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is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Banner & Witcoff. Mr. Kronenthal devotes his practice to all areas of patent law and has extensive prosecution and litigation experience. Mr. Kronenthal also specializes in trials before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), including inter partes review proceedings. His technical background and experiences allow him to work on a wide range of subject matter. In particular, Mr. Kronenthal has extensive experience in matters related to semiconductors, computer networks, software, electronic circuitry, telecommunications, antennas, data encryption, e-commerce, and nanotechnology. Before joining Banner & Witcoff, Mr. Kronenthal was a patent examiner at the USPTO, where he examined image processing applications.
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Since having been sworn in as the new director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in February 2018, Andrei Iancu has led the charge to improve predictability of patent-eligible subject matter. In his speech at the Intellectual Property Owners’ (IPO) Association’s annual meeting in Chicago in late September 2018, the director told IPO’s membership that the USPTO is “contemplating revised guidance to help categorize the exceptions [to patent eligibility]—and indeed to name them—and instruct examiners on how to apply them.” Moreover, Director Iancu had created a new post that coordinates between the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the USPTO and the examining corps, and he installed former PTAB Chief Judge David Ruschke to that post in August 2018. True to his word, on January 7, 2019, Director Iancu issued “2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance,” which explains how U.S. Patent Examiners should analyze patent-eligibility questions under the judicial exception to 35 U.S.C. § 101. See 84 Fed. Reg. 50-57 (Revised Guidance). In less than two weeks since the Revised Guidance, the PTAB issued two decisions reversing examiners’ 35 USC § 101 rejections based on the Revised Guidance—ex parte Rockwell, Appeal No. 2018-004973, Jan. 16, 2019; and ex parte Fanaru, Appeal No. 2017-002898, Jan. 22, 2019.