Posts Tagged: "ipo"

Industry Groups Urge Quick Passage of Reintroduced IDEA Act

Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) yesterday reintroduced the Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement Act (IDEA Act), which seeks to direct the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) “to collect demographic data – including gender, race, military or veteran status, and income level, among others – from patent applicants on a voluntary basis.” Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are co-sponsors of the legislation.

USPTO Publishes Final Rule Codifying Significant Trademark Fee Increases

The USPTO recently published a Final Rule setting new fees for trademark filings and TTAB proceedings, which will be effective January 2, 2021. The last time trademark fees were adjusted was about three years ago. The increases range from modest to fairly substantial. To file an application using the TEAS Plus option, the fee has increased from $225 per class to $250 per class, and the processing fee for failing to meet the TEAS Plus requirements has been reduced from $125 per class to $100 per class. However, the fee for TEAS Standard per class has jumped $75, from $275 to $350, which many trademark owners who commented found unreasonable.

Amici Urge CAFC to Grant En Banc Review in American Axle Case

In October, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) rejected a method for manufacturing propshafts in American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) v. Neapco Holdings (Neapco), holding that the claims at issue were ineligible under Section 101. Judge Moore dissented, arguing that “the majority’s decision expands §101 well beyond its statutory gate-keeping function and the role of this appellate court well beyond its authority.” Several amici have now filed briefs in support of AAM’s request for rehearing of the CAFC’s decision. Former Chief Judge of the CAFC Paul Michel in his brief argues four points: 1) the opinion contravenes core summary-judgment rules and ignores evidence of a genuine dispute; 2) the ‘911 claims recite a multi-part, multi-step process for manufacturing auto parts and are not directed to ineligible matter; 3) the ‘911 claims do not preempt Hooke’s Law, confirming they are patent-eligible; and 4) the majority’s Section 101 rulings warrant en banc treatment.

IBM Inventor Chieko Asakawa Named Inventor of the Year at IPO Education Foundation 2019 Awards Dinner

Last night at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, the old home of the original Patent and Trademark Office, the Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation (IPOEF) held its annual Awards Dinner. The IPOEF Awards Dinner is one of the great industry events; an unapologetic celebration of innovation. Each year, this Awards Dinner recognizes the Inventor of the Year, as well as recognizing an IP Champion, Executive of the Year and youth winners of the IP Video Contest. Manny Schecter, Chief Patent Counsel for IBM and president of the IPOEF, began the awards program segment of the evening by saying what is undeniably true: this evening gives us the opportunity to put aside our differences and disagreements and “remember why it is that we do what we do and celebrate innovation.”

Final Briefs Filed with SCOTUS in Romag Fasteners Case on Trademark Infringement Damages

On November 27, briefing concluded at the Supreme Court with the filing of Fossil’s respondent’s brief in Romag Fasteners, Inc., v. Fossil, Inc., et al. The final briefing sets the stage for the Court to hear the case on January 14, 2020. The Court will hopefully resolve a current Circuit split on the availability of disgorgement of profits as damages for trademark infringement. Currently, the First, Second, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth and D.C. Circuits all require willful infringement before allowing disgorgement of an infringer’s profits (the First Circuit requires willfulness if the parties are not direct competitors and there is also some disagreement on where the Eighth Circuit falls on the issue). The Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuits all allow for disgorgement of profits without willful infringement. There has been a Circuit split for some time on this issue and the Supreme Court previously denied certiorari on similar cases but the Court is now set to resolve the split.

The Final Plea for 101 Sanity? Athena Amici Ask Supreme Court to Clean Up U.S. Patent Eligibility Mess

November 1 was the deadline for filing amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court, which is considering whether to grant a petition for writ of certiorari to take up Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative Services on appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Almost every amicus filing to the Supreme Court in this case supported granting the petition or backed up the position of petitioner Athena, who is asking the Supreme Court to clarify its patent-eligibility doctrine under the Alice/Mayo framework on the subject of medical diagnostic patent claims. The appeal to the Supreme Court follows a hotly contested denial of an en banc rehearing of the Federal Circuit’s original panel decision in Athena, which produced eight opinions, including four dissents, with many judges agreeing that Athena’s invention should be patent eligible even while they disagreed over whether Supreme Court precedent allowed for patent protection of diagnostic methods.

Romag Fasteners: IPO Departs From Other Amici in Urging SCOTUS to Require Willfulness to Award Trademark Profits

The Intellectual Property Owners Association and four other associations have filed amicus briefs with the Supreme Court in the case of Romag Fasteners v. Fossil, Inc., Fossil Stores, I. Inc., Macy’s Inc, and Macy’s Retail Holdings, Inc. The case will examine whether lower courts have discretion under the Lanham Act with respect to how to award damages in trademark infringement cases, or whether courts are required to establish that the infringement was willful before awarding profits. While the American Bar Association (ABA), the International Trademark Association (INTA), the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) and the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC) support adopting a more flexible approach that would not make willfulness a prerequisite to recover profits, IPO argues that the plain language of the statute necessitates such a requirement.

Nantkwest Amici Urge SCOTUS Not to Shift Attorney’s Fees in Section 145 Appeals

This March, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for writ of certiorarito take up Peter v. Nantkwest Inc., on appeal from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The case will ask the nation’s highest court to determine whether the phrase “[a]ll expenses of the proceeding” found in 35 U.S.C. § 145, which governs appeals to district court of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decisions to deny the issue of a patent grant, encompasses personnel expenses incurred by the USPTO, including attorneys’ fees, when its employees defend the agency against Section 145 litigation. On July 22, a series of intellectual property and law associations filed amicusbriefs in the case by and large supporting the position of Nantkwest. This includes the American Bar Association, which argued that the USPTO’s interpretation of the statute would “hamper the equal access to justice and chill the assertion of meritorious claims.” Other Nantkwest amici argued that the government has had the statutory authority to collect ‘expenses of the proceeding’ in patent cases since 1839 but for the 174 years prior to the case against Nantkwest, the USPTO has declined to seek attorney’s fees.

Celebrating Innovation: IP Laws Encourage Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Without intellectual property protections it makes it impossible for an innovator to compete, raise money, and succeed in business. That was a story told by Joe Kiani, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Masimo, who receive the IPO Education Foundation’s first IP Champion Award. “While the IP laws are still better than any other country, they aren’t as good as they used to be,” Kiani said on the video introducing himself before receiving the IP Champion Award. Kiani would explain that he doesn’t think of what IP laws mean to Massimo today, but what they would mean for Massimo back in 1980. IP laws encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, he explained.

Boston Patent Law Association Announces Support for IPO-AIPLA Section 101 Legislative Fix

The Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA) has announced its support for a proposal for a legislative fix to 35 U.S.C. § 101, the statute governing basic patentability in U.S. patent law, which was jointly offered earlier this year by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). The BPLA now becomes the latest patent law organization to support the proposed legislative amendment to Section 101 that is designed to address major uncertainties in patentability stemming from various cases decided in recent years by the U.S. Supreme Court.

What is Director Iancu Proposing the USPTO do for §101 Analysis?

Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Andrei Iancu made some interesting remarks yesterday at the Intellectual Property Owners Association Annual Meeting in Chicago on September 24, 2018 regarding a proposal for new guidance on how the USPTO would approach determination of subject matter eligibility under §101. In the IPO meeting’s (written) remarks, Dir. Iancu speaks at length about the current confusion in the Mayo/Alice framework and how “significantly more work needs to be done, especially on the ‘abstract idea’ exception.” Director Iancu asserted that “Currently, we’re actively looking for ways to simplify the eligibility determination for our examiners through forward-looking guidance. Through our administration of the patent laws, which we are charged to execute, the USPTO can lead, not just react to, every new case the courts issue.”

PPAC Fee Hearing Discusses Proposed Increases to Late Payments, AIA Trial Fees

Lisa Jorgenson, executive director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), asked the agency to better justify the increased surcharge for late maintenance fee payments as well as the increases to IPR and PGR trials. Jorgenson noted that much of the additional work required by SAS Institute would take place after the institution decision and thus it might make more sense to divide the fee increase such that the pre-institution fees bear less of the increase than those charged post-institution. Roland McAndrews of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) also sought additional justification for the 525 percent increase to the late payment surcharge for maintenance fees, noting that the desire to encourage on-time payments alone didn’t support that increase… Josh Malone, inventor of Bunch O Balloons, noted that the day’s hearing on fee increases was “based on an unrealistic and aspirational value proposition,” namely that the fees paid for obtaining a patent would actually result in the grant of a patent which was backed by the full faith of the U.S. government.”

USPTO Director Andrei Iancu Discusses Patentability of Algorithms, PTAB Proceedings at Senate Judiciary Committee

Sen. Harris followed up by asking whether algorithms were mathematical representations of laws of nature. “You’re getting right to the heart of the issue,” Iancu said. What Iancu said after that should be a major breath of fresh air to inventors and patent owners frustrated by Section 101 validity issues in the wake of Alice and Mayo: “This is one place where I believe courts have gone off the initial intent. There are human-made algorithms, human-made algorithms that are the result of human ingenuity that are not set from time immemorial and that are not absolutes, they depend on human choices. Those are very different from E=mc2 and they are very different from the Pythagorean theorem, for example.”

Tech Giants Maintain Dominance By Copying Technologies

Although it’s not illegal to earn a profit, unfair business practices in the pursuit of holding a monopoly over an entire industry led to the breakup of Standard Oil, especially the rebates from railroad companies for oil shipments which substantially lowered Standard Oil’s transportation costs relative to its much smaller competitors. Recent academic research has suggested that, while the U.S. government acted appropriately to stop the cartelization of an industry, Standard Oil was engaging in typical capitalist activity in securing better deals which optimized oil shipments. This would seem somewhat less nefarious than an outright copying technologies from smaller competitors in an effort to stave off competition.

Does an Uncertain Patentability Climate Explain the Stormy Environment for IPOs?

If Snap cannot protect its ability to differentiate its platform, how is it going to compete with a rival that has more resources and a larger base of distribution? If Facebook and Snap compete on user experience, and that experience is essentially the same between both, there’s no way for Snap, the smaller player, to gain any sort of competitive advantage… An analysis of U.S. capital markets published last May by Ernst & Young noted that the decline of IPO activity over the past 20 years has been so significant that it has warranted conversations on policy action to reverse the trend. A restoration of patent rights, which gives a patent owner a reasonable ability to obtain and enforce patents, could very well have the positive impact desired to improve the business climate for IPOs.