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Sue D. Nym


As you have probably guessed, Sue D. Nym is not a real person. Occasionally we receive an article and the author wishes to remain anonymous. All such anonymous posts, whether contributed by a man or a woman, are attributed to Ms. Nym.

Recent Articles by Sue D. Nym

Review of USPTO should start at the top, not with examiners

In an article published on April 23, 2017, Gene Quinn wrote about President Trump’s workforce reduction plan and his proposal for what it should mean for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I agree with many of those proposals for reducing the size of the USPTO in accordance with the mandate set forth by President Trump, but believe that concentrating on a reduction in the number of patent examiners is not the only or necessarily the best approach… Review of USPTO middle and upper level management to determine who assigns junior, senior, primary and supervisory patent examiners to specific art units and reassignment of Office personnel is necessary.

Australia Releases Guidelines on Patentability of Genetic Material – Now That’s How It’s Done

The Australian Patent Office yesterday released its new guidelines in response to Australia’s High Court decision on the patentability of genetic material. The good news for Australia, though cold comfort for us on the other side of the Pacific, is that the Australian Patent Office has shown our counterpart US institutions the correct way to interpret and apply an important new case carving specific subject matter out of the broad default of patent eligibility. Rather than declaring ineligible from patenting everything under the sun “involving” a law or product of nature, Australia has instead read the High Court’s decision faithfully yet narrowly to exclude exactly what it said it excluded.

Thoughts on Ex parte Boyden

A couple months ago I commented on Ex parte Khvorova, expressing disappointment in its analysis and concern over what this might mean since it is “the first PTAB decision in molecular biology since patenting in that field got turned upside down.” To follow up on these notions, and to give credit where credit is due, I wanted to briefly comment on Ex parte Boyden, which the PTAB issued September 2, 2015.

Ariosa is a Good Example of Outcome-Driven § 101 Decisions

The first and most critical task in most eligibility analysis is carefully and precisely defining the subject matter of the claims as well as the natural phenomenon that is potentially being claimed. The superficial definitions in current court decisions are usually found in the part of a decision where the court explains what the patentee “essentially” or “generally” claimed. I understand that judges are not technology experts, but the current shortcut of boiling claims down to their “essence” is particularly problematic in a § 101 case. Everything is a “natural phenomenon” if this term is treated expansively.

Thoughts on Ex parte Khvorova

Ex parte Khvorova is the first PTAB decision on patent eligibility in the life sciences. Until now, the PTAB has been remarkably silent on eligibility in life sciences in the midst of significant judicial activity. The invention relates to synthetically designed and produced small interfering RNA (“siRNA”) molecules, which were discovered in nature for their ability to suppress gene expression. Claim 85 recites a method of rationally designing siRNA molecules with optimal suppression efficacy.

What Happened to Judge Lourie in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp?

The first thing that any student of the Federal Circuit likely notices when reading CLS Bank is that Judge Lourie not only joined the dominant concurrence, but he also wrote the opinion. The same Judge Lourie who wrote the first opinion in Mayo, after which the Supreme Court asked the Federal Circuit to reconsider, and who then wrote the second opinion in Mayo. The same Judge Lourie who wrote the first opinion in Myriad, after which the Supreme Court asked the Federal Circuit to reconsider, and who then wrote the second opinion in Myriad[12]. All of those opinions interpret §101 broadly. What changed?

In re Lovin: The Examiner’s Answer is Too Late To Make a Proper Rejection of Dependent Claims

Lovin has received exceptional attention in the patent law blogosphere. In short, Lovin permits an examiner to wait until an examiner’s answer to explain how and why dependent claims are rejected. What’s worse, Lovin permits the examiner to require the applicant to provide a substantive reason for patentability before the examiner explains the rejection. The Federal Circuit is considering whether to hear In re Lovin en banc, and indeed they should rehear Lovin en banc. The Federal Circuit should defend the applicant’s right to receive a meaningful explanation of claim rejections before the applicant is required to rebut the rejections.

Having it Both Ways: the USPTO’s Inconsistent Positions in In re Lovin and Kappos v. Hyatt

Since 1993, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has pursued an “aggressive campaign” to free itself from oversight by and accountability to the courts. [1] At the same time, the USPTO has been just as aggressive in ignoring the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and related administrative laws that place responsibilities on the USPTO vis-à-vis the public. Fortunately, most administrative laws provide the public a remedy exercisable against agency overreaching: when an agency skirts its obligations, the agency loses its powers of enforcement vis-à-vis the public. Unfortunately, in July 2011 the Federal Circuit in In re Lovin [2] (opinion authored by Judge Dyk) allowed the USPTO to avoid obligations that the USPTO owes the public under the APA, while giving the USPTO judicial deference on issues where the APA grants none. A petition for rehearing of the Lovin case would give the en banc Federal Circuit the opportunity to ”right this wrong,” and to give the public the remedy that Congress intended, and to reinforce that the Administrative Procedure Act gives agencies both rights and obligations.