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European Patent Application Numbering

Have you ever wondered why European patent applications sometimes include a “dot” in their number and what is the significance of the number after the dot? Well, we have. Some of our colleagues from non-EU offices have asked us about the meaning and significance of the dot (decimal point) and the digit after it, in … Continue Reading

Beware! Inventors Include Those Who Significantly Contributed to a Claimed Invention – Even if their Contribution is Not Recited in the Claim

In the U.S., patent ownership vests with inventors, and each inventor can exploit their rights without accounting to the other. Neglecting to identify the true inventors of a claimed invention, and obtain assignments of their rights, can create chaos. This is what happened in Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Inc. v. Ono Pharmaceutical (Fed. Circ., 2020), where … Continue Reading

Participation of Women Inventors in the US Patent System Is Increasing Slowly but Surely

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued an encouraging and informative 2020 Update to its February 2019 Progress and Potential profile of women inventors on US patents. The initial report documented trends in the proportion of patent inventors who are women (the “Women Inventor Rate”) and the proportion of patents that have at … Continue Reading

In Assessing Design Patent Infringement, The Devil Is In The Details

Since Egyptian Goddess, Inc. v. Swisa, Inc., the sole test for determining whether a design patent has been infringed is the ordinary observer test. Under this test, “if, in the eye of an ordinary observer, giving such attention as a purchaser usually gives, two designs are substantially the same, if the resemblance is such as … Continue Reading

The Chinese Supreme People’s Court Intervenes on Patent Issues, with Focus on Pharmaceutical Experiments

In April 2020, the Supreme Court of the People’s Republic of China published the amended draft Provisions concerning interpretation of certain norms of the patent law and its implementing regulations about the administrative litigation of patent rejections and invalidations.[1] The Provisions offer the Supreme People’s Court the opportunity to address new issues and matters not … Continue Reading

Complimentary Webinar – Legal Insights Series – Equitable Attacks on Patents Live On: Learning From Case Studies

Inventors and lawyers — both in-house and firm counsel — involved in the prosecution of patents have a duty of candor to the US Patent Office, and breaching that duty renders patents unenforceable for inequitable conduct. Once common in litigation, allegations of inequitable conduct faced a more stringent review after the Federal Circuit’s decision in … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Disrupts Industry Meetings but Innovation Continues

The last several months have presented new and formidable challenges for virtually every industry in light of COVID-19. Among these challenges are what to do about the various industry meetings and conferences that are used for networking, introducing new ideas, securing supply/distribution contracts, and developing technology standards. These types of events have historically been held … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program

On May 8, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) began a Pilot Program to provide prioritized examination of patent applications of a product or process related to COVID-19 diagnosis or treatment. Examples of such patents include: an Investigational New Drug (IND) application, an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE), a New Drug Application (NDA), … Continue Reading

DABUS Denied: Only Natural Persons can be Named as Inventors on US Patents

The question of who, or rather what, can be an inventor has taken a front-row seat as use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly prominent in research and innovation. On April 22, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a decision stating that inventorship under U.S. patent law is limited to natural … Continue Reading

Gender Diversity in Innovation Webinar and Toolkit

Most inventors named on patents are men – in the US, almost 90%. The disparity, discussed in a previous blog here, exceeds the underlying disparities in the education and advancement of women in science, technology, and engineering (STEM), suggesting that innovative contributions of women are not being patented. To assess and address this issue, the … Continue Reading

Beyond IP Rights: Pursuing Antitrust Claims Under Section 337 of the Tariff Act

Although investigations under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 have focused on intellectual property rights involving patents, unregistered trademarks or trade secret claims, the language of Section 337 is much broader. The provision applies to any “unfair methods of competition and unfair acts in the importation of articles.” That language is similar to … Continue Reading

A “Printed Publication” in a Pending Patent Application May Not Be a “Printed Publication” in an IPR

In a newly-designated precedential decision, Ex parte Grillo-López, Appeal 2018-006082 (Jan. 31, 2020) (designated Apr. 7, 2020 as Precedential), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) differentiated the procedures in a pending patent application and an Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) proceeding for establishing whether a document qualifies as … Continue Reading

New Treatments for COVID-19: Recent International Activity Relating to IP and Some Tools the US Already Has in Place

As potential COVID-19 treatments enter human trials, the question of pricing, access, and intellectual property has naturally entered the discussion. With numerous private entities working on a cure, the industry, governments, payers, healthcare groups, and other stakeholders are quickly pushing their respective (and, in most cases, expected) positions relating to the balance between IP rights … Continue Reading

Underestimated Risks: M&A and German Employee Inventions

American and Asian companies considering investments in Europe often focus on targets based in Germany, Europe’s largest national economy. Many buyers are not aware that due to the particularities of German employee invention law the patent portfolio of the target may contain considerable risks with regard to patent ownership. In the worst case, such “skeletons … Continue Reading

Foreign-based Companies Can Meet the Section 337 Domestic Industry Requirement

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) can provide a powerful alternative forum for enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, including U.S. patents.[1] But there are limitations on the actions that can be brought at the ITC. For example, to bring an action for patent infringement at the ITC, a patent owner must demonstrate, inter alia, … Continue Reading

USPTO Waives Certain Fees to Assist Customers Affected by Coronavirus

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) on March 16 announced relief available to customers affected by the coronavirus disease (“COVID-19”) outbreak. In an Official Notice, the USPTO indicated that it considers the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak to be within the meaning of an “extraordinary situation” as provided in 37 CFR 1.183 and … Continue Reading

Delaware Provides More Insight into the Scope of the Rights Derived by a Patent Term Extension

In a recent district court decision, Judge Stark (D. Del.) further clarified the scope of the rights derived from a Patent Term Extension (PTE) during the extension period. On January 7, 2020, Judge Stark granted a Rule 12(c) motion for judgment on the pleadings in Biogen Int’l GmbH v. Banner Life Sciences, dismissing Biogen’s complaint.[1]  … Continue Reading

Webinar – Blocking Patents in Litigation After Acorda: What’s Acorda’s Impact Inside and Outside of Pharma?

Intellectual Property & Technology partner David Manspeizer (New York) is a panelist on IPO’s (the Intellectual Property Owners Association) IP Chat Channel webinar – Blocking Patents in Litigation After Acorda: What’s Acorda’s Impact Inside and Outside of Pharma?  The program, which will take place on February 20, 2020 at 2 pm (EST), will address the … Continue Reading

The American Rule Lives in Patent Law: “Expenses” Do Not Include USPTO Legal Salaries

In a decision that will delight patent applicants, on December 11, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Peter v NantKwest, Inc.[1], holding that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was not entitled to recover pro rata salaries for legal staff (in the context of the USPTO, attorney’s fees) as “expenses” in district court litigation.  … Continue Reading

PTAB Appellants May Improve Outcomes by Filing Supplemental Expert Declarations

On November 25, 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) affirmed an appeal from IBM that its invention fails to recite patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. §101. U.S. Patent Application Number 15/212,216 claimed a method for mining threaded online discussions, where an information handling … Continue Reading

PTAB Trial Practice Guide Update Codifies Recent PTAB Decisions and Procedure (Third and Last of a Series)

Introduction In two recent articles (see parts one and two of series), we discussed several aspects of a July 2019 Update that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued to the PTAB Trial Practice Guide.[i]  This article completes that discussion, addressing motions for joinder, and procedures regarding remands and the PTAB’s default protective order. 1. Motions for joinder … Continue Reading

PTAB Trial Practice Guide Update Codifies Recent PTAB Decisions and Procedure (Second of a Series)

Introduction In a recent article, we discussed several aspects of a July 2019 Update that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued to the PTAB Trial Practice Guide.[1]  This article continues that discussion, addressing institution decisions on multiple petitions, and motions to amend. 1. Multiple petitions challenging the same patent The July 2019 Update … Continue Reading

PTAB Trial Practice Guide Update Codifies Recent PTAB Decisions and Procedure (First of a Series)

Introduction In July 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued an Update to the PTAB Trial Practice Guide.[i]  The July 2019 Update documents practices and procedures that the PTAB has found useful, and in some instances, summarizes or repeats practices and procedures from precedential PTAB opinions. The US Patent and Trademark Office’s announcement … Continue Reading
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