Intellectual Property

Many companies assume that they need to choose between patent protections or trade secret protections for their intellectual property, thereby foregoing an important tool in their arsenal to protect key company assets. Some believe that these protections are diametrically opposed, as patents offer protection of intellectual property in exchange for public disclosure, whereas trade secrets offer protection for ideas, recipes, information, and technology, which has been kept confidential. However, despite the misconception that they are…
In a decision issued by the Federal Circuit on October 24, 2018, the court affirmed a finding by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that a multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment claimed in an application owned by FWP IP APS (FWP) was not supported by adequate written description under 35 U.S.C. § 112. While the non-precedential nature of the decision might have indicated to some that the dispute was not all that important, the claims…
Readers of this blog may recall that in the past year, I wrote extensively about the U.S. Supreme Court case of Oil States v. Greene’s Energy. But I paid little attention to another important case decided around the same time: SAS Institute v. Iancu. Oil States centered on whether the USPTO’s inter partes review (“IPR”) process (challenging a patent at the USPTO, rather than in court) was constitutional. SAS followed up with a seemingly less-pressing issue: whether, when the USPTO…
On 7 November 2018, the data protection authority of the Free State of Bavaria, Germany, issued a press release that, now that the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been in effect for six months, the authority will intensify its GDPR compliance monitoring. The Bavarian data protection authority is responsible for monitoring GDPR compliance in the state of…
As of this writing, the United States recently halted trade negotiations with China particularly as related to trade tariffs for alleged “unfair trade practices” under Section 301. Though it may be popular to label the Trump administration’s latest tariffs on China as part of an ongoing “trade war”, the response elides a significant point: that imposing tariffs may be one of the only “strong ways” to force China to stop what the U.S. President alleges…
Assignor Estoppel Precluded by AIA Statutes…But What of Other Equitable Defenses? The doctrine of assignor estoppel bars the assignor of a patent from challenging the validity of the patent after it is assigned. In considering this defense to an AIA trial proceeding, the Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) had consistently held that this common-law doctrine is subject to abrogation by statute, and that the AIA statutes do exactly that. The Federal Circuit recently agreed. However, the Board has…
Après des années d’attente et de préparation, le gouvernement canadien a finalement annoncé la date d’adhésion du pays au Protocole de Madrid, au Traité de Singapour et à l’Arrangement de Nice. Ces trois traités modifieront de façon très importante le droit des marques tel que nous le connaissons depuis des dizaines d’années. La Canada rejoindra donc les principaux pays industrialisés de la planète le lundi 17 juin 2019. Vous pouvez déjà encercler la date sur…
In recent art world news, as an update to our recent post on the fall sale of American works from the $300 million Barney Ebsworth collection, the highly anticipated sale of American modern art occurred earlier this week and fetched $317.8 million at Christie’s New York.  A number of artist records were set at Tuesday evening’s auction, including one for Edward Hopper’s masterpiece “Chop Suey” (1929), which sold for $91.9 million (with…
In Seyfarth’s seventh installment in its 2018 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Andrew Boutros and John Schleppenbach focused on criminal liability for trade secret theft, including four key statutes, key elements for criminal prosecution, civil RICO under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, and best practices for avoiding misappropriation and for handling misappropriation when it occurs. As a conclusion to this well-received webinar, we compiled a summary of takeaways: The theft of trade secrets is…