Design Patent Law: The House Subcommittee on IP held hearings on amendments to the design patent laws. The two primary specific issues on the table are (1) whether to eliminate design patents covering replacement automobile parts and (2) whether to extend IP protection to fashion designs. [LINK]. The IP group will hold PTO oversight hearings again next week.
Replacement Parts: IPO recently voted to oppose any legislative exemption for particular products or technologies from the IP laws: “In particular, IPO opposes legislation that would exempt replacement automobile parts from infringing U.S. design patents.”
LexisNexis Patent Center: lexisnexis is now in the blog world with their “Patent Center.”
Missing Dates: The PTO revived Aristocrat’s national stage application even though filed a day late. During litigation, however, the district court found the revival an improper extension of the law. [Link] The patentee appealed to the CAFC with the question of “Whether a patent application abandoned for failure to comply with deadlines set forth in 35 U.S.C. §§ 371(d) and 133 may be revived based on mere ‘unintentional’ delay where those provisions provide for revival only for “unavoidable” delay.” Now, IGT responds.
New Administrative Judge: According to Hal Wegner, the PTO has appointed Professor Lorelei Ritchie de Larenato the position of administrative judge on the TTAB BPAI. Judge Ritchie has been working in tech-transfer for several years while teaching at the same time. As the rate of appeals continues to rise, the PTO will need to continue to hire high quality judges. At the same time, these judges will begin to feel an even stronger pull to jump ship to law firms looking for inside experience and connections. [Related note: can someone send me a list of BPAI Judges? email@example.com]