Posts Tagged: "patentable"

Congress Needs to Act So Alice Doesn’t Live Here (in the Patent System) Anymore

The impact of Alice has been just what one would expect. The decisions of the USPTO examining corps, USPTO Patent Trial & Appeal Board, and lower courts have been wildly inconsistent. Far too many worthy inventions are being lost. Perhaps worse, the predictability innovators and investors in research and development require to effectively navigate the patent system has been eliminated. Change is sorely needed and overdue.

A Few Thoughts on the Supreme Court’s Section 101 Jurisprudence

I am particularly concerned about the impact this case law has on the patent application process. Instead of focusing on novelty and clarity, examiners and applicants alike spend time struggling to make sense of Section 101 jurisprudence. That is a serious misallocation of the limited resources of both patent examiners and applicants, leading to longer examination times and less reliable patent grants. Delays in patent review and patent grants can interrupt a startup’s lifecycle, negatively influencing employment growth, sales, and subsequent innovation. This is just one of several factors lengthening patent examination, but it is one that may warrant a congressional response.

IPO adopts resolution supporting legislation to amend 35 U.S.C. § 101

IPO supports legislation because the patent eligibility test created by the U.S. Supreme Court is difficult to apply and has yielded unpredictable results for patent owners in the courts and at the USPTO. IPO’s proposed legislative language would address these concerns by reversing the Supreme Court decisions and restoring the scope of subject matter eligibility to that intended by Congress in passing the Patent Act of 1952; defining the scope of subject matter eligibility more clearly and in a technology-neutral manner; requiring evaluation of subject matter eligibility for the invention as a whole; and simplifying the subject matter eligibility analysis for the USPTO, courts, patent applicants, patentees, practitioners, and the public by preventing any consideration of “inventive concept” and patentability requirements under sections 102, 103, and 112 in the eligibility analysis.

Alice on Dulany Street: How the PTAB handles 101 in ex parte appeals

In many of the decisions, the examiners and appellants had an opportunity to make arguments based on Alice before the PTAB reached a decision. Yet, the outlook has become only more grim for appellants who are hoping that the PTAB will overturn a § 101 rejection. As indicated above, the reversal rate for a § 101 rejection in December 2016 based on Alice was less than 9%. Equally worrying for potential appellants is that some decisions introduced a § 101 rejection even when prior art rejections were reversed. The PTAB seems to have stopped the practice of urging examiners to review the claims for compliance under § 101 in light of Alice, and, instead, has become more active in introducing § 101 rejections on their own.

FREE WEBINAR: Drafting for Alice in 2017

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at 2pm ET, please join Gene Quinn (IPWatchdog) for a free webinar discussion on best practices for software patents and predictions for 2017… Since May 2016, Judges Moore, Taranto, Hughes, Chen, Newman, O’Malley, Reyna, Stoll, Wallach and Plager have all sign on to decisions that found at least some software patent claims to be patent eligible. That brings the total to ten (10) judges of the Federal Circuit indisputably in favor of patent eligibility for software in at least some instances over the last eight months.

The Transformation of the American Patent System: Adverse Consequences of Court Decisions

Activist Supreme Court decisions in the last decade have been principally responsible for these changes, stimulated by aggressive technology company incumbent lobbying. The combination of these decisions has had a far greater effect on the patent system and the economy than the Court originally intended. The U.S. is now in a compulsory licensing regime in which large technology incumbents that control at least 80% of collective market share employ an “efficient infringement” model of ignoring patents and forcing patent holders to enforce patent rights in the courts.

Mayo v. Prometheus: A lawless decision by an omnipotent Court wreaking havoc on patents

As we approach the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision this is what I know — Mayo is a lawless decision by a Court that has become too powerful. Mayo continues to wreak havoc on the patent system and innovators, and has resulted in patent protection being easier to obtain for cutting edge software, biotech, genetic and medical innovations in Europe, Canada, Australia and even China. Mayo is at the root of all of the problems facing the industry relative to patent eligibility, and if I could repeal only one Supreme Court decision in the patent space it would be Mayo. Indeed, the Supreme Court’s decision in Mayo is probably the worst, most wrongly decided case by the Supreme Court in the patent field ever. I say “probably” only because there are so many contenders to choose from that picking only one is truly difficult. Only the Supreme Court’s decision in eBay v. MercExchange comes at all close to Mayo in terms of damage to the patent system. Only the Supreme Court’s decision in Association of Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics comes close to Mayo in terms of intellectual dishonesty.

Ex parte Itagaki: Has the PTAB gone too far in invalidating patents under 35 USC 101

When addressing the issue of generality vs. particularity, we come across a situation where the inventors described the most crucial aspect of the invention, the classification unit, in general terms in the claim. Consequently, in the PTAB’s assessment, the representative claim did not rise above the threshold test of patentability under section 101. But much of what the PTAB seems concerned about relates to disclosure and there is nothing in the PTAB panel decision in Itagaki to suggest that the PTAB reviewed the specification to determine whether the somewhat generally described terms were given particularized meaning by the applicant. It also raises questions about how the PTAB could have properly conducted an obviousness review if the classification unit was so abstract as to be infirm from a patent eligibility point of view.

CAFC finds graphical user interface patent claims eligible, CBM decision still pending

The Federal Circuit has found claims to a graphical user interface (GUI) patent to be patent eligible. See Trading Technologies International, Inc. v. CQG, Inc. The decision of the panel, authored by Judge Newman and joined by Judge O’Malley and Judge Wallach, is noteworthy for several reasons. First, the Court did not believe that their ruling affirming the district court to merit a precedential designation. This would suggest that the panel did not believe the decision would add to the body of precedential law, which would appear to make this an easy case for the panel. Second, the claims that have been found to be patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. 101 in this “easy decision” are currently under review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in a Covered Business Method (CBM) review because the PTAB believed the graphical user interface patent claims are likely patent ineligible.

PTAB declares MRI machine an abstract idea, patent ineligible under Alice

In what can be described only as an utterly ridiculous, intellectually insulting, and idiotic decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has done the truly absurd. In Ex parte Hiroyuki Itagaki the PTAB has ruled a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine to be patent ineligible because it is an abstract idea, citing the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank for support.

Patent and IP Wishes for 2017

First, I continue to wish for patent eligibility reform in Congress that would overrule Mayo, Myriad and Alice, although I am mindful of both how naive that sounds and dangerous it could become given competing interests at play. Of course, there is also a very real possibility any statutory reform would simply be ignored by the Supreme Court anyway, as they cling to the judicially created exceptions to patent eligibility that find no support anywhere in the statute or Constitution. Second, I am again also going to wish for meaningful copyright reforms and/or real Internet industry cooperation that recognizes the important rights of content creators, both large and small. It is too easy to steal original content with impunity and that threatens content creators large and small. Finally, while I would like to wish for an end to post grant procedures, I’ll remain content to more modestly wish for a new PTO Director unafraid to reform the post grant process in ways that remove the systemic biases that make the proceedings hopelessly one-sided against patent owners.

2016 Patent Year End Review: Insiders Reflect on the Biggest Patent Moments of the Year

It is one again time to take a moment to look back on the year that was, reflecting on the biggest, most impactful moments of 2016. For us that means looking backward at the most impactful events in the world of intellectual property. As you might expect, the two recurring themes in this 2016 patent year end review relate to patent eligibility and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

The Supreme Court’s Section 101 Jurisprudence: Dangers for the Innovation Economy

To shed light on this issue, and on possible solutions, Inventing America and IPWatchdog will host a conference on Section 101, with remarks by U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and panel discussions on the impacts of the judicial interpretations and the corrections needed from policymakers. Participants will include industry leaders and patent law experts. The conference will take place on Wednesday, December 7, 2016, from 8am to 12pm ET, at the offices of Covington & Burlington LLP in Washington, DC. Space is limited. If you would like to attend please RSVP to info@elizabethduncanevents.com.

Software Patents Will Survive: How Section 101 Law Is Settling Down

I think the reality is that software patents in some form are here to stay for the foreseeable future; it is also true that things that used to be considered patent-eligible no longer are. Assuming that’s right, we need a way to identify which claims are patent-eligible… Yes, software can be patentable, but it has to provide a technical solution to a technical problem.

Light on analysis, heavy on conclusion, no claim construction, CAFC rules claims ineligible

How patent claims can be invalidated without a proper and thorough claim construction is baffling. It flies in the face of everything patent law stands for and does nothing but encourage patent examiners, PTAB judges and district courts to do a facial check based on a gut feeling, nothing more… That type of subjective, half-baked analysis is antithetical to the patent process and the Federal Circuit should be ashamed for engaging in such a review. The only way to competently determine what a claim is directed to and whether the claim adds significantly more, whatever that means, is to do a proper, thorough and competent claim construction, period. Seriously, if the Court is going to publish a decision like this that is heavy on conclusions, non-existent on analysis, and almost certainly drafted by an intern or Staff Attorney, then why even make it a non-precedential opinion?