Posts Tagged: "Guest Contributor"

New USPTO Director Quickly Focuses on Much Needed Protection of Virtual Designs

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) new director wasted no time getting down to business in terms of protecting design innovation in the United States. Only two days after being sworn in, Director Kathi Vidal announced the release of the USPTO’s Summary of public views on the article of manufacture requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 171. This report summarized public comments received in response to a December 2020 request by the USPTO. It is fitting to see the USPTO giving attention to protecting design innovation in new and emerging technologies since, as Director Vidal noted, design patents have been shown to provide a “catalyst for growth” and a “competitive edge” for U.S. manufacturers. With advancements in technology since the USPTO first issued guidelines for examining computer-generated designs in 1996, the Office wisely sought the public’s comments on whether its approach to 35 USC § 171’s requirement that a design be for an article of manufacture should be revised to account for new and emerging technologies.

IP Practice Vlogs: Examining When Statements of Intended Use can Limit the Scope of a Patent Claim

Did you know that your claim preamble is more likely to be limiting when you’re dealing with a method claim versus an apparatus claim? In Cochlear Bone Anchored v. Oticon Medical AB, Cochlear’s claim recited a hearing aid apparatus “for rehabilitation of unilateral hearing loss” in the preamble. Cochlear was challenged at inter partes review (IPR) where Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) found the preamble term “for rehabilitation of unilateral hearing loss” did not limit the scope of the claims. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the Board’s ruling, expressly finding that the statement of intended use is not limiting because the preamble did not furnish additional structure that was recited in the body of the claims, and provided no antecedent basis for any of the limitations in the body of the claim.

Foreign Filing Requirements Part III: Managing Compliance

In Part II of this series, we reviewed three of the most popular jurisdictions for global patenting and their foreign filing restrictions for cross-border inventions. Our final article in this series will discuss how an applicant’s failure to comply with foreign filing restrictions may result in various penalties, ranging from invalidation of the patent to criminal consequences accompanied by fines, and even imprisonment. Before strategically planning the global patent filing of a new invention, the first step for a practitioner is to gather the relevant information. Because the foreign filing requirements vary greatly among countries, information beyond simply name and address of each inventor (or applicant if different from the inventor) needs to be collected. Given that some countries’ foreign filing license requirements are based on residency as well as nationality, it is necessary to know the citizenship and/or residency status of each inventor.

Patent Filings Roundup: Third VLSI Trial on Fintiv-Denied Patents Postponed Over COVID Outbreak; Funded Single-Patent Semiconductor Campaign Files in ITC, District Courts; 225 Anonymous Platform Defendants Sued on Single Patent

My 40th birthday this week brought another litigation explosion (I assume no causation), with 120 new suits, double the average, though a spike is common at the ends of months and quarters; the new filings are dominated by filings by IP Edge, DynaIP, IP Valuation, and to a far lesser extent, Leigh Rothschild’s subsidiaries. There were a typical 30 inter partes reviews (IPRs) and no discretionary denials last week, coupled with an average 79 terminations in district court. A new abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) Paragraph IV suit was launched—GE Healthcare challenging the three remaining patents over their ANDA application to bring a generic Lexiscan® drug to market, against brand Astellas and Gilead. New funded semiconductor litigation and further trial postponements in VLSI rounded out this week.

Biotechnology at the Supreme Court—Will the U.S. Government Back Amgen’s Petition?

Earlier this year, we discussed Amgen’s petition for Supreme Court review of the Federal Circuit’s affirmance invalidating several antibody patent claims based on a lack of enablement for genus claims. At that time, we believed Amgen had a slim chance of its petition being granted—mainly because the Supreme Court denied a similar petition from Idenix in 2021 (No. 20-380, January 19, 2021).
However, on April 18, the Supreme Court invited the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views of the U.S. government on the questions presented. The Supreme Court’s likelihood of granting cert. in any particular case increases by about 10-fold when a Solicitor General’s brief is requested, but more importantly, the Supreme Court follows the Solicitor General’s recommendation about 75% of the time.

Misusing March-in Rights for Price Control: A Dagger to the Heart of Small Companies

As Knowledge Ecology International and its allies await the decision of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on their latest attempt to misuse the Bayh-Dole Act for the government to set prices on any product based on a federally funded invention, they’re growing more uneasy. And that’s understandable. If you’d bet the house on an ivory tower theory that’s been summarily rejected for the past 18 years every time it’s been trotted out, you’d be uneasy too. They know that if the Biden Administration rejects the pending petition to march in on the prostate cancer drug Xtandi because of its cost, this leaky vessel can’t be credibly refloated again.

The EU Is Throwing Stones in the Data Lake by Regulating AI – What Global Companies Need to Do Now to Prepare

High-stakes artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming even higher risk in the European Union, where AI regulation efforts are underway that could cost your company up to 6% of its total worldwide revenues—more than the potential penalties for privacy violations under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). On April 21, 2021, the European Commission proposed rules for regulating AI (the “AI Act” or “Act”), to which the European Parliament recently released proposed amendments on April 20, 2022. The Act may undergo a series of additional amendments, but a final text is nearing completion and European countries are starting to act in anticipation of the regulation. Companies should plan for the comprehensive act to become law and begin implementing best practices now to ensure a competitive advantage. Below is an overview of the AI Act’s key provisions that takes into account the Parliament’s recent changes.

Patent Filings Roundup: Litigation Finance Disclosures in Delaware Standardized; Impossible Burger Patent Challenged; Slew of Discretionary Denials

With an average 33 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) filings (one post grant review, the rest inter partes reviews[IPRs]), a relatively high number (89) of district court terminations (including some high-profile settlements), and a somewhat low number (63) of suits this week, we are rolling into May. Chief Judge Connolly of the U.S. District Court for the District Court of Delaware  filed a standing order in all of his cases requiring litigation funding disclosures; there were more filings by more Magentar entities (who, by last count, are up to 15 high-profile litigation funded campaigns), and more IPR counters; and still more IPRs (22 or 23) in the Israeli-based Bright Data assertion campaign. The patents there are a range, but are based, broadly, on Internet connectivity.

Hague in Force in China: Tips for Choosing the Hague Agreement or Paris Convention to File Design Patents in China

The Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (the “Hague Agreement”) will enter into force in China next week, on May 5. Together with the original Paris Convention approach, there will now be two different options for filing design patents in China: the Hague system (designated extension) and the Paris Convention (direct entry). Based on our experience and analysis of the relevant regulations, we have the following preliminary suggestions on how foreign applicants should choose to enter China.

Set Better Standards for Quality to Save the U.S. Patent System

A recent New York Times Editorial Board opinion urged comprehensive reform of America’s patent system by focusing on a few examples of what the Board views as “bad” drug-related patents. Unfortunately, the opinion does not define what makes a patent good or bad. Nor do the sources relied on by the Board provide open access to the underlying data on which such judgments are made. Calls for improving America’s patent system should be based on more than unverifiable grievances. Real reform will take more than just suggestions that nibble around the edges of our current patent system in response to broad allegations of unfairness. Real reform needs objective standards for measuring patent quality that can guide improvements. Such evidence about patent quality may show that fundamental aspects of our patent system must be updated to keep it relevant for today’s innovation economy.

Clause 8 Podcast: Ray Millien, a Renaissance Man of IP

Raymond Millien likes to compare himself to Forrest Gump. As someone who pivoted from a programming job at GE Aerospace to a career in intellectual property law, bounced between in-house and outside counsel roles within that space, and even got involved in public policy, he’s definitely a renaissance man. And he’s fallen into many of those jobs by accident. He credits his adventurous and successful career — working as Chief IP Counsel for big-name companies like Volvo, founding his own IP boutique, and now serving as the CEO of Harness IP — to intellectual curiosity and openness. 

Federal Circuit Signals Appetite for Increased PTAB Discretion in Motions to Amend

Patent owners facing inter partes review (IPR) challenges have the option of filing a motion to amend as a contingency plan. This motion, accompanied by proposed substitute claims, allows the patent owner a fallback position if the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) finds the original claims unpatentable. If successful, despite the unpatentability of the original claims, the patent owner maintains the substitute claims. While this sounds great in concept, the historical success rate of such motions is low. From October 2012 through March 2020, only 14% of motions to amend were granted. This improved slightly in 2020, to 25%, but dropped back to 18% in 2021 (calculated using data from Docket Navigator). The recent decision in Hunting Titan, Inc., v. DynaEnergetics Europe GmbH thus presents the somewhat rare case in which an amendment was granted by the PTAB and affirmed on appeal. That said, the Federal Circuit’s narrow holding does not indicate an easier future for patent owners’ motions to amend; indeed, the opposite may be true.

Navigating Foreign Filing Requirements for Cross-Border Patent Inventions (Part I)

With the rapid development of communication technologies, the world is more connected than ever. As the academic communities are drawn closer, international research collaborations increase dramatically. Researchers and scientists from all over the world often come together to make new inventions….. Such global collaboration can result in exciting innovations for which the inventors or their employers often would like to seek patent protections. Due to the “global” nature of these inventions, it is only natural that the applicants desire to patent them in multiple countries to maximize the rights. However, while science and technology observe no national borders, patent protections and related regulations do.

Grammar, Commas and Courts: Know the Rules to Save Your Patent

To quote a popular saying: “Let’s eat grandpa. Let’s eat, grandpa. Correct punctuation can save a person’s life.” And incorrect punctuation can cost millions of dollars. Do you know when to use a comma versus a semicolon? Do you know how to indent a plurality of elements in a claim? Do you know when to write “patent, copyright, or trademark” or “patent, copyright or trademark”? As Judge David J. Barron said: “For want of a comma, we have this case.”… Although there are no hard and fast grammatical rules, it’s better to err on the side of caution, following rules that courts have recognized.

IP Practice Vlogs: Software Claiming – A Look at Means-Plus-Function

A means-plus-function limitation is a functional limitation that claims function without structure. The claimed element presented for prosecution is pure function and not structure. This type of claiming is used often with software patents, which recite function via a series of computer implemented steps to carry out a means.