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  • The opinions, commentary and characterizations provided to this online forum by the authors and moderators are provided for encouraging discussion, thought and debate on important post grant issues. These postings are in no way representative of the opinions of Oblon Spivak et al., or its clients.

Archive for the ‘General Information’ Category

PatentsPostGrant.com Webinar July

Posted On: Jul. 16, 2014   By: Scott A. McKeown
post grant webinar Free Webinar Series – July

This month’s edition of the PatentsPostGrant.com free webinar series will be held on Wednesday, July 23rd @12:30 (est). The July webinar is entitled:

Post-Grant Proofing Your Patent Portfolio: Prosecuting for the New Patent Assertion Landscape. (Speakers are Scott McKeown, Dianna Devore Ph.D, and Chris Bullard).

The formal portion of the webinar will begin at 12:30 Eastern and will last for approximately 60 minutes. After the presentation there will be a 30 min Q&A period. To attend the webinar please sign up by clicking (here). You will receive a registration confirmation email immediately. One hour prior to the webinar you’ll receive another email with a link and instructions for joining the presentation. VA CLE credit will be provided.

We look forward to speaking with you during the webinar.

(For those seeking PTAB strategy CLE this month, please join my colleague Todd Baker tomorrow on AIPLA’s webinar enitled PTAB: Tactics for Launching a Patent Attack and for Surviving One)

USPTO Issues Preliminary 101 Guidelines After CLS Bank

Posted On: Jun. 25, 2014   By: Scott A. McKeown
USPTO_LogoUSPTO Reacts Quickly to Landmark 101 Ruling

Although a few minutes late for today’s PatentsPostGrant.com webinar on the topic, the USPTO has now issued Preliminary Examination Instructions on Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, et al., No 13-298 (June 19, 2014). Any member of the public may submit written comments by July 31, 2014. In the meantime, the USPTO will use these preliminary instructions when determining subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101 of claims involving abstract ideas in view of CLS Bank.

Oblon Post Grant Group Expands Life Sciences Depth

Posted On: Jun. 20, 2014   By: Scott A. McKeown
Dianna-DevoreDr. Dianna DeVore Joins Oblon Post Grant Team

I interrupt my regularly scheduled ramblings for a bit of Oblon firm news on this Friday. I am pleased to announce that Dianna DeVore, Ph.D. has joined the firm’s the Post-Grant Patent practice group as Special Counsel.

For the past three and a half years, Dr. DeVore has been Senior Vice President of Intellectual Property and Legal Affairs at Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. where she developed a coordinated intellectual property strategy including post-grant challenges, litigation, and related patent prosecution. Dianna brings over 18 years’ experience in intellectual property and transactional law, including providing product protection strategies and coordinating adversarial proceedings for companies ranging from emerging technology companies to large pharmaceutical companies.

Welcome Dianna!

The Impact of CLS Bank: Webinar 6/25

Posted On: Jun. 20, 2014   By: Scott A. McKeown
post grant webinarFree Webinar, Wednesday 6/25

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp. on patent eligibility standards for computer implemented inventions. This decision will impact current 101 challenges in CBM proceedings, and shape patent procurement/claiming strategies for software related methodologies going forward.

Please join me and my authoritative panel for this special edition of the PatentsPostGrant.com webinar series. Together with my colleagues Michael Kiklis, author of the recently released treatise, “The Supreme Court on Patent Law,” and Stephen Kunin, former Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy at the USPTO, we will endeavor to explore this important ruling.

Click here to Register: http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=794534&s=1&k=53B7CFD63569A11431583A5913CAEED3

USPTO Seeks Comments on New Ownership Reporting Proposal

Posted On: Jan. 27, 2014   By: Scott A. McKeown
attribuatble ownerUSPTO Proposes Attributable Owner Requirements

Last week, the USPTO released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) entitled Changes to Require Identification of Attributable Owner. The proposals would heap significant new administrative requirements on patent owners in the name of thwarting abusive patent suits. The agency explains the new reporting requirements will, in part, reduce risk of abusive patent litigation by helping the public defend itself against such abusive assertions by providing more information about all the parties that have an interest in patents or patent applications.

The proposal is unlikely to cause any kind of meaningful relief for companies targeted by patent trolls. Unfortunately, this effort is being driven from the White House. The PTO is fully expecting the firestorm that is coming to push back on this misguided mandate….unleash the fury.

Post Grant Proofing Your Patent Portfolio

Posted On: Jan. 14, 2014   By: Scott A. McKeown

AIA patent prosecution

PTAB Review Proceedings Force Change to Age Old Patent Prosecution Paradigm

As Bob Dylan once warned, you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone….the times they are a changin.‘ While Bob clearly had some broader ranging social issues on his mind when he penned those lyrics, they are quite befitting of the outdated philosophies driving most U.S patent prosecution practices in the aftermath of the America Invents Act (AIA).

I’m not talking about the change over in March 2013 from the first-to-invent system to the first-inventor-to-file system of the AIA, but instead, the de facto switch in September 2012 from the “infringement first” philosophy of patent prosecution to the new, balanced patentability/infringement model. That is, before the introduction of the AIA post grant challenge mechanisms, Inter Partes Review (IPR), Post Grant Review (PGR), and the transitional program for Covered Business Method Patents (CBM), securing a maximum claim breadth was the primary driver of patent prosecution practices — the broader the better.

The infringement first philosophy is now dead— as will be your patent portfolio unless you change your tune.

Read the rest of this entry »

USPTO Increases Examiner Credits to Address RCE Backlog

Posted On: Sep. 25, 2013   By: Scott A. McKeown
RCEUSPTO Adjusts Examiner Count System to Address Growing RCE Backlog

Some notable pre-grant news this week. A Request for Continued Examination (RCE) is largely a procedural creature of pre-grant, patent application prosecution (patent reissue being the lone exception on the post grant side). Recently, the backlog of RCE filings has increased significantly. This is largely the result of the Office switching the priority of such filings on examiner dockets while reducing examiner credit for processing RCEs. This priority switch was designed to reduce the backlog of unexamined patent applications. Not surprisingly, as the unexamined application inventory went down, RCE inventory went up as illustrated in the above chart.

Starting on October 1st, the USPTO will recalibrate the Count System Initiative (CSI) to incentivize work on the RCE backlog. (Under the previous version of CSI, 1.75 credits were available for the first RCE, and 1.5 for the second and subsequent)

On October 1, 2013 examiners will receive a total of 2.0 counts for the 4th and all subsequent RCEs in which a first office action is done in the first quarter of the fiscal year, and 2.o counts for the 5th and all subsequent RCEs in which a first office action is done in each of the second, third, and fourth quarters of the fiscal year.  

Also, examiners with higher RCE inventories will have more limited inventories of regular new applications available for action until their RCE inventories are reduced below predetermined thresholds.  

Sequestration Threatens USPTO Satellite Offices

Posted On: Sep. 3, 2013   By: Scott A. McKeown
USPTO-sequestrationPlanned Silicon Valley Office in Limbo

Seems Congress is currently winning the never ending fee diversion battle with the USPTO. As a result, efforts to expand USPTO satellite office to Dallas, Denver and Silicon Valley have been significantly slowed. While permanenet office locations in Dallas and Denver have been identified, the search for a permanent Silicon Valley office was recently halted as a result of the sequestration of USPTO funds (you know, the ones they collect from the public in self supporting fees).

The Detroit office remains open. 

It seems unlikely that the planned satellite office will be anything but ceremonial outposts in the near term. Indeed, absent consistent funding, one or more satellite offices could be shelved indefinitely.

After Final Rejection Pilot Program Revamped by USPTO

Posted On: May. 21, 2013   By: Scott A. McKeown
after final practiceAfter Final USPTO Initiative Retooled

Some pre- grant news of note this week. Last Friday the USPTO announced the After Final Consideration Pilot Program 2.0 (Federal Register Notice here). The revised pilot program modifies the initial concept by introducing a patent examiner feedback component.

Recall that the USPTO launched version 1.0 as the  “After Final Consideration Pilot” (AFCP) to foster compact prosecution and to slow the growing RCE backlog. The pilot program allotted additional productivity time to patent examiners in exchange for their consideration of after final amendments that might result in allowance of the application. Prior to the pilot program even amendments requiring nominal further consideration were routinely denied under 37 C.F.R. § 1.116.

Under the terms of the first version of the pilot, examiners decided whether the after final amendment could be fully considered, including any additional search required, within the three hour time limit provided for by the program. (i.e., fully considered and allowed). There was no need to file any special request in the previous version of the program.

Recognizing that some examiners were treating such submissions inconsistently, and that unsuccessful amendments proceeded along the normal course without any additional added value (e.g., acknowledgment/feedback from the examiner), the USPTO has provided for examiner further communication in version 2.0. Read the rest of this entry »

Popular Docket Navigator Service Adds PTAB Reporting

Posted On: Apr. 11, 2013   By: Scott A. McKeown
logoPopular Daily Email Service Now Includes PTAB Ruling & Filings

 Docket Navigator is well known to practitioners for its highly popular daily Docket Report. This subscription report is emailed out every morning and includes not only the new complaints/actions filed in the district courts and ITC, but also all notable decisions and Orders. Recognizing the emerging importance of the USPTO’s Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB), the Docket Report now includes information on new PTAB filings and noteworthy decisions as they occur. 

The expanded Docket Report will be of great value to PTAB practitioners by providing every new and noteworthy filing/order within a day of filing/issuance. The new PTAB petitions will be reported along with notable orders, each being accompanied by a short, explanatory synopsis of the facts and result.