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Posts Tagged: "first to invent"

Massie Introduces Bill to Repeal PTAB, Abrogate Alice

Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) on November 5 introduced a bill, titled the Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act of 2021 (RALIA), HR 5874, that would repeal the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), return the patent system to a “first-to-invent” model, rather than first-to-file, and would end automatic publication of patents. Inventor groups such as US Inventor and conservative groups are supporting the legislation.

Legislation Introduced in House to Repeal the PTAB and the AIA

There are 13 sections to Massie’s bill, many of which are geared towards the abolition of various statutes of the AIA. Perhaps the most salient portion of the proposed bill are sections regarding the abolishment of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) as well as the elimination of both inter partes review (IPR) and post-grant review (PGR) proceedings currently conducted by the PTAB. As the bill states, both IPR and PGR proceedings “have harmed the progress of science and the useful arts by subjecting inventors to serial challenges to patents.” The bill also recognizes that those proceedings have been invalidating patents at an unreasonably high rate and that patent rights should adjudicated in a judicial proceeding and not in the unfair adjudication proceedings which occur within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Ex parte reexamination proceedings would be preserved by this bill as well.

Legislative Steps in the Pro-patent Direction

New patent legislation would rectify some of the damage done by several court rulings and by Congress.  It would reestablish the fundamental constitutional principle that a U.S. patent secures certain rights in private property. Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) have introduced H.R. 6264, the Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act.

What Inventors Need to Fix the Patent System

While we have damaged our patent system, China has strengthened theirs. Job creation is stagnant, economic growth is anemic and the America Dream is dying. Congress must act to correct this damage and fix the patent system… The PTAB must be eliminated because no matter what changes are made to the rules it is difficult to see how this Board could ever be reigned in after starting and existing for the purpose of killing patents. Just changing the rules will not fix its systemic problems nor create a fairer process for patent owners.

The America Invents Act on Its Fifth Anniversary: A Promise Thus Far Only Partially Fulfilled

Unfortunately, Mr. President, after five years I cannot report back that the AIA has yet ”improve[d] patent quality and help[ed] give entrepreneurs the protection and the confidence they need to attract investment, to grow their businesses, and to hire more workers.” The current implementation of PTO post issuance proceedings is undermining confidence in our patent system, chilling innovation at its roots, and, in eyes of some, giving the AIA a bad name.

The AIA’s First-to-File Transition SHOULD have Resulted in More Provisional Filings

To investigate whether applicants have been adopting a strategy of filing more provisional applications, we determined a ratio of the number of provisional filings (with a first-named inventor identified as being a resident of the U.S.) relative to the number of utility filings (with a first-named inventor identified as being a resident of the U.S.). As shown in Figure 2, this ratio also exhibited an uptick in fiscal year 2013, but the ratio has since returned to Fiscal-Year-2012 levels. Thus, this data suggests that applicants have generally not changed their filing strategies to file more provisional applications in view of the AIA’s change to define prior art based on applications’ filing dates.

The CRISPR Clash: Who owns this groundbreaking, DNA altering technique?

Right now, behind the walls of the USPTO, there is a fiery interference battle occurring between two scientific teams over who created a groundbreaking, DNA altering technique first. The victor stands to receive incredible gains. In one corner is a team of scientists from UC Berkeley headed by biologist Jennifer Doudna from the University of California, Berkeley and microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier from Umeå University in Sweden and the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. In the other, a group led by synthetic biologist Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Risk of Not Immediately Filing a Patent Application

I do not begrudge anyone their point of view, or suggest that there is but one right way to successfully get from point A where you have an idea or invention to point B where you dreams of commercial success are coming true, but with every choice there are associated risks. Unfortunately, many inventors still have not received the message about the importance of filing a patent application as quickly as possible. I know this to be true because every week I am contacted by inventors who either have already started selling or using their invention, or who are within a few days or weeks of the same. With the United States being a first to file system, a change that became effective March 16 ,2013, this can be a fatal mistake.

USPTO Publishes Final Rules and Guidelines Governing First-Inventor-to-File

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today published final rules of practice implementing the first-inventor-to-file provision of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). The USPTO also today published final examination guidelines setting forth the agency’s interpretation of how the first-inventor-to-file provision alters novelty and obviousness determinations for an invention claimed in a patent application. In particular, the agency’s final examination guidelines inform the public and patent examiners how the AIA’s changes to the novelty provisions of law alter the scope of what is prior art to a claimed invention and how the new grace period operates.

First Inventor to File: USPTO Derivation Proceedings Go Final

Section 42.405(c) provides that a derivation is not sufficiently shown unless it is supported by substantial evidence. This includes at least one affidavit addressing communication and lack of authorization. Further, the showing of
communication must be corroborated. One open practical question is whether derivation proceedings will be at all useful. How will the inventor alleging derivation be in possession of sufficient evidence to demonstrate communication and lack of authorization? The best evidence of each will be in the hands of the party who is the alleged deriver, not the inventor claiming to be the source of the invention. Moreover, proving a negative (i.e., lack of authorization) may be challenging, as proving a negative can always be.

Defending the USPTO Interpretation of the New Grace Period

The questions asked of the USPTO, and specifically Director Kappos, related to the USPTO interpretation of the grace period in 102(b)(1)(B). At one point, in response to a question, Direct Kappos responded: “We are reading the words just the way that Gene Quinn suggested in his comment.” I do not claim that everything below is in 100% alignment with the USPTO interpretation, but I write now to expand upon my remarks. We have a first to file system with an American flavor, not a first to publish system as so many seem to think.

Keeping a Good Invention Notebook

Even when we switch to first to file inventors will still in some cases need to be able to detail when they conceived of various aspects of their invention if they are going to attempt to rely upon the grace period. Affidavit practice to establish what was invented, when it was invented and that someone else derived their invention or disclosure from you will still be a part of patent practice even after March 16, 2013. Therefore, it is critical now to have an invention record and will similarly be extremely important even after the switch to first to file takes place.

Change? Derviation May Feel a Lot Like Interference Practice

How this will philosophically change things remains unclear because the America Invents Act requires that the petition filed to institute a derivation proceeding demonstrate that the claimed invention in the subject application or patent was derived from an inventor named in the petitioner’s application without authorization. The Patent Office has also recognized the similarity between derivation proceedings and interference practice, saying: “Petitions to institute derivation proceedings, while distinct from interference practice, raise similar issues to those that may be raised in interferences in a motion for judgment on priority of invention. Currently, motions for judgment on priority of invention, including issues such as conception, corroboration…” See 77 Fed. Reg. 7035 (10 February 2012).

The America Invents Act – Panacea or Just Pain for the PTO?

Many people situated variously within and outside of the patent system of the United States urged the adoption of first-to-file. There are, however, many questions about the scope and possible impact of the AIA. Exactly how it will all play out remains to be seen. A significant question is what will be the likely impact of the AIA upon the operations of the USPTO, an organization that has been so greatly over-burdened in recent times. Anyone interested in reading this is likely old enough to have heard the old saying “Be careful what you wish for – you may get it.” Now we have it.

The America Invents Act – How it All Went Down

On Friday, September 16, 2011, President Obama signed into law “The America Invents Act” (“AIA”) which passed the Senate on September 8, 2011, by a vote of 89-9. The AIA passed the House of Representatives on June 23rd by a vote of 304-117. The measure, which is the product of a seven-years-long legislative battle among patent policy stakeholders, changes how patents are obtained and enforced in the United States. Important reforms to patent law are incorporated into the AIA and, just as significantly, several controversial proposed changes were deleted from the AIA before final passage. This article is a play-by-play of the process and how it unfolded.