IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts in IP News

The IP Developments that Mattered: Insiders Shed Light on the Headlines of 2021

The new year is just a few days away, and it is once again time to ponder the biggest moments and events in the world of intellectual property from the previous 12 months. As we do every year, we asked 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, while the role of IP and innovation in the COVID-19 pandemic continued to make the cut, other top picks included the Google v. Oracle Supreme Court copyright decision, the Biden Administration’s support for a waiver of IP rights under the Agreement of Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for COVID-related technologies, and the administration’s draft language on a new policy statement relating to standard essential patents (SEPs). Here are what this year’s panel of experts identified as the biggest moments in IP for 2021.

Patent Trial and Appeal Board Year in Review: The Top Five PTAB Developments of 2021

Noteworthy 2021 developments at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) were primarily driven by oversight—via the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director, Supreme Court and Federal Circuit—rather than by new rules or policy of the agency. After the highly anticipated Arthrex decision fizzled at the Supreme Court, the most significant 2021 development may be former Director Iancu’s departure and legacy of decidedly pro-patent owner policies. That legacy is increasingly under attack. From the Biden administration’s nomination of a new director, to legislative proposals, to Congressional pushback on Section 314(a) discretionary denials of institution (especially as they relate to the Western District of Texas), to lawsuits challenging the practice as an Administrative Procedures Act violation, change is afoot. The coming year is sure to see recalibration of current PTAB practices.

Two Supreme Court IP Cases to Watch in 2022

As of today, the 2022 Supreme Court docket is light on intellectual property cases, with the Court having granted review of only one copyright case. However, one other major case lurks in the background on an issue—patent ineligibility—upon which the Supreme Court has already demonstrated its interest. These two cases are examined in greater detail below.

Top 2021 FRAND/RAND Licensing Developments in the United States: Part II

This is Part II of a two-part article discussing FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) licensing developments taking place in the United States in 2021. Read Part I here. After a slow summer on the FRAND licensing front, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s ruling in the matter of HTC v. Ericsson came in the dog days of August. As we wrote about here, the August 31 ruling dealt with, amongst other things, an appeal challenging the district court’s instructions to the jury regarding whether or not the license terms offered by Ericsson were FRAND and, more specifically, with respect to the issue of apportionment. Beyond finding that the failure to give instructions on an undisputed issue did not impair HTC’s ability to present its claims, the majority found that HTC’s proposed instructions “were not ‘substantially correct’ statements of law”.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, December 24: Judge Stark Avoids Responses on Section 101 Questions, EPO Dismisses DABUS Patent Applications

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Eleventh Circuit upholds a jury verdict finding misappropriation of trade secrets to alcohol sales invoicing software; the European Patent Office rules that an AI system cannot be a legal person who satisfies inventorship requirements; a U.S. magistrate judge recommends $83 million in statutory damages against Russian operators of a YouTube stream-ripping service;…

Merry Christmas from IPWatchdog

First and foremost we want to thank everyone for spending a part of your day with us and reading IPWatchdog.com. We appreciate your reading, support, comments, e-mails, webinar participation and joining us at IPWatchdog LIVE. Thank you! Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, I encourage everyone to take a look at The Most Iconic (and Patented) Toys and Games…

Congress focuses on chip supply chains to promote competitiveness, national security

The United States’ share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity has dropped from 37 percent in 1990 down to 12 percent in 2021. Congress now seeks to secure chip supply chains to promote both economic competitiveness as well as U.S. national security.

Key Developments that Shaped the USPTO in 2021

“Adjusting to the new normal” is a phrase that can be used to describe the United States’ and the world’s response to the events of 2021. Almost two years into the pandemic, it is clear that COVID-19 will be around for the near future, and we all have to adjust to it. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) certainly has adjusted, and business as usual is in full effect. Here’s a recap of some of the most significant developments at the USPTO in 2021.

New IP Monetization Models Will Rely Less on Litigation in 2022

From the perspective of the Intangible Investor, 2022 will be a year of new opportunities and transitional growth. IP business models will evolve, and risk and return calculations will become more reliable. In the decade since the America Invents Act (AIA) was enacted, patent licensing challenges have increased for many technology companies and independent inventors. The neutering of software, e-commerce and algorithm patents are at least partly responsible but, amazingly, software-related patents represent almost two-thirds of U.S. grants for the first half of 2021.

mRNA IP and Competitive Landscape: 2021 in Review – Part I, Update on Moderna, BioNTech, and CureVac

In April of this year, we provided a three-part series relating to the IP and Competitive Landscape for the mRNA market. In this post (Part I), we provide a 2021 year in review update on mRNA pioneers Moderna, BioNTech and CureVac, and in Part II, we profile Sanofi and other companies in the mRNA space and offer additional conclusions and outlook for 2022 and beyond.

Becoming Harder to Justify a One-Size-Fits-All Patent System

Meanwhile, all patents— good, bad, revolutionary, and stupid— have eroded to the point where continued use of the U.S. patent system must be questioned. Despite the statute saying that patents are to be treated as property rights, the Supreme Court has ruled that patents are merely government franchises that can be stripped at any point in time during the life of the patent regardless of how much time or money has been invested by the patent owner. It simply cannot make any sense for all patents to become increasingly worthless simply because of the victimization of large multinational corporations who are incapable of crafting a strategy that solves the nuisance litigation problem that does not destroy the entire system.

The Most (Potentially) Consequential ITC Decisions of 2021

This has been a year full of ups and downs, including at the International Trade Commisison (ITC). The ITC has stayed open for business, instituting a near-record number of investigations and holding hearings, albeit virtually. There have been a number of ITC decisions with interesting holdings, all of which have been covered well here and in other blogs. However, there have been a number of ITC-related happenings in 2021 which, though they received less coverage, may, like the proverbial butterfly, have important ramifications for years to come.

Flatfee is Seeking a Remote Trademark Attorney

Flatfeecorp is seeking a Trademark Attorney. Flatfeecorp is looking to add to its team a freelance (1099) Trademark Manager and is interested in candidates with 2-3+ years of experience in trademarks and interest in setting up a new trademark team in a dynamic and exciting start-up environment. This is a part-time, temporary, remote position.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, December 17: Mauskopf Says AO Will Study Western Texas Patent Case Assignments, USPTO Proposes Rule on Electronic-Only Patent Certificates, and Senate Confirms Lucy Koh to the Ninth Circuit

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the U.S. Senate confirms the appointment of Judge Lucy Koh to the bench of the Ninth Circuit; the Federal Circuit affirms a summary judgment ruling of no induced infringement in an international patent case over plastics manufacturing; the Supreme Court denies an appeal of the French government’s sovereign immunity win over cybersquatting claims; the Senate Commerce Committee approves a bill that would increase foreign direct investment into semiconductor manufacturing; Judge Mauskopf sends a letter indicating that the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts will consider concerns raised regarding case assignment policies in the Waco Division of the Western District of Texas; the USPTO proposes a rule that would end the practice of mailing printed patent certificates upon issuance in favor of electronic-only patent certificates; and news reports indicate that Oracle is seeking a major acquisition of a medical records and software firm.

Patent Filings Roundup: Joao Entity Sues Nonprofits, Pediatricians; Fortress Entity Sues LG on TVs in ED Tex; Vector Capital-funded Semi Campaign Runs into the PTAB

As we finish up the year, the high district court termination rate continues; 85 terminations this week, including a fair amount of transfers, rounded out a normal PTAB week (29 filed) and a slightly depressed litigation week (with 50 new complaints).