Patents United States Patent and Trademark Office

News & Analysis as of

Nearly Expired Is Not the Same as Expired: The Board Clarifies Claim Construction Standards for Inter Partes Review - Apple, Inc....

Addressing the standard to be applied for claim construction during inter partes review (IPR) proceedings, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) declined to create an...more

Facts Govern Real Party-in-Interest Determinations - TRW Automotive US LLC v. Magna Electronics Inc.; Paramount Home Entertainment...

Addressing the real-party-in-interest (RPI) requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 312(a) in two separate proceedings, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) emphasized the fact-dependent...more

Final "Ministerial" Rule Amendments for Practice Before the PTAB

On May 19, 2015, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published its first "Final Rules" package of amendments to the Rule of Practice before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB"). Keeping with Director Lee's...more

New Amendments to USPTO Post-Grant Regulations

On May 19, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a final rule amending its regulations that apply to post-grant proceedings. These new rules deal with ministerial changes such as increasing page...more

PTO Formally Issues First Set of New Changes to PTAB Rules, Including Increased Page Limits for Petitioner Replies and Patent...

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) has issued several rule amendments that it refers to as “ministerial changes” to procedures for post-grant proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), including Inter...more

Filing Waiver of Service Triggers One-Year IPR Bar Date - The Brinkmann Corporation v. A&J Manufacturing

Addressing the issue of standing to present a petition, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) granted institution of an inter partes review (IPR), finding that the petition filed within one year of filing waiver...more

Mere Receipt of a Copy of the Complaint Does Not Invoke the One-Year Bar Rule - Petroleum Geo-Services, Inc. v. Westerngeco LLC

Addressing the meaning of “defendant” for purpose of the one-year bar rule, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) explained that being served with a third party subpoena in...more

Conventional Use of Computer Not Enough to Overcome Alice - Westlake Services, LLC v. Credit Acceptance Corp.; Regions Financial...

In two separate decisions involving an § 101 analysis of subject-matter eligibility of business methods patents (CBMs), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) found that the...more

Specific Application Will Not Avoid Ineligibility Unless Required by the Claims - Int’l Securities Exchange LLC v. Chicago Board...

Addressing the patent eligibility of claims from two challenged covered business method patents (CBMs), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) found the challenged claims to be...more

US Patent and Trademark Office Implements Significant Changes to Design Patent Application Filings

Significant changes in design patent law became effective May 13. The biggest change is that the U.S. and Japan are now members of the Hague Union. The Hague Union is part of an international treaty that establishes a simple...more

Payment Information Does Not Necessarily Make a CBM - SEGA of Am., Inc. v. Uniloc USA, Inc

Addressing the issue of what qualifies as a covered business method (CBM) under the America Invents Act (AIA), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO’s) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) denied institution of...more

Hague to Break It to You: International Design Applications Are Not a Silver Bullet for Multijurisdictional Protection

As of May 13, 2015, the Hague Agreement is fully implemented in the United States. There has been a significant amount of excitement regarding the U.S. accession to the Hague Agreement, which includes an extension of U.S....more

No Special Rules Regarding Consideration of Expert Declarations in IPR Proceedings - In re International Business Machines Corp.

In a non-precedential opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit declined to direct the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to create a particularized written standard for consideration of inter partes...more

Beware Change to RCE Practice Hidden in USPTO’s Final Rules for Hague Agreement Implementation

Summary: Effective May 13, 2015, a US national stage application for which an inventor’s oath or declaration (or substitute statement, as applicable) has not been filed is not eligible for an RCE filing. On April 2,...more

Fairchild v. Power Integrations: Because of Right to Appeal, District Court Precludes Reference to Pending Reexamination...

Fairchild Semiconductor Corp. and Fairchild (Taiwan) Corp.'s (collectively, "Fairchild") moved in limine to preclude any reference to any pending reexamination proceeding or any completed reexamination proceeding of any...more

International Design Patent Filing Option Available May 13, 2015, to U.S. Filers

Beginning May 13, 2015, U.S. applicants will be able to file international design patent applications through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In addition, U.S. design patents resulting from applications filed on or...more

Patent Prosecution Updates

On April 14, 2015, the House of Representatives introduced a bill to amend the pre-filing grace period provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA). The bill, entitled "Grace Period Restoration Act of 2015" (H.R. 1791),...more

U.S. Ascension To The Hague Agreement Concerning The International Registration Of Industrial Designs

Design patents allow patentees to protect the aesthetic appearance of articles, in contrast to utility patents that protect the utility of an inventive concept. While the scope of protection provided by a utility patent is...more

FTC and DOJ: The PTO’s Efforts to Enhance Patent Quality Will Promote Competition, Innovation and Consumer Welfare

On May 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) submitted public comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) commending the PTO for its efforts to enhance patent...more

USPTO Places Limits on PAIR Downloads

A colleague pointed out today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has apparently begun to restrict the ability of users to make bulk downloads from Public PAIR. While we have not noticed any recent download...more

Maximizing Use of the USPTO’s Patent Application Alert Service

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently launched the Patent Application Alert Service (PAAS), a free electronic tool aimed to keep the public apprised of the publication of patent applications. Through the tool,...more

An Easier Way to Protect Your Designs Globally

Beginning May 13, 2015, U.S. patent owners will have a streamlined and more economical way to obtain international protection of industrial designs. This is the date when U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") rule...more

The Hague Agreement for the Registration of Industrial Designs: A PCT for Design Patents?

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently published the Final Rules for implementation of the Hague Agreement for the Registration of Industrial Designs (i.e., design patents). Starting May 13, 2015, U.S.-based applicants...more

PTO Revival Rulings Are Not Subject to Collateral Attacks by Third Parties - Exela Pharma Sciences, LLC v. Lee

Addressing whether third parties have the right to challenge a patent revival ruling by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal...more

Primer on Global and IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Programs

Following the implementation of its first Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) in 2006, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office proceeded to establish PPH programs with nearly thirty other...more

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