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Posts Tagged: "industry insiders"

Industry Insiders Make Patent Wishes for 2020

One of the longest running features on IPWatchdog is our Industry Insider’s series, which started out many years ago with an annual “wishes” article. Each year, we continue to invite industry insiders to make patent wishes for the new year. Unlike our Predictions and What Mattered roundups, this allows our experts to get creative. We asked the panel to share their wildest IP dreams for 2020—they range from no more monkeys in courtrooms (no, not figuratively) to the USPTO Director taking on the responsibility of instituting America Invents Act trials, to the government maintaining a database of patent ownership and transactions.

Industry Insiders: Opinions Mixed in Aftermath of Supreme Court Holding in Helsinn

Yesterday a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that the America Invents Act’s (AIA’s) language barring patent protection for inventions that were “in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention” under 35 U.S.C. § 102(a)(1) extends to private sales to third parties. The decision upholds pre-AIA Federal Circuit precedent establishing that a “secret sale” could invalidate a patent. The question patent owners have been asking since 2011 was whether the AIA’s addition of the phrase “or otherwise available to the public” overruled the Federal Circuit’s judicial construction of the on-sale bar. “No,” said the High Court. As always, IPWatchdog reached out to experts across industries for their views on the decision. From “well-reasoned and correct” to “a disappointment” and “dismissive,” they had wide-ranging perspectives on the ruling’s broader implications.

Looking Forward: Predictions and Thoughts for 2019

Given that several industry insiders were willing to make their own predictions, I’ll go out on a limb and make my own predictions… First, I predict Congress will do nothing on patent reform in 2019. With a divided Congress and a House of Representatives that could well spent precious legislative time on impeachment and other investigations, intellectual property matters likely won’t register even a blip on the public radar inside the beltway. Second, I predict there will be much effort behind the scenes on Capitol Hill to position various legislative fixes to 35 U.S.C. 101 so that when attention does turn to patent eligibility the ground work will be laid and much of the heavy lifting already done. So, if you think you can sit out 2019 because nothing is happening you’d be incorrect. Those that want to influence the next round of patent reform have already been working and by the time it is rolled out publicly it will be too late. Third, I predict the United States Patent and Trademark Office will define the term “abstract idea”. This is hardly going out on a limb since Director Iancu has all but promised just that in a speech given at Georgetown on November 26, 2018. Since the courts refuse to define the term the USPTO will closely identify only those innovations that the Supreme Court has identified as representing an “abstract idea” and closely define the term to mean those things and only those things are abstract ideas, with everything else in the computer implemented universe not being directed to an abstract idea and, therefore, patent eligible under Step 2A of the Alice/Mayo framework.

Industry Insiders Make Patent Wishes for 2019

For my wishes, I’ll make three. First, as I did last year and the year before, I again continue to wish for patent eligibility reform in Congress that would overrule Mayo, Myriad and Alice. My second wish is for Congress to amend the statutes that created post grant challenges and provide for a real presumption of validity that requires invalidity to be proven by clear and convincing evidence. Finally, as I did last year, I again hope the Federal Circuit dramatically significantly decreases its use of Rule 36 affirmances, and specifically stops using this docket management tool when cases are appealed from the PTAB and also with respect to appeals dealing with 101 patent eligibility issues.

What Mattered in 2018: Industry Insiders Reflect on the Biggest Moments in IP

There is near unanimity that the Supreme Court’s decisions in Oil States Energy v. Greene’s Energy Group, 138 S.Ct. 1365 (2018) was among the most significant events of the year. Several also point to the Federal Circuit’s decisions in Berkheimer v. HP Inc., 881 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2018) and Aatrix Software v. Green Shades Software, 882 F.3d 1121 (Fed. Cir. 2018), the impact Director Iancu has had on the USPTO and the patent system, and Congress passing the The Music Modernization Act. Beyond those events, there were others identified by this diverse panel that might have gone unnoticed if we were to focus only on the top-line events of the year.

Industry Reaction to WesternGeco LLC v. ION GeoPhysical

We reached out to our distinguished panel of industry insiders, and the initial reaction is this decision is a clear win for patent owners. Efrat Kasznik: “The expansion of lost profits to include foreign lost profits enhances the ability of a patent owner to recover the appropriate amount damages that would make them whole, without artificially excluding foreign lost profit damages from the pool of available damages. It’s economic justice.” Ronald Abramson: “Today’s decision in WesternGeco is clearly a win for patent owners, though the Court made considerable efforts to limit its ruling…”

SAS: When the Patent Office institutes IPR it must decide patentability of all challenged claims

In SAS Institute, a 5-4 majority ruled that there is no authorization in the statute for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to partially institute a petition for inter partes review. Thus, the Supreme Court held that when the Patent Office institutes an inter partes review it must decide the patentability of all of the claims the petitioner has challenged. To provide instant reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in SAS Institute we’ve reached out to an All-Star panel of industry experts for their take on this important decision. Their analysis follows. 

Industry Reaction to Supreme Court Decision in Oil States v. Green Energy

Earlier today the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Oil States v. Green Energy, finding that inter partes review is constitutional both under Article III and the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. In a 7-2 decision, the Court determined that patents are a government franchise that are subject to review by the Patent Office even after granting, and can be revoked at any time.  In order to get a diverse array of views, we held open comments through early evening for this instant reaction piece.

What should USPTO Director Andrei Iancu do first?

There are no shortage of opinions about what Director Iancu should do now that he is at the helm of America’s innovation agency. To contribute to the advice Director Iancu is no doubt receiving from many corners already, I’ve asked a panel of industry experts to weigh and give their advice about what should be on top of the Iancu agenda.

Looking Forward: Predictions and Thoughts about 2018

First, I predict that the United States Supreme Court will find post grant procedures under the America Invents Act to be unconstitutional. It is my belief they took Oil States not as a patent case, but rather as an Administrative State case, and if that is correct this could be the first in a series of decisions over a number of years that will pull authority back from the growing Administrative State and toward the Judiciary. Second, in the event the Supreme Court does not declare post grant challenges unconstitutional, I predict the new USPTO Director will substantially modify PTAB rules and procedures, making them more fair and balanced. Third, again assuming my first prediction is incorrect, I predict the PTAB will continue to ignore Eleventh Amendment immunity and will likewise rule Indian Tribes do not deserve to claim sovereign immunity when in front of the PTAB. This will set up a showdown at the Federal Circuit that will ultimately be settled by the Supreme Court, likely in 2019. Finally, I predict there will be continued discussion about patent reform, with the conversation becoming increasingly pro-patent as Members of Congress continue to see undeniable proof that the U.S. patent system is regressing while the patent systems of the EU and China are on the rise. More specifically, I predict that the U.S. will fall out of the top 10 for patent protection in the annual Chamber IP Index, which will send a shockwave through the Capitol.

An Interesting Year on the Horizon: What to Watch in 2018

The issues I will be watching in 2018 other than Oil States are as follows: (1) What does the new Director of the USPTO do with respect to reforming the PTAB? (2) Will the USPTO adopt a code of judicial ethics for PTAB judges? (3) Will the U.S. drop out of the top 10 countries for patent protection in the annual U.S. Chamber IP Index? (4) How will the Federal Circuit resolve Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity and the assertion of sovereign immunity by Indian Tribes? (5) Will the Federal Circuit continue its unprecedented disposition of cases without an opinion by relying on Rule 36 summary affirmance? (6) Will Conservative groups become even more vocal advocates of a strong patent system?

Industry Insiders Make Patent Wishes for 2018

For my wishes, I’ll make four. First, as I did last year, I again continue to wish for patent eligibility reform in Congress that would overrule Mayo, Myriad and Alice.With there major industry organizations coming out in 2017 to support legislative reform perhaps this wish will eventually come true, although as of now it seems to be a long shot in 2018. Second, I hope the Federal Circuit dramatically decreases its use of Rule 36 affirmances, and specifically stops using this docket management tool when cases are appealed from the PTAB and also with respect to appeals dealing with 101 patent eligibility issues. Third, I wish for the AIA post grant procedures to be declared unconstitutional, which with the Supreme Court set to decide Oil States in 2018 is at least plausible. Finally, assuming the Supreme Court does not do away with post grant challenges, I wish for the new PTO Director to dramatically reform the post grant process in ways that remove the systemic biases that have made the proceedings hopelessly one-sided against patent owners.

What Mattered in 2017: Industry Insiders Reflect Biggest Moments in IP

Unlike previous years where we had near unanimity on the biggest moments, this year we see wide variety of thought, from SCOTUS to Capitol Hill to the DOJ… Steve Kunin focus primarily on the Supreme Court patent cases, which Bob Stoll also mentions but then goes on to discuss the lack of momentum for more patent reform and the nomination of a new Director for the USPTO as key moments. Paul Morinville also mentions the political on Capitol Hill, but focuses on Members of Congress not buying into the patent troll narrative like they once did. Erik Oliver focuses on a rebound in the patent market, Alden Abbott sees a pro-innovation, pro-patent Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust as a dramatic shift for the DOJ. Ben Natter, Jess Sblendorio and Alexander Callo focus on the Supreme Court’s decision in Matal v. Tam, which declared the prohibition against registering disparaging trademarks unconstitutional.

Predicting SAS Institute v. Matal after SCOTUS Oral Arguments

My thoughts continue to be that the statute is very simple and mandates the PTAB to issue a final written decision on all claims challenged. This seemed to be consistent with what Justice Alito and Justice Gorsuch were saying during the oral arguments. However, Justice Sotomayor dominated questioning throughout the early stages of the oral argument, continually saying that what was being sought was a reversal of the Court’s decision in Cuozzo. Justice Breyer, who seemed clearly in favor of the respondent, sought to re-write the statute to find the actions of the PTAB to be in keeping with the text of the statute. Nevertheless, the oral arguments suggest there will be a split among the justices, perhaps along political lines (i.e., liberal wing vs. conservative wing). Should the conservative viewpoint of Justices Alito and Gorsuch prevail there is also a chance that the Supreme Court will rule that the PTAB cannot grant partial institutions… After the conclusion of the oral arguments, I reached out to a number of industry insiders to ask them to provide their thoughts and predictions, which are admittedly quite different than my own analysis. Their answers follow.

Predicting Oil States after Supreme Court Oral Arguments

After oral arguments were held on Monday, November 27, 2017, I again asked a number of industry insiders what thoughts and predictions they now have after having the benefit of hearing the Q&A that took place between the Justices and the attorneys representing the petitioner, respondent and federal government. Their answers follow, and show that there is little agreement among those watching this case with respect to what the likely outcome will be.