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Posts Tagged: "american intellectual property law association"

SCOTUS to Hear ‘The Most Significant Unresolved Legal Issue in Trademark Licensing’ in Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC

On February 20, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC on appeal from the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The case presents the question of whether a debtor-licensor’s rejection of an executory trademark license agreement in bankruptcy, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 365, results in the agreement’s complete termination, including loss of the licensee’s right to use the licensed trademark. Given that trademarks are the most widely used form of registered intellectual property, and trademark rights often are among a debtor’s key assets, the treatment of the debtor’s licenses of those rights is an issue that arises frequently in the bankruptcy context. For this reason, among others, the issue presented by this case has been hailed by the International Trademark Association (INTA) as “the most significant unresolved legal issue in trademark licensing.”

Boston Patent Law Association Announces Support for IPO-AIPLA Section 101 Legislative Fix

The Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA) has announced its support for a proposal for a legislative fix to 35 U.S.C. § 101, the statute governing basic patentability in U.S. patent law, which was jointly offered earlier this year by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). The BPLA now becomes the latest patent law organization to support the proposed legislative amendment to Section 101 that is designed to address major uncertainties in patentability stemming from various cases decided in recent years by the U.S. Supreme Court.

USPTO Director Andrei Iancu Discusses Patentability of Algorithms, PTAB Proceedings at Senate Judiciary Committee

Sen. Harris followed up by asking whether algorithms were mathematical representations of laws of nature. “You’re getting right to the heart of the issue,” Iancu said. What Iancu said after that should be a major breath of fresh air to inventors and patent owners frustrated by Section 101 validity issues in the wake of Alice and Mayo: “This is one place where I believe courts have gone off the initial intent. There are human-made algorithms, human-made algorithms that are the result of human ingenuity that are not set from time immemorial and that are not absolutes, they depend on human choices. Those are very different from E=mc2 and they are very different from the Pythagorean theorem, for example.”

Patent owners do not like IPRs despite what Bloomberg Law, AIPLA study says

According to Bloomberg and AIPLA, the survey suggests that complaints from patent owners and other stakeholders in the U.S. patent system surrounding high patent invalidation rates at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) “have largely subsided,” arguing that patent owners find value in PTAB trials and that inter partes review (IPR) challenges are beneficial. Simply stated, the conclusions reached defy common sense, do not comport with the experience of patent owners, and the survey does not hold up to even cursory scrutiny… Those pointing to the prospect of a gold platted patent might as well be pointing to a pot of gold left by a Leprechaun at the end of a rainbow; gold plated patents and Leprechauns seem equally real based on the real life experiences of actual patent owners with the PTAB. Indeed, the PTAB is simply not a hospitable forum for patent owners, period.

NASA, AIPLA, IPO among those who oppose USPTO fee increases

According to the USPTO, the fee increases are designed to better cover the costs of the USPTO’s main patent operations as well as PTAB operations and administrative services. This would be the first major change in fees pursued by the USPTO under their authority to set fees since March 2013; that fee-setting authority is allowed under terms of the America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011… “The fee increase will exacerbate an already existing issue in determining which of these new invention disclosures should be patented,” NASA’s comment reads. “We understand the basis for the upward fee adjustments, but as a Federal Agency subjected to the Congressional Appropriations process, NASA wishes to point out the dichotomy of one Federal Agency’s ability to generate fees at the expense of others.” The direct impact that the fee increases will have on NASA’s patenting activities creates tension with NASA’s federal statutory mandates on technology transfer.

Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corporation: What No One Is Telling the Supreme Court

In its upcoming term, the Supreme Court will once again consider the extraterritorial effect of U.S. patent law; specifically, whether “the Federal Circuit erred in holding that supplying a single, commodity component of a multi-component invention from the United States is an infringing act under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1), exposing the manufacturer to liability for all worldwide sales.” Life Tech. Corp. v. Promega Corp., No. 14-1538. Petitioners (all subsidiaries of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., which I shall collectively call “Life”) urge the Court to hold the statute requires “all or a large percentage closely approximating all” of the components of the invention to have been made in the United States. Though Promega Corporation has yet to respond, the Court should decline Life’s invitation. This does not mean, however, that the decision of the Federal Circuit, Promega Corp. v. Life Tech. Corp., 773 F.3d 1338 (Fed. Cir. 2014), should be affirmed. Rather, though none of the briefs filed in the case have said so, the Supreme Court should reverse because the single, commodity component at issue cannot, as a matter of law, even under Promega’s interpretation of the statute, comprise a “substantial portion” of the components of the invention.

Chen Wang joins AIPLA as Deputy Executive Director for Regulatory Affairs

The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) is pleased to announce that Chen Wang, former Deputy Chief IP Counsel at E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, will be joining AIPLA as the new Deputy Executive Director for Regulatory Affairs, beginning January 18, 2016.

Copyright Office asked to investigate software copyright issues by Senate Judiciary

At the end of her speech Pallante mentioned that she had just received a letter from the Senate Judiciary Committee, specifically sent by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who Chairs the Committee, and Ranking Member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The letter from Grassley and Leahy asked the Copyright Office to undertake a study and to report back on a number of software copyright issues. Pallante read a portion of the letter received from the Senate Judiciary Committee, which said: “As software plays an ever increasing role in defining consumer interactions with devices and products, many questions are being asked about how consumers can lawfully use products that rely on software to function.” She then remarked that this inquiry goes away from copyrights merely protecting expressive content, and further pointed out that the Senate is asking about works that are protected by copyright but still functional.

Judge Lourie withholds criticism of Supreme Court, explains no judge likes to be reversed

“As this group knows, I had further opportunity to see Supreme Court reversals in patent cases,” Lourie explained. “That has led to a lot of uncertainty in the law when they decided cases related to patent eligibility… the myriad case involving breast cancer patents. I wrote the majority opinion in that case which the Supreme Court unanimously reversed.” Judge Lourie would go on to say that the week following the reversal he received the outstanding public service award from the New York Intellectual Property Law Association. With the audience laughing loudly he wondered whether the Association regretted the decision. Being unanimously reversed by the Supreme Court in Myriad is and will remain a badge of honor in my opinion. Judge Lourie gets patent eligibility, and he gets the science.

Sharon Israel, AIPLA prepare for Annual Meeting of IP Practitioners

“It has met and exceeded my expectations,” Sharon Israel told me during a recent interview to discuss her term as AIPLA President, which concludes at the end of the AIPLA Annual Meeting next week. “I thought I had a good idea of what my year would be like, but it went beyond what even I expected. There is a lot to be said for what AIPLA does in terms of advocacy, education, member services and global outreach – it is a wonderful organization.”

AIPLA supports en banc rehearing in Akamai v. Limelight on single entity infringement rule

There can be little doubt of the exceptional importance of Akamai Technologies, Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc. to the intellectual property community, and to innovators as a whole. The issue of joint infringement has been the focus of much discussion in recent years by academia, the media, and industry. In its 2014 remand of this case, the Supreme Court suggested this Court would have the opportunity to “revisit the § 271(a) question if it so chooses,” 134 S. Ct. 2111, 2120 (“Akamai III”). The AIPLA, as amicus curiae, argues that the Federal Circuit should choose to do so by rehearing the case en banc because the single entity rule as set out by the Panel majority would make it nearly impossible for certain patent holders to enforce their patents against joint infringers.

Todd Dickinson Leaves AIPLA

Earlier this morning Wayne Sobon, President of the American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association, sent an e-mail to members announcing that Todd Dickinson will step down as Executive Director of the AIPLA. The announcement suggest this will be effective immediately, and provides no reason for Dickinson’s departure.

Let the AIA Reforms Have an Opportunity to Prove They Work

A recurring theme that can be traced through the patent reforms of the AIA to the current debate over patent litigation abuse is the issue of patent quality. A key component of the reported abuses is the assertion of allegedly invalid or overbroad patents, the very abuse for which AIA post-grant procedures were created, in order to improve patent quality. These matters of patent quality are being addressed by the changes made to the law by the Judiciary and by Congress in the AIA, which are only now beginning to be felt. It may well be premature to conclude that they are not doing the job. Take one major example, as a former Director of the USPTO in particular, I would support, as former Director Kappos did, giving the post-grant processes in the USPTO a chance to work.

Federal Circuit Puzzles Over Claim Construction Deference

The en banc Federal Circuit on September 13, 2013, heard oral argument on whether to overrule its en banc decision in Cybor Corp. v. FAS Technologies, Inc., 138 F.3d 1448 (Fed. Cir. 1998), and hold that claim construction can involve issues of fact reviewable for clear error, and that it is not entirely an issue of law subject only to de novo review. On appeal is the district court decision that a person of ordinary skill in the art would understand the claim term “voltage source means” to correspond to a rectifier or other voltage supply device. It thus rejected ULT’s argument that the term invokes Section 112 ¶6 and that the claim is invalid for indefiniteness for lack of specific structure in the specification. A Federal Circuit panel reversed in a nonprecedential decision, concluding from a de novo review that “voltage source means” does invoke Section 112 ¶6 and that the claim is invalid for indefiniteness. That panel decision was vacated when the appellate court decided to consider the claim construction issue en banc.

Supreme Court Will Examine Patent Licensee’s Burden of Proof for Declaratory Judgment of Noninfringement

The Supreme Court on May 20, 2013, agreed to review a Federal Circuit decision that a patent licensee bears the burden of proof in its action for a declaratory judgment of noninfringement where the license remains in effect to preclude the defendant patentee’s infringement counterclaim. The question presented is whether, in such a declaratory judgment action brought by a licensee under MedImmune, the licensee has the burden to prove that its products do not infringe the patent, or whether (as is the case in all other patent litigation, including other declaratory judgment actions), the patentee must prove infringement.