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On November 15, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit resolved a split among district courts on the question whether the United States Supreme Court’s TC Heartland decision constituted a change in the law, or merely a course-correction to honor preexisting law.

USPTO Publishes New Rule Governing Privilege for Patent Attorneys and Agents

November 14, 2017 | Blog | By Matthew Hurley, Matthew Galica, Anthony Faillaci

Earlier this week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) published a new rule governing when privilege exists for communications between clients and their domestic or foreign patent attorneys and patent agents before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”).
In an interesting development in the post-TC Heartland world, it appears that the Federal Circuit will soon answer the question whether the Supreme Court’s venue decision was a change in the law, or merely a course-correction to honor preexisting law.
In Vecco Instruments Inc. v. SGL Carbon, LLC, No. 17-CV-2217 (E.D.N.Y. Nov. 2, 2017), Judge Pamela Chen in the Eastern District of New York recently granted Vecco’s motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining SGL Carbon.
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).

Apple and Samsung Are Headed Back to the Court Room

October 25, 2017 | Blog | By Andrew DeVoogd, Serge Subach

Following a lengthy and extensive litigation that began in 2011 that culminated in a U.S. Supreme Court decision in December of 2016, smartphone industry titans Apple and Samsung will again find themselves in Federal District Court Judge Lucy Koh’s courtroom on remand to determine appropriate damages for Samsung’s infringement of Apple’s design patents.

Federal Circuit Clarifies the Requirements for a Teaching Away by the Prior Art

October 23, 2017 | Blog | By Adam Samansky, Peter Cuomo, Joe Rutkowski

In a precedential opinion issued on October 11, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the Patent Trial and Appeals Board’s (“PTAB”) finding of non-obviousness where the prior art taught away from some, but not all, of the embodiments covered by the challenged claims.
Last month, following a jury verdict in federal district court in Delaware awarding Plaintiff Idenix Pharmaceuticals LLC $2.54 billion in damages—“the largest damages verdict ever returned in a patent [infringement] trial”—Chief Judge Leonard Stark denied Idenix’s motion for enhanced damages.

General Plastic Industrial Co. v. Canon Kabushiki Kaisha: PTAB Explains Factors for Follow-On Petitions

October 9, 2017 | Blog | By Brad M Scheller, Peter Cuomo, Inna Dahlin

On September 6, 2017, an expanded panel of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued an “informative” decision in General Plastic Industrial Co., Ltd, v. Canon Kabushiki Kaisha setting forth the Board’s framework for analyzing follow-on inter partes review (IPR) petitions.

ALJ Shaw: ITC is a Viable Forum for Enforcement of SEPs

October 6, 2017 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, James Wodarski, Aarti Shah, Robert Moore

The public version of ALJ Shaw’s Initial Determination (ID) in U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation Certain Magnetic Data Storage Tapes and Cartridges Containing the Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-1012 (1012 Investigation), provides important guidance on enforcement of standard-essential patents (SEPs) in the ITC. 
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. 

AQUA PRODUCTS: The Federal Circuit Shifts The Burden of Proof On Amending Claims During An IPR From The Patent Owner To The Petitioner

October 5, 2017 | Blog | By Michael Renaud, William Meunier, Michael Newman, Matthew Galica

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in Aqua Products Inc., v. Matal materially changes the burden of proof associated with the patentability of amended claims during an inter partes review (“IPR”), shifting the burden from the Patent Owner seeking the amendment to the IPR Petitioner opposing it.

Recap on Design Patent Drawings

September 29, 2017 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Inna Dahlin

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.

Making the Sausage: Lower Courts Grapple With the Supreme Court’s TC Heartland Venue Decision

September 27, 2017 | Blog | By Andrew DeVoogd, Anthony Faillaci

The United States Supreme Court decided earlier this year that a 1957 opinion is still valid and still limits venue choices for patent infringement actions under 28 U.S.C. § 1400.
The Federal Circuit yesterday issued an opinion in In re: Smith Int’l, Inc., No. 2016-2303 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 26, 2017) reversing an affirmance by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the rejection of several claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,732,817 being challenged in ex parte reexamination.

Building a Health App? Part 2: Protecting Your Intellectual Property

September 26, 2017 | Blog | By Christina Sperry

This post is the second in a series of weekly blog posts covering legal issues for consideration during the early stages of development of a health app and providing best practices to help guide you through a successful launch.
The Defend Trade Secrets Acts (DTSA) provides an important tool for any company possessing trade secrets to bring a suit in federal court to remedy and prevent dissemination of a misappropriated trade secret.

Federal Circuit Clarifies Venue Requirement Post-TC Heartland by Granting Mandamus Relief in In re Cray

September 25, 2017 | Blog | By Peter Snell, Daniel Weinger, Anthony Faillaci

Late last week, the Federal Circuit granted a writ of mandamus in In re Cray, 2017-129 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 21, 2017), overturning Judge Gilstrap’s four-factor test for determining whether a defendant possesses “a regular and established place of business” in a district such that the defendant could be sued for patent infringement in that district.

Calculating Patent Term Adjustment: Part 2

September 21, 2017 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Elissa Kingsland

This article is second in a series focusing on various issues related to Patent Term Adjustment for U.S. patent applications.  While Part 1 is a general overview of how to calculate patent term adjustment (“PTA”), this article addresses how the filing of various papers during prosecution can affect PTA.
On August 25, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a precedential opinion in Ex Parte McAward, reaffirming the Patent Office’s use of a lower pre-issuance threshold for indefiniteness distinct from the Supreme Court’s Nautilus standard.
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