In RPX Corp. v. VirnetX Inc., the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) for the first time, defined a “real party-in-interest” within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 315(b). IPR2014-00171 (June 5, 2014). Specifically, the Board found that Apple Inc. was a “real party-in-interest” with respect to RPX’s seven petitions for the VirnetX Patents, because (among other factors) Apple (1) suggested that RPX challenge four of VirnetX’s patents (“the VirnetX Patents”), and (2) compensated RPX to (among other tasks) file inter partes reviews (“IPR”). The Board denied RPX’s petitions as time barred under 35 U.S.C. § 315(b), because Apple, a real party-in-interest, had been served with a complaint more than 1 year before RPX filed the petitions. Read more »
     
Written By: Brian S. Seal
The United States International Trade Commission (“ITC”) has received significant attention recently for its role in patent protection, due in part to the high-profile battle between Apple and Samsung. But while it is an effective venue for patent disputes, it may also be used to protect other forms of intellectual property, including trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.
Created in 1916, the ITC is an arm of the Executive branch – tasked with ensuring fair competition between domestic and foreign entities. Part of its mission is to protect domestic industry from imported goods that misappropriate intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. Read more »
     
Written By: Thomas G. Southard
Non practicing entities (“NPEs”), commonly derided as patent “trolls,” account for more than half of all new patent infringement lawsuits filed in the United States. In 2013 alone, NPEs initiated over 3,000 lawsuits in courts across the country, most often in the District of Delaware, Eastern District of Texas and Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California. These lawsuits target scores of industries, including companies in the hospitality, banking, retail and restaurant sectors. While Congress has struggled to pass laws designed to thwart bad-faith NPE claims, companies confronting an NPE demand letter or litigation can take a number of precautions to ensure that they are not victimized by troll tactics. Read more »
     
Q: In your twenty years at Schering-Plough and Merck, what were your various roles?
I joined Schering-Plough in the early 90’s and started out with a broad range of responsibilities including strategic patent portfolio management, client counseling, freedom-to-operate assessments, patent due diligence in support of in-licensing, patent preparation and prosecution, and patent litigation. With regard to technologies, my work primarily involved small molecule pharmaceuticals, new polymorphs, proteins, protein conjugates, antibodies, and chemical and biotech process technology; and while most of my work was in the pharmaceutical area, I also had the chance to work on cases related to contact lenses and optical inspection systems as Schering owned a contact lens subsidiary back then. Over time, I began to focus more on tech transfer and licensing, as well as global patent litigation. Read more »
     
Written By: Lawrence E. Ashery
When legal principles are at odds with each other, it can be immensely difficult to reach a conclusion that is fair and just. Such is the dilemma in Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments, 572 U.S. _______ (2014). The case has been talked about for months, and seen by some as a possible major step forward in the "war" against "patent trolls." Read more »
     
Washington, D.C. | July 2014 – RatnerPrestia is pleased to announce that Sunjeev Sikand has joined its Washington, D.C. office in a move from McKenna Long and Aldridge. Sunjeev specializes in patent litigation, patent counseling and prosecution, licensing and due diligence. Read more »
     
Written By: Derek Richmond
Over the last few years, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) has held that a means-plus-function term in a claim relating a computer implemented invention must be supported by a corresponding structure, which can be an algorithm, explicitly or implicitly disclosed in the specification. However, the Federal Circuit’s recent execution of this “corresponding algorithm” rule might be a bit strict in view of the history of the rule. The CAFC recently interpreted a software means-plus-function claim in Triton Tech of Texas, LLC v. Nintendo of America, Inc., 2013-1476 (Fed. Cir. June 13, 2014). The rule that the CAFC currently follows is that something more than a general purpose computer, i.e., an algorithm, must be disclosed as the “means” to perform a function. However, in deciding Triton Tech, the CAFC might have required a bit more disclosure than was required in the past. Read more »
     
A unanimous Supreme Court today ruled that software patents based on abstract ideas that merely require generic computer implementation are ineligible for patent protection, affirming the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s recent en banc decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l. This ruling does not render all software-related inventions ineligible for patent protection, but does call into question the validity of countless number of patents asserted by so called patent “trolls” against U.S. and foreign businesses.

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Written By: Gleb Epelbaum and Rex Donnelly
In POM Wonderful LLC v. The Coca Cola Co., 572 U.S. ___ (Jun. 12, 2014), a unanimous Supreme Court held that a private suit brought by a competitor under § 43 of the Lanham Act is not precluded by the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and the FDA regulations.

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