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 →

STLR Link Roundup – March 25, 2016

Supreme Court Will Now Hear Apple v. Samsung Patent Case The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday (March 21) agreed to hear part of the patent case between Apple and Samsung. The Court will consider Samsung’s argument that the damages for infringing a design patent should be based on an assessment of the significance of the design to the overall value of a product. Currently, courts award full value of a product. However, the court refused to Continue Reading →

The PTO’s “Grace Period” for Prior Art Disclosures Under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”), signed into law on September 16, 2011, has been considered the most significant change to the United States patent system since 1952. Most notably, the AIA changed the U.S. patent system from a “first-to-invent” to “first-to-file” system, in which priority is given to the first inventor(s) to file their patent application. This change, which applies to all patent applications filed on and after March 16, 2013, helped align the U.S. Continue Reading →

His last bow – CRISPR/Cas9 and possibly the last famous Interference proceeding

The patent fight over the CRISPR/Cas9 system  between Dr. Jennifer Doudna with her employer and assignee UC Berkeley on the one side and Dr. Feng Zhang with MIT and the Broad institute on the other side has gained (almost) as much attention as the Sanders vs. Clinton race. Whereas the latter will be decided no later than July this year at the DNC convention, we may have to wait much longer to know the outcome Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – Feb. 6, 2016

Privacy Shield Data Transfer Agreement On February 2nd Officials from the United States and European Union agreed to a cross-Atlantic data transfer deal called Privacy Shield after three months of negotiations. The negotiations centered around disagreements between European and American regulators on the extent of privacy individuals should be able to expect for their data. The EU and US reached the agreement after the US government made promises that it would not target Europeans to Continue Reading →

Are 3D Printed Tissues and Organs Patentable?

It has been long established, and recently codified in the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), that no one is able to obtain a patent on any part of the human body. Examiners are taught to issue 35 U.S.C. 101 and AIA § 33(a) rejections even if claims are directed towards devices that are “attached to” parts of the human body and recommend applicants change the language to “configured to be attached” or something similar so Continue Reading →

The Legislative Response to Patent Trolls

Patent litigation could reach an all-time high in 2015. Sixty-eight percent of patent lawsuits filed this year were filed by patent trolls, defined by one law professor as “patent owners who do not provide end products or services themselves, but who do demand royalties as a price for authorizing the work of others.”[1] Recently, legislation has been introduced in Congress to stop the trolls—also known as non-practicing entities (NPEs), patent assertion entities (PAEs), or patent monetization Continue Reading →

Google Continues Aggressive Move into Robotics

Following an aggressive strategy to acquire numerous robotics companies, Google is continuing its push into the robotics field by seeking valuable patent rights. While traditionally known for its Internet search algorithm, Google has sought to create product lines of hardware, with varying degrees of success. The Android has captured a substantial portion of the smartphone market. Google’s driverless car, while apparently high-functioning in tests, may still be illegal in the vast majority of states (though Continue Reading →

Interpreting the BPCIA – Is the “Patent Dance” Mandatory?

Background Biologics are a type of therapeutics derived from, or made by, the biological processes of a living organism, such as human cells, animals, microorganisms, or yeast.1 Examples of biologics include some vaccines, blood or blood components, hormones, and antibodies. Unlike standard chemical drugs, which are relatively small molecules, biologics are often large and complex molecules that are not easily produced through synthetic manufacturing pathways. Due to their production mechanism, it is difficult to create Continue Reading →

Claim Construction Under Teva: How Much Deference?

The claims of a patent define the scope of the exclusive right granted to the patentee. Claims should be written such that a person of ordinary skill in the art can understand the boundaries of the invention. The language, which can sometimes be ambiguous, typically consists of a mix of ordinary languages as well as technical and legal jargon. Thus, an important step for courts, in resolving patent infringement disputes, is the interpretation of the Continue Reading →