Other Barks & Bites for Friday, June 2: Unitary Patent System Launches; WIPO Hosts IP and Sustainability Conference; and the USPTO Extends its Climate Change Program

Bites (noun): more meaty news to sink your teeth into.

Barks (noun): peripheral noise worth your attention.

BitesThis week in Other Barks & Bites: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) extends its Climate Change Mitigation program until 2027; the Unitary Patent System and accompanying Unitary Patent Court launches in Europe; the Supreme Court again denies an opportunity to review 35 U.S.C. § 101.


USPTO Extends and Expands Climate Change Program

On Thursday, June 1, the USPTO published a notice in the Federal Register that announced its Climate Change Mitigation Pilot Program would be extended until either June 7, 2027, or the date when the Office accepts 4,000 grantable petitions. The pilot program was set to expire on June 5, 2023, and was launched last year. The USPTO is also expanding the eligibility requirements for the program to extend more innovations. “Continuing this program is an important part of our efforts to incentivize and widen access to the intellectual property system for those inventors on the cutting edge of technologies that effectively address climate change,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO.

Unitary Patent System Launches in Europe

On Thursday, June 1, the European Patent Office (EPO) celebrated the launch of the Unitary Patent system, which allows applicants to apply for a single patent across the 17 countries that have joined the system. The new patent system is also accompanied by the Unified Patent Court (UPC) which promises to streamline patent litigation that can now be heard at a European level. “The entry into force of the Unitary Patent system today marks a historic moment by creating a more accessible, more cost-effective and simpler patent system,” said EPO President António Campinos. The EPO predicted that the system will result in a 2% increase in annual trade flows and a 15% growth in foreign direct investment in high-tech sectors. Check out further predictions for the Unitary Patent system here.

Home Depot Patent Infringement Appeal Dismissed

On Monday, May 31, Home Depot and Lynk Labs agreed to dismiss a patent infringement case before the CAFC. The dispute started with Lynk Labs suing Home Depot in 2021 for patent infringement of its LED products. However, Home Depot won an IPR proceeding before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in January 2023 that invalidated 5 claims in Lynk Labs’s patent.

SCOTUS Passes on Avery Dennison Case Asking for 101 Clarification

On Tuesday, May 30, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Avery Dennison’s petition to review a decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) that awarded ADASA $62.4 million in damages due to patent infringement. Avery Dennison asked the Supreme Court for clarification on whether ADASA’s radio frequency identification patents were patent eligible. The company has made the case that the patents cover an abstract idea regarding the subdivision of a serial number. However, the Supreme Court has passed on taking up similar legislation recently that would clarify aspects of 35 U.S.C. § 101.


USCO Extends Pandemic Rule Allowing for Remote Tests

On Thursday, June 1, the United States Copyright Office (USCO) issued an interim rule that continues a previous interim rule that allowed for remote secure tests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That rule expired when the federal pandemic national emergency was lifted, but the USCO has decided to extend the rule to allow the Office to determine how it should implement a permanent rule related to remote testing. The Copyright Office is currently seeking public comment on remote testing.

USPTO to Hold Public Hearing on Proposed Changes to Trademark Fees

On Thursday, June 1, the USPTO announced a Trademark Public Advisory Committee (TPAC) public fee setting hearing is set to be held on June 5 from 1–3PM. Those in attendance will be able to discuss the proposed changes to trademark fees. Members of the public can submit written comments or present oral testimony.

Abbott Laboratories Sues Former Employee for Trade Secrets Theft

On Tuesday, May 30, healthcare company Abbott Laboratories sued a former employee and accused the scientist of secretly downloading proprietary information and selling it to competitors. The company said that their former employee stole highly sensitive information about nutrition products. With the lawsuit, Abbott is seeking monetary compensation for the damage caused by the trade secret theft.

USPTO Seeks Feedback on Beta Test of New Website Search Tool

On Tuesday, May 30, the USPTO announced that it is seeking feedback on an updated and modern tool to search for general information on the website. The Office is currently testing the new tool that includes new features, functionality, and customization. Stakeholders can now test the beta version of the tool and submit feedback using this form.

WIPO Hosts IP Sustainability Conference

On Monday, May 29, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) kicked off a two-day conference that focused on IP as an important tool to address climate change and achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Representatives from over 85 countries attended the conference in Portugal. “A paradigm shift is required regarding industrial property as a key component for sustainability,” said Catarina Sarmento e Castro, Minister of Justice of Portugal.

This Week on Wall Street

CFPB Warns Money Held in Apps Like PayPal, Venmo Might Not Be Covered by FDIC

On Thursday, June 1, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a consumer advisory warning that popular payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App might not be held in an account covered by FDIC. The CFPB emphasized the different business models employed by payment apps including holding that money in bonds or investments rather than a bank. “If the nonbank payment app’s business fails, your money is likely lost or tied up in a long bankruptcy process,” wrote the CFPB. The warning comes after several high-profile bank failures including Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republic Bank.

Jamie Dimon Hints at Political Future

On Wednesday, May 31, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told Bloomberg he would might one day “serve my country in one capacity or another.” Dimon is one of the most powerful people on Wall Street, but he has long denied rumors that he would one day pursue political office. The interview came on the heels of further document dumps that implicate Dimon in JPMorgan’s close relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

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One comment so far.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    June 2, 2023 07:05 pm

    “USPTO Extends and Expands Climate Change Program”

    Really? Why bother? When the CAFC gets their anti-patent, anti-SCOTUS, anti-eligibility hands on any such patents, they won’t be long for this world.

    Why, you ask? Pick one: “Naturally occurring.” “Abstract.” Or even both.

    Along the way ignoring one or more of the eligibility-confirming “something more” claim elements / limitations — the claims as a whole.

    See no limitations. Hear no limitations. Speak no limitations.

    While Congress talks and holds hearings, American innovation burns.

    Communist China rejoicing over how easy it is to steal American innovation for themselves.

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