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Posts Tagged: "board of patent appeals and interferences"

Federal Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in Case Involving Question of Joint Inventorship Under Section 102(f)

In a prior abandoned patent application, VerHoef listed himself as joint inventor of the dog mobility device with Dr. Lamb, the veterinarian making the suggestion; this joint venture failed and then each party tried to file competing patent applications. This was all done at a time when VerHoef was not well acquainted with patent law according to Thomas Loop, patent attorney at Loop IP Law representing VerHoef in the case. “All inventors take limitations and elements from others, that’s the essence of inventions,” Loop argued to the Federal Circuit panel of Circuit Judges Pauline Newman, Haldane Robert Mayer and Alan Lourie. “[VerHoef] had the entire reduction to practice of the invention… she blurted out an idea, and he adopted it. That’s what happened here.” Although VerHoef agreed that Dr. Lamb did provide the suggestion, Loop argued that this suggestion did not elevate the veterinarian to the level of inventor.

75% – The Real Rate of Patent Applicant Success on Appeal

The biggest myth about patent appeals is that that the examiner usually wins. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) posts that it reverses examiners only one out of every three decisions —33%. That number is accurate, and reflects the percentage of reversals among Board decisions. But another number is more helpful — 75%. That is the rough percentage of reversals among all appeals—not just Board decisions. The difference arises because not all appeals result in a Board decision. In fact, the vast majority of appeals (80%) never reach the Board. The Board’s 33% number has nothing to say about this invisible sea of patent appeals.

Meet the USPTO’s New Administrative Patent Judges

You may have heard, but the USPTO is hiring. Not only is the USPTO searching for Administrative Patent Judges, but they are finding some extremely well qualified candidates to add to the ranks of those already serving. With the permission of each of the new APJs, and the cooperation of James Smith, Chief Administrative Patent Judge, it is with pleasure that share the bios the newest APJs, each pictured with Rebecca Blank, Deputy Secretary of Commerce.

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.

Exclusive Interview: USPTO Deputy Director Teresa Rea

Deputy Director Teresa Rea has now been at the USPTO for approximately 1 year, but seems as invigorated and full of energy as she did when I first met up with her.  She seems to love the job and relish the challenges that come with this moment in Patent Office history. We chatted for approximately 55 minutes, discussing USPTO hiring, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, the America Invents Act, what a typical day looks like on her calendar and much more.

Examining the Appealed Patent Allowances from Art Unit 3689

The data clearly suggests that that inquiry should be made into what is going on in Art Unit 3689. If there is nothing odd after evaluation then I will be the first to report that and say that after further evaluation the patent examiners in Art Unit 3689 are doing a fantastic job. In the meantime, however, one way that we can get a more complete glimpse of what is going on in Art Unit 3689 is to take a look at the patents granted only after a decision from the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. Currently, according to the data available in the PatentCore system, 13 of the 24 patents granted have been granted after a decision from the BPAI, and 3 others were granted only after the applicant filed an appeal brief. That rate seems extraordinarily high to me, as does the 76.5% reversal rate at the BPAI. A look at some of the appeals themselves is elucidating.

Chief Judge Rader Swears In New Administrative Patent Judges

After Judge Moore’s remarks, James Donald Smith, Chief Administrative Patent Judge, then took the podium to deliver his remarks and to introduce all of the new APJs; an impressive bunch that averages 3 advanced degrees in either science or law, some of who come from the largest patent law firms in the country, including Arnold & Porter, Foley & Lardner, Jones Day, Hunton & Williams and Finnegan Henderson. Others of the new Judges come from within the USPTO or the Department of Justice. Several of the new APJs were formerly on the Board and are now returning after a period of time in private practice.

Recent Patent Related Federal Register Notices

At this time of the year many attorneys and agents are not paying all that much attention to the rules and requests for comments coming out of the Patent Office. Truthfully, with the number of changes that have taken place under the Kappos run Patent Office and the enormity of the America Invents Act many patent attorneys, including myself, are worn out! Add to that the typical end of the year matters for clients and our own businesses and it is easy to miss announcements in November and December.

U.S. Patent Office Finalizes New Appeal Rules

By eliminating certain briefing requirements the PTO hopes to reduce the number of non-compliant appeal briefs and the number of non-compliant examiner’s answers. Non-compliant briefs and non-compliant examiner’s answers needlessly delay consideration of an appeal by the Board, which contributes to the long delays applicants on the appeals track face. Delays due to non-compliant briefs and answers are particularly unconscionable given the average pendency for an application that must proceed to appeal, which as of October 2011 stands at 81.8 months! That is nearly 7 years from the filing of an application to resolution if action by the Board is required. When the non-compliance is minor or relates to information the Board could well obtain for itself right in the Office files it is downright nonsensical to interject delay by kicking non-compliant briefs and examiner answers. Hopefully these new rules will help at least a little bit for some applicants.

James Donald Smith Named Chief Patent Judge at USPTO

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has appointed James Donald Smith of Chicago, Ill. to serve as the next Chief Administrative Patent Judge of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). As BPAI Chief Judge, Smith will lead the board that hears and adjudicates patent appeals from decisions of patent examiners. Smith begins serving as Chief Judge on May 8, 2011.

Google Patents the Google Doodle

Earlier this week Google received U.S. Patent No. 7,912,915, titled “Systems and methods for enticing users to access a web site.” The patent covers what is known as a “Google Doodle.” The patent application was originally filed back in 2001, and due to Patent Office delay Google was awarded a whopping 2,618 days of patent term extension.

Patent Truth and Consequence: File First Even in the U.S.

The date of invention relates to your conception. This is true whether you are engaging in an interference proceeding seeking to obtain a claim instead of another who is also seeking the claim, or you are attempting to demonstrate that you can get behind a reference used by an examiner because you have an earlier date of invention. The hallmark of a first to invent system is that those who file second can obtain a patent under very strictly limited scenarios. A byproduct of a first to invent system is that if the examiner finds prior art you can “swear behind” the reference using a 131 affidavit to demonstrate that reference is not prior art for your invention. In both the interference context and the 131 affidavit context there needs to be proof of conception that will satisfy the patent laws.

PTO Proposes Rescission of Stayed Ex Parte Appeals Rules

The United States Patent and Trademark Office today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes changes to the rules governing ex parte patent appeals before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. The notice requests public comment on the proposed changes, which include rescinding the highly unpopular 2008 Final Rule, implementation of which has been stayed.