obvIPat - Obviously Patentable

The blog for inventors, in-house counsel, & entrepreneurs.

Archive for April, 2011

CAFC Weekly: April 29, 2011

by Orlando Lopez

The precedential patent-related opinions of this week include a personal jurisdiction opinion, a false marking opinion, an opinion utilizing the best mode requirement to invalidate a patent, and an opinion in which two patents are invalidated – one for lack of written description and the other for anticipation.

Although in Radio Systems Corp. v. Accession, Inc, the CAFC considered the dismissal of a declaratory judgment action due to lack of personal jurisdiction, the opinion has received more attention for the fact that the attorney for Accession contacted the USPTO and provided prior art that was used against the patent application by Radio Systems. Accession is a New Jersey corporation and Radio Systems has their principal place of business in Tennessee. Accession owns a patent for a portable, pet-access door that can be inserted into sliding glass doors.  Radio Systems manufactures pet related products.  Read the rest of this entry »

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The USPTO Budget: Robbing Kappos To Pay Paul

by Orlando Lopez

On Friday April 22, 2011, in his public blog, “Director’s Forum” Director Kappos laid out the bad news – Congress is taking away about $100 million of the fees collected by the USPTO by limiting the USPTO budget to for FY 2011 to $2.09 billion. The results are not pretty- track one of the three track program (fast examination) is on hold. In addition, USPTO employee training is reduced (we risk getting an Office Action that states “Your claims are rejected because I say so.”).

Clearly, the men and women of Congress did not read George F. Will’s op-ed piece of January 2, 2011 or the statistics from the Kauffman foundation. (George F. Will called for revving the scientific engine and the Kauffman Foundation has shown that young companies are responsible for the lion’s share of job creation.) We have in the past called for a Patent Stimulus Package,  but the new USPTO budget represents a Patent “Destimulus” package. President Lincoln said that patents add “the fuel of interest to the fire of genius.” Congress has decided not to add fuel to the fire!

Director Kappos outlined some of the effects of the budget reduction:

  • The opening of the Detroit satellite office is postponed
  • Hiring is frozen
  • Funding for PCT outsourcing is reduced (Does this imply that the PCT search reports may arrive 2 years after the patent issues?!)

We hope Congress come to its senses (please no jokes about “what senses?”) and reverses this anti-job creation action.

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"It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste."
Henry Ford, Automotive Industrialist

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CAFC Weekly: April 22, 2011

by Orlando Lopez

The precedential patent-related opinions of this week include: one en banc opinion related to contempt hearings when a party makes redesign modifications to a product subject to an injunction; one opinion regarding claim interpretation; and, one opinion regarding contract interpretation and indefiniteness of claims.

In Tivo Inc. v. Echostar Corp., the CAFC reviewed a prior decision en banc, in order to “address the circumstances under which a finding of contempt by a district court would be proper as to infringement by newly accused products.” Tivo owns a patent for DRT hardware and software and sued Echostar for infringement.  At District Court, Echostar was found to be infringing and the Court issued a permanent injunction ordering Echostar to stop making and selling the infringing receivers, as well as to disable the infringing functionality in existing receivers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Patent Reform and Making Life Certain: First To File Versus First To Invent

by Orlando Lopez

As a House Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday April 14, 2011, to send to the entire House the marked version of the Patent Reform Act (renamed the America Invents Act), the time is ripe for another view of what drives the first to file rush. The first to file provision is present in the versions of the House bill and is likely to stay there.

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