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 →

Damage Awards in Design Patent Cases

The battle between Apple and Samsung continues. On March 21, 2016, the Supreme Court granted certiorari limited to the question of damages in the case of Samsung Elecs. Co. v. Apple Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1453 (2016). This is the sixth year that this case has been in court. On April 15, 2011, Apple filed suit against Samsung, alleging that Samsung’s Galaxy cell phones and computer tablets infringed Apple’s trade dress, trademarks, and utility and 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 →

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 →

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 →