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Celebrating 15 Years of IPWatchdog.com

On October 10, 1999, IPWatchdog.com first went live on the Internet. It has been an honor and privilege to get to know so many wonderful people in our industry over the last 15 years, to talk to many industry leaders on the record, and to in some small way continue to push the debate forward. Thanks to our readers and contributors we have been recognized as as one of the top 100 legal blogs by the American Bar Association for 5 years in a row. For 3 of the last 4 years (2010, 2012, 2013) we were recognized as the top intellectual property law blog according to the ABA. In January 2014 we were also honored to be inducted into the ABA Blawg Hall of Fame. CLICK HERE to read more.


Hot on Social Media

Over the past several months we have had a number of articles that have gotten quite a bit of attention on various social media outlets. If you haven’t read these articles yet take a look, they seem to be driving an interesting debate.

  1. Extortionist Demand Letters are Wrecking Public Confidence in the U.S. Patent System
  2. Patent Trolls are NOT the Biggest Barrier to Innovation
  3. 25 Years Since Galileo: A Recent Look at NASA Technologies
  4. Silicon Valley's Anti-Patent Propaganda: Success at What Cost?
  5. Patents are Important: Bursting the Twitter Patent Mythology
  6. Why Brands Need to Pay Attention to Unregulated Domains
  7. Post Patent Issuance Challenges and the Quest for Patent Quality
  8. If Patent Reform is Meant to Starve Patent Trolls, Why is it Feeding Them Instead?
  9. Eli Lilly Patents Treatments for HIV and Ebola Virus
  10. The Ramifications of Alice: A Conversation with Mark Lemley
 


Most Recent Articles on IPWatchdog.com


Eli Lilly Patents Treatment for HIV and Ebola Virus

Posted: Monday, Sep 8, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »

Headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, Eli Lilly and Company is an American pharmaceutical developer and manufacturer which has existed since 1876. The corporation is heavily involved in creating medications for a wide spectrum of health conditions and it sells those treatments all over the world. Recently, a psoriasis treatment called ixekizumab created by Eli Lilly showed positive results in Phase 3 studies, leading company representatives to indicate that the drug would be submitted to regulatory authorities by the first half of 2015. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lately granted tentative approval to an insulin injection developed in part by Eli Lilly. Other recent Eli Lilly operations have led many to speculate that the corporation will make major inroads into biotech and autoimmune disease treatments over the coming years.

Here at IPWatchdog, we wanted to take some time in our Companies We Follow schedule to take a closer look at the incredible world of innovation in pharmaceuticals. In our perusal of Eli Lilly patent applications recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, we got a close look at many of the medications created in recent months by this company. Leukemia, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease are all addressed by innovative compounds which we explore in detail below. We also feature a trio of patent application related to improvements to injector pens for self-administration of medications. But perhaps most exciting is the patent that covers antibodies that could be used to treat the Ebola virus.





The Software Patent Problem: Not Emphasizing the Technological Contribution of the Innovation

Posted: Sunday, Sep 7, 2014 @ 10:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 16 comments

Mark Lemley

On August 28, 2014, I had the opportunity to speak with Professor Mark Lemley on the record. Lemley and I share the opinion that Alice v. CLS Bank represents a significant change in the law relevant to software patents. To my surprise this truth is not understood or  appreciated by many in the patent community.

If you review the Alice form paragraph rejections from the USPTO, the reality that the USPTO is withdrawing Notices of Allowance and issuing Alice rejections, the latest decisions from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and a handful of post-Alice Federal Circuit cases the landscape is extraordinarily adverse to software patent applicants. Still there are those who protest and say that little or nothing has changed despite the objective reality facing applicants and patent owners.

Against this backdrop of disbelief I thought it would be useful to walk through the analysis with Professor Lemley. What follows is the final segment of our interview. To start reading from the beginning please see The Ramifications of Alice: A Conversation with Professor Mark Lemley. For our continuing coverage of the Alice decision please see our Alice archive.





Call for Inventions for DRTV Product Summit Presented by InventionHome

Posted: Saturday, Sep 6, 2014 @ 11:11 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 2 comments

Calling all inventors! InventionHome is once again hosting what is becoming a yearly DRTV Product Summit. The one-day event will be held on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Inventors will be given the opportunity to pitch their products to representatives of the six (6) DRTV companies on one day in one location.

This will be the fourth such DRTV Product Summit hosted by InventionHome. Over the first three Summits some 66 inventors pitched their inventions in the format described above. 61 of the 66 have left the Summit with at least one of the company representatives expressing some interest in pursuing additional discussions. Ultimately, 18 of the 66 inventors have received either a term sheet, licensing deal or rep agreement.

Unfortunately, this event is not open to all inventors. Over the past few years the event has grown and there has been significant interest in the inventor community. In order to be considered inventors must submit their inventions to be reviewed by a panel of referees. Submissions are due no later than Tuesday, September 30, 2014. The submission and selection process insures that only the highest quality inventions are presented to the representatives of the DRTV companies that will be present. This maximizes the value for those DRTV companies, which means they keep coming back year after year. It also reserves pitch time for inventors with the most commercially ready products that have the greatest immediate chance for a deal.





Australia Court Says Isolated DNA Patent Eligible, Slams SCOTUS

Posted: Friday, Sep 5, 2014 @ 12:38 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 30 comments

Yesterday it was reported that the number of Americans submitting a claim for unemployment rose again this week. This morning news broke that the U.S. economy added only 142,000 jobs during the month of August, which was far less than the 225,000 jobs expected to be added during August. According to the Wall Street Journal, “around 60,000 people dropped out of the labor force in August, pulling the labor-force participation rate down to 62.8%.” Job creation at these levels are barely enough to keep up with the population growth, and a far cry from the 300,000+ jobs created that would signal a truly healthy and healing economy.

On the very same day that the U.S. jobs report shows unexpectedly weak growth, the Federal Court of Australia issued a ruling directly opposite to the ruling rendered by the United States Supreme Court relative to gene patents. In Yvonne D’Arcy v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., the Federal Court of Australia ruled that Myriad’s claims to isolated DNA are patentable under the laws of Australia. That is the correct ruling, and it is the ruling the U.S. Supreme Court should have reached in Association of Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics. As the patent eligibility laws of the U.S. become increasingly inhospitable to high-tech innovative businesses we can expect more job losses and worse news for the U.S. economy on the horizon.





Proposal to Allow Amendments to Identifications of Goods and Services Due to Technology Evolution

Posted: Friday, Sep 5, 2014 @ 10:55 am | Written by U.S.P.T.O. | No Comments »

The USPTO is seeking feedback from U.S. trademark owners, practitioners, and other interested parties about this proposal to allow amendments to identifications of goods and services due to technology evolution. Please send comments regarding the proposal to TMPolicy@uspto.gov, with the subject line “Technology Evolution.” Comments may be posted on the USPTO website. In order to ensure that your feedback may be considered, please submit it no later than November 3, 2014.

Based on user input, including at a recent roundtable, the USPTO proposes to amend its current practice to permit amendments in limited circumstances to identifications of goods/services based on changes in the manner or medium by which products and services are offered for sale and provided to consumers due to evolving technology if the underlying content or subject matter has not changed. This change in practice takes into account the goal of preserving trademark registrations and applications in situations where technology in an industry has evolved in such a way that amendment of the goods/services in question would not generate a public-notice problem.





The Ramifications of Alice: A Conversation with Mark Lemley

Posted: Thursday, Sep 4, 2014 @ 1:34 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 25 comments

Mark Lemley

By now virtually everyone in the patent industry is aware of the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank. What is less universally understood is the full extent of the decision. My immediate reaction was that this would be extremely bad for software patents. Many others thought I was engaging in extreme exaggeration. Since then, however, the Patent Office has started issuing Alice rejections where no previous 101 patent eligibility rejection stood, they have been withdrawing notices of allowance after the issue fee has been paid in order to issue Alice rejections, and the Federal Circuit is strictly applying the nebulous “Alice standard” to find software patent claims patent ineligible.

It is now clear that the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice fundamentally changed the law and future of software patents, at least those already issued and applications already filed, which cannot be changed without adding new matter. Those applications were filed at a different time and under a substantially different regime.

After discussing the ramifications of Alice with computer software expert Bob Zeidman, I thought it would be interesting to discuss the same from a different perspective with one of the most decorated and published scholars on the topic — Professor Mark Lemley, the William H. Neukom Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and partner in Durie Tangri.





Patented Technology for a Hydrogen Economy

Posted: Thursday, Sep 4, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »

Last week we profiled improvements to hydrogen-fueled energy generation, which was the focus of a webinar hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Technologies Office. As an energy carrier, hydrogen may have an incredible capacity to reduce our energy reliance on fossil fuels and reduce pollutants caused by conventional energy generation processes. In order to get an idea of the wider world of development in this field, we’ve surveyed the most recent patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to find the latest   hydrogen-related innovation that have been protected through U.S. patent grants for companies worldwide.

In this follow-up piece, we focus on recently patented technologies that deal with all aspects of hydrogen generation and the use of hydrogen fuels. We begin our discussion with a trio of patents related to various processes of hydrogen generation. Storing and transportation of hydrogen has been cited as an issue for more implementation of hydrogen technologies, which is why we were happy to include a couple of patents aimed at solving these problems. Methods for refilling hydrogen fuel cells and a couple of technologies for recovering greenhouse gases created by hydrogen generation processes are also discussed below.





Using Competitive Intelligence to Enable IP Monetization

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 @ 10:00 am | Written by Raymond Millien | No Comments »

Illustration by Cat Scott for www.engrossed.me (used with permission).

Personnel charged with managing an enterprise’s intellectual property (IP) are increasingly being asked to show some return for the often multi-million dollar expenditures on applications, registrations and attorneys’ fees. Such returns are only possible by undertaking some form of IP monetization efforts. Like most corporate efforts, however, there first must be a strategy in place. Yet, how can enterprises set an IP monetization strategy without first understanding the IP landscape in the relevant industry? More specifically, enterprises must be able to answer the following questions before even setting a strategy and embarking on any IP monetization efforts: Who are our potential licensees? Who are our potential enforcement targets? What are our best IP assets? Where do we start? What are best practices in the industry? What are the risks? What are the potential rewards? The process of answering these questions in order to form and execute upon IP monetization strategy is called competitive intelligence (CI).





Spotlight on Panasonic U.S. Patents: From Semiconductors to Complex Computer-Implemented Systems

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 3, 2014 @ 8:00 am | Written by Steve Brachmann | No Comments »

Last week we profiled recently published  patent applications owned by Panasonic. In today’s edition of the Companies We Follow series, we’re wrapping up our in-depth coverage of Panasonic, one of the many major electronics developers found throughout the country of Japan. This company has been issued dozens of patents in recent weeks from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In our new format, we’re taking an extended look at the patents recently issued to this company to gain an even wider view of the type of inventions this corporation has been successful in protecting.

As you will see below, our recent survey of Panasonic patents shows us a great deal of innovation in all electronic fields, from the basic foundation of the semiconductor through complex computer-implemented systems designed to aid human functioning. Although Panasonic may be moving away from manufacturing the semiconductors and integrated circuits which it has designed, many of the issued patents shared below support the fact that this company is still heavily entrenched in this field.





Patent Drafting: Broadening Statements vs. Boilerplate Language

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 2, 2014 @ 8:00 pm | Written by Joseph Root | 4 comments

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is an excerpt from Rules of Patent Drafting: Guidance from Federal Circuit Cases, 2014 Edition, which is now available at Amazon.com. This is the fourth installment of what is scheduled to be a 6 part series. To read other installments please see Joseph Root on Patent Claim Drafting.

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Patent prosecutors have responded to the Disclosure Revolution in much the same way that clergy and medical doctors responded to the Black Death. Medieval doctors offered incantations and ritual; patent lawyers recite boilerplate. Neither is particularly effective.

Here, “boilerplate” refers to the general disclaimers, caveats, and restatements of aphorisms included in patent applications, for the apparent purpose of warding off evil spirits and narrow claim constructions. Specific disclaimers, as well as alternatives and variations, stand separate from boilerplate. To illustrate the difference, consider the following two statements: “The frammis illustrated in Fig. 3 is not limited to the constructional detail shown there or described in the accompanying text. As those of skill in the art will understand, a suitable frammis can be fabricated from aluminum, stainless steel, or high-density polymer.” And: “Those in the art will understand that a number of variations may be made in the disclosed embodiments, all without departing from the scope of the invention, which is defined solely by the appended claims.” The first, specifically focused, is not boilerplate. The second, often appended to applications, is.