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Posts Tagged: "Thom Tillis"

Thoughts on Tiffany Cunningham’s Confirmation to the CAFC

Tiffany Cunningham was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit earlier this week, making her—incredibly—the intellectual property court’s first Black judge. Cunningham has been a patent litigation partner at Perkins Coie LLP in Chicago, Illinois since 2014, and prior to that worked in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. She will replace Judge Evan J. Wallach, who announced in March that he would retire from active service and assume senior status as of May 31, 2021, after 10 years of service with the court. Below are some thoughts from members of the IP community, and senators who voted for her, on what Cunningham’s appointment might mean for the CAFC long term.

Industry Groups Urge Quick Passage of Reintroduced IDEA Act

Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Congressman Steve Stivers (R-OH) yesterday reintroduced the Inventor Diversity for Economic Advancement Act (IDEA Act), which seeks to direct the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) “to collect demographic data – including gender, race, military or veteran status, and income level, among others – from patent applicants on a voluntary basis.” Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are co-sponsors of the legislation.

Tillis and Blackburn Introduce Anti-Hacking Bill Aimed at Protecting COVID-19 Vaccine Research

The Defend COVID Research from Hackers Act was introduced on Tuesday by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) with the goal of authorizing the President to “take swift action and add sanctions to countries trying to disrupt or hack COVID-19 research.” This bill is the Senate companion to legislation introduced in the House of Representatives in July by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Senate IP Subcommittee Examines Foreign Approaches to Digital Piracy in Second Hearing on U.S. Copyright Reform

Senate IP Subcommittee Chair, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), yesterday led the second in a series of Subcommittee hearings addressing the possibility of updating the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The hearing, titled “Copyright Law in Foreign Jurisdictions: How are other countries handling digital piracy?”, was aimed at examining foreign copyright laws in order to consider what may or may not be beneficial if adopted by the United States. The first of two panels included four witnesses from academia while the second panel included members of industry and a former member of EU Parliament.

Patent Heavyweights Take Strong Stance Against ACLU Anti-Patent Reform Statements

Yesterday, 24 law professors, former Chief Judges of the Federal Circuit and former heads of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) sent a letter to Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE) and Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Doug Collins (R-GA) aimed at correcting what the letter characterizes as “misapprehensions of law and misleading rhetoric” on the subject of pending patent reform legislation. The letter makes specific reference to statements made by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claiming that the draft legislation to amend Section 101 of the patent law “if enacted would authorize patenting products and laws of nature, abstract ideas, and other general fields of knowledge.” The authors of yesterday’s letter, which included Retired Federal Circuit Chief Judges Randall Rader and Paul Michel and former USPTO Directors Todd Dickinson and David Kappos, called such statements “profoundly mistaken and inaccurate” and laid out in detail the specific inaccuracies. Rather than expanding the scope of 101 to abstract ideas and laws of nature, said the letter, “the proposed amendments preclude ‘implicit or judicially created exceptions to subject matter eligibility,’” and do not eliminate existing constitutional and statutory bars.

Two Observations on Last Week’s Senate Hearings on Patent Eligibility Reform

Last week, all eyes were on the first two days of historic Senate Judiciary IP Subcommittee Hearings, led by Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chair of the Subcommittee, and Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee. The purpose of the hearing was simple: to determine a fix for the disaster foisted upon the industry by the patent eligibility jurisprudence of the Supreme Court of the United States. The testimony of the first 30 witnesses has already been summarized, so there is no need for me to dive into the particulars of who said what here. Suffice it to say that the Subcommittee heard a range of opinions—some better supported than others.

Tillis, Coons Ask Iancu to Take Action on Serial IPR Challenges

In their latest letter weighing in on intellectual property issues, Senators Thom Tillis and Chris Coons have expressed their concerns about the effects of “serial” inter partes review (IPR) petitions on the U.S. patent system.In March, the senators sent a letter to Karyn Temple, Register of Copyrights, to ask a series of questions about the Copyright Office’s ability to handle the likely impact of Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC. Today’s letter was addressed to USPTO Director Andrei Iancu and similarly asked Iancu to respond to a list of five pointed questions about the Office’s willingness to take action on serial IP challenges.