COLUMBIA, 9/9/10 (Beat Byte) -- Want the latest on America's greatest -- her inventiveness, intellectual property, and the laws that protect great -- and not-so-great -- ideas?
It's patently obvious at MU law professor Dennis Crouch's PatentlyO , the nation's #1 blog about patent law according to blog-ranking giant Technorati, Google, IP Watchdog, and virtually every other online patent watcher.
PatentlyO's up-to-the minute news and commentary has recently included pieces on the U.S. Board of Patent Appeals; patent infringement; how to hire a "newly-minted" patent lawyer; individual lawsuits that will form the latest in case law; and so-called False Marking Claims. Widely-reported for its sheer strangeness is patent attorney Raymond Stauffer's lawsuit against Brooks Brothers Clothing, claiming their bow ties were falsely marked with patents that expired in 1954 and 1955.
An intellectual property (IP) expert, Crouch (above) -- a Princeton-educated mechanical engineer and University of Chicago law grad -- teaches the abstract(s) art and subtle science of protecting ideas at the University of Missouri School of Law, where he landed after practicing patent law in Chicago.
Crouch's work crosses virtually every aspect of American ingenuity: computers, circuit design, software, mobile devices, automotive technologies, heating and ventilation systems -- even patented methods of doing business, such as the way Amazon sells books, or Priceline sells airline seats. Prior to his legal career, Crouch designed software for the Mayo Clinic and worked for the Peace Corps in Ghana, West Africa.
Entire industries rise and fall on the ins and outs of patent protection, an area that itself is a huge and growing industry. Most recently, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen launched a series of lawsuits "claiming that almost every major Internet company has stolen his firm's ideas," according to a San Jose Mercury News article that sums up Allen's aims. "At least we can give him credit for reminding us of the troublesome flaws in the U.S. patent system."