By Dennis Crouch

Tomorrow (Feb 16), I will be speaking at Professor Rantanen's home institution – the University of Iowa College of Law. Our session runs from 3:30 to 5:00 pm and will include additional commentary from Professor Rantanen and patent attorneys Jay Hamilton, Ryan Carter, Michael Gilchrist and Christopher Voci.

The public is welcome. I look forward to seeing you there and discussing issues of patent law reform. [LINK]

Claim Construction in the Abstract

By Dennis Crouch

Typhoon Touch Tech. v. Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Sand Dune Ventures, Panasonic, Apple, HTC, and Palm (Fed. Cir. 2011)

Touch screen technology has taken-off as an important element of consumer electronics. Typhoon’s US Patent Nos. 5,379,057 and 5,675,362 cover various embodiments of a “portable keyboardless computer system” with a “touch-sensitive screen.”

Typhoon appealed an E.D. Texas ruling that its patents were invalid and not infringed. The appeal focused on the claim construction that served as the basis for both invalidity and non-infringement. The appellate decision is notable for the detached process that the court used to consider claims elements at issue. The opinion never discussed the crux of the invention or its contribution to the art and instead simply looked to the disputed claim terms and the relation of those terms in the specification (as required by Phillips v. AWH).

This week, I participated in a roundtable discussion at Yale Law School sponsored by the Kauffman foundation and by Yale’s Information Society Project (ISP). A substantial amount of the discussion focused on problems stemming from our current claim construction process and our ongoing focus on claim language as opposed to invention or its contribution to the art.

For patent attorneys prosecuting patents, the claims are often seen as equivalent to the invention. The new patent act supports that definition by shifting focus away from the invention and instead onto the “claimed invention.” Thus, the new § 102(a)(1) asks whether “the claimed invention was patented, described in a printed publication, or in public use, on sale, or otherwise available to the public before the effective filing date of the claimed invention.” The new statute’s sole focus on invention as claimed is largely just a codification of fairly well accepted Federal Circuit precedent without much thought of the consequences. Of course, broad subject matter eligibility described in State Street Bank and the TSM test for obviousness were, until quite recently, well accepted Federal Circuit precedents as well. In the past few years, the Supreme Court rolled-back the clock on those issues – returning focus to pre-1982 case law. For “invention” however, the new statute appears to lock-in the claimed-invention as the ongoing focus of patent law.

Judge Kimberly Moore highlighted this issue in her recent dissent from the court’s denial of en banc rehearing of Retractable Technologies, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson and Company (Fed. Cir. 2011). In that opinion, Judge Moore noted that the approach of the panel decision in Retractable is evident of a major divide amongst Federal Circuit judges as to whether the inventor’s contribution to the art – “what the inventor actually invented” – should be considered in the claim construction process.

This week, my patent law students each argued a mock-Markman hearing – revisiting the facts of Nystrom v. Trex and arguing over whether Ron Nystrom’s claimed decking “board” should be limited to cover only to wood cut from a log. That litigation was interesting because it involved five different court decisions on the proper construction of the term. The final appellate decision narrowed the term’s meaning in a way that allowed Trex’s composite planking to avoid infringement.

Claim construction has become a fundamental aspect of every patent case – even to the extent that Section 101 patentable subject matter decisions turn on the meaning bestowed upon particular claim terms. For patent attorneys, all of this focus on claim meaning puts more pressure on the drafting of the claims and the specification. The sad thing about Nystrom’s patent is that he would have easily won the case if the patent attorney who drafted the application had thrown-in language indicating that a “board” could be made of various materials, not just wood cut from a log. This counterfactual conclusion is sad for Nystrom as the inventor, but it is also sad that such a major weight is placed on non-inventive boilerplate language. In my mind, the importance of claim construction should push the USPTO to do a better job of ensuring that the terms of issued patents are well defined.

###

The Typhoon decision is also notable in the way that the court narrowly interpreted functional claim limitations. As background, Typhoon’s claim was directed to a “computer” that included various elements including a “memory for storing [a] data collection application.” Typhoon argued its claimed invention only required that the memory be capable of storing the data collection application. However, the District Court Judge Davis and Federal Circuit agreed that the proper construction required that memory actually be used for storing the data collection application. In so holding, the courts looked to the specification and found that the described embodiments all had memories that actually included the application rather than just the capability.

###

Finally, the court looked at Typhoon’s “Means for cross-referencing” limitation. The district court held that limitation invalid as indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112 because the specification did not include an algorithm adequate to provide sufficient structure for the means-plus-function limitation, citing Aristocrat Technologies Australia PTY Ltd. v. International Game Technology, 521 F.3d 1328, 1334 (Fed Cir. 2008). On appeal, the Federal Circuit rejected that conclusion – finding that the specification did disclose a cross-referencing algorithm in plain language in the text of the specification. The court went on to write that “computer code is not required to be included in the patent specification.” Rather, what is required is disclosure so that one of ordinary skill in the art would recognize the structure as linked to the claimed function.

###

  • Judge Newman wrote the court opinion and was joined by Chief Judge Rader and Judge Prost;
  • The Appellant-Patentee is represented on appeal by Charles Wolfe (Blank Rome);
  • Ed Reines (Weil Gotshal) and Joe Re (Knobbe) were co-lead-counsel for all the appellee-defendants. Briefs were also signed by attorneys at K&L Gates, Baker Botts, Amster Rothstein, Perkins Coie, Covington & Burling, and Malloy & Malloy, as well as Eric Albritton from the Albritton firm.

AIPLA Meeting

This Friday, I will be at the AIPLA annual conference in Washington DC as part of a panel on Blogging.  I have not done a blogging seminar in a long time — one of the last ones was in 2006 when Cathy Kirkman and I co-hosted a conference on the law of blogs and business of legal blogs.

The session is 2:00 pm –  3:30 pm on Friday, October 22. I will be speaking along with my former colleague Don Zuhn (MBHB, Patent Docs), Aaron Feigelson (Leydig, 1201 Tues), Karen Hazzah (Thomas Kayden, AllThingsPros), Jonathan Frieden (Odin Feldman, ECommerceLaw), and Jake Ward (Fraser Clemens, AnticipateThis).

I look forward to seeing you there!

Read the Annual Meeting Program

Bits and Bytes No. 131

  • IP Czar: George Mason visiting professor Victoria Espinel has been selected as the IP Enforcement Coordinator for the Administration – known as the IP Czar. The role will likely be more focused on international trademark and copyright issues rather than patent law issues. Her nomination must be confirmed by the senate. [LINK]
  • DC in DC: Next Thursday (1:30 p.m., October 1), I’ll be the opening speaker in GWU’s IP Speaker Series. My presentation considers the proposed first-to-file legislation and includes a new set of data the (low) frequency that applicant’s attempt to rely on their invention date during prosecution. The talk is open to GWU students, alumni as well as “friends.” Other speakers include Edward Walterscheid (Oct. 27); Zahr Stauffer (Oct. 29); Joseph Miller (Nov. 5); and Chris Cotropia (Nov. 19). [LINK]

Bits and Bytes No. 131

  • IP Czar: George Mason visiting professor Victoria Espinel has been selected as the IP Enforcement Coordinator for the Administration – known as the IP Czar. The role will likely be more focused on international trademark and copyright issues rather than patent law issues. Her nomination must be confirmed by the senate. [LINK]
  • DC in DC: Next Thursday (1:30 p.m., October 1), I’ll be the opening speaker in GWU’s IP Speaker Series. My presentation considers the proposed first-to-file legislation and includes a new set of data the (low) frequency that applicant’s attempt to rely on their invention date during prosecution. The talk is open to GWU students, alumni as well as “friends.” Other speakers include Edward Walterscheid (Oct. 27); Zahr Stauffer (Oct. 29); Joseph Miller (Nov. 5); and Chris Cotropia (Nov. 19). [LINK]

Bits and Bytes No. 131

  • IP Czar: George Mason visiting professor Victoria Espinel has been selected as the IP Enforcement Coordinator for the Administration – known as the IP Czar. The role will likely be more focused on international trademark and copyright issues rather than patent law issues. Her nomination must be confirmed by the senate. [LINK]
  • DC in DC: Next Thursday (1:30 p.m., October 1), I’ll be the opening speaker in GWU’s IP Speaker Series. My presentation considers the proposed first-to-file legislation and includes a new set of data the (low) frequency that applicant’s attempt to rely on their invention date during prosecution. The talk is open to GWU students, alumni as well as “friends.” Other speakers include Edward Walterscheid (Oct. 27); Zahr Stauffer (Oct. 29); Joseph Miller (Nov. 5); and Chris Cotropia (Nov. 19). [LINK]

Patently-O Bits and Bytes No. 130

New Job Postings:

Upcoming Events:

Patently-O Bits and Bytes No. 130

New Job Postings:

Upcoming Events:

Patently-O Bits and Bytes No. 130

New Job Postings:

Upcoming Events:

Bits and Bytes No. 127: Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.

Upcoming Conferences:

  • World Research Group, a Patently-O job board sponsor, will be holding a TechNet Patents Forum in New York on November 5-6. Patently-O readers will receive a $300 discount by using the promo code EAG476.

Federal Circuit En Banc:

  • On September 18, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will sit en banc to hear two non-patent cases.
  • Nebraska Public Power v. US:
    • The Nebraska case is one of several dozen Federal Claims actions against the US Government for breach of contract and takings for the Government’s failure to begin removing spent nuclear fuel.
    • Question: Does the mandamus order issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Northern States Power Co. v. United States Dep’t of Energy, 128 F.3d 754 (D.C. Cir. 1997) preclude the United States from pleading the “unavoidable delay” defense to the breach of contract claim pending in the United States Court of Federal Claims, and if so, does the order exceed the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia Circuit?
  • Henderson v. Dep’t of Veteran Affairs:
    • Equitable tolling of claims for veteran’s benefits
    • Question: Does the Supreme Court’s decision in Bowles v. Russell, 127 S. Ct. 2360 (2007), require or suggest that this court should overrule its decisions in Bailey v. West, 160 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (en banc), and Jaquay v. Principi, 304 F.3d 1276 (Fed. Cir. 2002) (en banc), holding that 38 U.S.C. § 7266 is subject to equitable tolling?.

Relevance of the “manner in which the invention was made:”

  • 35 U.S.C. 103(a) makes clear that “[p]atentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.” That final sentence of the paragraph was apparently intended to contrast the 1952 law from the Supreme Court’s loose statement in Cuno that a patentable invention must “reveal the flash of creative genius.” 314 U.S. 84 (1941).
  • Should this statement be interpreted to mean that the inventor’s actual process has no relevance to the questions of novelty and nonobviousness? Or, is there still room for a jury to consider the actual creativity and genius of the inventor and the process used. (This question was suggested by a comment on the blog).

Bits and Bytes No. 127: Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.

Upcoming Conferences:

  • World Research Group, a Patently-O job board sponsor, will be holding a TechNet Patents Forum in New York on November 5-6. Patently-O readers will receive a $300 discount by using the promo code EAG476.

Federal Circuit En Banc:

  • On September 18, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will sit en banc to hear two non-patent cases.
  • Nebraska Public Power v. US:
    • The Nebraska case is one of several dozen Federal Claims actions against the US Government for breach of contract and takings for the Government’s failure to begin removing spent nuclear fuel.
    • Question: Does the mandamus order issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Northern States Power Co. v. United States Dep’t of Energy, 128 F.3d 754 (D.C. Cir. 1997) preclude the United States from pleading the “unavoidable delay” defense to the breach of contract claim pending in the United States Court of Federal Claims, and if so, does the order exceed the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia Circuit?
  • Henderson v. Dep’t of Veteran Affairs:
    • Equitable tolling of claims for veteran’s benefits
    • Question: Does the Supreme Court’s decision in Bowles v. Russell, 127 S. Ct. 2360 (2007), require or suggest that this court should overrule its decisions in Bailey v. West, 160 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (en banc), and Jaquay v. Principi, 304 F.3d 1276 (Fed. Cir. 2002) (en banc), holding that 38 U.S.C. § 7266 is subject to equitable tolling?.

Relevance of the “manner in which the invention was made:”

  • 35 U.S.C. 103(a) makes clear that “[p]atentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.” That final sentence of the paragraph was apparently intended to contrast the 1952 law from the Supreme Court’s loose statement in Cuno that a patentable invention must “reveal the flash of creative genius.” 314 U.S. 84 (1941).
  • Should this statement be interpreted to mean that the inventor’s actual process has no relevance to the questions of novelty and nonobviousness? Or, is there still room for a jury to consider the actual creativity and genius of the inventor and the process used. (This question was suggested by a comment on the blog).

Bits and Bytes No. 127: Patentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.

Upcoming Conferences:

  • World Research Group, a Patently-O job board sponsor, will be holding a TechNet Patents Forum in New York on November 5-6. Patently-O readers will receive a $300 discount by using the promo code EAG476.

Federal Circuit En Banc:

  • On September 18, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will sit en banc to hear two non-patent cases.
  • Nebraska Public Power v. US:

    • The Nebraska case is one of several dozen Federal Claims actions against the US Government for breach of contract and takings for the Government’s failure to begin removing spent nuclear fuel.
    • Question: Does the mandamus order issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Northern States Power Co. v. United States Dep’t of Energy, 128 F.3d 754 (D.C. Cir. 1997) preclude the United States from pleading the “unavoidable delay” defense to the breach of contract claim pending in the United States Court of Federal Claims, and if so, does the order exceed the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia Circuit?
  • Henderson v. Dep’t of Veteran Affairs:

    • Equitable tolling of claims for veteran’s benefits
    • Question: Does the Supreme Court’s decision in Bowles v. Russell, 127 S. Ct. 2360 (2007), require or suggest that this court should overrule its decisions in Bailey v. West, 160 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (en banc), and Jaquay v. Principi, 304 F.3d 1276 (Fed. Cir. 2002) (en banc), holding that 38 U.S.C. § 7266 is subject to equitable tolling?.

Relevance of the “manner in which the invention was made:”

  • 35 U.S.C. 103(a) makes clear that “[p]atentability shall not be negatived by the manner in which the invention was made.” That final sentence of the paragraph was apparently intended to contrast the 1952 law from the Supreme Court’s loose statement in Cuno that a patentable invention must “reveal the flash of creative genius.” 314 U.S. 84 (1941).
  • Should this statement be interpreted to mean that the inventor’s actual process has no relevance to the questions of novelty and nonobviousness? Or, is there still room for a jury to consider the actual creativity and genius of the inventor and the process used. (This question was suggested by a comment on the blog).

Lichtman on IP (with free CLE credit)

Professor Lichtman has continued his well done monthly IP Colloquium. Listen online for free CLE credit in several IP-heavy states. The latest posts include:

  • Everyone hates DRM with Ed Felton and Randy Picker (Apr. 2009)
  • Statutory damages for downloading music with Charlie Nesson and others (Feb. 2009)
  • A conversation with Chief Judge Michel (Jan. 2009)
  • Privacy in a networked world with Eric Goldman and Dan Solove (Dec. 2008)
  • In re Bilski with John Duffy and Rob Merges (Nov. 2008)

Link: http://www.ipcolloquium.com.

Bits and Bytes No. 104: Past and Future Events

In March, GW and the FCBA hosted a symposium on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Video of the symposium can be seen on cSPAN:

  • “The Court – Giving Texture to the Institution of the Court” Watch on C-SPAN
  • “The Complexity – Views on the Circuit’s Complex Subject Matter from the Solicitors General” Watch on C-SPAN

Upcoming Events:

Top Patently-O Content for the past 12 months:

  1. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/07/the-death-of-go.html
  2. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/10/in-re-bilski.html
  3. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/02/bilski-full-caf.html
  4. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/06/supreme-court-d.html
  5. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/04/ex-parte-bilski.html
  6. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2005/04/how_should_a_fu.html
  7. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2009/03/tafas-v-doll-some-rules-valid-others-invalid.html
  8. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/07/outsourcing-of.html
  9. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2009/03/patent-reform-act-of-2009.html
  10. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/11/junk-patents.html
  11. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2009/02/no-no-words-what-words-do-you-avoid-in-patent-applications.html
  12. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/11/post-bilski-bpa.html
  13. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2009/03/dear-patently-o-how-do-you-react-to-the-following-letter.html
  14. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2009/01/ex-parte-marius.html
  15. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/11/ex-parte-hallig.html
  16. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/05/cafc-hears-en-b.html
  17. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2008/12/cafc-affirms-pt.html

Bits and Bytes No. 94

Inventors

  • I used a software algorithm to count the number of inventors in each utility patent application published June 2007- February 2009. The histogram below shows the result. The median application has two inventors. One German application lists 100 inventors (I’ll post the patent number when I get back to my office).

Revisiting Upcoming Conferences

  • Northwestern Law School’s Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property (NJTIP) is putting on a great event in Chicago on March 6, 2009 (Friday).
  • Howard University’s Institute of Intellectual Property and Social Justice IP Symposium – March 5-6. Day two will focus in patent issues and will include a year in review by Irving Kayton, a discussion of design patent issues by Jon Wood (Bridgestone); and panels that include Chief Judge Michel and Judge Linn as speakers.
  • Federal Circuit Year in Review (St. Louis) – March 13 – I’ll be presenting this one hour session sponsored by the Bar Assn. of Metropolitan St. Louis.
  • The IP Law SummitMarch 17-19 – hosted by the marcus evans company will be a nice event in Ponte Vedra, Florida. I will be speaking there along with Marc Began (Novo), Manny Schecter (IBM), Bruce Schelkoph (Cummins), Scott Kief (Wash U), Bruce Pokras (Pfizer), Colin Raufer (Boeing), Mony Ghose (BD), Ken Collier (Medtronic), Scott Reid (Lenovo), Chris Turoski (Cargill), Hope Mehlman (Regions Financial), Tom Boshinski (Mead), Wendall Guffy (Nestle), Tim Wilson (SAS), Robert Renke (Flashpoint), John Parrish (Sanofi), Mike Jaro (Medtornic), and Phyllis Turner-Brim (Intermec).
  • The Federal Circuit Symposium March 18. Sponsored by the FCBA and GWU Law School. Speakers include Chief Judge Michel, and Judges Friedman, Newman, and Rader; Senator Specter (invited); a heavy Supreme Court perspective with the five former solicitors general; academics speaking include John Duffy, Arti Rai, John Golden, and Rochelle Dreyfuss may largely focus on the role of the Federal Circuit.
  • Fordham IP Conference (NYC) – April 15-16. This conference has strong cross-Atlantic ties and will include judges and scholars from both continents.
  • IAM’s IP Business Congress in Chicago – June 21-23 – As the name suggest, this annual event focuses on how IP can be used in business. Sessions include “brand IP, strategic IP and business alignment, and IP value creation, as well as a range of breakouts examining legal, financial, strategic and business-related topics.”

Patently-O Bits and Bytes No. 93

Upcoming Events

  • Northwestern Law School’s Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property (NJTIP) is putting on a great event in Chicago on March 6, 2009 (Friday). Bob Irvine will be debating Bilski with Lauren Katznellenbogen. Irvine is a partner at my former firm, MBHB – He is amazingly smart and was my resource whenever I had difficulty understanding some complex technology. The debate is moderated by blogger R. David Donoghue. (The notice includes a disclaimer that the positions “are for advocacy purposes” and might not reflect the positions of the parties or their firms. Other speakers include Judge Holderman, Dr. Chris Singer (of Patent Docs and MBHB), Profs Seymore and Sag, and Mike Baniak (also of MBHB). [Symposium Website]
  • The IP Law Summit – March 17-19 – hosted by the marcus evans company will be a nice event in Ponte Vedra, Florida. I will be speaking there along with Marc Began (Novo), Manny Schecter (IBM), Bruce Schelkoph (Cummins), Scott Kief (Wash U), Bruce Pokras (Pfizer), Colin Raufer (Boeing), Mony Ghose (BD), Ken Collier (Medtronic), Scott Reid (Lenovo), Chris Turoski (Cargill), Hope Mehlman (Regions Financial), Tom Boshinski (Mead), Wendall Guffy (Nestle), Tim Wilson (SAS), Robert Renke (Flashpoint), John Parrish (Sanofi), Mike Jaro (Medtornic), and Phyllis Turner-Brim (Intermec).

Stays pending reexamination:

  • I continue to be surprised that courts grant stays of litigation pending re-examination – especially inter partes reexaminations which tend to be incredibly slow. In Wall Corp. v. BondDesk Group, LLC (D.Del. Feb. 24, 2009), district judge Gregory Sleet granted the defendant’s motion to stay the litigation pending inter partes reexaminations. The fact that the reexamination was inter partes was especially important to the court since the potential “estoppel will resolve many of the invalidity issues and streamline the litigation.” In a decision last week in Affinity Labs v. Dice Electronics, LLC, (E.D.Tex. February 20, 2009), the Texas-based Federal Court denied a stay pending ex parte reexam noting that the ex parte approach allows the “Defendant to lay behind the log, hoping for favorable developments with the passage of time. Instead of streamlining the process, Defendants’ choice guarantees the imposition of additional costs … and indicates a lack of desire to resolve the issues in the case in a timely manner.”

Late Patents:

Patently-O Bits and Bytes No. 93

Upcoming Events

  • Northwestern Law School’s Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property (NJTIP) is putting on a great event in Chicago on March 6, 2009 (Friday). Bob Irvine will be debating Bilski with Lauren Katznellenbogen. Irvine is a partner at my former firm, MBHB – He is amazingly smart and was my resource whenever I had difficulty understanding some complex technology. The debate is moderated by blogger R. David Donoghue. (The notice includes a disclaimer that the positions “are for advocacy purposes” and might not reflect the positions of the parties or their firms. Other speakers include Judge Holderman, Dr. Chris Singer (of Patent Docs and MBHB), Profs Seymore and Sag, and Mike Baniak (also of MBHB). [Symposium Website]
  • The IP Law Summit – March 17-19 – hosted by the marcus evans company will be a nice event in Ponte Vedra, Florida. I will be speaking there along with Marc Began (Novo), Manny Schecter (IBM), Bruce Schelkoph (Cummins), Scott Kief (Wash U), Bruce Pokras (Pfizer), Colin Raufer (Boeing), Mony Ghose (BD), Ken Collier (Medtronic), Scott Reid (Lenovo), Chris Turoski (Cargill), Hope Mehlman (Regions Financial), Tom Boshinski (Mead), Wendall Guffy (Nestle), Tim Wilson (SAS), Robert Renke (Flashpoint), John Parrish (Sanofi), Mike Jaro (Medtornic), and Phyllis Turner-Brim (Intermec).

Stays pending reexamination:

  • I continue to be surprised that courts grant stays of litigation pending re-examination – especially inter partes reexaminations which tend to be incredibly slow. In Wall Corp. v. BondDesk Group, LLC (D.Del. Feb. 24, 2009), district judge Gregory Sleet granted the defendant’s motion to stay the litigation pending inter partes reexaminations. The fact that the reexamination was inter partes was especially important to the court since the potential “estoppel will resolve many of the invalidity issues and streamline the litigation.” In a decision last week in Affinity Labs v. Dice Electronics, LLC, (E.D.Tex. February 20, 2009), the Texas-based Federal Court denied a stay pending ex parte reexam noting that the ex parte approach allows the “Defendant to lay behind the log, hoping for favorable developments with the passage of time. Instead of streamlining the process, Defendants’ choice guarantees the imposition of additional costs … and indicates a lack of desire to resolve the issues in the case in a timely manner.”

Late Patents:

Patently-O Bits and Bytes No. 93

Upcoming Events

  • Northwestern Law School’s Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property (NJTIP) is putting on a great event in Chicago on March 6, 2009 (Friday). Bob Irvine will be debating Bilski with Lauren Katznellenbogen. Irvine is a partner at my former firm, MBHB – He is amazingly smart and was my resource whenever I had difficulty understanding some complex technology. The debate is moderated by blogger R. David Donoghue. (The notice includes a disclaimer that the positions “are for advocacy purposes” and might not reflect the positions of the parties or their firms. Other speakers include Judge Holderman, Dr. Chris Singer (of Patent Docs and MBHB), Profs Seymore and Sag, and Mike Baniak (also of MBHB). [Symposium Website]
  • The IP Law Summit – March 17-19 – hosted by the marcus evans company will be a nice event in Ponte Vedra, Florida. I will be speaking there along with Marc Began (Novo), Manny Schecter (IBM), Bruce Schelkoph (Cummins), Scott Kief (Wash U), Bruce Pokras (Pfizer), Colin Raufer (Boeing), Mony Ghose (BD), Ken Collier (Medtronic), Scott Reid (Lenovo), Chris Turoski (Cargill), Hope Mehlman (Regions Financial), Tom Boshinski (Mead), Wendall Guffy (Nestle), Tim Wilson (SAS), Robert Renke (Flashpoint), John Parrish (Sanofi), Mike Jaro (Medtornic), and Phyllis Turner-Brim (Intermec).

Stays pending reexamination:

  • I continue to be surprised that courts grant stays of litigation pending re-examination – especially inter partes reexaminations which tend to be incredibly slow. In Wall Corp. v. BondDesk Group, LLC (D.Del. Feb. 24, 2009), district judge Gregory Sleet granted the defendant’s motion to stay the litigation pending inter partes reexaminations. The fact that the reexamination was inter partes was especially important to the court since the potential “estoppel will resolve many of the invalidity issues and streamline the litigation.” In a decision last week in Affinity Labs v. Dice Electronics, LLC, (E.D.Tex. February 20, 2009), the Texas-based Federal Court denied a stay pending ex parte reexam noting that the ex parte approach allows the “Defendant to lay behind the log, hoping for favorable developments with the passage of time. Instead of streamlining the process, Defendants’ choice guarantees the imposition of additional costs … and indicates a lack of desire to resolve the issues in the case in a timely manner.”

Late Patents:

Patently-O Bits and Bytes No. 68: People in the News

IP Law Hall of Fame New Inductees (Sponsored by IAM) [LINK]:

  • Jane Ginsburg – Columbia Law Professor; written extensively on the intereconnection between copyright and trademark law.
  • Francis Gurry – New Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
  • Dolores Hanna – Retired partner from Bell Boyd & Lloyd. Former head of INTA, IPLAC, WBA of Illinois, etc.
  • Michael Kirk — Recently retired Executive Director of the American Intellectual Property Association.
  • Niels Reimers – Former director of Stanford University’s Office of Technology Licensing. Founder of AUTM.

New IPO Board Members:

  • Wayne Sobon (Accenture)
  • Roger Gobrogge (Dow Corning)
  • Michelle Lee (Google)
  • George Johnston (Hoffman-La Roche)

Washington University:

  • Tonight WashU will host the VP debate
  • On Friday, October 10, I will be speaking at WashU law school to a much smaller crowd. (3:00 – 4:00pm) The topic trademak law and the protection of designs. I believe that CLE credit is being arranged for the free event. [LINK]