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IP Goes Pop! Season 2, Ep #4: Edison v. Tesla- A Shocking History

This week on IP Goes Pop! fellow Volpe Koenig Shareholder Wesley McMichael joins Michael Snyder to talk about inventors Thomas Edison’s and Nikola Tesla’s “battle of the currents.” Michael and Wes have an electric conversation about the race to light up the country and the patents that paved the way for providing power. They explore the difference between the direct current (DC) championed, sometimes to a shocking extreme, by Edison, and alternating current (AC) advocated for by Tesla.

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.

Christmas Gifts for Patent Attorneys in 2021: From Tools for Psychic Clarity to Fun Ways to Celebrate Science

The year 2021 has been a relatively good one for proponents of improving scientific innovation by way of protections for patent rights. Several breakthrough COVID-19 vaccines have been developed by major R&D firms in the pharmaceutical sector, and despite some myopic posturing by several global leaders, a waiver of international IP obligations under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) has not materialized, ensuring that R&D leaders are properly incentivized to continue pursuing advanced treatments and vaccines for new variants like omicron. Although leading scientists certainly deserve more celebrity status for their advances, patent attorneys are often the unsung heroes of innovation who ensure that protectable property rights arising from those inventions are registered and can be licensed for society’s greater benefit. You can indulge the patent attorney in your life this Christmas with several of the following items that are designed to help attorneys during their daily practice, commemorate early career successes, or provide a fun outlet when an attorney needs to get away from work.

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.

Collaborative Patenting: The Future of IP and Innovation

Collaboration has invariably helped people to maneuver the most significant challenges and hurdles. Like all other human accomplishments, technology players have collaborated and enforced methodologies to avert any obstacles faced while creating innovation-driven sustainable businesses, to enable technology-driven societies. While innovation can be both an individual and collective endeavor, shaping the final consumer product/service demands collaborative innovation and coordinated policies and frameworks. 

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). 

Five Key Patent Developments in Europe for 2021

As part of its review of 2021, IPWatchdog takes a look back on five patent stories from the past year in Europe, and highlights what further developments to expect in 2022. In 2021, Europe took a giant leap towards the implementation of the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC). After years of delays arising from disputes over rules and language, the U.K. signing up and then withdrawing, and constitutional objections filed in Germany, it now seems highly likely that the new system will launch in late 2022. The pivotal step in this process was the decision by Germany’s Federal Constitutional on July 9 to reject as inadmissible two applications seeking to prevent the country from ratifying the UPC Agreement. (BVerfG, Beschluss des Zweiten Senats vom 23. Juni 2021- 2 BvR 2216/20 -, Rn. 1-81.) Following the decision, reported on IPWatchdog here, Germany ratified the Protocol on the Provisional Application of the UPCA, and Slovenia also did so in October.

The Year in Copyright: From Google v. Oracle to the Takings Clause

One of the greatest attributes of copyright law is the never-ending abundance of exciting new developments, including those in Congress, the courts, and at the Copyright Office. On the surface, copyright seems straightforward in that it advances the public good by securing property rights to authors. But underneath this simple veneer lies centuries of debate about how best to balance the rights of authors with the public interest, where each distinct issue presents a veritable rabbit hole of metaphysical distinctions. For the copyright connoisseur, keeping up with the latest events can be an exhausting endeavor, though the thrill of solving new puzzles makes it intellectually rewarding. Thankfully, one need not be a member of the copyright cognoscenti to appreciate the major developments in copyright law this past year. From the Supreme Court’s decision in Google v. Oracle to the implementation of a small copyright claims tribunal to attempts to rein in state infringements, 2021 has certainly provided many wonderful events worth highlighting.

Trademarks in 2021: Recounting the Most High-Profile Trademark Developments of the Year

The past year has seen the implementation of brand-new trademark legislation, significant analysis of trademark liability for new technologies, renewed focus on the doctrine of initial interest confusion, the transformation of Nikes into “Satan Shoes,” the functionality of chocolate dipped cookies, and the end to a long-running case involving two multi-million dollar jury awards for willful infringement. As 2021 comes to an end, we look forward to what 2022 has in store.

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

As the year draws to a close, it is time to look back at some of the biggest FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) licensing developments that took place in the United States during 2021. This is Part I of a two-part article. In terms of meaningful FRAND licensing related developments that occurred in the United States, 2021 kicked off with U.S. District Court Judge Rodney Gilstrap granting a preliminary injunction: (1) enjoining Samsung from taking any action in China that would interfere with the District Court’s jurisdiction to determine whether the parties met or breached their FRAND obligations; (2) enjoining Samsung from taking any action in China that would deprive Ericsson of its rights to assert its U.S. patents in the United States; and (3) requiring Samsung to indemnify Ericsson for any fines or other penal assessments incurred as a result of Ericsson enforcing its FRAND related claims and U.S. patents in the United States.

Machine Learning Models and the Legal Need for Editability: Surveying the Pitfalls (Part II)

In Part I of this series, we discussed the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) case against Everalbum as just one example where companies may be required to remove data from their machine learning models (or shut down if unable to do so). Following are some additional pitfalls to note. A. Evolving privacy and data usage restrictions Legislators at the international, federal,…