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Posts Tagged: "US Inventor"

Leahy-Tillis Amendments to Endless Frontier Act Opposed by Inventor Advocacy Group

The full U.S. Senate is currently considering passing S. 1260, the Endless Frontier Act, a bill that would establish a Directorate for Technology and Innovation within the National Science Foundation (NSF) that would work to establish U.S. dominance in crucial areas of basic research including artificial intelligence, high-performance computing and advanced manufacturing. The bill, which represents a bipartisan effort to address China’s ambitions to become a globally dominant technological power, includes a pair of amendments from Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) that would impact U.S. patent law by requiring foreign entities to register ownership changes to ensure the availability of infringement remedies, and by increasing the scope of ex parte reexamination to adjudicate whether patent claims are unenforceable for inequitable conduct. But according to small business and independent inventor advocacy group US Inventor, these amendments would negatively impact small inventors.

US Inventor Backs SCOTUS Petition to Clarify Claim Construction Principles

Inventor advocacy group US Inventor has filed an amicus brief in support of a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court asking the justices to clarify “[w]hether the Federal Circuit’s “heavy presumption” line of cases or its “holistic” line should govern claim construction. The petition was filed in December by Akeva, LLC, owner of a portfolio of athletic footwear patents, and is an appeal from a July 2020 nonprecedential Federal Circuit decision, Akeva, LLC v. Nike, Inc. In that case, the Federal Circuit upheld a district court’s grant of summary judgment of noninfringement to a number of defendants—including Asics, Nike, adidas America, Inc., New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc., and Puma North America, Inc.—finding in part that the district court had “correctly construed the claim term ‘rear sole secured’ to exclude conventional fixed rear soles.”

Inventors Sound Off in Reply to Big Tech NHK-Fintiv Suit

In August, Apple, Google, Cisco and Intel filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the Northern District of California challenging the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) adoption of the NHK-Fintiv discretionary denial framework as procedurally invalid under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), and arguing that the PTAB’s application of them violates the America Invents Act (AIA). Shortly after, a number of “Small Business Inventors” (US Inventor; 360 Heros, Inc.; Larry Golden; World Source Enterprises, LLC; Dareltech LLC; Tinnus Enterprises, LLC; Clearplay, Inc.; and E-Watch, Inc.) filed a Notice of Motion and Motion to Intervene and related Complaint in the case. Now, US Inventor has filed its reply brief, in which it contends that “AIA trial reviews have stifled innovation, crushed inventor morale, and created a lopsided process whose use alone (irrespective of individual merits) can destroy innovative businesses”. The organization is asking the court to enter a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in order to preserve “the one lifeline giving any hope of escaping this ongoing catastrophe for American innovation and fair competition.”

Tech Companies’ Lawsuit Against USPTO – and Small Business Inventors’ Motion to Intervene – Highlight Need to Address NHK-Fintiv Factors Via Rulemaking

On September 9, a panel of three administrative patent judges (APJs) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a decision denying institution of a petition filed by Apple seeking inter partes review (IPR) proceedings to challenge the validity of a patent owned by Unwired Planet. In denying institution to Apple’s IPR petition, the APJ panel relied on a discretionary multi-factor test referred to as NHK-Fintiv, which weighs the efficiencies of handling validity reviews at the PTAB when parallel proceedings on similar issues are ongoing in U.S. district court. On September 14, a number of “Small Business Inventors” also filed a Notice of Motion and Motion to Intervene and related Complaint in the California case. The Small Business Inventors argue that the disposition of the case will “have lasting impacts on their proprietary and legal interests” that are “distinct from the interests of the Original Plaintiffs, and of the Defendant.”

US Inventor Amicus in New Vision Gaming: ‘October Effect,’ Subjective APJ Evaluations Support Due Process Argument Against PTAB

On August 3, inventor advocacy group US Inventor filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in support of a due process argument raised in an appeal from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) by New Vision Gaming & Development. US Inventor’s brief raises two major points in support of New Vision’s contention that the financial incentive structure for administrative patent judges (APJs) destroys due process at the PTAB. First, the brief details data that proves the existence of an “October Effect,” which leads to inflated rates of petitioner-friendly PTAB trial institutions in response to the APJ performance review cycle at the USPTO. Second, the brief argues that APJ performance review criteria are inherently subjective in a way that incentivizes APJs to make pro-petitioner decisions to please supervisors who have budgetary responsibilities. Taken together, US Inventor contends that these factors would lead a reasonable person to question “whether the PTAB invalidates patents so frequently because its constituent APJs try to please their budget-minded bosses through revenue-enhancing decision making.”

A Look at the Chrimar Amici: Inventors and IP Organizations Advocate for Rehearing En Banc as Federal Circuit Calls for ALE Response

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) invited ALE USA Inc. to respond to Chrimar System Inc.’s petition for rehearing en banc. Five amici consisting of inventors and intellectual property advocates have now filed amicus curiae briefs  in support of Chrimar and the petition for rehearing. In September, the CAFC affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) decision in Chrimar Systems, Inc. v. ALE that rendered a previously affirmed jury verdict null and void. The heavily contested decision found the PTAB, an executive administrative agency, vacating the judicial verdict of an Article III court. According to FedCircuitBlog, there are currently 17 pending petitions for en banc rehearing with the Federal Circuit, while 22 petitions have been denied between August and November 2019. Of the 22 petitions denied, nine included a call for response, or 41% of denied petitions. Thus, while not a sure indicator that the court will grant the petition, the court’s invitation for response in Chrimar is at least a necessary step toward that goal. Here is what the amici are saying.

Other Barks & Bites, Friday, October 25: CASE Act Passes House, Inventor Rally at AIPLA Meeting, Veteran IP Leaders Launch Patent Collective

This week in Other Barks & Bites: new patent collective for video technology launched; inventor rally to be held during live IPR hearing at AIPLA meeting; the White House indicates that the first phase of the U.S.-China trade deal will focus on IP; the USPTO shifts burden of proving patentability in PTAB motions to amend to the petitioner after Aqua Products; the House of Representatives passes the CASE Act in a 410-6 vote; the EU invalidates the three-dimensional trademark to the Rubik’s Cube; Power Integrations settles its patent infringement litigation against ON Semiconductor; Intel files an antitrust suit against SoftBank over patent acquisition and assertion activities; Amazon.com posts its first year-over-year earnings loss in more than two years; and the Federal Circuit overturns Google’s challenge to a Philips patent on appeal from the PTAB.

Other Barks & Bites, Friday, October 18: USPTO Updates Subject Matter Eligibility Guidelines, China Receives Half of 2018 Global Patent Filings, US Inventor to Host Rally

This week in Other Barks & Bites: US Inventor will host an inventor rally during AIPLA’s Annual Meeting to protest the PTAB; the Federal Circuit vacates dismissal of infringement case against Sirius XM; the USPTO updates subject matter patent eligibility guidelines, changes TEAS access, and seeks participants for a beta release of the Patent Center; WIPO reports that China received half of all patent application filings in 2018 while the United States saw its first patent filing decline in a decade; Google files a supplemental brief at the Supreme Court in its case against Oracle; Katy Perry files a motion to overturn the “Dark Horse” copyright verdict against her; the FCC approves the merger between mobile wireless firms T-Mobile and Sprint; and U.S. Customs proposes rulemaking to improve its detention of copyright-violating goods imported at the U.S. border.

Were the Wright Brothers Patent Trolls? One View of R Street Institute’s Capitol Hill Panel on Patents

On Tuesday, I attended a panel discussion on the National Security Implications of Patents along with my siblings, Madeline and Gideon Malone, and we were informed that inventors like the Wright brothers pose a threat to innovation. We were joined by approximately 50 attendees at the Capitol event moderated by Charles Duan from R Street Institute, along with panelists Abby Rives from Engine, Daniel Takash from Niskanen Center, and Ian Wallace from New America. They argued that patents harm innovation, and government subsidies are a better alternative to incentivize innovation. In order for R Street (a free-market think tank) to justify these blatantly anti-free-market claims, they focused on the problems with “bad patents” and how patent monopolies prevent competition. To top it all off, their example of a “bad patent” was the one granted to the Wright brothers, which the panelists felt unreasonably excluded their competitors from making improved versions of their airplane.

SUCCESS Act Comments Are In: Access, Enforceability, Predictability Concerns Underscored

In May, the USPTO held the first of three hearings prompted by the Study of Underrepresented Classes Chasing Engineering and Science (SUCCESS) Act, which requires the USPTO Director to provide Congress with a report on publicly available patent data on women, minorities, and veterans, and to provide recommendations on how to promote their participation in the patent system. The hearing featured emotional testimony from five inventors, one of whom said she had joined Debtors Anonymous as a result of her patent being invalidated in the Southern District of New York.Responses to the USPTO’s request for written comment on 11 questions the Office had posed have now been published. Eleven organizations and 58 individuals submitted comments, underscoring a range of concerns. While many organizations focused on the need to collect demographic information and increase exposure to STEM education at the K-12 level, a number of other organizations and individuals emphasized the broader issue that was addressed during the hearing in May—that the current patent system is stacked against the individual inventor across demographics.

Can the Federal Circuit use Rule 36 Affirmances in PTAB Appeals?

Inventor advocacy group US Inventor recently filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the nation’s highest court to grant a petition for writ of certiorari in Capella Photonics v. Cisco Systems. This case, if taken up on appeal, will require the Supreme Court to answer whether the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit operates in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 144, the statute governing how the Federal Circuit must respond to appeals of decisions from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In other words, can the Federal Circuit use Rule 36 to issue an affirmance without opinion of decisions appealed from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

PPAC Fee Hearing Discusses Proposed Increases to Late Payments, AIA Trial Fees

Lisa Jorgenson, executive director of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), asked the agency to better justify the increased surcharge for late maintenance fee payments as well as the increases to IPR and PGR trials. Jorgenson noted that much of the additional work required by SAS Institute would take place after the institution decision and thus it might make more sense to divide the fee increase such that the pre-institution fees bear less of the increase than those charged post-institution. Roland McAndrews of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) also sought additional justification for the 525 percent increase to the late payment surcharge for maintenance fees, noting that the desire to encourage on-time payments alone didn’t support that increase… Josh Malone, inventor of Bunch O Balloons, noted that the day’s hearing on fee increases was “based on an unrealistic and aspirational value proposition,” namely that the fees paid for obtaining a patent would actually result in the grant of a patent which was backed by the full faith of the U.S. government.”

Analyzing Amicus Briefs Filed in Support of Granting Cert. in Helsinn

On June 25th, the the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., on appeal from the Federal Circuit. The case will ask the Supreme Court to decide whether an inventor’s sale of an invention to a third party that is obligated to keep the invention confidential qualifies as prior art for purposes of determining the patentability of the invention under the terms of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). In other words, is a secret sale prior art? To assess some of the reasons why the Supreme Court likely decided to take up Helsinn’s appeal, and some of the arguments we are sure to see again at the merits stage, we explore some of the amicus briefs filed with the Supreme Court encouraging them to take up the case on appeal.

US Inventor Files Amicus Brief With CAFC in Support of En Banc Rehearing on Single-Reference Obviousness Issue

On August 1st, the non-profit inventor advocacy group US Inventor filed an amicus brief with the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit asking the court to grant a petition for en banc rehearing in American Vehicular Sciences LLC v. Unified Patents Inc. The case, which stems from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), involves issues regarding obviousness which US Inventor argues that the Federal Circuit should resolve through the en banc rehearing of this case… This uncertainty in determining the validity of an invention disincentivizes small inventors from taking risks and experimenting to create an invention at a time when the United States is facing an innovation crisis. US Inventor notes that China has been outpacing the U.S. in terms of startup funding for artificial intelligence developers and that patent applications filed in China has been outpacing U.S. patent applications at a rate of about 2-to-1.

Congressman Rohrabacher Introduces the Inventor Protection Act to Protect Inventor-Owned Patents

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) has introduced H.R. 6557, the Inventor Protection Act, into the House of Representatives. This bill is the latest proposed piece of legislation to help undo some of the more damaging effects of recent federal government actions on patent law which have negatively impacted the ability of patent owners to enforce their patent rights against infringers.