News & Analysis as of

Patent Examinations

Am I Being Clear Enough? – PTAB Reaffirms Lower Pre-Issuance Threshold for Indefiniteness in Ex Parte McAward

On August 25, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a precedential opinion in Ex Parte McAward, reaffirming the Patent Office’s use of a lower pre-issuance threshold for indefiniteness distinct from the Supreme...more

Updating Interview Scheduling Practices with USPTOs AIR Program

Many patent practitioners have experienced the benefits of examiner interviews in achieving compact patent prosecution. Examiner interviews allow practitioners and examiners to discuss subtle but sometimes significant...more

Mere Quantification of the Results of a Known Process is Not Patentable

In Southwire Co. v. Cerro Wire LLC, [2016-2287] (September 8, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s decision in an Inter Partes reexamination that the claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,557,301 on a method of making cable...more

CAFC Vacates USPTO Single Reference Obviousness Rejection For Inadequate Showing Of Expectation of Success

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

In a split decision with Judge Lourie dissenting, the Federal Circuit vacated an obviousness rejection that had been affirmed in an ex parte appeal to the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The decision was rendered in In...more

In Precedential Decision, Board Says Packard, Not Nautilus, Governs Indefiniteness During Pre-Issuance Examination

by Jones Day on

...In a recent (and rare) precedential decision, the Board reaffirmed that the Supreme Court’s decision in Nautilus does not change “the USPTO’s long-standing approach to indefiniteness” in the context of pre-issuance...more

Routine Optimization Cannot Make Invention Obvious Without A Reasonable Expectation for Success

In In re Stepan Co., [2016-1811] (August 25, 2017), the Federal Circuit vacated the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s affirmance of the Examiner’s rejection of claims 1–31 of U.S. Patent Application No. 12/456,567 on herbicidal...more

Failure to Provide Patent Examiner with Copy of PTAB Decision Not Grounds for Inequitable Conduct

In a report and recommendation issued Tuesday, August 15, 2017, a magistrate judge in the Eastern District of Texas stated that failure to provide a patent examiner with a copy of a relevant post-grant review (PGR)...more

4 Top Takeaways: Smart Prosecution for Value

Kilpatrick Townsend Partners Eugenia Garrett-Wackowski, Paul Haughey, Babak Kusha, and Karam Saab recently presented on issues and strategies to consider when writing and prosecuting patent applications to withstand Alice...more

Global Patent Prosecution Newsletter - August 2017

Worldwide Patent Term Extension Provisions - Mechanisms to recover patent term lost during regulatory approval are available in many countries throughout the world. The August 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler’s Global Patent...more

Testing a Patent Claim against an Abstract Idea, in Response to 35 USC §101 Rejection

USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) rejection of a patent claim, alleging the claim is not significantly more than an abstract idea under 35 USC §101, is a frequent and often frustrating occurrence during patent...more

3 Tips For Thinking Like An Examiner To Maximize Your Consumer Products Patent's Shelf Life

Due to the relatively short shelf life for some consumer products, it can be important to quickly obtain patent protection for such products. Obtaining patent protection early in the life of such products can help inventors...more

The Goods on IP - July 2017

The July 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler's The Goods on IP discusses thinking like an Examiner to move prosecution forward, the wide variety of consumer product companies using design patents to protect their valuable product...more

Taking Advantage of the Global Supply Chain for Patent Examination

by Ward and Smith, P.A. on

Innovation and Traditional Patent Process - When you develop an innovation, its potential patentability is typically unknown, thus making it difficult to determine whether it is worth the significant expense involved if...more

Hey Boo-Boo, Defining Terms in the Specification is a Pic-i-nic

A definition in the patent’s specification can be critical in defining the scope of the claims. According to the patent statute, the claims and specification are directed to a person of ordinary skill in the art, but it is...more

New Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions in India

by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. on

On July 3, 2017, revised Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions (CRIs) were released. The full text of the guidelines may be found here. ...more

Ex Parte Hafner Provides Clarity in Assessing Patent Subject Matter Eligibility for Software Patents

by Knobbe Martens on

In Ex Parte Hafner, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) reversed the Examiner’s rejection that claims directed to an energy transaction plan were subject-matter ineligible. Ex...more

Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) now available in New Zealand

by FPA Patent Attorneys on

Patent law in New Zealand in recent years has undertaken quite a facelift. For example, under the new law, stricter support requirements are in place, obviousness is now a ground for examination, re-examination is available...more

When Final is Not So Final: Strategies for Overcoming Final Rejections

Typically, during prosecution of a U.S. application, a second or subsequent Office Action could be made final by the patent examiner at which time prosecution of the application is essentially closed. For an applicant who...more

[Webinar] Drafting the “Global” Patent Application - June 14th, 10:00am ET

It all starts with drafting. A poorly drafted patent application, more often than not, leads to poor patent protection. The goal of providing enforceable claims starts and ends with a well drafted application. And what may be...more

Examining the Examiner Interview

Compact or streamlined prosecution is in vogue in prosecution circles these days. While examiner interviews are a tried and true “old” tool in a prosecutor’s tool box, they are reemerging as a means to facilitate compact or...more

Show and Tell: Successful Examiner Interview Strategies for Consumer Product Cases

For consumer product companies, the Examiner interview has heightened importance and presents a unique opportunity for success. Because product lifespans are often brief and knockoffs find their way into the market quickly,...more

Why Design Patents Are Surviving Post-Grant Challenges

As of January 2017, the institution rate for Patent Trial and Appeal Board trials involving design patents was 37 percent. That is significantly lower than every other technology area and makes design patents the only...more

Global Patent Prosecution Newsletter - April 2017

With the implementation of Revisions to the Chinese Patent Examination Guidelines on April 1, 2017, the April 2017 issue of Sterne Kessler's Global Patent Prosecution Newsletter includes information and practical tips for...more

Track One: Still the One for Accelerating Patent Examination in the US?

Speed is everything in the business world. The fastest company to market wins a competitive advantage. However, investors are often reluctant to back new products that do not have patent protection, and backlogs at the US...more

Inherency and Patent Claims

A patent claim can be rejected for inherency over a reference. An inherent property cannot be claimed, even if that property was not known at the time a prior art composition was disclosed or prior art invention was made....more

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