Posts in IPWatchdog Articles

Senate to Vote on Patent Reform, First to File Fight Looms

The Senate will take up patent reform on Monday, February 28, 2011, the first day back. Some are even anticipating that the Senate will vote on patent reform bill S. 23 late in the day on Monday, February 28, 2011. As we get closer to a vote in the Senate the rhetoric of those for and against is heating up to a fever pitch. The fight, once again, is over first to file, with battle lines drawn that run extremely deep. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) is expected to file an Amendment stripping the first to file provisions, which could be supported by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

Part 2: Don Dunner on CAFC Judges & Future CAFC Candidates

In this second installment of my interview with Don Dunner, the dean of CAFC appellate advocates, we talk about which judges on the Federal Circuit ask the most difficult questions, who he thinks are capable candidates for future federal circuit vacancies, why the Federal Circuit was created as a specialty court, continued hostility toward a purely specialty court and Congressman Issa’s attempt to create a pseudo-specialty trial court for patent issues. We also touch upon the familiar fun questions and learn that one of Dunner’s favorite movies is a well known courtroom comedy.

Gary Michelson’s Letter to Congress Supporting Patent Reform

What follows is a letter to Congress from Gary K. Michelson, MD, published here with permission…. First to invent versus first to file is the proverbial tempest in a teacup (smaller than a teapot). All sound and fury signifying nothing. The low cost and ease of filing a provisional patent application (a placeholder for the first to invent) should render any discussion of fairness moot. I believe that first to file is both fair and beneficial to all inventors; and is an important change to correctly position the U.S.P.T.O. as the leader in what will become a worldwide patent system.

Crunch Time: Call Your Senators on Patent Reform

It’s crunch time.  The Patent Reform Act of 2011 is scheduled for an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor this Monday, Feb. 28.  It’s time for all intellectual property professionals to look carefully at the Patent Reform Act, and decide: is this bill good for American innovation or bad? I am convinced that it is bad. This bill (and its…

USPTO to Host Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the United States Women’s Chamber of Commerce (USWCC) will host a women’s entrepreneurship symposium Friday, March 11, focused on women entrepreneurs, the importance of intellectual property protection for their innovations, and how to leverage economic opportunities for women-owned businesses. The symposium will be held from 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Va.

The Power of Branding Through Catchy Advertising, GEICO Commercials

Brand building can be defined as ‘Building the perceptions of your target audience.’ Those who work in marketing usually say that in order to really build your brand you need to be consistent in your marketing campaigns. Consistency and repetition are a sure way to ingrain your message into the minds of those you are trying to reach by creating a focused brand image. However, Geico, has shown that, when done right, you can break the widely accepted and customary brand building “rules” often having numerous different iconic ad campaigns running at once. So today I’d like to discuss 5 of the more memorable GEICO ad campaigns beginning with the GEICO Gecko® through the most recently added Mike McGlone Commercials and analyze what your business can learn from these ad campaigns.

Abbot Wins Federal Circuit Reversal of $1.67B Patent Verdict

The largest patent infringement verdict in U.S. history did not stand the test of time at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. After a five-day trial, the jury found Abbott liable for willful infringement. The jury rejected Abbott’s argument that the asserted claims were invalid, and awarded Centocor over $1.67 billion in damages. The Federal Circuit reversed and held that the asserted claims were invalid for failure to meet the statutory written description requirement, erasing the $1.67 billion verdict.

Exclusive Interview: Superstar CAFC Advocate Don Dunner

Don Dunner is a partner with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, and he has argued over 150 cases before the Federal Circuit. Dunner was enormously candid, although many of the things I would have liked to ask him had to be off the table due to ongoing litigation. In fact, Dunner is involved in three exceptionally important cases: TiVo v. Echostar, Microsoft v. i4i and Uniloc v. Microsoft. Thankfully, Dunner did agree to return to talk to us further once these important cases finally resolve without further opportunity for appeal. We did, however, go in depth discussing eBay v. MercExchange, the dynmic between the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit, how he approaches appeals generally and specifically blow-by-blow and which Federal Circuit Judges ask the toughest questions.

Former PTO Deputy Director Barner Returns to Foley & Lardner

Foley & Lardner LLP announced today that Sharon R. Barner has returned to the firm’s Intellectual Property Department in its Chicago office. Barner most recently served as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The Expansion of Overlapping Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property law is premised on incentivizing innovative and creative activities by providing limited property rights for the fruits of such activities in order to increase the storehouse of creative and innovative knowledge for the betterment of society. Excessive overlapping protection undermines the careful balance individually developed under each body of intellectual property law. Expansion of the subject matter protected under either patent, copyright, or trademark law should only occur if it does not undermine the careful balances struck under each of the other bodies of intellectual property law. Being mindful of the balance between protection and public interest can prevent unintended over-protection of intellectual property that would work to skew the balance in favor of rights to creators and innovators at the expense of the public.

An Inconvenient Truth: Patents Do Not Deter Research

Carrier goes on to detail the comprehensive research of Professor John Walsh who in 2007 surveyed 1125 biomedical researchers in universities, government labs and nonprofit institutions. Walsh received 414 responses and the responses were overwhelmingly clear. Carrier explains that only 3% of respondents indicated that they stopped pursuit of a research agenda based on an excess of patents present in the space. Furthermore, Carrier explained that a mere 5% of respondents even regularly checked for patents related to their research and “no respondents reported that they had abandoned a line of research because of a patent.”

Interview with Chief Justice Broderick, Part 2

If you look at the list, when they first started doing these ranking we were number one, then we were number four, and then we dropped. Now we’re number nine, and they only rank through number ten. So we’re tied for ninth with Duke, which is amazing given our size and our location. Now, the schools ahead of us are Michigan, Harvard and Stanford. In many ways we would never be on that list. To remain on the list, we needed to be in a bigger boat. We needed more resources. Otherwise, we might be pushed off the list, and we don’t want to fall off that list. So I think in some ways we were entrepreneurial as the school has always been, in ensuring our long term vitality. I think our capacity to be a larger player potentially with more resources, with more interdisciplinary activity in our IP center, has been enhanced.

ICANN to Begin Accepting Applications for New Generic Top Level Domain Names (gTLDs) in 2011

In June 2008 ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a non-profit technical coordination body for the Internet’s name and numbering systems, made headlines when it announced that it would allow an unlimited number of new gTLDs (generic top level domain names) to populate the web. While the process has been delayed several times, the current belief is that ICANN will begin accepting applications for these new gTLDs by July or August of 2011. However, many in the industry expect the start of the application process to be delayed further, as various trademark organizations have raised concerns about the award and dispute resolution process.

Teresa Stanek Rea Named New Deputy Director of the USPTO

Deputy Director Designate Rea is a patent attorney herself, having been admitted to the patent bar on December 15, 1981. According to her profile page on her firm’s website – Crowell & Moring LLP – Rea’s practice has focused on complex patent litigation and inter partes matters, as well as patent procurement and portfolio management, including patent preparation and prosecution. Rea also has experience in drafting infringement and validity opinions, as well as interference, and licensing matters. Therefore, it seems that the push to have high achievers with industry specific patent experience continues at the Patent Office, which is refreshing.

Live from PLI Patent Institute: Deputy Director Sharon Barner

Today Barner is here to talk to us about what is going on at the USPTO. She is discussing the USPTO Strategic Plan, which she was primarily responsible for pulling together during her tenure. She also went on to discuss appeals to the BPAI, the IT system overhaul, patent reform, patent politics, Microsoft v. i4i and much more. As a former Deputy Director we are getting not only the facts, but her opinions as well. An excellent, informative and candid presentation.