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Inequitable Conduct Found in False Statements and Deception

In a case before the Federal Circuit, the District Court’s conclusion that Cantor’s patent was unenforceable due to inequitable conduct was affirmed. The matter before the Court involved a patent for a method and system for trading financial instruments. Specifically, Cantor developed a system that would automate the trading process and avoid the use of […]

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FTC charges various invention promotion companies with contempt

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed contempt charges against several companies and individuals who had been found to be swindling inventors under the guise of providing so-called “invention promotion services.” In 1998, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entered an order preventing these individuals and companies from fraudulenty promoting: the […]

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Seventh Circuit issues a stinker of an opinion in copyright case

The Seventh Circuit succinctly sums up the field of commerce of its decision today in JCW Investments, Inc. v. Novelty, Inc.: Somewhat to our surprise, it turns out that there is a niche market for farting dolls, and it is quite lucrative. The case presents some interesting issues, such as whether the copyright in such […]

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Equivalent not tangentially related to amendment, doctrine of equivalents unavailable

In a case coming before the Federal Circuit for the second time, the court reversed a finding of infringement under the doctrine of equivalents because of prosecution history estoppel. The court rejected the patentee's argument that the amendment was only tangentially related to the equivalent, thus the Festo presumption of surrender of equivalents was not […]

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Decision to accept later filing date due to omitted items not correctable via reissue

When you make a conscious choice between alternatives during prosecution, the Federal Circuit says you’re stuck with it. That’s the message from In re Serenkin, where the court held that an inventor could not, through reissue, claim priority to his provisional filing. Serenkin had filed a PCT application just before the one-year anniversary of his […]

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USPTO to cease emailing full trademark office actions (updated 4/27)

In an effort to simplify transmittal of trademark office actions, the USPTO today announced that it will soon stop emailing trademark office actions to applicants. Instead, emails will be sent containing a link to the office action in the TDR (Trademark Document Retrieval) system. This will avoid the problems of large attachments requiring multiple emails […]

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First patent issues from USPTO’s accelerated examination program

On Tuesday, Brother, the company best known for printers and copiers, received the first patent issued based on an application filed under the USPTO’s accelerated examination program. The patent, number 7,188,939, relates to ink cartridges, and resulted from an application filed on September 29, 2006, just over a month after the accelerated examination procedure became […]

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Viacom sues YouTube, Google for copyright infringement

In a press release today, Viacom, owner of the MTV and Comedy Centraltelevision networks (among others), announced it is suing YouTube and its parent company, Google, for copyright infringement. The lawsuit seeks over $1 billion in damages. The parties had been in negotiations for YouTube/Google to have a license to provide Viacom’s content on YouTube, […]

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Federal Circuit Addresses Claim Differentiation

The Federal Circuit further clarified the doctrine of claim differentiation in Anderson Corp. v. Fiber Composites, LLC. Andersen Corp. owns a number of patent relating to composite materials made from a mixture of polymer and wood fiber as well as patents that relate to structural parts made from those composite materials. Fiber Composites manufactures and […]

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USPTO rescinds partial waiver of restriction requirements for nucleotide inventions

In a news release yesterday, the USPTO has rescinded its partial waiver of the requirements of 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.141 and 1.475 et seq. Under the former policy, a “reasonable number” of nucleotide inventions, typically up to ten, would be considered in a single application without a restriction requirement or issues regarding unity of invention. […]

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