Patently-O https://patentlyo.com America's leading patent law blog Thu, 13 May 2021 18:29:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.17 McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP https://patentlyo.com/media/2014/01/mbhb-3b.gif https://www.mbhb.com/ 480 150 Intellectual Property Law A Small Step on Choice of Forum Issues with PTAB https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/small-choice-issues.html https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/small-choice-issues.html#comments Thu, 13 May 2021 17:17:16 +0000 https://patentlyo.com/?p=32628 A Small Step on Choice of Forum Issues with PTAB

New Vision Gaming & Development, Inc. v. SG Gaming, Inc. (Bally Gaming) (Fed. Cir. 2021)

In a pair of CBM decisions, the PTAB found New Vision’s patent claims ineligible under Section 101.  New Vision had proposed alternative claims, but those were also found to be invalid. On appeal, the Federal Circuit did not review the merits, but instead vacated and remanded on Arthrex grounds.

New Vision requests that we vacate and remand the Board’s decisions in light of Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., 941 F.3d 1320 (Fed. Cir. 2019). Because Arthrex issued after the Board’s final-written decisions and after New Vision sought Board rehearing, New Vision has not waived its Arthrex challenge by raising it for the first time in its opening brief before this Court. Thus, we vacate and remand for further proceedings consistent with Arthrex, and we need not reach any other issue presented in this case.

Slip. Op.

Judge Newman authored an opinion that dissents in-part.  In particular, Judge Newman argued that the choice-of-forum clause in a contract between the parties required any dispute over the patent to be resolved in a Nevada-based court, not in the USPTO. 

Continue reading A Small Step on Choice of Forum Issues with PTAB at Patently-O.

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New Vision Gaming & Development, Inc. v. SG Gaming, Inc. (Bally Gaming) (Fed. Cir. 2021)

In a pair of CBM decisions, the PTAB found New Vision’s patent claims ineligible under Section 101.  New Vision had proposed alternative claims, but those were also found to be invalid. On appeal, the Federal Circuit did not review the merits, but instead vacated and remanded on Arthrex grounds.

New Vision requests that we vacate and remand the Board’s decisions in light of Arthrex, Inc. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., 941 F.3d 1320 (Fed. Cir. 2019). Because Arthrex issued after the Board’s final-written decisions and after New Vision sought Board rehearing, New Vision has not waived its Arthrex challenge by raising it for the first time in its opening brief before this Court. Thus, we vacate and remand for further proceedings consistent with Arthrex, and we need not reach any other issue presented in this case.

Slip. Op.

Judge Newman authored an opinion that dissents in-part.  In particular, Judge Newman argued that the choice-of-forum clause in a contract between the parties required any dispute over the patent to be resolved in a Nevada-based court, not in the USPTO.  “The Board refused to respect the forum selection agreement, and proceeded to final decision of the petitions.”  Judge Newman argued that the appellate panel should consider the issue before remanding.

Judge Newman particularly wanted to decide this issue here with her colleague Judges Moore on the panel (along with Judge Taranto).   A parallel question is question under consideration in Kannuu Pty Ltd., v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Fed. Cir. 2021).  Oral arguments are expected in that case in July 2021 before a yet-to-be-disclosed panel.

The Public Private Nature of Patents

U.S. Patent Nos. 7,451,987 and 7,325,806.  The parallel litigation (filed in Nevada) is stayed pending outcome of the CBM review. New Vision Gaming &
Development, Inc. v. Bally Gaming Inc., No. 2:17-cv-01559-APG-BNW (D.
Nev.).

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Percy v. Goliath – the movie. https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/percy-goliath-movie.html https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/percy-goliath-movie.html#comments Thu, 13 May 2021 16:40:35 +0000 https://patentlyo.com/?p=32631

Continue reading Percy v. Goliath – the movie. at Patently-O.

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Obfuscation and Patenting of @#$% https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/obfuscation-and-patenting.html https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/obfuscation-and-patenting.html#comments Thu, 13 May 2021 13:34:34 +0000 https://patentlyo.com/?p=32624 by Dennis Crouch

Profs. Sarah R. Wasserman Rajec and Andrew Gilden recently posted a draft of their new article “Patenting Pleasure.”  If you cannot discern the topic from their title, Prof Nicholson Price has also just published a review essay titled Illegal Sex Toy Patents. Price describes the “central tension” from the article:

Because of the utility doctrine, patentees must say what their inventions are for—but because US law has been generally quite hostile to sex and sex tech, pleasure patents have to say they are for something other than, well, pleasure. In the heart of the piece, Rajec and Gilden carefully catalog these descriptions over time, revealing a changing picture about what sorts of purposes were considered acceptable sex tech—at least, in the eyes of the USPTO.

Price.  Some amount of obfuscation will be familiar to patent attorneys today across various fields.  Although not illegal, most patents avoid detailing the core invention — what really is the improvement over the prior art.  Likewise, some patent attorneys will have walked the tight-line between the patentability disclosure requirement and client-interest in keeping certain trade secrets.  Some patent attorneys are hard at work attempting to beat the PTO’s AI system that routes patent applications to the various art units (some of which are seen as more favorable than others). 

Continue reading Obfuscation and Patenting of @#$% at Patently-O.

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by Dennis Crouch

Profs. Sarah R. Wasserman Rajec and Andrew Gilden recently posted a draft of their new article “Patenting Pleasure.”  If you cannot discern the topic from their title, Prof Nicholson Price has also just published a review essay titled Illegal Sex Toy Patents. Price describes the “central tension” from the article:

Because of the utility doctrine, patentees must say what their inventions are for—but because US law has been generally quite hostile to sex and sex tech, pleasure patents have to say they are for something other than, well, pleasure. In the heart of the piece, Rajec and Gilden carefully catalog these descriptions over time, revealing a changing picture about what sorts of purposes were considered acceptable sex tech—at least, in the eyes of the USPTO.

Price.  Some amount of obfuscation will be familiar to patent attorneys today across various fields.  Although not illegal, most patents avoid detailing the core invention — what really is the improvement over the prior art.  Likewise, some patent attorneys will have walked the tight-line between the patentability disclosure requirement and client-interest in keeping certain trade secrets.  Some patent attorneys are hard at work attempting to beat the PTO’s AI system that routes patent applications to the various art units (some of which are seen as more favorable than others).  Many are also trying to figure out ways to patent inventions that are close to the abstract-idea line without sending the case back to the inventors for more inventing.  Perhaps all of this goes along with traditional core roles of attorneys — advocating and keeping secrets.

In any event, Rajec-Gilden do not include any of the patent drawings and should be safe for reading on the train.

 

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US Patent Number 11,000,000 https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/patent-number-11000000.html https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/patent-number-11000000.html#comments Tue, 11 May 2021 12:35:06 +0000 https://patentlyo.com/?p=32577 US Patent Number 11,000,000

by Dennis Crouch

On May 11, 2021, the USPTO issued US Patent Number 11,000,000.  Eleven million. Don’t forget that the office has issued another 1,000,000 design+plant patents and an additional 10,000 patents from 1791 to 1836 before the current numbering system was established.  I was a junior in college at Princeton when Patent No. 5,500,000 issued to John Feagin covering a zip-tie method for suturing. Over the past 25 years, the number of U.S. patents has effectively doubled.

U.S. Patent No. 11,000,000 is one of a family of inventions owned by 4C Medical Tech. of Minneapolis directed to heart surgery tools. The inventors are Saravana Kumar and Jason Diedering.  The patent claims a method of delivering and also repositioning a prosthetic heart-valve (AltaValve) that is used to repair a leaky-valve issue experienced by several million Americans (typically over age 75).

The invention itself is quite simple — basically, there is a catheter tube with a set of wire pairs.  Each pair includes one wire with a looped end and a second with a straight end.  The pairs work together to deliver, release, and position the prosthetic valve within the heart.  The claims were rejected as obvious and then allowed after a fairly minor amendment.

Continue reading US Patent Number 11,000,000 at Patently-O.

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US Patent Number 11,000,000

by Dennis Crouch

On May 11, 2021, the USPTO issued US Patent Number 11,000,000.  Eleven million. Don’t forget that the office has issued another 1,000,000 design+plant patents and an additional 10,000 patents from 1791 to 1836 before the current numbering system was established.  I was a junior in college at Princeton when Patent No. 5,500,000 issued to John Feagin covering a zip-tie method for suturing. Over the past 25 years, the number of U.S. patents has effectively doubled.

U.S. Patent No. 11,000,000 is one of a family of inventions owned by 4C Medical Tech. of Minneapolis directed to heart surgery tools. The inventors are Saravana Kumar and Jason Diedering.  The patent claims a method of delivering and also repositioning a prosthetic heart-valve (AltaValve) that is used to repair a leaky-valve issue experienced by several million Americans (typically over age 75).

The invention itself is quite simple — basically, there is a catheter tube with a set of wire pairs.  Each pair includes one wire with a looped end and a second with a straight end.  The pairs work together to deliver, release, and position the prosthetic valve within the heart.  The claims were rejected as obvious and then allowed after a fairly minor amendment.

The patent and its family have been prosecuted by Jeff Stone and his team at Barnes & Thornburg (Minneapolis).  Check back here in Spring 2024 when I’m expecting an announcement for Number 12,000,000.

From the USPTO: https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/news-updates/united-states-issues-patent-number-11000000

 

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Clash of Clans: $92 million and Eligibility Issues https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/million-eligibility-issues.html https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/million-eligibility-issues.html#comments Mon, 10 May 2021 18:01:45 +0000 https://patentlyo.com/?p=32597 Clash of Clans: $92 million and Eligibility Issues

GREE, Inc. v. SuperCell Oy (Fed. Cir. 2021) (nonprecedential)

SuperCell is a Finnish company that makes and distributes the mobile game “Clash of Clans.”  SuperCell is owned primarily by the Chinese multinational Tencent, the “world’s largest video game vender.”  The patentee GREE is a Japanese mobile game developer and holds a number of mobile-device game related patents.

On May 7, 2021 a jury sided with Gree in a patent infringment lawsuit, holding SuperCell liable and awarding $92 million in infringement damages.

GreeSuperCellVerdictForm.  The jury also found the infringement willful and that the patent claims were not invalid.  In the coming months, Judge Gilstrap will rule on the soon-to-be-filed JMOL motions and also rule on the question of enhanced damages associated with the adjudged willful infringement. GREE also asked for injunctive relief in its final pre-trial contention and so that will come up as well.

Today, the Federal Circuit decided a parallel case involving a separate GREE patent — not one subject to the recent jury verdict. U.S. Patent Number 9,897,799.  For this patent, SuperCell filed a petition for Post Grant Review.

Continue reading Clash of Clans: $92 million and Eligibility Issues at Patently-O.

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GREE, Inc. v. SuperCell Oy (Fed. Cir. 2021) (nonprecedential)

SuperCell is a Finnish company that makes and distributes the mobile game “Clash of Clans.”  SuperCell is owned primarily by the Chinese multinational Tencent, the “world’s largest video game vender.”  The patentee GREE is a Japanese mobile game developer and holds a number of mobile-device game related patents.

On May 7, 2021 a jury sided with Gree in a patent infringment lawsuit, holding SuperCell liable and awarding $92 million in infringement damages.

GreeSuperCellVerdictForm.  The jury also found the infringement willful and that the patent claims were not invalid.  In the coming months, Judge Gilstrap will rule on the soon-to-be-filed JMOL motions and also rule on the question of enhanced damages associated with the adjudged willful infringement. GREE also asked for injunctive relief in its final pre-trial contention and so that will come up as well.

Today, the Federal Circuit decided a parallel case involving a separate GREE patent — not one subject to the recent jury verdict. U.S. Patent Number 9,897,799.  For this patent, SuperCell filed a petition for Post Grant Review. The PTO granted the petition and eventually found the claims invalid under Section 101. On appeal here, the Federal Circuit has affirmed that judgment. In particular, the appellate panel agreed that the claims are directed to “the abstract idea of associating game objects and moving one or more of the objects.”  Further, the claims did not include any inventive step going beyond the routine and conventional.

The most important part of this decision is where the court (effectively) says “Claim It.”  There is some suggestion in the caselaw that a patentee might describe specific improvements within the detailed description and then include broader claims that encompass those improvements, but at a more general level.  Here, GREE described particular syntax of touches and swipes within the specification. ON appeal, the Federal Circuit found that those elements didn’t count for the Alice analysis because they were not claimed.

The Board also correctly explained that none of the syntax of touches and swipes that GREE cites as its inventive step are captured in any of the elements of the claims.

Slip Op.

= = = = =

1. A computer-implemented method for operating a computer game, the method comprising:

storing, in a storage module, a plurality of virtual objects and the arrangements of those virtual objects on a game field;

accepting, via an input face configured to detect a touch operation, operation information regarding a touch operation performed by a user;

associating, using a processor, a plurality of virtual objects as a group; determining, using a processor, whether the operation information comprises a direction operation;

upon determining that the operation information comprises a direction operation, moving, using a moving processor, one or more of the plurality of associated objects as a group in the direction indicated by the direction operation;

storing, in a storage module, the new arrangements on the game field of the one or more of the plurality of associated objects moved with the moving processor;

displaying, on a computer screen, the game field and the plurality of virtual objects arranged on the game field; and

displaying, on a computer screen, the new arrangement on the game field of the one or more of the plurality of associated objects moved with the moving processor.

= = = = =

Going back to the $92 million case, The following patents are at issue.

  • Claim 3 of U.S. 10,328,346
  • Claim 8 of U.S. 10,335,689
  • Claim 1 of U.S. 10,076,708
  • Claims 2 and 3 of U.S. 10,413,832
  • Claims 1 and 6 of U.S. 9,079,107
  • Claims 1 and 5 of U.S. 9,561,439

On appeal, SuperCell will likely argue that these are all invalid as ineligible (along with other issues)

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(Non)Precedent on Venue Transfer? https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/nonprecedent-venue-transfer.html https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/nonprecedent-venue-transfer.html#comments Mon, 10 May 2021 15:08:56 +0000 https://patentlyo.com/?p=32592 by Dennis Crouch

In TracFone, the Federal Circuit issued two strongly worded strongly worded mandamus opinion relating to venue.

  • In re TracFone Wireless, Inc., 2021-118, 2021 WL 865353 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 8, 2021) (remanding for a ruling on venue); and
  • In re TracFone Wireless, Inc., 2021-136, 2021 WL 1546036 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 20, 2021) (ordering transfer under 1404(a)).

The March 2021 decision orders W.D.Tex. Judge Albright to immediately decide TracFone’s venue motions (and write a reviewable opinion).  Judge Albright immediately complied by denying TracFone’s motion to dismiss or transfer the case. The Federal Circuit’s April 2021 decision concluded that Judge Albright had “abused [his] discretion.”  The appellate panel then ordered the case to be transferred to Florida.

Although the April 2021 decision provides finality, it is actually the March 2021 decision that is perhaps more interesting. The appellate panel ordered immediate action on the venue question and generally suggested that a district court should drop-everything to decide venue motions.  The judge’s familiarity with the facts/law of a particular case is typically seen as relevant the outcome of an inconvenient venue motion under 1404(a). 

Continue reading (Non)Precedent on Venue Transfer? at Patently-O.

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by Dennis Crouch

In TracFone, the Federal Circuit issued two strongly worded strongly worded mandamus opinion relating to venue.

  • In re TracFone Wireless, Inc., 2021-118, 2021 WL 865353 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 8, 2021) (remanding for a ruling on venue); and
  • In re TracFone Wireless, Inc., 2021-136, 2021 WL 1546036 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 20, 2021) (ordering transfer under 1404(a)).

The March 2021 decision orders W.D.Tex. Judge Albright to immediately decide TracFone’s venue motions (and write a reviewable opinion).  Judge Albright immediately complied by denying TracFone’s motion to dismiss or transfer the case. The Federal Circuit’s April 2021 decision concluded that Judge Albright had “abused [his] discretion.”  The appellate panel then ordered the case to be transferred to Florida.

Although the April 2021 decision provides finality, it is actually the March 2021 decision that is perhaps more interesting. The appellate panel ordered immediate action on the venue question and generally suggested that a district court should drop-everything to decide venue motions.  The judge’s familiarity with the facts/law of a particular case is typically seen as relevant the outcome of an inconvenient venue motion under 1404(a).  In its decision though, the court held that the district court should not consider any familiarity it has gained after the filing of the complaint:

[W]e remind the lower court that any familiarity that it has gained with the underlying litigation due to the progress of the case since the filing of the complaint is irrelevant when considering the transfer motion and should not color its decision.

Slip Op.

One problem with this decision is that it is non-precedential.  Thus, the clear language has limited value going forward. Now, a group of law professors have petitioned to reissue the decision as precedential.

This Court should reissue its TracFone order as precedential to definitively establish the law regarding improper delays in ruling on transfer motions and requests for stay pending the resolution of such motions. Absent clear precedential guidance, courts may continue to disregard this court’s nonprecedential instructions and make procedural errors that force parties to settle or to litigate in an inappropriate, inconvenient, and costly forum.

Motion to Reissue as Precedential. Federal Circuit Local Rule 32.1 provides the following procedure for this type of motion:

Within sixty (60) days after the court issues a nonprecedential opinion or order, any person may request through motion filed in the case that the opinion or order be reissued as precedential. The request will be considered by the panel that rendered the disposition. The motion must identify any case that person knows to be pending that would be determined or affected by reissuance as precedential. Parties to pending cases having a stake in the outcome of a decision on the motion must be given an opportunity to respond. If the request is granted, the opinion or order may be revised as appropriate.

Rules.  The motion was filed by Stanford’s IP Clinic (Philip Malone) on behalf of a group of law professors led by Mark Lemley.

I’ll note here as an aside that some of the language here could also be applied in the context of stays of litigation pending outcome of an AIA trial. Judge Albright has generally taken an approach of refusing stays in most cases.

= = = =

In re Western Digital (Fed. Cir. 2021). In a separate decision today, the Federal Circuit denied Western Digital’s petition for writ of mandamus to escape from W.D. Tex.  The appellate panel did find that Judge Albright had applied the wrong legal standard by stating Western-Digital faced a “heavy” and “significant” burden before a case would be moved for convenience.

To be sure, the district court incorrectly overstated the burden on WDT as “heavy” and “significant.” but see Volkswagen, 545 F.3d at 314–15 (explaining that Congress intended to grant transfer under section 1404(a) upon a lesser showing of inconvenience than the “heavy burden” traditionally required under the forum non conveniens doctrine).

Slip Op. Still, the court found no abuse of discretion in denying transfer:

Although we may have evaluated some of the factors differently, we are not prepared to say that the district court’s ultimate conclusion that the transferee venue was not clearly more convenient amounted to a clear abuse of discretion.

Id.

= = = = =

One issue with this exercise has to do with the Federal Circuit’s approach to non-patent issues that come before the court. Motions to transfer under 1404(a) (inconvenient forum) are not patent-specific and so the Federal Circuit applies the law of the regional circuit court of appeals rather than its own precedent. For these cases out of W.D.Tex., the court applies 5th Circuit law regarding transfer of venue rather than its own precedent.  Likewise, lower courts follow 5th circuit law rather than Federal Circuit law. Thus, we have a question of what role a precedential opinion on this point would actually serve.

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WTO Global Health: Shifting away from a Punishment Mindset https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/shifting-punishment-mindset.html https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/shifting-punishment-mindset.html#comments Mon, 10 May 2021 01:55:10 +0000 https://patentlyo.com/?p=32581 WTO Global Health: Shifting away from a Punishment Mindset

By Sapna Kumar, Law Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center

While COVID-19 cases continue to drop in the United States, many countries are fighting resurgences of the virus and struggling to obtain vaccines and medical supplies. Back in October, India and South Africa petitioned the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waive all IP protection surrounding drugs and medical products needed to combat the pandemic. The petition also called for “the unhindered global sharing of technology and know-how.”

Existing safeguards regarding IP rights during public health emergencies have some issues. TRIPS Article 31 permits countries to issue compulsory licenses of patented technology, but the process for importing patented drugs is cumbersome under Article 31bis. Countries must also pay “adequate remuneration in the circumstances of each case” to the patent holder. Moreover, the U.S. government has a lengthy history of punishing countries that utilize compulsory licensing with trade-related sanctions.

It was therefore significant that President Biden announced on Wednesday that he will support waving IP protections for COVID-19 vaccines. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai released a statement noting that “the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures,” and pledging to help expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution.

Continue reading WTO Global Health: Shifting away from a Punishment Mindset at Patently-O.

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By Sapna Kumar, Law Foundation Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center

While COVID-19 cases continue to drop in the United States, many countries are fighting resurgences of the virus and struggling to obtain vaccines and medical supplies. Back in October, India and South Africa petitioned the World Trade Organization (WTO) to waive all IP protection surrounding drugs and medical products needed to combat the pandemic. The petition also called for “the unhindered global sharing of technology and know-how.”

Existing safeguards regarding IP rights during public health emergencies have some issues. TRIPS Article 31 permits countries to issue compulsory licenses of patented technology, but the process for importing patented drugs is cumbersome under Article 31bis. Countries must also pay “adequate remuneration in the circumstances of each case” to the patent holder. Moreover, the U.S. government has a lengthy history of punishing countries that utilize compulsory licensing with trade-related sanctions.

It was therefore significant that President Biden announced on Wednesday that he will support waving IP protections for COVID-19 vaccines. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai released a statement noting that “the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures,” and pledging to help expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution. This reversal in the Biden Administration’s position may be in response to increasing pressure from various groups and the unfolding crisis in India.

However, many questions still remain. First, will a waiver pass in the WTO? Although the European Union has stated that it is willing to reconsider the proposal, Germany remains staunchly opposed. Germany helped fund the Pfizer/Bio-N-Tech vaccine and has expressed concern that a broad waiver could undermine innovation. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has also noted that the real obstacle to widespread vaccination is production capacities.

Another issue relates to the know-how surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines. As I and others have written, vaccines are notoriously difficult to reverse-engineer because they are derived from living organisms and are structurally complex. One of the keys to rapid production is for the manufacturers to share proprietary knowledge regarding manufacturing processes that are typically protected as trade secrets. However, neither TRIPS nor U.S. law appear to provide mechanisms for compelling unwilling companies to do so. Nor are there any contractual provisions in the funding agreements under Operation Warp Speed that require such a disclosure.

It is also unclear whether a waiver of IP rights will make a difference. Take, for example, India, which has underinvested in health care for decades. Just a few months ago, India was giving away millions of vaccine doses in an attempt to compete with China in vaccine diplomacy, falsely believing that India had achieved herd immunity. In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was speaking unmasked before packed crowds at political rallies. An argument can be made that complacency is playing a far greater role than IP rights in India’s second wave.

Furthermore, as others have pointed out, IP rights are only a piece of what is needed to produce vaccines. There is currently a global shortage of raw materials and proper manufacturing facilities. The spoiled vaccines from Emergent BioSolutions’ plant in Baltimore furthermore illustrate the difficulties of bringing new manufacturing facilities online. Because the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines both require storage at low temperatures and utilize novel mRNA technology, they pose further challenges in countries that lack necessary infrastructure for manufacturing and for distribution of vaccine doses.

Ultimately, any waiver of TRIPS obligations that passes is likely to be modest in reach, perhaps reducing the procedural burdens currently surrounding the use of compulsory licensing. It is unlikely that Biden will somehow force U.S.-based vaccine manufacturers to turn over know-how. Overall, the greatest benefit of the Biden Administration’s support for the waiver is that it signals a departure from the prior approach of punishing countries facing health crises and that it might spur pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily increase out-licensing and donations of vaccines.

* Image above comes from the plague of Ashdod, 1630, Artist Nicolas Poussin

 

 

Guest Post: Pandemic drug shortages: Is compulsory licensing the answer?

 

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COVID-19 Patents https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/covid-19-patents.html https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/covid-19-patents.html#comments Sat, 08 May 2021 11:54:32 +0000 https://patentlyo.com/?p=32569 So far the USPTO has issued 148 patents that reference COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2. I'm sure many-more to come.

Link goes to the list: https://t.co/pd6ECKakFw pic.twitter.com/iEq1tTc5oF

— Dennis Crouch (@patentlyo) May 7, 2021

Continue reading COVID-19 Patents at Patently-O.

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So far the USPTO has issued 148 patents that reference COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2. I'm sure many-more to come.

Link goes to the list: https://t.co/pd6ECKakFw pic.twitter.com/iEq1tTc5oF

— Dennis Crouch (@patentlyo) May 7, 2021

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Vexatious Litigants https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/vexatious-litigants.html https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/vexatious-litigants.html#comments Fri, 07 May 2021 14:54:32 +0000 https://patentlyo.com/?p=32566 Mankaruse v. Raytheon Company, 20-2309 (Fed. Cir. 2021) (nonprecedential) [Raytheon Vexatious Litigant]

Nagui Mankaruse is a former Raytheon engineer and also a patentee. U.S.
Patent No. 6,411,512. While an employee, he sued Raytheon for employment discrimination and was later fired.  (“Laid off due to a workforce reduction”).  He later sued Raytheon in California state for various claims, including trade-secret misappropriation, breach of contract, discrimination, etc.  California Code allows for a litigant to be defined as a “vexatious litigant” and Mankaruse was so-named.  In one case he posted a $10,000 bond as required by the court (and lost the money after losing the case).

In the present case before the Federal Circuit. Nagui Mankaruse filed a pro se lawsuit against Raytheon alleging patent infringement and trade-secret misappropriation.  Raytheon asked the US District Court (C.D.Cal.) to deem Mankaruse a “vexatious litigant” under Federal Law and require a bond before he proceeds with the case.  The district court agreed and ordered Mankaruse to pay $25k bond and also seek pre-filing approval from the court of any future lawsuit.  He did not pay the money and the case was dismissed.   On appeal, the Federal Circuit has affirmed.

Continue reading Vexatious Litigants at Patently-O.

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Mankaruse v. Raytheon Company, 20-2309 (Fed. Cir. 2021) (nonprecedential) [Raytheon Vexatious Litigant]

Nagui Mankaruse is a former Raytheon engineer and also a patentee. U.S.
Patent No. 6,411,512. While an employee, he sued Raytheon for employment discrimination and was later fired.  (“Laid off due to a workforce reduction”).  He later sued Raytheon in California state for various claims, including trade-secret misappropriation, breach of contract, discrimination, etc.  California Code allows for a litigant to be defined as a “vexatious litigant” and Mankaruse was so-named.  In one case he posted a $10,000 bond as required by the court (and lost the money after losing the case).

In the present case before the Federal Circuit. Nagui Mankaruse filed a pro se lawsuit against Raytheon alleging patent infringement and trade-secret misappropriation.  Raytheon asked the US District Court (C.D.Cal.) to deem Mankaruse a “vexatious litigant” under Federal Law and require a bond before he proceeds with the case.  The district court agreed and ordered Mankaruse to pay $25k bond and also seek pre-filing approval from the court of any future lawsuit.  He did not pay the money and the case was dismissed.   On appeal, the Federal Circuit has affirmed.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not speak to the “vexatious litigant” designation, but the courts have self-identified an inherent power to protect the judicial process that is also supported by the all writs act.  Further, courts have power to order litigants to pay a security-deposit associated with potential future costs or sanctions.

[T]he court properly declared Mr. Mankaruse a vexatious litigant. And the bond amount of $25,000 was not excessive. The purpose of the bond is to provide a defendant security that, if it were to prevail in defending against a suit, would enable it to recoup its costs from a plaintiff, and the parties here do not  meaningfully dispute that, at the time the bond was required, predicted costs of further litigation would have exceeded $25,000.

Slip Op.   Mankaruse argued that he does not have $25k and so the requirement of the bond effectively excludes him from the court.  On appeal, the Federal Circuit  found no abuse-of-discretion even if it priced Mankaruse out of the market.

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Milestones: Patent No. 11,000,000 https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/milestones-patent-11000000.html https://patentlyo.com/patent/2021/05/milestones-patent-11000000.html#comments Fri, 07 May 2021 11:04:39 +0000 https://patentlyo.com/?p=32563 Milestones: Patent No. 11,000,000

The USPTO recently issued U.S. patent No 10,999,961.  That means the old odometer is about to roll over.  On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., we can expect Patent No. 11,000,000.

Continue reading Milestones: Patent No. 11,000,000 at Patently-O.

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The USPTO recently issued U.S. patent No 10,999,961.  That means the old odometer is about to roll over.  On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., we can expect Patent No. 11,000,000.

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