Mr. Doster is a graduate of Vanderbilt Law School where he was a Robert L. Sullivan Intellectual Property Law Scholar. With degrees in Physics from Florida State University and Michigan State University, he is also a Registered Patent Attorney. Mr. Doster is admitted to practice in Florida and Texas, and concentrates in Intellectual Property Litigation. Before practicing law, he worked as an Adjunct Professor of Physics at Gulf Coast State College and as a research assistant in Nuclear Physics at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) in East Lansing, Michigan.
If you want to buy corporate stocks, you can go to a licensed stock broker who has access to a stock exchange. If you want to buy U.S. Treasury bonds, you can go to the TreasuryDirect online marketplace and purchase them directly from the U.S. government. If you want to buy physical gold or silver, you can go to a precious metals dealer. If you want to buy bitcoin, you can go to an online cryptocurrency exchange.
But where do you go if you want to buy a patent?
According to one website, there are 23 online marketplaces where you can buy and sell patents.
Below is a small sampling of online intellectual property (IP) marketplaces and the number of patent listings as of the publication of this article:
- Tynax Patent Brokers: 562,894 listings
- IdeaConnection: 13,780 listings
- PatentAuction.com: 5,774 listings
- IP Marketplace: 858 listings
- IAM Market: 768 listings
- PCTXS.com: 350 listings
- The Patent Exchange: 7 listings
Some IP marketplaces offer additional services such as IP valuation, facilitating IP licensing, facilitating IP investing, and IP litigation financing.
IP marketplaces are still relatively new. The U.S. government has issued patents for over 230 years, but IP marketplaces appeared in the last 20 years during the rise of the internet.
At least one marketplace is exploring the use of blockchain technology, by way of Non-Fungible Tokens, to facilitate and record the sale of patents. We will explore these new developments in the next blog post.
U.S. Patent X1 (issued July 31, 1790)( https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_States_Patent_X1.png)
As detailed in an article published by Firm Associate, H. Jared Doster, in The IP Examiner, the Federal Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Section’s publication (see full article here: https://bit.ly/3wKOJIr), the U.S. Copyright Office will establish a Copyright Claims Board in Washington, D.C. This Board is designed to provide a venue for Copyright holders to file small claims while avoiding the expense of litigation in the Federal Courts. The Register of Copyrights is expected to issue regulations governing the procedures of the Board, but the forum will likely apply relaxed evidentiary standards and expedited determinations. This is an interesting development for individuals and small businesses, as well as overburdened Federal Courts.
Professor Dennis Crouch, Law Professor at the University of Missouri Law School, recently published the below chart showing an approximately linear increase in named inventors on published U.S. patent applications over time.
According to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s 2019-2020 Telework Annual Report, “[i]n 2019, more than 11,000 employees agency-wide are teleworking between one and five days per week. Of these, more than 7,000 employees work from home four to five days per week and have completely relinquished an assigned workspace at the USPTO facility.” Now, in 2021, the USPTO operates with nearly all of its employees teleworking. “Today, in response to the pandemic, virtually all of our employees telework full time, and USPTO operations have been able to continue without interruption.”
In light of the new telework regime, the USPTO is considering reducing the amount of its available office space.
1] See 2019-2020 Telework Annual Report at 3 ( https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Telework_Annual_Report_2019-2020.pdf).
 See 2019-2020 Telework Annual Report at 3.
When a copyright owner discovers that its copyrighted material is reproduced on a website without the owner’s permission, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) allows the owner to send to a website host, or other service provider, a “DMCA request” to remove the infringing content.
The Google search engine receives many of these DMCA takedown requests, and it recently received its 5 billionth such request to delist URLs that point to allegedly infringing content. Additional details can be found on Google’s “Transparency Report,” found at https://transparencyreport.google.com/copyright/overview.
On January 16, 2021, the USPTO issued Design Patent D908,917 to SkyRise Global, LLC in Coconut Grove, FL. The patent claims the “ornamental design for a building, as shown and described” in the patent. Two figures from the patent are shown below
It appears that the building is planned to be constructed in downtown Miami and is meant to be a “1,000 foot high vertical entertainment center.”
On January 22, 2021, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a Request for Information (RFI) that is an extension of a previous RFI issued in November 2020. The notice states the following:
The USPTO is undertaking a study of the extent to which patent or trademarks rights holders are experiencing infringement by state entities without adequate remedies under state law, and the extent to which such infringements appear to be based on intentional or reckless conduct.
All members of the public are welcome to submit comments. Instructions for how to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal can be found in the RFI, which is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/22/2021-01305/sovereign-immunity-study.
Note that all comments must be submitted on or before February 22, 2021.
Recent caselaw confirms that Federal Reserve Banks may petition the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to review a patent issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
In January 2017, twelve Federal Reserve Banks filed two petitions to cancel two patents, owned by Bozeman Financial LLC, related to check verification systems aimed at reducing occurrences of check fraud. The PTAB invalidated both patents.
Last year, Bozeman Financial LLC appealed these rulings to the Federal Circuit and challenged the PTAB’s authority to decide the petitions, arguing that the Federal Reserve Banks are not "persons" under the America Invents Act (AIA).
In April 2020, the Federal Circuit ruled that the Federal Reserve Banks are "persons" who may petition for post-issuance review under the AIA. The Court stated that even though federal agencies are not “persons” able to seek post-issuance review of a patent, the Federal Reserve Banks are not federal agencies.
On January 11, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Bozeman’s petition to overturn the Federal Circuit’s ruling.
 See CBM2017-00035 ( https://developer.uspto.gov/ptab-web/#/search/documents?proceedingNumber=CBM2017-00035); CBM2017-036 ( https://developer.uspto.gov/ptab-web/#/search/documents?proceedingNumber=CBM2017-00036).
See Bozeman Financial LLC v. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 955 F.3d 971 (Fed. Cir. 2020).
See id. at 975-76.