Posts Tagged: "innovation"

Zaxcom Asks Full Federal Circuit to Clarify Court-Created Confusion on Presumption of Nexus

In February, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) agreed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) decision that the original claims of Zaxcom’s U.S. Patent No. 9,336,307 for Engineering Emmy® and technical OSCAR award-winning wireless microphone technology were unpatentable as obvious, but upheld the substitute claims Zaxcom had proposed. Now, Zaxcom has petitioned the court for rehearing en banc, arguing that the CAFC’s precedent in Fox Factory, Inc. v. SRAM LLC, 944 F.3d 1366 (Fed. Cir. 2019), “confused the law” regarding a rebuttable presumption of nexus.

Patent Filings Roundup: Heavy District Court Docket Sees Fortress Biotech ANDA Litigation; WePay Expands GUI Design Patent Assertion Against Major Online Payment Systems

It was another heavy week in the district court with over 100 new patent complaints filed, 64 terminated (mostly file-and-settle), and an average 26 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) cases (one post grant review and 25 inter partes reviews). It was also another week with about half of all parties briefing Fintiv, but no denials, begging the question, “Why are parties being forced to brief it in the first place?” Intel and Xilinx combined to cancel a number of litigation-funded chip patents from Arbor Global Strategies and FG SRC LLC [the latter funded by Freeman Capital Partners]; a number of Fortress-funded subsidiaries were challenged; another 29 IP Edge subsidiary suits; some interesting pharmaceutical action; and companies WebRoot and OpenText, inc. have launched a new assertion campaign against Trend Micro, Kapersky Labs, CrowdStrike, and Sophos on cybersecurity products.

Latest WTO Waiver Compromise Text Targets COVID Vaccine Patents, Draws Criticism from Both Sides

Reports overnight indicated that the European Union, United States, India and South Africa have reached a compromise on language for a waiver of intellectual property rights related to COVID-19 vaccine technology under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. The compromise is not final and still must get official approval from all 164 World Trade Organization (WTO) member countries. The latest text is limited to “patented subject matter required for the production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines” only; the previous proposal was much broader. “Patented subject matter” is defined as including “ingredients and processes necessary for the manufacture of the COVID-19 vaccines.”

What it Means that Russian Businesses Can Now Legally Steal Intellectual Property from ‘Unfriendly Countries’

Russian businesses now hold the key to pilfering, producing and profiting from western technologies. As of Monday, March 7, the Russian government has legalized intellectual property (IP) theft. With this move, businesses in Russia can now violate IP rights, as they no longer need to compensate patent holders from “unfriendly countries.” The list of “unfriendly countries” includes the United States, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and all 27 European Union (EU) member countries. Russia has faced growing isolation from the Western world following President Vladmir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The United States, EU member countries and others recently initiated sanctions against Russia and have enacted crippling trade limitations. Currently, Russia is sufficiently meeting its supply and demand needs for agriculture, energy and natural resources. However, Russia’s isolation and growing lack of skilled producers have led to a stark decrease in technological production and innovation.

Arbutus and Genevant Sue Moderna in First Significant Patent Infringement Lawsuit in the mRNA Space

In the first major patent infringement lawsuit in the mRNA space, on February 28, 2022, Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (“Arbutus”) and Genevant Sciences GmbH (“Genevant”) sued Moderna, Inc. and ModernaTX, Inc. (collectively “Moderna”) in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. The plaintiffs have alleged that Moderna infringed U.S. Patent Nos. 8,058,069, 8,492,359, 8,822,668, 9,364,435, 9,504,651, and 11,141,378 directed to lipid nanoparticle (“LNP”) delivery technology through, inter alia, sales of its COVID-19 vaccine and booster products.

Tillis Forges Ahead with Effort to Create a Unified IP Office

In January of this year, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) sent a letter to Matthew Wiener, Acting Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), and Todd Rubin, ACUS Counsel for Congressional Affairs, asking that the ACUS “conduct a study on whether Congress should create a unified, stand-alone, and independent Intellectual Property Office.” But Wiener replied to Tillis’ letter on March 7, indicating that ACUS “has neither the expertise nor resources to conduct” such a study. Instead, Wiener suggested asking an entity better positioned to undertake the task, such as the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), which Tillis wrote to today.

This Week in Washington IP: Exploring Mobile Networking Beyond 5G, The SBA’s Role in Small Business Franchising, and Strengthening U.S. Leadership in Technical Standards

This week in Washington IP news, the House Science Committee hosts hearings discussing improving R&D activities in the bioenergy sector and increasing U.S. leadership in contributions to technical standards, while the House Communications Subcommittee explores the world of mobile networking innovations beyond 5G. Over in the Senate, the Small Business Committee debates the U.S. Small Business Administration’s role in facilitating franchising opportunities for small business owners. Elsewhere, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts an event to discuss ways to reconcile the House and Senate versions of major innovation and competition legislation, while the Brookings Institution urges caution on proposals to limit Section 230 protections to liability for user-created content in light of the negative impacts of recent curbs to those limited liability provisions under the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act.

NFTs and IP Law: An Overview for Buyers and Sellers

Blockchain technology has brought the world a collection of cutting-edge investment opportunities, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) among them. And with the advent of these unique digital assets, comes an entirely novel product segment subject to intellectual property law. For months now, the media has covered stories about NFTs selling for obscene prices. But behind these headlines—and given the onslaught of NFTs that continue to flood the market—are questions regarding trademark and copyright issues raised by these non-interchangeable units of data.

Conservatives Urge HHS to Deny Turning Bayh-Dole March-In Provision into Price Controls

Thirty-one signatories from 29 center-right public policy organizations have written U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, urging him to deny a petition from Knowledge Ecology International that requests use of march-in rights under the Bayh-Dole Act against the prostate cancer medicine, Xtandi. The conservative organizations represented on the letter include some of the most prominent center-right groups, such as the American Conservative Union, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund, FreedomWorks Foundation and Heritage Action for America. Conservatives for Property Rights led the letter initiative.

Senators Take Aim at Chinese Anti-Suit Injunctions with ‘Defending American Courts Act’

A bipartisan group of five U.S. senators have introduced a bill to amend Chapter 28 of Title 35 of the U.S. Code to include language that would “combat corrupt Chinese Courts from issuing ‘anti-suit injunctions,’” according to a joint press release issued by the senators today. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced the bill on March 8. An anti-suit injunction is an injunction issued by a foreign court to limit the rights of parties to pursue litigation in U.S. courts.

I-MAK Defends Integrity of Its Patent Data in Response to Tillis Letter

The Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK) has responded to a letter it received from Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) in January asking the organization to address claims that its data on the effects of pharmaceutical patents on drug pricing is faulty. In the letter, I-MAK defended its underlying patent data and, in reference to the question of why the data differs significantly from public sources like the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Orange Book and court filings, explained that “relying on public sources and court filings is not an accurate methodology for identifying all patents on a drug.” I-MAK’s view is that the U.S. patent system creates patent monopolies that lead to the practice of “evergreening”, in which innovator pharmaceutical companies extend their rights beyond the original patent terms, preventing competition from generics, which in turn causes drug prices to remain high. As part of its mission, I-MAK has developed a database of patents covering key drugs. Its reports are often cited by academics, including in law journals, policymakers and in congressional hearings. As a result, I-MAK has become one of the most authoritative sources for information on patents in this space.

Energy Demand Response Programs and Patent Exposure

The core business model of energy producers and providers does not traditionally create significant patent litigation risk. Despite the complexity of the modern energy grid, the basic business and technology of energy generation has not changed significantly in the past 100 years. However, new programs, including residential demand response, executed via smart home appliances and controls, may expose utility companies to increased liability. Demand response programs allow utility providers to reduce grid load and energy pricing by offering customers pricing incentives to reduce energy usage during times of peak demand…. While such programs have been generally available for commercial customers, recently, demand response opportunities for residential customers have been expanding. Where these residential demand response programs allow energy providers to directly control, through the internet, consumers’ smart thermostats and appliances, energy providers may be exposed to patent liability.

This Week in Washington IP: Overview of SBIR and STTR Programs, Securing American Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles, and AI Innovation’s Impact on Social Welfare

This week in Washington IP news, the House of Representatives will host committee meetings to consider the reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, as well as ways that Congress can encourage more domestic manufacturing of the next generation of electric vehicles. In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee discusses several judicial nominees by the Biden Administration, including a few that would serve in U.S. district courts important to IP law. Elsewhere, The Brookings Institute hosts a conversation with Columbia University Professor Joseph Stiglitz on the potential impacts of AI innovation on social welfare, while the Hudson Institute explores ways that Japan and the U.S. can further collaborate on our 5G mobile networking future.

End of a Patent Battle, Beginning of a Licensing Fight For CRISPR

By now, news of MIT and Harvard’s Broad Institute’s victory over the CVC group (the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier) in a dispute over genome-editing CRISPR technology has spread like wildfire in the biotech industry and academia. To recap, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ruled that the Broad Institute (Broad) was the first to invent single-guide CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology for use in eukaryotes. Furthermore, the judges ruled that “CVC fails to provide sufficient, persuasive evidence of an earlier reduction to practice or conception, as they are legally defined, of each and every element of Count 1 before Broad’s evidence of reduction to practice.” While the decade-long patent battle over the Nobel Prize-winning technology might have come to an end with Broad breathing a sigh of relief and CVC contemplating whether to take it to the next level, this has left some biotech companies scrambling to renegotiate their licensing agreements.

IP Audits for the Emerging Life Science Company: A Staged and Strategic Approach for Value

The trend is here to stay – large life science companies are basing their growth strategies on research and development happening at early-stage companies. It is easier, and less risky, for large companies simply to acquire these enterprises working on new and innovative therapeutic candidates that have advanced to a certain stage. For early stage life science companies (ESLSCs), intellectual property is the asset. Although 2021 saw what appeared to be a slowdown in deal-making activity compared to 2020, the top M&A and licensing deals were valued at well over $50 billion dollars. Whether to attract the attention of one of the larger players in the space – for a potential license or acquisition, to entice investors, or to remain competitive – a methodical and focused IP review should ensure clear alignment with business objectives and maximum return on investment. Not only does the IP audit provide the ESLSC a chance to broadly inventory and strategically review their IP, it also prepares them for any potential third-party diligence.