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Posts Tagged: "patent law"

Why is SCOTUS Creating a Federal Common Law of Patents?

What makes SCOTUS’s assertions in patent law jurisprudence that there are these “exceptions” or additional “requirements” particularly annoying to many of us in the patent bar is that patent law is essentially statutory.  In other words, there should be no “federal common law of patents” that allows SCOTUS (or any other court for that matter) to make “exceptions” to or make additional “requirements” for what is already expressly written in the patent statutes.  Indeed, in other areas of federal law, SCOTUS has made it abundantly clear that “federal common law” doesn’t exist.  The most famous example is Erie v. Tompkins where SCOTUS overturned its prior view of a “federal common law” applicable in cases involving diversity jurisdiction.  So we in the patent bar may rightly ask:  why does SCOTUS believe it can create what is, in essence, a “federal common law of patents” to supplant or modify the existing patent statutes?

Alternative Routes to Protection of Innovation

Every year different groups provide rankings of patent prosecution law firms and a company’s patent count for the year.  Patent law firms will tout their rankings based upon the number of filings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or the number of allowances they obtained for clients over the previous year.  And companies will boast about their patent prowess based upon the size of their portfolios. But things are changing. Innovative algorithms and even diagnostic methods may be easier and more effectively protected by trade secret.  Trade secret protection avoids the uncertainty of compliance with the vague patentability standard set forth by the Supreme Court.

Happy Birthday Patent System: Hope Springs Eternal

In 1790, the U.S. patent laws were first enacted and individuals could obtain a patent under the new federal government. For about a century beforehand, British citizens in the various parts of the American colonies could obtain patents for that region, and Britain and other European countries had patent laws as well. But the new American patent system was different: it was democratized in that anyone could participate, without the need for consent from the Crown. The origins of patent laws date back to the Fifteenth Century when Florentine regents sought to attract and keep innovators and their inventions. Elizabeth I was a keen ruler in passing various patent laws to encourage foreigners with ideas and inventions to relocate to Britain, as well as encourage domestic innovation.

How to Get More Business When Patent Litigation Filings are Down

Lawyers often wonder how to enhance their marketability and in the process, generate more revenue or improve their image.   After all, success at a firm is about “revenue generation.”  Success in a corporation or in the government also depends on your credibility and your ability to be a “go-to” person within the company or government agency.   To be a successful lawyer, you need to have a brand.  I explain below 6 easy ways to make your mark… Law firms are fighting for a smaller pool of work and as a result, are required to compete for that work at more competitive rates. If you want to get the work and charge higher rates, there must be a reason for the client to hire you. In other words, it’s your brand that counts.

I Dissent: The Federal Circuit’s ‘Great Dissenter,’ Her Influence on the Patent Dialogue, and Why It Matters

Today, Judge Newman is the Federal Circuit’s most prolific dissenter, and her dissents are important. Former Chief Judge Paul Michel noted that “Judge Newman may hold the record for the most dissents. But her dissents have great force and often persuade other colleagues over time.” Judge Kimberly Moore concurred, saying “[w]hat people may not realize is that many of her dissents have later gone on to become the law—either the en banc law from our court or spoken on high from the Supremes.” She noted that “Merck v. Integra comes to mind. It’s a case where she wrote a very strong dissent. The Supreme Court took it and not only changed the state of the law to reflect what she had written, but they cited her outright in the opinion.”

Does Patented Intellectual Property Still Matter? Yes, Depending on Who You Are

If Bill Hewlett and David Packard were just starting in their garage, they might be wise not to waste money acquiring them… An individual inventor, or SME, may defend patented inventions against unauthorized use – by everyone and anyone. However, it is disingenuous to say it is reasonable for them to do so, no matter what Congressional soundbites trumpet. The system is severely biased against these entities to the point of no longer serving them.

What makes a good IP renewals provider?

IP portfolios are business assets. The payment of patent annuities is an important part of ensuring a valuable IP portfolio is primed for monetisation. Efficient IP management demands lots of time, attention and cost – particularly if portfolios are directly managed by patent offices around the world. Many patent holders elect external IP renewals teams to carry the administration, manage patent renewals and offer insight into which patents should be abandoned.

Briefs supporting Life Technologies draw battle lines in battle over extraterritorial application of US patent laws

The U.S. government weighs in on Life Technologies’ side because “the application of U.S. patent law to participation by U.S. exporters in foreign markets also raise issues concerning the competiveness of American companies abroad and the respective roles of the United States and other nations’ patent laws.” The government argues that the Federal Circuit has not given a workable definition to determine when a component is sufficiently important or essential as to be “a substantial portion of the components.” The government also argues that, in legislating § 271(f), Congress’s purpose was to outlaw evasion of a U.S. patent by conduct that tantamount to manufacturing the patented invention in the U.S. for export. The government argues that there is no clear expressed Congressional intent for § 271(f) to reach supplying a single staple article: when the product is made abroad except for such a staple article, Congress left that predominantly foreign conduct to be regulated by foreign law. Finally, the government argues that the presumption against extraterritoriality requires the courts to assume both that “legislators take account of the legitimate interests of other nations” and “foreign conduct is generally the domain of foreign law.”

After Alice: Is New Legislation Needed? Before Alice: Was there a Precedent?

the Courts have found it difficult to use the Mayo two-part test in the examination of a patent’s validity thus creating great uncertainty… One should not confuse the uncertainty of the complex U.S. patent system with the clarity of the Alice decision. There is no reason to believe any new legislation will provide any improvement in deciding what should, and what should not, be patentable.

What is a patent and where do patent rights come from?

A patent is a proprietary right granted by the Federal government pursuant to laws passed by Congress. The Congressional power to authorize patents is found in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, of the United States Constitution. exclusive rights are provided for a limited time as an incentive to inventors, entrepreneurs and corporations to engage in research and development, to spend the time, energy and capital resources necessary to create useful inventions; which will hopefully have a positive effect on society through the introduction of new products and processes of manufacture into the economy, including life saving treatments and cures. See Kewanee Oil Co. v. Bicron Corp., 416 U.S. 470, 480 (1974).

What Should be Patentable? – A Proposal for Determining the Existence of Statutory Subject Matter Under 35 U.S.C. Section 101

The recent Supreme Court decision in the Myriad case, like past decisions, did not announce a clear rule that can be extrapolated from the decision and applied in other technology areas. Consequently, the determination of what subject matter is patent-eligible continues to be unclear. Patent law specifically identifies four broad categories of subject matter—process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter—that are patent-eligible.

Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012 Modifies U.S. Design Patent Law

While much attention has been given to the recent, significant changes in U.S. patent law arising from the America Invents Act (“AIA”), lesser attention has been given to patent law changes brought about by further congressional action. Specifically, the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act (“PLTIA”) enacted December 18, 2012, implements the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. In making several important changes to U.S. design patent law, implementation of the Geneva Act importantly provides U.S. design patent applicants with increased flexibility and, like the AIA, further harmonizes U.S. patent laws with international norms.

Kiwi Chameleon? New Zealand Proposes Patent Changes

The New Zealand Government recently announced a proposed change to patent law involving the patentability of computer programs. The Government is calling it a clarification of the law. One opposition party is calling it a humiliating backdown. Others see it as unequivocally ruling out software patents in New Zealand.

Patent Reform Doesn’t Prevent Rise in Patent Litigation?

I fail to see how the increase in individual suits suggests in any way, shape or form that the AIA has failed. Because there was a spike in litigation leading up to September 16, 2012, and because the AIA by its express terms requires more patent infringement cases of smaller scope, patent reform has failed. Unbelievable! How can something fail when it is working as intended?

7 Common Misperceptions About Intellectual Property

As an aside, and somewhat related to the boring concept, is the idea that intellectual property practitioners are all basement-dwelling nerds. OK, maybe we’re a little nerdy in some ways, but I swear I do not live in a basement, my summer reading did not include the cheat guide to World of Warcraft, and I have NEVER been to Comicon. So what if I have the blueprints to the Millennium Falcon on my office wall and my favorite TV show is “How it’s Made”? You gotta admit some of the stuff we get to do and see in our professional lives is pretty freaking cool. The seediest infringement cases. The bleedingest edge of technology. The next rival to the power of McDonald’s logo or Coca-Cola trade secret. I wear my nerd moniker proudly.