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Posts Tagged: "Congresswoman Lofgren"

Harmonizing the PTAB: Iancu calls change to Phillips ‘critically important’

“It seems self-evident that the same patent contested in different tribunals should have its meaning – its boundaries – determined using the same standard,” Director Iancu said when discussing the final rules implementing the Phillips standard at the PTAB… Those few who were not pleased by the change have cited a believe that the change to the Phillips standard would usher in a return to lower quality patents. With a bit of a confrontational tone, Director Iancu took issue with that, finding the argument without merit.

Congresswoman Lofgren Sends Letter to USPTO Director Iancu Opposing Proposed Changes to Claim Construction Rule at PTAB

Congresswoman Lofgren is now opposing a rule change she previously endorsed as an original co-sponsor of a bill that would have changed the claim construction rule in exactly the same way proposed by Director Iancu… But how is adopting a rule that would have already been the law had Lofgren had her way possibly frustrate or disregard Congress? Of course, we aren’t supposed to ask that question. Once the “patent troll” boogeyman card is played everything else is supposed to fade away.

Lofgren Supported Eliminating BRI Before She Was Against It

Congresswoman Lofgren seems quick to forget that she was one of the original co-sponsors of the Innovation Act when it was introduced into the House back in February 2015. Had the Innovation Act passed, it would have required patents challenged in IPR proceedings to be construed in the exact same manner that a district court would have required in a civil action to invalidate the patent. So, it seems Lofgren was for the Phillips standard and eliminating BRI before she was against it.

Lofgren, Issa Denounce Proposed PTAB Claim Construction Changes in Oversight Hearing

found it disturbing that the Director Iancu would circumvent the prerogative of Congress with recently announced proposed PTAB claim construction changes, though she admitted the decision wasn’t unlawful. She expounded for several minutes on issues of res judicata, which could tie the hands of the PTAB in light of district court or U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decisions regarding patent validity. “[This] would completely blow up what we were trying to do as a Congress,” Lofgren said. “It looks to me that the people who disagreed with [the AIA] and lost in the Congress, they went to the Supreme Court, they lost in the Supreme Court, and now they’re going to you, and you are reversing what the Congress decided to do and what the Court said was permissible to do.”

Patent Reform Advocate, Congressman Darrell Issa, Will Not Seek Re-election

Earlier today Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018 and will retire from Congress. Issa, who currently Chairs the House’s Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet has been an outspoken advocate for the need for more patent reform… If Republicans hold on to a majority in the House it seems likely that Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA) will take over as Chair of the House IP Subcommittee. Collins, an ally to inventors and creators, is currently Vice-Chair of the House IP Subcommittee. If Collins is granted the gavel that would be good news for patent owners and those generally supportive of strong intellectual property rights.

House Judiciary approves Innovation Act despite clear lack of consensus

Dissent among members of Congress on the nature of the Innovation Act was evident from the opening remarks of the committee’s two ranking members. Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the House Judiciary Committee Chairman and the Innovation Act’s major sponsor, stated that the Innovation Act would “ensure that the patent system lives up to its constitutional underpinnings” while targeting the abusive patent litigation which has been central to the debate on patent trolls. The ranking Democratic member of the committee, Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), said the bill was overly broad and yet it didn’t adequately address issues significant to this debate, including abusive demand letters and the ending of fee diversions from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s budget.

Strict venue provisions for patent litigation added to Innovation Act

Issa’s amendment changes the language so that a party bringing a patent infringement suit where the defendant has its principle place of business, where the defendant has a physical presence, or where the patent owner has a meaningful physical presence due to research and development or manufacturing. At first glance these venue provisions seem reasonable because they would curtail the extreme forum shopping that does go on in patent cases, as witnessed in the Eastern District of Texas. On closer consideration, however, this provision could create problems for those patent owners who are not bad actors that seek to abuse the system or take advantage by only filing in favorable, remote forums.

Amendment to extend CBM defeated in House Judiciary Committee

One of the issues that took up a significant amount of time during the first half of the hearing was the proposed extension of the transitional program covered business method review. The amendment submitted by Congressman Issa (R-CA) sought to extend CBM by pushing back the sunset period until December 31, 2026. The Issa amendment to extend CBM was defeated by a vote of 18-13.

Patent Reform 2.0 – The Next Round of Patent Reform

On Monday, May 11, 2015, IPWatchdog will a co-sponsor a roundtable discussion on patent reform. This event will take place at the law offices of McDermott Will & Emery, which is located directly across the street from the U.S. Capitol. Bernie Knight, a partner with McDermott and a former General Counsel to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, will co-moderate the event along with me. We hope you can join us for this discussion.

House Bill Seeks to End Diversion of Fees from the USPTO

The Innovation Protection Act, one of the lesser known patent bills percolating in Congress over the past few years, would provide a source of permanent funding for the USPTO. The fees the USPTO collects would remain available to the USPTO until expended. This common sense idea has been floated for years, but it never seems to go anywhere. Appropriators have been unwilling to commit to allowing the USPTO to keep user fees, diverting $1 billion worth of collected fees from the USPTO according to the Intellectual Property Owners Association. This may not seem like much but is a lot of money, but for an agency the size of the USPTO it is a lot of money.

Meet the Democrats of the House IP Subcommittee

Congressman Jerrold Nadler has been selected by Democrats to be the Ranking Member of the House IP Subcommittee. It appears that Issa may be getting squeezed out, which could mean that the House IP Subcommittee will have a lot less work to do than one might expect in a Congress that will be seeking to push major reforms to both the Copyright Act, the Patent Act and to implement federal trade secret legislation. Nevertheless, it is still worth knowing who the key players could be. With that in mind, and without further ado, here are the Democrats on the House IP Subcommittee.

WIPO Deputy Director Alleges Gurry Misconduct

ARTICLE REMOVED —   On April 11, 2014, I was contacted by Legal Counsel for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The communication alleged that publication of a complaint of misconduct and exhibits filed by the WIPO Deputy Director was defamatory and criminal under Swiss law. Legal action was threatened unless I immediately acquiesced to the demands. Here is the e-mail I…

Will Scandal Cost Francis Gurry a Second Term at WIPO?

There is a lot at stake as WIPO picks its next Director General. Gurry himself replaced a WIPO Director General mired in scandal, and the WIPO mission is far too important to allow the agency to be tainted. Still, there is anything but complete unanimity within the patent community about who should lead WIPO moving forward. For reasons that are unexplained, Hal Wegner recently proclaimed that if Gurry is not re-elected doom and disaster would certainly follow, saying: “The slow path to destruction of the PCT through fee diversion would take place, coupled with an anti-innovation leadership.” Wegner does not explain why this would be the case, likely because there is little to no rationale reason to believe disaster would follow or that Onyeama, Seilenthal and Alfaro are anti-innovation.

DNA Scandal Raises Pressure on WIPO Director General

Francis Gurry, the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), finds himself in a precarious position this week as news has surfaced about a bizarre and presumably illegal acquisition of DNA samples from WIPO employees. Gurry has already been under pressure from Member States because he has been unable to pass a budget for WIPO, which many attribute to being uncomfortable with the cozy relationship seen between Gurry and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Gurry signed a deal to set up a WIPO office in Moscow, which reportedly has rubbed at least some Member States the wrong way.

WIPO Member States Meet in Geneva Amid Internal Unrest

The friction between Pooley and Gurry has been something of an open secret. While not widely reported, as far as I can tell Wegner is accurate when he says this Congressional letter touches on a point of friction. I have heard at various times about the cool relationship between the two, and I have been told that Pooley unsuccessfully objected to WIPO’s sale of computers to North Korea.