Patently-O Bits and Bytes*

Upcoming Events:

  • 2011 AIPLA Mid-Winter Institute will be held in Orlando from February 2-5. [Link]
  • Duke University School of Law will hold its Annual Hot Topics in Intellectual Property Symposium on February 11th. Speakers include Margo Bagley, Hans Sauer (BIO), and John Conley. [Link]
  • The Missouri Law Review is hosting a Symposium on February 25th in Columbia Missouri about the patent jurisprudence of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. We’ll have a number of great speakers, including USPTO Director David Kappos. [Link] (Free event and free CLE).
  • Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property will hold its annual Symposium on Friday March 4th from 9:00am-4:30pm. [Link] (Free Event, however CLE credit available for $200)
  • IBC Legal Conferences is holding its annual Biotech & Pharmaceutical Patenting Conference February 16-17 in Munich, Germany. Patently-O readers get a discount of 10% by using this code: KW8113PTLL. [Link]

Congressional Action on Patent Reform

  • Senator Leahy has posted a statement on his website discussing the reintroduction of the Patent Reform Act of 2011 [Link]. The Act focuses on 3 main issues:
    • Implementing a first-to-file system.
    • Constraints on infringement damage awards.
    • Rules intended to speed the application process for inventors.


  • On January 25th the PTO’s Director David Kappos, addressed a House subcommittee and urged Congress to pass the President’s FY 2011 Budget Request, which would allow PTO to spend all the fees they collect and also impose a 15% surcharge on patent fees.

Kodak shares tumble

  • Kodak filed complaints with the US International Trade Commission claiming Apple and Rim smartphone’s infringed on their patent. The International Trade Commission Judge held that the patent wasn’t infringed and held the suit invalid. As a result Kodak shares slumped over 25%.  Kodak has lost most of its business share over the years and its patent rights have saved its business model — up to now. The final decision is expected sometime in May.

Twitter sued for Patent Infringement

  • Twitter has been accused of violating patent # 6,408,309, which claims a method of creating an interactive virtual community of famous people.

Patent Jobs:

  • Allergan, a multi-specialty health care company, is seeking an experienced patent agent. [Link]
  • Lee & Hayes, a nationally known intellectual property (IP) law firm, is seeking a lateral experienced patent attorney. [Link]
  • Morgan Lewis, an international law firm, is seeking a Junior/Mid-Level associate for its Philadelphia office. [Link]
  • Ice Miller is seeking a patent attorney with an engineering background and 2-4 years of experience. [Link]

* Lawrence Higgins, a 2L here at Mizzou and future patent attorney will be writing these bits and bytes for the next couple of month. — DC

22 thoughts on “Patently-O Bits and Bytes*

  1. 21

    One layer nesting – O I cant wait for the switch back to the old system – it be comment tracking hunting time.

  2. 19

    And it is not just the overall order, it’s this hybrid model DC has. You cannot have newest comments on top as well as nested comments.

  3. 18

    IBC Legal Conferences is holding its annual Biotech & Pharmaceutical Patenting Conference February 16-17 in Munich, Germany. Patently-O readers get a discount of 10% by using this code:

  4. 16

    I haven’t yet checked out the link to Leahy’s legislation, but from the synopses I’ve read, it sounds like Leahy didn’t include any provisions for discontinuing fee diversion in his supposed “patent reform” bill. Is he for real? I realize that, as a congressman, he might not be too eager to cut off a source of revenue for the legislature; but enough is enough. Though I guess that, if the subcommittee heeds Kappos, it will make up for Leahy’s lapse, at least temporarily.

  5. 15

    This be even better than a sockpuppet mystery conspiracy theory show – sweet sarah’s post has been deleted…

    Are you paranoid if they are after you?

    O wells, the post content is not lost as weza can just ask Sunshine, who memorizes every word of sarah’s soliloquies.

  6. 14

    Dennis, please change how comments are view so we see the oldest comments first. Makes it easier to read.


  7. 12

    I’ve asked this before and I’ll ask again: it is Court-“knee” or Court-“nay”

  8. 10

    But everything can be so conditioned as to be able to be included in some schema of arbitrary line-drawing – nothing in this world is truly black and white – and especially anything depending on the determination of meaning of the written word will always exist in a world of shades of gray.

    Hang on to your hopes, my friend.
    That’s an easy thing to say,
    But if your hopes should pass away
    Simply pretend that you can build them again.
    Look around

  9. 9

    patent # 6,408,309, which claims a method of creating an interactive virtual community of famous people.

    Almost as obvious as Facebook itself.

  10. 8

    But how many people need to know about someone before they’re famous? What percentage of people in the field of endeavor is sufficient? For that matter, who are “people in the field of endeavor?” Practitioners? Non-practicing researchers? Professors? Students? Commentators? Interested lay-people?

    And what is “known?” That’s very subjective. Is it enough to have heard their name? To have heard of their work? Used their work? Does it matter whether the person or their work is well-regarded or is mere recognition sufficient? How do we balance all of this? If 75% of respondents have just heard the name, is that fame? What if only 5% have heard the name but they all think the person is the greatest figure in the field?

    It’s hopelessly subjective. You could apply the same approach to ‘aesthetically pleasing’ by polling people (e.g. users of the electronic kiosk software) about whether the interface was aesthetically pleasing. It still boils down to subjective opinion and arbitrary line-drawing.

  11. 7

    But “fame” is objectively different than “aesthetically pleasing”. “Fame” can be ascertained in an objective manner (e.g., sample polling of whether the person is known “in the field of endeavor”). There could be a case made that not only is there no “[complete dependency] on a person’s subjective opinion”, there is no subjective element – the person is known or is not.

    Your counter fails.

  12. 6

    Thanks for this! And thanks for your insight. I just read something about IPD Analytics and I’ve found their work pretty interesting as well, so I thought I’d share some info – link to

  13. 5

    It’s not about breadth, it’s about ambiguity and subjectivity. I think ‘fame’ is indefinite in the same way that ‘aesthetically pleasing’ was in Datamize v. Plumtree Software. The ‘309 patent does not even attempt to offer an objective definition of what the specification calls “general fame in the field of endeavor.”

    From the Datamize case: “Datamize has offered no objective definition identifying a standard for determining when an interface screen is ‘aesthetically pleasing.’ In the absence of a workable objective standard, ‘aesthetically pleasing’ does not just include a subjective element, it is completely dependent on a person’s subjective opinion…The scope of claim language cannot depend solely on the unrestrained, subjective opinion of a particular individual purportedly practicing the invention….Some objective standard must be provided in order to allow the public to determine the scope of the claimed invention.”

  14. 3

    “14. The method of claim 13, wherein: the step (c) comprises selecting a member based on a factor selected from the group consisting of … fame ….”

    The other factors, which I elided, are measurable enough, but surely ‘fame’ is indefinite.

  15. 2

    But does Twitter work this way?
    1. A method of creating an interactive virtual community of people in a field of endeavor, comprising the steps of:
    a) selecting a field of endeavor;
    b) compiling a list of members in the selected field;
    c) selecting a member from the compiled list of members based on a preselected factor;
    d) obtaining biographical information about the selected member;
    e) processing the biographical information in a preselected format to create a personal profile of the selected member;
    f) publishing the profile of the selected member on a machine readable media; and
    g) allowing the selected member to interact with the profile.

    This patent was filed in 2000 and granted in 2002.

  16. 1

    wow…seems it is a complete guide of patent activities to be held in 2011.well done..Recently i happened to come across an article titled “Request for Examination of a patent application – a mandatory requirement in India” which describes in detail about the need of request for examination of a patent application in India. Have a look at the mentioned article at “”. This kind of articles will definitely help people in clearing their doubts in proceeding with obtaining a patent for their invention.

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