. To this day, the research agency owns key patents to the technology, which brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in royalty payments.
If the CSIRO had not obtained patent protection for this technology, they could have lost a substantial amount of ongoing revenue. Inventors of electrical inventions should keep in mind that they should file a patent application for their technology before making a public disclosure, or using their technology commercially, as this could destroy their ability to get protection for their invention.
Belkin International, Inc.
Flowserve Management Company
|Fixed and wireless communications systems||
|Gaming and lottery systems||
Angel Playing Cards Co., Ltd.
|Electronic transaction terminals and networks||
Zoll Circulation, Inc.
|Environmental and process sensors||
|Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence||
Accenture Global Solutions Limited
|Navigation and location services||
Chen, Peng MR; Chen, Tao MR; Chen, Yunan MR
8 Rivers Capital, LLC
|Robotics and automation||
Accenture Global Services, Ltd.
Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
NTT DoCoMo, Inc.
|Human computer interaction||
Softbank Robotics Europe
Teletech Pty Ltd.
Prototype Productions, Inc.
Depending on specific circumstances, however, other strategies may be more appropriate. It is important to discuss your particular situation with a qualified attorney to determine the best strategy in each case.