Posts Tagged: "innovation"

As Companies Employ Clever Crypto Options, Beware of Common Trademark Traps

While some companies have not yet jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon, others are rolling out processes to accept payment for goods via cryptocurrency. Some companies are also embracing cryptocurrency internally, in the form of employee benefits. Earlier this year, BTCS, Inc., the blockchain technology company, announced that it will offer dividends payable in Bitcoin. This should come as no surprise, since the company was the first “pure play” U.S. publicly traded company focused on digital assets and blockchain when it went public in 2014. Continuing to lead the digital asset industry, it is now also the first Nasdaq-listed firm to offer shareholders the option to receive dividends in bitcoin.

Doing Business in Russia After the Ukraine Invasion—Justifications and Risks

As horrifying images continue to flow from Ukraine, politicians in the United States and Europe find themselves increasingly pressured to expand economic sanctions against Russia. On April 6, 2022, the White House announced a prohibition on new investment in Russia by any U.S. person. This move has undoubtedly been a factor in the stunning exodus of U.S. companies from the region, as it leaves management teams in legal limbo as to whether maintaining current facilities—or even repairing equipment—could be considered a prohibited “investment.”

SDNY Finds Patent for Processing Financial Transaction Data Invalid Under 101

Last week, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted Block, Inc.’s Motion to Dismiss a complaint brought by AuthWallet, LLC against it for failure to state a claim. The district court found that the claims of AuthWallet’s patent were invalid because they claimed patent ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. AuthWallet’s U.S. Patent No. 9,292,852 relates to systems and methods for processing financial transaction data. Block provides online platforms, products, and services that facilitate financial transaction data. Specifically, Block offers mobile payment options that provide a means for customers to earn and redeem rewards for multiple vendors. In its complaint, AuthWallet alleged that Block’s payment platforms infringe on one or more of claims of the ’852 patent, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. Specifically, AuthWallet alleged that Block put the inventions claimed by the ’852 patent into service (i.e., used them) and, therefore, Block benefited financially and commercially.

This Week in Washington IP: Open Source Cybersecurity Solutions, Civil Capabilities for Space Situational Awareness and Using AI for Effective RegTech

This week in Washington IP news, the Senate Science Committee convenes an executive session on Wednesday to deliberate over a pair of bills that would direct the Federal Communications Commission’s activities on establishing universal telecommunications services. Over in the House, the Investigation and Oversight Subcommittee and the Research and Technology Subcommittee explore issues in the use of open source systems for enterprise-level cybersecurity, the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee focuses on the federal government’s efforts to develop civil capabilities for space situational awareness, and the Task Force on Artificial Intelligence discusses issues related to the use of AI technologies in the growing regtech sector automatic complex regulatory processes in the financial industry

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.

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.

Draft COVID Patent Waiver Text Officially Sent to WTO Membership

World Trade Organization (WTO) director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala yesterday sent a letter to Ambassador Lansana Gberie, Chair of the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), explaining that an informal group of delegates from the United States, the European Union, India and South Africa have reached a draft outcome document on the proposal to waive IP rights for COVID vaccine-related patented technologies. The text largely tracks that of a draft circulated in March, but some open questions remain for the broader membership to resolve.

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.

Google General Counsel’s Clarion Call for U.S. Patent System Reform Should Not Be Heeded

On April 28, Google’s General Counsel Halimah DeLaine Prado authored a post published on Google’s official blog to voice concerns felt by one of the world’s richest corporations that the U.S. patent system is currently in a state of growing crisis. The post offers several suggestions, each sanctioned by Google, as to steps that can be taken in all three branches of the U.S. federal government to address patent quality, abusive litigation and forum shopping. Unfortunately, the proposed reforms would help very little, if at all, toward improving certainty and clarity in patent rights in a way that would actually improve American innovation by supporting small startups and individual inventors in our country. Indeed, any informed observer of the U.S. patent system would recognize that Google’s proposed reforms would instead do a great deal to advance Google’s own business interests ahead of those startups and individual inventors who need the patent system to work in order to survive.

The Emperors’ New Codes: Understanding IP Community Ambivalence Toward Digital Assets

The rise in the value of crypto currencies in just three years to $3 trillion is vexing to businesses, investors and IP professionals who are struggling to understanding where they fit in. The ascendance of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as an asset class also has caught practically everyone off-guard. Many intellectual property owners believe that these blockchain-based disruptions have created opportunity, while others see a darker and more impermeant scenario. People want to know if NFTs and distributed ledgers are good for IP rights and creators – a self-proclaimed boon to innovation and access – or are they a passing storm?

USTR Suspends Review of Ukraine, Remains Concerned with China in Latest Special 301 Report

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual Special 301 Report today, which identified 27 trading partners of the United States as being either on the “Priority Watch List” or “Watch List.” This means that “particular problems exist in that country with respect to IP protection, enforcement, or market access for U.S. persons relying on IP,” according to the Report. While the Priority Watch List is shorter this year, the USTR continues to highlight concerns about China, particularly with respect to recent statements made by Chinese officials about the role of IP in achieving Chinese market dominance.

World IP Day 2022 Emphasizes Youth Contributions to IP

It is once again World IP Day, on which the global intellectual property (IP) community celebrates IP and innovation, as well as the day that the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) came into force (April 26, 1970). World IP Day was first observed in 2000 in an effort by WIPO to raise awareness of the importance IP plays in fostering innovation and creativity. This year, WIPO has chosen to focus on the theme of “IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future,” spotlighting young entrepreneurs and innovators across the globe. There’s a youth video competition, a World IP Day Youth Gallery, and dozens of events taking place worldwide throughout the week.

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.

Amici Back Cisco’s Bid for SCOTUS Review of Enhanced Damages Standard

Comcast and the High Tech Inventors Alliance (HTIA) filed amicus briefs last week backing a Supreme Court petition brought by Cisco Systems, Inc. last month. The petition asks the Court to consider whether: 1) enhanced damages may be awarded absent a finding of egregious infringement behavior; and 2) whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) may award enhanced damages without first allowing the district court to exercise its discretion to decide that issue. Cisco filed the petition for a writ of certiorari on March 16, following a November 2021 decision of the Federal Circuit that reversed a district court’s denial of SRI International’s motion to reinstate a jury’s willfulness verdict against Cisco. That ruling restored the district court’s award of enhanced damages and affirmed an award of attorney fees for SRI. The CAFC specifically clarified that its reference to language in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1923, 1934 (2016) on a first appeal in the case was not meant to create a heightened requirement for willful infringement.