All Posts

Naming Inventors on a Patent Application May Be More Important than You Think

In a recent webinar moderated by Gene Quinn, President & CEO of IPWatchdog, Ludwig APC founder, Eric Ludwig, and Pattric Rawlins, partner at Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch, discussed the topic of inventorship, including subjects such as naming inventor(s) on a patent and the implications of amending and contesting Inventorship. “Matters of inventorship and patent ownership are easy until they’re not—until there’s a fight or a disagreement over co-inventorship,” Ludwig explained. “If the parties have a good relationship and there is an amicable decision to correct an error or omission as to who is named as an inventor, then that’s an easy process. If it’s contested, that’s when problems arise.”

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, November 11: FTC Says Method of Distribution Patents Don’t Belong in Orange Book, EPO Report Shows 13.2% of European Inventors are Women, and Ninth Circuit Nixes Intel Antitrust Appeal Against Fortress and VLSI

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the European Patent Office issues the results of a study showing that 13.2% of European inventors between 1978 and 2019 were women; the Supreme Court disappoints the life sciences community by dismissing the cert petition in Juno Therapeutics, but grants cert in Amgen v. Sanofi and Abitron Austria v. Hetronic International; the Federal Trade Commission files an amicus brief in the District of Delaware arguing that Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ patents covering a method of distributing Xyrem should not be listed in the Orange Book; and more.

With Decision Looming on Extension of TRIPS IP Waiver, House Dems Want More Info, Industry and Advocacy Groups Battle for Public Narrative

On November 10, a group of Democratic members of congress sent a letter to United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai expressing concerns about extending a waiver of intellectual property rights under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement to therapeutics and diagnostics for the treatment of COVID-19. The letter comes as talks are heating up at the World Trade Organization (WTO) about such an extension, with the technical deadline for a decision being December 19. The letter poses seven questions for Tai to consider and respond to as she formulates the U.S. position on waiver extension, including whether the current waiver of IP rights for vaccine-related technology has been effective, how “diagnostics” and “therapeutics” will be defined, and that she provide a list of countries that have expressed interest in gaining access to American IP for COVID-related diagnostics and therapeutics.

Barclay Damon is Seeking a Trademarks & Copyrights Attorney

Barclay Damon LLP, a leading law firm of nearly 300 attorneys that operates from a strategic platform of offices located in the Northeastern United States and Toronto, is seeking a partner or senior trademark associate to lead or support its trademark and copyright work. This is a full-time, permanent position in any of the following locations: Syracuse, NY, Rochester, NY, Buffalo, NY, Boston, MA, New Haven, CT, or Albany, NY.

In Defense of Patentability of Mathematical Formulas and Relationships

“Mathematical Formulas and Relationships” fall under the “Abstract Idea” exception to the categories of patentable subject matter. Characterizing the “Mathematical Formulas and Relationships” as “Abstract Ideas” has led to misrepresentation of mathematical concepts in patent law. A “Mathematical Formula or Relationship” is a means of expression and should be inspected to extract what it expresses. Next, the content that is being expressed may be evaluated to determine whether the “Mathematical Formula or Relationship” is expressing a “Tool” or a “Model,” both of which are used for building machines and devising technological processes and neither of which needs to be categorically excepted from patentability.

Tillis Bill Would Restore Needed Clarity and Predictability in Patent Eligibility Law

Over the last 15 years, the United States Supreme Court has mutated patent eligibility into an impossibly complex and confusing mess. The Court’s current eligibility test strays far from Congress’s original intent, erodes trust in predictability, and has left many remarking that innovation in the United States is falling behind due to uncertainty of patent eligibility law. Even more troubling, the resulting uncertainty of patent ineligibility for large swaths of innovation in critical technology areas, including artificial intelligence, poses significant risks to U.S. competitiveness, economic growth and national security. The Court has had opportunities to rectify its patent sinkhole but recently declined another chance to mend the chaos. When the Court denied certiorari in American Axle v. Neapco—despite the Solicitor General’s plea to hear the case—it became clear that Congress must step in to rescue U.S. innovation.

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal in Museum Trademark Dispute

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed the dismissal of Metamorfoza’s trademark infringement and unfair competition claims against Big Funny over a trademark that included the disclaimed phrase “Museum of Illusions.” Big Funny also cross-appealed the district court’s denial of its motion for attorneys’ fees, but the Court of Appeals agreed with the district court, finding that it had acted within its discretion in denying fees under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a) because the case was not “exceptional.” Big Funny and Metamorfoza both operate multiple museums called “Museum of Illusions” in the United States. Big Funny operates museums in California and Florida, while Metamorfoza has museums in New York, Missouri and Texas.

Federal Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction for CPAP Company

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today issued a precedential decision affirming the grant of a narrowly-tailored preliminary injunction to SoClean, Inc., a medical device company that makes CPAP machines, based on trademark infringement claims against Sunset Healthcare Solutions, Inc. SoClean alleged in 2021 that Sunset infringed its U.S. Trademark Registration No. 6,080,195. The registration covers the configuration of replacement filters for its sanitizing devices.

Moving Toward a Design Patent Bar – Progress in the IP Community

Challenging established processes is a commonly recognized leadership principle. In recent weeks, the emphasis by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on reconsidering and reforming patent bar eligibility, especially with regard to a potential design patent bar, represents a significant challenge to well-established Patent Office procedures. If the health and viability of an organization can be defined in terms of its ability to revisit, revamp and evolve existing rules and procedures, then this initiative, led by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Kathi Vidal, represents a healthy and viable intellectual property community.

We Need an Open-Source Approach to Weed Out Bad Quality Patents

Much has been written about patent quality. But many authors approach this problem with a bias against the very idea of a patent system. These critics would “solve” the patent quality problem by cutting down the total number of issued patents rather than focusing on problem patents. They suggest increasing examiners and examination time will weed out bad quality patents. And this might throw up additional roadblocks to inventors obtaining a patent by increasing the time and cost of securing an allowance. But this does not necessarily improve patent quality. Instead, it merely reduces the total number of patents issued. Rather than “more examination,” solutions to the patent quality problem need to focus on “better examination.” In theory, “better examination” should stop invalid claims from ever getting issued while simultaneously streamlining allowance for valid claims.

Supreme Court’s Denial of Juno Therapeutics is Another Blow to the Life Science Patent Industry

On November 7, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order list showing that it had denied the petition for writ of certiorari filed in Juno Therapeutics, Inc. v. Kite Pharma, Inc. In denying the petition, the Court refused yet again to clarify the Federal Circuit’s questionable interpretation of U.S. patent code, this time within the context of the written description requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112, and leaves in place an appellate court ruling that many believe will be very damaging to the United States’ life sciences innovation sector.

Federal Circuit Reins in Albright Again, Orders Quick Ruling on Apple’s Venue Transfer Motion

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today said in a precedential order that Judge Alan Albright’s Scheduling Order in a case between Aire Technology Limited and Apple, Inc. went too far in mandating additional substantive discovery and re-briefing that would result in nearly a year passing before the court rules on Apple’s venue transfer motion. Apple asked the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in April 2022 to transfer Aire’s patent infringement case against it to the Northern District of California. Apple filed declarations during venue discovery to support the need for transfer, including a request to supplement its motion with additional declarants just prior to the close of venue discovery, and offered to make the declarants available for deposition and to extend the transfer proceedings for a “reasonable” amount of time.

CAFC Shoots Down Patentee’s Bid to Reclaim Deducted Patent Term

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Monday said the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) properly deducted days from a patentee’s Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) under Supernus Pharms., Inc. v. Iancu because there were clear steps the applicant could have taken to conclude prosecution. Eurica Califorrniaa owns U.S. Patent 10,245,075 for a “Nondestructive means of ectopic pregnancy management.” Following a lengthy prosecution, the examiner made an amendment indicating minor additional changes to the claim language and issued a notice of allowance on December 11, 2018. Califorrniaa requested an additional interview on January 7, 2019, and included a new proposed amendment.

Barclay Damon is Seeking an IP Litigation Associate

Barclay Damon LLP, a leading law firm of nearly 300 attorneys that operates from a strategic platform of offices located in the Northeastern United States and Toronto, is seeking an associate to support its intellectual property litigation team. This is a full-time, permanent position in any of the following locations: Syracuse, NY, Rochester, NY, Buffalo, NY, Boston, MA, New Haven, CT, or Albany, NY.

USPTO Webinar on ‘Robust and Reliable Patent Rights’ Underscores Pressure on Office to Respond to Public Scrutiny of Examination Practices

On November 4, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted a webinar regarding the agency’s recent request for comments (RFC) on initiatives that the USPTO is exploring to enhance the robustness and reliability of patent rights issued by the agency. While the USPTO senior legal advisors moderating the webinar indicated that the agency was interested in hearing all viewpoints, the types of initiatives being considered could lead one to believe that ensuring robust and reliable patent rights means encouraging fewer U.S. patent filings.

Varsity Sponsors

Junior Varsity Sponsors