Fish Hook Claims Can’t Catch a Patent

By Julie L. Spieker

On April 24, 2020, The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) held that claims concerning a method for fishing, specifically that of selecting a fishing hook based on observed water conditions, are directed to an abstract idea. According to 35 U.S.C. § 101, “[w]homever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, […]

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How can we help? The USPTO Midwest Regional Director calls to talk about coronavirus impact on patenting

The call was from the US Patent Office but it wasn’t an examiner calling to discuss a restriction requirement.  It was the office of Damian Porcari, the Midwest Regional Director for the USPTO who wanted to talk to one of our clients and myself regarding problems and impacts that the coronavirus pandemic is having on […]

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Open Covid IP Pledge

By Kirk M. Hartung

The Open Covid Pledge is a recent initiative to assist in finding solutions to the corona virus. In essence, companies that sign on to the pledge agree to provide royalty free, limited time licenses to their intellectual property, so that others may research, develop, use, and make publicly available technology that may fight the corona […]

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PTAB Determines the “Publicly Available” Standard Varies Between Examiners and Third Party Challengers

By Sarah M.D. Luth

In a precedential decision issued December of 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) in Hulu, LLC. V. Sound View Innovations, LLC (IPR 2018-01039) considered what is required for a petitioner in an inter partes review (IPR) to show that an asserted reference qualifies as a “printed publication.” Petitioner Hulu argued that patentee Sound View’s patent […]

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Court Rules Photographer Gave Up Exclusive Copyright Licensing Rights by Posting to Instagram


In a controversial opinion, a New York federal court judge recently ruled that a professional photographer gave up exclusive licensing rights by posting a photo on Instagram. The photographer, Stephanie Sinclair, posted a photo on the popular social media site, Instagram. Later, the news site Mashable contacted Sinclair requesting to use the photo for a […]

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Patent Pooling and its Contribution to Collaborative IP Attempts at Targeting Patent Access

By Blog Staff

Growing concerns surrounding effective treatment options for combating Covid-19 has sparked global discussion involving the issue of access to innovations directed toward eradicating the novel virus. Recently, the Costa Rican government requested that the World Health Organization (WHO) create a voluntary patent pool to collect patent rights, regulatory test data, and other information to be […]

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McKee, Voorhees & Sease Providing Assistance During the COVID-19 Crisis

By Blog Staff

As all of us in Iowa are dealing with the Coronavirus outbreak, MVS is joining in to help those affected by this crisis and show our appreciation to our healthcare workers while supporting our local businesses. Several of our attorneys are volunteering to staff the hotline created by Iowa Legal Aid, The Iowa State Bar […]

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