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Posts Tagged: "Iancu"

Other Barks & Bites, Friday, September 13: CASE Act Moves Out of Committee, Iancu Discusses SEPs and PTAB Designates Two Decisions as Precedential

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Federal Circuit issued precedential decisions regarding secondary considerations of non-obviousness, limits to design patents and collateral estoppel of antitrust claims in patent cases; the CASE Act moved out of the House Judiciary Committee towards a floor vote; AIPLA reported increasing prices for trade secret and pharmaceutical patent lawsuits; the PTAB designated a pair of precedential decisions that limit IPR institutions; the DOJ identified two foreign nationals in GE Aviation trade secret case; LeBron James and Ohio State University lost their respective trademark bids; USPTO Director Iancu talked about balancing innovation and preventing hold-up in the SEP context; Google agreed to a $1 billion fine over European tax evasion; and the UKIPO reported lower patent application filing levels for 2018.

Legislative Recommendation for the SUCCESS Act: Recognize the Inventor

Pursuant to the 2018 SUCCESS Act, Congress directed the USPTO to submit to it a report on the results of a study that provides legislative recommendations for how to increase the number of women, minorities, and veterans who apply for and obtain patents. To help gather information as part of its study, the USPTO opened its doors for public comment on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in one of three scheduled hearings. Five inventors spoke at this hearing. I was honored to be one of them. Patricia Duran spoke first, providing testimony in Spanish while I read the English translation. Duran expressed appreciation for the SUCCESS Act’s intent, but quickly set the tone with this question: “What good is a patent if one cannot feasibly defend it?” She added that “women, minorities, and veterans all reside in the same category with other independent inventors, and this class—the independent inventors—is the true underrepresented class.” She was not alone. Three other inventors who provided oral testimony stated that all independent inventors are underrepresented in today’s patent system, which I found interesting, given that they all belonged to the classes at issue: women, minorities, and/or veterans.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, March 8

This week in Other Barks & Bites: The United Nations highlights the importance of women in innovation on International Women’s Day; Comments due today on USPTO Section 101 Guidance; FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb resigns; a Senate bill with six bipartisan co-sponsors would increase requirements on patent disclosures for biologics; USPTO Director Iancu speaks out on Alice; Apple announces its intention to increase its presence in San Diego while its patent battle with Qualcomm heats up; Chinese copyright registrations increased by double digit percentage points in 2018; Stanley Black & Decker faces off against Sears in a trademark infringement battle over branding for Craftsman tools; Amazon announces that it will close dozens of pop-up stores in the U.S.; and Democrats from both houses of Congress introduce a new net neutrality bill.

Federal Circuit Again Considers USPTO Calculation of PTA in Supernus Pharmaceuticals v. Iancu

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which had affirmed a patent term adjustment (PTA) calculation of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). See Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Iancu, No. 2017-1357 (January 23, 2019). The Federal Circuit held that the USPTO cannot count as applicant delay any period of time during which there was no possible action that the applicant could take to reasonably conclude prosecution. A sensible ruling, and one the panel explained was entirely consistent with both the PTA statute and Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. Lee, 778 F.3d 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2015). “A period of time including no identifiable efforts that could have been undertaken cannot be ‘equal to’ the period of failure to undertake reasonable efforts under the terms of the statute,” wrote Judge Reyna.

Iancu Proposes Overcoming 101 ‘Morass’ by Strictly Following Supreme Court Precedent

Director Iancu’s remarks gave a first look at what his reforms will look like, and by all indications these changes will be extremely innovator friendly… What has made the quartet of patent eligibility cases so devastating is how they have been stretched and pulled, twisted and manipulated to invalidate (and prevent) patent claims on innovations of entirely different magnitudes than those contemplated by the Supreme Court. Director Iancu understands that what the Supreme Court has actually said is quite limited. Director Iancu proposes that the USPTO strictly follow the Supreme Court, and nothing more.

Iancu: Boundaries of a patent should not depend on which forum reviews the patent

Director Iancu: ‘For the sake of predictability and reliability, the boundaries of a patent should not depend on which forum happens to analyze it. People who want to invest in a patented technology, or who want to invent or design around one, should be able to determine, within reason, what that patent means. Objectively speaking, that meaning cannot, and should not, depend on the happenstance on which forum might review the patent, years after issuance. The rule change, therefore, increases the predictability of our patent system.’

Director Andrei Iancu lauds risk takers, calls patent troll narrative ‘Orwellian doublespeak’

Remarkably, in what I believe amounts to Orwellian “doublespeak,” those who’ve been advancing the patent troll narrative argue that they do so because they are actually pro-innovation. That by their highlighting, relentlessly, the dangers in the patent system, they actually encourage innovation. Right! … Look, people are free to express any point of view, and they can certainly advocate for weakening our patent system. But they should be up front about it. Those who spend their time and money relentlessly preaching the dangers of monsters lurking under the innovation ecosystem, and who work exclusively to identify only faults in the system, are unconvincing when they argue that they are doing so for purposes of increasing innovation.

Iancu: More 101 Guidance and PTAB Reforms Coming Soon

Repeatedly during his remarks and the question and answer period, Director Iancu explained that there will be more to come from the USPTO on patent eligibility and PTAB reforms, hopefully with several weeks he explained… “I certainly agree it is important to have certainty of patent rights,” Iancu explained. “The boundaries of a patent cannot possibly depend on the happenstance of which tribunal will review that patent years down the line…”

Iancu: People have a right to know what is patent eligible

While the subject matter of the speech was similar, this speech by Director Iancu was different. It was much more direct and forceful than any of his previous speeches. Iancu asked how inventors are supposed to know where to focus energy and effort without knowing what is patent eligible. That is an excellent question. One that Congress and the Courts should take to heart and thoroughly consider. Very real damage has been done to the U.S. patent system as the result of unnecessary uncertainty and an overly restrictive view of what is patent eligible in the U.S.

USPTO asks Federal Circuit to Vacate, Remand 101 Case to Board in Light of Berkheimer

Yesterday the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) filed a Director’s Unopposed Motion to Vacate and Remand in In re Intelligent Medical Objects, Inc. After the decision of the Board the Federal Circuit decided Berkheimer, which Director Iancu believes requires the Board’s original decision to be vacated and reconsidered in light of both Berkheimer and USPTO guidance relating to Berkheimer.

Iancu: ‘It is unclear what is patentable and what is not, and that can depress innovation’

Earlier today USPTO Director Andrei Iancu testified at an Oversight Hearing before the House Judiciary Committee. In addition to detailing forthcoming changes to post grant proceedings, Director Iancu fielded many questions on patent eligibility. “The issue is very significant. It is significant to the Office, to our applicants, and it is significant to the entire industry,” Iancu responded to Congressman Collins. “In some areas of technology, it is unclear what is patentable and what is not, and that can depress innovation in those particular areas. Our plan at the PTO is to work within Supreme Court jurisprudence to try and provide better guidelines. What we think is in and what we think is out, and provide, hopefully, forward looking guidance that helps examiners and the public understand what at least from the PTO’s point of view we think is right.”

Is the pro-patent community going to continue to lose every battle?

It is understandable that inventors, investors and others supportive of strong patent rights would be skeptical, and I’ve heard and read much skepticism. If not now, when? It would be easy to be skeptical, but the patent community should take this opportunity to engage. Despite continued disappointment from the Supreme Court, there is a very real possibility that pro-patent reforms could be achieved within the next 2-3 years. While 2-3 years may seem a long time away, if you are not trying to affect change today you will be too late by the time momentum begins to publicly surface. That’s how DC operates. So, is the pro-patent community going to continue to lose every battle?

Director Iancu worries current state of Section 101 ‘weakens the robustness of our IP system’

Director Iancu: “But for our purposes what I know for a fact is that in order to incentivize American innovation whether it’s artificial intelligence, DNA processing, or anything else we need to have a robust predictable reliable intellectual property system here at home. And I do worry that the current state of Section 101 in patentable subject matter weakens the robustness of our IP system in the affected areas. And if industry cannot predict in a relatively reliable way whether their investments will be protected from an intellectual property point of view I think that will result in less investment, less growth, fewer jobs created in the affected industries. So I do think it is critically important for our economy. And again whatever industry we’re talking about and whatever industry we want to grow it’s critically important to have a strong reliable and predictable intellectual property system.”

An Exclusive Interview with USPTO Director Andrei Iancu

Director Iancu is knowingly and intentionally seeking to provide hope in the words he speaks because he believes a strong patent system is necessary for the U.S. economy to flourish. In part one of our interview we also discussed the need for transparency, and the troubling Freedom of Information Act processes employed by the Office that seem hopelessly broken. We discussed the posts grant challenge process, the PTAB, experience level of the Administrative Patent Judges on the PTAB and inter partes review.

PTO Proposes Rulemaking to Implement Phillips Claim Construction at PTAB

Earlier today the USPTO announced proposed rulemaking that would change the prior policy of using the Broadest Reasonable Interpretation (BRI) standard for construing unexpired and proposed amended patent claims in PTAB proceedings under the America Invents Act and instead use the Phillips claim construction standard.. The new standard proposed by the USPTO is the same as the standard applied in Article III federal courts and International Trade Commission (ITC) proceedings, a change critics of the PTAB process have urged for many years in order to bring uniformity to post grant challenges across forums… The USPTO is also proposing to amend the rules for PTAB trials to add that the USPTO will consider any prior claim construction determination concerning a term of the claim in a civil action, or an ITC proceeding, that is timely made of record in an Inter Partes Review (IPR), Post Grant Review (PGR), or Covered Business Method (CBM) proceeding.