Posts Tagged: "patent prosecution"

WIPO Report: China Sees Massive Surge in IP Filings Across the Board

Worldwide IP filings increased by 3.6% in 2021, according to a report published November 21 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The increase came during a turbulent time for the world economy, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a global economic downturn. The biggest increase in patent filings was in Asia, where 67.6% of worldwide patent applications were filed. The United States saw a 1.2% decrease in filings and a 1% increase in trademark filings. Trademark applications grew at a much faster rate than patent applications, with a 5.5% in trademark filing activity. Industrial design filing activity also rose by 9.2% with the largest uptick again in Asia. China saw high rates of growth and is a global leader in sheer numbers across all indicators.

How to Ensure Your Retroactive Foreign Filing License Petition Isn’t Dismissed

As outlined in our article, The Good, the Bad and the Missing: Findings from a Review of the Data on Granted Retroactive Foreign Filing Licenses, Petition.ai’s subscribers’ most searched patent petition type is for retroactive foreign filing licenses (RFFLs). In the article, we highlighted that 71% of applications petitioning the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a RFFL eventually are granted. On average, it took 2.3 RFFL petitions over 1.4 years before obtaining the granted petition. We also pointed out 84% of granted RFFL petition decisions could not be found in the Public PAIR’s Image File Wrapper (IFW). Several months after we published the article, and after several communications with the Office of Petitions, these granted decisions were finally published in the IFW. This article examines the most common reasons why the USPTO dismisses RFFL petitions.

How to Use the USPTO Patent Public Search Tool

Do you want a simple way to search for specific patents and to get PDF copies of those patents? And do you want those PDF files to come straight from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), so you can be confident that they contain any Certificates of Correction? Our first article in a series about the USPTO’s Public Patent Search (PPS) web page shows you how. PPS launched on December 1, 2021. It’s critical to get to know PPS now—especially if you want to get access to PDF copies of patents, because the USPTO removed the only other remaining method to get PDFs from their site just last month. Like any new technology, it can take some getting used to—but once you get the hang of it, it can make your life much easier. This short how-to article explains the essentials of using PPS to find and download specific patents and how to deal with the unique idiosyncrasies of PPS’s text versions of patents.

How to Rewrite Method-of-Treatment Claims to Conform to Japanese Patent Practice

In the United States, claims directed to methods of treating/diagnosing human disease are patentable. On the other hand, in Japan, such claims are unpatentable. Therefore, the applicant is required to rewrite or delete the claims when a patent application (e.g., Patent Cooperation Treaty application) containing such claims enters the Japanese national phase and is examined. In this article, I offer my personal views on how to rewrite method-of-treatment claims for Japanese examination. I will particularly focus on claims that may or may not conform to Japanese patent practice while past Japanese patent cases and the current patent system are taken into account.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Eligibility Comments to USPTO Suggest Alice/Mayo Framework Changes, While PTAB Practices RFC Sees Copy-Paste Campaign

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is currently assessing comments collected pursuant to a pair of requests for public input, one focused on the agency’s subject matter eligibility guidelines for examining patent applications for 35 U.S.C. § 101 issues, and the other seeking feedback on several practices surrounding patent validity trials at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). While the PTAB practices request for comments appears to have spawned a copy-and-paste comment campaign involving thousands of boilerplate comments, about two-dozen comments filed on the Section 101 guidelines featured far more sophisticated views on actions that the USPTO should be taking to improve patent examination practices on patent applications that trigger issues with judicial exceptions to Section 101 eligibility under U.S. Supreme Court case law.

Exploring Patent Practitioners’ Duty to Correct Excess Patent Term Adjustment

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is overestimating the term of some of the patents it issues. The general rule is that a patent expires 20 years after the priority date of the application. This rule means that the longer the USPTO is processing an application, the fewer days of term the patent will enjoy if granted. To prevent substantial decrease in the term, Congress instructed the USPTO to extend the life of patents that have suffered delays during prosecution. This extension is known as Patent Term Adjustment (PTA). In addition, Congress burdened the agency with telling the patent applicants how much PTA they are entitled to. To tackle the resulting workload, the USPTO designated the task of applying complex PTA rules to a computer software.

Cooperative v. Kollective CAFC Decision Demonstrates Virtues of Consistent and Candid Patent Prosecution and Litigation

It is sometimes said that a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. We have found, however, that it is often the slow-and-steady truth that wins the race in our deliberative justice system, which for patents has both administrative and judicial components. Our case-in-point is the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in Cooperative Entertainment, Inc. v. Kollective Technology, Inc., which reversed a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal on patent ineligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101. This case demonstrates how an invention that is potentially assailable on eligibility grounds can be given its best chance by a focused, consistent and synergistic patent prosecution and litigation strategy. Thus, it is not coincidental that your authors are a patent litigator and a patent prosecutor, respectively.

Still Receiving Alice Rejections? Time to Revisit USPTO Guidance

Alice Corp v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014) sent rejections under 35 U.S.C. § 101 skyrocketing from under 10,000 per year prior to the Alice decision to nearly 35,000 the year the Supreme Court handed down its decision (2014). Peaking at just over 100,000 rejections in 2018, the USPTO’s January 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance (2019 PEG) helped to stabilize and ultimately lower the number of rejections under Section 101 to just over 20,000 in 2021. Though this number may continue to drop – the data on Section 101 rejections for 2022 is not yet complete – one thing is for sure: The number of rejections under Section 101 post Alice still far outnumber the Section 101 rejections made prior to Alice by at least 10,000 per year. As illustrated in Fig. 1 (data gathered using juristat.com), the majority of rejections under Section 101 made since 2014 are still Alice rejections, which leaves room for this number to decrease further.

IP Practice Vlogs: Responding to the USPTO’s Request for Public Comments

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) would like public comments on how to update the 2019 Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance. The agency is also seeking comments on how to improve the robustness of the patent system overall. This article/video is in (unofficial) response to both of these requests for comments. The current mess surrounding subject matter eligibility in the United States is an offspring of a much deeper problem in patent law, which is that there is practically no standardization in patent practice. In medicine, U.S. doctors are trained by standardized practices through rotations and residency programs such that when they begin practicing, a doctor graduating in Florida will not practice medicine vastly different from a doctor graduating from medical school in California, for instance. Instead, the idea is that all the graduates will approach medical treatment in a standardized way so that the public has a lot more faith in the medical community.