Business has always been driven by ingenuity and innovation. Now, more than ever, with an economy built on knowledge, work, and intangible value, developing--and protecting--intellectual property is vital for individuals and organizations alike. This book presents a brief but thorough survey of U.S. patent law, provided in the clearest possible terms for nonspecialists--including scientists, engineers, business managers, and entrepreneurs--as well as students and practitioners of patent and intellectual property law. Drawing from both practical and academic experience, Alan Durham explains the basis of patent law and how it differs from copyright and trademark law, what is and isn't patentable, how to apply for patents, disclosure requirements, responding to infringement, and pursuing litigation. Durham explains complex legal issues through in-depth examples, case decisions, and wise insights only a practiced patent attorney can provide.

The revised and updated Third Edition discusses recent developments in the law and draws from the most current case authority. For example, it covers the apparent court backtracking on the patentability of business practices and what that means for both businesses and inventors. It also covers the Supreme Court's review of the obviousness standard, the changing standards for willful infringement, the reexamination by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals of the protocols for interpreting patent claims, and the potential for patent law reforms in the next few years. Used as an introduction to the topic or a handy desk reference, this book will be an indispensable guide to the dynamics and mechanics of patent law. Durham illustrates complex legal issues through dozens of in-depth examples, many borrowed from actual cases. Of particular interest are cases involving patent disputes over computer software and biological materials. From building a better mousetrap to building a better mouse, Patent Law Essentials defines the coverage and limitations of patent law and its protections, and shows how they are applied in the courts and in practical application.