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In Nippon Shinyaku v. Sarepta Therapeutics, the Federal Circuit held that a forum selection clause specifying that patent infringement or invalidity actions shall be filed in federal district court in Delaware made clear that any validity challenge was required to be brought in that court and that Sarepta’s IPR petitions filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal (“the Board”)  contravened the plain language of the forum selection clause.
Continue Reading Forum Selection Clause Can Preclude PTO Validity Challenges

UPDATE: On Feb. 22, 2022, the Federal Circuit issued an errata to the original decision clarifying that the IPR estoppel only applies to challenged claims. The corrected language reads, in relevant part, that “estoppel applies […] to all grounds not stated in the petition but which reasonably could have been asserted against the claims included in the petition.” This errata alleviated concerns that the ruling might be interpreted to extend IPR estoppel to unchallenged claims.
Continue Reading Recent Expansion of IPR Estoppel Scope Viewed As Victory for Patent Owners

I. Introduction

This is the second article of the multi-part series discussing benefits of prosecuting patents under Patent Prosecution Highway or PPH. The first article can be accessed here. To recap, PPH is a set of initiatives promulgated by participating patent offices around the world to accelerate patent prosecution in countries of the participating patent offices. PPH allows participating patent offices to share information and to benefit from work performed by other participating patent offices, thereby reducing examination workload and improving quality of patents. Interested readers are invited to read the first article through the link provided.
Continue Reading Benefits and Considerations for Patent Prosecution Under Patent Prosecution Highway in Australia, Canada, South Korea, and Japan

A Sheppard Mullin trial team led by partners Brad Graveline and Laura Burson obtained one of the largest patent infringement damages awards against the United States of America for client SecurityPoint Holdings, Inc (SecurityPoint).  Sheppard Mullin partner Don Pelto and associates Kazim Naqvi, Rebecca Mackin, and Tom Carr were also key members of the trial team.  In addition, the Sheppard Mullin team included trial specialist Stephanie Limbaugh and legal assistants Dori Dellisanti and Ann Castro.
Continue Reading Historic $130m+ Patent Infringement Award Against the United States of America

I. Introduction

Patent Prosecution Highway or PPH is a set of initiatives promulgated by participating patent offices around the world to accelerate patent prosecution in countries of the participating patent offices. PPH allows the participating patent offices to share information and to benefit from work performed by other participating patent offices, and thereby reducing examination workload and improving quality of patents.

Under PPH, prosecution of a patent application previously filed with a participating patent office can be fast-tracked in another participating patent office if the patent application meets certain requirements. This article provides a brief overview of benefits of filing
Continue Reading Benefits and Considerations for Patent Prosecution under Patent Prosecution Highway in the U.S., Europe, China, and Singapore

At least three different types of marketplaces facilitate the sale and/or resale of NFTs. These include open marketplaces, curated marketplaces and proprietary marketplaces. Other variations do exist, however, and it is likely that other alternatives will be developed. In the attached article, we examine some of the differences between these types of marketplaces and business models, highlight some of the varying license terms of these marketplaces and discuss why IP owners who license their IP for NFTs often are best served by developing their own licenses to be used in connection with sale of their NFTs.
Continue Reading NFT License Breakdown: Exploring Different Marketplaces and Associated License Issues

Note: First published in The Intellectual Property Strategist and Law.com.

This article is Part Three of a Three-Part Article Series

Artificial intelligence is changing industry and society, and metrics at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reflect its impact. In a recent publication, the USPTO indicated that from 2002 to 2018 the share of all patent applications relating to artificial intelligence grew from 9% to approximately 16%. See “Inventing AI, Tracing the diffusion of artificial intelligence with U.S. patents,” Office of the Chief Economist, IP Data Highlights (October 2020). For the foreseeable future, patent applications involving artificial intelligence technologies,
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence And Subject Matter Eligibility In U.S. Patent Office Appeals – Part Three Of Three

Note: First published in The Intellectual Property Strategist and Law.com.

This article is Part Two of a Three-Part Article Series

Artificial intelligence is changing industry and society, and metrics at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reflect its impact. In a recent publication, the USPTO indicated that from 2002 to 2018 the share of all patent applications relating to artificial intelligence grew from 9% to approximately 16%. See “Inventing AI, Tracing the diffusion of artificial intelligence with U.S. patents,” Office of the Chief Economist, IP Data Highlights (October 2020). For the foreseeable future, patent applications involving artificial intelligence technologies,
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence And Subject Matter Eligibility In U.S. Patent Office Appeals – Part Two Of Three

In recent years, AI patent activity has exponentially increased. The figure below shows the volume of public AI patent applications categorized by AI component in the U.S. from 1990-2018. The eight AI components in FIG. 1 are defined in an article published in 2020 by the USPTO. Most of the AI components have experienced explosive growth in the past decade, especially in the areas of planning/control and knowledge processing (e.g., using big data in automated systems).
Continue Reading Patent Protection on AI Inventions

Note: First published in The Intellectual Property Strategist and Law.com.

This article is Part One of a Three-Part Article Series

Artificial intelligence is changing industry and society, and metrics at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) reflect its impact. In a recent publication, the USPTO indicated that from 2002 to 2018 the share of all patent applications relating to artificial intelligence grew from 9% to approximately 16%. See “Inventing AI, Tracing the diffusion of artificial intelligence with U.S. patents,” Office of the Chief Economist, IP Data Highlights (October 2020). For the foreseeable future, patent applications involving artificial intelligence technologies,
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence And Subject Matter Eligibility In U.S. Patent Office Appeals – Part One Of Three

The harm caused to brands by counterfeiting goes far beyond loss of sales or profits.  Fake goods jeopardize public health and safety when a brand’s trademark is applied to a sub-standard and potentially harmful product.  This is especially hazardous for counterfeit medical items, mechanical parts, and food products, to name a few.  What is more, the reputational damage inflicted by low-quality products can be devastating.
Continue Reading Practice Tips for Combating Counterfeiters: An Action Plan for Brands, Manufacturers and Retailers

On Wednesday, May 7, 2021, the United States officially endorsed waiving intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines. While the United States has taken the opposite position in recent months, the administration asserts that its departure is guided, at least in part, by the goal “to get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible.”[1] That goal, however, is unlikely to be affected by such a waiver in the short term due to uncertainty in World Trade Organization (“WTO”) politics, ongoing shortages on raw materials and equipment, and lag-time in retrofitting potential manufacturers.
Continue Reading Waiver Of Intellectual Property Protections For COVID-19 Vaccine Unlikely To Have Meaningful Impact In Short Term

This article originally appeared in The Intellectual Property Strategist. © 2021 ALM Media LLC. Reprinted with permission.

Companies have historically turned to patent pools as vehicles for achieving shared objectives. A patent pool can be formed when a group of patent holders agree to pool their patents for some purpose. For instance, members of a patent pool may agree to pool and license their patent rights to a third party in exchange for fees or royalties. In this scenario, the pooling companies may own complementary patents that enable a technical standard. Pooling the complementary patents can enable a licensee to develop
Continue Reading Synergizing Patents to Drive Innovation and Growth

The Situation

Smart contracts are often mentioned in blockchain-themed patent applications and recited in claims. However, Examiners without a thorough understanding of this concept or unfamiliar with blockchain technology often equate smart contracts with legal or commercial contracts stored on blockchains. As a result, the Examiners may find claims directed to merely applying the blockchain technology to execute legal or commercial contracts, for example, as part of a commerce system, like hedging. See, e.g., Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S.Ct. at 2356 (citing Bilski v. Kappas, 561, U.S. 593, 611 (2010)).
Continue Reading Distinguish “Smart Contract” From Abstract Idea To Pass Blockchain Patentability Scrutiny