IPWatchdog.com founder Gene Quinn has recently spoken at several events. On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, he gave the ethics lecture at the PLI Patent Litigation 2014 program in New York City. On Monday, November 17, 2014, he gave a presentation titled Dark Days Ahead: The Patent Pendulum at the Orange County Bar Association in Newport Beach, California. These powerpoint presentations are available below. If you would like Gene to speak to your group or at your event let us know by using this contact form.
Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 @ 2:41 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 14 comments
James Tissot's David & Goliath, circa 1896
Many will recall that back in March 2006, the much anticipated patent settlement between Research In Motion, Ltd. (RIM) and NTP, Inc. was finalized for $612.5 million. In the five plus years since that settlement there has been a lot of talk about patent trolls, who are now more frequently referred to by the rather sanitized term “non-practicing entities.” Numerous articles have been written about the plague of patent trolls and many attempts have been undertaken to whittle away at patent rights in an attempt to make it more difficult for non-practicing entities to monetize their patent rights. Meanwhile, practically every independent inventor now believes that they have an invention that some Mega-Giant company is infringing and which entitles them to tens of millions of dollars. After all NTP was successful.
Indeed, over the years since that great NTP-RIM settlement there has been enormous focus on the $600+ million amount, and little on what lead to that settlement and the aftermath of that settlement, which has changed the patent law landscape. In some corners when listening to inventors one might almost start to think that any small company with a patent could easily stand up and take on industry giants. This, after all, was the David and Goliath — NTP v. RIM, right? Not so fast. First, the case was not as simple as it may have seemed. Second, for every David with a patent portfolio, there are numerous Goliaths defending their market shares vigorously. Third, thanks to judicial dislike of patent trolls all non-practicing entities have suffered. In fact, it is now extremely difficult to obtain an injunction as a non-practicing entity.
Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 @ 6:14 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 1 Comment »
The Subcommittee on Energy and Power held hearings earlier this month on “The American Energy Initiative.” The hearings provided an overview of the challenges and opportunities for alternative transportation fuels and vehicles. The hearing explored a number of issues, including the current status of the Renewable Fuel Standard, and implementation challenges facing regulators, producers, and marketers of renewable fuels. The hearing also discussed the prospects for meeting future conventional and advanced biofuels targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard, and issues related to their incorporation into the gasoline supply, as well as the current status of efforts to expand the use of natural gas and electric vehicles, the cost of driving, the economy, jobs, and national security.
Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 @ 3:42 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 1 Comment »
On Friday, May 13, 2011, the Federal Circuit issued the latest decision in a long line of Rambus decisions stemming out of conduct of Rambus as it participated in the JEDEC standard-setting body, as well as litigation events that followed. Rambus was investigated for antitrust violations, and has been able to put those issues in the past. See Rambus Patent Related Antitrust Saga Appears to be Over. Unfortunately, there remained patent infringement litigation brought by Rambus and Rambus was charged with destroying evidence that should have been kept for trial. And in this latest case, Micron Technology Inc. v. Rambus, Inc., a five judge panel of the Federal Circuit (per Judge Linn) affirmed the district court’s determination that Rambus destroyed documents during its second shred day in contravention of a duty to preserve them and, thus, engaging in spoliation. This decision seems virtually assured to result in Rambus losing all opportunity to seek redress for patent infringement.
Posted: Monday, May 16, 2011 @ 4:12 pm | Written by U.S.P.T.O. | Comments Off
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the Full First Action Interview Pilot Program, which is an expansion of the Enhanced First Action Interview Pilot Program so as to include all utility applications in all technology areas and filing dates. As with the previous First Action Interview pilot programs (which included the Original and the Enhanced pilots), the applicant is entitled to a first action interview, upon request, prior to the first Office action on the merits. This pilot will run through May 16, 2012.
Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011 @ 11:00 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 6 comments
As anyone who follows the United States Supreme Court knows, the Court has historically been extremely fond of taking important cases, with cutting edge issues, only to dodge the real issues and address some insignificant procedural or hyper-technical issue. Such disappointment is all to frequent, so Supreme Court watchers are seldom surprised when the Court passes on an opportunity to breathe clarity into otherwise unsettled waters. But what the Supreme Court did five years ago today in the eBay v. MercExchange case was far more sinister than merely refusing to address important issues of the day. The Supreme Court decided to throw out long standing and well established Federal Circuit jurisprudence and offered little or nothing in its place.
According to research Patstats.org, which is an ongoing patent statistics project by the University of Houston Law Center, since the Supreme Court’s decision in eBay v. MercExchange (through April 11, 2011) there have been 131 cases where a permanent injunction has issued and 43 cases where a permanent injunction has been denied. Some have tried to pass this off as not much of a departure from the practice prior to the Supreme Court’s decision. Such a viewpoint is, however, not correct. Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision it was virtually unheard of for a district court to deny a victorious plaintiff a permanent injunction in patent infringement case. So the Supreme Court’s decision in eBay v. MercExchange has been one that has significantly altered the patent litigation landscape and, therefore, is easily one of the most important Supreme Court patent cases in recent memory.
Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 @ 12:15 pm | Written by Renee C. Quinn | 3 comments
Social media has taken the world by storm. Everyone from college students, to politicians, news media outlets, to business professionals, small and big businesses, to musicians, artists and other individual people both young and old have jumped on the social media bandwagon. When creating a marketing campaign, no matter what the business is, social media is an obvious choice for those who wish to expand their reach beyond that of the local phone book. Given that social media is still quite new to the business arena, there are many opportunities missed because of common yet avoidable mistakes. On February 18th I wrote an article on the Top 10 Mistakes Businesses Make with Social Media. Since then I have written several articles on Attorney Marketing and Brand Building and Common Marketing Mistakes Attorneys Make Part one and Part two. However, today I would like to speak specifically to the use of social media by attorneys and the common yet avoidable mistakes attorneys often make.
Now of course, because I am not an attorney I will not speak to the ethical implications of using social media. However, since social media has become so widespread amongst attorneys, the American Bar Association is now addressing the ethical implications of social media as part of the ABA Commission on Ethics. Even those who follow ethical standards to the letter are not immune to making some of the biggest mistakes attorneys can make when using social media, which not only may result in missed opportunities, but will also result in your time and efforts being wasted.
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 @ 11:29 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 8 comments
John White has taught over 50% of the patent bar how to pass the exam.
And now a message from the shameless commerce division, brought to you by the #1 Patent Bar Review Course in the Nation — the PLI Patent Bar Review Course. PLI is the major sponsor of IPWatchdog.com and this patent bar review course is the one I have taught for the past 11 years.
Our busy Summer Tour 2011 kicked off in New York City on May 11, 2011. Our next stop will be San Francisco, California from June 22-26, 2011. But for the moment John White and I are presently in New York City teaching aspiring patent attorneys and patent agents how to pass the newly revamped patent bar examination. The test has been revised by the United States Patent and Trademark Office effective April 12, 2011, and now tests Edition 8, Revision 8 of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedures, better known as the MPEP. In addition to testing the most current revision of the MPEP, the test also integrates the Bilski Guidelines, the KSR Guidelines and the very new 112 Guidelines, all of which are yet to officially make it into a version of the MPEP. John and I have created all new materials and have completely revised the course, making it better than ever.
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 @ 11:50 am | Written by Gene Quinn | 8 comments
A patent is a proprietary right granted by the Federal government to an inventor. There are three types of patents available in the United States: (1) a utility patent, which covers the functional aspects of products and processes; (2) a design patent, which covers the ornamental design of useful objects; and (3) a plant patent, which covers a new variety of living plant. Each type of patent confers “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention into the United States. It is important to note, however, that patents do not protect ideas, but rather protect inventions and methods that exhibit patentable subject matter.
The United States Constitution grants to the Congress the power to grant patents; this power residing in the Congress is found in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8. Unlike most of the enumerated powers granted to Congress in the Constitution, the Intellectual Property Clause is a qualified grant of power, which does limit Congressional discretion in significant ways. The Congress does not have free reign to decide that patents should be easily or freely given, but rather must limit their exercise of power to the dictates of the clause itself. See Bonito Boats, Inc. v. Thunder Craft Boats, Inc., 489 U.S. 141, 146 (1989). See also Graham v. John Deere Co. of Kansas City, 383 U.S. 1, 5 (1966) (“The clause is both a grant of power and a limitation. This qualified authority, unlike the power often exercised in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by the English Crown, is limited to the promotion of advances in the ‘useful arts.’”).
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 @ 11:39 am | Written by Beth Hutchens | 18 comments
Imagine a world where the dulcet tones of “Inagaddadavida” never graced the airwaves. Gasp you should! According to the artist currently known as, but formerly known as “The Artist Formerly Known as, Prince,” once a song is covered the original artist’s version doesn’t exist anymore. Soooo…Iron Butterfly’s iconic song no longer exists because Slayer remade it in the late 1980s. Yeah, I don’t think so, but let’s explore, because Prince does make an interesting point and he’s kind of right to be miffed, even if it’s for the wrong reasons. He was talking about the compulsory licensing requirements in copyright law and the “original work is banished to music purgatory once it’s covered” argument is his way of explaining his indignation.
I doubt the Purple One spends much time perusing the Copyright Office’s circulars or exploring the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) website but, fortunately, I do. Basically, in copyright, a compulsory license is an exception that allows a person who does not own, and did not create, the subject matter of the copyright to exercise one or more of the copyright holder’s exclusive rights without having to obtain permission. In English, the “license” part means a person can cover any song he or she wants to and the “compulsory” part means the copyright holder and/or original author can’t say “boo” about it.
Posted: Monday, May 9, 2011 @ 3:35 pm | Written by Gene Quinn | 3 comments
Louis Foreman at Inventors HOF Induction May 4, 2011
Louis Foreman, the producer of the Emmy Award winning PBS television show Everyday Edisons, as well as the CEO of the design firm Enventys and publisher of Inventors Digest, recently announced the launching of a $25 million Innovation Fund, the proceeds of which will be used to bring innovations to market. In an interview with Foreman (see below) he explained to me that he is looking for inventions and ideas for all kinds of products, and not just the consumer products that Everyday Edisons has become known for. Foreman explains that medical devices, military and law enforcement technology, social networking innovations and even software are all desirable ideas/innovations for the Innovation Fund.
To help what might be the best ideas and inventions percolate to the top Foreman has created what he refers to as a “Patent Attorney Referral Program.” This program is designed to benefit patent attorneys and patent agents whose clients submit innovative ideas and concepts. This isn’t one of those unethical referral programs though, so no worries there. If a client of a patent attorney or patent agent is selected and accepts the offer of assistance from the Innovation Fund then the patent attorney or patent agent representing that inventor will be retained by the Innovation Fund to provide the legal services required to pursue patent rights.