Gene Quinn is a patent attorney and a leading commentator on patent law and innovation policy. Mr. Quinn has twice been named one of the top 50 most influential people in IP by Managing IP Magazine, in both 2014 and 2019. From 2017-2020, Mr. Quinn has also been recognized by IAM Magazine as one of the top 300 IP strategists in the world, and in 2021 he was recognized by IAM in their inaugural Strategy 300 Global Leaders list.
Mr. Quinn founded IPWatchdog.com in 1999, and he is currently President & CEO of IPWatchdog, Inc. According to IAM Magazine, Mr. Quinn “has reshaped the IP debate in the United States in a way that has forced policy makers to carefully consider the macroeconomic effects of IP law and its potential to drive innovation and economic activity.”
Regarded as an expert on software patentability and U.S. patent procedure, Mr. Quinn has advised inventors, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses throughout the U.S. and around the world. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and has represented patent practitioners before the Office of Enrollment & Discipline.
Mr. Quinn began his career as a litigator handling a variety of civil litigation matters, and he has been a patent attorney for nearly two decades. He has previously taught a variety of intellectual property courses at the law school level, teaching courses such as patent law, patent claim drafting, patent prosecution, copyright law, trademark law and introduction to intellectual property at Syracuse University College of Law, Temple University School of Law, The University of Toledo College of Law, the University of New Hampshire School of Law, the John Marshall Law School (Chicago) and Whittier Law School. Since 2000 Mr. Quinn has also taught the leading patent bar review course in the nation.
Mr. Quinn is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney licensed to practice before the United States Patent Office and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
There is a reason many stakeholders believe the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has been weaponized against patent owners. From the very outset, the first Chief Judge of the PTAB famously, or infamously, stated that if the tribunal was not doing some “death squadding” they were not doing their jobs; a rebuke to then Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall Rader’s observation that the PTAB was nothing more than a death squad for patents. But from those early days where patent owners were not even allowed to submit evidence to rebut a petition at the institution stage, to the unbelievable lapse in ethical judgment of one former PTAB judge, there have been numerous reasons to question the tribunal.
On Friday afternoon, the IEEE Standards Association Board of Governors (IEEE SA BOG) announced they had taken action to update the Patent Policy for IEEE standards development. The updates, which will not go into effect until January 1, 2023, appear at first glance to be minimal, but will likely have an extraordinarily positive impact for patent owners.
The written description requirement is really the backbone of the quid pro quo between the public and the patent applicant. In exchange for information about an invention, society is willing to grant the applicant a patent, which conveys exclusive rights for a limited period of time to what is claimed, not described. But the description provided in the specification must demonstration that the applicant really has an invention in the first place and what the boundaries of that invention are—this is the written description requirement in lay terms.
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) has been perhaps the most active and passionate Congress person when it comes to intellectual property (IP) rights, and patents specifically, in recent history. In early August, he released the first draft of the Patent Eligibility Restoration Act of 2022, which if enacted would abrogate the Supreme Court’s decisions in Ass’n for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., 133 S.Ct. 2107 (2013) and Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., 132 S.Ct. 1289 (2012). He has also been closely involved with oversight of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on topics such as patent quality and has written numerous letters to the Biden Administration on issues including the waiver of IP obligations under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement, the theft of U.S. IP by Chinese companies, and more. While he seemed fairly exasperated by the end of his last attempt at eligibility reform in 2019, he explains below that the Supreme Court’s refusal to fix the problem by denying the American Axle case inspired him to revive his efforts.