Posts in IPWatchdog Articles

Apple v. Zipit Designated Precedential Following Busy December for USPTO

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) stayed active over the holiday period with several big announcements, and today Director Kathi Vidal continued that trend by designating as precedential the December 21 decision in Apple v. Zipit Wireless. Also in December, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its full report on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), recommending, among other suggestions, that the Office make public any policies and directives to judges that could impact substantive decision-making.

RALIA Is Economic Suicide: A Reply to the Critics

Paul Morinville, Founder of US Inventor, recently published a response to my column criticizing RALIA, a bill in Congress that would abolish the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). I offer a few observations in reply. I argued in “The Made in China Act,” November 16, 2022, that juries are not an effective or reliable check on patent validity and that eliminating contested validity reviews at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) would be a disaster for U.S. manufacturing. As if determined to prove my point, the VLSI patent-assertion group recently obtained yet another monster infringement verdict against Intel based on a patent that probably shouldn’t have issued.

The Campaign Against Pharma Companies Creates New Level of Uncertainty for all Patent Attorneys Re: Duty of Disclosure and Inquiry

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a Notice on the “Duties of Disclosure and Reasonable Inquiry During Examination, Reexamination, and Reissue, and for Proceedings Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board” on July 29, 2022 (87 FR 45764-67), without a big reaction from the IP community. Patent attorneys mostly scratched their heads wondering what it means, especially as it was created in the backdrop of an attack on drug companies and drug pricing. The attack was motivated by a now largely discredited disinformation campaign by the advocacy group I-MAK (Initiative for Medicines, Access and Knowledge; an oxymoron), based on non-peer reviewed erroneous patent data analysis (see supporting false analyses by Univ. of Calif. Hastings Law School “Evergreen Drug Patent Search” and R. Feldman, “May your drug price be evergreen” J. Law and Biosciences Vol 5(3) Dec 2018, 590-647). Notwithstanding, the White House and certain members of Congress picked up I-MAK’s “Overpatented, Overpriced” faulty advocacy piece (2018; updated Sept 2022), and without checking the integrity of the data, quoted to it, and got to work.

In Plastipak Decision, CAFC Fails to Resolve Precedential Inconsistency in Inventorship Determination

In Plastipak Packaging Inc. v. Premium Waters Inc., Appeal No. 2021-2244, decided December 19, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s (CAFC’s) newest judge threw a curveball on the topic of inventorship. Judge Leonard Stark wrote the precedential opinion, joined by Judges Newman and Stoll, and ultimately reversed and remanded the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Premium Waters, Inc. Plastipak’s 12 patents in suit generally had to deal with unfinished plastic bottles as used during manufacturing.

ITC Year in Review: From New ALJs to the Effects of Global Crises, 2022 was an Exciting Time for the Commission

This year was a busy one for the International Trade Commission (ITC) compared to the last few years. As of December 15, 2022, there were 56 complaints filed, compared to 50 in all of 2021. The Commission also instituted more investigations in 2022 than 2021 and has a higher number of active cases compared to last year, according to Docket Navigator as of December 7, 2022. With in-person hearings resuming, it is an exciting time at the ITC. And with the evolving landscape of venue jurisprudence in the district courts, we expect the growth to continue into 2023. This article highlights a few new developments at the ITC over the past year, as well as several important decisions.

All I Want for IP in 2023: Kicking off the New Year with the IP Community’s Wildest Dreams

Anyone who’s read “The Secret” knows that the way to manifest your dreams is to visualize them, and then put them out into the world, as if they are already reality—so we at IPWatchdog want to help facilitate this process once again with our IP Wishes roundup, where practitioners and other IP stakeholders throw all likelihood out the window and tell us what their craziest dreams for the perfect IP world are. Happy dreaming, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 

mRNA IP 2022 Year in Review: Pioneers Clash in Major Patent Litigations

Substantial patent litigation activity occurred in the mRNA space in 2022, involving nearly all of the major mRNA and lipid nanoparticle (LNP) pioneers. Since this is the most significant happening in this space with respect to IP in 2022, this post will provide an overview of that activity as well as a summary exposure analysis.

What’s in Store for IP in 2023? Here’s What IPWatchdog Readers are Keeping on Their Radar

Litigation finance trends, Supreme Court decisions on patent enablement and copyright fair use, the launch of the Unified Patent Court, more cases dealing with the intersection of IP law and AI— and continued uncertainty. These are some of the key issues to watch in 2023, according to the readers below. As we do each December, IPWatchdog asked its IP community what they will be paying attention to as we enter the new year; hopefully their responses will help prepare you for what’s ahead.

PTAB Year in Review: Five Developments from 2022 that Shaped the Future of the Board

Another year down, and another year of interesting developments as the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continued its reign as the most significant patent court in the country. Last year ended with a growing sense that change was on the horizon with President Biden’s nomination of Director Kathi Vidal. And that change did arrive as Director Vidal was confirmed in April and quickly worked to reform PTAB policies. Let’s take a look at the five most significant developments involving the PTAB this year.

Claim Drafting Issues for Biotech, Chemical and Pharma Patent Applications, Part II: From Indefiniteness to Negative Claim Limitations, Know Best Practices

In our previous blog post, we covered claim construction, Markush Groups, and dependent claim invalidation. As stated previously, while it is impossible to cover all of the various issues related to claim drafting for biotech, chemical and pharma patent applications, in Part II we will highlight some more of the most common issues that may come up, including changes to the law around indefiniteness; product-by-process and means plus function claims; and negative claim limitations.

The Year in Copyright: 2022 Gives Creators Hope for the Future

The Constitution empowers Congress to enact federal copyright laws because the Founders recognized that the best way to advance the public interest is by enabling creators to pursue their own private interests. The copyright system secures uniform property rights to creators across the nation as a reward for their productive labors and as incentive for them to profit in the marketplace. The incredible selection of creative works available to consumers today, in terms of quantity and quality, shows that copyright law is working well. Of course, that doesn’t stop the detractors from throwing as many monkey wrenches as they can. However, looking back over this past year, there’s good reason to think that the naysayers are becoming less relevant. There’s cause to be hopeful that the plight of all creators, big and small, is improving and will continue to get better in the years to come.

The Top 10 Patents of 2022: AI Animation from Textual Inputs, Using 5G Networks to Improve Elderly Health, and Ensuring User Privacy in Virtual Environments

Taking a look back at the previous year of patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) always affords an interesting view of the state of technologies being developed around the world. At the end of each calendar year, IPWatchdog puts together a list of the Top 10 most interesting patents granted by the USPTO during the previous 12 months. Many of this year’s choices involve major patent or IP stories from 2022, including our top selection, which claims a technology implicating artificial intelligence creatorship issues. Other patents selected for this year’s list protect advancements representing our society’s increased reliability on virtual environments for gaming and even business activities. We hope you enjoy this Top 10 list, and feel free to leave suggestions for honorable mentions in the comments to this article. Here’s to a happy and innovative 2023!

Key U.S. Supreme Court Developments in 2022 and Outlook for 2023

It’s that time again. As 2022 has come and (almost) gone, it’s time to look back at the exciting grants and surprising denials of certiorari petitions involving patent and trademark matters by the Supreme Court of the United States, and what to look forward to from the Court in 2023. In 2022 the Supreme Court docket was relatively light on intellectual property matters. After numerous denials of some highly anticipated patent and trademark cases, the Court kept us in suspense by granting certiorari in new cases in November 2022.

Iconic Toys and Games of 2022: The IP Rights Covering Virtual Environments, First-Person Shooters and the Marvel Cinematic Universe

As each year dwindles to a close, IPWatchdog puts together a list of Iconic Toys and Games that have become wild commercial successes, thanks in large part to the patents, trademarks and copyrights protecting the commercial sale of those products. This year, we’re taking a more modern approach by looking at games and toys that are currently popular, rather than honoring those treasured gifts from Christmases past. From Roblox to Activision Blizzard to Crazy Aaron’s, this year’s list of iconic toys and games includes some of the most popular entertainment properties for children and adults. Taking a look at the IP rights underpinning many of those properties gives us an interesting perspective on recent developments in both technological improvements as well as new branding for famed superhero characters.

Top Federal Circuit Decisions of 2022 That No One Told You About

[To the tune of Rudolph]: You know Mayo and Markman and Alice and Fintiv; Juno and Axle (American) and Amgen and Teva. But do you recall … the handful of Federal Circuit decisions that got little press but may be important to your practice, at all? Didn’t think so. (Although this may be exaggerated—it depends on how much you read and what you remember from it.) Neither did I, so I searched through the last year of precedential U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit opinions to find those that may have important nuggets in them, even though they weren’t high-profile or didn’t involve billions in damages.