Posts Tagged: "aba"

Final Briefs Filed with SCOTUS in Romag Fasteners Case on Trademark Infringement Damages

On November 27, briefing concluded at the Supreme Court with the filing of Fossil’s respondent’s brief in Romag Fasteners, Inc., v. Fossil, Inc., et al. The final briefing sets the stage for the Court to hear the case on January 14, 2020. The Court will hopefully resolve a current Circuit split on the availability of disgorgement of profits as damages for trademark infringement. Currently, the First, Second, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and D.C. Circuits all require willful infringement before allowing disgorgement of an infringer’s profits (the First Circuit requires willfulness if the parties are not direct competitors and there is also some disagreement on where the Eighth Circuit falls on the issue). The Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuits all allow for disgorgement of profits without willful infringement. There has been a Circuit split for some time on this issue and the Supreme Court previously denied certiorari on similar cases but the Court is now set to resolve the split.

SUCCESS Act Comments Are In: Access, Enforceability, Predictability Concerns Underscored

In May, the USPTO held the first of three hearings prompted by the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science (SUCCESS) Act, which requires the USPTO Director to provide Congress with a report on publicly available patent data on women, minorities, and veterans, and to provide recommendations on how to promote their participation in the patent system. The hearing featured emotional testimony from five inventors, one of whom said she had joined Debtors Anonymous as a result of her patent being invalidated in the Southern District of New York.Responses to the USPTO’s request for written comment on 11 questions the Office had posed have now been published. Eleven organizations and 58 individuals submitted comments, underscoring a range of concerns. While many organizations focused on the need to collect demographic information and increase exposure to STEM education at the K-12 level, a number of other organizations and individuals emphasized the broader issue that was addressed during the hearing in May—that the current patent system is stacked against the individual inventor across demographics.

Nantkwest Amici Urge SCOTUS Not to Shift Attorney’s Fees in Section 145 Appeals

This March, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for writ of certiorarito take up Peter v. Nantkwest Inc., on appeal from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The case will ask the nation’s highest court to determine whether the phrase “[a]ll expenses of the proceeding” found in 35 U.S.C. § 145, which governs appeals to district court of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decisions to deny the issue of a patent grant, encompasses personnel expenses incurred by the USPTO, including attorneys’ fees, when its employees defend the agency against Section 145 litigation. On July 22, a series of intellectual property and law associations filed amicusbriefs in the case by and large supporting the position of Nantkwest. This includes the American Bar Association, which argued that the USPTO’s interpretation of the statute would “hamper the equal access to justice and chill the assertion of meritorious claims.” Other Nantkwest amici argued that the government has had the statutory authority to collect ‘expenses of the proceeding’ in patent cases since 1839 but for the 174 years prior to the case against Nantkwest, the USPTO has declined to seek attorney’s fees.

Fishing for Trade Secrets

Modern discovery can be quite disruptive and expensive. Recognizing that there is a particular danger of abuse in trade secret cases, where defendants are often individuals or vulnerable start-ups, courts long ago began to manage this risk by requiring plaintiffs to identify the relevant secrets with “reasonable particularity.” In 1985, California decided to reinforce that requirement with a statute that prohibits a plaintiff from taking any discovery until it has complied. Some courts outside of California have embraced this approach as sensible case management, explaining that it prevents unbounded rummaging through the defendant’s own secrets. But a few have gone further, posing the issue as not just potential harassment of the defendant but also the risk that the plaintiff

ABA asks Federal Circuit to reverse panel’s decision awarding lawyer fees in patent appeal cases

The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief today with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, arguing that a provision of U.S. patent law does not give the government the right to be reimbursed for its lawyers’ expenses regardless of which side prevails in a court appeal of an administrative patent decision… The Federal Circuit split 2-1 in determining that the language approved by Congress includes lawyer fees for the USPTO win or lose. The ABA’s amicus brief supports the petition by Nantkwest Inc., which owns the cancer treatment patent application in question, and asks the full Federal Circuit to reverse that decision.

Revising Section 101 of the Patent Act: What’s at Stake?

These revisions favor patent owners, according to Palmer, but not everyone is supportive. For instance, Bilski, Mayo, Myriad, and Alice have given several accused infringers an additional tool for fighting non-practicing entities. So. the level of support for these revisions will depend where you fall on this spectrum. That being said, Palmer does not think the Court will change its eligibility analysis in the foreseeable future, and Congress is not likely to take up these anytime soon.

Patent Bar Groups Propose Legislation to Fix Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Problems

Over the past few months, several of the major intellectual property organizations have developed proposed legislative fixes to patent subject matter holdings by the courts. The American Bar Association/ Intellectual Property Law Section (ABA/IPL), the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO), and the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) have all released proposals, which contain a few similarities. All remove the novelty requirement from 101 since it is already contained in 102. Each provides that an applicant be “entitled” to a patent as long as the requirements of 101 and the other sections of the statute are met. These proposals offer thoughtful but distinctly different legislative options for legislative reform… Perhaps a focus on promoting understanding of the issues, coupled with time and patience, represent the most prudent course of action for now.

ABA files amicus brief in Lee v. Tam to correct errors in trademark law made by Federal Circuit

In the brief, the ABA takes no official opinion on whether the disparagement provisions of the Lanham Act are invalid in the face of constitutionally-protected free speech. The organization does want to correct what it sees as “certain principles of trademark law erroneously set forth by the court of appeals,” however. The ABA argues that Federal Circuit misapplied the basics of U.S. trademark law in confusing the separate concepts of mark validity and mark registrability. Specifically, the Federal Circuit’s decision seemed to indicate to the ABA that a determination of unregistrability for a mark on the principal register would also restrict the ability to use that mark in commerce.

Polling the Bar: An Unscientific Survey of Our Colleagues on Alice

Earlier this month, attorneys and patent practitioners from all over the nation, and far corners of the globe, descended upon Bethesda, Maryland for the 31st Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference of the American Bar Association (ABA). A panel of three distinguished practitioners, Tim Bedard of Visa, Eric Sutton of Oracle, and Gene Quinn, debated The Post-Alice Landscape. The presentation included…

ABA CLE Webinar – The Agile Software Trend

The Agile Software Trend: How to be a Flexible Attorney in a Rigid IP System This program will explore some successful methods for working with clients following agile development to protect the clients’ IP. Panelists will also discuss how the decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International impacts such methods, as well as the USPTO’s implementation of the same.…

An IPWatchdog Year in Review: Looking Back at 2012

Although we have not been officially notified by the ABA, the vote totals are now viewable on the ABA Journal Blawg 100 page and it seems that we have been voted the top IP law blog for 2012! We have now been honored as one of the top 100 legal blogs by the American Bar Association for four years in a row, and the top IP law blog in 2010 and again in 2012. In terms of website traffic, during 2012 we had our best year ever. For 2012 we averaged 82,632 unique visitors per month (compared with an average of about 71,000 for 2011). We also finished 2012 with our top three monthly totals for unique visitors, with 90,656 in October 2012, 89,541 in November 2012 and 87,583 in December 2012.

IP Tweeters You Should Be Following on Twitter

Those with Twitter accounts who are looking for some good folks to follow look no further. Likely everyone in the industry is already familiar with folks like Professor Dennis Crouch of PatentlyO, who tweets @patentlyo, so I tried to focus (for the most part) on some lesser known tweeters. Below are some of my favorites on Twitter; people who in my humble opinion are excellent to follow. Of course, you can follow me @ipwatchdog and Renee @ipwatchdog_too. See you on Twitter!

Patents for Humanity Announced at White House Event

I had the honor of being invited to the White House today for the Innovation for Global Development Event, which was held in support of the President’s commitment to using harness the power of innovation to solve long-standing global development challenges. As a part of this event, David Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, launched a pilot program dubbed Patents for Humanity, which is a voluntary prize competition for patent owners and licensees. The pilot program seeks to encourage businesses of all kinds to apply their patented technology to addressing the world’s humanitarian challenges.

Update, Thank You + Please Vote IPWatchdog

Hello everyone. I am writing today to provide an update to our readers on several matters (i.e., Renee’s surgery and our server issues), and to make a plea for votes in the ABA Blawg 100 contest — IPWatchdog is in the IP Law category. So please vote for IPWatchdog and if you could help spread the word to family, friends and co-workers and get them to vote that would be greatly appreciated.

A Special Thank You to Our Guest Contributors!

Over the years IPWatchdog.com has continued to try and add additional perspectives from a wide variety of guest contributors, ranging from well respected practicing attorneys and agents to high profile academics to inventors and pro-patent lobbyists. It is hard to imagine providing such depth of analysis on such an array of topics without having truly wonderful guest authors. So we take this moment to say a very special thank you and to shine the spotlight on them. Each deserve to share in any recognition of IPWatchdog.com. Without further ado, here are the guest contributors in alphabetical order, along with their contributions for 2011.