Posts Tagged: "patent office"

Inventor Diversity Advocacy Group Launches ‘Patent Academy’ in Latest Effort to Reach Underrepresented Inventors

Earlier this month, IP diversity advocacy group Invent Together announced that it had launched an online learning platform known as The Inventor’s Patent Academy (TIPA), an e-learning course designed in collaboration with Qualcomm to educate inventors from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds about the benefits of engaging with the U.S. patent system. This online academy is the latest of several efforts by Congress and patent system stakeholders in recent years to unlock the innovative potential of women, people of color, LGBTQIA, and low-income inventors to benefit the U.S. economy.

The Case for Patenting AI: U.S. Patent Laws Better Get Smart or Get Left Behind

The idea of patented inventions brings to mind machines fully realized – flying contraptions and engines with gears and pistons operating in coherent symphony. When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), there are no contraptions, no gears, no pistons, and in a lot of cases, no machines. AI inventors sound much more like philosophers theorizing about machines, rather than mechanics describing a machine. They use phrases like “predictive model” and “complexity module” that evoke little to no imagery or association with practical life whatsoever. The AI inventor’s ways are antithetical to the principles of patent writing, where inventions are described in terms of what does what, why, how, and how often.

Iancu to Receive 2022 Paul Michel Award at IPWatchdog LIVE in Texas

In consultation with Chief Judge Paul Michel, IPWatchdog is pleased to announce that Andrei Iancu, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO, and current partner at Irell & Manella, has been selected as the 2022 recipient of The Paul Michel Award. He will be presented with the award on Sunday evening, September 11, 2022, at IPWatchdog LIVE 2022. The Paul Michel Award, created with the blessing of Chief Judge Paul Michel (CAFC, ret.), is awarded annually to someone within the IP community who has selflessly served the best interests of the industry and its members as a respected leader, mentor, and advocate on behalf of fairness and for the best interests of the intellectual property system.

‘A Study in Scarlet’—Powers of Attorney and USPTO Rulemaking, Part I: A Hidden Guidance Document

This two-part article explains the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) practices with respect to powers of attorney. The pattern of neglect of administrative law identified here with regard to powers of attorney alone imposes a $30 to $40 million per year excess burden on the public. For the USPTO’s rules as whole, the costs are about $2 billion per year. Over the last 18 months, about 100 patent attorneys signed on to letters to ask the USPTO to do the simple right thing: conform its practices to the rule of law.

The PTAB Reform Act Will Make the PTAB’s Problems Worse

Recently, we submitted comments for the record to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s IP Subcommittee in response to its June 22 hearing on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), titled: “The Patent Trial and Appeal Board: Examining Proposals to Address Predictability, Certainty and Fairness.” The hearing focused on Senator Leahy’s PTAB Reform Act, which among other changes, would eliminate the discretion of the Director to deny institution of an inter partes review (IPR) petition based on an earlier filed district court litigation involving the same patents, parties and issues. Here is the net of what we told them:

USPTO Mandates Official Form for PTA Information Disclosure Statements to Automate Assessments of Patent Term Adjustments

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register announcing that the agency would be revising its rules of practice to require that information disclosure statements related to patent term adjustments (PTAs) be submitted on Form PTO/SB/133. The use of this document is expected to streamline communications between the USPTO and patent applicants regarding delays in patent prosecution and also save agency resources by reducing manual review of PTA statements and leveraging information technology (IT) resources at the agency for automatically detecting and reviewing such statements.

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.

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.”

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.”

SCOTUS Kicks Patent Eligibility Cases to the Curb in Last Move of the Term

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied certiorari in American Axle v. Neapco Holdings, Inc., leaving 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. Many expected that the Court would grant the petition after the U.S. Solicitor General in May recommended granting review. The SG’s brief said that inventions like the one at issue in American Axle have “[h]istorically…long been viewed as paradigmatic examples of the ‘arts’ or ‘processes’ that may receive patent protection if other statutory criteria are satisfied” and that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit “erred in reading this Court’s precedents to dictate a contrary conclusion.”

USPTO Expedited Processes for Examination and the New Petition to Make Special for Climate Change Inventions

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has a massive backlog of patent applications (typically in the hundreds of thousands). Indeed, the average wait for patent applicants to receive any substantive response from the USPTO is 19.4 months, and the wait is growing. (See chart below). Because of this situation, there has been a need for patent applicants to accelerate the process. The USPTO has obliged and provides several options discussed here for patent applicants to consider.

USPTO Report Underscores Split on State of U.S. Patent Eligibility Jurisprudence

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has published its study on patent eligibility jurisprudence in response to a March 2021 request from Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Chris Coons (D-DE). The study, titled “Patent eligible subject matter: Public views on the current jurisprudence in the United States,” is based on more than 140 comments received following a USPTO request of July 9, 2021, and unsurprisingly concluded that many (mostly larger) high-tech and computer-related companies like the current state of the law; life sciences, startups and SMEs do not; but everyone agrees that consistency, clarity and predictability are needed. The study did not make any recommendations, and indicated that the Office will be continuing to solicit feedback via listening sessions and written comments and that it is also broadening the scope of stakeholders it reaches out to.