Patent Applications

News & Analysis as of

Due May 24 — Comments On Improving Patent Quality Metrics

Many patent attorneys received a notice recently, copied below, alerting them to efforts by the US Patent Office to improve patent quality....more

Hope For Software Patents In The Post-Alice Landscape

The courts have long been attempting to establish an appropriate framework with which to handle software-based inventions. Even before the Supreme Court decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International numerous tests have...more

Introducing a New Product? Should a Freedom to Operate Study Be Undertaken?

When developing a new product, companies will frequently engage counsel to perform a “freedom to operate” study in an effort to identify patents that might raise a risk of patent infringement following the introduction of the...more

Federal Circuit's Enfish is an Important 101 Decision

Applicants for software-related patents will be interested in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in the matter of Enfish v. Microsoft Corp., 2015-1244 (Fed. Cir. May 12, 2016). This decision sheds further...more

The “teacher’s PET” of radionuclides – patents directed to Fluorine-18

This is the second in a series of articles looking at the hot topic of the patenting of radiopharmaceuticals. Fluorine-18 (18F), a radioactive isotope of fluorine, is the most common positron-emitting radioisotope used in...more

UPDATE: Subject Matter Eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 – Abstract Ideas

All patent applications submitted to the United States Patent And Trademark Office (USPTO) are examined subject to the requirements set forth in 35 U.S.C. §§101, 102, 103, 112, which respectively address patent eligibility,...more

Back to the Future of §101

David Kappos, the former director of the United States Patent & Trademark Office (2009-2013), thinks that “[i]t’s time to abolish §101.” Kappos made these comments at the Federal Circuit Judicial Conference in Washington, DC,...more

Reflecting on Design Patents

Often the appearance of an article is attributable to the nature of the surface as much as its shape. Reflective surfaces are often depicted in design patent drawings as parallel lines...more

USPTO Issues New Patent Eligibility Examples

The USPTO has issued new patent eligibility examples, including several examples relating to diagnostic methods and “nature-based” products. Surprisingly, most of the claims are said to satisfy 35 USC § 101. The USPTO also...more

USPTO issues updated instructions to examiners for evaluating eligibility under Section 101

As the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office continues to reject applications as being directed to ineligible subject matter in the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int'l, 573 U.S. __, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), the agency has again...more

Using Design Patents to Claim Functional Elements???

A recent opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Sport Dimension, Inc. v. The Coleman Co., No. 2015-1553, 7 (Fed. Cir. 2016), held that design patents can provide protection for ornamental...more

Summary Judgment Motions Regarding Written Description And Enablement Are Denied

Plaintiff filed this action to review the final decision and judgment of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment that its priority date with respect to the count is no later...more

Prior Art and Continuation-in-Part Claims

What are the dates to which prior art must adhere, in examination of claims in a continuation-in-part (CIP) nonprovisional patent application? Each claim in a CIP, whether independent or dependent, has its own priority date....more

An Illuminating Discussion About Design Patents

Design patents protect the aesthetic appearance of a product or portion of the product. The aesthetic appearance is affected by a number of things, including whether the product is illuminated. However, how does one capture...more

Having A Bad Hair Day? The Federal Circuit Agrees That Method Of Cutting Hair Is Invalid Under 101

While I do not usually write about non-precedential decisions, In re: Brown caught my eye as an interesting patent eligibility case. It does not relate to diagnostics or computer programs, but rather to the art of cutting...more

Provisional Patent Applications - The Right Way and the Wrong Way

In 1995, the United States Patent and Trademark Office first offered the provisional patent application. The goal was to provide patent pending status at lower costs and to assist with preserving foreign patent filing rights....more

It’s Never Too Late to File an Inventorship Dispute

Earlier this month, the Federal Circuit revisited the issue of inventorship disputes and iterated in a nonprecedential opinion that proving nonjoinder of inventors in an issued patent is a difficult threshold for a challenger...more

The Impact of the European Unified Patent Court on Filing Strategies

Europe is on the verge of implementing its new Patent System (expected May 2017) with a Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC), under which the EU would allow for grant of a unitary patent under the rules and...more

Disputes Regarding Prosecution Bar In A Protective Order Are Resolved

The court adopts defendants’ proposal as to the scope of the subject matter that a prosecution bar shall cover. The bar extends to qualified persons who are “regularly involved in (directly or by means of supervision) the...more

Blog: Who Owns What: Patent Assignment and Ownership

A patent is a government-granted property right that can be used to exclude others from making, using or selling an invention for a specified time (how long depends on the type of patent). Patents can provide important...more

Formal Logic Reveals Hidden Dangers of Logical Fallacies in Patent Claim Rejections

There is no statutory requirement that formal logic be adhered to during examination of patent claims. Examiners and patent practitioners are free to use a wide variety of discussion and argument styles and topics, and these...more

Key Lessons from Patent Litigation for Drafting and Prosecuting Utility Patent Applications

In almost every U.S. patent suit, the patentee’s counsel considers how the case could have been facilitated had the patent at issue been drafted and prosecuted differently. These considerations demonstrate that patents...more

An Animated Review of Design Patents

Design patents protect the appearance of articles of manufacture, and this includes articles of manufacture whose appearance changes over time. In particular, animated displays on computers and other electronic devices can...more

Iconography

It is pretty well known that icons can be protected with design patents, however we continue to adhere to the fiction that it is not the icon we are protecting, but the substrate decorated with the icon that we are...more

Will the Federal Circuit Invalidate 13,500 Continuation Patents?

The Federal Circuit is set to hear oral arguments in Immersion Corp. v. HTC Corp. on May 6, 2016. According to the amicus brief filed on behalf of the United States, if the court affirms the district court decision “over...more

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