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Ten years ago, on September 21, 2004, the USPTO implemented the portion of the 21st Century Strategic Plan permitting the use of electronic or mechanical signatures, called “S-signatures,” on papers filed at the USPTO.
Two recent Federal Circuit decisions emphasize that characterizing the “present invention” by using that term in a U.S. patent application specification can limit the claims according to that characterization.

Tune in to the Global IP Marketplace

October 8, 2014| Advisory

Mintz Levin is constantly monitoring the global IP marketplace, and we like to keep our clients and friends aware of impactful developments. Below is a summary of last week’s patent-focused Global IP Matters blog posts. 
On October 1, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) announced the After Final Consideration Pilot 2.0 (“AFCP 2.0”) – a program intended to provide new features that will enhance communication between the USPTO and the applicant, as compared with the original After Final Consideration Pilot (“AFCP”).
The Federal Circuit recently denied en banc review of its prior decision dismissing a patent infringement suit where a co-owner of the patent-in-suit refused to join the case voluntarily and the court held that it could not force the co-owner to join the suit involuntarily.
The first parts of the new UK Intellectual Property Act 2014 come into force today. The act will introduce a range of new measures, one of which is that it expands the options available to patent proprietors for marking patented products.
On September 16, 2014, United States Patent and Trademark Office Chief of Staff Andrew Byrnes presented to the Boston Patent Law Association an update on new quality initiatives and the implementation of White House patent policies.
Administrative Law Judge Essex of the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) recently issued the public version of his decision in ITC investigation No. 337-TA-868. 
Administrative Law Judge Essex recently issued the public version of his Initial Determination in ITC investigation No. 337-TA-868, ruling that the respondents are precluded from relying on the defense that the patent holder is required to license the patents-in-suit on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms when they failed to seek a license before practicing the standard to which they now claim those patents are essential.
On June 19, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) handed down another unanimous opinion in a closely watched patent case. Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank International addresses patent eligibility of computer-implemented inventions.
The Supreme Court yesterday issued its long-awaited decision in Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank International addressing the patent eligibility of computer-implemented inventions under 35 USC §101.
In Actavis Group HF v. Eli Lilly & Co. the UK High Court has granted a declaration of non-infringement in the UK, France, Italy and Spain. A jurisdictional challenge in relation to the French, Italian and Spanish jurisdictions was rejected.
The Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States have rarely reached consensus on any issues this term. However, they achieved unanimity in two patents cases recently, which may have a significant impact on you and your patent portfolio.
Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court delivered unanimous opinions in two separate cases addressing questions of patent law, Limelight Networks v. Akamai Technologies (on induced infringement) and Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments (on indefiniteness).
Our colleagues in the Employment, Labor & Benefits practice are hosting a free webinar on May 28th about drafting effective non-compete agreements and other restrictive employment covenants.
On Monday, May 5, 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, by transferring the Microsoft v. Motorola case to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, issued an order which may significantly impact the ability of participants in standard-setting organizations (“SSOs”) to obtain relief for patent infringement.
On April 29, 2014, Senators Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced the Defend Trade Secrets Act (S. 2267), a proposed amendment to the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, which made trade secret theft a federal crime.
Lack of clarity is not a ground for opposition before the EPO, but can be raised against amendments filed during the opposition proceedings. In accordance with Article 101(3) EPC, any amendments made to a granted patent during opposition proceedings must meet the requirements of the European Patent Convention.
The International Trade Commission (ITC) issued its much-awaited decision in Certain Digital Models on April 3, 2014, affirming in a decision with important implications for the software and media industries that digital importation is within the jurisdiction of the Commission.
On March 10, 2014, Sonos announced it would forward-publish its patent applications before they would traditionally be available to the public. This has given rise to quite a bit of discussion in patent legal circles.

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