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Posts Tagged: "Q. Todd Dickinson"

‘A Life Well Lived’: Remembering Q. Todd Dickinson

In the midst of so much daily sadness around the global pandemic, 2020 dealt us another blow when we learned this week that our friend and giant of the IP world, Q. Todd Dickinson, passed away on May 3, 2020. In response to our In Memoriam article, many of you weighed in with your own personal memories and accounts of Todd, and many more were eager to share their tribute with us separately. His passing also has been noted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), where he served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO – the first to hold that title – from 1999 to 2001. Prior to that, Dickinson was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1998 to be Deputy Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks and became Acting Commissioner after the departure of Commissioner Bruce Lehman, and then Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks. Below are compiled the heartfelt recollections we have received thus far about the unmatched career and character of Q. Todd Dickinson. If you would like to add yours, please email us at editors@ipwatchdog.com. 

In Memoriam: Q. Todd Dickinson

It is with tremendous sadness that I write today to say that Q. Todd Dickinson passed away on Sunday, May 3, 2020. As I choke back tears, staring at my computer screen, I find myself at a loss for words to describe someone who has been a friend for so many years, both to Renée and I personally and to IPWatchdog. I mourn not only a great man who, through his many accomplishments, did much domestically and internationally within the intellectual property world, but I also mourn one of my best, truest friends.

Will SCOTUS Solve the Section 101 Problem with Athena? These Patent Experts Hope So

Athena Diagnostics filed its petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday in Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative Services. There is a strong argument for the Court to grant the petition, and patent stakeholders on all sides are sure to weigh in via amicus briefs over the next month. The petition could represent the best chance for clarifying Section 101 law in the near-term, since patent reform efforts on the topic have been seemingly stalled. Below are a few initial reactions from the patent community to Athena’s arguments.

PTAB Grants Additional Briefing to Consider the Impact of USPTO’s Revised 101 Guidance

The PTAB not only assented to Mirror Imaging’s suggestion that a five-page brief be entered in advance of the hearing but added that parties may submit one brief for each of the four CBM review proceedings which were petitioned by Fidelity… This could be a pivotal moment in the history of the PTAB specifically, and the USPTO more generally. If Director Iancu can achieve the goal of having the Patent Office speak with one voice, with patent examiners and the PTAB all following the same law and guidance, he will have achieved a united Patent Office that has been elusive, but desperately needed.

Photo Diary: Meeting the Threat to America’s Economic Future: US IP & Innovation Policy

On May 9th I attended the International IP Commercialization Council (IIPCC) USA Chapter second annual program at the United States Capitol.  The topic of the event was Meeting the Threat to America’s Economic Future: US IP & Innovation Policy where representatives from IBM, Qualcomm, Personalized Media Communications, the Cleveland Clinic and the University of Michigan, as well as a Who’s Who of IP Leaders and policymakers, shared their real-world perspectives on the state of the US Patent System, and the effects it has and will have on the economy. 

Supreme Court Issues Much Anticipated Oil States and SAS Decisions

Earlier today, the US Supreme Court issued it’s highly anticipated 7 to 2 decision in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC which upheld the Constitutionality of inter partes review (IPR) proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). SCOTUS applied the public rights doctrine to the government’s grant of a patent, finding that patent validity trials need not take place in an Article III court nor did they violate the Seventh Amendment, which ensures a person’s right to a jury trial. The majority opinion was authored by Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Neil Gorsuch penned a dissent to which Chief Justice John Roberts concurred.

Predicting Oil States after Supreme Court Oral Arguments

After oral arguments were held on Monday, November 27, 2017, I again asked a number of industry insiders what thoughts and predictions they now have after having the benefit of hearing the Q&A that took place between the Justices and the attorneys representing the petitioner, respondent and federal government. Their answers follow, and show that there is little agreement among those watching this case with respect to what the likely outcome will be.

Texas Representative Lamar Smith to Retire from Congress

Longtime Texas Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology, will be retiring from his duties on Capitol Hill and will not seek reelection for another term of service. Smith, a former Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and powerful member of the Republican leadership, will leave a void. His retirement marks the end of a 30-year tenure of public service and will immediately create a leadership void on the House committee responsible for overseeing our nation’s science and space policies.

Industry Reaction to the Federal Circuit’s Decision in Aqua Products v. Matal

First-take reaction to Aqua Products v. Matal from a distinguished panel of experts. Todd Dickinson: “I don’t think that I’ve ever seen such a collection of procedural somersaults and arcane discussion masquerading as an appellate opinion. ” Russell Slifer: “it would be wise for the USPTO and the PTAB to consider limiting all Board decisions wholly to the record developed during the proceeding. Eliminate the opportunity for a panel to issue a sua sponte reason for unpatentability.” Ashley Keller: “One could be forgiven for wondering if the Republic is truly well served entrusting such a tribunal with exclusive jurisdiction over patent appeals.” John White: “This decision puts neon highlights around what is wrong with the PTAB process as it pursues the political outcome of ridding the system of ‘troublesome’, aka: ‘commercially valuable’, patents.” Plus much more.

House Republicans Propose USPTO as an Independent Agency

This afternoon the House Budget Committee released a non-binding budget blueprint titled Building a Better America: A Plan for Fiscal Responsibility. As a part of this proposed fiscal year 2018 budget the House Budget Committee is proposing that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) be made an independent agency.

Industry Reaction to SCOTUS First Amendment Decision in Matal v. Tam

Lauren Emerson, Baker Botts, LLP: “Today’s decision, while not surprising, is momentous, as any decision striking a longstanding legislative provision based on freedom of speech would be.  From a trademark practitioner’s perspective, Matal v. Tam is also remarkable in that it is the second decision in just over two years in which the Supreme Court specifically has taken note of the importance and value of trademark registration.   The decision has drawn additional attention as it undoubtedly marks the end of Pro-Football, Inc. (“PFI”)’s longstanding battle over its REDSKINS marks, as 2(a) will no longer bar registration of those marks either.   I have little doubt that in the weeks and months to come, we will see many new filings that will be more challenging to celebrate than Simon Tam’s hard-won victory.”

Patent Exhaustion at the Supreme Court: Industry Reaction to Impression Products v. Lexmark

Bob Stoll: ”And it is the international exhaustion holding that is particularly troubling. Sales abroad act independently from the US patent system and there is no impact from the US patent system on those sales. Yet in this decision, the Supreme Court says that the foreign sale now diminishes patent rights in the US. All sorts of goods, including life-saving pharmaceuticals, are sold at lower prices in poor nations. This decision will encourage powerful foreign groups to gather products up and send them back to the US to get the higher prices. Or, companies will not be able to lower prices and sell their products in those countries. Both the poor in distant lands and the innovators in the US will suffer.”

Industry reaction to SCOTUS patent venue decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Food Group

What follows is reaction from a distinguished panel of industry insiders who have been following this case. Each have offered their own instant analysis, several pointing out that important questions remain about what this Supreme Court decision will mean for the many thousands of patent cases already filed, many that are now in inappropriate venues. It is probably fair to say that the ruling did not surprise most of our panel, although several point to the Supreme Court’s decision as more in a decade-plus line of cases that have continually eroded the rights of patent owners.

America’s Patent System: Mediocre and stabilized in a terrible space

“The results from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board reflect the procedures it applies, and in my judgment the procedures are wildly off base,” Judge Michel explained… “We’ve had PTAB final results… whatever the intentions were we don’t have to speculate… we have ample evidence of how it worked in practice. We know it doesn’t work satisfactorily.” *** “I don’t think things are really getting much better,” Kappos said. “We are in what I refer to as the leaky life raft.” When you are stranded and a leaky life raft comes along it looks great, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is still a leaky life raft. “The best you can say about 101 is that it has stabilized in a terrible space.”

Review of USPTO should start at the top, not with examiners

In an article published on April 23, 2017, Gene Quinn wrote about President Trump’s workforce reduction plan and his proposal for what it should mean for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I agree with many of those proposals for reducing the size of the USPTO in accordance with the mandate set forth by President Trump, but believe that concentrating on a reduction in the number of patent examiners is not the only or necessarily the best approach… Review of USPTO middle and upper level management to determine who assigns junior, senior, primary and supervisory patent examiners to specific art units and reassignment of Office personnel is necessary.