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USPTO and DOJ Promoting Innovation and Collaboration in Life Sciences

Beginning September 23, a free two-day workshop will address issues relating to innovation by life sciences companies, including IP and antitrust issues arising from collaborations and partnerships. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is co-sponsoring the event with the Department of Justice. The program will address the role of patents in the research and … Continue Reading

USPTO to Defer Fees on COVID-19-related Provisional Patent Applications

On September 16, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a new pilot program for COVID-19 related inventions. The new program allows for the deferral of filing fees for provisional patent applications directed to a product or process related to COVID-19, where the product or process requires Food and Drug Administration (FDA) … Continue Reading

CBD: Sometimes It Can Be Legal but Still “Unlawful”

In the Agricultural Act of 2014 (“2014 Farm Bill”), Congress exempted “industrial hemp” from the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) in certain narrow circumstances. Among other things it authorized institutions of higher education and state agriculture departments to grow hemp under a pilot program if consistent with state law, and defined hemp to include up to … Continue Reading

USPTO Announces Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has launched a new pilot program to fast-track ex parte appeals to the Patent and Trial Appeal Board (PTAB). While ex parte appeals to the PTAB are normally decided in the order in which they are docketed, this new Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program will allow appellants to … Continue Reading

USPTO Prioritizes Petitions for COVID-19 Trademarks and Service Marks

On June 15, 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a prioritized examination procedure for COVID-19-related trademark and service mark applications. Usually, the USPTO examines applications in the order in which they are received, with limited circumstances under which an applicant may file for a petition for the advance of an application. … Continue Reading

USPTO Again Extends Certain Patent and Trademark Deadlines in Response to COVID-19

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has announced further COVID-19 relief by extending time periods to file patent and trademark related documents and providing waivers for the payment of certain fees. The USPTO has twice previously provided extensions of deadlines and fee waivers, as outlined here, here and here. Recognizing the continued hardships … Continue Reading

USPTO Proposes Several Rule Changes Affecting Institution of Post-Grant Proceedings

On Tuesday, May 26, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking outlining changes to the rules of patent practice for inter partes review (“IPR”), post-grant review (“PGR”), and covered business method (“CBM”) proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”). Many of the proposals merely conform the … Continue Reading

USPTO Allows Electronic Filing of Plant Patent Applications Due to COVID-19 Outbreak

Since March 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has announced numerous types of relief in view of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) outbreak. As of May 6, relief will be offered to plant patent applicants. Typically, electronic filing of plant patent applications is not permitted. However, in the May 6th announcement, the USPTO indicated … Continue Reading

USPTO Extends Patent and Trademark Filing and Fee Deadlines Further in Response to COVID-19

Earlier this month, we provided posts here and here, outlining the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) announcement of the availability of certain deadline waivers to help patent and trademark applicants and owners file papers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The original notice granted a 30-day extension on certain deadlines falling between March 27 and … Continue Reading

USPTO Releases Report on Patent Examination Outcomes After Alice

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 Alice decision narrowed the scope of patent eligible subject matter and introduced unpredictable legal and economic consequences—including more rejections of claims by patent examiners under 35 U.S.C. § 101 as ineligible subject matter, and uncertainty as to whether claims would be rejected on such grounds.  In a recent report entitled … 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

When the PTAB Weighs Evidence of Secondary Considerations, Volume Matters

As discussed in a prior blog post here, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) designated a recent decision on secondary considerations as precedential.[1] At the same time, the PTAB designated two older decisions as informative. While the precedential decision of Lectrosonics focused largely on the nexus requirement … 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

USPTO Extends Trademark-Related Timing Deadlines under the CARES Act, as Other National Trademark Offices Extend their Timing Deadlines or Provide Notice of Delays

On March 31, 2020, in response to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) extended the time to file certain trademark-related documents and fees. In its announcement, the Director of the USPTO determined that the outbreak prejudices the rights of trademark applicants, registrants, and owners, … Continue Reading

USPTO Joins Other National Patent Offices by Extending Filing and Fee Deadlines in Response to COVID-19

The recent passage of the massive Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act by Congress authorized the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to temporarily adjust its statutory time periods for replies and fees to help applicants file during the COVID-19 outbreak. With countless individuals and businesses significantly impacted by the growing pandemic, … Continue Reading

CARES Act Authorizes the PTO to Extend Patent and Trademark Deadlines during Coronavirus Emergency

Other Squire Patton Boggs articles on the SPB Coronavirus Hub have highlighted the many remedial provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. Intellectual Property owners were not left out. Section 12004 gives the Director of the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) the authority to “toll, waive, adjust, or modify” … Continue Reading

USPTO Launches New Innovation Platform To Improve Inventor Diversity

On March 24, 2020, the US Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) launched the “Expanding Innovation Hub” (“Hub”), a centralized online platform to make the patent process more accessible to diverse inventors. USPTO Director Andrei Iancu and Deputy Director Laura Peter described the Hub as part of the USPTO’s efforts to “inspire more women, minorities, veterans, … 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

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 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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