Direct Appeals to the Federal Circuit: The Exclusive Avenue for Challenging the Final Written Decision of an Inter Partes Review

Law ColumnsIn a recent ruling in Personal Audio, LLC v. CBS Corp., the Federal Circuit affirmed the District Court’s final judgment, which reversed a prior $1.3 Million jury verdict in Plaintiff’s favor. It found Personal Audio’s constitutional arguments raised in its appeal to the Federal Circuit were barred by its prior appeal of the US Patent and Trial Appeal Board’s (“the Board”) final written decision finding the asserted claims invalid. Continue Reading

You Don’t Say! Federal Trade Commission to hold Public Workshop on Voice Cloning Technologies

On January 28, 2020, the US Federal Trade Commission will hold a public workshop on voice cloning technologies. As the federal agency charged with protecting consumers from fraudulent and deceptive marketing practices, the FTC workshop will review the potential misuse of voice cloning technologies as well as its benefits.  The workshop will include three panel discussions focused on the pros and cons of voice cloning, the ethics of voice cloning, and authentication, detection, and mitigation issues.

From a consumer protection perspective, the FTC is keen on ensuring that voice-cloning technology does not hand scammers an easy way to perpetrate scams. For instance, giving fake voice commands to access smartphones, mimicking the voices of relatives in distress (“I’m in the hospital, Grandpa; you need to wire me money now”), or by giving phony instructions (“This is Deborah. Transfer my savings account to ____”).  Advertising and marketing abuse will also be examined. For example, voice-cloned celebrity voices could be used in fake endorsements.  From a pro-competition perspective, the FTC is interested in ways to promote technological developments and fair competition. Continue Reading

Vaping Products Banned from Promotion on Instagram

The ASA has banned four e-cigarette producers, including British American Tobacco (BAT), from promoting their vaping products on Instagram.

The e-cigarette producers advertised their vaping products on their own Instagram accounts. The posts featured various celebrities holding and endorsing the products.

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January Issue of Bio Pharma Beat Now Available

Our monthly newsletter reports on the patent law developments in biotech, biologics and pharmaceutical cases, legislation and federal agency actions. This month’s issue covers relevant news from December 2019, including:

  • The Solicitor General, on behalf of the US, asserts that the Supreme Court’s Section 101 precedent
    creates “substantial uncertainty” requiring clarification
  • The Federal Circuit holds that there is no single entity equirement for infringement under section 271(g)
  • A district court holds that, under certain circumstances, an anticipatory reference is not necessarily “but-for” material under an inequitable conduct analysis

Bentley Forced to Hit the Brakes

In what are challenging economic times, concentric diversification is increasingly being considered by businesses as a way of gaining an advantage over competitors. In the automotive sector in particular, manufacturers are expanding their offerings, particularly in the after-sales market, to supplement sales of traditional products.

The recent High Court decision in Bentley 1962 Ltd v Bentley Motors[1] acts as a warning to manufacturers that, when diversifying, putting brand strategy front and centre of any expansion plan is a must. 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.  In a brief opinion, the Supreme Court affirmed the “American Rule” presumption that parties bear their own attorney’s fees unless a statute provides otherwise. Continue Reading

December Issue of the Bio/Pharma Beat is Now Available!

Our monthly newsletter reports on the patent law developments in biotech, biologics and pharmaceutical cases, legislation and federal agency actions. This month’s issue covers relevant news from November 2019, including:

  • Federal Circuit affirms the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (“PTAB”)’s application of the “blocking patent” doctrine as applied to objective indicia of non-obviousness
  • District court orders production of privileged documents reviewed by a Rule 30(b)(6) witness in preparation for her deposition
  • More patent-busting draft legislation in the US Senate


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 system (IHS) would perform a natural language processing (NLP) analysis on multiple web sites containing threaded discussions of a particular topic. Those discussions would be correlated, and the IHS would identify a question from the discussions, as well as several potential answers to the question, with one answer marked as the most likely answer. Continue Reading

‘Blocking Patent’ Doctrine May Now Apply To All Technologies

Although the U.S. Supreme Court recently denied certiorari in Acorda Therapeutics v. Roxane Laboratories, which sought review of the “blocking patent” doctrine, expecting the doctrine’s appearance in obviousness cases across all technologies is logical and will undoubtedly speed the development of the law on a number of unanswered questions. Partner David Manspeizer explains further in an article for Law360 . Click here to read more.

Squire Patton Boggs Wins Before the ECJ – Balsamico Does Not Have to Come From Modena

We are proud to report that our colleagues Christofer Eggers and Christian Boehler successfully represented Balema GmbH in its dispute with Consorzio Tutela Aceto Balsamico di Modena.  The ECJ held that that the term “Balsamico” is not protected as a designation of origin and geographical indication. Continue Reading