Insurance IP Bulletin
An Information Bulletin on Intellectual Property activities in the insurance industry

A Publication of - Tom Bakos Consulting, Inc. and Markets, Patents and Alliances, LLC

Premier Issue: June 15, 2004 - VOL:2004.1
Feature Article:
Which Came First: The Chicken or the Patent?
by Frank Cuypers, IP Head, Group Intellectual Property, Swiss Re, Zurich

Patent Watch:
Don't Count on Copying Your Competitor's Great New Product Ideas
The use of patents to protect intellectual property in the insurance industry is growing.

Patent Tech:
Sources of Information
Where to find information on patents and patent applications.

Patents in Action:
Story of a Reversionary Annuity
The story of patent #5,754,980.

Finding Innovation:
How Do You Know You've Invented Something?
Invention is a solution to a problem.

Second Issue: August 15, 2004 - VOL:2004.2

Feature Article:
Ignorance Will Be No Excuse
by Phil Hargrove, VP, Intellectual Asset Management, GE Employers Reinsurance Co., Kansas City, MO

Patent Watch:
AIG Joins the Patent Club
AIG gets their first internally generated patent issued.

Patent Tech:
Broad Thinking - Yes, But Will it Fly?
The Wright Bros. example.

Finding Innovation:
Can You Patent an Insurance Product?
Right now, you can't. Find out why.

  Third Issue: October 15, 2004 - VOL:2004.3
Feature Article:
The Impact of Intellectual Property Rights on Insurance Product Innovation
by Francois Gadenne, President and CEO, Retirement Engineering, Inc., Boston, MA and
Ben Williams, VP and Chief Technical Officer, Retirement Engineering, Inc. Boston, MA.

Patent Tech:
Why Does the Patent System Exist?
A comment from Charles Call, a patent agent from Yarmouth, MA.

Patent Watch:
Progressive Builds a Fortress of Patent Protection
Progressive Casualty Insurance Company's use of patents to protect its intellectual property.  

Patents in Action:
Why Isn't the World Beating a Path to My Door?
Guidelines on how individual inventors can market their inventive new insurance ideas. 

Fourth Issue: December 15, 2004 - VOL:2004.4
Feature Article:
Barbarians at the Gate
by Tom Bakos, FSA, MAAA - President, Tom Bakos Consulting, Inc.
Mark Nowatarski, Patent Agent, - President, MPA LLC

Patent Tech:
USPTO Examination Process for Business Method Patent Applications
A briefing on how the patent office handles patent applications.

Patent Watch:
Stable Value Protected Life Insurance - Update of Bancorp Patent
How Bancorp has kept its patent application involving stable value funds alive.  

Fifth Issue: February 15, 2005 - VOL:2005.1
Feature Article:
Direct Insurance Patents Could Trigger a Boom
by Mark Clare - President, Knowledge Dynamics and Director, Parkview Health

Patent Futures:
Alternate Risk Transfer - Finite Risk Hits the Boundaries of Insurance
Finite insurance has brought attention to the insurance industry

Patent (Pending) In Action:
No Charge Auto Insurance
A patent application for free car insurance.

Sixth Issue: April 15, 2005 - VOL:2005.02
Feature Article:
Lessons from a First Time Patent Applicant
by Matt Schoen- President, MB Schoen & Associates, Inc.

Patent Tech:
What Do Computers Do?
The Specification of a patent requires a written description of the patent to be clear, concise, and exact.  

Patent Value:
What's a Patent Worth?
A patent's value is derived from the fact that a patent gives the inventorthe right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention.

Seventh Issue: June 15, 2005 - VOL:2005.3
Feature Article:
Patent Trolls
by Tom Bakos

A somewhat humorous look at what a "patent troll" is all about. 

Patent Q&A:
Improving the efficiency of patent examination
Addresses the situation of business method patent examination in the USPTO.  

Patent Value:
Ignoring Patent Value
The monetizing of intellectual property, in general, and patents, in particular, has long been a subject of interest.  This article looks at the consequences of ignoring IP value.

Eigth Issue: August 15, 2005 - VOL:2005.4
Feature Article:
An Insurance Patent Experience
by Jerry Wilson, President, Washington Health Services

An early inventor's personal experience with patenting his Long Term Care insurance innovative benefit design approach. 

Patent Law:
The Patent Act of 2005 - A Summary of Major Provisions
Introduced to Congress on June 8, 2005, this new law is intended to improve the quality of patnets and reduce the costs associated with their enforcement. These are the most significant changes to patent law since the 1952 Patent Act.  

Patent Tech:
Prospects for Getting Insurance Patents in Europe
The monetizing of intellectual property, in general, and patents, in particular, has long been a subject of interest.  This article looks at the consequences of ignoring IP value.

Ninth Issue: October 15, 2005 - VOL:2005.5
Feature Article:
Will it Fly?
by Tom Bakos & Mark Nowotarski

Addresses the question of what it means for an insurance product to work. 

In Re Lundgren:

A major barrier to the possibility of directly patenting new insurance products in the U.S. has just been removed.  

Patent Q&A:
Who Gets the Patent?
Question: If I make an invention as part of my job, who owns the patent, me or my employer?

Tenth Issue: December 15, 2005 - VOL:2005.6
Feature Article:
A Better MouseTRAP 
by Tom Bakos

Have you invented a new insurance product - or, have you invented something else.  Innovating around insurancelaw and regulation. 

Patent Q&A:
'Swearing back' at the patent office

Question: If I write down my idea and have it notarized, does that protect me until I can get a patent application filed?

Eleventh Issue: February 15, 2006 - VOL:2006.1
Feature Article:
The Future of Patents 
by Mark Nowotarski, Patent Agent

A discussion of the ongoing judicial interpretation of patent laws in the U.S. 

Patent Regulation:
Proposed rule changes at the USPTO

Free Patent Help
Inventors Assistance Center
How the USPTO can help with your difficult patent questions.

Twelveth Issue: April 15, 2006 - VOL:2006.2
Feature Article:
by Tom Bakos, FSA, MAAA
The value of a patent is discussed. 

Patent Q&A:
Reexamination - a USPTO Do Over
Discusses what you can do if you think an obviously invalid patent has been issued.

Thirteenth Issue: June 15, 2006 - VOL:2006.3
Feature Article:
What's In a Name: Choosing An Effective Trademark
by Leora Herrmann, Esq., Partner, Kluger, Perez, Kaplan & Berlin
Discusses the nature of trademarks.

Patent Q&A:
Title: Accelerated Examination
Ways to speed up the process of getting a patent.

Basic Ed.:
Insurance is a Process of Processes - Contingent Events
A "contingent event" is at the heart of all insurance processes.