Google PTAB Wins Stand as CAFC Denies Patent Owner’s Bid for Director Rehearing

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today upheld in a precedential decision the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) denial of Director rehearing for two inter partes review (IPR) decisions in which the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) found CyWee Group Ltd.’s U.S. Patent Nos. 8,441,438 and 8,552,978 unpatentable. The IPRs were brought by Google in 2018 challenging certain claims of the two patents, which cover 3D pointing devices. The PTAB instituted the two IPRs within three months of CyWee’s preliminary responses to the petitions, and following institution, the IPRs were joined by other parties, including Samsung, LG and Huawei. Because of the joinders, the PTAB extended the deadline for its response by one month beyond the statutory deadline of one year from institution, to January 10, 2020. The Board issued final written decisions (FWDs) in both IPRs on January 9, 2020, finding all claims unpatentable for obviousness.

Could In re Cellect Be the End of Patent Term Adjustments? The Federal Circuit Will Soon Tell Us

Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) was designed to serve an important purpose – to compensate patentees for time lost during examination due to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) delays. Most industries rely heavily on their patent portfolios to drive business strategies that ultimately impact their bottom line. The impact of patent term is especially acute in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, where companies spend billions of dollars to develop new drugs. For these companies, every day that their patent is in force matters, generating millions in additional revenue. With so much at stake, companies strive to accrue all the patent term they are entitled to under the current statutory regime, including by way of PTA.

As Supreme Court Case on Extraterritorial Trademark Disputes Heats Up, ABA Asks Justices to Consider Three-Part Test

The American Bar Association (ABA) filed an amicus brief on February 3 with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the Court to clarify issues related to the application of the Lanham Act to trademark disputes that cross international borders. The ABA filed the brief in the Abitron Austria GmbH v. Hetronic International, Inc. trademark case, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed a $90 million damages award for trademark infringement based on infringement that occurred almost entirely outside of the United States.

Vidal’s Open Invitation to Extortionists is Not Helping the PTAB’s Perception Problem

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has a well-earned and perfectly appropriate problem with perception, and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Kathi Vidal seems to be doing her level best to make that problem of perception even worse. It isn’t bad enough that petitioners do not owe the PTAB or the Office itself a duty of candor, but now they can stay in a case as a petitioner even if they are found to have engaged in extortion. There has long been a systemic bias against patent owners, who have for many years suffered through lengthy examinations of their innovations. But ever since former PTAB Chief Judge James Smith embraced the moniker of “patent death squad” as a badge of honor, the PTAB has suffered from a perception problem, and really now lacks all credibility.

ParkerVision Settles with Intel in Judge Albright’s Court

In February 2020, ParkerVision filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Intel in Judge Alan Albright’s Waco, Texas, courthouse in the Western District of Texas.  Only three years later, and through the pandemic, today, the case settled all pending matters. ParkerVision still has remaining patent infringement cases in process against TCL, LG, MediaTek and RealTek in Judge Albright’s court.  A settled case is the best way to close a patent infringement dispute. It not only reduces costs for the parties, but it also reduces the court’s burden of a trial. When the parties agree to settle, everyone goes home happy.

In Latest OpenSky Order, Vidal Awards VLSI Attorney Fees, Restores OpenSky as Party to IPR

On Friday, February 3, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Kathi Vidal issued an order in the ongoing Director Review of OpenSky v. VLSI, restoring OpenSky as a party to the inter partes review (IPR) and awarding reasonable attorney fees to VLSI as sanctions against OpenSky. Vidal had dismissed OpenSky from the proceedings in December after first merely relegating OpenSky to be a “silent understudy” to the proceedings. In Friday’s order, following briefing from OpenSky and VLSI on her order to show cause as to why OpenSky shouldn’t have to pay compensatory damages to VLSI, Vidal held that VLSI was entitled to attorney fees for the time it spent addressing OpenSky’s abusive behavior, “including the Director Review process in its entirety.”

Venable is Seeking a Patent Agent with Engineering/Aerospace Background

Venable LLP’s Patent Prosecution and Counseling group seeks a patent agent with a background in mechanical or aerospace engineering to join the group in the Washington, D.C., New York, NY, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, or San Francisco, CA office. This is a full-time, permanent position. The ideal candidate holds undergraduate and/or graduate degrees in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, electrical engineering or computer science. Strong preference for previous experience as a patent examiner and for PTO registration. Industry experience is a plus. The qualified candidate has one to three years of patent prosecution experience at USPTO or in a law firm setting. Candidates must have excellent academic credentials, strong writing skills, and sharp analytical ability.

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