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This week in Other Barks & Bites: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) notifies 61,000 trademark applicants of a data breach; USPTO Director Kathi Vidal admonishes VLSI; and the European Patent Office (EPO) announces a 2.5% increase in patent applications.
NCLA Asks District Court to Reinstate Judge Pauline Newman
On Wednesday, June 28, the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) released a press statement asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to order the CAFC to restore Judge Pauline Newman to her official court duties. A day prior, the NCLA filed an amended complaint and a motion for preliminary injunction on behalf of Judge Newman. The NCLA wrote, “Judge Newman’s decades of esteemed work have revolutionized patent law.” Newman’s physical and mental health has been called into question, however, other analysts contend Newman continues to be productive based on a statistical analysis of her written opinion output.
USPTO Inadvertently Revealed the Private Addresses of 61,000 Trademark Applicants
On Wednesday, June 28, the USPTO notified 61,000 trademark applicants that their private addresses were accidentally exposed in a data leak from February 2020 to March 2023, according to Tech Crunch. The Office informed the applicants via email that their address was exposed through an API and also appeared in bulk datasets published on their website. The leak affected around 3% of total trademark filers in the three-year window.
EPO Releases 2022 Annual Review, Sees Increase in Patent Applications
On Wednesday, June 28, the European Patent Office (EPO) published an annual review of 2022. The report presents information on areas of focus for the EPO including environmental sustainability, international cooperation, and IT data protection. The EPO also saw a 2.5% uptick in patent applications throughout 2022. EPO President António Campinos said, “These are crucial achievements as we begin a new era in European patent protection with the Unitary Patent, supporting a true single market for technology and a more sustainable global patent system.”
Vidal Admonishes VLSI for Distorting PTAB Opinions
On Tuesday, June 27, USPTO Director Kathi Vidal took VLSI Technology to task for distorting the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) arguments in VLSI’s $2.2 billion patent dispute with Intel. Vidal issued an order that granted Intel’s Motion to Seal and admonished VLSI. Vidal wrote, “I anticipate that this admonishment will suffice to deter repetition of similar misconduct in this proceeding and in future practice by counsel before the PTAB.” VLSI initially was awarded nearly $2.2 billion by a Texas district court, however, the PTAB later ruled that VLSI’s patents were invalid.
EUIPO Awards Swedish Designer with Lifetime Achievement Award for Her Inclusive Designs
On Monday, June 26, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) announced Swedish designer Maria Benktzon as the Lifetime Achievement Award winner in the DesignEuropa Awards 2023. Benkzton is known for her innovative designs of everyday objects that prioritize the needs of people with disabilities. The EUIPO will hold a ceremony on September 5 to recognize and honor the winners of various awards in the industrial design field.
USPTO Publishes Update to Trademark Assignment Dataset
On Thursday, June 29, the USPTO released an update to its Trademark Assignment Dataset which is available to the public for free. The dataset records trademark applications and registrations, providing a complete history of trademarks in the United States. The dataset now includes information on 1.29 million assignments between March 1952 and January 2023 involving 2.28 million unique trademark properties.
CAFC Gives Oilfield Tool Company a Limited Second Bite at Proving Patent Infringement
On Wednesday, June 28, the CAFC issued a non-precedential ruling that gave oilfield tool company Tubular Rollers a second chance in its patent infringement case against drilling rig provider Maximus Oilfield Product. The lower court ruled that Maximus did not infringe on Tubular Rollers’ patents, and the CAFC affirmed in part, but also vacated part of the district court’s ruling. The appeals court agreed that claims related to all three of the patents in question did not infringe on Tubular Rollers’ patents. However, the appeals court judges vacated several infringement claims related to one patent because the district court did not conduct sufficient infringement analyses on those claims. Judge Reyna filed a dissent.
Council for Innovation Promotion Announces Grant Program for IP Research
On Wednesday, June 28, the Council for Innovation Promotion launched a grant program for intellectual property research. The goal of the program is to provide lawmakers with data-driven recommendations on IP policy. “C4IP’s grant program will generate much-needed research to facilitate those discussions and usher in a new era of American IP policy,” said Jamie Simpson, C4IP Chief Policy Officer.
House IP Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Music Modernization Act
On Tuesday, June 27, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held a hearing on the impact of the Music Modernization Act five years after its implementation. Committee members heard testimony from musical artists, publishers, and labels. Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) said “we cannot—and should not want to—stop innovation, so the question before us is how Congress can work together with industries to protect intellectual property rights even as technologies advance.”
This Week on Wall Street
Nvidia Warns U.S. Ban on AI Chip Exports Will Result in Lost Opportunities for U.S. Industry
On Wednesday, June 28, chip manufacturer Nvidia warned against the U.S. government banning AI chip exports to China. Nvidia CFO Colette Kress presented forward-looking statements for the company and industry at a Piper Sandler webinar called “Networks for AI.” Kress said, “over the long term, restrictions prohibiting the sale of our [AI chips] to China will result in a permanent loss of opportunities for the U.S. industry to compete and lead in one of the world’s largest markets.”
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