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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

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, June 2: Unitary Patent System Launches; WIPO Hosts IP and Sustainability Conference; and the USPTO Extends its Climate Change Program

This week in Other Barks & Bites: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) extends its Climate Change Mitigation program until 2027; the Unitary Patent System and accompanying Unitary Patent Court launches in Europe; the Supreme Court again denies an opportunity to review 35 U.S.C. § 101.

SCOTUS Requests Response in CareDx Eligibility Petition Following Michel/ Duffy Brief

Last week, retired U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) Chief Judge Paul Michel and law professor John F. Duffy filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of CareDx, Inc. and the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. The company and university are asking the Supreme Court to review a 2022 decision invalidating claims of its patents directed to detection levels of donor cell-free DNA (cfDNA) in the blood of an organ transplant patient. In the amicus brief, Michel and Duffy wrote, “this case concerns [us] because it represents a continuing trend of uncertainty and inconsistency in patent-eligibility jurisprudence…The outcome undermines the innovation promoting goals of U.S. patent law.”

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, May 26: USPTO Proposes Track Three Pilot Program for Micro Entity Patent Applicants; LeBron James Joins Taco Tuesday Trademark Battle; European Commission Releases List of Countries with Concerning IP Rights Protections

This week in Other Barks & Bites: The USPTO releases a blog post detailing the success of its Patent Pro Bono Program and announces a proposed pilot for micro entity applicants; NBA superstar LeBron James puts his weight behind Taco Bell in its battle to cancel the “Taco Tuesday” trademark; and Gilead and Teva sign a deal with pharmacies to avoid an antitrust suit.

CAFC Affirms District Court Denial of Attorney Fees in Oil Drilling Patent Dispute

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential decision affirming a district court ruling that denied attorney fees to oil drilling equipment company, FMC Technologies. OneSubsea, a competitor in the offshore oil extraction industry, originally sued FMC for patent infringement in 2015; FMC subsequently countersued. At the heart of the patent infringement dispute was whether fluid flows through FMS’s device, as in the OneSubsea patent.

This Week in Washington IP: Government Funding of Decarbonization, the State of Black-owned Businesses, and U.S. Tech Diplomacy

This week in Washington IP news, Congress is having a relatively quiet week, but the House will further discuss the impact of Pharmacy Benefit Managers on patients and the pharmaceutical industry. Elsewhere the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is holding an event offering guidance on how women entrepreneurs can seek startup capital.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, May 19: Apple Employee Charged with Trade Secrets Theft; OpenAI CEO Testifies Before Congress; and Taco Bell Contests Taco Tuesday Trademark

This week in Other Barks & Bites: Sanofi wins its patent case against Amgen in front of the U.S. Supreme Court; Open AI CEO Sam Altman asks Congress to regulate the AI industry; and a former Apple employee was charged for stealing autonomous vehicle trade secrets from the tech firm.

USPTO Issues Proposed Rule on Dedicated Design Patent Bar

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to the Federal Register that proposes a separate design patent practitioner bar. Design patent practitioners would only be able to participate in design patent proceedings. The USPTO is seeking public comments on the changes through August 14, 2023. Currently, there is only one patent bar that oversees those who practice in patent matters before the USPTO, including utility, plant, and design patents. Those already registered to practice in patent matters before the USPTO would not be impacted by the change.

This Week in Washington IP: Artificial Intelligence on Everyone’s Minds, IPWatchdog’s Patent Litigation Masters, and PPAC Hearing on Fee Adjustments

This week in Washington IP news, artificial intelligence is the hot topic of the week with the Senate and House both holding hearings on the subject. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman will testify before the Senate as the young tech entrepreneur becomes the face of the emerging industry. Elsewhere, the USPTO is hosting a day-long expo on innovation in the green energy sector.