Civil Procedure Intellectual Property Administrative Agency

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Prosecution Disclaimer Has No Teeth

Statements made by patent practitioners to the patent office during patent prosecution can come back to bite you in related applications. Prosecution disclaimer allows a court to limit the literal scope of the claims in an...more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Federal Circuit Weighs in on Evidentiary Challenge in IPR, Reversing PTAB

More often than not, evidentiary issues in IPR proceedings fail to make headlines because the Board will structure its Final Written Decision to avoid evidentiary challenges. Findings that a party’s motion to exclude is...more

USPTO Examination Time Goals -- How Much Time Should Examiners Have To Examine A Patent Application?

As part of its ongoing efforts to improve patent quality, the USPTO is reevaluating its examination time goals and seeking public feedback on how much time examiners should have to examine a patent application. Examination...more

Federal Circuit to PTAB: “Play Fair.”

In In re Nuvasive, Inc., [2015-1672, 2015-1673] (November 9, 2016), the Federal Circuit reversed one of two PTAB decisions because the patent owner was not given adequate notice of the grounds of invalidity asserted against...more

Patentee's Day of Thanks Comes in Early November: Assessment of the USPTO's Recent Memorandum Regarding Patent Eligibility for...

A recent U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) memorandum to the Patent Examining Corps, in combination with precedential cases from the Federal Circuit, provides positive guidance to owners of software patents and patent...more

Ferring Pharms., Inc. v. Burwell

Case Name: Ferring Pharms., Inc. v. Burwell, Case No. 15-0802 (RC), 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121826 (D.D.C. Sept. 9, 2016) - Drug Product and Patent(s)-in-Suit: Prepopik® (sodium picosulfate, magnesium oxide, anhydrous...more

Choosing Owner Entities WISELY

In a recent precedential decision, the TTAB clarified whether a party filing an Opposition is entitled to allege a family of marks as a basis for a Section 2(d) claim when those marks are not all owned by a single legal...more

USPTO Again Proposes To Revise Duty Of Disclosure In View Of Therasense

More than five years after the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision in Therasense and its first proposed rulemaking under that decision, the USPTO has issued a new proposed rulemaking to adapt its duty of disclosure rule (37...more

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