When you’re dealing with any third-party patent and there’s a lawsuit pending –whether it’s against you or or your customer, from a non-practicing entity or a practicing entity– there’s no question that post grant challenge(PGC) options change strategy from the defendant’s perspective, says Samir Pandya, Senior IP Counsel of the Global Litigation Group at SAP, at the 2013 AIPLA Annual meeting.
The State of PGCs Today
Before the America Invents Act (AIA), we had inter partes reexamination, ex parte reexamination, and the option to purely litigate. Since the AIA, we’ve done away with the first one. Ex parte reexamination is still technically an option, though many find it an unappealing one. “I have had very bad experiences with it. I have yet to see one really succeed. There may be a limited use for it in certain situations, but when you think about ex parte it’s easy enough to say I’m not going to worry about it as an option,” says Pandya. The third option of purely litigating is of course still on the table, but it’s increasingly becoming too expensive, too slow, or too tedious an option to pursue.
Mary Kissel, a Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Member, asked a simple question in this video segment of Fox News Editor-at Large George Russell: Why is Australia re-nominating Francis Gurry to head WIPO? Frankly, this is an excellent question. One might also ask why the Obama Administration has failed to back an alternative candidate despite being implored to do so by Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle?
A source with knowledge close to the situation has also told me that “there will be other shoes to drop; the DNA episode is not the last.”
To the outside world Gurry is affable, knowledgeable and a perfect ambassador of the benefits of intellectual property. Internally, however, he hides things and fosters conflict so that he can rise to the moment and come to the rescue. Indeed, aside from the various scandals WIPO appears to be an extremely dysfunctional workplace, which can only hinder the mission.
The development of alternative fuels to generate electricity for societies around the globe has been a major focus among technology innovators in recent years. By now, everyone is familiar with the doomsday predictions involved with carbon-based fossil fuels, how they’re quickly running out and how they’re causing great harm to our environment.
Deriving energy from the sun has been aggressively, albeit periodically, pursued since at least the 1970s when the U.S. suffered through several gas shortages. But over time gas prices decreased, the technology could not compete with cheap alternatives, so interest waned, although it never thoroughly disappeared. Once again as the environment and climate change has become more of a mainstream issue there is renewed interested in harvesting energy from the sun through the use of photovoltaic (PV) systems. Here at IPWatchdog, we’ve taken a look at some interesting solar energy innovations in the past, but just how close are we to seeing widespread implementation of this technology?
Statistics coming out of the U.S. Energy Information Administration show that solar energy generation has increased dramatically in the course of a few years. Solar collection should continue to grow to about 14 gigawatts by the end of this year, according to this Wall Street Journal article.
Inter Partes Review and the Covered Business Method Patent Program are the new O.K. Corral and it is High Noon
There is a battle cry against abusive litigants in the patent industry. Among the tactics suggested is a “loser pays” system to try to mirror Europe, where this type of abuse is minimal. The Congressional Research Service presents that 92% of companies who assert but do not make products (over broadly and derisively called “trolls”) lose litigation that reaches judgment on the merits. [i] So far, direct fee shifting has received criticism under US jurisprudence, but the US Supreme Court on Sept. 30, 2013 agreed to hear cases involving the award of attorneys’ fees in patent litigation.[ii] Also, several of the proposed bills in Congress support more aggressive fee awards for bad conduct and enhanced rules. In particular, Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s Innovation Act recently cleared the House Judiciary Committee with a specific focus on cutting down on abusive patent litigation.
The America Invents Act (AIA), the first patent reform in decades, created a new forum to resolve patent disputes that effectively shifts fees. The AIA created the Inter Partes Review (IPR) and the Covered Business Method (CBM) program, which are “mini-trials” before an appeal board of specialized legal and technical expert judges. In these proceedings, the board takes a second look at patents the USPTO has already granted to determine whether they are valid. The judges on the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) have been prolific in decisions clarifying the rules of engagement. The result? Up front costs for patent owners where 85% of the IPR/CBMs involve parallel litigation in court, and 66% of the time, the litigation is stayed pending the PTO proceeding. This can increase the overall cost of litigation for patent owners, while increasing the alternatives for defense strategies – pay up extortion fees or pay the PTO IPR/CBM fixed and potentially higher initial fees. However, the defendant then triggers the same level of fees for the patent owner now taking the defense in IPRs/CBMs.
Yesterday President Barack Obama took part in what over the past several decades has become a traditional part of the Thanksgiving holiday in Washington, DC. This year the White House website took the tradition to a new height when it allowed the public to vote on which of two turkeys would receive the title of National Thanksgiving Turkey. The turkey named Popcorn edged out Caramel for the honor. The White House says both turkeys will be spared, receiving official Presidential turkey pardons.
At this festive time of year we always profile a handful of turkey patents, because after all what better way is there to celebrate a holiday than to celebrate American ingenuity? Even the Wall Street Journal did a front page article on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, about turkey innovations and inventors, an article in which I was quoted.
Before proceeding with discussion of turkey frying patents, allow me to on this Thanksgiving day express my thanks. For the 5th consecutive years we have been selected one of the top 100 legal blogs by the American Bar Association, and this year we were added to the ABA Blawg Hall of Fame, which currently is a select group of only 20 legal blogs that have exhibited long term excellence. It is gratifying to receive such an honor, but without our wonderful guest contributors and regular columnists it wouldn’t be possible to publish on such diverse topics. So a special thank you to everyone who has contributed through the year! I also want to say a special thanks to those who have consulted with me on articles and stories, many times on background. You know who you are and your contributions are greatly appreciated. Finally, I want to thank our readers. Five years ago we averaged about 25,000 unique monthly visitors, and this year we are on pace to average close to 120,000 unique monthly visitors with traffic growing practically every month. Without our readers and the many who take time to leave comments there wouldn’t be much point in providing a pro-IP, pro-Patent point of view. Thank you all!
The online retailing giant Amazon.com is an American corporation that is headquartered in Seattle, WA. With Black Friday later this week, we at IPWatchdog wanted to take a closer look at one of the companies that has drastically changed the current reality of retail. As parents all over the country get ready to find gifts for their children, Amazon might earn a better market share with recent reports that it’s toys are cheaper than those found on Wal-Mart’s online store. Recent reports from The Seattle Times indicate that the corporation is looking to increase its leased spacing within Seattle by 20 percent, or about 275,000 square feet.
Holding the rights to more than 1,200 patents, Amazon is definitely a company to profile in our Companies We Follow series. It’s never too long before a new patent application or issued patent is published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which is assigned to the company. As you can see, Amazon is busy finding new and more effective ways of putting consumers in touch with useful multimedia.
Today’s featured patent application would protect a software widget for handheld electronic devices that allows playback of Amazon digital files. This widget would save system resources that typically get drained when users open multiple applications for video and audio playback or eBook reading. A couple of other patent applications discuss improved delivery systems for physical copies of media, including a system of creating custom shipping containers. Another patent application allows handheld electronic devices to conserve energy typically used by touchscreen operations.
My 2013 ethics series continues, today looking at several more final orders in disciplinary proceedings at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The title here is a little misleading. There was only a single final action in March 2013, so I’ve also included one decision from April 2013. Discussion of the remaining two decisions from April will appear in the next installment of the series.
The totality of this series will make up the backbone of my ethics presentation at the 8th Annual Patent Law Institute sponsored by the Practising Law Institute, which will take place in New York at the beginning of February 2014, and which will be reprised live in San Francisco in mid-March 2014.
Typically blog roll links are not helpful to a website's rank. To give some additional "link love" to those we think you might be interested in reading we have moved our blog roll and links to a dedicated page. Go to IPWatchdog Blog Roll & Links.