United States Patent and Trademark Office

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce that serves a fundamental role in the U.S. intellectual property system by issuing patents and registering trademarks.... more +
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce that serves a fundamental role in the U.S. intellectual property system by issuing patents and registering trademarks.    less -
News & Analysis as of

Getting on the Patent Fast Track While Keeping Competitors in the Rearview Mirror

Rory Pheiffer, a partner in Nutter’s Intellectual Property Department, evaluated various patent prosecution options in Nutter Insights. Rory analyzed the five programs that can accelerate the process and their differentiators...more

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

IPR Motions to Amend: Rays of Hope Despite Gloomy Statistics

The America Invents Act permits patent owners to move to amend claims of a patent subject to inter partes review. However, attempts to amend claims have been largely unsuccessful to date, and some of the hurdles patent owners...more

USPTO Memo Updates Examiner Guidance On Subject Matter Eligibility In View Of Enfish

On May 19, 2016, just weeks after its May 2016 memorandum to examiners providing guidance on subject matter eligibility under § 101, the USPTO issued a new memo updating its guidance to examiners in view of the Federal...more

UPDATE: Subject Matter Eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 – Life Sciences

The United States Patent And Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a memorandum on May 4, 2016 (May 2016 Memo) to the Patent Examining Corps to provide further Examiner instructions relating to subject matter eligibility under 35...more

USPTO 101 Guidance: Microneedles Versus Prosthetic Devices

When I first wrote about the new natural products Subject Matter Eligibility Examples issued by the USPTO on May 4, 2016, I noted a puzzling difference between the treatment of a claim reciting a vaccine coated on a...more

USPTO Memo re Enfish v. Microsoft

This is an update to my recent article about the Federal Circuit’s decision in Enfish v. Microsoft. In a memo to the Patent Examining Corps dated May 19, 2016, Deputy Commissioner Robert Bahr said that the Enfish...more

News of Note in IP

Each week, Sheppard Mullin brings you News of Note in IP: The latest news in the IP-related fields of technology, privacy, fashion, advertising, music, and social media, curated by our IP team. Here are some of the stories...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2016

Supreme Court to Weigh In on Damages for Design Patent Infringement - Recent decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit regarding damages available in design patent cases highlight the court’s...more

USPTO Throws in the Towel in Dispute With Federal Judge

In an earlier post, we discussed at length the curious case of The Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama and Paul W. Bryant, Jr. v. Houndstooth Mafia Enterprises LLC et al. Surprisingly, this dispute came to an...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

Federal Circuit Holds District Court Abstractness Analysis Too Abstract for Alice under 35 USC § 101

Clients in the software space now have stronger arguments for subject matter eligibility, following the Federal Circuit decision in Enfish LLC v. Microsoft Corp. (May 12, 2016). The decision also touches on novelty,...more

Generic Churrascos at the Federal Circuit

The Federal Circuit recently provided additional guidance concerning whether an applied-for mark is generic in In re Cordua Restaurants, Inc., (May 13, 2016). This case stemmed from the United States Patent and Trademark...more

It’s a Jungle Out There: A Reexamination Certificate Containing Amended Claims May Be Insufficient to Vacate a Prior Judgment of...

In a case with a unique procedural history the Federal Circuit addressed whether claims amended during an ex parte reexamination proceeding required vacating a prior judgment of invalidity (on patent eligibility grounds) on...more

U.S. Patent Office Updates Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance, Including Life Science Examples

In view of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions in Alice, Myriad, and Mayo, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a series of guidance documents on patent subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. §...more

The Government Whittles Away at Life Sciences Patents

The current U.S. Supreme Court has been noted for its hostility to patent holders in general, but the Supreme Court has been especially hostile to any sort of life sciences or software invention. The Court has attempted to...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

Federal Circuit Broadens Eligibility Requirements for Software Inventions

Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Clarifies Which Patents are Not Direct to "Abstract Ideas" - Last week, in Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., 2016 WL 2756255 (Fed.Cir. 2016), a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the federal...more

Madonna Not Scandalous for Wine Anymore

The headline might be considered old news to some, but since intellectual property attorneys from around the world will be descending upon Minneapolis for the remainder of the week, and since I’ll be speaking tomorrow at the...more

Software Patents Aren’t Inherently Abstract—Patent Appeals Court Clarifies and Enhances Software Patent Eligibility

In Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a California district court’s summary judgment that two software patents were directed to an “abstract idea” without...more

USPTO Drops 11th Circuit Appeal of ND Alabama Order In Houndstooth Case

We previously blogged on Judge Proctor’s (ND Ala.) order directing the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “Board”) to comply with the Court’s prior order, approving a settlement agreement between the University of...more

Update on Patent Eligibility Decisions for First Quarter, 2016

Here are the updated numbers for #Alicestorm in the first quarter of 2016. First, the overall trend of decisions...more

PTAB Practice Update: Amended Rules of Practice for Trials before the PTAB Now in Effect

Effective May 2, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has amended the existing consolidated set of rules of practice for trial proceedings before Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), including inter...more

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