Other Barks and Bites for Friday, March 22: French Watchdog Hits Google with €250 Million for IP Breaches; C4IP Releases First Congressional Innovation Scorecard; EPO Sees Record Number of Patent Applications

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

Bark (noun): peripheral noise worth your attention.

Please welcome the latest addition to the IPWatchdog family, Loki Quinn, arriving Saturday, March 23!!!!

This week in Other Barks and Bites: the European Patent Office announces record patent application numbers for 2023; a French competition watchdog fines Google €250 million for several IP breaches related to AI; President Biden announces a deal granting $8.5 billion to Intel to expand its domestic production of advanced chips; and more.


Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB Obviousness Ruling Invalidating Prosthetic Valve Claims

On Thursday, March 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) finding that Cardiovalve Ltd.’s patent claims for a type of prosthetic valve support were unpatentable as obvious. The PTAB in part invoked a passage from KSR v. Teleflex in which the U.S. Supreme Court said that a solution arrived at in response to market pressure to solve a problem where “there are a finite number of identified, predictable solutions…. is likely the product not of innovation but of ordinary skill and common sense” and therefore obvious to try. The CAFC said “the Board’s findings made under this paragraph have substantial-evidence support and…its determination of obviousness is not legally erroneous.”

CAFC Affirms Patentability Finding for Teleflex

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Thursday, March 21, affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) holding that Medtronic, Inc. failed to prove claims of Teleflex Life Sciences Limited’s patent unpatentable over the prior art. The court ultimately affirmed the Board’s claim construction, found it correctly determined that a skilled artisan would not have combined the asserted prior art and that Medtronic had failed to show error in the Board’s analysis.

C4IP Releases First Congressional Innovation Scorecard

On Thursday, March 21, the Council for Innovation Promotion (C4IP) released its inaugural Congressional Innovation Scorecard that grades every member of congress on the most crucial issues related to U.S. innovation. The highest rated Senators were Chris Coons (D-DE), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) all receiving an A or A+, however in the House no one received higher than a B+. A handful of members of Congress received an F, the lowest grade possible. “Any member of Congress who is pro-innovation must support robust intellectual property rights,” said David Kappos, former Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Co-Chair of C4IP.

France Competition Watchdog Fines Google €250 Million for IP Breaches

On Wednesday, March 20, the French Competition Authority fined Google €250 million for failing to comply with commitments it had made in an ongoing copyright dispute with news publishers. This is the fourth time the French authority has issued a ruling against Google in this case since a 2019 EU copyright law gave news organizations the ability to make deals with online platforms. The French authorities issued the latest large fine over concerns surrounding Google’s Gemini AI which allegedly uses news publisher’s content for training purposes without properly informing the companies. Google said the fine was disproportionate, but the tech giant planned to pay the fine.

CAFC Vacates District Court Ruling Denying Permanent Injunction for Willful Patent Infringement

On Wednesday, March 20, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) partially affirmed a district court decision to set aside a jury’s royalty award for California Expanded Metal Products Co. (CEMCO) but vacated its denial of a permanent injunction and remanded the case for further proceedings. While the CAFC agreed that CEMCO had failed to provide adequate testimony tying its evidence to any particular royalty rate, it said the district court “based its denial of injunctive relief solely on its erroneous conclusion that CEMCO stood

only to lose licensing fees and thus failed to demonstrate an irreparable injury,” and therefore “the court did not make additional findings necessary for the injunctive-relief inquiry.”

EPO Announces Latest Strategic Plan

On Wednesday, March 20, the European Patent Office (EPO) published its strategic plan for 2028 (SP2028) with an emphasis on sustainability. EPO President Campinos said, “the last few years have shown us that SP2023 was the right plan at the right time. Now we are building further on those strong foundations and looking to the future with SP2028 as an evolved strategy, a continuation that retains similar strategic priorities while placing an even greater focus on sustainability.” SP2028 is fully focused on sustainability and highlights five drivers of the movement toward sustainability: people, technologies, quality products and services, partnerships, and financial sustainability.

Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB’s Reasonable Expectation of Success Analysis Invalidating Sisvel Patent Claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Tuesday, March 19, affirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) finding that certain claims of Sisvel’s network communications patent were unpatentable as obvious. The court rejected Sisvel’s argument that “a skilled artisan in this field would have demanded mathematical certainty that the solution would work for all size networks,” explaining that “[t]he law only requires that a person of ordinary skill in the art have a reasonable expectation of success, not an absolute one.”

EPO Sees Record Number of Patent Applications in 2023

On Tuesday, March 19, the EPO published its 2023 Patent Index that showed a record number of patent applications with a 2.9% growth from the previous year. The fastest growing fields for patent applications included electrical machinery at 12.2% growth and biotechnology at 5.9%. Companies from the United States submitted the most patent applications with more than double the next country of origin. Companies from China and South Korea saw the biggest year-on-year increase, 8.8% for China and 21% for South Korea. “Our latest Patent Index shows that innovation remained vibrant around the world in 2023,” said EPO President António Campinos.

VLSI Mandamus Bid Rejected by CAFC

On Monday, March 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected a petition for a writ of mandamus filed by VLSI Technology LLC asking the court to reverse an order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California allowing Intel Corporation to amend its answer in a patent infringement case raising an affirmative defense that Intel was licensed to practice the asserted patents according to a prior agreement with a third party. “VLSI has also not shown the district court abused its discretion in finding good cause for Intel to amend its answer to add a counterclaim,” wrote the CAFC.


USPTO Announces New Community Outreach Campaign

On Wednesday, March 20, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a new community outreach program called IP Champions to connect USPTO employees with high schools and community centers. The goal of the new program is to educate local communities about the importance of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets to innovation. “It’s our job as leaders to ensure this incredible potential is realized so that American ideas and entrepreneurialism continue to solve problems and fuel our communities and economy,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Kathi Vidal.

Biden Administration Announces $8.5 Billion in CHIPs Funding for Intel

On Wednesday, March 20, President Biden announced that the Department of Commerce has reached a preliminary agreement with Intel to provide the chip and semiconductor maker $8.5 billion in direct funding and $11 billion in loans under the CHIPS and Science Act. Intel has said that the funding will go to opening facilities in Arizona, Ohio, New Mexico, and Oregon. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the goal of the plan is to increase the U.S. production of advanced chips to 20% of the global chip market, which currently sits at zero. Click here for full IPWatchdog coverage.

USPTO Publishes Training Materials for Patent Examiner Training 

On Tuesday, March 19, the USPTO presented USPTO training materials on searching for prior art in FDA and National Institutes of Health (NIH) databases at the Biotechnology, Chemical, and Pharmaceutical Partnership Meeting. The training materials are part of the USPTO’s collaboration with the FDA and NIH to provide patent examiners with training and key information.

WIPO Inventor Assistance Program Has Supported 50 Inventors on Path to Patent Grant

On Monday, March 18, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) celebrated the 50 patents that have been granted with support from its Inventor Assistance Program. The program was designed to match innovators with limited resources with volunteer patent specialists. “Every innovator deserves a chance to have their idea on the market. Thus, the first step is getting IP protection, and that is the driving force behind the IAP,” said Marco M. Alemán, WIPO Assistant Director General. The 50th patent granted with help from the program was granted to Jairo Martínez Escobar, a Colombian inventor who patented a system for capturing the human body’s energy as it moves.

This Week on Wall Street

Fed Keeps Inflation Rate Steady, But Still Expects Three Cuts This Year

On Wednesday, March 20, the Federal Reserve held interest rates at 5-1/4 to 5-1/2 percent as the Fed is still waiting for full confidence that the U.S. economy will reach a 2% inflation rate. Despite holding the interest rates steady due to elevated inflation, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the Board is still confident that its economic forecasts will hold up, allowing three interest rate cuts in this calendar year.

NVIDIA Announces New AI Chip

On Monday, March 18, NVIDIA unveiled Blackwell, a new line of AI chips that allows generative AI to be run at 25 times less cost and energy, according to the company’s press release. NVIDIA has been making a huge push into the AI space to capitalize on the wave of recent demand. “Generative AI is the defining technology of our time. Blackwell is the engine to power this new industrial revolution. Working with the most dynamic companies in the world, we will realize the promise of AI for every industry,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA.



Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com.

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  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    March 22, 2024 04:27 pm

    “C4IP Releases First Congressional Innovation Scorecard”

    Whew! That was close! Senator Leahy got out of town just in time to avoid receiving . . . whatever grade is worse than an “F.”

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