Posts in Holiday Posts

World IP Day and ‘The Sound of the Future’

Today, for the 20th year in a row, we celebrate World IP Day. Today also marks the 80th birthday (after mine, another notable quarantine birthday) of a composer, songwriter, and record producer that has changed the history of music: Giorgio Moroder. Nicknamed the “Father of Disco”, he pioneered electronic music, produced numerous world hits – including some of Donna Summer’s major successes – and later composed film screenplays and scores (and won several awards for that work, including three Oscars). More recently, Moroder, a native of Ortisei, Italy, was honored with and contributed to a song named after him by the acclaimed EDM duo, Daft Punk. Similarly to Moroder, artists and creatives push the boundaries of ingenuity, create worlds for us to get lost in, imagine digital and analog alternative realities to soothe our senses and soul, and blur the lines between art, entertainment and technology. Innovators in all fields question the status quo and pursue a vision in creative art, technology, medicine, business, and all other areas of human knowledge. And while they do so, they touch many lives and, through their collective contribution, impact society as a whole. As our lives have been turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize more than ever that investing in creativity, in innovation, and in the visionaries has allowed us as a society to cope and fight back with unprecedented tools.

Celebrating World IP Day in a New World

It’s World IP Day! This year, the day will not be celebrated in the traditional fashion; there will be none of the usual panels, receptions, gatherings or educational events that are organized annually to commemorate the holiday, which was launched in 2000 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). While some remote panels will be held in lieu of the traditional affairs, there are decidedly fewer organizations participating this year. Here are some of the virtual events, reports and statements focusing on World IP Day 2020— the official theme of which is, “Innovate for a Green Future.”

Focusing on the Details: What Two Recent USPTO Matters Can Teach Us About Patentability Analyses

Two matters currently pending before the United States Patent and Trademark Office illustrate the consequences of focusing upon details of a claim rather than upon the claimed subject matter as a whole. Looked at superficially, the decisions may be consistent with the law and supported by substantial evidence; but are they, really?

Industry Insiders Make Patent Wishes for 2020

One of the longest running features on IPWatchdog is our Industry Insider’s series, which started out many years ago with an annual “wishes” article. Each year, we continue to invite industry insiders to make patent wishes for the new year. Unlike our Predictions and What Mattered roundups, this allows our experts to get creative. We asked the panel to share their wildest IP dreams for 2020—they range from no more monkeys in courtrooms (no, not figuratively) to the USPTO Director taking on the responsibility of instituting America Invents Act trials, to the government maintaining a database of patent ownership and transactions.

Looking Forward: Predictions and Thoughts for 2020

Each December, we ask a panel of industry experts to identify the Biggest Moments in IP for the previous year, and likewise ask them for their wishes for the new year. And in 2017, another series was born—Predictions and Thoughts for the New Year. Attorneys don’t normally like to make predictions, but these brave souls have gone out on a limb to either provide their personal crystal ball readings, or simply to give their thoughts on what we should be watching or expecting for the year ahead. So, without further ado, on this first day of 2020, here are the thoughts and predictions of our esteemed panel.

What Mattered in 2019: Industry Insiders Reflect on the Biggest Moments in IP

As we get ready to usher in the new year tonight, it is once again time to look back on the year behind us and to reflect on the biggest moments and key events in the world of intellectual property for 2019. Each year, we look back on IPWatchdog coverage to publish the top 10 patent stories, which this year included the top 10 patent stories from 2019, as well as from the decade 2010-2019. Likewise, we also ask a panel of industry experts for their insights for our Biggest Moments in IP series, which is the longest running series on IPWatchdog.com. This year, unsurprisingly, Section 101 reform, Federal Circuit jurisprudence, and the Arthrex decision on the constitutionality of Patent Trial and Appeal Board judges were among the biggest moments most mentioned. But other less high-profile developments, such as the USPTO’s decision on the trademark side to require U.S. counsel for foreign trademark filers, the Supreme Court’s copyright decision in Fourth Estate v. Wall-Street.com, and forum shopping trends in FRAND litigation, also made the list.

The Top Five European IP Developments of 2019—and Five to Watch for 2020

As the year winds down, IPWatchdog is running a series of articles on the top stories of 2019 and what’s ahead for the year to come. In Europe, all eyes will be on Brexit and its effect on IP rights, the Unwired Planet case, and the Skykick trademark decision, among others. Overall, IP law developments across the EU have offered decidedly more clarity for IP owners than in the United States this year. Here are the highlights:  

The Year in Patents: The Top 10 Patent Stories of 2019

As we prepare to enter a new year—and a new decade—it is time once again to look back on the year behind us to assess its impact for the IP world. All in all, it was very much a year of “almosts.” While the Supreme Court is still considering some cases that could herald massive change for patent law, its most notable move this year has largely been to keep its head planted firmly in the sand, particularly when it comes to Section 101 and patent eligibility, signaling that it seems to either believe everything is fine, or that Congress or the Federal Circuit will fix the problem they initially created. Similarly, Congress has been perhaps more active than ever before on IP issues across the board, but has thus far failed to enact or move forward on meaningful legislation at any level. At the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Andrei Iancu made some heroic changes in examiner guidance on Section 101 that promised to clear up the massive confusion that has developed over the last decade, but the courts refused to acknowledge the USPTO’s authority on the matter, thereby making the changes virtually useless.

The Most High-Profile Patents of 2019

With the end of 2019 upon us, the holiday season is a great time to take a look back at the most influential patents—rather than patent stories—representing a variety of important developments from this year. As we explore some of the patents and technologies that have had the greatest impact on the previous year, our focus will be upon both patents that have led to court decisions having major ramifications on the U.S. patent system, as well as those patents representing major advances in technological sectors that are growing more important by the day. From Athena v. Mayo to brainwave device authentication methods, 2019 offered no shortage of impressive innovations and depressing patent-eligibility decisions.

Washington Insiders Weigh In on What Mattered in 2019

As the year draws to a close, we reflect on what mattered most in the world of intellectual property during 2019.?It was a particularly active year on IP issues, with important events in the courts, Congress, and agencies. Below we have highlighted a few of the most significant activities. Compare our list to yours and let us know what you think!? 

The Most Iconic (and Patented) Toys and Games of All Time

Since America’s earliest days, many creative and innovative toys have come through the consumer marketplace. Many have become so iconic they are now household names and synonymous with a moment in time for America’s youth. Some of the most popular of these toys continue to show up year after year under Christmas trees and – you guessed it – were…

The Top 10 Patent Stories of the Decade 2010 – 2019: Part II

As we explained in Part I of this series yesterday, this December marks the end of a decade as well as 2019. In reflecting on the top 10 patent stories from 2010 to 2019, we acknowledge that there will undoubtedly be disagreements and mentioned yesterday that some big cases, like Mayo v. Prometheus and TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group…

The Top 10 Patent Stories of the Decade 2010 – 2019: Part I

This year, we wind down not only the year, but the decade. So, it is time to reflect upon the biggest patent related stories of the last ten years. As with any Top 10 list or ranking, there will undoubtedly be disagreements. For example, be forewarned, Mayo v. Prometheus did not make the list, but rest assured the ineptitude of the Supreme Court with respect to patent eligibility is well represented. Before jumping to the top 10, represented in chronological order, I want to mention several honorable mention stories that were close but didn’t make the list. First, although completely inconsequential, on June 22, 2015, in Kimble v. Marvel, the United States Supreme Court rejuvenated a 50-year-old rule that limits collecting patent royalties after a patent expires. In that decision the Supreme Court cited the importance of stare decisis, saying that there needs to be an overwhelmingly important rationale for disturbing well settled law, which is laugh-out-loud funny given how they did precisely that when they completely rewrote all of patent eligibility law with Bilski, Myriad, Mayo and Alice this decade. I’m sorry, but the Supreme Court citing stare decisis shows just how out of touch and ignorant they have collectively become.

Christmas Gifts for Patent Attorneys and Inventors

Christmas is in just a few days, but if you’re still looking for gifts for the patent attorneys, engineers, scientists or inventors in your life, here are a few can’t-miss gifts for your consideration.

Congress Includes an Ugly Sweater in the STRONGER Patents Act

It is not unusual for there to be unintended consequences in the law or life. A loved one gives you something you don’t really like, but you do such a good job of feigning happiness that it becomes a regular gift. Who knew you could ever have too many “lovely” ties or too much single malt Scotch? Congress is in the process of giving the patent bar some welcome relief on some important issues, but may be throwing in that unwanted gift along with it. The STRONGER Patents Act intends to address the potential for inconsistent rulings between district court cases and inter partes reviews (IPRs). The Act achieves this by expressing a preference for district court rulings and by requiring IPRs to apply the same standards for validity determinations that are used in the district court. This is already the case by USPTO regulation with respect to claim construction, but the Act would make it statutory for both claim construction and validity, and thus not subject to change by the USPTO. While the use of the same standard for validity in both forums will make the rulings more consistent, the statutory preference for the district court over the IPR may have an unintended consequence.