Event, Reviews

Patents & Intellectual Property: Review of a Talk by John Cabeca

After listening to John Cabeca, a director at the West Coast Region for the Silicon Valley United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), there was a lot of interesting topics talked about and discussed by Mr. Cabeca. This was part of the Silicon Valley Leadership Symposium. One of the main topics talked about was the idea of intellectual property. This term refers to a piece of work or idea that someone either has rights to or is applying for a patent or trademark. The western regional office is located within San Jose City Hall and is the western region office. There are 4 other regional offices across the United States, and the oldest regional office is only 6 years old. Before this, the only office in D.C., because it is a government service.

Cabeca described the job of being a patent examiner. This job requires that you either have a science or engineering background, and most people who have this job work out of their home if they don’t work in one of the regional offices. Their job is to look for previous patents if someone is creating something new and to advise people if they are trying to create or invent something new. The different kinds of intellectual property are Utility Patents, Design Patents, Copyright, Trade Secret, and Trademarks. Each one serves a different purpose and protects certain thing like logos, words, colors, slogans, etc. they are meant to protect your product, and will last as long as you keep using it.

boris karlof frankensteinThe way that this all relates to the novel Frankenstein is that during Victor’s time, there were no patent or copyright laws after you invented or created something. So, he couldn’t protect his creation, and as a result, other people could replicate and try what he did. This creates a lot of competition in any industry. Advantages of businesses and individuals having a patent are leverage in the industry and looking good when someone wants to buy that product or service. And patents last for 20 years after the patent application is filed. Also, a patent requires that you give a description that an ordinary person can understand, telling about the product.

In conclusion, being able to have a patent and copyright for your intellectual property or invention is a privilege, not a right. It is something that gives credit to people for coming up with a new idea, logo, slogan, etc. Victor Frankenstein did not have this right in the 1800s when he was creating life and wanted to be the first and only person to be able to do that. Nevertheless, patents, copyrights, and trademarks allow people to be creative and own their own intellectual property.

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