All Posts

What Scares You? A Few of the Most Frightening Developments in IP Law

Intellectual property (IP) law developments may not be high up on most people’s list of worst nightmares this Halloween, but for IP owners and lawyers, they can cause a fright. From patent eligibility to the economy, here are some thoughts on the scariest IP issues out there; add yours in the comments—if you dare.

This Week in Washington IP: IP Rights and the Right-To-Repair Movement, Implementing CISA’s First Strategic Plan, and the USPTO’s RFC on Robust and Reliable Patent Rights

This week in Washington IP news, both house of Congress remain quiet during regularly scheduled work periods. Elsewhere, the Hudson Institute explores the growing right-to-repair movement and potential conflicts with federal policy on intellectual property protections. The Center for Strategic & International Studies explores the first three-year strategic plan for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and how it should be implemented. Finally, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office closes the week with a webinar discussing the agency’s recent request for comments (RFC) on initiatives to support robust and reliable patent rights being issued by the agency. 

Discretionary Denial Under Section 325(d): Nuances of Advanced Bionics Framework for Prior Art Cited in an IDS During Prosecution

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has the discretion to deny institution of an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding under 35 U.S.C. § 325(d) if “the same or substantially the same prior art or arguments previously were presented to the Office.” In Advanced Bionics, LLC v. Med-El Elektromedizinische Geräte GmbH (“Advanced Bionics”), the PTAB established a two-part framework for determining whether a PTAB panel should exercise discretion under Section 325(d). This article surveys recent PTAB decisions having the common fact that the IPR challenges rely upon prior art that is the same or substantially the same as prior art submitted in an IDS during prosecution to glean insights as to how parties and the Board are addressing Advanced Bionics in this scenario.

IP Goes Pop! Halloween Spooktacular 2: The Return

IP Goes Pop! is back with its second annual Spooktacular! In this episode, things get much spookier as we pit the top four Halloween Monsters against each other. Listen in for a breakdown of these famous characters and archetypes. Play along as your co-hosts, Volpe Koenig Shareholders, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue rank Dracula, Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster, Werewolves, and Mummies. What powers or abilities do they have that set them apart from each other? What movie or television show made them Halloween staples, and do these movies stand the test of time? Find out who rates highest on the jack-o-lantern meter to be crowned the spookiest monster of Halloween.

Lessons from the Levandowski Case: Reimagining the Exit Interview as Risk Management

It was February 2017 when Waymo, Google’s self-driving car unit, sued Uber in what would become the biggest trade secret case of the century. Waymo alleged that its former manager, Anthony Levandowski, had organized a competing company while still at Waymo, and before leaving had downloaded 14,000 confidential documents. As it turned out, Uber had known about this when it agreed to pay $680 million for Levandowski’s brand new startup; and we’ve already looked at how the hubris of that hasty transaction provides lessons for hiring in new markets driven by emerging technology.

CAFC Vacates Preliminary Injunctions Against Online Hoverboard Sellers

In two separate precedential opinions issued Friday, October 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) vacated two separate preliminary injunction orders granted by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against hoverboard products alleged to infringe four design patents due to “substantive defects” in the court’s reasoning for granting the injunctions. Judges Dyk, Taranto and Stoll heard both appeals.

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, October 28: Tillis and Coons Seek Establishment of National Commission on AI, Japan’s Supreme Court Says No Copyright Fees for Student Music Lessons, and CAFC Reverses Hoverboard Injunction for Erroneous Legal Standard

This week in Other Barks & Bites: the Supreme Court of Japan rules that students taking lessons at music schools are not subject to copyright fees for in-lesson performances for instructors; the England and Wales Court of Appeal denies Apple’s request to set aside an injunction in its SEP/FRAND case with Optis Cellular; Retired Chief Judge Paul Michel urges the Federal Circuit to issue more en banc decisions to clarify patent law; the Federal Circuit reverses a district court’s preliminary injunction for applying the improper legal standard in determining the plaintiff’s likelihood of success in a design patent suit against Gyroor hoverboards; Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter begins by firing executives linked to misreported bot accounts; Senators Thom Tillis and Chris Coons ask the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Copyright Office to collaborate on a national commission on AI; and more.

What’s in a Pose? When it Comes to Brand Protection, Quite a Lot

Usain Bolt filed a recent U.S. trademark application depicting his widely recognized victory pose. The trademark has been applied for in relation to items such as clothing, jewellery, shoes and restaurant and bar services. As Bolt has retired from athletics, he is clearly hoping to add more strings to his bow.

Onyx IP Group is Seeking a Remote Patent Attorney/Agent

Onyx IP Group is looking for full-time remote patent attorneys/agents to prepare patent applications for leading global technology companies. We specialize in electrical, mechanical, and software technologies. We offer an opportunity to be a part of the exciting process of growing a newly established (up-and-coming) law firm. This position will give opportunities for career growth and development. Our firm is 100% remote with flexible hours and provides production-based compensation which ensures a real life/work balance.

P.S., I Don’t Love You: UK Court Delivers Blow to Apple in FRAND Fight with Optis But Laments ‘Dysfunctional’ SEP Dispute System

The England and Wales Court of Appeal this morning said that Optis Cellular Technology is entitled to an injunction before a lower court has set fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms for a license to Optis’ standard essential patents (SEPs) if Apple refuses to take a court-determined FRAND license. But in a post script to the ruling, Lord Justice Arnold said both Apple’s appeal and Optis’s cross-appeal “illustrate yet again the dysfunctional state of the current system for determining SEP/FRAND disputes” and that the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and other standards development organizaitons (SDOs) should “make legally-enforceable arbitration of such disputes part of their IPR policies” to curb the problem.

Patent Filings Roundup: Another Slow Week in the Courts; Discretionary Denials Drop to Near-Zero in Q3

It was another surprisingly light week in patent filings, compared at least with recent memory—just 29 new suits and 17 new filings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), all inter partes reviews (IPRs). The filings include a few challenges against patents asserted by the Fortress-funded Neo Wireless and Netlist, as well as a slew of filings by Apple against Mullin Industries, LLC. After a week’s respite there were five new IP Edge suits—not as many as usual, but still enough to represent almost a fifth of all suits filed this week.

Striking a Balance between Quality and Value in a Patent Portfolio

Without unlimited funds, a constant issue for developing and maintaining a patent portfolio is how to balance between obtaining the highest quality patents and obtaining patents at a lower cost to grow a portfolio. When biasing towards a reduced cost, some aspects of a well-written patent application may also be sacrificed. Some of these items may be more critical to a patent that is likely to be enforced, whereas other items may be more valuable to building a robust patent family based on that disclosure. In any event, there is always an opportunity to pursue a patent with a strategic focus. The below non-exhaustive list includes some common items that may be included in a more comprehensive patent application preparation and prosecution process that aims for higher quality and other items that may be sacrificed in a more cost-sensitive patent application process. Of course, the approach here does not recommend removing or foregoing any items from the patent application process, but these items are available for consideration when there are budgetary constraints.

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig, PLLC is Seeking a Patent Attorney

Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig is seeking a full-time Patent Attorney with 0-2 years of experience in the firm’s Leesburg, VA, or Chicago, IL, offices, although remote work from anywhere in the USA is possible. Primary responsibilities include the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, which the firm will back with strong staff support and robust backend tracking systems. Substantial and meaningful client contact almost from day one.

Presenting the Evidence for Patent Eligibility Reform: Part IV – Uncertainty is Burdening Litigants and Courts, Threatening U.S. Competitiveness and National Security

The current unreliability of patent-eligibility law, documented thus far here, here and here, has also created undue burdens on litigants and the courts. In this final installment, we detail how the current unreliability burdens litigants and the courts and how it is a fundamental threat to U.S. competitiveness and national security. Patent infringers now routinely raise Section 101 as a defense, often merely as a strategy to complicate and prolong the litigation, rather than as a good-faith defense with a likelihood of success. For example, one analysis found that, from 2012 to 2014 (when Alice was decided), Section 101 was raised in just two Rule 12(b)(6) motions across the country each year. In the year after Alice, that number rose to 36 motions, and by 2019, accused infringers were filing over 100 such motions each year.

Johnny Depp and Jeff Beck Sue Folklorist Accusing Them of Stealing Lyrics to ‘Hobo Ben’ Poem

Johnny Depp and guitarist Jeff Beck filed a lawsuit last Friday against folklorist and SUNY Buffalo professor Bruce Jackson, who accused the pair of plagiarizing a song on their latest album, “18”. In two demand letters the folklorist sent in August, Jackson alleged that Depp and Beck infringed the copyright of the poem “Hobo Ben” by copying entire passages. However, in their lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, Depp and Beck’s lawyers argue that Jackson never owned the copyright to “Hobo Ben,” as it was “part of an oral tradition passed down for generations and performed by an unidentified individual.” Therefore, they are asking the judge for a declaration of noninfringement, so the pair can “preserve their rights, defend their good names, and protect their business and business relationships.”

Varsity Sponsors

Junior Varsity Sponsors