Posts in Courts

Deadline for Collegiate Inventors Competition Nears

The Collegiate Inventors Competition is a national competition designed to encourage college and graduate students to be active in science, engineering, mathematics, technology, and creative invention. This prestigious challenge recognizes and rewards the innovations, discoveries, and research by college and university students and their advisors for projects leading to inventions that may have the potential to receive patent protection. Introduced…

US Supreme Court Grants Cert. in Bilski

The United States Supreme Court granted cert. in Bilski v. Doll. This means that the last chapter on business methods and software has not yet been written, which could be good news or bad news depending upon your particular take. I have wondered out loud about allowing software patents as patentable subject matter, which I think is the right thing to do myself.

Foreign Patent Owners Safe From Declaratory Judgment

In a decision that is simply painful to read, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit yesterday decided in Autogenomics v. Oxford Gene Technology that a foreign patent owner cannot be made a defendant to a lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment of invalidity, unenforceability and noninfringement.  According to the majority opinion, Oxford is a British biotechnology company…

Nominating Randall Rader for PTO Director

As we continue to wait for President Barack Obama to select the next Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property (a.k.a. the Director of the USPTO), I feel compelled to make yet another nomination.  As some may know, since September 2008, I have periodically nominated various people who I thought would make a good choice for the next PTO Director, including…

Federal Circuit Grants USPTO, GSK and Tafas More Time

Last Thursday I wrote regarding the USPTO, GlaxoSmithKline and Dr. Tafas jointly requesting an extension of time within which to either request reconsideration or rehearing en banc of the Federal Circuit’s decision in the claims and continuations saga.  This morning I learned that the Federal Circuit has granted the requested extension of time, so the parties have until the end…

SCOTUS Will Not Decide Inequitable Conduct

Today, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Aventis v. Amphastar (Docket No. 08-937). Inequitable conduct was the sole issue presented in the cert petition, which Aventis filed on January 23, 2009. According to the procedural summary in Aventis’ cert petition, the Federal Circuit held the patent on Aventis’ $2 billion-per-year drug to be unenforceable due to inequitable conduct because of…

USPTO, Tafas & GSK Request Extension for Reconsideration

I just received word that the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Dr. Triantafyllos Taffas and SmithKline Beecham Corporation (i.e., GlaxoSmithKline) filed a joint request for an extension of time to request either reconsideration or rehearing en banc at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  The motion seems to be primarily provoked by the government who…

A Call to Reform Inequitable Conduct This Year

Dr. Chris Mammen focuses his practice on patent and related intellectual property litigation and appeals. Twenty years ago, in the 1988 Burlington case, the Federal Circuit expressed its displeasure with the frequent assertion of the inequitable conduct defense in patent litigation, famously calling it a “plague.” Later that year, in the en banc portion of the Kingsdown case, the Federal…

History of Software Patents II: Arrhythmia Research

In the Arrhythmia case the invention in question was directed to the analysis of electrocardiographic signals in order to determine certain characteristics of heart function. In essence, the invention was a monitoring device. It had been discovered that 15% to 25% of heart attack victims are at high risk for ventricular tachycardia, which can be treated by the administration of drugs. Unfortunately, the drugs used have undesirable and dangerous side effects, which led the inventor to come up with a monitoring device capable of determining which heart attack victims were at the highest risk for ventricular tachycardia.

Innovation Will Lead Recovery if Patent System Allows

I was reading the March 30, 2009, edition of Fortune magazine today and there is an article titled After the Panic, Innovation, written by Glenn Hutchins, a co-chief executive of the technology investment firm Silver Lake.  His brief article chronicles how we managed to get into this economic crisis and concludes that, as always, scientific advances and entrepreneurship will lead…

Victory to the Patent Office in Claims & Continuations Appeal

I knew it was bad news when I saw that Judge Rader did not write the opinion, but rather concurred in part and dissented in part.  But, as I predicted, the Federal Circuit issued its decision while I am in Chicago teaching the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and unable to devote real time to writing about the GlaxoSmithKline and…

Good News, Bad News on Patent Reform

According to Reuters, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) says that the House and Senate are close to agreeing on language for a patent reform bill that would virtually ensure its passage. According to Hatch, patent reform will happen this year, saying that he would be shocked if patent reform was not enacted in 2009. Hatch says “[th]is is the closest we’ve…

Patent Ambush: The Future of Standard Setting

On Tuesday, March 10, 2009, at 1pm ET, the Practising Law Institute will host a 1 hour telephone briefing discussing the future of standard setting bodies in the wake of the recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Qualcomm v. Broadcom.  This discussion of standard setting is particularly topical at the moment given…

Patent SOS: Inequitable Conduct Reform ASAP

Not long ago the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Abbott Laboratories v. Sandoz, Inc., a decision that just screams for Congress to codify Rule 56 and settle once and for all the duty of candor that is owed to the Patent Office during the patent application process. To be perfectly clear, it…

The History of Software Patents

Since the United States Supreme Court first addressed the patentability of computer software in Gottschalk v. Benson the law surrounding the patentability of software has changed considerably, leaving many to wonder whether software is patentable at all. Originally in Benson, the Supreme Court decided that software was not patentable, but then later retracted the blanket prohibition against patenting software.