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.
BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – November 19, 2013) - WilmerHale is pleased to announce that Quentin Palfrey has joined the firm’s Boston office as special counsel in the Intellectual Property Litigation Practice. Mr. Palfrey, whose practice focuses on complex intellectual property litigation matters, brings with him a decade of varied experience gained from positions in the private and public sectors.
For two years, beginning in 2011, Mr. Palfrey was Senior Advisor for Jobs & Competitiveness in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, serving as lead White House policy staffer on a successful patent reform effort that led to the signing of the America Invents Act. He also coordinated White House input into a report to Congress on the national strategy for innovation and competitiveness, and was involved in a wide range of global development initiatives, including Patents for Humanity. Mr. Palfrey managed agency activities and provided policy advice to the President’s Science Adviser, US Chief Technology Officer and other senior White House officials on a variety of issues involving intellectual property and other technology issues.
“We are very pleased to welcome Quentin to the firm,” said Lisa Pirozzolo, co-chair of WilmerHale’s IP Litigation Practice. “He has valuable experience and a breadth of knowledge that will be a great benefit to his colleagues and clients.”
“It’s never good news when your area of the law is on 60 minutes,” says Courtenay Brinckerhoff, partner at Foley & Lardner LLP at the 2013 AIPLA Annual Meeting. It’s no secret that the Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics case had more than its fair share of media buzz. The decision, holding that isolated DNA was not patent eligible, left many of us wondering how to best address the needs of our biotech clients going forward.
The main claims at issue in this case are the isolated DNA claims. Claim one is broad enough to cover naturally occurring DNA, and claim two is specific to synthetic DNA. In 2010, the district court came out with a decision holding that DNA was not patent eligible subject matter, which was a bit of a shock to us. Most of the rationale was focused on the idea that DNA embodies information, and regardless of what the actual molecule looks like, Myriad’s claim is for that defining characteristic. The case went up to the Federal Circuit where former chemist Judge Lourie held that technically the isolated DNA is different than natural DNA, because you have to break the covalent bonds to isolate the methylated gene. There were, of course, also policy reasons to uphold the claim like the reliance of the biotech industry on the USPTO already having granted these sorts of patents for nearly 20 years.
The National Institutes of Health recently made its long anticipated ruling on a petition seeking to use the “march in” provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act as a mechanism for the government to control prices on drugs derived from federally-funded research by issuing compulsory licenses.
NIH correctly ruled that such actions are not sanctioned under the law. Three succeeding NIH directors have reached the same conclusion: the march in rights provision was never intended as a price control mechanism. Hopefully, the third time is the charm.
The petition was a reiteration of one dismissed in 2004 seeking to have the government march in to control the price of Norvir, part of the AIDS “cocktail.” Norvir was invented by Abbott Laboratories with partial NIH funding, thus it falls under the Bayh-Dole Act which grants ownership of federally funded inventions to universities and industry contractors so they can be developed for public use.
Before Bayh-Dole not a single drug was commercialized when the government took patent rights away from inventing organizations. Under the law at least 153 new drugs and vaccines are now alleviating human suffering world-wide.
As President of a local inventors group I can’t tell you how many inventors I meet who have spent big bucks to procure a patent but never built a prototype. So they have no idea if the invention really works. Others who have a garage full of product, just collecting dust because they never tested the market before hand. However, most successful inventors and product development companies that I know, start off with a Proof of Concept Analysis BEFORE they start spending money. So if they do it, why not you?
A full Proof of Concept Analysis consists of three equally important parts: Business Analysis, Ownership Analysis and Product Analysis. These steps should be developed simultaneously or at least completed before moving on to development or you WILL certainly regret it later. I usually start with the one that I consider to be the weakest link in the chain. For example, if I think ownership might be an issue I will do a pretty strong patent, product and industry search especially if I think I have seen something similar.
After you savor that wonderful “Moment of Discovery” and you have finished daydreaming about striking it rich, you really do need to move forward to take a cold hard honest look at your new product. At this point you don’t have to go into excruciating detail, just a quick overview to make sure it is worth pursuing. The questions generated will form the basis of your development process.
The Federal Trade Commission has extended the deadline for public comments on its proposed study of patent assertion entities (PAEs), which it announced on September 27. To provide additional time for interested parties to submit comments on the proposed study, the deadline has been extended throughDecember 16, 2013. The Commission will not consider requests for further extension. Comments can be submitted electronically.
PAEs are firms with a business model based primarily on buying patents and then attempting to generate revenue by asserting the intellectual property against persons who are already practicing the patented technologies. The FTC is conducting the study in order to further one of the agency’s key missions — to examine cutting-edge competition and consumer protection topics that may have a significant effect on the U.S. economy.
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