WinTech

Legal Insight for Start-Up and Established Technology Businesses

By Frank Amini, Ph.D. and Lekha Gopalakrishnan, Ph.D. Under the U.S. Patent Act, one can patent “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.”[1]  Common exceptions to what can be patented include laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas[2]. In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has expanded the scope of the common exceptions to what can be patented.  For instance,…
In over a decade watching cybersecurity threats evolve and organizations respond, it strikes me that every organization has to start from the basics and is challenged to retain that core focus, no matter how expansive their security programs get.  That’s why this first post in a series exploring the fundamentals of security preparedness will focus on the basics.  Let’s discuss practical steps that turn cybersecurity preparedness into more than just a risk avoidance cost center.…
A few years ago, our firm defended a client against a claim of patent infringement.  As it turned out, our client had disclosed its confidential information to a potential business partner during a pre-collaboration exploratory meeting, which the potential business partner then used to obtain the patent they were asserting.  Luckily, our client had insisted on putting a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in place before the meeting and had clearly marked the information as being confidential.  Because of these precautionary measures, not only…
Here at Winstead, we are fortunate enough to have two lawyers that were selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018 in Trademark Law, Stan Moore and Cathryn Berryman.  Before answering the question What are Trademarks?, I thought it would be a good idea to get their insights on trademark best practices. Stan Moore:  Most businesses have trademark issues, whether they know it or not.  With trademarks, ignorance is not bliss.  Businesses…
The term moral rights in the United States typically refers to the right or ability of creators of certain works of visual art (e.g., paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and photographs) to control the eventual fate of such works.  In Europe and elsewhere, an artist’s moral rights are much broader and not limited to visual art.  Moral rights protect the personal and reputational, rather than purely monetary, value of a work to its creator.  The right…
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) dismissed three inter partes review (IPR) proceedings involving the University of Florida based on sovereign immunity. As background, the University of Florida Research Foundation filed a suit in state court alleging breach of a licensing agreement.  Medtronic subsequently brought a counterclaim seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement on the patent of the licensing agreement and attempted to remove the case to a federal court or the U.S. District…
YouTube is a well-known video sharing website that allows users to view, upload, share, rate, and comment on videos.  Generally, the user streaming the video from YouTube cannot download, copy, or save the video. Stream ripping allows users to save streamed media from websites, such as YouTube.  YouTube-MP3.org provides an online stream ripping service that allows users to convert YouTube videos to MP3s.  In particular, “the only thing you need is a YouTube URL. We…
Outer space exploration has been expanding.  For instance, since 1998, the International Space Station has served as a platform for scientific research and discoveries in space within modules that are operated by the space agencies of the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan, and Canada[1].  Moreover, efforts are underway to build spacecraft that can transport astronauts on deep space missions to Mars and beyond[2]. The aforementioned efforts require the use of many…
In July 2016, the USPTO launched the Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program to provide a fast-track review for cancer immunotherapy-related patent applications without the need for applicants to pay a petition fee.  Under this program, patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy are advanced out of turn for examination, resulting in accelerated review. The program aims to cut the time it takes to review patent applications pertaining to cancer immunotherapy in half by issuing final decisions in…
The prosecution of a patent application before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can be a prolonged and costly process. The patent prosecution process can include the issuance of an Office Action by the USPTO and the subsequent filing of an Office Action response by the applicant. While such communications can occur multiple times, the USPTO can close the prosecution of the patent application by the issuance of a Final Office Action[1].…