Tuesday, 25 September 2012 14:27

OBVIOUSNESS STILL AN ISSUE FOR BIOTECH PATENTS

Written by
Gene patents (and by extension biotech patents) have received quite a bit of attention lately from the ongoing Myriad Genetics case, which challenges the appropriateness of genetic material for patents. However, patentable subject matter is only one hurdle would-be patentees must face in order to obtain a coveted patent. The invention must also be novel and not obvious over what is known in the field of art at the time of invention. This last point recently caused one patentee to lose his battle for a patent, and due to his own publication at that.
Friday, 21 September 2012 14:26

THE BATTLE OVER THE YOGA PANTS

Written by

lululemon, the popular designer of yoga clothing has filed a Complaint in federal court in Delaware against Calvin Klein alleging that Calvin Klein is selling pants that infringe three design patents owned by lululemon. The design patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are for pants with a waistband featuring overlapping panels of fabric. 

The next round in the legal battle between the two famed French fashion houses, Christian Louboutin and Yves Saint Laurent,  has both companies claiming victory.  The Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s denial of trademark protection to Louboutin’s use of contrasting red lacquered outsoles and holding that a single color can never serve as a trademark in the fashion industry. "We hold that the lacquered red outsole, as applied to a shoe with an 'upper' of a different color, has come to identify and distinguish the Louboutin brand and is therefore a distinctive symbol that qualifies for trademark protection," the Court found.  

Much has been written about the Apple v. Samsung patent dispute, with some claiming it goes too far and others claiming 'transparent' copying should justly be punished.  One thing that cannot be disputed is the value of a design patent.  As seen below, when consumers like the way something looks, others will migrate to that look, setting up a potentially strong case for design patent infringement, even as lawyers argue over the meaning of words in a related utility patent. Oh, and by the way, if you win, no need to settle for a reasonable royalty, as by statute, design patent infringement damages are set as profits.

While perhaps far from over given the routine appeals of patent infringement decisions, the August 24, 2012 verdict awarding Apple $1 Billion in damages against Samsung in U.S. District Court signaled a major event in the evolving global patent landscape for mobile device technology. This particular case involved patents and trade dress for Apple’s iPhone and iPad and, in addition to the jury’s monetary damages award, Apple is also seeking to stop sales of several competing products offered by Samsung.

Composition claims to "isolated" DNA molecules are patent eligible under 35 USC 101 as nonnaturally occurring compositions of matter -- this, among other decisions, is what the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ("CAFC") published in its opinion of August 16, 2012.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") has published a set of new patent-related forms which will accommodate new rules that will soon go into effect under the America Invents Act ("AIA").

Tuesday, 14 August 2012 14:20

PATENT CHANGES COMING IN SEPTEMBER

Written by

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") has published its final rules for the implementation of certain provisions of U.S. patent law as reformed under the America Invents Act ("AIA") that become effective on September 16, 2012.  As noted in previous blog posts, the AIA was passed last year to revamp the U.S. patent system in stages, with various provisions going into effect at different times.  While some changes have already occurred, many significant changes will become effective on September 16, 2012, including the following: