• Artificial Intelligence For Good: 3 Days To Discuss AI Solutions

    The second edition of an annual global summit on “artificial intelligence for good” spearheaded by the UN International Telecommunication Union opened today. A focus of the summit is how artificial intelligence can help advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The opening statements by UN heads, including the World Health Organization, showed growing interest in new technology to help in all kind of areas such as health and agriculture.

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  • The PTAB Continues to Break Patent Promises to the Detriment of Inventors

    Surviving inventors are incredibly rare. I have met dozens of inventors with incredible discoveries whose naïve belief in the patent system have cost them way more than they have gained. They taught a big corporation their technology either directly or via the publication of their patent. The big corporations have made tens of millions of dollars using the inventor’s technology. The inventor paid lawyers hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for losing his patent rights. Many of these…

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  • A Focus on Innovators Instead of Innovations

    I noticed this week that my sometimes co-author Colleen Chien (Santa Clara) has posted the abstract for a new paper called Innovators on SSRN:

    This Article argues for a shift in how we view and use the patent system, to a way of understanding and cultivating innovators that patent, not just patented innovation, for three reasons. First, who is innovating and where has relevance to a myriad of current social and policy debates, including the participation of women and minorities in innovation, high-skilled immigration, and national competitiveness. Second, though largely overlooked by academics, America’s patent system has long been innovator-, not only innovation-driven, and scholarly engagement can improve the quality of relevant policymaking. Third, the application of new computational tools to open patent datasets makes it possible to more easily approximate and track salient details about innovators that patent – including the geography and settings in which they innovate and the personal demographic traits of innovators – enabling the tailoring and tracking of impacts of interventions on disparate groups of innovators. This Article details why and how to do so by applying novel empirical methods to profiling patentees, revealing broad shifts over the past four decades, and demonstrating—through three mini-case studies pertaining to diversity in the technology sector, the promotion of small and individual inventors, and innovation in medical diagnostic technologies—how improving our understanding of innovators can improve our promotion of innovation.

    A draft isn’t available yet, but hopefully one will be soon. My thoughts on this abstract, though, are “hear, hear!” I think that too little attention has been paid to the people who innovate. There is, to be sure, a rich history of historians and economic historians who have focused on these points. Zorina Khan, Naomi Lamoreaux, and Ken Sokoloff (z”l) come to mind. In law, Adam Mossoff has provided several case studies and Chris Beauchamp has done outstanding historical work highlighting innovators in their time. Mark Lemley leveraged some historical work in an article about simultaneous inventing, and others have looked at those same innovators to tell competing stories.

    But much of this work is historical. Of late, as the abstract notes, it’s all about the what: What inventions? What classes? What litigation? How many claims? I think people clamor for stories about innovators; I believe my most downloaded (by far) SSRN paper, Patent Troll Myths, resonated because it looked hard at the innovators – individuals to small entities to large companies. Dan Burk looks at innovators (but without data) in Do Patents Have Gender? 

    I’m sure there are examples I’m not thinking of, but more data and analysis in this area would be welcome. Patents exist in service to their inventors, and so it makes sense to understand who those are to better understand whether patents are achieving their goals…or even what the goals are.

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  • 23AndMe Sues Ancestry.com Over DNA Genetic Testing Kits

    On Friday, May 11th, Mountain View, CA-based personal genetics testing company 23AndMe filed a lawsuit alleging patent infringement claims against Lehi, UT-based genealogy firm Ancestry.com. The suit, filed in the Northern District of California, targets Ancestry’s use of a DNA testing kit, which allegedly infringes upon a genetic testing patent held by 23AndMe.

    The post 23AndMe Sues Ancestry.com Over DNA Genetic Testing Kits appeared first on IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law.

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  • 23AndMe Sues Ancestry.com Over DNA Genetic Testing Kits

    On Friday, May 11th, Mountain View, CA-based personal genetics testing company 23AndMe filed a lawsuit alleging patent infringement claims against Lehi, UT-based genealogy firm Ancestry.com. The suit, filed in the Northern District of California, targets Ancestry’s use of a DNA testing kit, which allegedly infringes upon a genetic testing patent held by 23AndMe.

    The post 23AndMe Sues Ancestry.com Over DNA Genetic Testing Kits appeared first on IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law.

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  • Ex Parte Reis (PTAB 2018)

    By Michael Borella — The Patent Trial and Appeal Broad (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has often been criticized for being particularly harsh when reviewing appeals of claims rejected by an examiner of grounds of patent-ineligibly under 35 U.S.C. § 101. According to some sources, examiners are affirmed about 80-86% of the time in these matters.[1] Therefore, when the PTAB reverses an examiner’s § 101 rejection, it is worthwhile to note how and why. U.S. Patent Application No. 13/961,567 was filed in August of 2013, and finally rejected three years later. The Applicant appealed to the PTAB…

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  • Supreme Court Vacates Secure Axcess Precedent – Finding it Moot

    by Dennis Crouch

    As you’ll read below, the Supreme Court has vacated the Secure Axcess CBM decision on mootness grounds.  This means that the “financial services” limitation of the covered-business-method provisions are again up for interpretation. 

    In the America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011, Congress created a trio of AIA-Trials: Inter Partes Reviews; Post Grant Reviews; and Covered Business Method (CBM) Reviews.

    The CBM program is particularly targeted at claims for data processing or other operations used in the “practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service” and not covering “technological” inventions.  In PNC Bank v. Secure Axcess, the Federal Circuit narrowly interpreted the eligibility for CBM review – holding that the claims themselves must be directed to a financial service.  A patent does not qualify for CBM simply because it can be used in the financial service industry.

    • Fed. Cir. Opinion: Secure Axcess, LLC v. PNC Bank Nat’l Ass’n, 848 F.3d 1370 (Fed. Cir. 2017); See Dennis Crouch, For CBM Review: _Claims_ Must be Directed to Financial Service, Patently-O (2017).

    Continue reading Supreme Court Vacates Secure Axcess Precedent – Finding it Moot at Patently-O.

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  • Plaintiff has Burden of Establishing Proper Venue in Patent Cases

    Plaintiff has Burden of Establishing Proper Venue in Patent Cases

    by Dennis Crouch

    In re ZTE (Fed. Cir. May 14, 2018) is an important case establishing that the plaintiff has the burden of proving proper venue in patent cases. 

    In May 2018, the Federal Circuit denied HTC’s writ-of-mandamus request on improper-venue grounds — holding that – like most issues – appeal of improper venue decision should ordinarily wait until final judgment.  See, Dennis Crouch, The US Venue Laws Do Not Protect Alien Defendants, Patently-O (May 9, 2018); In re HTC Corp., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12182 (Fed. Cir. 2018). Less than one-week-later, the Federal Circuit has swung the other way — this time granting ZTE’s motion for writ of mandamus on the issue of improper venue.  The ZTE panel (Judges Reyna, Linn, Hughes) did not cite HTC, nor are there any overlapping judges with the HTC panel (Chief Judge Prost, and Judges Wallach and Taranto).  Of course, TC Heartland was an improper venue case that went to the Supreme Court on mandamus.

    Here, the panel explained that mandamus makes sense because the decision resolves two “basic and undecided” issues of venue law: (1) What law to apply on the question of burden-of-proof for proper venue; and (2) Which party has the burden of showing proper/improper venue.

    Continue reading Plaintiff has Burden of Establishing Proper Venue in Patent Cases at Patently-O.

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