Canadian Guide To Patents

The website of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has a great guide to patents on their website [HTML] [PDF]. Although containing information specific to the Canadian patent application process it includes a lot of universally relevant information as well such as clear definitions of forms of Intellectual Property:

  • patents cover new inventions (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter), or any new and useful improvement of an existing invention;
  • trade-mark is a word, symbol or design (or any combination of these) used to distinguish the wares or services of one person or organization from those of others in the marketplace;
  • copyrights provide protection for literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works (including computer programs), and three other subject matter known as: performance, sound recording and communication signal;
  • industrial designs are the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these) applied to a finished manufactured article; and
  • integrated circuit topographies refer to the three-dimensional arrangement of the electronic circuits in integrated circuit products or layout designs.

There is also an examples/discussion on the standards of novelty, utility and ingenuity plus much more making this a good read for anyone interested in IP in general.

USPTO Relents A Little On Apple’s ‘mini’

The USPTO has recently given Apple a little breathing space on it’s application for trademark on it’s popular iPad Mini tablet, withdrawing previous refusals with a small caveat:

Applicant should submit a disclaimer in the following standardized format:

No claim is made to the exclusive right to use “MINI” apart from the mark as shown

With many existing products bearing the Mini title including numerous that could be considered direct competitors to Apple’s smaller format tablet the the USPTO has been treading carefully around it. The mandated disclaimer however makes it pretty clear the Cupertino company does not have carte blanche trademark on the descriptive small-size moniker

Sources, Further Reading: Coverage

USPTO Office Action Letter