Citing ‘unusual circumstances,’ the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Friday extended a deadline to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request asking who the director of the agency is, amid continuing confusion surrounding the USPTO’s leadership.
District courts saw a striking drop in the number of new patent cases. The Federal Circuit issued more opinions on patent appeals than ever before. Patent owners gained some new hope at the Patent Trial And Appeal Board. 2016 was a complex year in patent law. Look back with Law360's in-depth analysis of trends in all U.S. patent venues, and gain important insights into where it might be headed next.
Law360’s annual look at U.S. patent litigation reveals a sharp drop in new district court cases, some signs that patent owners may have less to fear from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and some big winners on the Federal Circuit's law firm leaderboard.
Law360's analysis of patent opinions issued by the Federal Circuit reveals nine firms that were at the top of their game in 2016, racking up the most wins at the appeals court in high-stakes brawls over patent rights.
Law360's deep dive into patent litigation in district courts reveals a nearly 22 percent decline in the number of new patent suits filed across the country, providing some limited relief for courts in the most popular jurisdictions, even as some of the year's most aggressive patent plaintiffs make bold new moves. Here are some of the key findings.
The companies that filed the most patent lawsuits in 2016 include familiar names long known for their litigation campaigns as well as relative newcomers that recently ramped up enforcement efforts, including one founded by former BigLaw partners.
It's no secret that getting a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision overturned at the Federal Circuit can be an uphill battle. But if the court's decisions in 2016 are any indication, there are some judges that an appealing party might rather see on the appellate panel than others.
The Federal Circuit affirmed decisions by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board at a lower rate last year than it did in 2015, which attorneys say is because the court is now more accustomed to scrutinizing the board and litigants are better at framing appellate arguments.
The percentage of final inter partes review decisions invalidating patent claims has fallen sharply in recent months, according to statistics compiled by Law360, a trend attorneys attribute to stronger arguments by patent owners and more guidance from the Federal Circuit.
Nearly five years after the Patent Trial and Appeal Board began hearing new types of proceedings created by the America Invents Act, the number of petitions for review under these programs has leveled off. Here, Law360 looks at the petition success rate, the percentage of patents surviving AIA reviews and the most-targeted technologies.
A surge in America Invents Act appeals has pushed the number of patent cases at the Federal Circuit to a new high, translating to more patent rulings from the appeals court in 2016 than ever before. Here, Law360 looks at the numbers behind the booming docket.
The number of patent cases where the Federal Circuit affirmed a ruling without issuing an opinion continued to climb in 2016, adding fuel to the debate over whether these "hidden decisions" are a growing problem or a natural and necessary way for the court to deal with a surge of cases.
The number of patent cases at the U.S. International Trade Commission climbed in 2016 to its highest point since the peak of the smartphone wars, as patent owners look to capitalize on what remains a potent forum after the Federal Circuit cleared up questions over the agency's authority.
Ericsson Inc.’s head of intellectual property testified Tuesday in a California federal bench trial over whether it offered Chinese cellphone developer TCL fair license terms, defending Ericsson’s proposal that TCL pay a flat rate on its low-priced phones rather than the percentage royalty it publicly advocated for premium-priced phone makers.
A Ninth Circuit panel on Monday succinctly denied Seal Shield’s petition for reconsideration of its recent ruling that the mobile device case maker’s use of the phrase “Life Proof” wasn’t sufficiently distinctive to merit trademark protection over an OtterBox unit’s subsequent use of the mark.
Footwear brand Dr. Martens sued shoe and accessory retailer Steve Madden Inc. in California federal court on Tuesday alleging infringement of its “distinctive trade dress” of the sole, stitching and other features of its famous chunky boot design.
The Big Ten on Tuesday went hard in the paint against an online self-empowerment community that urges members to be “fearless, bolder & more badass,” launching a suit in federal court that accuses B10xB of infringing the trademarks of the intercollegiate athletic conference.
A North Carolina federal judge Tuesday tossed a suit brought against Fandango LLC and Regal Entertainment Group by a man who alleged their ticket reservation systems infringed his patent, shutting down under Alice a case that had been previously revived by the Federal Circuit's en banc Akamai ruling.
The Federal Circuit ruled Tuesday that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board incorrectly invalidated an Eli Lilly-challenged patent on treating a condition related to erectile dysfunction, saying that the board did not sufficiently establish the invention was obvious.
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board refused Monday to institute America Invents Act covered business method review of a TeleSign Corp. patent covering an electronic alert system, the latest example of a patent the board decided was not eligible for review under the program.
Univision ripped off a well known Puerto Rican "anthem" in a commercial for a Spanish-language "Sesame Street" program starring Elmo and the Cookie Monster, the composer of the song and owner of its copyright alleged in Florida federal court on Tuesday.
As the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office evaluates whether to renew the Post-Prosecution Pilot Program, we filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain data on the program. An initial analysis suggests that the P3 program has been beneficial for applicants but also that some improvements can be made, say Daniel Ovanezian and Sam Noel of Lowenstein Sandler LLP.
There is a natural tension between the Defend Trade Secrets Act's overall purpose of protecting confidential information and the desire to facilitate the reporting and correction of improper conduct, say James Donnelly and Eva Zelnick of Mirick O’Connell DeMallie & Lougee LLP.
When a licensee uses a celebrity’s image or likeness past the term of a license agreement, but in the same manner previously consented to, the claim falls squarely into a right-of-publicity tort and is like an intellectual property claim for economic damages. Emotional distress damages should not be available, says Arsen Kourinian of McGuireWoods LLP.
Generally, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board has been reluctant to grant motions for discovery on issues such as secondary considerations. This trend may be shifting, say Roger Lee and David Leibovitch of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.
In the six years since Congress passed the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a number of guidances addressing the standards for establishing biosimilarity. But now we have the first FDA guidance addressing the higher standard for interchangeability, say attorneys with Mayer Brown LLP.
If today’s law firms are willing to rethink their perceptions of millennials, they may see greater success in attracting and retaining new talent by giving the younger generation the kind of retirement planning benefits they want and need, says Nathan Fisher of Fisher Investments.
The cases challenging President Donald Trump’s executive orders fit within the established legal framework that limits, but does not preclude, judicial review of such orders, says Steven Gordon of Holland & Knight LLP.
Even if Qualcomm settles with the Federal Trade Commission or the FTC votes to withdraw the complaint based on the views of new commissioners, Qualcomm still faces the prospect of massive liability to consumers claiming injury. The antitrust and securities class actions that have been filed starkly illustrate the risk that government enforcement action creates for companies, say attorneys with Vinson & Elkins LLP.
While the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last week in Life Technologies v. Promega continues the general trend of narrowing the extraterritorial reach of U.S. patents, the ruling is different than most recent opinions involving patents. Here, the Supreme Court has embraced a bright-line patent law rule, says Clifford Ragsdale Lamar of Butler Snow LLP.
The best way to avoid Chinese trademark squatting scenarios is to prevent them by filing early, using standard, broad descriptions of goods and services, and filing in as many subclasses or groups as possible, says Keelin Hargadon of Osha Liang LLP.