I am in beautiful San Diego, California today, enjoying the beach and near perfect weather today (yesterday was absolutely perfect, but I spent the day working). Last night I spoke at the San Diego Intellectual Property Lawyers Association monthly meeting and had a great time. The topic was “The Perils and Profits of Patent Blogging: How to stay out of trouble while still being read and still generating clients and connections.” Look for more on that next week when I get back to the office and into full swing. In the meantime, in the latest edition of News, Notes & Announcements, IBM enters the blogosphere with an IP blog, Myriad Genetics files its appeal brief and Patent Docs have some excellent early analysis, UCLA Professor Doug Lichtman interviews Chief Judge Randall Rader and the USPTO will host the 15th Annual Independent Inventors Conference at the end of next week. Two more days out of the Office for me attending, speaking at and reporting live from the USPTO Conference. A busy week no doubt.
- IBM has entered the blogosphere with its newly created Intellectual Property @ IBM blog. The latest post on the IBM blog discusses the new Peer to Peer patent project and summarizes things beautifully: “Peer to Patent gives patent quality advocates a means to move from “everyone talks about it” to “everyone acts on it,” and if we do this right we will most certainly clear some clouds of doubt from the patent system.” See Peering into the Future of Peer to Patent. Upon learning of the new IBM blog I contacted Manny Schecter, who is IBM’s Chief Patent Counsel, and asked him why IBM was choosing to get into blogging. Schecter said: “As an extension of our social media strategy, the IP blog will provide another forum to offer IBM’s perspective on key issues and news in the IP arena, such as the recent Peer to Patent launch by the USPTO and New York Law School. The blog also will help inventors, IP professionals, clients and partners learn about the IP best practices, tools and expertise that help IBM extract value from its patent portfolio and IP assets.” It will be indeed interesting to watch the IBM blog grow, and perhaps have IBM weigh in on important issues in real time.
- Myriad Genetics has filed its much anticipated appeal brief, challenging the ruling of Judge Sweet of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Sweet essentially ruled that gene patents, pretty much all of them, are not patentable subject matter because genes exist in nature. Never mind that the genes that exist in nature are not isolated, as is explicitly required in the Myriad patent claims. Sweet, in one of the most painful decisions you will ever read, re-wrote at least 100 years of patent law, ignored Federal Circuit precedent and ignored Supreme Court precedent as well. AS if that wasn’t enough, he also ignored the science and the facts, but other than that he did a heck of a job! Everyone knows Sweet’s decision will be reversed on appeal by the Federal Circuit, so this is just the first Act of what really will become a three ring circus lead by the ACLU as it attempts to vilify innovation. Patent Doc Kevin Noonan had a good article yesterday reporting the filing of Myriad brief. See Myriad Files Appeal Brief in AMP v. USPTO. For more on my take of Judge Sweet’s decision see Hakuna Matada, the ACLU Gene Patent Victory Will Be Short Lived.
- UCLA Law Professor Doug Lichtman is the founder of IP Colloquium, which Lichtman calls “an NPR-style talk show, but focused on intellectual property topics.” In the latest edition of IP Colloquium Professor Lichtman interviews Chief Judge Randall Rader of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In the interview Rader chats with Lichtman about the importance of having Federal Circuit Judges sit as trial judges on the district court, and the possibility that independent creation should be some evidence of obviousness. At a later date I will weigh in on my thoughts on independent creation being evidence of obviousness, but suffice it to say I think that is an extraordinarily bad idea. Nevertheless, anytime we have the opportunity to listen to members of the Federal Circuit speak we should.
- On Thursday, November 4, 2010 and Friday, November 5, 2010, the United States Patent and Trademark Office will play host to the 15th Annual Independent Inventors Conference, which will be held on the campus of the USPTO and is co-sponsored by the Inventors Hall of Fame. I will be teaching claim drafting workshops in breakout sessions through the two days, along with Mindy Bickel (USPTO) and John Calvert (USPTO). USPTO Director David Kappos will be giving the lunch address on Friday, and many other great speakers and breakout sessions are planned, including a networking reception Thursday evening from 5:45pm to 7:00pm. For those who are new to inventing and/or patents, there is a pre-conference workshop scheduled for Wednesday evening from 5pm to 7pm. For more information and to register visit the USPTO Inventors Conference web page.