Patent

The latest chapter in the Apple v. Samsung saga, previously blogged about here, involves an amicus brief filed by several large technology firms in support of a rehearing on the amount of damages owed to Apple by Samsung. If granted, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will hear again arguments that those damages should be based on profits attributable to only the infringing portion of the Samsung device, rather than profits made on the entire device. If the Federal Circuit is persuaded, the decision could lower exposure for patent infringement across the industry. 

The Supreme Court in AliceMayo, Myriad, and Bilski -- four cases in just four years -- dramatically redefined the issue of subject matter eligibility in patent law.  That is, the initial threshold question of whether an invention is eligible for obtaining patent protection in the first place.  The broad strokes of these cases left much to be desired, particularly and most recently in Alice, in which the Supreme Court created a vague 2-step analysis in determining when a (software or business method) invention is merely an "abstract idea", and therefore not patent eligible.  Understandably, the US PTO has encountered difficulty in applying the Alice analysis following the case, but has strived to offer some additional clarity in its latest July 2015 update to its prior 2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility.

As discussed earlier on our blog, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the case of Kimble v. Marvel Ent. Inc., a patent case deciding if its prior decision in Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U.S. 29 (1964) should be overruled.  This week, the Supreme Court upheld Brulotte in Kimble v. Marvel Ent. Inc., 576 U.S. ___ (2015) in a 6-3 decision involving Spider-man references, the classic doctrine of stare decisis, and a spirited dissent.

In a 6-2 decision handed down in Commil v. Cisco, the Supreme Court has held that a defendant's good faith belief that a patent is invalid does not serve as a defense to charges of inducing infringement of that patent, overturning the previous U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) decision.  

The Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Hague Agreement) will go into effect for the United States next Wednesday, May 13, 2015.  Under the Geneva Act, it will be possible for U.S. applicants to file a single international design application either with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or through the USPTO as an office of indirect filing to obtain protection in a number of countries that are party to the Hague Agreement.  In addition, applicants filing international design applications on or after May 13, 2015 will be able to designate the United States for design protection. U.S. design patents resulting from applications filed on or after May 13, 2015 will have a 15 year term from issuance.
Learn more at http://www.uspto.gov/patent/initiatives/hague-agreement-concerning-international-registration-industrial-designs

In a world where people use copious amount of time searching for things online via search engines, curiosity begs to know what are people really searching for when it comes to particular nations. Fixr.com took this curiosity by the horns and investigated deeper. Unsurprisingly, their results revealed that every nation yielded unique results, some as expected and some rather perplexing. For the United States, in particular, the object word “patent” was the most google searched word in 2015 so far.

The USPTO will shortly launch its new fee payment system called the Financial Manager. The Financial Manager is designed to be a seamless online fee payment management system. Accordingly, under the new system, users will be able to virtually manage, store and review payment methods. Additionally, the system will generate and download transaction reports, assign user permits, and provide notifications for administrative matters.

Inter Partes Review (“IPR”) was first made available via the America Invents Act (AIA) on September 16, 2012 as a counterpart to Post Grant Review. Accordingly, IPR is a procedure in which a third party may challenge the validity of patent claims based on existing prior art. Since its enactment, early statistics demonstrate that a staggering 87% success rate for the Petitioners to institute a trial with the Patent & Trial Appeal Board (“PTAB”) against the Patent Owners in the first year and equally favorable 76% success rate in the second year.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 19:21

Google is Looking to Buy Your Patent

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Google has recently announced an experiment to "remove friction from the patent market and improve the landscape" by offering The Patent Purchase Promotion.  Between the period of May 8, 2015 and May 22, 2015, Google will be opening an online portal for patent holders to offer Google individual patent(s) for purchase.  The seller sets a firm offer, and Google will respond with a simple yes or no.  http://www.google.com/patents/licensing/#tab=pp

March is National Women’s History Month. Women have been instrumental in shaping the story of technological America. Their ingenuity, resilience, and willingness to challenge old norms has played an integral role in American innovation and technology.

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