IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts Tagged: "patent application"

Industry Reaction to Helsinn Healthcare v. Teva Pharmaceuticals Oral Arguments

On Tuesday, December 4th, oral arguments were held before the U.S. Supreme Court in Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA. The nation’s highest court will determine whether a secret sale of an invention, or a sale of a technology under terms that require the invention to remain confidential, triggers the on-sale bar under 35 U.S.C. § 102(a)(1), thereby preventing the invention from being patented. With this question squarely before the Supreme Court, several members of the legal industry who are watching this case offer their views on the major takeaways and the potential consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision, which will issue next year.

MIT Prior Art Archive: An Overstated Solution to Patent Examination

According to statistics provided by the USPTO, since the beginning of fiscal year 2012, the Office has received a total of only 1,584 third-party submissions of prior art for consideration by patent examiners. The high water mark occurred in 2016, when the office received a total of 329 third-party prior art submissions. This declined to 266 submissions in 2017 and in fiscal year 2018, the USPTO received a total of only 141 prior art submissions.

USPTO Announces Access to Relevant Prior Art Initiative to Import Prior Art Citations into Patent Applications

The USPTO recently announced the implementation of the first phase of the Access to Relevant Prior Art (RPA) Initiative. The initiative is being designed to reduce the burden placed upon patent applicants to comply with their duty of disclosure through the use of automated tools which import relevant prior art and other pertinent information into pending U.S. patent applications as quickly as possible.

Patent Drafting Basics: Instruction Manual Detail is What You Seek

In some important ways a patent application should be akin to an instruction manual, but unlike the aforementioned BBQ grill, the reader of relevant skill in the area is the one that should be able to follow along. Having said this, there is an important caveat! A patent is not a blueprint… Have you ever seen a worthwhile instruction manual without good, high-quality drawings showing you what to do? Probably not. So, if you’ve been frustrated by the decreasing quality of instruction manuals when “some assembly is required”, you fundamentally already know exactly what you need to do when you draft a patent application. Lots of drawings, lots of descriptive text that focuses on the key elements of the invention — that’s what makes a great patent application.

Weak Chinese Patent Applications and China’s Burgeoning Patent System

Bloomberg recently published an article providing data analysis on Chinese patent applications to claim that, while China receives more patent applications than any country, “most are worthless.” If you were trying to usher in a culture change, moving from no patent system just a few decades ago to a thriving and high functioning patent system, you would look to incentivize your own citizens and corporations to file patent applications. That is precisely what China has done and is continuing to do. Thus, the mantra about Chinese patent applications being worthless, or nothing of a concern because they are overwhelmingly only filed in China, completely misses the enormity of the change taking place in China, and why it bodes well for the Chinese moving forward.

US Inventor Files Amicus Brief With CAFC in Support of En Banc Rehearing on Single-Reference Obviousness Issue

On August 1st, the non-profit inventor advocacy group US Inventor filed an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit asking the court to grant a petition for en banc rehearing in American Vehicular Sciences LLC v. Unified Patents Inc. The case, which stems from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), involves issues regarding obviousness which US Inventor argues that the Federal Circuit should resolve through the en banc rehearing of this case… This uncertainty in determining the validity of an invention disincentivizes small inventors from taking risks and experimenting to create an invention at a time when the United States is facing an innovation crisis. US Inventor notes that China has been outpacing the U.S. in terms of startup funding for artificial intelligence developers and that patent applications filed in China has been outpacing U.S. patent applications at a rate of about 2-to-1.

How to Write a Patent Application

Writing a patent application is not as easy as many think. Indeed, the concept of usefully describing the invention, which on its face seems easy enough to understand, is not as straight forward as it might seem, and why you cannot simply file an abbreviate description of an invention and think that suffices to protect anything really. This article looks at the most common parts of a patent application, and provides discussion about what each section needs to include.

Is Elon Musk a Modern Day Rasputin?

Musk also continues to be exposed by news headlines. Twice Musk has delayed his own deadline to reach the 5,000-per-week production goal he has set for Tesla’s Model 3. He’s broken promises not only to his shareholders but also his workforce, 9 percent of which he recently laid off in an attempt to make Tesla into a profitable company. At the time of this writing, Tesla shares were in the $310 price range despite predictions from major investment bank Goldman Sachs that Tesla may need to raise up to $10 billion in capital over the next two years to remain in operation. In late July, The Wall Street Journal reported that Musk asked some of Tesla’s suppliers to refund payments made by the company going back to 2016 in order for Tesla to reach profitability. This news caused a major surge in Tesla credit-default swaps, which now indicate that the company has a 42 percent chance of missing a debt payment in the next five years. Forget meeting production deadlines, Tesla might not have enough cash to keep its doors open within a few short years. Somehow it just doesn’t matter. It is almost as if the more Musk fails the greater his legend grows, and for reasons that make little sense the higher his stock price soars. 

Google vs. the Luddites: A Patent Battle Neither Side Should Win

The idea that all software is obvious is a theoretical argument that doesn’t just border on the scattological, it wades right into the sewer. Consider artificial intelligence. If AI, which requires the use of software algorithms, is supposed to augment human intelligence and provide us with answers to questions we can’t figure out without the use of AI, how is that at all obvious? What about IBM’s Watson cognitive computing platform? … When the highest court in the land incorporates such backward-minded patterns of thought which allows them to say that “At its most basic, a computer is just a calculator capable of performing mental steps faster than a human could,” the U.S. patent system must be a relative paradise to Duda and other anti-patent Luddites who believe that software inventions cannot and should not be patentable at all.

Increases in Innovation, Patent Boom Leads to Development in China

The patent boom China has been experiencing is easy to explain. China as a country has been unwavering in its support for domestic patent production in recent years. Indeed, the Chinese government has been actively encouraging not only increased innovation that makes it more likely there will be patentable innovations, but that government has been aggressively incentivizing increased patent filings. Incentives include subsidizing patent filing fees, providing rewards for patent filings, and tax credits that are tied to patent output. In many ways, China’s innovation economy is a near photo-negative of the current iteration of the U.S. patent system.

Admissions as Prior Art in a Patent: What they are and why you need to avoid them

So what is an admission? A statement made during patent prosecution identifying the work of another as prior art is called an admission. Admissions can and will be relied upon by patent examiners for both novelty (35 U.S.C. 102) and obviousness (35 U.S.C. 103) determinations, regardless of whether the admitted prior art would otherwise qualify as prior art under the express terms of the statute. Admissions should be avoided at all costs, regardless of how innocent they seem to be. This is a lesson that all new patent practitioners and inventors need to take to heart. No matter how innocuous the statement may seem, always remember that no good deed will go unpunished! Everything you do say can and will be used against your patent once it issues — forever.

The Top Trends in Patent Law for 2017

As we mark the close of yet another year, we’re provided with a perfect opportunity to look back on the previous twelve months and see what has transpired. No one could call it a good year for patent owners (except those with the largest pockets, of course) starting with the United States’ 10th-place ranking among national patent systems in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s IP Index, and it didn’t appear as though any weaknesses in uncertain patentability across the U.S. technological landscape were addressed in a positive manner this year. It’s inevitable that the ball will drop on New Year’s Eve and calendars everywhere will turn from 2017 to 2018. Whether the U.S. federal government will be able to stop the death knell sounding doom for our nation’s patent system, however, is still anyone’s guess and it seems far from likely.

Patent Drafting: The most valuable patent focuses on structural uniqueness of an invention

It can be enormously difficult for inventors to describe their own inventions. This is true not because the inventor doesn’t know what they’ve invented, or even because the inventor is not in the best position to explain the invention. Indeed, the inventor of a new and useful invention is absolutely in the best position to describe the invention… Inventors are very good at describing how their inventions can be used and why their invention is superior from a usability standpoint. The trouble is describing how an invention can be used, while a prerequisite, will not distinguish a tangible invention from the prior art.

U.S. Leads World in Quantum Computing Patent Filings with IBM Leading the Charge

Patenting activities in the quantum computing sector have rapidly increased in recent years, with the U.S. by far the preferred jurisdiction for applicants… One interesting finding from the Patinformatics report is that, although Northrop Grumman doesn’t have the largest portfolio in the field, it is well-situated to compete with the biggest players. “One of our main assertions is that, if there’s an organization interested in being competitive with IBM, they may want to contemplate a partnership or acquisition of Northrop Grumman,” Trippe said. Both Northrop and IBM have made significant investments into super-conducting loop qubit technologies and Northrop actually edges IBM in logic gate hardware.

Patent Drafting: Proving You’re in Possession of the Invention

The purpose of the written description requirement is broader than to merely explain how to make and use the invention, which is the subject of the enablement requirement. Rather, to satisfy the written description requirement the applicant must also convey with reasonable clarity to those skilled in the art that, as of the filing date sought, he or she was in possession of the invention… While the written description is just that – written – having multiple drawings that show the invention and various aspects of the invention from a variety of viewpoints can be extremely helpful. This is because every figure should be described with at lease one paragraph of text, frequently more.