Patently-O Bits and Bytes

  • Congratulations: The Administration (and its supporters) have successfully lobbied the House of Representatives to allow the PTO to keep $129 million of its funds collected over-budget. Because the CBO had already accounted for that money as general income, the return of the money required a debit from some other expenditure. The source ended up being money that had been over-budgeted for the Census.  See H.r. 5874.  To become law, the bill would also need to pass the Senate. However, at this time, no equivalent bill has been introduced into the Senate.
  • Fee shifting: In the pending case of Netflix v. Media Queue, Netflix has asked the Federal Circuit to revisit the law of 35 USC 285 in terms of when the prevailing party should be awarded attorney’s fees. Netflix argues that the current rule makes it too difficult for defendants to collect Attorney’s fees after prevailing against charges of infringement.  Those interested in the case may want to look at data collected by Professors Michael Meurer and James Bessen in preparation for their 2008 book Patent Failure. [Data available here].
  • Interim Guidelines on Patentable Subject Matter: The USPTO has released a new set of interim guidelines for examination of the Section 101 eligibility of process claims.
  • Revisiting RCE Statistics