Posts Tagged: "Gene Quinn"

Going Grassroots in 2011: Fighting the Assault on Patent Rights

In 2011 expect Congress to take up patent reform again, expect it to go nowhere, and expect the anti-patent forces to continue to look to the Courts to do what they have been unable to achieve in Congress, which is the substantial weakening of patent rights. Truth, science and economics are on the side of a strong patent system that rewards innovators. Make it your New Years Resolution to talk to friends, family and business associated about the need for a better functioning Patent Office and meaningful patent rights that can support the creation of new companies and industries. The more we talk about it the better. We can’t call a press conference and get hundreds of media there like the ACLU can, so we need to excel at the ground game — a grassroots movement that isn’t afraid to say it like it is and point out the agenda of those who would prefer to harm innovation in America.

Top 10 Patent, Innovation & IP Events of 2010

At this time of the year all typically sit back and reflect on the year that has been, spend time with family and friends, watch some football and set a course to follow into the new year. So here are the top 10 events that shaped the patent, innovation and intellectual property industry during 2010 — at least according to me, and with a heavy patent emphasis. What did you expect?

Merry Christmas: Christmas Tree Patents

This year I asked Glen Kotapish of Planet Patent if he could provide me some examples of interesting or bizarre US patents that somehow relate to “Christmas trees.” I figured that Glen, the owner of a patent search firm, probably had come across an interesting Christmas tree patent or two over the years. Glen did not disappoint! Incidentally, if you are into bizarre patents I highly recommend visiting his Bizarre Inventions Weird Inventions page.

Judge Kathleen O’Malley Finally Confirmed by Senate for CAFC

Judge Kathleen O’Malley was confirmed by the United States Senate earlier today. O’Malley’s confirmation, along with the confirmation of 18 others in recent days, is the result of a deal between Senate Democrats and Republicans that ensured passage of 19 nominations in exchange for an agreement not to move forward with other controversial nominations, including the hotly challenged nomination of Goodwin Lui, who is Associate Dean and Professor of Law at University of California Berkeley School of Law.

After 11 Years Apple Gets Design Patent on Drop Down Menu

Have you ever heard of a design patent application that remained pending for nearly 11 years? The design patent application was originally filed on January 4, 2000, and the design patent was issued earlier today as U.S. Design Patent No. D629,412. The long and tortured path to obtain the design patent on a drop down menu took 10 years and 50 weeks! Almost unbelievable. Getting this one patent application off the books should meaningfully help the averages, which is a sad commentary in and of itself.

Prometheus Diagnostic Methods Are Patentable Subject Matter

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in one of the patentable subject matter cases that was returned to the Court by the Supreme Court in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bilski v. Kappos. On remand, once again, the Federal Circuit held (per Judge Lourie with Judge Rader and Judge Bryson) that Prometheus’s asserted method claims are drawn to statutory subject matter, reversing for the second time the district court’s grant of summary judgment of invalidity under § 101.

Supreme Court Punts on Costco First Sale Copyright Case

United States Supreme Court issued a non-decision in the matter of Costco Wholesale Corporation v. Omega, S.A. The Per Curiam decision simply read: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court. Justice Kagan took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.” Unfortunately, this non-decision could well signal the beginning of the end for the first sale doctrine given that goods manufactured and sold outside the United States can apparently be controlled downstream by the copyright owner without the copyright owner having exhausted rights through the sale.

AUTM Survey: University Licensing Strong Despite Economy

During fiscal year 2009, 596 new companies were formed as a result of university research, which is one more than the 595 formed in 2008 and 41 more than the 555 formed in 2007. The increase, while modest, does come despite a downturn in the U.S. and global economy, proving that even during a down economy good technology and innovation can and does create jobs. The AUTM survey also shows that invention disclosures continue to rise, patent applications are up, and during fiscal year 2009 there was a surprisingly high increase in foreign filings over fiscal year 2008.

Detroit, Michigan Announced as First Regional Patent Office

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that the first Regional Patent Office would be located in Detroit, Michigan and will open at some point during 2011, employing some 100 patent examiners with some additional support staff. Locke explained that as a part of the nationwide workforce initiative of the Obama Administration high paying jobs would be coming to the USPTO Detroit Satellite Office. Locke said that while 100 patent examiners is an appropriate level of staffing initially that number could expand over time if the Regional Patent Office model proves successful. Secretary Locke also explained that the Detroit Satellite Patent Office will be “the first of several Patent Offices we hope to establish around the country.” When pressed during the question and answer phase of the call, Secretary Locke said that perhaps two additional Satellite Patent Offices might open “within the year after Detroit.”

FDA: No to Breast Cancer Drug, Could Cost Genetech $1 Billion

Contrary to the FDA, the European Medicines Agency confirmed that the benefits of Avastin® in combination with paclitaxel outweigh the risks, further determining that the combination of Avastin® and paclitaxel remains a valuable treatment option for patients suffering from metastatic breast cancer. If the FDA is successful in removing the breast cancer indication from Avastin® Genentech (a member of the Roche Group and the maker of Avastin®) could lose $1 billion of its $6 billion in annual sales of Avastin® due to the lost sales associated with use to treat breast cancer.

Invention to Patent: The Pitfalls, Perils and Process

There are a number of things that you need to know about the invention and patent process that can help you focus your efforts and know what obstacles lay in front of you. Once you conceive (idea + game plan) you will need to be diligent and not let any grass grow under your feet as you move forward toward defining and experimenting with your invention. Generally speaking, conception without diligence can cause the first person who invents to lose the right to the invention assuming someone else invents after you but files their patent application first. So, the moral of the story is once you have your idea and the game plan move swiftly. The law realizes that so-called “garage inventors” cannot quit their day job, but the law will also require proof that you are consistently moving forward and not shelving the invention for periods of time in favor of other endeavors.

Patent Trolls: Innovation Vampires Suck Life Out of Economy

What we need to focus on are those that are taking from the patent system without returning anything to the patent system. Rather than call these groups patent trolls, I would much rather call them what they really are — innovation vampires. These innovation vampires grab hold of as many patents as they sink their teeth into a company and begin to suck the life right out by holding the company, and often times the entire industry, hostage. No tax policy could ever do as much damage to an economy. This massive redistribution of wealth without an iota of benefit to society must stop!

Complaint Dismissed: Paul Allen’s Patent Trolling Complaint Against Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Others Hits Snag

If the remainder of her decision is any evidence as to what she was thinking, it seems pretty clear to me that if she were forced to have addressed that issue she would have said that as a result of Twombly and Iqbal the model patent infringement complaint no longer satisfies the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. She also found unpersuasive the argument that since Twombly and Iqbal are not patent infringement cases they offer no appropriate guidance or insight.

Patently Impossible: IP Lawyers Raise $8,000 for Legal Aid

The Intellectual Property Committee of the Dade County Bar Association had grown weary of the typical attorney cocktail reception thrown to raise money for a good cause, so the Committee devised The Patently Impossible Project, which was a charity race to assemble a patented invention based only on patent provided, various parts and tools. The patent selected was US Design Patent No. D366,908, simply titled Toy Catapult. The event was staged on Friday, December 3, 2010, at the Miami Science Museum, with proceeds going to The Legal Aid Society, which is the oldest legal services provider for the indigent in Miami-Dade County.

Happy Anniversary: USPTO Celebrates 30 Years of Bayh-Dole

Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the most forward thinking patent legislation since Thomas Jefferson wrote the Patent Act in 1790, which was the third Act of Congress. Truthfully, the Bayh-Dole legislation is likely more forward thinking and inspired than even Jefferson’s work, given that the patent law written by Jefferson was merely an attempt to codify and improve upon the patent regime of Great Britain. The Bayh-Dole Act, which was enacted on December 12, 1980, has lead to the creation of 7,000 new businesses based on the research conducted at U.S. universities. As a direct result of the passage of Bayh-Dole countless technologies have been developed, including life saving cures and treatments for a variety of diseases and afflictions.