Patently-O Bits & Bytes by Lawrence Higgins

Patent Trial Program Could be a Good Idea

  • California’s Northern District has seen a large increase in the number of patent lawsuits. As a result, this District was picked to participate in a 10-year pilot program that could route patent cases to judges who request them. This program is intended to send patent cases to judges who have an expertise in patent law. If a judge receives a patent law case and does not want it he or she may decline the case, and the case will be sent to the judge with the patent law expertise. Should this program be applied in all District Courts in order to get judges with patent law knowledge to hear patent law cases? [Link]

The House Appropriations Committee Doesn’t Think the USPTO Should Keep Fees

  • The House Appropriations Committee strongly opposes the USPTO to keep funds that it makes. The committee argues allowing the USPTO to keep all their fees would make it financially independent of the budget process and therefore essentially free from congressional oversight. This could possibly mean the language in the Patent Bill that gives the USPTO the right to keep their fees could be removed, in order to pass the remaining parts of the Bill. If this language is removed the USPTO’s budget could possibly get cut again or stay the same, which in both cases the USPTO would remain underfunded. Underfunding the USPTO will cause the USPTO not to be able to effectively decrease the number of patent applications that are backlogged. [Link]

Another Federal Judge Holds the False Marking Law Unconstitutional

  • The first case in which a judge held the false marking statute unconstitutional was Unique Product Solutions Ltd. v. Hy-Grade Valve Inc., which was decided in Ohio. Now a judge in Pennsylvania held in the case of Rogers v. Tristar Products Inc., that the law is unconstitutional. The reasoning this court used was that, the false marking statute has been held to be a criminal law, but that, under its qui tam provision, "the what, when, where, and how of the litigation remain subject to the whims of whomever sees fit to bring the suit." While this decision has practically no precedence, this could be a sign that the false marking law is on its way to the Supreme Court, in order to determine if it is in fact unconstitutional. [Link]

Patent Jobs:

  • Kaleidescape is looking for an in-house patent attorney or patent agent with 3 years of patent experience to work in their California location. (telecommuting is an option) [Link]
  • Meso Scale Diagnostics is seeking a patent attorney with an engineering background and 3-10 years of patent experience to work at their Maryland location. [Link] 
  • Aspen Aerogels is searching for a patent agent or an IP analyst with 5 years of experience to work at their Massachusetts location. [Link]
  • The Coca-Cola Company is seeking to fill 3 patent agent positions at their Atlanta location; individuals must have 2-4 years of patent experience. [Link]

Upcoming Events:

  • The fourth IP Business Congress (IPBC) will take place on June 19-21 in San Francisco. IPBC 2011 will bring together leaders from the worlds of IP business and finance to discuss issues that center on the creation and management of IP value. There will be over 50 highly regarded guest speakers such as; Judge Michel, Judge Rader, Teresa Rea, Tracey Thomas, Loria Yeadon, Benjamin Lee, and Peter Menell just to name few. [Link]
  • The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) will hold its annual BIO International Convention on June 27-30 in Washington, DC. BIO brings together 15,000 – 17,000 industry experts from over 60 countries. The convention will hold several sessions strictly related to IP. [Link]
  • The American Conference Institute (ACI) will hold a Hatch-Waxman Boot Camp July 18-19 in San Diego. ACI’s Hatch-Waxman Boot Camp has been designed to give counsel and advisors to brand name and generic drug critical insights into commercialization and the pre-approval process, and also provide an in-depth review of Hatch-Waxman and other IP basics relative to small molecules and biologics. [Link]

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