After considering comments from various stakeholders for nearly a year, on July 24, 2023, the USPTO issued the revised interim Director Review Process. Among other changes, the revised process now permits parties to request the Director Review on institution decisions in America Invents Act (AIA) proceedings. This is a significant expansion of the scope of director review, which allows petitioners who had no appeal options to an IPR denial to now have at least one avenue of review of an institution denial.Continue Reading PTAB Makes Significant Changes to Director Review Process

Note: First published in The Intellectual Property Strategist and Law.com.

This article is Part Two of a Three-Part Article Series

Artificial intelligence is changing industry and society, and metrics at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reflect its impact. In a recent publication, the USPTO indicated that from 2002 to 2018 the share of all patent applications relating to artificial intelligence grew from 9% to approximately 16%. See “Inventing AI, Tracing the diffusion of artificial intelligence with U.S. patents,” Office of the Chief Economist, IP Data Highlights (October 2020). For the foreseeable future, patent applications involving artificial intelligence technologies, including machine learning, will increase with the continued proliferation of such technologies. However, subject matter eligibility can be a significant challenge in securing patents on artificial intelligence and machine learning.Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence And Subject Matter Eligibility In U.S. Patent Office Appeals – Part Two Of Three

In June of this year, the US Supreme Court ruled that a proposed mark consisting of the combination of a generic term and a generic top-level domain, like “.com,” is not per se generic. (USPTO v. Booking.com). In response, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently issued Examination Guidelines for examining such “generic.com” terms.
Continue Reading USPTO Issues Guidance on Examination of Generic.com Terms

The Supreme Court granted and consolidated three petitions for writs of certiorari to hear two questions regarding the constitutionality of Administrative Patent Judge (APJ) appointments under the Appointments Clause.  These questions are: Whether APJs of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) are principal officers who must be appointed by the President under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution; and whether, if APJs are determined to be principal officers, severing the application of 5 U.S.C. 7513(a) to those judges cures any violation of the Appointments Clause.  The Court declined to hear a third question of whether the Court of Appeals in the Arthrex[1] case erred by adjudicating the Appointments Clause question despite the failure of Arthrex to present its Appointments Clause challenge during the PTAB proceedings.
Continue Reading Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of PTAB Judge Appointments

Reprinted with permission from the October 1, 2020 issue of The Intellectual Property Strategist, ALM Media, LLC.

I. INTRODUCTION

During patent prosecution before the USPTO, applicant and examiner can become entrenched in conflicting positions on subject matter eligibility. Appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) could clear prosecution impasse. However, Alice related issues taken to the PTAB are not necessarily the Alice related issues decided by the PTAB.
Continue Reading Alice and Incongruity in PTAB Appeals

On June 30, the Supreme Court issued an 8-1 holding in U.S. Patent & Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V., finding that whether a “GENERIC.COM” mark qualifies for trademark protection depends on its ability to act as a source identifier to consumers. In other words, a “GENERIC.COM” mark may or may not actually be generic. Adding “.COM” to an otherwise generic, and unregistrable, mark does not automatically affect whether the mark qualifies for trademark protection.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Sides with Booking.com – Generic.com Trademarks Not Necessarily Generic

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced a pilot program for fast-tracking appeals of applications for original utility, design, or plant patents. The so-called “Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program” is intended to provide a vehicle for advancing applications during the ex parte appeals process before the PTAB (Patent Trial and Appeal Board).
Continue Reading USPTO Announces New Pilot Program to Expedite Appeals Process

On June 11, 2020, USPTO Director Andrei Iancu authorized an initiative[1] that may apply to an applicant who has filed an earlier foreign patent application[2] or a U.S. provisional patent application[3] and has missed the one-year deadline to file a U.S. nonprovisional utility patent application but would still like to obtain the right of the earlier filing date. Typically, the applicant still has two additional months to petition the USPTO to restore this right with a petition fee.[4] The USPTO has authorized an initiative to further extend the two-month period, while waiving the petition fee, in some situations. The initiative also applies to the corresponding six-month deadline to claim priority of a foreign filed design patent application.[5]
Continue Reading USPTO Announces a New Initiative to Provide Applicants Additional Time to Petition for Restoring a Right of Priority or Benefit

On May 4, the USPTO made available a new web-based intellectual property (IP) platform, Patents 4 Partnerships, to provide the public with a user-friendly, searchable repository of patents and published patent applications related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To be included in the repository, the patentee or patent applicant must indicate that the patent or patent application is available for licensing. The platform can help entities find collaborations to encourage voluntary licensing and commercialization of key innovations by helping to bring to the marketplace new products and technologies for the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of COVID-19.
Continue Reading COVID-19 Web-Based IP Platform to Facilitate Connections