Posts Tagged: "intellectual property"

Federal Circuit Holds Transcription Error Cannot Be Used to Prove Obviousness

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) earlier today held in a precedential decision that a typographical error in a prior art document would have been dismissed by a person of ordinary skill in the art (POSITA) and thus could not be used to prove obviousness. The appeal was brought by LG Electronics, Inc, against ImmerVision, Inc. and related to claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,844,990 for “capturing and displaying digital panoramic images.”

Fifth Circuit Panel Questions Appellate Jurisdiction of US Inventor’s APA Claims Over Fintiv’s Lack of Notice and Comment Rulemaking

On July 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit heard oral arguments in US Inventor v. Hirshfeld, an appeal from a lawsuit first filed in February 2021 to challenge the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) development of the Fintiv framework for discretionary denials of petitions for Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings. Although the appeal comes to the Fifth Circuit following the district court’s dismissal due to the plaintiffs’ lack of Article III standing, much of the oral arguments focused on whether the Fifth Circuit or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had proper jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

How Wimbledon Tennis Trademarked its Signature Colors

July 10 marks the end of one of the most important events in the sporting calendar and one of the most iconic tennis tournaments in the world: Wimbledon. The All England Lawn Tennis Club (the “Club”) has owned multiple registered trademarks for the famous Wimbledon name and other prominent signs for some time. However, the dark green and purple colorway – which has been associated with the Wimbledon tennis tournament for over a Century – has only been protected as a registered trademark in the UK since 2016.

Patent Filings Roundup: Suits Explode at End of Q2; Fortress 4G LTE Multi-District Litigation Against Auto Industry Goes to Michigan; Rare Derivation Denial

Recession woes, war in Ukraine, and rising inflation have to date had little effect on the patent litigation marketplace—emphasizing the “non-correlated” in “non-correlated asset”—and it was borne out in the courts last week, where litigation exploded, with 135 new patent filings, more than double the average—though this keeps with a trend of seeing filings spike at the ends of annual quarters. That spike is normally, as it is here, driven by dozens of IP Edge filings across various subsidiaries (here, some of them going after local and regional newspapers struggling to stave off bankruptcy). This week also saw 82 denials of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) petitions, with the roughly average number of petitions (2 post grant reviews and 34 inter partes reviews [IPRs]).

Vidal Orders Amicus Briefs in PTAB OpenSky and Patent Quality Assurance Cases

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) yesterday afternoon announced that USPTO Director Kathi Vidal will be accepting amicus briefs in the Director Review of both OpenSky Industries, LLC v. VLSI Technology LLC, IPR2021-01064 and Patent Quality Assurance, LLC v. VLSI Technology LLC, IPR2021-01229, both of which have been the subject of scrutiny by members of Congress and patent practitioners. Vidal also set the schedule for review, with the initial briefing and amicus briefs in both cases due by August 4, 2022, and responsive briefs due by August 18. The patents in question are the basis of a $2 billion judgment against Intel.

When it Comes to Patent Reform, Watch What Google Does – Not What it Says

The debate over patent reform is heating up again. Last month, Google published a blog post on patent reform, purportedly aimed at promoting American innovation. In it, Google decried the rising tide of “wasteful patent litigation,” railed against the disfavored practice of “forum shopping” and advocated for pending legislation aimed at making it easier for large companies to challenge the validity of patents owned by smaller rivals — all in the name of promoting a patent system that “incentivizes and rewards the most original and creative innovators.”

The Push for Clean Energy Ignores Economic and U.S. Innovation Realities

During the last Presidential campaign, then candidate Biden famously promised to end fossil fuels. True to his commitment, President Biden has attempted to make the oil and gas industry less attractive to both corporations and investors. Unfortunately, clean energy is not ready as a solution for 21st century economies. But if the Biden Administration does want an alternative energy future, it better figure out how to fix a broken American patent system where virtually nothing is patent eligible, and it better also figure out how to keep the United Nations and developing countries from stealing proprietary rights of innovators. On the heels of the Biden Administration siding with developing nations in their effort to appropriate vaccine technology, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling for all intellectual property on clean energy technologies to be busted, and the innovations handed over to developing nations for free.

USPTO to Crack Down on ‘Incremental’ Patents in Response to Biden Executive Order’s Drug Pricing Mandate

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) yesterday announced in a joint blog post with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the Office plans to execute a number of initiatives aimed at lowering drug prices, as directed in July 2021 by President Joe Biden’s “Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.” The announcement came via a blog post jointly authored by USPTO Director Kathi Vidal and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert M. Califf. Biden’s Executive Order in part encouraged curbing some pharmaceutical companies’ practices, such as so-called pay-for-delay settlement agreements between brand pharmaceutical companies and generics manufacturers. The Order called for the USPTO and the FDA “to leverage [their] collective expertise in promoting innovation, competition, and the approval and regulation of safe and effective drugs to help provide relief to American families at the pharmacy.”

It’s Time to Give Up on the Charade of U.S. Patent Protection: Most Patents are Now Officially Invalid under American Axle

Last week, the Supreme Court refused certiorari in yet another patent eligibility appeal. I’ve lost count as to how many times the Court has refused to provide clarity to the fundamental question of patent eligibility since it last muddied the waters in Alice back in 2014. I stopped counting several years ago, when the number of petitions—pleas begging for help really—crossed over 50. But the petition in American Axle was supposed to be different. Yes, the Federal Circuit has been hopelessly, and helplessly, split for years—a division and impotence of their own making. In American Axle the self-castrated Federal Circuit seemed to believe the Supreme Court modern quartet of patent eligibility cases renders nothing of importance or value patent eligible. In fact, the Federal Circuit actually ruled that a drive shaft is not patent eligible because the operation of the drive shaft fundamentally relies on Hooke’s law.

Copyright Office Study Finds Protections for News Publishers are Adequate

On June 30, the U.S. Copyright Office officially published a report titled Copyright Protections for Press Publishers, which explores existing frameworks in nations around the world providing additional rights under copyright law for news publishers, and includes recommendations regarding similar changes that could be effected under U.S. law. The Copyright Office’s study concludes that, while the news publishing industry is facing significant problems in obtaining adequate funding during the Internet era, those problems are not due to any current shortcomings in the state of U.S. copyright law.

Defending Breakthrough Innovations – Protecting University Patents at the ITC

Many universities recognize the value of their patent portfolios and the need to protect their intellectual property rights from unlicensed and unfair use. When licensing negotiations break down, universities generally seek to enforce their rights in U.S. district courts, but overlook a potentially more favorable forum: the United States International Trade Commission (ITC). The ITC is a unique patent forum with experienced judges, defined patent rules, and statutory mandates to provide a timely resolution. More importantly, the ITC was designed protect U.S. industries, including the research and development performed at universities. This is not a hypothetical exercise: one university recently utilized the ITC, blazing a path that others can follow. As explained below, more universities should follow suit.

Will Dobbs Cure the Plague of Patent Eligibility Nonsense?

For anyone surprised about the Supreme Court refusing certiorari in the America Axle v. Neapco case after the Department of Justice (DOJ) (aided by the Solicitor’s Office of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office [USPTO]) submitted its brief for the Supreme Court’s review, the question arises: why would anyone be surprised? The brief at issue is garbage, and one wonders what exactly its purpose was.

To save time for concerned readers, the DOJ’s brief may be summarized as follows: (1) a bunch of decisions were made on patent eligibility by the Supreme Court over the last 50 years; (2) the Federal Circuit is divided on the exceptions to patent eligibility; and (3) the Solicitor would like clarification as to what is abstract and what is an inventive concept, but not if it involves evidence. That is, the DOJ and PTO now demand more subjective theory on Alice-Mayo while deliberately eschewing any objective basis for the test despite the fact that the claims in Bilski, Alice, and Mayo were considered abstract based on evidence in the record.

USPTO Will Ramp Up Identity Verification Rules for Trademark Filers Starting in August

Starting August 6, 2022, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will require all trademark filers to verify their identities in order to file electronic trademark forms. The move comes as an attempt to stop trademark scam entities and was announced in a blog post penned by USPTO Director Kathi Vidal and Commissioner for Trademarks David Gooder last week. According to the post, the identity verification process started as a voluntary option in January 2022 “to better serve our legitimate customers and help prevent bad actors from violating our USPTO Rules of Practice and website terms of use.” The Office has seen a sharp increase in fraudulent trademark filings over the last six years, as well as a rise in foreign scammers from China, Pakistan, and elsewhere outside the U.S.

The Way FRAND Concepts are Applied in Other Sectors Illustrates the U.S. Government’s Orwellian View of Patent Rights

A while back, we set up an email alert to advise us of any legal developments involving fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing. Somewhat to our surprise, the notion of requiring FRAND terms and conditions for obtaining access to the otherwise exclusive property rights of others is not limited to patents essential to industry standards. Rather, FRAND licensing concepts, or minor variations thereof (e.g. “just, reasonable and nondiscriminatory”), appear in government regulation of stockyards (see 7 USC §208), vehicular air pollution information (see California’s Health and Safety Code §43105.5 (7)), and airports (see La. R.S. §1:135.1), to name a few.

American Axle Denied: Patent Stakeholders Sound Off on SCOTUS’ Refusal to Deal with Eligibility

As we’re all aware by now, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition in American Axle & Mfg., Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC late last week, in its last Orders List of the term. This leaves it up to Congress and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to restore any semblance of clarity on U.S. patent eligibility law for now. In a statement sent to IPWatchdog following the denial, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said it is “committed to making every effort to ensure that the U.S. patent system is as clear and consistent as possible.” Whether Congress will take eligibility up again remains an open question.