Is the New IPR Investment Strategy Bust?

An October 2016 report estimates the number of hedge funds at a staggering 11,000, managing an aggregate of $3 trillion or more. Each firm seeks ways to make a profit for investors and managers through a variety of ways – including conventional methods like identifying certain market-influencing events, mispriced stocks, and betting that share prices will either rise or fall. Dallas-based Hayman Capital is one such firm, led by billionaire investor J. Kyle Bass. According Continue Reading →

I Am My Own Man: The Ownership of Genetic Material

Our knowledge of DNA continues to expand and, by extension, so does our ability to manipulate it. Recently, researchers have created a viable organism with a chromosome incorporating pairs of synthetic bases. [1] Others have engineered an organism containing only the genes necessary for life. [2] In addition to advancing our understanding of the life sciences, which may indirectly enhance human welfare, working with genes also has direct applications to human health: for example, genetic Continue Reading →

Open Source Software and Standards Development Organizations: Symbiotic Functions in the Innovation Equation

Editor’s Note: This post was written by guest contributor David J. Kappos, a current partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, and former Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Before heading up the USPTO, Mr. Kappos was a Vice President and Assistant General Counsel (focusing on IP issues) for IBM. Two groups—industry standards development organizations (SDOs) and the open source software (OSS) community—have contributed enormously to the breathtaking technological achievements of recent Continue Reading →

Exclusive Rights in Vague Terms – Vantablack in the Arts

Background In the summer of 2014, British company Surrey NanoSystems (“SNS”) announced that it had created a new substance out of carbon nanotubes that would absorb up to 99.96% of light.[1] It is created by growing nanotubes on a surface heated to over 430 degrees Celsius, and is currently only produced by SNS. Intended for military and scientific use, Vantablack could increase stealth capacity and significantly decrease reflective interference in telescopes.   Exclusive License and Continue Reading →

Supreme Court Upholds Patent Office’s Method Of Claim Construction

The 2011 Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”) created a procedure called inter partes review (“IPR”) at the United States Patent Office (“PTO”) that allowed third parties to petition the PTO to reexamine previously issued patents to re-evaluate their patentability in light of prior art.1 The Act also granted the PTO the authority to issue “regulations . . . establishing and governing inter partes review.”2 Accordingly, the PTO issued a regulation stipulating that during IPR, a Continue Reading →

Interpreting the AIA’s “Otherwise Available to the Public”

The enactment of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”), which President Obama signed into law on September 16, 2011, marked the most significant change to United States patent law since the Patent Act of 1952. While it is undisputed that the AIA’s enactment produces some dramatic changes to the patent system, there has been a great deal of debate over which elements of the previous regime the AIA leaves undisturbed and intact. A prime example Continue Reading →

Damages in Patent Infringement Cases: Design vs. Utility

The drawn-out battle between Apple and Samsung isn’t over yet. The federal court of appeals affirmed that Samsung infringed on a number of Apple’s designs, including the arrangement of the rounded icons on the screen. Apple Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., 786 F.3d 983, 1001 (Fed. Cir. 2015) But Samsung is still fighting the battle. Samsung is trying to argue that, because of basic causation principles, damages should be limited to profits attributable to the Continue Reading →

Pidgey’s Law: How Augmented Reality Influences Legal Regulations

First, there were Angry Birds. Now, there is Pidgey’s Law. Put forward by Illinois State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, the Location-based Video Game Protection Act, otherwise known as Pidgey’s Law, seeks to fine developers of location-based video games for not removing virtual stops in the game at a property owner’s request. This bill was proposed in response to Pokémon GO’s Niantic Labs, who refused to remove a Pokéstop in Loyola Dunes, a state-protected park with endangered Continue Reading →

Market Solutions to IP Law Confusion

The somewhat “unsettled” nature of certain aspects of intellectual property law is unsurprising. By definition, the discipline considers the new, the novel, the original, etc. Though the patent world seemed to struggle for a time when it came to computer-related inventions, it was no coincidence that the Copyright Act of 1976 explicitly anticipated “original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed…”[1] In recent years, however, prolonged periods Continue Reading →

Machine Learning and Intellectual Property

On March 15, 2016, AlphaGo—a machine designed by researchers at DeepMind, an artificial intelligence laboratory owned by Google—defeated Lee Sedol, the best Go player in the world. Go is a popular board game played by two people; the goal is to surround more points on the board than your opponent. For years, Go had posed a unique challenge to computer scientists. The rate at which possible moves in the game increase was so significant that Continue Reading →