Patent Applications

News & Analysis as of

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While I do not usually write about non-precedential decisions, In re: Brown caught my eye as an interesting patent eligibility case.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

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Earlier this month, the Federal Circuit revisited the issue of inventorship disputes and iterated in a nonprecedential opinion that proving nonjoinder of inventors in an issued patent is a difficult threshold for a challenger...more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

A Plea for a Charitable and Common-Sensical Claim Construction

All manner of boiler plate can be found in patent applications and issued patents, placed there by applicants and their counsel hoping to influence the future construction of their specification and claims, but the language...more

Pre-Issuance Damages Possible Only If You “Know” About the Published Application - Rosebud LMS Inc. v. Adobe Systems Inc.

Addressing for the first time the notice requirement for pre-issuance damages under 35 USC § 154(d), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment of no pre-issuance damages where the...more

Functional Claim Language Does Not Render Apparatus Claim Indefinite For Including Both Method And Apparatus

Patent applications involving electrical and/or computer related inventions often involve functional claim language. For example, software may be claimed in terms of its function. One or more components of an electrical...more

Does this bug you? When your food crawls...

In many countries, the consumption of insects is widely accepted. However in the Western world, edible insects are not a popular feature on many people’s menus or shopping lists – yet. Cricket-chip cookies, Bee-LT...more

Protecting GUI Designs in Australia: More Questions than Answers

Many countries allow graphical user interface (GUI) features to be protected by registered designs. The current position in Australia is not clear. The position of the Australian Designs Office, which is responsible...more

A&B Healthcare Week in Review

I. REGULATIONS, NOTICES, & GUIDANCE - On March 15, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued voluntary guidelines entitled, “CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United...more

Patent Term Adjustment In South Korea

According to this bulletin from Lee International IP & Law Group in South Korea, Korean patents filed on or after March 2012 may be entitled to Patent Term Adjustment if they issued more than 4 years after the filing date and...more

Federal Circuit Recognizes Limited Patent Agent Privilege

In In re Queen’s University At Kingston, a divided panel of the Federal Circuit recognized a limited “attorney”-client privilege for patent agents. The majority’s decision to recognize a patent agent privilege is based...more

Addition Through Subtraction, Broadening Reissue Upheld in Zoltek Corp. v. U.S., 2014-5082 (Fed. Cir. 2016)

The Zoltek versus the United States case might be characterized as if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…and then try one more time. Zoltek took three trips to the Federal Circuit before having the validity of its...more

Patent Seekers for Card Games Get Dealt a Bad Hand

The U.S. Patent Office has long granted patents on new card games, but the path for patenting card games was narrowed by a Federal Circuit ruling last Thursday. In In Re Smith, the Federal Circuit Court ruled that patent...more

What are the USPTO’s Patent Plans for Fiscal Year 2017?

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) explains several patent prosecution trends, goals, and programs to justify proposed spending of its collected fees in its recently-issued Fiscal Year 2017 Congressional...more

The Federal Circuit Newly Recognizes Patent-Agent Privilege

On March 7, 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recognized “a patent-agent privilege extending to communications with non-attorney patent agents when those agents are acting within the agent’s authorized...more

IP Newsflash - March 2016 #2

FEDERAL COURT CASES - Patent Agent-Client Communications Now Afforded Some Degree of Privilege Protection - The Federal Circuit, in a 2-1 opinion, and for the first time, recognized the protection of communications...more

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