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Patent Prosecution & Strategic Counseling

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Regulatory compliance is often treated as completely independent from development or enforcement of patent rights. This situation is not helped by the absence of coordination between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Still, companies must understand and appreciate the impact regulatory submissions may have on their patent portfolio.
Further to our previous blog post, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reported that the 10 millionth patent issued today with the new patent cover design.
The Federal Circuit’s decision in Vanda Pharm. Inc. v West-Ward Pharm. Intl. Ltd. (2016-2707, 2016-2708 April 13, 2018) provided some good news on the subject matter eligibility front for innovators and other stakeholders in the personalized medicine space, as discussed in a previous post.
Software patents are generally directed to a sequence of steps or rules, i.e., an algorithm, performed by a computer programmed to carry out the algorithm.  Because algorithms are inherently functional in nature, software patent claims are frequently written using functional, as opposed to structural, terms.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) anticipates issuing the 10 millionth utility patent at some point during the summer 2018.
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in February that it was wrong for a judge to rule that a patent was ineligible under the Alice standard because there were underlying factual disputes that could not be resolved on summary judgement.
Struggling to keep case law relating to subject matter eligibility organized?  In February 2018, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released an improved Eligibility Quick Reference Sheet, providing patent practitioners with a useful tool for analyzing claims in view of 35 U.S.C. § 101 subject matter eligibility requirements.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is implementing eCommerce Modernization (eMod), as discussed at a USPTO Patent Quality Chat webinar on February 13, 2018.
On February 6, 2018, in Actelion v. Matal, the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). 
Under U.S. patent law, while there is no duty to perform a search of relevant art, inventors and those associated with filing or prosecuting patent applications as defined in 37 C.F.R. § 1.56 have a duty to disclose to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) all known prior art or other information that may be “material” in determining patentability.
If you purchased anything from a website using a one-click purchase button, you indirectly paid Amazon for that ability, at least up until September 11, 2017 when Amazon’s patent to this technology expired. As a result, one-click purchasing might become the new norm.
In patent prosecution, the feedback loop between interested parties including patent prosecutors, inventors, and in-house counsel helps to provide the best patent applications and office action responses for a high quality issued patent.
On November 1, 2017 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) implemented an expansion of the Collaborative Search Pilot Program (CSP), which began in 2015 and ended earlier in 2017, to expedite prosecution of related applications at the USPTO and the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) or Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).
On September 21, 2017, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) signed between the European Union (EU) and Canada provisionally entered into force in Canada. 

Recap on Design Patent Drawings

September 29, 2017| Blog

This post is a follow-up to our prior post To Seek Design Protection or Not, That is the Question! where we discuss situations where it is worth considering seeking a design patent. Here we highlight takeaways from a USPTO Inventor Info Webinar (the “Webinar”) held on September 21, 2017, that focused on design patent drawing requirements, as well as on other issues on design patents.
On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it would be extending the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program, which permits patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy to be examined in an expedited fashion.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is implementing eCommerce Modernization (eMod), as discussed at a Patent Quality Chat webinar on May 9, 2017.
MPEP §2103(VI) states that when a rejection is imposed, the “Office action should clearly communicate the findings, conclusions and reasons which support them.”  Examiners commonly satisfy this requirement by citing one or more prior art references allegedly teaching each of the limitations of a claim.
A variety of options are available to applicants to speed up patent application examination at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. 
U.S. patent law elevates the importance of “the inventor” to an extent unseen in the rest of the world.  Unlike many other countries, ownership of patent applications in the United States initially vests in the inventors listed on the application.

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