Wealth of Ideas Blog

Everything's Bigger in Texas

It recently came to light that Texas-based MPHJ Technology Investments has sent an astounding 16,465 letters to small businesses, requesting that they pay a license fee of $1,000 per worker or face a patent infringement lawsuit. And we know this, in part, because MPHJ has now filed suit against the Federal Trade Commission.

Top Secret!

An inventor who approached the U.S. Army with an idea for a "mysterious acoustic wave propagation machine" has been barred by the Army from even talking about the invention, much less filing a patent application on it.

Computer Mouse Inventor Was Ahead of His Time - WAY Ahead

Sometimes it's possible to be a little too ahead of your time. Case in point: The patent on the first computer mouse expired in 1987 - shortly before the device became ubiquitous among computer users. Because it was patented before there was a need for it, the mouse's inventor inadvertently missed out on making a mint from his mouse. (The mouse only became commercially available in 1984, with the introduction of Apple's Macintosh PC.)

A Murky Slate

Does a product have to exist in real life in order to infringe a trademark in real life? According to a U.S. District judge in Indiana, the answer is "Yes."

New "Patent Troll Insurance" Costly, May Invite Lawsuits

You can buy insurance for many different types of business liabilities, so why not insurance to protect your company from lawsuits brought by so-called "patent trolls" or non-practicing entities (NPEs)? That kind of coverage is now available for members of a group that represents digital agencies and production companies. At first glance the insurance may look like a fine idea, but some attorneys say the coverage has its drawbacks.