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The USPTO’s Proposed Terminal Disclaimer Rule Change: It’s Radical, But Is It Legal?

In a May 10, 2024, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the USPTO proposed sweeping changes in the rules governing the filing of terminal disclaimers. If the USPTO implements the proposed changes, entire patent families could be wiped out if just one claim of one patent in the family is found invalid over prior art. Patent … Continue Reading

Identifying a Single Biomolecule Means Single-molecule Detection Sensitivity

Every single word matters. Nowhere was this truer than when the Federal Circuit recently held, in an appeal from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board captioned Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. v. Personal Genomics Taiwan, Inc., that an apparatus for identifying a single biomolecule meant examining one biomolecule alone and not inferring its identity from … Continue Reading

Intelligent AI Guidance from the USPTO Identifies Potential Perils

Much like word processing with spell check and other now commonplace digital tools were once only the stuff of science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming widespread in knowledge work including law practice. IP law is no exception. The use of AI in IP law practice has practical benefits, including the potential for enhanced … Continue Reading

The USPTO Proposes Steep RCE Fees. Will Patent Prosecution and Appeal Strategies Change?

As discussed in two of our recent blogs (here) and here), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or Office) recently proposed substantial patent fee increases for continuing applications and terminal disclaimers. The USPTO is also proposing substantial increases for an applicant to request continued examination of an application whose claims have been rejected, … Continue Reading

Are the USPTO’s Proposed Terminal Disclaimer Fees the End of Continuing Applications?

As discussed in our previous blog (here), the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) has proposed substantial surcharges for filing continuing applications, depending on the timing of filing. The USPTO is also proposing substantial increases for an applicant to file a terminal disclaimer. As we discuss below, these increases are likely to affect strategies … Continue Reading

The Potential Mushroom Effect of the USPTO’s Mushrooming Patent Application Fees

The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) recently proposed patent fee increases could have far-ranging consequences for applicants looking to build a patent family from a single patent application. In this first of a series of blogs, we will discuss the potential consequences of the USPTO’s proposed fee increases for continuing applications, including continuation, … Continue Reading

The USPTO Re-Explains What “Means” Means

On March 18, 2024, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a Memorandum containing guidance to help patent examiners analyze claim language that may be interpreted as “means-plus-function” or “step-plus-function” language under 35 U.S.C. § 112(f). The USPTO said that the Memorandum was not a change in practice for examiners. Sometimes, however, how something … Continue Reading

UK Supreme Court rules on AI and Patent Applications

In a much anticipated judgment, the UK Supreme Court delivered on 20 December 2023 its ruling in the case of Thaler v Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks (Thaler (Appellant) v Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (Respondent) – The Supreme Court) on whether an artificial intelligence (AI) system can be named as the … Continue Reading

A Win for Skinny Labels; Insights for Enforcing Use Patents

Most drugs are covered by multiple patents, with initial patents directed broadly to the compound and later patents directed to increasingly narrower uses of the compound. This provides opportunities for the compound to be approved as a generic drug before expiration of all of the patents, based on a “skinny” label – i.e., a label … Continue Reading

Proposed Amendments to FRCP 26 Should Streamline Discovery

On August 15, 2023, the Committee published proposed amendments to Rules 16 and 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Rules”). The amendments are designed to require that parties address and agree on discovery issues regarding privilege and work product protections at the Rule 26(f) Conference. This is a welcome change that should both … Continue Reading

Patent Linkage Litigation in China: A Two-Year Review

On June 1, 2021, the Fourth Amendment to the Chinese Patent Law became effective. An important part of the amendment is the introduction by Article 76 of the patent linkage system in China – a system for litigation of drug patents prior to market entry of generics, similar to that provided by the Hatch Waxman … Continue Reading

World IP Day 2023: Accelerating Inclusivity of our IP Systems

Every year, on April 26, intellectual property organizations around the world observe “World IP Day” – an event established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to raise awareness of patents, copyrights, designs, and trademarks, and to celebrate the creativity and contributions of inventors, authors, artists and entrepreneurs. The theme for 2023 is “Women and … Continue Reading

Human vs AI Analysis of USPTO Updates – How Does Bard Fare?

Generative Artificial Intelligence is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that can generate a wide range of content types in response to user prompts. Examples of such content can include text, images, audio and video content, etc. There has been pervasive use of Generative AI over the past few months, to create essays, works of … Continue Reading

Reining in The Western District of Texas? Recent Developments Affecting That Court’s Status As A Patent Infringement Filing Hotbed

In a unanimous February 1, 2023 Order, a Federal Circuit panel granted Google LLC’s petition for a writ of mandamus directing the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to vacate its order denying transfer of patent infringement claims to the Northern District of California. As discussed here, this precedential decision signals the … Continue Reading

WEBINAR: How to Make the Best Out of Your Employees Inventions – Applicable Rules and Best Practices for Global Companies

As the global economy continues to integrate, companies are wrestling with how to manage innovations across borders. Given that most patentable inventions are developed in-house, can a global invention policy help attract and keep the most innovative employees? Are assignment agreements with employees appropriate regardless of where the innovation originates? Join our panelists Catherine Muyl, … Continue Reading

EU Design Reform Package: More efficient, Affordable, and Future-proof Design Protection Ahead

On 28 November 2022, the European Commission adopted proposals for a revised Regulation and Directive on industrial designs. The proposals, that are now sent to the European Parliament and Council for adoption, are aimed at modernizing the EU design system and the harmonized national design protection laws.… Continue Reading

Putting the Appeals of Both Sides to Bed: PTAB Rulings on the Patentability of Systems and Methods for Adjusting Air Pressure in a Mattress Affirmed

The Federal Circuit recently handed down an informative decision in American National v. Sleep Number Corporation affirming the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s final decisions in two inter partes reviews finding some claims patentable and some claims not patentable. The claims at issue related to the systems and methods for adjusting pressure in an air … Continue Reading

The Alice Test for Patent Ineligibility in Practice, Part Two: The Federal Circuit Affirms a Dismissal

In a recent post, I discussed a September Federal Circuit decision (Cooperative Entertainment v. Kollective Technology) that reversed a lower court dismissal of a patent infringement case on Section 101 eligibility grounds under the Supreme Court’s 2014 Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank test. Just weeks after that ruling, the Federal Circuit in IBM v. Zillow … Continue Reading

What Gives You the Right to Be in This IPR? A Question OpenSky Should Have Answered

On October 4, 2022, in a 52-page Director review decision in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding involving recently-formed entity OpenSky Industries LLC, USPTO Director Katherine Vidal sanctioned OpenSky “to the fullest extent of [her] power” because of OpenSky’s abuse of the IPR process, including flaunting of the Director’s discovery orders. The Director applied negative … Continue Reading

The Alice Test for Patent Ineligibility in Practice: The Federal Circuit Reverses District Court’s Dismissal of an Infringement Case

One of the threshold requirements for obtaining a patent under U.S. law is that the invention is a “new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof…” In other words, the subject matter of the invention must be eligible for patenting. Many courts have used this requirement … Continue Reading

Russia Suspends Compulsory License Payments for Some Non-Russians

In the latest example of the escalation of tensions between Russia and the West, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin last week issued a decree that owners of Russian patents from countries that Russia considers to be unfriendly are no longer entitled to any compensation for compulsory licensing of their patents. In particular, the decree (translated … Continue Reading
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