Posts in Government

New USPTO Paneling Guidance for TTAB and PTAB Requires Disclosure of Financial Interests Regardless of Dollar Value

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced new guidance on empaneling procedures for the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). Under the guidance, PTAB and TTAB management will “avoid empaneling cases to judges who hold stock or bonds (publicly traded or privately held) in any of the disclosed parties or real parties in interest, regardless of the dollar value.”

Implementer Arguments at the USPTO Public Listening Session on Standards Ignore Business Realities

Yesterday, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) held a “public listening session” to hear from industry leaders on the topic of standard essential patents. The event was specifically related to the USPTO’s effort to obtain stakeholder input on questions regarding proposed international standards that were presented in a recent Federal Register Notice, as well as strategies identified in the White House’s National Standards Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies.

Vidal Stresses Importance of Transparency and Integrity in Agency Decision-Making on Final Day of IPWatchdog LIVE

Clarity, transparency and integrity were themes consistently referenced by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Kathi Vidal during a lunchtime fireside chat with IPWatchdog Founder and CEO Gene Quinn on Day 3 of IPWatchdog LIVE 2023. Throughout the discussion, which ran the gamut from the agency’s current rulemaking to potential issues with emerging technologies, Director Vidal strongly encouraged public participation from stakeholders to improve the functioning of the nation’s patent and trademark-granting agency.

LIVE Panelists Predict Little Hope for Major Change from PTAB Rulemaking and Legislation

The general consensus of attendees at a panel held during IPWatchdog LIVE 2023, day two, is that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will never be eliminated. Open questions remain, however, on the effectiveness of PTAB reforms recently proposed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Those rule changes, and similar legislative efforts in Congress, were the subject of “Dissecting PTAB Rulemaking & Legislation: Will it Make Things Any Better?”

House Judiciary Chief IP Counsel Tells IPWatchdog LIVE Attendees Eligibility Companion Bill to Be Introduced Soon

On day two of IPWatchdog LIVE, J. John Lee, Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property for the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, told those who are skeptical of the chances for Senators’ Tillis and Coons’ Patent Eligibility Restoration Act (PERA) to move forward that a House version of the bill is likely to be introduced in the near future. Lee, who is principal advisor on IP issues and helms the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, was speaking on a panel titled “Politics, Policy and Legislation at the Intersection of Intellectual Property,” which also featured David Jones of the High-Tech Inventors Alliance; Joe Matal of Haynes Boone, LLP and former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Acting Director and Acting Solicitor; and Eli Mazour of Harrity & Harrity.

This Week in Washington IP: One Year Review of the CHIPS Act, Pandemic Preparedness and Patents, and IP Standards Public Listening Session

This week in Washington IP news, the House IP Subcommittee evaluates IP competition with China, and the House Space Committee reviews one year of the CHIPS and Science Act. Elsewhere, the 78th UN General Assembly holds a high-level meeting on pandemic preparedness and vaccine patents.

U.S. Chamber Announces Framework Aimed at Reshaping National IP Narrative

On September 13, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center (GIPC) announced that it had joined with 30 other signatories to publish a framework of intellectual property principles designed to maintain America’s global lead in innovation. Supported by a coalition of well-recognized individuals and trade organizations long supporting greater certainty in patent rights, the framework of IP principles is intended to serve as a guidebook for policymakers who want to address genuine issues currently facing the nation’s IP system.

What Vidal’s Sua Sponte Director Review of Unprecedented PTAB Sanctions Order Could Mean for PTAB Practice

If a sanctions order is the stuff of a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) practitioner’s bad dreams, then the issuance of sanctions outright cancelling a client’s patent(s) qualifies as their worst nightmare. That nightmare happened to Longhorn Vaccine (“Longhorn”) in April of this year, when the PTAB canceled five  of its patents as sanctions for Longhorn’s violation of the duty of candor relating to withholding test data that the PTAB deemed relevant to the patentability of the challenged claims. A month later, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Kathi Vidal sua sponte ordered Director Review of PTAB’s sanctions order. We now await her decision. This article examines the PTAB’s unprecedented sanctions order in the context of Director Vidal’s recent crackdown on inter partes review (IPR) abuses and provides guidance as to what practitioners can do now to avoid accusations of misconduct before the PTAB.

TRUMP TOO SMALL Amici Weigh in as High Court Readies for Another Trademark Fight

Amici have submitted briefs and a response has been filed in recent weeks with respect to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director Kathi Vidal’s petition to the U.S. Supreme Court for review of a decision that said the USPTO was wrong to reject a trademark application for the mark TRUMP TOO SMALL. The February decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) held the Office’s application of Section 2(c) of the Lanham Act to reject TRUMP TOO SMALL was unconstitutional. Specifically, the CAFC panel held that “applying section 2(c) to bar registration of [Steve] Elster’s mark unconstitutionally restricts free speech in violation of the First Amendment.”

Opening Moves in the ITC: Strategic Considerations for Pre-Institution Filings in Section 337 Investigations

The period following the filing of a section 337 complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) can be chaotic. During this period, the Commission “examine[s] the complaint for sufficiency and compliance with” its rules, 19 C.F.R. § 210.9(a), routinely asks the complainant to provide additional information, and typically decides whether to institute an investigation within 30 days after the complaint is filed, see 19 C.F.R. § 210.10(a)(1). The complainant must address the Commission’s requests for additional information while preparing for the coming investigation. The named respondents must scramble to find counsel, assess the allegations, and ready for battle. And all section 337 litigants confront a series of strategic decisions that can send them on the path to success or failure in the investigation.

Delisting Counterclaims in Hatch-Waxman Cases: An Ineffective Weapon to Address Improper Patent Listing

The Hatch-Waxman Act (“the Act”) was designed to strike a delicate balance between pharmaceutical innovation and faster access to affordable drugs. However, one aspect of the Act, the patent listing process, when used improperly, can knock this balance out of whack. Unfortunately, in the present environment, the potential for improper patent listing is high, and current remedies are insufficient.

CAFC Vacates Netflix and Apple Losses at PTAB in Two Precedential Rulings

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today issued two precedential opinions vacating and remanding decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). In the first, the court said the PTAB abused its discretion in finding that Netflix, Inc. failed to articulate a field of endeavor to establish analogous art, vacating the Board’s decision in part. In the second, the CAFC vacated the PTAB’s finding that Apple, Inc. had failed to prove Corephotonics’ patent claims unpatentable as obvious, holding that the evidence supported a different claim construction than that adopted by the Board in one decision, and because the Board’s decision in the second inter partes review (IPR) violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

This Week in Washington IP: Registering Trademarks in Mexico, Getting a Handle on Drug Prices, and Congress Talks AI

This week in Washington IP news, Congress holds a trio of hearings on artificial intelligence (AI) covering a variety of angles, from transparency to how the government is implementing the technology. Elsewhere, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosts an event about registering and enforcing trademarks in Mexico, and the American Enterprise Institute looks at balancing drug pricing and innovation.

Navigating the Brazilian Regulatory System for Life Sciences and Agribusiness

Regulatory Law in the Life Sciences and Agribusiness sector plays an essential role in balancing scientific innovation and the protection of public interests. In Brazil, a country recognized for its vast biodiversity and potential for scientific research, regulation in this field is crucial to ensuring responsible access to genetic resources and to address emerging issues, such as cannabis regulation. Before commercializing products in the Brazilian market, a company must be able to navigate a vast array of laws and regulations, especially in cases involving pharmaceuticals, seeds, pesticides, food or feed, cosmetics and medical devices. On top of that, when it comes to biotechnology related products involving genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or products derived from access to genetic resources or where traditional knowledge is associated, another layer of rules is applicable.

Understanding the Differences Between the USPTO’s ANPRM and the PREVAIL Act

The regulatory framework for the inter partes review (IPR) process has long been the subject of criticism from both patent owners and petitioners. There is a growing consensus that the existing rules need to be revised to address loopholes and unintended consequences that have developed over the 10 years the America Invents Act (AIA) has been in effect. To that end, both the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and Congress have proposed changes in the regulatory framework. While the two disparate approaches seek to change the IPR playing field, their purpose and approach are significantly different. This article discusses those similarities and differences.