News & Analysis as of

U.S. Patent Office Issues Extensive Subject Matter Eligibility Guidelines

The United States Patent Office periodically issues guidance for examiners (“Examiners”), often in response to a recent court decision or new statute. These guidelines do not have the force of law, but nevertheless establish...more

Early Assignment of your Invention as a Method to Maintain Priority Rights in a European Patent Application

The European Patent Office (EPO) has been a desirable venue for seeking patent protection in Europe. For instance, a patent application granted by the EPO can provide patent protection in many European countries, such as the...more

The Complexities of the USPTO Proposed Attributable Ownership Rules

The USPTO proposed attributable ownership rules would require the public disclosure of the “attributable owner” of patent applications and patents. As discussed in this article, the proposed definition of “attributable owner”...more

Eastern District Implements New Fast Track for Patent Cases

On February 25, 2014, Chief Judge Leonard Davis unveiled an expedited case management procedure available to patent litigants in the Eastern District of Texas. The new procedure, known as "Track B," is an alternative to the...more

Patent fundamentals for researchers, manufacturers

Patent laws function much the same way no matter the technology at issue. But there are some aspects of patent law that affect particular industries in specific ways. My Thompson Coburn colleague Steve Ritchey looked at some...more

Another Patent Acceleration Option: USPTO Initiates Glossary Pilot Program

Beginning June 2, 2014, patent applicants have another vehicle to accelerate examination of a newly filed patent application – add a glossary. The United States Patent and Trademark Office launched today a new pilot...more

Written description for functional limitations in view of Alcon Research Ltd. v. Barr Labs

Alcon owns US 5,631,287 (‘287), of which Claim 1 recites “[a] method of enhancing the chemical stability of an aqueous composition comprising a therapeutically-effective amount of a prostaglandin, wherein the method comprises...more

International Patent Filings Break Record

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) provides a mechanism for filing one patent application, referred to as a PCT or international patent application, that can later branch out into one or more national or regional patent...more

USPTO Issues New Guidelines for Determining Subject Matter Eligibility Of Claims Reciting Or Involving Laws of Nature, Natural...

On March 4, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued final guidance to the Examining Corps regarding patent eligibility of claims involving laws of nature, natural phenomena and natural products. The...more

These Countries Lead in Patent and Trademark Application Filings

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has released some interesting statistics on international patent and trademark filings in 2013. The United States, Japan and China lead in the number of international...more

Forward-Publishing Patents: A Way to Tell Competitors “Stay Out”?

On March 10, 2014, Sonos announced it would forward-publish its patent applications before they would traditionally be available to the public. This has given rise to quite a bit of discussion in patent legal circles. What...more

Design Patents: New Implications from the Hague Agreement [Video]

Tracy-Gene Durkin, director at the intellectual property law firm Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C., discusses the implications of the Hague Agreement Concerning International Registration of Industrial Designs. She...more

So, You've Just Read About Someone Getting a Patent

A day does not go by without a new article about a company or individual obtaining a patent. A company itself may be behind an article because it wants to hype its technical achievements, as was the case with “Powerhouse...more

Forward-Publishing Patents: A Way to Tell Competitors "Stay Out"?

Will forward-publishing your patent help or hurt you in the long run? Sonos’ announcement this week that they will forward-publish patent applications has created quite a debate in the patent realm. Ideas are the...more

Will 'Forward-Publishing' Make The Patent System a More Relevant R&D Tool?

Forward-publishing patents might be a case of good PR practice meeting good patent practice. On the other hand, Sonos might be onto something....more

Sonos Forward-Publishes Patents: Strategic Upside, Limited Downside

Sonos' policy to forward-publish its patents seems to be more a calculated public relations move with some strategic upside and limited downside....more

Forward-Publishing Your Patents? Be Sure Your Portfolio Can Withstand Early Third Party Attacks

Forward-publication of patent applications can effectively give third party submitters the ability to make a submission against your application months in advance of publication by the USPTO....more

Forward-Publishing Your Patents? Best and Worst Case Scenarios...

Patents are a tool to discourage inventors to keep trade secrets, by trading public disclosure for a limited monopoly. Forward-publishing an application is a deliberate embrace of this philosophy, eliminating even the...more

Subject Matter Conflicts of Interest in Patent Prosecution – Training Your Team

This article series is focusing on subject matter conflict of interest issues that are a significant concern for attorneys. Patent practitioners have an additional layer of concern with respect to subject matter conflicts of...more

The USPTO Announces New Guidelines for Determining Subject Matter Eligibility Under 35 U.S.C. §101 in View of Myriad, Prometheus...

March 10, 2014 – On March 4, 2014, the United States Patent & Trademark Office issued guidelines for the examination of “all claims (i.e., machine, composition, manufacture and process claims) reciting or involving laws of...more

March 6, 2014 Patent Filings

Medtronic, Inc.filed IPR2014-00488 against U.S. Patent No. 7,769,605 (assigned to Robert Bosch Healthcare Systems, Inc.) challenging claims 1-9. This is just the latest in a complext knot of district court litgation,...more

Strawberry Patent Rights, Forever

Ripe strawberries define lusciousness. Fragile, with fleeting taste, these heart-shaped berries inspired Shakespeare’s pen: “The strawberry grows underneath the nettle; and wholesome berries thrive and ripen best;...more

Computer-Aided Method Determined Ineligible Under Section 101 - SmartGene, Inc. v. Advanced Biological Lab.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a decision providing a glimpse into a panel’s post-Alice position with regard to patent-eligibility of computer-implemented inventions (under 35 U.S.C. § 101), determined...more

Failure to Clearly List Intermediate Applications Breaks Chain of Priority - Medtronic CoreValve, LLC v. Edwards Lifesciences...

Addressing the issue of whether a failure to specifically reference each earlier filed patent applications will result in a loss of claim of priority to the omitted application, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal...more

Don’t call your invention “the present invention”?

AstraZeneca AB v. Hanmi USA, Fed. Cir. Case No. 2013-1490 (nonprecedential) - A specification and a claim have distinct functions; a specification “describes” the invention and a claim “defines” the invention. One of...more

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