Rothwell Figg

Latest from Rothwell Figg - Page 5

In In re: Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University (“Stanford”), No. 2020-1012 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 11, 2021), the Federal Circuit was presented another opportunity to analyze patent-eligible subject matter.  In affirming the § 101 rejection of the claims, the court held the mathematical calculations and statistical modeling improvements to determinations of haplotype phase were not sufficient to make the claims patent eligible. In 2012, Stanford filed Application No. 13/445,925 (“the ’925 application”)…
Owning a federal trademark registration provides the ability to exclude others from using a certain word or design in association with specific goods or services. In the United States this exclusivity of rights, however, can also derive from actual use in commerce without a federal registration. In this case, it is critical to pinpoint the earliest date of use in commerce in order to prove to be the first to have used a certain mark…
Patent examiners operate under a complex network of production and quality incentives that influence the likelihood that an examiner will allow or reject a given patent application. In an empirical study published in the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal (summary available here), my co-author and I (both former examiners) detailed incentive policies at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and analyzed how those policies impact patent quality and examiner decision-making. By…
Founders of emerging companies must decide early on in their company’s growth cycle whether to require employees to assign their inventions (including rights to patent and patent applications –collectively “patent rights”) to the company.  This post provides a non-exhaustive analytical framework for founders to consider when making such decisions. Understanding Patent Ownership Under US patent law, ownership of patent rights includes the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering to sell, or importing…
Earlier this month, in the precedential decision Uniloc 2017 LLC v. Facebook Inc., the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“the CAFC”) upheld the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) on the issue of estoppel (or lack thereof) when multiple parties file multiple, substantially similar petitions challenging a patent’s patentability. 1) The Proceedings Before the Board The prosecution history is tangled: First, in November 2016, Apple filed a petition for inter parties review…
As part of its three-part series on the future of human-computer interaction (HCI), Facebook Reality Labs recently published a blog post describing a wrist-based wearable device that uses electromyography (EMG) to translate electrical motor nerve signals that travel through the wrist to the hand into digital commands that can be used to control the functions of a device.  Initially, the EMG wristband will be used to provide a “click,” which is an equivalent to tapping…
In SynQor, Inc. v. Vicor Corp., Case No. 19-1704 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 22, 2021), the Federal Circuit vacated the inter partes reexamination decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”).  As part of the decision, the court held that collateral estoppel (issue preclusion) can apply where the Board’s prior determinations involving different claims of related patents addressed the same issue(s). In the PTAB’s inter partes reexamination decision, the Board held several original claims…