Posts Tagged: "ex parte reexamination"

The Strange Case of the Animal Toy Patent: Reexam Redux

Two months ago I wrote about one of my favorite patents — The Animal Toy — which is U.S. Patent No. 6,360,693. See Patent on a Stick: Learning from the Animal Toy Patent. Shortly after writing that article, which was not intended to poke fun at the Patent Office but to merely teach a point relative to claim drafting, I received an e-mail from Stephen Kunin, who is a partner at Oblon Spivak, LLP. Steve wrote to me indicating that this patent was reexamined by the Patent Office and none of the claims exited reexamination. This in and of itself may not be very odd, but something didn’t seem quite right.

US Supreme Court Accepts Microsoft Appeal in i4i Case

Earlier today the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Microsoft Corporation v. i4i Limited Partnership, with Chief Justice John Roberts taking no part in the decision or petition. This comes only days after the United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to grant reexamination of the patent in question. Given Microsoft doesn’t even have strong enough prior art to provoke a reexamination by the USPTO it seems absurd to think they could have been victorious even if the district court reviewed the patent claims de novo and without any presumption.

PTO Seeks to Incentivize Release of Humanitarian Technologies

On Monday, September 22, 2010, the United States Patent and Trademark Office announced via Federal Register Notice that the Office is considering pro-business strategies for incentivizing the development and widespread distribution of technologies that address humanitarian needs. One proposal being considered is a fast-track ex parte reexamination voucher pilot program to create incentives for technologies and licensing behavior that address humanitarian needs. Under the proposed pilot program, patent holders who make their technology available for humanitarian purposes would be eligible for a voucher entitling them to an accelerated re-examination of a patent. Given that patents under reexamination are often the most commercially significant patents, it is believed that a fast-track reexamination, which would allow patent owners to more readily and less expensively affirm the validity of their patents, could provide a valuable incentive for entities to pursue humanitarian technologies or licensing.

Trial Judge Terminates Injunction After PTO Issues Advisory Action in Reexamination

The sequence of events of In re Swanson is well known. Judge James Cohn of the Southern District of Florida has now taken the Swanson approach one step further – in Flexiteek Americas v. PlasTEAK (Case No. 08-60996-civ-Cohn/Seltzer) he has withdrawn a permanent injunction on basis of an advisory action in a reexamination, which found the patent-in-suit to be invalid.

Patent Trolls: A Conspiratorial Story of Symbiosis

I can’t tell you the reason why companies choose to be targets, but I think I have a compelling idea. Those companies that are the ones who complain about patent trolls are also the ones who continually are on Capitol Hill lobbying for patent reform, which in their mind is really only appropriate when it makes issued patents easy to challenge and much more difficult to get. These are the folks who built their corporate empires on patents, growing from small company to mega-giant company while building an enormous intellectual property portfolio heavily dominated with patents that gave them a competitive advantage. Now that they have their market dominant position they really don’t need the patents so much because they have their market power to insulate them from competition, so they want to make it harder for the next individual inventor, start-up tech business or small business to innovate, protect and grow up the corporate food chain.

All or Nothing Design Patent Reexaminations: On the Rise?

Cumulative statistics released by the USPTO demonstrate steady growth in the number of requests for reexamination being filed generally (particularly inter partes) since the advent of third-party participation in 1999. Between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2009 the USPTO Official Gazette noticed 5,594 requests for reexamination. Of these, 97 or 1.7% were requests for reexamination of design patents. Of these 97 reexaminations, 85 or 88% were ex parte and 12 or 12% were inter partes.

To Stay or Deny? Recent Motions to Stay Proceedings Pending Reexamination and USPTO Statistics

Only one court (District of Minnesota) seemed to give much consideration to the argument that plaintiff would be unduly prejudiced by defendant’s continuing allegedly infringing activity during the stay. One court acknowledged that a party may be prejudiced by the delay of the stay if it can be shown that the ability to gather evidence would be compromised by the stay.

Reexamination of Patents Listed in the FDA’s Orange Book: Surprising Facts For Brands and Generics

Did you know that while a total of 4,849 ex parte and inter partes patent reexamination requests were filed from 1999 to 2009, only 55 are reexaminations of patents associated with FDA approved products and listed in the FDA’s Orange Book? This is just one of the most surprising and interesting facts that emerged from our first of its kind…

Bodog Loses Again, Claim Preclusion Not Applicable in Ex Parte Reexam

Back in 2007, a default judgment was entered in a Nevada district court against the well known Internet gambling website Bodog.com for infringement of U.S. Patent 5,564,001. (1st Technology LLV. v. Rational Entertainment LTDA., Rational Poker School Limited, Bodog Entertainment GroupS.A., Bodog.com, and Futurebet Systems Ltd.) As Internet gambling is illegal in the U.S. the folks at Bodog chose not…