Posts Tagged: "intellectual property"

This Week in Washington IP: Cybersecurity in Civil Space Operations, Coordinating Patent Data Between the USPTO and the FDA, and Innovative Ideas for Modernizing Congress

This week in Washington IP news, committee hearings at the U.S. House of Representatives focus on several topics related to technology including improvements to civil space procurement activities to promote cybersecurity in space systems, the use of facial recognition technology by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, as well as technological recommendations advanced by the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. Over in the Senate, the Judiciary Committee will debate a proposed bill that would establish an interagency task force for sharing communication on drug patents between the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Elsewhere, the Center for Strategic & International Studies explores how last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law is being leveraged to create a regional clean hydrogen hub in Houston, the Brookings Institution discusses the future of crypto regulation following the stablecoin crash, and the USPTO closes out the week with a regular quarterly meeting of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee.

Big Awards Underscore Importance of Bolstering Your Company’s Trade Secrets Protocols

Corporate espionage is as old as the day is long. The modern digital world has made it easier than ever to gain access to sensitive “secret sauce”, such as software, customer and vendor lists, business methods, techniques, formulas and recipes. With a significant shift to a remote working environment and the relative ease of employee portability, protecting and defending confidential information and trade secrets must be at the top of the priority list for any organization. In May 2022, in Appian v. Pegasystems, a jury awarded likely the largest sum in the history of Virginia state court proceedings, finding that Pegasystems was liable for $2 billion-plus in damages to Appian for planting a corporate spy at Appian for over 10 years…. While the facts of the Appian case are not particularly unusual, the measure of damages is quite stunning.

Protecting AI-Generated Inventions as Trade Secrets Requires Protecting the Generative AI as Well

Editor’s Note: Dean A. Pelletier of Pelletier Law, LLC co-authored this article with Erik Weibust.

Legal, technology, business, and academic professionals currently are debating whether an invention autonomously generated by artificial intelligence (AI) should be patentable in the United States and elsewhere. Some proponents of patentability argue that if AI, by itself, is not recognized as an inventor, then AI owners will lack protection for AI-generated inventions and AI innovation, commercialization, and investment (collectively, AI innovation) will be inhibited as a result. Some of those proponents further argue that, without patent protection as an option, AI owners increasingly will opt for trade secret protection, which by design reduces public disclosure of corresponding inventions and, as such, still will inhibit AI innovation. Some opponents of patentability, on the other hand, argue that patenting AI-generated inventions will promote those inventions and discourage human-generated inventions, thereby reducing human innovation and ultimately competition, because patent ownership will become concentrated, or more concentrated, in fewer entities—in particular, large, well-funded entities.

Patent Filings Roundup: Board Denies Petition for Claims Not in Litigation; SK Hynix Hits Longhorn with Declaratory Judgment on Semi Campaigns

It was a slow summer week at the Board with just 23 new petitions—one post grant review and 22 inter partes reviews; in district court, a relatively average 63 new filings and 53 terminations rounded out the count. The major streaming companies, including Disney, challenged WAG Acquisitions [of Woodsford Litigation Funding] patents before the Board; SharkNinja challenges Bissel patents on vacuum cleaners; and FedEx challenged patents owned by Raymond Anthony Joao’s ultra-litigious Transcend Shipping. Apple lost three challenges at institution against an Identity Security LLC (f/k/a Integrated Information Solutions Corporation]. In the district court high-volume litigant M4Siz roped in more retailers, including Abercrombie and Fitch, Under Armor, Victoria’s Secret, and J Crew, bringing the total defendant count to 31; and more semiconductor litigation bloomed, with multiple campaigns filing against Micron and TI this week alone.

House IP Subcommittee Drills Down on GAO’s Preliminary Findings that PTAB Judges are Being Influenced by USPTO Leadership

The House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet today held Part II in a series of hearings to consider reforms to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) 10 years after it was created by the America Invents Act (AIA). The hearing, titled “The Patent Trial and Appeal Board After 10 Years, Part II: Implications of Adjudicating in an Agency Setting,” coincided with the release of a preliminary report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that was commissioned in June of last year by IP Subcommittee Chair Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) to investigate PTAB decision-making practices. The GAO’s preliminary findings revealed that “the majority of [administrative patent] judges (75 percent) surveyed by GAO responded that the oversight practiced by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) directors and PTAB management has affected their independence, with nearly a quarter citing a large effect on independence.”

Amicus Filings in Biogen v. Mylan Urge SCOTUS to Eliminate Uncertainty in Drafting Patents to Satisfy Written Description Requirement

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court received several amicus briefs filed in support of the petition for writ of certiorari filed in Biogen International GmbH v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. If cert is granted, this case will ask the nation’s highest court to clarify the written description requirement under 35 U.S.C. § 112. The appeal follows a contentious decision this March from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to deny panel rehearing and rehearing en banc of an earlier ruling affirming the Northern District of West Virginia’s invalidation of Biogen’s patent claims covering a method of treating multiple sclerosis (MS) under Section 112.

Ten Reasons Companies Need to Stay on Top of Recent Patent Trends

A company’s knowledge of IP trends and its own internal IP strategy is crucial to a wide range of issues the company may face—including litigation, business expansion, and retaining its talent. Being prepared for IP issues your company may face externally, as well as developing a strategic plan internally for your company’s IP portfolio, will better position your organization on multiple fronts. Below are 10 reasons your company should pay attention to these IP trends.

Send the USPTO Your Comments on Director Review, POP and PTAB Internal Review Processes

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) yesterday announced and today published an official Request for Comments on the interim process for Director Review of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decisions, the Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) process and the interim process for PTAB decision circulation and internal PTAB review. USPTO Director Kathi Vidal released updated interim guidance on Director Review and PTAB decision circulation/internal review soon after taking office in April and has been accepting preliminary feedback via a dedicated email address, but the comments received in response to this request will officially  inform upcoming notice-and-comment rulemaking to formalize these processes, as well as any modifications to the interim processes prior to formalization. Comments are due by September 19, 2022.

Federal Circuit Affirms Denial of JMOL, Partial Costs in Favor of Amazon

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today affirmed a district court’s ruling denying Innovation Sciences’ post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that claims of three of its patents are not invalid and that Amazon.com, Inc. infringed them, or, alternatively, a new trial. The CAFC said that substantial evidence supported the district court’s finding of anticipation, which Amazon proved via expert testimony relating to a prior art home automation software called HAL.

A Tale of Two Motions: A Closer Look at Motions to Dismiss in Design Patent Cases

For most people, what comes to mind when they hear the word “patent” might be an invention like the lightbulb—Thomas Edison’s version rather than Sawyer and Man’s, probably—or the telephone—another hotly-contested invention between Alexander Graham Bell and the lesser-known Elisha Gray….What the average person might not be aware of is the type of patent intended to protect “any new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture.” This is the domain of the design patent…. Traditionally, design patents covered physical designs that had some tangible effect on the shape, or texture of the “article of manufacture.” Over time, design patent protection extended to cover screen layouts and graphical user interfaces (“GUIs”)…. Two recent cases are some of the rare examples of a company arguing infringement solely based on GUI design patents.

CAFC Affirms Invalidation of Stanford Organ Transplant Rejection Test in Latest Patent-Eligibility Blow to Medical Diagnostics

On July 18, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in CareDx, Inc. v. Natera, Inc. affirming a summary judgment ruling of the District of Delaware, which invalidated claims from three Stanford University patents licensed by CareDx as patent  ineligible. The decision marks yet another blow to medical diagnostic testing, this time in the context of organ transplants, and the prospects of their developers for obtaining enforceable patent rights.

Facebook Accused of ‘Eviscerating’ Small Tech Business’s META Marks

A small business owner is suing Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook (Facebook), accusing the internet giant of “brazenly violating fundamental intellectual property rights enshrined in U.S. law to obliterate a small business.” METAx, LLC (Meta) was founded in 2010 by Justin “JB” Bolognino, who is described in the complaint filed in the U.S. District court for the Southern District of New York, as a respected figure in the virtual creator community and “a true pioneer of the industry involving immersive and experiential technologies, including augmented reality (“AR”), virtual reality (“VR”), and extended reality (“XR”).” Meta has continuously used the term “META” as part of a composite mark, and has been commonly referred to as Meta in trade and commerce, since 2010.

‘A Study in Scarlet’—Powers of Attorney and USPTO Rulemaking, Part II: The USPTO Fails to Take the Paperwork Reduction Act Seriously

In Part I, I introduced the USPTO’s unpublished guidance document for signatures on powers of attorney, and the incompatibility of that guidance with state law, regulation, and the USPTO’s published guidance. Multiple laws should have caught the problems and led to a corrected document. Today, we’ll look at the USPTO’s pattern of ignoring those laws in multiple rounds of review under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Newman Says CAFC Majority Departed from Claim Construction Law in Blow to Ford Over Fuel System Patents

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Monday vacated and remanded a decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, which had granted judgment of non-infringement for Ford Motor Company on three patents owned by Ethanol Boosting Systems, LLC and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (EBS). The CAFC, with Chief Judge Moore writing, said the district court’s ruling was based on an erroneous claim construction. Judge Pauline Newman dissented, accusing the majority of departing “from the rule that patent claims are construed in accordance with the invention described in the specification.”

This Week in Washington IP: Adjudication Issues at the PTAB, Regulating Government Access to Personal Data, and the USPTO’s Southeast Asia Intellectual Property Roadshow

This week in Washington IP news, the House Committee on the Judiciary’s IP Subcommittee takes a second look at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board after 10 years of existence, with a special focus on issues with adjudicating legal matters in an agency setting. The full House Judiciary Committee also hosts a hearing to explore government access to consumer personal data. Elsewhere, the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation debates ways that cultural changes at federal agencies can improve IT modernization efforts, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office hosts a Southeast Asia Intellectual Property Roadshow to educate business owners on how they can leverage their IP rights for business success in that region of the globe.