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SEPs in Europe and Beyond: Highlights From 2021

Even as Europe and the rest of the world continued to face the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the development of 5G and other Standard Essential Patent (SEP)-enabled technology standards has continued at an unabated pace. While the year has not yet ended, more than 100,000 technical contributions have already been submitted at 3GPP meetings for 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G in 2021 – a near-record yearly contribution count. The invention and standardization of massive, complex communication technologies continues to generate significant numbers of SEPs. According to IPlytics data, the cumulative number of self-declared SEP families has surpassed 72,000 in 2021, indicating a five-fold increase in just 10 years.

Patent Filings Round-up: IPR on $2.18 Billion VLSI Patent Instituted; IP Edge Filing Patterns Emerge

The post-Christmas filing rush is upon us—a slight dip during the Christmas holiday is normally followed by a end-of-year complaint filing spike, and this year is no different; 72 new filings, most coming just before or after the holiday (with another 50 terminations, as cases settle going into the end of Q4).  There was also a subpar 24 petitions filed (22 IPRs and 2 PGRs).  We are starting to see a trickle of more PGRs, as post-AIA continuation patents issue, currently in litigation, that nonetheless are in the window for the expanded proceedings, but don’t expect ever to rise to much more than a handful every month.  Those IPRs are propped up by further challenges to the now-ubiquitous Fortress IP and Magentar Capital-funded campaigns (here, Scramoge and Netlist) as well as the somewhat-newer funded Staton Techiya LLC campaign [Synergy IP Corp., Staton Capital].  There’s a newish chip campaign against Qualcomm, Apple, Google, and major chip companies by Vector Capital [Future Link Systems]; all in all, a busy holiday period.

The Top 10 Patents of 2021: Improved Eye Contact in Video Calls, Targeted Ads Based on Conversation Samples, and Analyzing Toxicity in Social Media Content

With the close of another year upon us, IPWatchdog is returning to an annual feature with its Top 10 list of issued U.S. patents during 2021. While it’s impossible to produce a definitive list of the ten most important patents in terms of future commercialization, the following list reflects a series of innovations that either represent important advances in burgeoning areas of technology, or practical innovations that address many of the recurring problems that our world has been facing during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. From reducing the awkward nature of Zoom calls, during which it’s impossible to maintain genuine eye contact, to vehicle technologies using Bayesian inference models to predict the lane change behavior of nearby drivers, these patents offer an expansive view of the exciting state of invention during this early stage of the 2020s.

IP Goes Pop! Season 2, Ep #5: The ABCs of NFTs

What is an NFT (Non-Fungible Token)? How are they created? Why would you collect digital files that anyone can obtain or view for free? This week on IP Goes Pop! Volpe Koenig Shareholders and co-hosts Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue to talk about the ABCs of NFTs. Michael and Joe break down some of the technical jargon behind NFTs and the basics of blockchain as they explore the current trends and future prospects of this technology and how it could impact the pop culture and intellectual property worlds.

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”.

Christmas 2021: Iconic Patented Toys and Games Update – and Trademarks Too!

Its Christmas time again and IPWatchdog is back at it, compiling a list of iconic patented toys and games. This year, we have added some iconic trademarks to round out the list. This tradition was originally made popular in 2018, and updated in 2019, with a holiday feature by IPWatchdog Founder Gene Quinn: The Most Iconic (and Patented) Toys and Games of All Time. The original post included iconic toys such as “the Video Game Console, Barbie doll, Monopoly, Rubik’s Cube, Battleship, Super Soaker, Hoola Hoop, Slinky, Play-Doh, Easy Bake Oven, Game-Boy Frisbee, YoYo, Lego blocks, Transformers, Tricycles, Bicycles, Scooters, Tonka trucks, Rocking Horse, Twister, Simon, Magic 8 Ball, Erector Set, Etch A Sketch, Bunch-o-Balloons and Mr. Potato Head.” Here are a few more that have brought smiles to the faces of so many on Christmas Day over the years.

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;…

IP Goes Pop! Season 2, Episode 15: Snow-Tacular

Sometimes you have to ask the critical questions, like: Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie? How can you turn your holiday invention into a patent-protected idea? In our first-ever IP Goes Pop! Snow-Tacular™, co-hosts and Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joe Gushue, unwrap the iconic pop culture movies, traditions, and intellectual property disputes around the most wonderful time of the year.

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…

Trademark, Design and Copyright Landmarks in Europe During 2021

Last week, IPWatchdog selected five significant patent developments in Europe, examining what has happened this year and what can be expected in 2022. Here, we review five of the top trademark and copyright decisions and legislative changes across Europe and what’s coming up in the new year. One of the most significant trademark decisions of 2021 came in a case over Hasbro’s EUTM registration for MONOPOLY. The registration, for goods and services in classes 9, 16, 28 and 41, was declared invalid by the EUIPO Second Board of Appeal on the basis that Hasbro had acted in bad faith. On April 21, the EU General Court upheld that decision.

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.