Newsletter


30

Jan 2017

Validation of English Language European Patents in Belgium: Translation of Specification No Longer Required

By: Francesca Giovannini Until recently, in order to validate a granted, English language European patent in Belgium, it has been necessary to file a translation of the specification in French, Dutch, or German.  In anticipation of accession of Belgium to the London Agreement, Belgium has revised its patent legislation with effect from January 1, 2017, to remove this requirement. Under the revised patent legislation, proprietors...

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20

Jan 2017

Strategies Used By Chinese Trademark Squatters and How to Prevent Them

By: Keelin Hargadon International companies have long encountered problems navigating China’s trademark system due to lack of knowledge about China’s first to file system, trademark squatting, and lax enforcement in cases of trademark infringement.  Wresting a trademark from a bad actor is expensive, difficult and sometimes ultimately unsuccessful. Chinese administrative bodies and courts have historically been unwilling to consider bad faith as a factor in clear...

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19

Jan 2017

Osha Liang Once Again Named to Top 10 List for TC 3600 Allowance Rates

Osha Liang has once again achieved a top-10 ranking by Juristat in patent examination allowance by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Technology Center (TC) 3600. The USPTO’s TC 3600 provides examination for a wide range of technologies, including software, business methods, and the oil and gas industry. With an allowance rate of 80.7 percent, Osha Liang was recognized as one of the most...

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17

Jan 2017

Federal Circuit to Review the Reviewability of the IPR Time Bar

By: Tammy Dunn Inter partes review proceedings (IPRs) have become an increasingly popular avenue for those who seek to invalidate claims in a patent.  Created by Congress through the America Invents Act, IPRs offer a more streamlined and relatively cost-effective way to invalidate patents than historically has been available in United States district court proceedings.  Unlike district court, where judges and juries make decisions regarding...

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12

Jan 2017

USPTO No Longer Accepting Submissions for P3 Program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) gave notice on January 12, 2017 that the submissions for the Post-Prosecution Pilot (P3) program would no longer be accepted after that date.  The UPSTO indicates that it intends to review the results of the pilot, and will publish a report at a later date on the P3 website. 日本語 米国特許庁 (USPTO)は、2017年1月12日以降、Post-Prosecution Pilot (P3)プログラムの申請を受け付けないことを告知しました。米国特許庁は、この試行プログラムの結果を検証し、P3プログラムのウェブサイトで後日レポートを公開する予定です。 简体中文 美国专利商标局(USPTO)于2017年1月12日发表申明,在该日期之后将不再接收审查后试点(Post-Prosecution Pilot...

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10

Jan 2017

CAFC Clarifies Definiteness of Subjective Claim Terminology

By: Zachary Schaefer In Sonix Technology Co., Ltd. v. Publications International, Ltd., No. 16-1449 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 5, 2017), the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a district court’s decision that the inclusion of a subjective claim term rendered the claims indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112, second paragraph. 35 U.S.C. § 112, second paragraph, states, in part, that the claims of a patent...

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28

Dec 2016

China’s Supreme Court Ruled On “乔丹” (Jordan) Trademark Dispute

By: Han-Mei Tso and Ken J. Yu On December 8, 2016, China’s Supreme Court (“the Supreme Court” hereinafter) ruled on the dispute between the retrial petitioner (the plaintiff in the first instance, the appellant in the second instance), Michael Jeffery Jordan (“Jordan” hereinafter), and the respondent (the defendant in the first instance, the appellee in the second instance), China Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (“the Board”...

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28

Dec 2016

U.S. Supreme Court to Examine Patent Exhaustion Doctrine

By: Califf Cooper The U.S. Supreme Court has recently chosen to weigh in on the patent exhaustion doctrine.  In the United States, the patent exhaustion doctrine, also known as the first sale doctrine, prevents a patent holder from recovering for infringement after an authorized sale of the patented article.  In other words, the patent holder’s exclusive rights to control the use and sale of the patented...

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28

Dec 2016

Cambodia joins the the Hague System

By: Jonathan Osha Cambodia has joined the Geneva (1999) Act of the Hague System Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs by depositing its instrument of Accession on November 25, 2016.   The 1999 Act will enter to force with respect to Cambodia on February 25, 2017.  The accession of Cambodia to the 1999 Act brings the number of Contracting Parties to this Act to 52 and...

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28

Dec 2016

Recent USPTO Roundtables Explore Patent Subject Matter Eligibility

By: David Rosenblitt and David Forman Patent law in the US has been shaken in recent years by Supreme Court decisions holding that several kinds of inventions are not eligible for patents[1], relying on the judicially created concept that laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas cannot receive patents. The result of these decisions is that it very difficult or impossible to patent computer...

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28

Dec 2016

Potential Game Changer On The Horizon: U.S. Supreme Court to Review Patent Venue

By: Califf Cooper The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the patent venue laws that govern where patent holders may file claims for patent infringement.  The Supreme Court’s ruling could put an end to patent owners seeking out and filing cases in certain districts that are perceived to be strategically advantageous, including most notably the Eastern District of Texas (where more than 40% of all...

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28

Dec 2016

IPO Board Suggests Amendment to Rule 4 of FRCP

By: Monica Katthage On December 6, 2016, the Board of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (“IPO”) adopted a resolution supporting, in principle, that Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) be amended to allow for service of process by e-mail, without a court order, in cases involving commercial activity conducted using a domain name that is registered to a fictitious party. Without such...

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30

Nov 2016

Addressing Patentable Subject Matter Rejections in an Ever-Changing Legal Landscape

By: Aly Dossa Over the last several months there has been a steady stream of decisions from the Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) related to 35 USC § 101.  The notable decisions include BASCOM Global Internet Services v. AT&T Mobility LLC, 827 F.3d 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2016), McRO, Inc. dba Planet Blue v. Bandai Namco Games America Inc., 120 USPQ2d 1091 (Fed. Cir....

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29

Nov 2016

Covered Business Method (CBM) Update

By: Jeff Guinn A recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision has attempted to clarify what is, and what is not, a Covered Business Method (“CBM”) under the America Invent Act’s (“AIA”) transitional review program for CBM patents.  See Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., Case No. 15-1966, (Fed. Cir. 2016).  Section 18 of the AIA establishes a program for reviewing the...

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29

Nov 2016

SAS Institute v. ComplementSoft LLC – Partial IPR Institution Is a Mixed Bag for Both Patent Owners and Patent Challengers

By: Tammy Dunn and Peter Schechter The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) currently decides whether to review validity of patent claims challenged in petitions for inter partes review (IPR) on a claim-by-claim basis, often resulting in “partial institution” of the IPR trial proceedings.  While this practice has been criticized, it was most recently approved by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit...

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29

Nov 2016

AWCPA Case Heading to the U.S. Supreme Court

By: Louis Bonham Over twenty five years ago, the U.S. Congress passed the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act (the “AWCPA”), which extended copyright protection to building designs (“architectural works”).  The AWCPA was passed to bring U.S. law into compliance with its treaty obligations under the Berne Convention, which the United States joined in 1988.  (The Berne Convention requires member states to provide copyright protections for a...

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29

Nov 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Considers Copyright Protection for Designs Applied to Cheerleader Uniforms

By: John Montgomery Are Copyrights for Designs Applied to Cheerleader Uniforms Enforceable? Will the Fashion Industry Obtain Copyright Tools Effective to “Kill” the Knockoff Apparel Industry? Will The Supreme Court Establish or Endorse a Test for Determining Separability of Protectable Copyright Design from Otherwise Unprotectable Useful Articles? On November 1, 2016, the Supreme Court of the U.S. heard oral arguments in a case disputing the availability...

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31

Oct 2016

Errors in Citation of Prior Art by USPTO Examiners

By: Jonathan P. Osha At the U.S. offices of Osha Liang, we have noted a significant increase in instances of USPTO Examiners rejecting claims on the basis of prior art that is not actually prior art as defined by 35 U.S.C. §102.  If not noticed by the applicant and pointed out to the Examiner in the next response, this error can lead to the introduction...

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31

Oct 2016

Trademarks: Madrid Update

By: Jonathan P. Osha Algeria, the last country that was a member of only the Madrid Agreement, acceded to the Madrid Protocol in October of 2015.  Thus, during the 50th session of the Madrid Union Assembly earlier this month, the decision was taken to bar any country in the future from acceding to the Agreement only.  Accordingly, from this time forward, a single set of...

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31

Oct 2016

China IPR Judgments and Decisions

By: Jude Yi and Jeffery P. Langer As China attaches more importance to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and IPR disputes continue to rise in frequency, the Chinese government hopes to enhance its judicial openness in the IPR respect.  In order to do so, in addition to the existing website China Judgments Online (http://wenshu.court.gov.cn/), the Supreme Court later added an IPR-focused website under its governance, China...

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28

Oct 2016

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Laches Applies in Patent Cases

By: David S. Forman A key principle of our U.S. legal system is that it is unfair to defendants for a plaintiff to launch a suit after too much time has passed, when evidence may be lost, memories have faded, and witnesses may have disappeared.  One mechanism to promote fairness is a statute of limitations, a rule that a defendant will not be held liable...

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27

Oct 2016

How Is The Newest USPTO Hybrid Pilot Program Any Different From The Other After-Final Options?

By: Seema Mehta and Robert Lord Introduction The Post-Prosecution Pilot (P3) Program is a recently announced pilot program at the USPTO that became effective on July 11, 2016, and was developed as part of the USPTO’s ongoing quality enhancement efforts during the period subsequent to final rejection and prior to the filing of a notice of appeal.   While the new program can most easily be described as...

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27

Oct 2016

European Litigation Series – Part 1: French Seizure of Evidence (saisie-contrefaçon)

By: Francesca Giovannini The most effective tool offered by the French IP litigation system to gather evidence of infringement of an IP right in force in France is the possibility of lodging a petition for search and seizure of evidence (saisie-contrefaçon). This procedure is extensively used before patent infringement actions and is authorized by the Presiding Judge of the Paris Court (Tribunal de Grande Instance, TGI)...

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27

Oct 2016

Brexit: An Update on Planned Legislative Reforms Affecting IP Rights

By: Francesca Giovannini British Prime Minister Theresa May stated on October 2, 2016 that the notification under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal mechanism for leaving the European Union (EU), will be sent by the end of March 2017 and announced a so-called Great Repeal Bill repealing the 1972 European Communities Act giving direct effect to all EU law. The Great Repeal Bill will...

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30

Sep 2016

The Patent-Agent Privilege: Progress Meets Continued Uncertainty

By: James Carlson Recently, a federal court in the United States recognized a patent-agent privilege in regard to communications between a non-attorney patent agent and the patent agent’s client.  While the ramifications of the patent-agent privilege are being felt by U.S. federal courts, a state court in Texas refused to extend the patent-agent privilege to emails in a contract dispute.  These contrasting outcomes illustrate the...

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30

Sep 2016

The Pitfalls of a Narrow Disclosure

By: Ko Nakamura How broad a claim will the disclosure support? Different jurisdictions apply different standards, but in general, answering this question will involve an analysis, in one way or another, of whether the disclosure is sufficient to disclose the invention to a person skilled in the art.  In the United States, this question comes in two flavors: whether the disclosure is sufficient to enable a...

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29

Sep 2016

Reform of the EPO Boards of Appeal and Potential Impacts on Applicants

By: Francesca Giovannini At the meeting of the Administrative Council last June, the European Patent Office (EPO)’s Member States adopted a proposal from the Office for reform of the Boards of Appeal. As a consequence, the reform came into effect on July 1, 2016. One of the declared aims of the reform is that of decreasing the backlog of cases, thus ensuring a timely delivery...

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29

Sep 2016

AIPPI 2016 World Congress takes place in Milan, Italy

By: Jonathan Osha, Peter Schechter, and Francesca Giovannini The AIPPI 2016 World Congress took place last week in Milan, Italy.  More than 2000 IP professionals from around the world were in attendance.  Osha Liang’s Jonathan Osha, Peter Schechter, and Francesca Giovannini provide this report on the event. The Congress commenced on Saturday with Study Committee Meetings on IP harmonization topics in Patents, Designs, Copyright, and Security...

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