Posts in USPTO

USPTO Proposes Rule to Relax Requirements for Practice Before PTAB

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) today that would allow practitioners who are not registered with the USPTO patent bar to act as lead counsel in proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The Office has decided to propose that practitioners must still be represented by a registered practitioner, but to allow parties to “designate a non-registered practitioner as lead counsel and the registered practitioner as back-up counsel.”

PTAB Subpoenas: Practical Guidance on How to Use This Rare but Useful Tool

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) remains a popular and busy venue for post-grant review of patents. These proceedings are known for being faster, and by statute, they allow for less discovery than district court patent cases. PTAB litigants therefore may not think about potential third-party subpoenas, which can take significant time and effort to obtain. It is possible, however, to obtain a subpoena in a PTAB case. In certain circumstances, a PTAB subpoena can be a useful tool to bolster your case at the PTAB, but there are specific procedures that must be followed to properly issue and enforce such a subpoena. Precise compliance with these procedures is necessary to obtain the discovery sought.

CAFC Schools TTAB on Likelihood of Confusion Analysis

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential decision on Thursday vacating the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB’s) denial of a petition to cancel a trademark for a medicated tea product to treat colic in babies. Naterra International, Inc. petitioned the TTAB to cancel the mark BABIES’ MAGIC TEA based on likely confusion in the market with its own registrations for the mark BABY MAGIC, which cover “numerous toiletry goods.” The Board found that Naterra failed to prove confusion under the 13 DuPont Factors.

Patent Filings Roundup: ‘DASH’ Streaming Patents Struck Down Under 101; Samsung IPRs Fall to Fintiv; IP Edge Affiliate Kicks Off New Campaign

It was an average week for patent filings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and an above-average week in district courts, with 72 district court complaints filed and 18 new PTAB petitions—one petition for Post Grant Review (PGR), and 17 for Inter Partes Review (IPR). At the PTAB, a number of challenges were filed, including two IPRs by Tesla challenging patents owned by Iqar Inc, four IPRs by Dish challenging patents owned by Entropic Communications LLC (associated with Fortress), two IPRs by Microsoft challenging patents owned by Interdigital Patent Holdings Inc (associated with InterDigital Inc.), and two IPRs by Juniper Networks challenging patents owned by Monarch Networking Solutions LLC (associated with Acacia Research Corporation).

CAFC Okays USPTO Process for Promulgating Domicile Address Requirement

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today said in a precedential decision that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) did not need to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking to require trademark applicants and registrants to provide a physical street address with their trademark applications. The court took the case as an opportunity to directly address “when a rule is procedural and excepted from notice-and-comment rulemaking as a ‘rule[] of agency organization, procedure, or practice.’”

A Flaw in USPTO Systems to Be Aware of and Avoid

Is your company paying the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) maintenance fees for expired patents? The USPTO requires payment of maintenance fees to keep a granted patent in force due at 3.5 years, 7.5 years, and 11.5 years after the date of grant of a patent. For 2023, these fees amount to $2,000, $3,760, and $7,700, respectively. You may be unknowingly paying maintenance fees for expired patents.