Posts Tagged: "President Barack Obama"

Is Trump being bamboozled by Obama holdovers on patent policy?

The USPTO’s Obama holdovers Michelle Lee and Tony Scardino are simply co-opting the exact language used in Obama’s budgets for fiscal years 2015 to 2017 into Trump’s 2018 budget and then directly attributing Obama’s policies and statements to President Trump even though Trump has never taken a position on anti-patent legislation… Are these failed Obama era policies now carried over into the Trump Administration by Obama holdovers simply mistakes? Some sort of scrivener’s error? Or is it a direct attempt to carry over failed Obama policies in the name of President Trump? You be the judge. Perhaps you can tell me: Is Trump being googled by Obama holdovers? Or is Trump himself the swamp?

Fixing America’s Patent System is the Best Strategy to Jump-Start our Stalled Economy

Fixing America’s patent system is necessary for meaningful economic growth for America’s workers and America’s global competiveness over countries like China. Not surprisingly, Judge Michel thinks that “[w]hile we’ve been weakening our patent system in many ways in recent years, China and other countries have been greatly upgrading their patent systems . . . investment is shrinking here and it’s growing elsewhere.” Judge Michel kept returning to the theme that the lack of new jobs “is the biggest single problem in America today,” and that “whether you talk about job creation or growth or revival of distressed cities . . . the innovation ecosystem is at the heart of the solution.”

Pro Bono Efforts by Fish & Richardson Yield Clemency Grants by President Obama

Fish & Richardson announced that it has obtained clemency for five pro bono clients the firm represented through the firm’s participation in The Clemency Project. The Clemency Project is a major initiative launched by the American Bar Association and various other public interest groups in cooperation with the Department of Justice to seek sentence commutations from President Obama for non-violent, low level drug offenders who have already served at least 10 years of lengthy federal prison terms. Fish attorneys contributed over 1,800 pro bono hours to help identify potential candidates for clemency and to prepare individual clemency petitions for those eligible prisoners. Three of those commutations were announced in the past two months; two were announced last week.

Commerce Lists USPTO Director as Vacant, USPTO declines to comment on Michelle Lee

If Lee did not resign and she has been asked to stay on as Director why has the Patent Office declined to comment? Further complicating matters, if you visit the Department of Commerce leadership webpage, the position of Under Secretary for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office is listed as “Vacant.”

Patently Surreal: The Obama Strategic Plan on IP Enforcement

It is almost impossible to believe this report is the work product of the Obama Administration. The section on patents, which begins on page 134, reads like a cross between a Monty Python skit and a Soviet era, propaganda laden news report. Perhaps the Obama Administration is trying to rewrite history and brainwash the entire industry into believing that President Obama has been a tremendous defender of the U.S. patent system. Simply stated, the Obama Administration can write all they want about the importance of the patent system and how patents are critically important for innovation, but the reality is that the future of American innovation has been forfeited (or at least heavily mortgaged) by a calculated, intentional, and willful dismantling of the U.S. patent system for the benefit a handful of politically well connected companies that helped President Obama get elected and then re-elected.

Obama’s Anti-Patent Bias Led to the Destruction of His Legacy

Barack Obama came to office with the suspicion that patents caused higher prices and created market inefficiencies. He set a mission to disassemble the patent system, which culminated in the America Invents Act… Obama supplied power to the market incumbents, thereby fortifying their monopoly power, while depriving market entrants of critical tools. By strengthening incumbents and their industrial oligopolies, he harmed competition from market entrants, policies that generated the slowest growth in history.

Senate passes 21st Century Cures Act, President Obama expected to quickly sign bill into law

Earlier today, by a vote of 94 to 5, the United States Senate overwhelmingly passed the 21st Century Cures Act. Having passed in the House, the Cures Act now goes off to the White House for the President’s signature, where it will receive a warm reception. “I’ll sign it as soon as it reaches my desk, because like a lot of you I’ve lost people I’ve loved deeply to cancer,” President Obama said in his weekly address on December 3, 2016, as he called upon Congress to act swiftly to pass the legislation and send it to the White House.

How the New Trade Secrets Law May Affect You

Earlier this year, President Obama signed into law the new federal “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016.” It arms with substantial new weaponry those whose trade secrets have been taken. What has been less heralded, but might just affect you more directly, are new requirements that might lead you to revise your standard confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.

The America Invents Act Five Years Later: Reality, Consequences and Perspectives

At exactly 11:42am on September 16, 2011, President Barak Obama signed the America Invents Act into law. As President Obama put his pen down he said: “All right guys, congratulations, the bill is signed.” It was at this precise moment that U.S. patent laws dramatically changed forever. With this in mind, over the next two weeks we will be examining the AIA in great detail in a special AIA 5th Anniversary series. I’ve invited a number of guests to comment, discuss and/or editorialize about the AIA. Below is a sneak peak of some of the contributions already received. As articles are published this preview article will be updated with links to the entire series.

Available Remedies under the DTSA

The DTSA amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (“EEA”) to provide for civil remedies in federal courts for the misappropriation of trade secrets. The new Section 1836(b) provides for both equitable and monetary relief. Subsection 1836(b)(3) authorizes a federal court to grant an injunction to prevent actual or threatened misappropriation of trade secrets. The language is identical to § 2 of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”). However, there are a number of limitations as to when a court may issue an injunction under the DTSA. First, the injunction may not “(I) prevent a person from entering into an employment relationship, and that conditions placed on such employment shall be based on evidence of threatened misappropriation and not merely on the information the person knows ….” Section 1836(b)(3)(A)(i)(I).

Handle with Care: Civil Seizure Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act

The DTSA’s provision for civil seizures provides victims of trade secret theft with a powerful remedy to prevent further dissemination of the trade secret and limit further harm. However, Congress balanced this powerful tool with severe consequences for those movants who misuse it. When seeking to use this remedy, victims of trade secret theft must be careful to comply with all the detailed requirements or they may be far worse off than before. It is a powerful weapon, but like most powerful weapons, it must be handled with great care lest it cause serious self-inflicted injury.

Innovation only occurs when entrepreneurs are incentivized to take risks

Believing that innovation does not come from risk taking inventors, entrepreneurs, start ups, or even from the likes of Silicon Valley, is naïve in the extreme. Unfortunately, this “you didn’t build that” belief system seems to permeate President Obama’s thinking with respect to innovation, and has trickled down within the Administration. This view is also shared by many in Congress too. Sadly, this fatalistic view removes the virtues of work and ignores the sacrifices it takes to succeed. Worst, such a world-view belittles risk taking, which is an absolute prerequisite to business success, particularly with respect to innovation.

Should Section 101 of the Patent Act be Removed

David Kappos, the director of the USPTO under President Obama from 2009 to 2013, recently called for congress to repeal section 101 of the patent act. According to Kappos, the current chaotic “I know it when I see it” 101 test that must be somehow consistently applied by thousands of USPTO examiners and hundreds of judges, means American inventors are better off seeking protection in China and Europe. While America “is providing less protection than other countries”, European countries are “putting their foot down in favor of innovation”.

Misappropriation of a Trade Secret Under the DTSA

The DTSA amends the definition of misappropriation from what was found in the EEA to bring the definition more in line with that of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) that has been adopted by almost all U.S. states. Indeed, apart of explicitly recognizing certain potential defenses that are discussed in the commentary of the UTSA, the DTSA is identical to the UTSA. According to the House Report, “The Committee intentionally used this established definition to make clear that this Act is not intended to alter the balance of current trade secret law or alter specific court decisions.” House of Representatives, Report No. 114-529, April 26, 2016, at 14. Federal courts therefore, will look to state decisions involving the state’s version of the UTSA for guidance.

Definition of a ‘Trade Secret’ Under the DTSA

In general, the form of the information qualifying as a trade secret under the DTSA is extremely broad, and includes information of any form, regardless of “how stored, compiled, or memorialized physically, electronically, graphically, photographically, or in writing,” and of any type, “financial, business, scientific, technical, economic, or engineering information,” so long as: (1) the information is actually secret, because it is neither known to, nor readily ascertainable by, another person who can obtain economic value from the disclosure or use of the information; (2) the owner has taken “reasonable measures” to maintain the secrecy; and (3) independent economic value is derived from that secrecy.[i] By comparison the UTSA identifies, by way of example, eight specific types of trade secret information; “formula, pattern compilation, program device, method, technique or process.” The DTSA, unlike the UTSA, also provides that information “stored” only in an individual’s memory can be the subject of a civil claim for theft of trade secrets.


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