The USPTO today issued an updated and comprehensive guideline regarding patent subject matter eligibility in view of the recent Supreme Court decisions in Alice CorpMyriad, and Mayo.  This "2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility" was published today, December 16, 2014.  

The Supreme Court today granted certiorari in a case asking whether its prior decision in Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U.S. 29 (1964) should be overruled, which previously held that a licensee's obligations are absolved after the expiration of a patent, and that royalty payments for a patent cannot continue beyond the life of that patent.  

Thursday, 11 December 2014 18:01

China's Patent Dominance

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China's rise in patent dominance, eclipsing filings of Japan and the U.S. has long been predicted.  According to a recent report published by Thomson Reuters, by 2011, China had passed the patent output of both countries, and by 2013, China's annual application filings nearly doubled those of of both countries.  This recent push is driven by a five-year government plan in which the country has set out to reach two million applications for patents for inventions, utility models, and designs by 2015.  

According to the documents produced in response to a recent USPTO FOIA request, the Sensitive Application Warning System (SAWS) is “designed as an information gathering system to apprise various areas of the PTO of the prosecution of patent applications that include sensitive subject matter.” “Sensitive” subject matter, in this case, has rather broad scope including applications disclosing frivolous, silly, or controversial subject matter, especially subject matter generating extensive media coverage. A 1989 memo initially detailing the SAWS project was publicized in 2006, but the most recent FOIA request provides additional insight, including USPTO internal memoranda to each technology center outlining specific topics for each center as well as protocol for flagging and reviewing “sensitive” applications.

Thanksgiving traditions are deeply rooted in American culture.  Ever since Abraham Lincoln first mandated Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, Americans have been rejoicing this popular national holiday on every fourth Thursday of November. 

Accordingly, the history of Thanksgiving evokes many great memories for many Americans.  Family and friends travel long distances to come together and spend quality time in each other’s company. As such, Thanksgiving is about spending time with family, watching football on television, feasting on traditional foods, shopping at malls, partaking in parades, volunteering at food drives, and taking naps.

Given this, many products and services contribute in helping American families come together to cherish these special moments, and invariably intellectual property is prevalent everywhere in them.

 

Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:02

Intellectual Property in Your Voting

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As mid-term elections embark, millions of Americans will rush to the voting booths to exercise on their Fifteenth Amendment Constitutional Right to vote. During this exciting democratic process, Intellectual Property will be all around them.  Historically, there have been ground breaking patents, which have helped shape the American voting process.  Some of the notable patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) include as follows:

The ALS Association’s “ice bucket challenge” gained tremendous popularity via the social media.  Friends, family members, acquaintances and sometimes even strangers challenged each other on social media such as Facebook, by recording an act of drenching themselves with an ice-cold bucket of water, and thereby making a pledge to donate towards ALS research.  As such, the popularity helped the Association raised more than $94 million in less than a month towards finding a cure for ALS, colloquially known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 17:03

Software Patentability after Alice Corp v. CLS Bank

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In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision in Alice Corp v. CLS Bank, we have been keeping a close eye on Federal Circuit and PTAB decisions for further clarification on the case's more stringent test regarding patent-eligibility under 35 USC 101. In this article we note several post-Alice developments regarding the patent eligibility of software processes that may fall in the category of "abstract ideas".

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