La’Cee Conley Image

La’Cee Conley

is an experienced international intellectual property attorney and owner of Conley Consulting & Portfolio Advisors. After earning Bachelor degrees in physical chemistry and in neuroscience, she earned her Juris Doctor and Master of Law at Drake University, specializing in international intellectual property and international law. She completed her Master of Business Administration at Iowa State University. She currently specializes in patents, trademarks, and copyrights around the world relating to chemical, nanochemical, small molecule, biological, neurological, pharmaceutical, oil & gas, and general mechanical applications.

Recent Articles by La’Cee Conley

CAFC Reverses PTAB Obviousness Finding, Clarifying Concepts of ‘Teaching Away’ and ‘Commercial Success’

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) yesterday concluded that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) decision finding certain claims of Chemours’ patents obvious was not supported by substantial evidence and that the Board erred in its analysis of objective indicia of nonobviousness. As such, the CAFC reversed the decisions.

NYIPLA Tells SCOTUS to Scrap CAFC’s ‘Per Se’ Approach to Assignor Estoppel in Minerva v. Hologic

Minerva Surgical, Inc. petitioned the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in September 2020 to consider the question “whether a defendant in a patent infringement action who assigned the patent, or is [next in line] with an assignor of the patent, may have a defense of invalidity heard on the merits.” The petition was granted in January and additional amici have recently weighed in, including the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA).

CAFC Reverses In-Part, Vacates In-Part PTAB Patentability Finding for Skin Cancer Detection Device

On February 18, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential opinion in an appeal by Canfield Scientific, Inc. (Canfield) from the decision of the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) on inter partes review (IPR) of U.S. Patent No. 7,359,748 (the ‘748 patent) owned by Melanoscan, LLC. The court held that the Board erred in ruling that all the claims of the ‘748 patent were patentable. The decision was reversed with respect to the independent claims and vacated and remanded as to the dependent claims.

CAFC Affirms Section 112 Invalidation/ Non-Infringement in Synchronoss v. Dropbox Dispute

On February 12, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a district court’s conclusion of invalidity under Section 112 and/or non-infringement in Synchronoss v. Dropbox. Synchronoss had appealed the district court’s decision that the asserted claims, which were “drawn to technology for synchronizing data across multiple devices” are either invalid under 35 U.S.C. Section 112 for indefiniteness, or not infringed.” Meanwhile, Dropbox cross-appealed, arguing that the claims are patent ineligible subject matter under Section 101. The patents at issue are U.S. Patent Nos. 6,671,757; 6,757,696; and 7,587,446.

Federal Circuit Rules PTAB Erred on Successor-in-Interest Issue in Crocs Case

On February 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) granted Mojave Desert Holdings, LLC and U.S.A Dawgs Inc.’s (Mojave and U.S.A. Dawgs) motion to substitute in a case involving a design patent infringement issue between Mojave and Crocs, Inc. (Crocs). The court concluded that Mojave is the successor-in-interest to U.S.A. Dawgs, that it has standing to pursue the challenge to Crocs’ patent, and that the Board erred in not substituting Mojave for U.S.A. Dawgs as the third-party requester during the inter partes reexamination.

Pfizer Rejects Accusations it Infringed COVID-19 Vaccine Assay Technology

Pfizer and BioNTech have hit back at Allele Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s October 2020 complaint accusing the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers of infringing Allele’s U.S. patent covering a particular “tag” used to track vaccine in a patient’s blood…. U.S. regulatory approval requires Pfizer and BioNTech to show that their vaccine is safe and effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection. To meet the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) requirements, Pfizer and BioNTech have been and “continue to be engaged in large scale clinical trials to evaluate, among other things, whether individuals who receive the vaccine are less susceptible to COVID-19 infection.” As part of these trials, the results of laboratory tests on blood samples drawn from patients in the clinical trials who received the vaccine are evaluated. One of these tests is a “neutralization assay,” which is a laboratory procedure to detect the presence of antibodies in the blood of a patient after receiving a vaccination capable of neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As part of the assay mentioned above, a fluorescent “tag” is used to track the vaccine in a patient’s blood. Allele alleged in its complaint filed in October 2020 that Pfizer and BioNTech infringed their patent for their particularly engineered tag.

USIJ to Supremes: Set Boundaries on 101 Jurisprudence to Save U.S. Innovation

The Alliance of U.S. Startups & Inventors for Jobs has filed an amicus brief supporting American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.’s petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming that many feel that “the U.S. patent system appears to be on life support”. The brief generally argues: The panel majority decision fails to comply with eligibility precedents established by the Court and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 56 (Rule 56); and Investments in technology startups in American has been declining for more than a decade.

ITC’s Botox Ruling Could Have Public Interest Implications

Korean company Daewoong and its U.S. counterpart Evolus recently found themselves in a dispute with U.S.-Irish company Allergan and its counterpart Medytox over misappropriation of both a bacterial strain and the manufacturing process to make cosmetic injection products from that strain. Daewoong recently received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to market an injection in the United States that competes with Botox, owned by Allergan-Medytox. In order to prevent this entrance into the market, Allergan-Medytox filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) to block imports of the new product under Section 337. The only relationship between Allergan and Medytox is an anticompetitive market allocation agreement. Daewoong’s new product posed a threat to the profitability of Allergan’s agreement with Medytox and therefore became the subject of a dispute before the ITC. Importantly, the manufacture of the products occurs in Korea and the injectables are then imported into the United States.