Other Barks & Bites for Friday, June 14: TERM Act Targets Patent Evergreening, Senate Patent Eligibility Hearings Wrap, and Huawei Seeks Patent Licenses From Verizon

Bites (noun): more meaty news to sink your teeth into.

Barks (noun): peripheral noise worth your attention.

https://depositphotos.com/99956332/stock-photo-dog-on-hammock-in-summer.htmlThis week in Other Barks & Bites: the Supreme Court’s decision in Return Mail prohibits the federal government from petitioning for America Invents Act (AIA) patent validity trials; the TERM Act is introduced into the House of Representatives to reduce patent evergreening; the leadership of the Senate IP Subcommittee calls for a restoration of America’s patent system before wrapping up its third patent eligibility hearing; Huawei asks Verizon to license more than 200 patents; the Ninth Circuit decides to rehear “Stairway to Heaven” copyright case en banc; Princeton University and Facebook are targeted with copyright and trade secret claims for scraping 3D image database; and the U.S. ban on supplying components to Huawei leads to decrease in Broadcom’s revenue.


Bipartisan House Bill Aims to Curb Evergreening of Drug Patents – On Wednesday, June 12, Representatives Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Doug Collins (R-GA) introduced the Terminating the Extension of Rights Misappropriated (TERM) Act into the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, also co-sponsored by Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) and Ben Cline (R-VA), would require drug companies to demonstrate why changes to a drug would qualify for patent protection.

Supreme Court Decides Return Mail, Finds Government Can’t Petition for IPRs – On Monday, June 10, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 decision in Return Mail, Inc. v. United States Postal Service which found that the Postal Service, as a federal government agency, doesn’t qualify as a “person” that can challenge patent validity in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings.

Senate IP Subcommittee Holds Final Hearing on Patent Eligibility Issues – On Tuesday, June 11, the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property held its final hearing on patent eligibility issues in the American patent system. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chair of the Senate IP Subcommittee, indicated at the hearing that changes would be made to a proposed legislative fix for Section 101 and that a final bill would be released after the July 4 recess. 

Senators Tillis, Coons Call for Restoration of U.S. Patent System – On Monday, June 10, Senators Thom Tillis and Chris Coons (D-DE), Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate IP Subcommittee, penned an op-ed published by The Hill calling for a restoration of certainty in the U.S. patent system and saying that current patent law has become “hostile to innovation.” 

Federal Circuit Upends PTAB Invalidation of Power Integrations Patents – On Thursday, June 13, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a series of rulings that vacated final written decisions issued by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in IPR proceedings that invalidated patent claims owned by Power Integrations. The Federal Circuit found that the IPRs were time-barred because of petitioner ON Semiconductor’s merger with Fairchild Semiconductor, which had previously faced infringement charges over the patents. 

Huawei Demands Patent Licenses From Verizon – On Wednesday, June 12, The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese telecom giant Huawei has asked Verizon Communications to take a license to more than 200 patents covering wireless and mobile device technologies.

Seventh Circuit Holds That “Capsule” Trademark is Descriptive – On Tuesday, June 11, the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Uncommon, LLC v. Spigen, Inc. affirming a district court’s invalidation of a trademark registration for “capsule” that Uncommon had asserted in an infringement case over cellphone cases.

Blockchain Patent Filings See Fastest Increase Among Computing Technologies – On Wednesday, June 5, Compelo reported that 60 percent of all patents covering blockchain technologies were filed between 2016 and 2017, the fastest increase in patenting activity among all computing sectors, including quantum computing.


Huawei Moves to Trademark “Hongmeng” OS After U.S. Ban – On Wednesday, June 12, Reuters reported that Huawei may be launching its own mobile operating system called “Hongmeng” based on trademark applications filed in nine countries and Europe after a Trump Administration ban threatened the Chinese telecom’s ability to continue utilizing Alphabet’s Android OS in its smartphones. 

Ninth Circuit Agrees to En Banc Rehearing of “Stairway to Heaven” Copyright Case – On Monday, June 10, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed to an en banc rehearing of Michael Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin to review an earlier decision by a Ninth Circuit judicial panel that ordered a new trial at district court in the copyright case over the opening guitar riff to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”

https://depositphotos.com/30633387/stock-illustration-postman-followed-by-a-dog.htmlTexas Appeals Court Overturns Copyright Ruling Against University of Houston – On Tuesday, June 11, Justice Richard Hightower of the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas issued a decision in University of Houston System v. Jim Olive Photography in which the appellate court held that the university’s publication of Olive’s copyrighted photographs on a promotional webpage was not an unlawful taking under either the Texas Constitution or the U.S. Constitution.

Samsung Loses Patent Challenge at the Federal Circuit – On Tuesday, June 11, the Federal Circuit issued a decision that affirmed rulings by the PTAB to uphold the validity of claims from 11 semiconductor patents that were challenged by alleged infringers Samsung, Micron Technology and SK Hynix.

3M Settles Patent Litigation Over Metal Mesh Technology – On Thursday, June 13, multinational conglomerate 3M announced that it had settled a patent infringement suit filed against Tovis Co. and Scientific Games. 3M had accused those companies of infringing upon eight patents covering metal mesh conductor technology used in touch sensors and panels. 

InfoWars, Alex Jones Settle “Pepe the Frog” Copyright Lawsuit – On Monday, June 10, radio host Alex Jones settled a copyright suit over the use of the well-known “Pepe the Frog” cartoon figure, agreeing to pay $15,000 to Pepe creator Matt Furie and stopping sales of all InfoWars merchandise using the cartoon character.

USPTO Denies Trademark Registration to TracFone for “Unlimited Carryover” – On Monday, June 10, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) issued a decision affirming an examiner’s refusal to register the trademark “Unlimited Carryover” filed by prepaid mobile provider TracFone as the mark doesn’t identify the source of TracFone’s services and distinguish those services from others.

Facebook, Princeton Face Copyright, Trade Secret Case – On Wednesday, June 5, home interior design platform provider Planner 5D filed a lawsuit alleging copyright and trade secret claims in the Northern District of California over data scraping more than five gigabytes from Planner 5D’s three-dimensional object database by Princeton University computer scientists and submitted to a scene recognition technology competition run by Facebook.

This Week on Wall Street 

Broadcom Stock Falls After Cutting Its Revenue Guidance – On Thursday, June 13, shares of Broadcom stock fell by more than 8 percent after the company released second quarter earnings which missed revenue expectations by $160 million and trimmed its 2019 earnings guidance by $2.19 billion down to $22.5 billion based on “geopolitical uncertainties” and the Trump Administration’s ban on selling components, including semiconductors, to Huawei.

Facebook to Unveil Cryptocurrency Backed by Visa, Mastercard – On Thursday, June 13, The Wall Street Journal reported that social media giant Facebook is getting ready to unveil a cryptocurrency product called Libra next week that is supported by investments from Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and other members of the Libra Association. 

Quarterly Earnings – The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2017 are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2017 rank in parentheses):

  • Monday: None
  • Tuesday: Adobe Systems Inc. (110th)
  • Wednesday: Oracle International Corp. (50th)
  • Thursday: Red Hat, Inc. (t-179th)
  • Friday: None

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