All Posts

Clause 8 Podcast: Louis Carbonneau on Brokering Patents After the Patent Gold Rush

The golden age for patent brokers has come and gone, but that doesn’t stop Louis Carbonneau. “There are very, very few patent brokers nowadays,” Carbonneau says. “We’re just one of a handful left. And frankly, we get about four or five portfolios every single day that people want us to broker. We only say yes 1% or 2% of the time.” As one of the world’s leading patent brokers, the CEO and Founder of Tangible IP has brokered over 4,500 patents and boasts close to 30 years in the intellectual property industry. With experience as Microsoft’s former General Manager of International IP & Licensing, Carbonneau has sat on many sides of the intellectual property table. He shares his adventures in the industry and lessons learned with Eli, host of the Clause 8 podcast, including behind-the-scenes stories from his time at Microsoft, the common pitfalls of patent licensing, and why price isn’t always an essential part of the conversation when buying and selling intellectual property.

Arbutus and Genevant Sue Moderna in First Significant Patent Infringement Lawsuit in the mRNA Space

In the first major patent infringement lawsuit in the mRNA space, on February 28, 2022, Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (“Arbutus”) and Genevant Sciences GmbH (“Genevant”) sued Moderna, Inc. and ModernaTX, Inc. (collectively “Moderna”) in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. The plaintiffs have alleged that Moderna infringed U.S. Patent Nos. 8,058,069, 8,492,359, 8,822,668, 9,364,435, 9,504,651, and 11,141,378 directed to lipid nanoparticle (“LNP”) delivery technology through, inter alia, sales of its COVID-19 vaccine and booster products.

Tillis Forges Ahead with Effort to Create a Unified IP Office

In January of this year, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) sent a letter to Matthew Wiener, Acting Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), and Todd Rubin, ACUS Counsel for Congressional Affairs, asking that the ACUS “conduct a study on whether Congress should create a unified, stand-alone, and independent Intellectual Property Office.” But Wiener replied to Tillis’ letter on March 7, indicating that ACUS “has neither the expertise nor resources to conduct” such a study. Instead, Wiener suggested asking an entity better positioned to undertake the task, such as the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), which Tillis wrote to today.

CAFC Delivers Guidance on Presumption of Obviousness, Negative Claim Limitations in Win for Generic Drugmaker

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruled on Monday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) correctly held certain claims of Almirall, LLC’s U.S. Patent 9,517,219 for an acne treatment invalid as obvious. Almirall appealed the PTAB’s final decision in IPR2018-00608, in which the Board had found that the ‘219 patent, which covers methods of treating acne or rosacea, would have been obvious over the prior art at the time of invention.

CAFC Affirms PTAB Ruling that Ballistic Parachute System Patent Claims Are Obvious

On March 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) obviousness determination and its denial of patent owner Hoyt Fleming’s motion to amend the asserted claims of the U.S. Patent No. RE47,474. Cirrus Design Corp. petitioned for inter partes review of multiple claims, including claims 135-139, of the ’474 patent. During the proceeding, Fleming moved to amend, seeking to replace the asserted claims with proposed substitute claims. The Board concluded that claims 137-139 were unpatentable as obvious over the combination of Cirrus Design’s Pilot Operation Handbook for the SR22, Revision A7, (Oct. 10, 2003) (POH) and U.S. Patent No. 6,460,810 (James). The Board further found that Fleming’s proposed amended claims did not meet the statutory and regulatory requirements for patentability because they lacked written description support and thus constituted new matter. On appeal, Fleming argued the Board erred in determining that the asserted claims are unpatentable and in denying his motion to amend.

This Week in Washington IP: Exploring Mobile Networking Beyond 5G, The SBA’s Role in Small Business Franchising, and Strengthening U.S. Leadership in Technical Standards

This week in Washington IP news, the House Science Committee hosts hearings discussing improving R&D activities in the bioenergy sector and increasing U.S. leadership in contributions to technical standards, while the House Communications Subcommittee explores the world of mobile networking innovations beyond 5G. Over in the Senate, the Small Business Committee debates the U.S. Small Business Administration’s role in facilitating franchising opportunities for small business owners. Elsewhere, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts an event to discuss ways to reconcile the House and Senate versions of major innovation and competition legislation, while the Brookings Institution urges caution on proposals to limit Section 230 protections to liability for user-created content in light of the negative impacts of recent curbs to those limited liability provisions under the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act.

Copyright Office Issues Final Rules for CASE Act Copyright Claims Board Proceedings

Last week, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a pair of final rules to establish various procedures governing proceedings at the Copyright Claims Board (CCB), a small copyright claims tribunal within the Copyright Office. The CCB was implemented as part of the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act enacted under a larger omnibus bill on COVID-19 issues in December 2020. The rules establish procedures for designating service agents for receiving notices of initiated proceedings at the CCB, as well as opt-out procedures for libraries, archives and any claimants who are notified of class action litigation filed in U.S. district court covering their own copyright claim.

Federal Circuit Further Defines the Scope of Patent Venue

Recently, in In Re: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) further defined the level of control a defendant must exercise over an in-district agent to establish patent venue – i.e., where a case can be filed. The Federal Circuit held that the requisite control a principal must establish over its alleged agent in order to establish venue is “interim control”: day-to-day control over the manner of carrying out the specific actions for which the alleged agency relationship exists. Accordingly, in reversing the lower court, the Federal Circuit held that the dealerships in question were not agents of Hyundai or Volkswagen for the purposes of selling cars to consumers and providing warranty services. 

IP in the Crosshairs: Government Agencies Terminate Relationships with Russian IP Entities as Kremlin Sanctions IP Theft

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced last week that it will terminate engagement with the Russian IP Office (Rospatent) as well as the Eurasian Patent Organization (EAPO) and the IP Office of Belarus, which has been cooperating with Russia in the lead-up to and during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The USPTO also said on Wednesday that, effective March 11, it is no longer granting requests to participate in the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) at the USPTO when those requests are based on work performed by Rospatent as an Office of Earlier Examination. And, in pending cases where the Office granted special status under the GPPH to applications based on work performed by Rospatent, “the USPTO will remove that status and return those applications to the regular processing and examination queue, meaning that they will no longer be treated as GPPH applications at the USPTO,” said a USPTO statement. “Like so many, we are deeply saddened by the events unfolding in Ukraine,” said the USPTO. “We hope for the restoration of peace and human dignity.”

NFTs and IP Law: An Overview for Buyers and Sellers

Blockchain technology has brought the world a collection of cutting-edge investment opportunities, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) among them. And with the advent of these unique digital assets, comes an entirely novel product segment subject to intellectual property law. For months now, the media has covered stories about NFTs selling for obscene prices. But behind these headlines—and given the onslaught of NFTs that continue to flood the market—are questions regarding trademark and copyright issues raised by these non-interchangeable units of data.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, March 11: Russian Decree Immunizes Infringement of Patents from ‘Unfriendly’ Countries; USPTO Terminates PPH Program with Rospatent; and Ninth Circuit Affirms Katy Perry’s Copyright Win Over ‘Dark Horse’

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Russian government issues a decree telling domestic entities that they will be immune from monetary damages if they infringe patents filed by entities from “unfriendly” countries; the Defending American Courts Act is introduced into the Senate to prevent anti-suit injunctions in other countries from affecting U.S. court proceedings; WIPO report shows that the United States and China are the leading countries of origin for COVID-19 vaccine and treatment patent applications; the USPTO terminates relations with patent offices in Russia and Belarus while China’s IP agency extends its relationship with the Eurasian Patent Organization; antitrust regulators in the UK and the EU open an investigation into the 2018 “Jedi Blue” online ad deal between Google and Facebook; the Ninth Circuit finds that certain ostinatos used in Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” do not rise to the level of copyrightable expression; and an EUIPO report finds that nearly 6% of goods entering the EU in 2019 were pirated or counterfeit.

Conservatives Urge HHS to Deny Turning Bayh-Dole March-In Provision into Price Controls

Thirty-one signatories from 29 center-right public policy organizations have written U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, urging him to deny a petition from Knowledge Ecology International that requests use of march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act against the prostate cancer medicine, Xtandi. The conservative organizations represented on the letter include some of the most prominent center-right groups, such as the American Conservative Union, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund, FreedomWorks Foundation and Heritage Action for America. Conservatives for Property Rights led the letter initiative.

Senators Take Aim at Chinese Anti-Suit Injunctions with ‘Defending American Courts Act’

A bipartisan group of five U.S. senators have introduced a bill to amend Chapter 28 of Title 35 of the U.S. Code to include language that would “combat corrupt Chinese Courts from issuing ‘anti-suit injunctions,’” according to a joint press release issued by the senators today. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the bill on March 8. An anti-suit injunction is an injunction issued by a foreign court to limit the rights of parties to pursue litigation in U.S. courts.

CAFC Corrects Albright on Transfer Again, Granting Mandamus to Volkswagen and Hyundai

Just as some sources had begun to speculate that Judge Alan Albright had received the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s (CAFC’s) message on transfer—in light of a slew of decisions reversing his refusals to move cases out of his court—the CAFC yesterday granted two more petitions for mandamus relief, holding the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas clearly abused its discretion in not granting a change of venue.

In December 2020, StratosAudio, Inc. (Stratos) filed patent infringement complaints in the Western District of Texas against Volkswagen and Hyundai (the Petitioners) which are incorporated in New Jersey and California, respectively. The two cases were consolidated on appeal. Since both Volkswagen and Hyundai reside outside of the Western District of Texas, the two companies moved to dismiss or transfer the cases under 28 U.S.C. §1406(a) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3).

Eighth Circuit Overturns Injunction for Harassment Allegedly Inspired by Patent Troll Rhetoric

On March 4, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a ruling in Tumey v. Mycroft AI, Inc. in which the appellate court overturned the Western District of Missouri’s grant of injunctive relief to Tumey, a patent attorney representing a plaintiff asserting patent claims against Mycroft. The Eighth Circuit found that Tumey had not met the requisite standard of proof to show that Mycroft had engaged in cyber attacks and harassing phone calls targeting Tumey and his family to support injunctive relief. The appellate court also remanded the case with instructions to reassign the case to a different district court judge.

Varsity Sponsors

Junior Varsity Sponsors

IPWatchdog Events

Intramural Sponsors