Why would you as a firefighter want to use a patent attorney that is a professional fire fighter and an Inventor?
by Andrew Spriegel
January 12, 2011
Many of the advances made in firefighting and EMS equipment and training have been made by firefighters and paramedics. So if you are one of the numerous firefighter/EMS inventors, who do you go to write a patent to protect your idea? Paul Filon, full-time lieutenant and paramedic in the Strongsville Fire Department and a licensed and registered Patent Attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Paul works at Spriegel & Associates, LLC (Patent & Trademark Attorneys) in Hudson, Ohio, http://www.Smart2Patent.com.
In addition to working as an EMT/paramedic for 22 years and a firefighter for 16 years, Mr. Filon is also chemistry specialist and Haz-Mat technician for the regional Haz-Mat and bomb teams. He is experienced in several technical rescue disciplines and teaches a variety of firefighter and EMS classes.
Spriegel & Associates, LLC is gaining a reputation as working with firefighters, Captain Phil McLean is one of their clients and one of those inventor/firefighter types that owns Sensible Products Inc. (www.senpro.net), in Richfield, Ohio. Phil and his business partner, retired Fire Chief, Russ English are quality manufacturers of unique holders and bracketry for fittings, adapters, brass goods and tools mounted on fire trucks. Here is what Phil has to say about working with Paul:
I have worked with Paul Filon on several occasions related to product development. With his Fire Service background and knowledge of Emergency Services it made the development and patent process easy for me and my company as we were developing a new product in the business. He is an energetic worker and has a passion for all the work and all of his professions. His multi-professional experience was and continues to be an asset to our project.
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Who Owns You? Property Rights in the Human Body
by Paul Filon
Moxon & Spriegel, LLC
Who owns your body? The most obvious response is that you do. However, property law does not seem to provide a well-defined interest in one’s living body. At best, it may be said that a quasi property right may exist that provides for limited rights and duties. Similarly, bodies of the deceased have no property rights at common law. In re Estate of Medlen, 286 Ill. App.3d 860, 222 Ill. Dec. 220, 677 N.E.2d 33 (2d Dist. 1977); Dampier v. Wayne County, 233 Mich. App. 714, 592 N.W. 2d 809 (1999); Tinsley v. Dudley, 915 S.W.2d 806 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1995). In addition to a lack of protection under property law, the law of wills and property descent do not provide real protection for the dead. Matter of Moyer’s Estate, 577 P.2d 108 (Utah 1978). Federal and state law treats these issues peripherally with statutes dealing with organ transplant and anatomical gifts.
The more likely approach to provide protection is to view rights in your body as a constitutionally protected right of privacy under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Additionally, Federal privacy statutes impose other requirements such as consent prior to the dissemination of personal medical information. This discussion will review the legal perspective in ownership of the human body, its effects on the involved individual, and the effects on others. Further analysis will determine who else would want this information. Finally, a debate of the body’s utility and value will take into account the costs to the individual and society as a whole.
Despite a common assumption that our bodies belong to us, finding expressly defined law on the subject is difficult. Property law traditionally does not view the human body as property. However, courts have treated body parts separated without permission, such as hair and urine, as property in the criminal law of theft or battery. R v. Herbert (1961) 25 J.C.L. 163; R v. Welsh  R.T.R. 478. Additionally courts have found that a decedent’s preserved sperm has a property interest because the donor has the authority to use it for reproduction. Hecht v. Superior Court, 16 Cal. App.4th 836, 20 Cal. Rptr. 2d 275 (2d Dist. 1993). Similarly, courts have considered parts of dead bodies to be property in some circumstances. For example, if one applies skill in preserving a body for exhibition, it may be considered a property right.  3 All E.R. 714 at 749. It would be hard to believe that Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds exhibit does not have a property right of some kind.
The Potential Effects of Quanta on Patent Exhaustion
by Paul Filon
Moxon & Spriegel, LLC
Patent and Trademark Attorneys
The United States Supreme Court has recently granted certiorari in Quanta Computer v. LG Electronics to determine whether patent owners may maintain patent rights through licensing even after the sale of those products to third parties. This issue of “patent exhaustion” may significantly affect the rights of current patent holders and purchasers of those products if the Court upsets the current understanding of the law. Specifically, innovation in the Biotechnology industry will be inhibited if the Court finds that patent monopolies may be extended beyond the original intended scope through creative licensing.
The constitutional purpose of patent law is “[t]o promote the [p]rogress of . . . useful [a]rts, by for securing for limited [t]imes to . . . [i]nventors the exclusive right to their . . . [d]iscoveries. The Supreme Court has interpreted this monopoly to include “the exclusive right to make, use, and vend the invention or discovery.” Moreover, when the patentee may no longer control the use and disposition of the creation, such as by sale, the patent monopoly in that object is exhausted. Therefore, the Supreme Court has held for over a century that the first sale of a patented manufactured product places that particular product outside of the monopolistic protection that the patent originally conferred. Once someone purchases a product, patented or not, the buyer is free to do use it as he sees fit. The policy behind this principle is that the inventor has received the reward for invention, which is a rational for the Patent Act, when he receives a consideration from the original sale, and he deserves no more. Therefore, he has received every benefit that patent law provides through the purchase price, and the monopoly is ended.
The Supreme Court has not addressed the issue of patent exhaustion again until the present case pending before it. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) began to erode existing Supreme Court jurisprudence in 1992. In Mallinckrodt, Inc. v. Medipart, Inc., the CAFC determined that despite a sale, a patented product sold with a restriction was subject to a remedy under patent law. This appears to be in conflict with the prior Supreme Court jurisprudence. In Mallinckrodt, the patented device was a medical nebulizer kit inscribed “Single Use Only.” The alleged infringement occurred when Medipart “reconditioned” the units and sent them back to the original purchasing hospitals for reuse. The petitioner asserted that the label restriction specifying only a single use was a valid license restriction with in the scope of the patent monopoly.
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