Friday, April 4, 2014

Guidelines for Patentable Subject Matter Eligibility

On March 4, 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a guidance memorandum (the "Guidance") to the Patent Examining Corps providing guidelines for analyzing subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. Section 101 of claims reciting or involving laws of nature/ natural principles, natural phenomena and/or natural products in view of recent Supreme Court decisions, the Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. and Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.

The impact of the Guidelines is significant.  For claims involving natural products (such as active ingredients from natural products or naturally occurring nucleic acids) to be patent eligible, they much be "significantly" or "markedly" different from the natural products and diagnostic methods - the subject matter of many biotechnology and pharmaceutical patent applications as alluded to in our July 10, 2013 webinar regarding Myriad.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Now Accepting Applications for 2014 Patents for Humanity Program

The U.S. Commerce Department's United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced that Patents for Humanity is being renewed as an annual program.  Started as a one-year pilot in 2012, the program recognizes businesses, inventors, non-profits, and universitites who legerage their intellectual property portfolio to tackle global humanitarian challenges.

2013 Patents for Humanity pilot award winners pioneered innovative business models in frontier markets to deliver much-needed HIV medicine, create more nutritious food products for the poor, and deliver solar energy to off-grid villages, among others.  Building on the success of the pilot, USPTO will institute an annual competition to reward entrepreneurs and innovators who deploy patented technologies to address global challenges in five categories that reflect the President's development agenda, medicine, nutrition, sanitation, household energy, and living standards.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kentucky Introduces Its Own Bill To Combat Patent Trolls
Legal Newsline Legal Journal   -  February 20, 2014

Add Kentucky to the growing list of states that are introducing their own legislation to combat so-called "patent trolls".

Earlier this month, Sens. Whitney Westerfield and Christian McDaniel, both Republicans, introduced Senate Bill 116.

The legislation would enable the recipients of bad-faith letters to sue trolls trying to extort money from them.

The bill would also allow recipients to recover damages, the "reasonable cost of litigation," including attorney's fees, and exemplary damages in an amount equal to $50,000 or three times the total of the damages, costs and fees, whichever is greater.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Apple, Victoria's Secret, Olympics:  Intellectual Property

Bloomberg News  - February 12, 2014

Apple Inc. (AAPL:US)'s chances of defeating a 1.57 billion-euro ($2.2 billion) lawsuit in Germany depend on whether an IPCom GMbH patent protects a technology using one or three bits for coding software used in wireless networks.

IPCom will win only if it convinces the court the patent isn't limited to technology using just one bit for coding information, Presiding Judge Holger Kircher said yesterday at a hearing in Mannheim, Germany. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Honeywell to Get $75 Million to End Google Patent Fight
Bloomberg - February 6, 2014

Honeywell International Inc. (HON) will get $75 million from the U.S. government to end a decade-long patent dispute over night-vision goggle technology used in Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)'s F-16 fighter jet.

Honeywell in return will give the government a license to use the technology, according to a judgement entered yesterday by U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Susan Braden.  Morris Township, New Jersey-based Honeywell argued in its lawsuit that the government used the invention without compensation before and after the patent was issued in 2002.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Aston Martin Recalls 17,590 Cars Due to Counterfeit Material

Reuters - February 5, 2014

Aston Martin is recalling most of its sports cars built since late 2007 after discovering a Chinese sub-supplier was using counterfeit plastic material in a part supplied to the luxury sports carmaker.

Aston Martin, which is owned by Kuwaiti and private equity investors, is recalling 17,570 cars, including all of its left-hand-drive models built since November 2007 and all right-hand-drive models built since May 2012, affecting about 75 percent of all vehicles built in that period, a spokeswoman said. The Vanquish is not affected.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Google and Cisco Sign Patent Deal, Blast 'Patent Privateering

The Washington Post -  February 4, 2014

In an atmosphere of growing litigation, two major technology companies have smoked a patent peace pipe.  On Tuesday, Cisco and Google announced a comprehensive cross-licensing deal that lets each firm use technologies covered by the other's patents.  The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Google's patent team has been hard at work lately.  Last week, the Mountain View firm signed a patent cross-licensing deal with Samsung, whose popular cellphones use Google's Android operating system.