Administrative Agency Intellectual Property

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
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PTAB Holds Oral Hearings In Tecfidera Patent IPR and Interference

On November 30, 2016, the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) held oral hearings in two different inter partes proceedings involving the Biogen Tecfidera® patent with the latest expiation date. First, it heard...more

FDA Is Evolving on Qualifications for 'New Chemical Entity'

The prior approval of a drug containing an active ingredient of the innovator drug is not necessarily a death knell for NCE exclusivity. Originally published in the Intellectual Property and Life Sciences sections of...more

USPTO's New Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Rules Take Effect Soon

Next month, the procedural rules governing trademark registration disputes are changing. They present new strategic considerations for brand owners protecting their trademark rights. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board...more

Double-Checking the PTAB

By Bryan K. Wheelock, Principal The Federal Circuit’s docket is burgeoning with Patent Office appeals.  Three years ago there were 118 appeals from the USPTO pending before the Federal Circuit. Today there are 578.  The bulk...more

New Year, New Rules: What to Know About the January 2017 TTAB Rule Updates

After a lengthy proposal and commentary process, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ("TTAB" or the "Board") recently published its most significant Rules of Practice update in years (see 81 Fed. Reg. 69950), with the...more

MarkIt to Market® - November 2016

The November 2016 issue of Sterne Kessler's MarkIt to Market® includes practical tips for registering certification marks, a look at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's latest revisions to the Rules of Practice-its most...more

Busting the Myth of the Unlimited RCEs

In June, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) issued a performance audit of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), “Patent Office Should Define Quality, Reassess Incentives, and Improve Clarity.” The report was...more

The Difficulty in Implementing an Idea Does Not Mean the Idea is Not Abstract

In Apple, Inc., v. Ameranth, Inc., [2015-1703, 2015-1704] (November 29, 2016), the Federal Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the PTAB’s subject matter eligibility determination of claims of U.S. Patent Nos....more

No Love for ♥ DC

In a case before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”), the Board cancelled and abandoned the trademark registration and trademark application for the I "Heart" DC marks owned by an individual, Jonathan A. Chien...more

Federal Circuit Broadly Affirms PTAB’s Determinations on Analogous Art, Motivation to Combine References and Obviousness of Claims

The level of deference the Federal Circuit gives to the Board’s IPR decisions has been surprising to many practitioners, considering the Court’s reputation for reversing district court decisions. The trend of deference to...more

Federal Circuit Firmly Rejects PTAB Criteria For Covered Business Method Review - Brooks Kushman Post-Grant

In a recent panel decision that deviates from the Federal Circuit’s current tendency to defer to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s interpretation of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the court vacated a final written...more

Proposed “Patent Agent Privilege” Promises Protection For Patent Practitioners And Clients

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) recently proposed a patent-agent privilege that would bring needed consistency to the discovery phase of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) proceedings....more

A Patent Does Not Become a CBM Patent Because its Practice Could Involve a Potential Sale of a Product or Service

In Unwired Planet, LLC, v. Google, Inc., [2015-1812] (November 21, 2016) the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the PTAB’s final written decision in Covered Business Method Patent Review No. 2014-00006, that found the...more

District Court Orders Additional Claim Construction Briefing After Plaintiff Appeared to Argue a Different Position in Other...

After the district court conducted a claim construction hearing (but before it issued an order), the district court stayed the litigation between Finjan and Symantec pending a decision by the PTAB regarding whether to...more

Federal Circuit Reins in PTAB’s Use of CBM Reviews

In Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., Case No. 2015-1812 (Fed. Cir. November 21, 2016), the Federal Circuit rejected the PTAB’s broad application of CBM reviews to claims that are merely “incidental” or “complementary” to...more

Swearing Behind A Reference With Reasonably Continuous Diligence

In Perfect Surgical Techniques, Inc. v. Olympus America, Inc., the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision in an Inter Partes Review proceeding, finding that the PTAB imposed too...more

More Than Zero: Under the Lanham Act, One Interstate Sale Qualifies as Actual Use of a Trademark in Commerce

In 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected shoe manufacturer Adidas’s application to trademark the phrase “ADIZERO,” due to a likelihood of confusion with an existing mark: “ADD A ZERO,” a clothing trademark held...more

Changes to Public Records Act Reshape Duties of Government Contractors

Recent amendments to Florida's Public Records Act both clarify and alter a contractor's responsibilities under the Act. The 2016 amendment to the Act applies to contracts with a public agency entered into or amended on or...more

Basics of the BPCIA

The FDA broadly defines biologics as medical products derived from living sources (human, animal, plant, or microorganism) intended to treat or prevent diseases. Biologics thus include such varied vehicles of medical...more

Back to Basics: Trademarks Part 4

What Happens After My Application is Filed? After your application is filed, you should receive an email from the USPTO confirming the submission. In a few business days, the USPTO will confirm the application has the...more

In re NuVasive Brings the Administrative Procedure Act to IPRs

NuVasive owns US 8,187,334, which claims certain spinal implants. Medtronic filed a petition challenging various claims of the ‘334 patent as obviousness over US 2002/0165550 (Frey) in view of US 5,860,973 (Michelson). ...more

Ninth Circuit Expands the Octane Fitness Attorneys’ Fee Standard to the Lanham Act

Following several other circuits as well as patent law precedent, in SunEarth, Inc. v. Sun Earth Solar Power Co., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently made it easier for Lanham Act litigants to recover...more

Freedom to Operate and the Use of AIA Review

Freedom to Operate: •Identifying infringement risk •Third party patent (infringement) – claim searching –Timing •Discrete, continuous –Searching •In-house, search agency –Screening/analyzing •Ranking...more

PTAB Post-Grant Fees Slated To Increase

The USPTO recently announced a proposed new fee schedule in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in search of revenue to recover its projected $3 billion aggregated operating costs for the 2017 fiscal year. If enacted, it...more

Failure to Let Patent Owner Address Unpatentability Arguments Relied on by the Board Violates Administrative Procedures

The Federal Circuit has ruled that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board cannot deny Patent Owner an opportunity to address portions of a prior art reference first discussed in Petitioner’s Reply, and then rely on those same...more

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