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USPTO Releases Patent Fee Schedule for 2018

This past week, the USPTO released its final patent fee schedule for 2018. The USPTO has been actively seeking to reduce the overall patent pendency, number of unexamined applications, and reduce its appeal backlog. Part of these efforts have been the continual recruiting and training of new examiners and new Administrative Law Judges at the […]

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Federal Circuit Emphasizes “Why” is Important Part of Obviousness Rationales in Chemical Patent Cases

In a recent decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, In re Stepan Company, the Federal Circuit reversed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision to affirm an examiner’s rejection that claims were obvious.  The claims in the application were directed to ultra-high load, aqueous glyphosate salt-containing concentrates comprising water, a glyphosate salt in […]

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The Most Difficult Definition: Considerations for Defining “Genetically Modified Organism”

A patent applicant is free to act as their own lexicographer in drafting an application and may define terms as they see fit. Should a word not be defined explicitly in the application, the Patent Office will then give the term “the broadest reasonable interpretation according to a person having ordinary skill in the art” […]

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When Life Hands you Lemons, Make CoQ10

In the Federal Circuit Decision of Soft Gel Technologies, Inc. v. Jarrow Formulas, Inc., the Court found three related Soft-Gel patents invalid for obviousness. The three patents describe a way to dissolve CoQ10 in monoterpenes for enhanced delivery to the body. The patents disclosed two suitable examples, limonene and carvone and derivatives thereof. However, prior […]

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Surge in Patent Applications Related to 3D Printing: Is Yours One of Them?

The USPTO recently released statistics that over 8,000 patent applications were filed in 2016 related to 3D printing (additive manufacturing). Some of the interesting 3D printing inventions that have been subject to publicity include,prosthetic hands and fingers for children without fingers, three-dimensional bioprinting of human-compatible vascularized tissue developed by graduate students at Harvard, and a […]

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Court of Appeals Gets Specific with Enablement

In Storer v. Clark, the Court of Appeals explored whether a provisional application had sufficiently enabled interference subject matter.  In order to prove enablement it must be shown that “one skilled in the art, having read the specification, could practice the invention without ‘undue experimentation.’” ALZA Corp. v. Andrx Pharm., LLC, 603 F.3d 935, 940 […]

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STRONGER PATENTS ACT

On June 21, 2017, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced the STRONGER Patents Act of 2017 with the goal of strengthening the U.S. patent system by making it easier and cheaper for patent holders to enforce their patents. STRONGER (Support Technology and Research for Our […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Limits Where Patent Infringement Defendants Can be Sued

In TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the locations that patent infringement suits can be brought against a defendant, i.e., venue for the lawsuit.  Proper venue is established by 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) as the place where (1) the defendant resides or (2) where the defendant has […]

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Prepping for Protection: First Steps to Developing an IP Strategy

Whether you are an individual, a start-up company, or an existing business, two of the hardest (and most important) questions are: “Do I have intellectual property?” and “How do I protect it?” First, having a qualified attorney will help make answering these questions significantly easier and they can help guide you through the development of […]

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The Supreme Court changes patent law again on how long can a plaintiff wait to file a patent infringement action

If a plaintiff files an infringement action against a defendant, federal law imposes a statute of limitations that there can be no recovery for infringement more than six years before filing of the complaint or counterclaim asserting infringement. 35 USC § 286. Separately, the concept of “laches”is a defense that can be used by a […]

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