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As in any technology area, it is important to consider patent protection early in the development of an AI-related invention. However, AI inventions raise a number of particular issues that, if not addressed fully or at the right time, could be fatal to securing U.S. patent protection that would otherwise be available to prevent others from making, using, selling, or importing the invention. This article identifies common pitfalls in getting a patent for AI inventions and provides insights on how to avoid them. These principles apply not only to AI-related inventions, but also to digital health inventions more broadly.
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Today the Patent Trial and Appeal Board announced a final rule changing the claim construction standard for interpreting claims in inter partes review (“IPR”), post-grant review (“PGR”), and covered business method patent (“CBM”) proceedings.  The Board retired the broadest reasonable interpretation (“BRI”) standard in favor of the standard used to construe patent claims in federal court and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) as articulated in Phillips v. AWH Corp.  In doing so, the Board announced that it will now consider prior constructions, either from a federal district court or the ITC, in construing a claim term in an IPR, PGR, or CBM, where such prior constructions are timely made of record.  This rule change is another positive development for patent owners and should provide for consistent construction of the same term across multiple tribunals going forward.
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Recently in Nobel Biocare Services AG v. Instradent USA, Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) in an inter partes review (“IPR”) finding certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,714,977 (“the ’977 Patent”), directed to dental implants, unpatentable as anticipated.  The Nobel decision is the latest in a recent line of Federal Circuit cases holding that materials distributed at conferences, trade shows, and meetings are publically available “printed publications” within the meaning of pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 102(b).
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In our continuing post-TC Heartland coverage, Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas recently issued an interesting decision regarding the venue analysis for car companies selling into a particular jurisdiction. In Blitzsafe Texas v. BMW, Judge Gilstrap concluded that independently owned and operated BMW dealerships count as a regular and established place of business for purposes of establishing proper venue as to BMW of North America (“BMWNA”). (The court also concluded summarily that venue was proper as to BMWNA’s foreign parent company.) BMWNA argued in the main that the four dealerships located within the district were not their regular and established places of business because the dealerships are franchised. BMWNA also argued that it is not permitted to “own or control” the dealerships within the District pursuant to the Texas Occupations Code.
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Last week the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) provided yet another arrow in the patent owner’s quiver for defending against institution of IPRs.  In NHK International Corp. v. Intri-Plex Technologies, Inc., IPR2018-00752, the PTAB exercised its discretion under 35 U.S.C. § 325(d) and denied institution because the asserted art was already considered during the original examination of the patent.  The PTAB also found that denial was warranted under 35 U.S.C. § 314(a) in light of the additional factor that a district court trial on the same patent was imminent. 
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On September 7, 2018, RPX Corporation (“RPX”) requested a rehearing en banc of the Federal Circuit’s July 2018 Applications in Internet Time, LLC v. RPX Corp. decision, which held that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) must use a flexible approach when determining what entities constitute real parties in interest for the purpose of inter partes review (“IPR”).
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Last week, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) denied a second challenge to a patent where the petitioners were co-respondents in an ITC investigation. 
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Six months later, and more than 2.5 years after service of the complaint on Activision, Bungie filed IPRs challenging Worlds’ patents.
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On October 1, 2018, Massachusetts will become the 49th state to adopt a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. The version of the UTSA that Massachusetts will adopt bears notable similarities to the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the two year old federal trade secrets statute.
Most people are familiar with blockchain technology because of its use in cryptocurrency, but its use is going to be far more widespread than just as a ledger for digital currency. 
In our continued post-TC Heartland coverage, the Southern District of New York recently held that an employee’s home office in New York constituted a “regular and established place of business” in the state as required by the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b).
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued an August 2018 update to the American Invents Act Trial Practice Guide (the “Updated TPG”).  The Updated TPG incorporates the PTAB’s current practices and provides further explanation of certain aspects of the PTAB’s standard practices to the public. 
In our continued post-TC Heartland coverage, Judge Gilstrap in the Eastern District of Texas recently held that venue was proper because Google exercises exclusive control over physical servers implicated by the litigation, as well as the physical space within which the server is located and maintained.
Patent practitioners are probably well familiar with circumstances in which prosecution history estoppel can limit the scope of a U.S. utility patent’s claims.  Examples include claim amendments and statements made by the applicant during prosecution in papers filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Is there any possible danger in using the abbreviation “i.e.” in the specification of a U.S. patent application?  The Federal Circuit’s recent decision in TF3 Limited v. TRE Milano, LLC shows that the answer is “yes.” 
In our continuing post-TC Heartland coverage, the District of Nevada recently identified a key factor in analyzing venue challenges in patent litigation: whether the public can access the defendant corporation or its services in the respective forum.
Some inventions require testing before they are ready for patenting, and sometimes that testing requires use by the public. A recent decision from the Federal Circuit provides additional guidance on what activities qualify for the experimental use exception to the public use bar of 35 U.S.C. § 102(b).
A recent decision by the International Trade Commission (“ITC” or the “Commission”) improves intellectual property holders’ ability to prove that they have a “domestic industry” and obtain relief for infringement from the Commission. 
This article is first in a two-part series focusing on various issues related to priority claims in U.S. patent applications.  Part 1 is a general overview of how to make a proper priority claim, without addressing how to correct an improper priority claim, which will be examined in Part 2.
Patent owners have a new arrow in their quiver. The Supreme Court has held that patent owners can recover foreign lost profits for the use or sale of infringing products abroad if the products were assembled from components of the patented invention exported from the United States.
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