Top 5 Intellectual Property (IP) Developments in 2017

  As we start the New Year, here’s a look back at the most significant intellectual property law developments in 2017 affecting medical device companies. It was a record-breaking year for the number of patent cases (seven) being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court. Here are the five most noteworthy updates for the past year: One: TC Heartland v. Kraft Food. The Supreme Court overturned decades of legal precedent in this decision about where infringement litigation can be filed. The … Continued

Brazil Planning to Automatically Grant Patent Applications to Reduce Backlog

Currently the proposed regulation is in a public consultation phase and no new rules are yet in force.  If the currently proposed regulation is enacted, the following requirements would need to be met in order for an original patent application to be automatically issued: A request for national phase entry of a PCT application would need to occur before the date of publication of the future regulation; The application would need to have been published or early publication requested up to thirty … Continued

Supreme Court Curtails Forum Shopping in Patent Litigation

June 9, 2017 – In a decision largely seen as beneficial to technology and medical device companies, the Supreme Court recently restricted the ability of companies to sue for patent infringement in plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions of their choosing.  Prior to the Court’s May 22 decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods, a patent holder could sue an alleged infringer in essentially any federal district court.  Over the past 25 years, many patent holders have chosen to file suit in the very small … Continued

American Diabetes Association Healthtech Showcase

Join me and over 400 Bay Area venture capitalists, angel investors and business leaders to network and check out the latest innovative technology coming from Silicon Valley healthtech companies. Proceeds from the event will go to the American Diabetes Association. Once again, the centerpiece of the Leaders Forum will be the HealthTech Showcase, where 50 of the most fundable early stage healthtech companies will present their technologies. Supporters of the event will have the opportunity to mingle with the Showcase … Continued

Method Patents Become Stronger

The U.S. Supreme Court held earlier this year in Commil USA v. Cisco Systems that a mistaken but good faith belief that a patent is invalid is not a defense to a claim of induced infringement.  This ruling is particularly important for medical device companies since liability for infringement of medical method patents must often be found through a theory of inducement rather than by direct infringement. Medical device companies often pursue both apparatus claims and method claims when filing … Continued

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Induced Patent Infringement

In the past several months, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided major patent law issues in six cases – a remarkable number that makes up almost 10% of the Court’s current docket. These include a case on what constitutes patentable subject matter case (Alice v. CLS Bank), claim definiteness (Nautilus v. Biosig Instruments), when attorney fees may properly be awarded to a prevailing party (Octane Fitness v. Icon Health, Highmark v. Allcare), the burden of proof in non-infringement declaratory judgment … Continued

Update on Pending Patent Law Reform + 10X

It has been more than two and a half years since the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) was signed into law. (See MedTechBrief of September 16, 2011) The AIA took more than six years of negotiation and marked the most significant change to the U.S. patent system since 1952. While various provisions of the AIA were still being implemented last year, Congress began introducing further patent reform legislation. Between February 2013 and March 2014, the House of Representatives introduced six … Continued

USPTO Satellite Office Moving Ahead in Silicon Valley

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced on Tuesday it plans to open a permanent office in Silicon Valley next year.  The USPTO also outlined plans to expand operations by hiring new Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) judges and patent examiners who will be based in the new regional office. The City of San Jose has offered approximately 40,000 square feet of permanent office space in its City Hall, located at 200 East Santa Clara Street.  Since its … Continued

USPTO and Federal Courts Remain Open

During the general government shutdown that began October 1, 2013: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will remain open, using prior year reserve fee collections to operate as usual for approximately four weeks.  However, the 18th Annual Independent Inventors Conference scheduled for October 11-12 at the USPTO has been cancelled.  Should the USPTO exhaust its reserve funds before the general government shutdown comes to an end, they will shut down at that time, although a very small staff would continue … Continued

Sequestration’s Effect on USPTO, FDA and Judiciary

In the six months that the federal budget sequestration has been in effect, it has had a detrimental impact on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Food and Drug Administration and the federal judiciary. Various bills have been introduced in Congress to eliminate these impacts but have had little success. PTO The PTO has a $2.9 billion fiscal 2013 budget and is self-funded by fees assessed on patent and trademark applicants.  In past years Congress has diverted a total … Continued

DISCLAIMER: Information on this site is simplified for ease of understanding general patent law concepts and is not to be taken as legal advice. Contact the author or another qualified patent attorney to discuss how these general concepts may or may not apply to your specific situation. No attorney/client relationship exists with the author until a written engagement agreement is executed. Do not submit confidential information to a patent attorney before the attorney agrees to receive it. Some information on this site may not remain current.