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

Applicant Cannot Bypass the PTAB to get to Federal Circuit

In In re Arunachalam, [2016-1560] (May 27, 2016), the Federal Circuit dismissed Arunachalam direct appeal to the Federal Circuit from the final rejection of his claims in prosecution following a new ground of rejection...more

Guest Post -- Keeping an Eye on Patent Trolls

The Question Worth Pondering: Innovation Provokers or Idea Thieves? - In the past five years Cisco and J.C. Penney have spent close to $350 million fending off demands from patent trolls, which are more politely known...more

Nominative Fair Use: The Second Circuit Joins Neither The Third Nor Ninth Circuits In Its Approach

In an important decision delineating the boundaries of fair use of another person’s trademark, the Second Circuit announced a standard by which nominative fair use of a trademark will be evaluated in that Circuit in...more

USPTO Issues Memorandum Regarding Enfish and TLI

On the heels of the Federal Circuit handing down two subject matter eligibility decisions regarding software, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has published a memo to its examining corps regarding these cases. On May 12,...more

The Recent PTO Guidance on Subject Matter Eligibility: Lessons

A few years ago, former PTO Solicitor General Nancy Linck arose from the audience at the BIO International Conference to provide her thoughts on how the Office had responded to the Supreme Court's decisions in Mayo v....more

The Hashtag / Trademark Paradox: #Trending, but #Proprietary?

As the hustle and bustle of the INTA 2016 Annual Meeting drew to a close yesterday, I reflected on the session “#HASHTAGS #EverythingYouNeedToKnow” from Tuesday. It seems trademark protection may not (yet) fit comfortably...more

AT&T Mobility LLC v. Intellectual Ventures II LLC (PTAB 2016)

Directory Assistance Call Completion Is Not A Financial Service for CBM Purposes - On May 4, 2016, the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a decision denying institution of a Covered Business Method (CBM)...more

Nominative Fair Use: The Second Circuit Joins Neither The Third Nor Ninth Circuits In Its Approach

In an important decision delineating the boundaries of fair use of another person’s trademark, the Second Circuit announced a standard by which nominative fair use of a trademark will be evaluated in that Circuit in...more

Abstract Ideas and the USPTO: Examiner Guidance Post Enfish and TLI

On May 19, 2016, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a memorandum containing a summary of two recent Federal Circuit decisions along with a directive for how patent examiners should apply the holdings of the...more

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

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