Eileen McDermott is the Editor-in-Chief of IPWatchdog.com. Eileen is a veteran IP and legal journalist, and no stranger to the intellectual property world, having held editorial and managerial positions at several publications and industry organizations. She has acted as editorial consultant for the International Trademark Association (INTA), chiefly overseeing the editorial process for the Association’s twice-monthly newsletter, the INTA Bulletin. Eileen has also served as a freelance editor for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); as senior consulting editor for the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) from 2015 to 2017; as Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief at INTA from 2013 to 2016; and was Americas Editor for Managing Intellectual Property magazine from 2007 to 2013.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Accountability, James Comer (R-KY), announced an investigation this week into accusations raised by former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Christine Wilson in her resignation against the conduct of FTC Chair Lina Khan. Wilson sent a letter to President Joe Biden in March claiming that his appointment of Khan as Chair brought “an abrupt halt” to Biden’s promised “return to normalcy” for the agency. She said that Khan “scorned and sidelined” knowledgeable career staff, in part by imposing a gag order on staff “that prevented them from engaging in consumer and business education — a vote of no confidence in our staff and a disservice to those we serve.”
Former Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Andrei Iancu, who is now a partner with Irell & Manella, told attendees of an Orrin G. Hatch Foundation webinar today that many of the proposals in the USPTO’s recent Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) practices should be legislated by Congress. Particularly on issues that were statutorily prescribed, such as the standard patents are reviewed under at the PTAB versus the courts, the timing for filing petitions, and who can bring an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding, Iancu said the better route to certainty is through Congress.
One of the most intriguing, and frankly long overdue, reforms the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) needs to consider is putting an end to the practice of for-profit entities like Unified Patents and RPX filing petitions challenging a patent. This practice has recently been called into question by the USPTO through an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) published in the Federal Register. The ANPRM, among many other things, raises the question whether the Office should discretionarily deny post grant proceedings filed by for-profit, non-competitive entities that in essence seek to shield actual real-parties-in-interest (RPIs) and privies from the statutory estoppel provisions contained within the America Invents Act (AIA). And two recent decisions from the Office of Patent Legal Administration (OPLA) provide even more hope that the USPTO will take a reasonable approach going forward when it comes to RPIs.
In response to last week’s hearing of the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on copyright law, former Copyright Office General Counsel, Jon Baumgarten, submitted a letter this week to the Subcommittee expressing his concerns with the testimony of one of the witnesses, Sy Damle of Latham & Watkins, who also formerly served as U.S. Copyright Office General Counsel. The letter was published in full on the Copyright Alliance website.
The U.S. Solicitor General recommended Tuesday that the United States Supreme Court deny Apple, Inc.’s petition asking the Court to clarify the proper application of estoppel in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings. The case stems from a February, 2022, decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in which the court issued a mixed precedential decision that affirmed, vacated, and remanded in part a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. That ruling related to a patent infringement suit filed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) against Broadcom Limited, Broadcom Corporation, and Avago Technologies (collectively “Broadcom) and Apple Inc. concerning Caltech’s U.S. Patent 7,116,710 (‘710 patent), U.S. Patent 7,421,032 (‘032 patent), and U.S. Patent 7,916,781 (‘781 patent).
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruled in a precedential decision today that Medtronic, Inc. failed to show the challenged claims of five patents covering catheter technology unpatentable. The CAFC specifically upheld the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) finding that the primary prior art reference cited by Medtronic did not qualify as prior art under pre-America Invents Act (AIA) first-to-invent provisions. Judge Dyk dissented, arguing that the prior art reference had been shown to qualify as prior art, and thus could support a determination of anticipation or obviousness.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) yesterday made public a Sanctions Order against a patent owner that resulted in the cancellation of all 183 claims of five patents challenged in separate inter partes review (IPR) proceedings. The PTAB order said that Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics “committed an egregious abuse of the PTAB process” by “selectively and improperly” withholding “material results that were inconsistent with its arguments and the patentability of both original and proposed substitute claims.”
As most in the IP world know by now, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Amgen v. Sanofi on Thursday, holding that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) was correct in finding that Amgen’s patents for its popular cholesterol drug failed to meet the enablement requirement…. IP practitioners diverge on the degree to which the decision will change patent practice in the biotech industry going forward, with some claiming the Court merely reiterated the existing law on enablement, and others saying it represents a major shift.