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ArsTechnica published an excellent piece on how the United States’ “broken” patent system permitted Theranos to obtain hundreds of patents for technology that did not work and did not meet the “enablement” requirement of 35 U.S.C. section 112.  According to author Daniel Nazer, the USPTO did virtually nothing to ensure that Theranos’ technology had been reduced to practice or that its disclosures would enable others to use the technology.  Based on the strength of its…
In a pair of unanimous rulings on March 4, 2019, the Supreme Court clarified (1) that the U.S. Copyright Office must issue a registration certificate before a plaintiff can commence suit and (2) that a prevailing plaintiff cannot recover fees for expert witnesses, jury consultants or other “costs” that are not specifically called for in the relevant statutes.…
The United States Supreme Court today unanimously decided to permit the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) to continue using a tougher standard for claims construction than the standard applied in litigation. In Cuozzo Speed Technologies LLC v. Lee, the Court ruled that the PTAB’s application of the so-called “broadest reasonable interpretation” standard was consistent with the “reasonable exercise of rulemaking authority that Congress delegated to the patent office.” The Court also declined to…
The Ninth Circuit today held en banc that an actor in a movie does not have a copyright interest in his or her performance.   In February 2014, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit overruled the district court and found that an actor in a controversial film about the prophet Mohammed had a copyright interest in her performance.   The earlier panel, headed by Judge Kozinski , entered a preliminary injunction in favor of the plaintiff…
With much publicity, the FCC recently released its Open Internet Order laying out the its revised net neutrality rules.  In an historic change of position, the Order, among other things, (1) reclassifies retail broadband internet access as subject to “common carrier” regulations, (2) imposes prohibits from giving preferred customers a “fast lane” to end-user customers, and (3) bars “blocking” or “throttling” Internet traffic.  The new rules will apply to both wired and wireless ISPs, and,…
Eric Goldman’s Technology and Marketing Law blog has an interesting piece this morning on how companies have succeeded and failed with their click through terms of use.   The piece reviews several recent cases with varying results.  The upshot:  Making sure web users actually click on something that says they have read and agree to the site’s user agreement is the safest approach — especially for sites that want to funnel users into individual arbitration.…
As part of its initiative to make a difference through executive action (as opposed to going through Congress), the White House announced last week that it would implement several initiatives “designed to combat patent trolls and further strengthen our patent system and foster innovation.   These include (1) “promoting transparency” in the Patent and Trademark office by requiring updated ownership information, (2) making patents “clear” by rigorously examining functional claims to make sure they “are clear…
We at IP Tech Blog are interested in all aspects of international trade secret theft.   This is why we were intrigued by an article published this morning on Law 360 about the alleged theft of trade secrets by two former Eli Lilly employees who were Chinese nationals.   According to the superseding indictment, which was unsealed this morning, the two former employees stole several trade secrets and used them to leverage employment in China by…
A case involving the extraterritorial application of the United States patent laws got a little closer to review by the United States Supreme Court today when the Court requested the Solicitor General weigh in on the issues presented.   In Maersk Drilling USA, Inc. v. Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling, Inc. Case No.  13-43, the petitioner is asking the Court to reverse the Federal Circuit’s ruling that a contract to provide services involving an infringing product (or…