Other Barks & Bites for Friday, December 31: CAFC Moves to Telephonic Hearings, Ikorongo Challenges CAFC Mandamus Ruling at Supreme Court and More

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This week in the final Other Barks & Bites roundup for 2021: the Federal Circuit issues precedential decisions finding Intel has Article III standing to appeal Qualcomm IPRs from the PTAB; the Federal Circuit also announces that oral arguments during January 2022 will be conducted by telephonic hearing; Germany’s patent office announced that urban air mobility patent application filings have tripled from 2016 to 2020; Samsung and Micron announce that chip production activities will be impacted by China’s COVID-19 lockdown of Xi’an; Tesla recalls nearly half a million vehicles to address crash safety issues; the PTAB institutes an IPR proceeding on one of two patents involved in VLSI Technologies’ $2.18 billion infringement verdict against Intel; the Japanese government plans to introduce a law paying patent applicants to keep patents covering technologies with potential military applications secret; the Copyright Office ends timing adjustments under its CARES Act authority; and Ikorongo Texas files a petition for writ of certiorari asking the Supreme Court to reverse the Federal Circuit’s mandamus ruling transferring a patent infringement case from Western Texas to Northern California.

Bites

Copyright Office Issues NPRM on Law Student, Business Representation at CCB – On Thursday, December 30, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register that would establish procedures governing the appearance of law students representing parties pro bono in legal proceedings before the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), and allowing for the representation of business entities at the CCB by an attorney, fiduciary or an authorized employee. 

CAFC Enters Precedential Decisions on Article III Standing in Intel IPR Appeals – On Wednesday, December 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit entered a pair of precedential decisions in Intel v. Qualcomm, one vacating part of a final written decision in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) after finding that the PTAB’s decision to uphold Qualcomm’s amended patent claims as nonobviousness was not supported by substantial evidence, and another vacating a ruling in consolidated IPR proceedings for erroneous claim construction and indefiniteness findings. In both cases, the Federal Circuit found that Intel had Article III standing to appeal the IPRs despite the fact that Intel had not faced a Qualcomm infringement suit as previous Qualcomm litigation against Apple had targeted elements of Apple devices incorporating Intel products.

China to Increase Copyright Protections for Live-Streaming and Sports Events – On Wednesday, December 29, Reuters reported that China’s National Copyright Administration announced that the nation’s 14th Five-Year Plan for Copyright Work will involve stronger legal protections for copyright ownership over e-commerce platforms as well as live-streaming and sporting events.

Ikorongo Files Petition for Writ Challenging CAFC’s Mandamus Order Out of Western Texas – On Wednesday, December 29, patent owner Ikorongo Texas LLC filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the nation’s highest court to take up its appeal of the Federal Circuit’s decision this summer to grant writs of mandamus transferring patent lawsuits against Samsung and LG Electronics from the Western District of Texas to the Northern District of California, accusing Ikorongo of engaging in “efforts to manipulate venue” as the assignee of the exclusive right to assert the patent claims and collect damages within specified parts of the state of Texas.

CAFC Affirms PTAB’s Invalidations of Sanofi-Aventis Insulin Pen Injector Patent Claims – On Wednesday, December 29, the Federal Circuit issued a series of nonprecedential decisions affirming several final written decisions in IPR proceedings challenging claims of five Sanofi-Aventis patents covering a pen-type injector for administering insulin, as well as an order mooting Sanofi-Aventis’ appeal of the District of New Jersey’s invalidation of patent claims that were also invalidated in the PTAB proceedings.

CAFC to Conduct Telephonic Hearings for Oral Arguments During January 2022 – On Monday, December 27, the Federal Circuit announced that, due to public health conditions impacting the capital region, all oral arguments scheduled during the court’s January 2022 session will be conducted by telephonic hearing.

Japan to Introduce Legislation Paying Companies Not to License Sensitive Patents – On Sunday, December 26, Asian financial news outlet Nikkei reported that the Japanese government is planning to introduce draft legislation in the coming weeks aimed at ensuring that Japanese patents covering technologies with potential military applications would remain secret by compensating applicants for refraining from entering into licensing agreements.

PTAB Institutes IPR Against VLSI Patent in $2.18B Infringement Verdict – On Thursday, December 23, the PTAB instituted an IPR proceeding petitioned by OpenSky Industries challenging claims from one of two patents involved in VLSI Technologies’ $2.175 billion jury verdict for patent infringement against Intel handed down this past March in the Western District of Texas.

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Barks

USPTO Extends COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Program Until March – On Thursday, December 30, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing that the agency would be extending the modified COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program from the program’s previous expiration date of December 31. The program will be accepting application for prioritized examination of COVID-19-related patent applications up to March 31, 2022.

Major Tech Firms Hit with Section 337 Complaint at USITC Over Integrated Circuits – On Thursday, December 30, the U.S. International Trade Commission announced that it had received a complaint by patent owner Future Link Systems requesting a Section 337 investigation into claims of infringement over certain integrated circuits and products including the same imported into the U.S. for sale by more than a dozen major tech firms including Apple, Google, Qualcomm, HP, Broadcom and Dell.

Copyright Office Announces CARES Act Timing Adjustments to End on Dec. 31 – On Wednesday, December 29, the U.S. Copyright Office announced that the agency would be allowing previous timing adjustments to filing deadlines to expire on December 31 after finding that there was no evidence of a need for continued adjustments for disruptions to the copyright system caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Germany’s DMPA Says Urban Air Mobility Patent Applications Have Tripled Since 2016 – On Wednesday, December 29, the German Patent and Trademark Office (DMPA) announced that patent application filings in the area of urban air mobility, including technologies for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft for use in heavily populated areas, have tripled in recent years from about 200 patent applications in 2016 up to about 600 patent applications in 2020, with 42.2 percent of urban air mobility patent applications during that period coming from entities located in the United States.

Accenture Federal Services Wins $87M USPTO Contract to Improve Trademark IT Services – On Tuesday, December 28, the U.S. federal services subsidiary of global digital services firm Accenture announced that it had been awarded a seven-year contract worth $87 million to support and enhance the USPTO’s Trademark Product Line, which manages the trademark cycle from filing to registration, by modernizing critical applications and incorporating secure cloud and automation capabilities into the system.

Judge Klausner Enters Injunction Against Use of Coachella Name, But Not Ticket Sales – On Monday, December 27, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner of the Central District of California entered a preliminary injunction against Live Nation preventing it from referring to a music event organized by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians as Coachella Day One 22, but Judge Klausner denied a request by Goldenvoice, organizers of the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, to prevent Ticketmaster.com sales of tickets to the event as Live Nation did not exert control over the general sales of tickets to the infringing event.

Volvo Drops Trademark Counterclaims, Settles Copyright Suit Over Instagram Photo – On Monday, December 27, a civil action in the Central District of California was dismissed following a settlement between automaker Volvo and a pair of plaintiffs, photographer Jack Schroeder and model Britni Sumida, over claims that Volvo had misappropriated a picture including Sumida posing with a Volvo car. Volvo had raised counterclaims of trademark infringement in the suit.

Taylor Swift Files Motion to Reconsider SJ in “Shake It Off” Copyright Case – On Thursday, December 23, singer/songwriter Taylor Swift and several music publishing companies, defendants in a Central District of California copyright infringement case involving the lyrics to Swift’s 2014 release “Shake It Off,” filed a motion to amend or reconsider summary judgment over arguments that the court failed to apply the Ninth Circuit’s extrinsic test to plaintiff songwriters’ claimed substantial similarity between Swift’s song and lyrics from the 2000 release “Playas Gon’ Play” by the girl group 3LW in rejecting a previous motion for summary judgment.

This Week on Wall Street

Samsung Biologics Filing Denies Rumors of Biogen Acquisition – On Thursday, December 30, South Korean biotech firm Samsung Biologics filed a response to rumors or media reports with the Korea Exchange officially dispelling rumors reported by Korea Economic Daily that the firm was in discussions to acquire American firm Biogen in a deal valued at up to $42 billion.

Tesla Recalls 475K Electric Vehicles to Address Safety Issues – On Thursday, December 30, the National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that electric vehicle maker Tesla was recalling about 475,000 Model 3 and Model S cars in response to identified crash safety issues involving those vehicles’ rear-view camera and truck latch mechanisms.

Samsung, Micron Announce Chip Production Issues in Wake of Xi’an COVID Lockdown – On Wednesday, December 29, blog posts on the official blogs for chipmakers Samsung Electronics and Micron Technology announced that, due to the Chinese government’s lockdown of Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, would be impacting output levels of chip manufacturing facilities located in that city.

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