In the coming weeks, IPinSpace, everyone’s favorite, intrepid, niche-among-niches blog about intellectual property and space will be rolling out a new recurring segment—the Space IP Roll Call, SIPROC for short (you can’t build any space cred without the ability to generate awkward acronyms!)! Each SIPROC post will focus on a specific piece of intellectual property owned by an aerospace company that is interesting to IPinSpace’s chief scribe, Andrew Rush, and/or to you, the reader! Feel free to send in suggestions regarding what trademarks, copyrighted material, patents or patent applications you think would be cool to hear about in SIPROC.
The intellectual property addressed in a SIPROC post can come from anywhere—NewSpace, OldSpace, BigSpace, LittleSpace, CommercialSpace, NASA, etc. For an idea of what the differences between all those crazy terms are, check out HobbySpace’s description!
When I think of NewSpace, I think of entrepreneurial companies like Masten Space Systems, Armadillo Aerospace, XCOR, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Bigelow Aerospace, and Blue Origin, among others. Some of these companies are very lean right now but, like SpaceX, I believe they will grow into the (hopefully benevolent) titans of the future space industry. OldSpace includes Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, and ULA (despite them being a young company).
I (Andrew) will take a look at the piece of intellectual property and describe the coverages and limitations of it. I will also discuss why, in my opinion, the particular piece of intellectual property might be important to the aerospace industry as a whole, particular companies in the industry, and the company that owns the intellectual property, if applicable.
Say for example, the subject of a SIPROC post is a patent application from Boeing. I would do the following things in (hopefully) nice, plain English:
- Explain the area of technology the patent application addresses.
- Walk through what the invention described actually does, including specific limitations required to carry out the technology.
- Take a look at prosecution history. If there is any correspondence publicly available with a government body (for example, the US patent office) that sheds light on the scope of the patent application (or any patent that may issue from it), I’ll talk about it.
- Give you my opinion about the application. I’ll let you know what the possible strength of any resultant patent might be (e.g. if the patent is likely to issue looking like the application, how the prior art might narrow the patent), how I think it might impact the industry, and anything else I find interesting about the application!
Some patent agents and other intellectual property professionals charge a fair amount of money for this type of analysis, so why am I giving it away for free? I started this blog in order to share my knowledge and passion about space and intellectual property with a broad group of people. I think that the people pushing the boundaries of space exploration, space transpiration, and space utilization deserve to understand the “lay of the land” and having that knowledge with help move the industry forward, rather than hindering its growth. From a purely selfish standpoint, I want to go to space, dammit, and this blog and the SIPROC may help me achieve that goal!
As a reminder, however, I am a registered patent agent, licensed to practice in patent cases before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. By reading this blog, this post, or any subsequent SIPROC posts, you acknowledge and understand that no agent-client relationship has been formed and you further acknowledge and understand that this blog is not intended to constitute legal advice. Legal advice and counsel requires a fact-specific analysis of your particular issues, and you should thus obtain legal advice directly and individually from an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction or patent agent, if appropriate.
So, if you’re have a specific issue related to a piece of intellectual property I discuss here on IPinSpace, rather than just a general interest in the industry, contact me or another patent professional so your issues can get the proper attention!
Think of SIPROC as WebMD for intellectual property, interesting, but not the last word!