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Senate Judiciary Advances American Innovation and Choice Online Act to Ramp Up Antitrust Efforts Against Big Tech

On January 20, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary voted 16-6 to advance S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, out of committee and toward a full vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate. If passed, the bill would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Attorney General and state attorneys general new powers to bring antitrust enforcement actions against major online platforms that are alleged to be engaging in discriminatory conduct by preferencing their own products and services over competing products and services that are also available on those platforms.

Qualcomm SCOTUS Brief Charges Apple Has No Legal Leg to Stand On

On January 19, Qualcomm filed a brief in opposition to Apple’s petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing Apple failed to make the requisite evidentiary showing to obtain Article III standing. In 2017, Qualcomm filed suit against Apple, alleging Apple’s mobile devices infringed five of its patents, two of which are at issue here, U.S. Patent No. 7,844,037 (the ‘037 patent) and U.S. Patent No. 8,683,362 (the ‘362 patent). Apple counterclaimed, urging the court to invalidate those five patents. Additionally, Apple filed a simultaneous challenge to two of the patents through inter partes reviews (IPRs).

On Day Two of PTAB Masters™ 2022, Panelists Dig into Data Showing Fintiv Denials May Be Dead for Texas Cases

The first panel of Tuesday’s PTAB Masters™ 2022, titled “Discretionary Denials: Has the WDTX Been Neutered?”, presented data that reveals the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) seemingly stopped citing Fintiv as a reason to discretionarily deny inter partes review (IPR) proceedings for cases with parallel litigation in the Western or Eastern Districts of Texas (WD of TX/ ED of TX) during the last four months of 2021. While the PTAB issued a larger number of institution decisions overall in those months compared with previous months, and a larger number of cases citing Fintiv, there was also a relatively low number of cases across all jurisdictions in which discretion to deny was applied based on the Fintiv analysis.

Billion Dollar Code Brings to Life the Nasty Patent Battle Over Google Earth

A new crime drama, The Billion Dollar Code, is a fascinating breakthrough mini-series that illustrates the legal challenges of inventions and inventors in a world where technology giants can refuse to acknowledge the source of ideas they do not control. The popular four-part Netflix mini-series achieves uncanny success not only in depicting an epic legal battle but doing it over four plus hours in German with subtitles and an abundance of algorithm detail and trial preparation. It is reminiscent of Chernobyl, HBO’s award-winning series that turned the complex series of events and failures, both technical and human, leading to a nuclear core meltdown into award-winning entertainment.

Federal Circuit Finds ‘Lifter Member’ Invokes Means-Plus-Function

On January 21, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the term “lifter member” invokes means plus function (MPF) claiming. The case is Kyocera Senco Indus. Tools Inc. v. ITC, Appeal Nos. 2020-1046 and 2020-2050 (Fed. Cir. 2022). The Federal Circuit panel for the case consisted of Chief Judge Moore along with Judges Dyk and Cunningham. Chief Judge Moore wrote the opinion for the panel. To summarize, in 2017, Kyocera filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC). Kyocera alleged that a company named Koki violated 19 U.S.C. § 1337 (Section 337) by importing gas spring nailer products that infringe, or were made using methods that infringe, certain claims in five Kyocera patents. Those patents generally relate to linear fastener driving tools, like portable tools that drive staples, nails, or other linearly-driven fasteners.

Use of Research Tools May Expose Companies to Patent Infringement Claims

The safe harbor provision set forth in 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(1) immunizes many types of activities in pursuit of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submission from patent infringement claims. Research tools are frequently used in pursuit of an FDA submission, such as drug development, testing and screening. But research tools themselves generally are not subject to FDA or other regulatory approval. Depending on the circumstances, using research tools to submit data to the FDA may not be protected by the safe harbor provision and thus may expose companies to patent infringement claims.

Edell, Shapiro and Finnan is Seeking a Patent Attorney or Agent

Edell, Shapiro & Finnan, LLC (“ESF”), an Intellectual Property Boutique, is seeking a Patent Attorney or Agent specialing in ME/EE or Life Sciences to join the patent prosecution team. This is a full-time, permanent, immediate position located in Gaithersburg, MD.

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