Other Barks and Bites, Friday, February 9: German Court Issues Injunction Against Certain Intel Chips; Report Finds Generative AI Patent Applications Growing Fast; DraftKings Sues Former Executive for Stealing Trade Secrets Right Before the Super Bowl

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

Barks (noun): peripheral noise worth your attention.



This week in Other Barks and Bites: the CAFC revives a food slicer patent dispute and partially vacates the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on written description in two precedential rulings; DraftKings accuses a former executive of stealing trade secrets and heading to a rival gambling company ahead of the Super Bowl; and a German patent court issues and injunction that could limit some HP and Dell products from being sold in the country.


Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB’s Obviousness Ruling But Vacates Written Description Analysis

On Friday, February 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential decision agreeing with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s holding that RAI Strategic Holdings, Inc.’s U.S. Patent No. 10,492,542 was unpatentable as obvious but vacating its finding that certain claims lacked written description support. The court said “we see no evidence suggesting that the broad described ranges [in the specification]….disclose a different invention than the claimed range of “about 75% to about 85%” and that “there is no evidence that the claimed subrange results in a different invention than the invention disclosed in the specification.”

CAFC Reverses PTAB Decisions, Revives Food Slicer Patent Lawsuit

On Thursday, February 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) overturned two Patent and Trademark Appeal Board (PTAB) decisions in a precedential ruling, allowing Weber to once again challenge two food slicer patents from Provisur Technologies. The CAFC reversed the PTAB’s ruling that threw out Weber’s complaint that two Provisur patents are unpatentable and said that the Board misapplied its Cordis precedent and inappropriately considered a Weber food slicer manual as inaccessible to the public.

German Patent Court Issues Injunction Against Products with Certain Intel Chips

On Wednesday, February 7, a German patent court issued an injunction barring Intel from selling some of its chips in the country, according to The Financial Times. The German patent court ruled in favor of R2 Semiconductor, a Palo Alto-based company, who accused Intel of infringing one of its voltage-regulating patents. The ruling could prevent HP and Dell from selling products containing the Intel chips.

EUIPO Report Finds Trademark Filings Have Consistently Grown Over Last 20 Years, But Saw Sharp Dip in 2022

On Wednesday, February 7, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) released a report that studied EU trademark filings from 2001-2022. In the time period, the study found consistent year-on-year growth in applications, including a 6.1% increase in 2020 during the height of the coronavirus-fuelled economic downturn. However, the EU saw a sharp decline in trademark applications in 2022 with a 12.1% decline. Despite the 2022 dip, the report remained generally positive about trademark application trends in the EU.

IFI Claims Report Finds Generative AI Patent Applications Grew at 31% Rate in 2023

On Tuesday, February 6, IFI Claims released a 2023 report on generative AI patents which found IBM, Google and Microsoft lead the way in patenting the burgeoning technology. Generative AI, which includes well-known products like ChatGPT, accounted for 22% of the patent applications in the AI category. Patent applications for generative AI grew a whopping 31% in the last year, an indicator IFI classifies as “the best indicator for what hot technologies companies are currently chasing.” The top 10 generative AI patent filers is a who’s who of big technology firms including Samsung, Intel, and Adobe.

DraftKings Accuses Former Executive of Stealing Trade Secrets to Poach Customers Ahead of the Super Bowl

On Monday, February 5, DraftKings sued a former executive for stealing trade secrets and taking them to rival gambling company Fanatics. The executive Michael Hermalyn left the company only last week, and his former employer has accused their former employee of using the trade secrets to steal its customers right before the Super Bowl. The gambling company accused Hermalyn of starting the plan with Fanatics after last year’s Super Bowl in order to “steal and use confidential information, solicit customers and employees and join a key competitor.”


Copyright Requests Public Testimony in Section 1201 Rulemaking Hearings

On Wednesday, February 7, the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) announced it will hold public hearings in the triennial rulemaking proceeding under section 1201 of Title 17, and it is seeking testimony. Section 1201 legally protects copyright owners from the unauthorized access to or use of their works. The hearings will be held April 15-19, 2024, via Zoom, and members of the public who wish to testify must submit a request form available on the Office’s website by the deadline of March 1.

Sixth Circuit Court Affirms Ruling that Medical Device Company Does Not Need to Pay More Patent Licensing Fees to Inventor

On Tuesday, February 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court ruling that went against an independent inventor of medical valves who sued Becton, Dickinson and Co. for patent royalty payments that allegedly Becton did not pay. Becton licensed several patents owned by the inventor, Dr. Lawrence Lynn in 1998, and Lynn accused Becton of stopping payments in 2019. The circuit court agreed with the district court’s assessment that Becton’s obligation to pay licensing fees ended in 2019.

USPTO Rejects ChatGPT’s “GPT” Trademark Application

On Tuesday, February 6, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) rejected ChatGPT’s trademark application for “GPT”. The mark was rejected because “GPT” only “describes a feature, function, or characteristic of applicant’s goods and services.” GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, and the USPTO ruled this term too generic for a trademark. 

This Week on Wall Street

OpenAI CEO Seeking Trillions in Investment to Fund Chip Manufacturing for AI

On Thursday, February 8, The Wall Street Journal reported that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is attempting to raise $7 trillion in investments to reshape chip manufacturing and support AI development. The plan centers around increasing chip production to support AI technologies such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Altman has so far met with  US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, top executives from SoftBank and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, and senior officials from the United Arab Emirates.

Congressional Budget Office Projects Government Deficit to Soar in Next Decade

On Wednesday, February 7, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an economic outlook report for the next decade which projected that the U.S. government’s annual deficit spending will increase from $1.6 trillion this year to $2.6 trillion in 2034. The rapid increase is in part due to high interest rates, but the report projects the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates in the coming years to give the economy a boost. In addition to the growing deficit, the CBO also projected that federal debt held by the public will reach 116% of the country’s GDP in 2034.

Quarterly Earnings – The following firms identified among the IPO’s Top 300 Patent Recipients for 2022 are announcing quarterly earnings next week (2022 rank in parentheses):

  • Monday: None
  • Tuesday: Ecolab (298)
  • Wednesday: Sony (11), Cisco Systems (46)
  • Thursday: Applied Materials (52), Deere & Company (96), Stellantis (205)
  • Friday: None

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Author: damedeeso
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  • [Avatar for Renee C. Quinn]
    Renee C. Quinn
    February 9, 2024 02:24 pm

    Thanks for the Birthday Shout-Out! I feel so special!

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