Inventors

News & Analysis as of

Drew Hirshfeld Appointed as New Commissioner of Patents

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced earlier today that U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has appointed Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy Drew Hirshfeld to be the new Commissioner for Patents...more

Can You File an RCE in That U.S. National Stage Application?

Since the implementation of the America Invents Act on September 16, 2012, and the Technical Corrections Act on January 14, 2013, Applicants have been able to delay submission of an executed inventors’ oath/declaration in a...more

IP Newsflash - July 2015 #3

DISTRICT COURT CASES - Expert Witness’ Flawed Infringement Opinion Supports an Award of Attorneys’ Fees - Defendants Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. sought an award of attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 against...more

European M+A News, Summer 2015

IP Pitfalls in Tech M&A Transactions - Technology and IP-driven deals accounted for over 30 percent of M&A deal volume in Europe in 2014. This trend is bound to continue, with many deals involving strategic or financial...more

Simultaneous Invention as Secondary Evidence of Obviousness

I do not usually write about non-precedential Federal Circuit decisions, but I could not let the discussion of “simultaneous invention” in Columbia University v. Illumina, Inc., go without comment. As if protecting patents...more

The Medicines Company v. Hospira - Preparation of validation batches by a contract manufacturer for FDA submission creates an...

On July 2, 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that a patent owner’s use of a contract manufacturer (CMO) to prepare validation batches of a drug formulation for submission to FDA created an invalidating...more

NAI & IPO Release List of Top 100 Universities Receiving Patents in 2014

Last month, the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) published a list of the top 100 worldwide universities that received the most U.S. utility patents in 2014. The NAI...more

Federal Circuit Defers To District Court’s Factual Finding That “Voltage Source Means” Connotes Sufficient Structure To Avoid...

Today, the Federal Circuit issued a ruling in Lighting Ballast v. Philips on remand from the Supreme Court after the Teva decision changed the standard of review of a district court’s claim construction. One of the more...more

USPTO Pilots Expedited Patent Appeal Program But at What Price?

In a June 15, 2015 Federal Register Notice, the USPTO announced the Expedited Patent Appeal Pilot program, which will run until 2,000 ex parte patent appeals are expedited under the program, or until June 20, 2016, whichever...more

Employee Ownership of Patentable Inventions

A startup in the oil-and-gas service sector sought to improve downhole well stimulation technology. After a few years, differences between the three founders culminated in the ouster of Mr. Groves, one of the founders. Mr....more

Newton’s Third Law: The Alabama Legislature Supersedes Weeks v. Wyeth and Disallows Innovator Liability in Product Liability Cases

Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion states, loosely, that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. A force exerted by one body upon another causes an equal reaction by the second body. Want an...more

VC’s running scared – Hooli is suing Pied Piper (Episodes 9 and 10)

HBO’s “Silicon Valley” has quickly become a must watch for all budding entrepreneurs, but the second season has opened up with a multitude of risks and roadblocks that could be faced by real world entrepreneurs. Here, we...more

Protecting IP Through Employment Law [Video]

Oftentimes, a patent case will not be decided by patent law, but by employment law. If an invention was developed by an employee or a third-party contractor without the proper agreements in place, the company may find itself...more

Why the Grace Period Restoration Act Is a Bad Idea

Representatives Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Conyers (D-MI) have introduced the “Grace Period Restoration Act of 2015? (H.R. 1791) to “correct the drafting problem in the Leahy-Smith American Invents Act relating to the grace...more

Legislative Update for Brand Manufacturers Distributing in Alabama

On April 28, 2015, the Alabama House of Representatives passed SB-80, thereby abolishing the highly criticized theory of innovator liability adopted in Wyeth, Inc. v. Weeks, ___ So.3d___, 2014 WL 4055813 (Ala. Aug. 15, 2014)....more

Alabama Legislature Abolishes Weeks Innovator Liability Theory

That didn’t take long. Yesterday the Alabama House of Representatives passed SB-80, which abolishes the innovator liability theory created in the execrable decision in Wyeth, Inc. v. Weeks, ___ So.3d___, 2014 WL 4055813...more

“Indirect” Common Inventorship Not Sufficient To Support Priority Claim Under 35 U.S.C. §120

The PTAB recently took up the issue of whether, in a family of patents and applications, a later patent in the family is entitled to the benefit of the filing date of an earlier-filed application in the family where the later...more

Teamwork Can Benefit Your Company’s Research, but Verify Inventors on any Resulting Patent Application

Much of today’s innovation is a collaborative process. In the past few weeks, stories were in the news about breakthroughs involving groups of researchers working on aluminum batteries, carbon electrodes for lithium-ion...more

Trolling for an Inventive Method for Patent Enforcement

In the wake of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert leaving their respective shows on Comedy Central for newer pastures, John Oliver has emerged as a new beacon of political humor and satire. If you haven’t watched his show, and...more

Legislation Introduced in House to Eliminate Uncertainty Regarding AIA Grace Period

Last week, legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives that would amend 35 U.S.C. § 102(b) "to correct the drafting problem in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act relating to the grace period." The bill,...more

Live Testimony for Fact Witness Can Be Appropriate at IPR Oral Hearing

With the Patent Office considering changes to inter partes review practice to potentially increase the use of live testimony at oral hearings, it is worth reviewing the first case in which the Board allowed such live...more

BIO Commissioned Study Calculates Economic Contribution of University/Nonprofit Inventions in the U.S.

Last month, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announced the release of a BIO commissioned study that estimates the economic impact of academic licensing between 1996 and 2013. The study, entitled "The Economic...more

Do You Really Own All Your IP?

As we discussed in our inaugural posts in this series, after management, the most valuable asset for most startups can be their intellectual property (IP). And as such, it is important for a startup to own its intellectual...more

PTAB Rules Lab Notebooks Insufficient to Prove Conception and Reduction to Practice

Swearing behind a reference is an enticing option for a Patent Owner, but the Board has again reminded parties that rigorous—and admissible—proof of conception and reduction to practice is still necessary....more

Don't Get Burned by Unsolicited Ideas

The Company Perspective - Many companies are unsure what to do when receiving unsolicited suggestions from outside the Company. A sound intellectual property program will include a policy regarding the receipt of...more

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