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Genus Claims: Foiled again by Written Description

September 16, 2021 | Blog | By Rithika Kulathila, Thomas Wintner

In late August of 2021, the Federal Circuit reversed a jury verdict of $1.2 billion in favor of Juno Therapeutics and Sloan Kettering Institute because the jury’s finding that four of the asserted patent claims did not lack adequate written description under 35 U.S.C. § 112 was not supported by substantial evidence.
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It is no question that Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) technologies have popped up in all aspects of society such as online shopping, music streaming, and social networking. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has even reported that patents which incorporate AI has increased from under 5% in 1980 to over 20% in 2018. Among those organizations that utilize AI is the USPTO itself.
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PATENT 101: Key Considerations and Activities for Establishing a Patent Program (Part 1 of 3)

July 7, 2021 | Blog | By Michael Van Loy, Kevin Amendt, Nicholas Eadie

Tasked with starting an innovation protection and patent development program at your company but do not know where to begin? This three part series describes the key components to a patent development program for any company, small or large.
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Reduced Scope of March-in Rights Under Bayh Dole Rules Revisions

June 16, 2021 | Blog | By Marc Morley, Victor Behar

The Bayh Dole Act was enacted to provide incentives to promote commercialization of federally funded inventions and was designed to capitalize on the significant government investments in small business, university research, and other non-profit institutions.
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Claim language is important. Particularly when dealing with software systems, claims may be held invalid as being indefinite when the claim language is characterized as “means-plus-function” under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. §112 ¶ 6 (now AIA 35 U.S.C. §112(f)).
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How NFTs and Blockchain Secure Digital Sports Collectibles

May 24, 2021 | Blog | By Keith P. Carroll, Andrew D. Skale, Justin J. Leisey

Today, there are new opportunities to own a bit of sports history. It is now possible to even own a digital collectible of your favorite athlete making a play during a game.  NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are being used to provide digital provenance that affords unique ownership of sports most memorable moments. 
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It is not uncommon for applicants to file related patent applications in the United States and in Japan. When the applications claim priority to a common patent application, or one of the applications claims priority to the other, the applications’ family relationship can be used advantageously to speed prosecution in one or both jurisdictions. Multiple programs exist to expedite prosecution at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO).
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Best Practices for Clearances and Opinions

March 31, 2021 | Blog | By Lisa Adams, Alexander Roan

Last week, Mintz Member Lisa Adams moderated a panel discussion between in-house attorneys that covered best practices for conducting patent clearances and obtaining non-infringement and invalidity opinions. The panel discussion, which was hosted by the Boston Patent Law Association, focused on key practical considerations that ensure product clearances and opinions are used as effective tools in a comprehensive intellectual property protection strategy.
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USPTO Provides Guidance on Conducting an Effective Patent Examiner Interview

March 25, 2021 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Paul Brockland

Examiner interviews are often indispensable to advance prosecution of a U.S. patent application, and interviews can help advance prosecution in the vast majority of applications. The Midwest Regional U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) held a webinar on March 24, 2021 entitled “Conducting an Effective Patent Examiner Interview,” featuring Vivek Koppikar, Special Advisor to the Regional Director of the Midwest Regional Office.
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Obviousness-Type Double Patenting and Divisional Applications in Canada

March 23, 2021 | Blog | By Andrew D. Skale, Justin J. Leisey

Obviousness-type double patenting (“OTDP”) arises when two or more patents or applications include claims that, while not being identical, are not patentably distinct from each other.  In the U.S., OTDP rejections can be overcome by filing a terminal disclaimer that limits the term of the rejected application to be no greater than the term of the disclaimed patent. 
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Expediting PTAB Appeals Using the Fast-Track Program

February 26, 2021 | Blog | By Christina Sperry

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently released statistics about its Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program. The program went into effect on July 2, 2020 and is currently slated to run until the earlier of July 2, 2021 and 500 appeals being accepted into the program.
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Design Patent Registrations after Brexit and Updates to Design Rights in China

February 25, 2021 | Blog | By Michael Van Loy, Joshua Berk

As we noted in Are Design Patents Missing From Your IP Portfolio, a design patent protects the visual ornamental characteristics of an article and can be an important part of a company’s patent portfolio. Like other patent rights, design patent applications may be filed internationally to expand the number of countries in which a company’s designs are protected.
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Understanding Chinese Voluntary Divisional Application Patent Practice

February 10, 2021 | Blog | By Andrew D. Skale, Justin J. Leisey

For many parts of the world, a voluntary divisional application (known as a continuation application in the U.S.) may be filed at any time during the pendency of any parent application.  The claims in the voluntary divisional application must be supported by the original specification and cannot introduce any new matter.  
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On February 4, 2021 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) extended for two years the expansion of the Collaborative Search Pilot Program (CSP), which began in 2015 and is now scheduled to end October 31, 2022.
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Expediting Patent Prosecution After An Advisory Action

January 28, 2021 | Blog | By Christina Sperry

It can be difficult to advance prosecution of a U.S. patent application efficiently and effectively after prosecution has been closed and an Advisory Action has been mailed.  Various U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) programs are available to expedite prosecution (see Mintz’s previous article about speeding prosecution), but a final Office Acton and then an Advisory Action being mailed makes most of those programs unavailable. 
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Year in Review: The Most Popular IP Posts of 2020

January 14, 2021 | Blog | By Christina Sperry

As 2021 begins and intellectual property (IP) strategies are being developed for the new year, it is a good time to reflect on what IP issues were prominent in 2020.  According to many readers, hot topics included Chinese foreign filing licenses, patenting involving either artificial intelligence (AI) or COVID-19, inter partes review, and attorney fee awards.
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Overview of USPTO Webinar: Understanding Patenting in China

December 17, 2020 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Paul Brockland

Patent protection in China has been a hot topic of discussion and strategy for U.S. companies. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) China team within the USPTO's Office of Policy and International Affairs is a dedicated group of intellectual property (IP) attorneys and specialists with knowledge and experience on China manners from the U.S. law perspective as well as the Chinese law perspective.
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Procuring U.S. Patents without a Signed Assignment of Patent Rights

October 27, 2020 | Blog | By Christina Sperry, Mark Hammond

Increased employee mobility, health challenges, and the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic may result in more inventors than usual being unavailable to assign patent rights.  Fortunately, applicants may procure a U.S. patent even if an assignment document cannot be obtained for the application to be filed.  
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Recreating the Prior Art

October 7, 2020 | Blog | By Andrew D. Skale, Justin J. Leisey

In high-stakes litigation, parties go to great lengths to prove their case.  One such example is ongoing litigation between two giants in the paint and coatings world.  Sherwin-Williams Co. and PPG Industries, Inc. are involved in a patent infringement dispute over BPA-free can coatings.
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