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Alec Pronk

Freelance Journalist

Alec is a freelance journalist and editor who has covered a broad range of topics ranging from international law to US foreign policy. He holds a master’s degree in political science from Leiden University.

Recent Articles by Alec Pronk

This Week in Washington IP: Anticipating Biden’s State of the Union Address, the USPTO Discusses IP Developments in China, and Evaluating the Importance of Metascience

This week in Washington IP news, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations discusses U.S.-China relations after a tense weekend, a house committee holds a hearing on removing barriers to capital for small businesses, and the AEI talks to experts about the growing industry of metascience and its importance to U.S. innovation.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, February 3: Trump Sues for Copyright Infringement, Google Wins Transfer from TX to CA, and Nike Takes Lululemon to Court for Patent Infringement

This week in Other Barks & Bites: President Trump sues Bob Woodward for $49 million and alleges copyright infringement; Federal Circuit Judge Schall splits from majority finding that PTAB obvious analysis was correct; a new EUIPO report finds IP infringement is threatening many small businesses; and Nike files another patent infringement lawsuit against a burgeoning competitor.

Revolution Rope Inventor Tells Justices She Deserves Her Day in Article III Court

The inventor of a novel jump rope system (the Revolution Rope), Molly Metz, argued in a reply brief to the U.S. Supreme Court filed on behalf of her company, Jump Rope Systems, LLC, on Tuesday that her case against Rogue Fitness is justiciable and the company has standing despite the cancellation of her patent claims by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Jump Rope Systems filed the brief in reply to Rogue Fitness’s brief in opposition, which was filed on January 19. Metz and Jump Rope Systems originally sued Rogue Fitness in 2018. But after Rogue filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) ruled that Jump Rope Systems’ two patents (US 7,789,809 B2 and US 8,136.208 B2) related to jump rope handle technology were unpatentable.

USPTO Issues Final Rule to Eliminate CLE Certification Program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) yesterday announced a final rule to eliminate the provisions within the agency’s rules related to voluntary continuing legal education (CLE) certification and recognition for registered patent practitioners and individuals granted limited recognition to practice in patent matters before the USPTO. The rule also eliminates the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) Director’s ability to publish the CLE status of patent practitioners. It will go into effect on February 27. The agency received critical comments from a variety of patent practitioners and interest groups about the USPTO’s lack of compliance with federal administrative law statutes related to agency rulemaking. Additionally, stakeholders highlighted the increased administrative and financial burden for patent practitioners if the CLE program was implemented.

This Week in Washington IP: IPWatchdog Event to Review the State of the PTAB; US Inventor Protests in D.C.; and the House Considers Supply Chain Challenges

This week in Washington IP news, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is holding a hearing on the state of the country’s supply chains, IPWatchdog is hosting a two-day event on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at its headquarters, and an educator is sharing his experience implementing IP education as a STEM teacher and his current work with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, January 27: Meta Launches Website to Help IP Holders Protect Their Rights; Nike Sues BAPE for Copying its Iconic Shoe Designs; and the ITIF Releases a Statement Criticizing the Indian Government

This week in Other Barks & Bites: Nike sues BAPE for copying its shoe design; the five largest patent offices announce an increase of 10% in patent grants for 2022; and Hershey settles a trademark dispute with a California cookie company; and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) condemns the Indian government’s takedown request of a BBC documentary. 

Bristol Myers Says AstraZeneca’s Imjudo Infringes Yervoy Patent

Bristol Myers filed a lawsuit Monday claiming AstraZeneca has infringed on a patent related to its Yervoy cancer drug. The pharmaceutical company launched the suit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. Bristol Myers claimed AstraZeneca’s Imjudo cancer treatment infringes on its patent and that AstraZeneca failed to first obtain a license or permission. The cancer treatment in question is known as cancer immunotherapy, which according to the lawsuit “represents a scientific breakthrough that has revolutionized cancer treatment by manipulating a patient’s immune system to eliminate cancer cells.” Yervoy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, colorectal cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), malignant pleural mesothelioma, and esophageal cancer, either alone or in combination with the company’s drug, Opdivo.

Brooks Convinces Indiana Court to Transfer Dispute with Puma to Washington

Brooks Sports, a sports apparel company that was sued by Puma SE and Puma North America, Inc. (for patent and trademark infringement in Indiana, won its motion to transfer the case to a new district court on January 20. Judge Richard L. Young of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled Friday that the case will be transferred to the Western District of Washington. Brooks Sports’ headquarters is based in Seattle, Washington. Brooks argued that moving the case closer to its base would be convenient for both parties as well as witnesses. Judge Young agreed and cited Puma’s lack of presence in Indiana as another supporting reason to move the case to Washington.