Category Archives: Patents

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Machine Learning Patentability in 2019: 5 Cases Analyzed and Lessons Learned Part 2

Introduction This article is the second in a five-part series. Each of these articles relates to the state of machine-learning patentability in the United States during 2019. Each of these articles describe one case in which the PTAB reversed an Examiner’s Section-101 rejection of a machine-learning-based patent application’s claims. The first article of this series … Continue Reading

Machine Learning Patentability in 2019: 5 Cases Analyzed and Lessons Learned Part 1

Introduction This article is the first of a five-part series of articles dealing with what patentability of machine learning looks like in 2019. This article begins the series by describing the USPTO’s 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance (2019 PEG) in the context of the U.S. patent system. Then, this article – and the … Continue Reading

Intellectual Property Outlook: Cases and Trends to Follow in 2020 — PART 2

PART 2: EFFORTS TO CLARIFY PATENT ELIGIBILITY UNDER § 101 In this four-part series, we take a look forward at the cases, legislation, and other trends that are likely to have a significant impact on intellectual property law and practice in 2020. The first part of the series – looking at IP issues currently pending … Continue Reading

Intellectual Property Outlook: Cases and Trends to Follow in 2020 – PART1

PART 1: IP ISSUES CURRENTLY PENDING BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT In the first part of our series, we briefly summarize the intellectual property issues that the Supreme Court has already agreed to address in 2020. In particular, we provide a brief overview and key takeaways for the Supreme Court’s consideration of: Whether adding “.com” to … Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Patents – Will the Patent Office Change the Rules?

The number of patents for inventions based on artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning continues to grow rapidly. Some of these inventions relate to AI technology per se, and some relate to the use of AI in specific applications, including many in healthcare, financial services and blockchain, among other industries. The USPTO has addressed … Continue Reading

Left Empty Handed: Valve Shut Down on Written Prior Art, Highlighting Importance of System Art

System art is of increasing importance in patent disputes despite being frequently overlooked or “left for later” in many cases.  A recent decision in the Ironburg Inventions v. Valve Corp. case highlights the importance of system prior art, particularly as IPR success rates have dropped from their high points in 2012-15.… Continue Reading

Patent Attacks Against Open Source Intensify!

We previously reported on how popular open source has been under attack from patent assertion entities. The attacks continue. The GNOME Foundation recently acknowledged that it was sued for patent infringement by Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC. The allegedly infringing product is Shotwell, a free and open source personal photo manager. Neil McGovern, Executive Director for … Continue Reading

Perils of Waiting: PTAB’s Precedential Opinion Panel Designates Two More Decisions Rejecting 315(b) Arguments Regarding Time Bars

In two decisions recently designated as “precedential,” the PTAB rejected two theories raised by petitioners for why the service of a complaint should not trigger Section 315(b)’s one-year time bar for filing a petition. In the first case, the Board rejected the petitioner’s argument that a complaint must be served by a plaintiff that has … Continue Reading

New PTAB Guide Creates Uncertainty as to Multiple Petition Situations

The USPTO published its second update to the PTAB Trial and Practice Guide last month. The section addressing procedures for addressing multiple challenges to a patent is a new and noteworthy addition. In the new section addressing “parallel petitions challenging the same patent” by the same petitioner, the Board states that, “one petition should be … Continue Reading

Framing Your Pitch: A Lesson from the TTI v. IBG Cases

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently issued three interesting, related opinions interpreting and applying the “technological invention” exception to Covered Business Method Review (“CBM Review”). These opinions serve as a reminder that litigation often turns on an advocate’s effectiveness in framing (or re-framing) a critical issue of law before the court. … Continue Reading

Yes, UCANN!

Patentees and inventors of cannabis compounds may be happy to learn a district court in Colorado recently held that, based on the record before it, U.S. Patent No. 9,730,911, entitled “Cannabis extracts and methods of preparing and using same,” is not directed to unpatentable natural phenomena. United Cannabis Corporation v. Pure Hemp Collective Inc., No. … Continue Reading

Returning to the Status Quo? – Proposed Outline for Section 101 Reform

On April 18, 2019, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE), along with Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Steve Stivers (R-OH), released a bipartisan framework for 35 U.S.C. § 101 reform, available here.  The framework outlines specific goals that any proposed legislation should aim to address. The impetus for such reform … Continue Reading

PTAB Continues to Preclude PTAB Challenges That It Views As Untimely

In a proceeding that included Patent Office Director Andrei Iancu on the panel, the PTAB issued an order this past week denying institution of 3 IPRs filed by Valve. The decision demonstrates that the PTAB continues to tighten its standards for institution of post-grant challenges, including based upon considerations related to what it perceives as … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Weighs in on Patent Subject-Matter Eligibility of Dietary Supplements

The Federal Circuit weighed in on patent subject matter eligibility again last week, finding certain amino-acid containing dietary supplements, and related methods of use, to be patent eligible. In Natural Alternatives Int’l v. Creative Compounds, LLC, the Federal Circuit vacated the decision of the district court in the Southern District of California, which held that … Continue Reading

Challenges in Filing Successful IPR Petitions for Video Game Patents

Video game patents being asserted in litigation are frequently challenged by defendants at the Patent Trial and Appeals Board by filing a petition requesting inter partes review (IPR), post-grant review (PGR), or (less frequently) covered business method review (CBM). Gaming companies need to be cautious in preparing these petitions as the PTAB continues to increase its … Continue Reading

5 Things To Consider Before Heading To PTAB

Those familiar with Patent Trial and Appeal Board proceedings are no doubt aware of some basic trends with respect to post-grant challenges: Institution rates have dropped over the past two years to around 60 percent, and the likelihood of at least some challenged claims surviving a PTAB proceeding has correspondingly increased. This article, rather than … Continue Reading

Patent Strategies for Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are rapidly emerging as disruptive technologies. As has happened with many new technologies, particularly disruptive ones, a patent arms race is occurring. The number of patents being filed for these technologies is rapidly increasing. The number of published applications shows roughly a tenfold increase over the number of issued patents. Despite … Continue Reading

An EC Communication on SEPs – Not More Not Less

A summary of the European Commission’s Policy Document on standard essential patents (SEPs). After considerable preparations and consultation the European Commission has on 29 November 2017 issued a Communication [1] “setting out the EU approach to standard essential patents”. This Communication is part of the wider Europe’s Digital Single Market initiative. Notably, however, this long-awaited … Continue Reading

Metallizing Forfeiture Post-Helsinn

This article was originally published on PatentlyO.com. In Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., the Federal Circuit had its first opportunity to address the impact of the “or otherwise available to the public” clause contained in post-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 102. In finding that the AIA “did not change the statutory meaning of ‘on sale’ in the … Continue Reading

Illinois Federal Judge Awards Treble Damages and Attorneys’ Fees in Kurt Vonnegut-Fueled Opinion

On February 10, 2017, an Illinois federal judge determined that R-Boc Representatives violated an injunction issued following a jury trial on their alleged patent infringement.  In a unique opinion replete with quotations from, and references to, literary works written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole addressed the current standards for determining willfulness … Continue Reading
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