On October 23, 2014, U.S. Congressman Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the “Innovation Act,” which is intended “to make improvements and technical corrections” to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) “and for other purposes.” The bulk of the Act focuses on patent litigation, but it also includes significant changes to the new patent trial proceedings (inter partes review,…

The first set of “technical corrections” to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) was enacted on January 14, 2013. While this legislation did make “technical” corrections to some of the new AIA provisions, it also made substantive changes to both the AIA and other provisions of U.S. patent law, including the Patent Term Adjustment (PTA)…

Recent  U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and USPTO decisions underscore the potential value of challenging a granted U.S. patent in a USPTO proceeding, even if the patent already has been held infringed and/or not invalid in district court litigation. In  Fresenius, USA Inc. v. Baxter International, Inc., the Federal Circuit interpreted the ex parte reexamination…

On June 13, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the “ACLU/Myriad” gene patents case (Association For Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.). In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Thomas, the Court held that “a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been…

Patent trolls, also called “non-practicing entities” (“NPE”), a rather more elegant name, have become a serious threat to the patent system, particularly in the IT arena in the United States (“U.S.”). As readers will know, patent troll is the expression normally used to designate companies that simply hold patents for the purpose of forcing third…

On June 4, 2013, the U.S. White House issued a press release announcing its “Task Force on High-Tech Patent Issues.” The press release outlined five executive actions and seven legislative recommendations “designed to protect innovators from frivolous litigation and ensure the highest-quality patents in our system.” The target of these initiatives are so-called “patent trolls,”…

In a divided en banc decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s holding that the claims at issue in CLS Bank v. Alice Corporation are invalid under the “abstract idea” exception to 35 USC § 101. While a majority of the judges agreed that the method and computer-readable medium claims are invalid, they disagreed as to why. Further, the court was evenly split as to whether the systems claims are invalid. (With no majority agreement on that issue, the district court decision is affirmed). Even if this case makes its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, patent-eligibility will remain a murky area of U.S. patent law for the foreseeable future.

On April 15, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in one of the most controversial and publicized biotech patent cases, the “ACLU/Myriad” gene patenting case (formally, The Association For Molecular Pathology, et al. v. USPTO et al.). While it is nearly impossible to predict the outcome of a Supreme Court case from…

The first-inventor-to-file provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) took effect on March 16, 2013. While the effective date provisions for the first-inventor-to-file provisions are complicated, the new laws will apply to all U.S. applications with an earliest effective filing date on or after March 16, 2013, and also to U.S. applications that claim subject…