USPTO Proposes New PTAB Trial Rules

Bernard Knight

This week the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a proposed rule to amend the existing rules of practice for inter partes review, post-grant review, the transitional program for covered business method patents and derivation proceedings that implemented provisions of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA).

The Intersection Of Trade Secret Law And Social Media Privacy Legislation

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By Eric F. Barton, Esq., Seyfarth Shaw LLP There is no question that social media privacy issues now permeate the workplace. In an attempt to provide further guidance and regulation in this area, since April 2012, a growing number of state legislatures in the United States have passed various forms of social media privacy legislation. […]

Trade Secrets: The ‘Reasonable Steps’ Requirement

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Trade secret theft is a top risk for companies today. When the worst does happen and trade secrets are compromised, companies must prove that reasonable steps have been taken to protect a company’s crown jewels. But determining what “reasonable steps” are can be challenging. Governments have been vague about the term’s definition; and laws and legislation continue to evolve on this issue. However, court actions do provide insight on the ‘reasonable steps requirement’ and point to the need for companies to embed trade secret protection into business operations to qualify as legal protection, writes Pamela Passman.

Five Reasons Why TPP Countries Should Unite To Oppose The US Pharmaceutical IP Agenda

Shipping containers. Photo credit: Martin Gleeson

Failure to reach agreement over expanded intellectual property (IP) protections for medicines has proven to be a stumbling block to completion of the 12-country Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. As expected, the US is continuing to pressure negotiating partners to adopt broader and longer monopoly protections for medicines. But the risks for their health systems are very high – and will be much higher if they don’t stick together in rejecting the US demands.

The TPP’s Reckless Proposals For Damages Will Have Negative Impact On Future Reform Of IPR Regimes

Jamie Love

James Love writes: This week negotiators from a dozen countries are meeting to finalize the rules for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. When or if concluded, this massive regional trade agreement will set new standards for the grant of property rights in knowledge, and the enforcement of those rights.

The TPP chapter on intellectual property covers all intellectual property types included in Part II of the WTO’s TRIPS agreement, plus some others, including not only patents, copyrights and trademarks, but also “undisclosed information”, test data for the registration of drugs, industrial designs, layout-designs of integrated circuits. The rules in the TPP are intended by the United States to become global norms, effectively replacing TRIPS.

While there are plenty of issues in the TPP IP Chapter, this note only addresses one set of issues — those relating to the remedies for the infringement of intellectual property rights. The remedies include such topics as injunctions, damages, and the seizure or destruction of infringing goods.

Decision Time On Biologics Exclusivity: Eight Years Is No Compromise

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Burcu Kilic and Courtney Pine write: As the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations approach their endgame, biologics exclusivity is still considered “one of the most difficult outstanding issues in the negotiation.”[2] Pharmaceutical companies seek longer data and marketing exclusivities to further delay market entry of cost-saving biosimilar drugs. Data exclusivity prevents follow-on pharmaceutical developers from relying on originators’ test data submitted for marketing approval while seeking such approval for its own product. The World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) requires some protection against unfair competition for this sort of data, but it does not require countries to adopt rules conveying exclusive rights over it in the same way as it does regarding patents.[3] Currently, the US provides 12 years of exclusivity for new biological products under the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA).[4] The provision providing 12 years exclusivity was buried inside the 20,000-page healthcare law, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A robust debate over what would be an appropriate exclusivity period, if any, was overshadowed by other controversial aspects of the bill commonly referred to as Obamacare.

Defendants, Non-Profits, Defensive Aggregators And Hedge Funds: Common And Less Common Uses Of Inter Partes Review

Richard Hung,
Photo ©John Swanda 2013

Inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings were originally intended to allow defendants in patent infringement lawsuits to invalidate questionable patents cheaply and quickly. But these proceedings increasingly are being used by parties that are not defendants in active litigation matters at all, write Rich Hung and Alex Hadduck.

Learning From Ebola

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In 1976, Yambuku village school headmaster Mabalo Lokela felt sick when he returned from a trip to northern Zaire near the Central African Republic border. He had a high fever, diarrhea, and bleeding. Because he was initially believed to have malaria, Lokela was given quinine, but his symptoms got worse and he soon died. Shortly afterwards, those who had been in contact with Lokela also died. … Almost four decades later, there is still no cure for Ebola, despite the fact that drug development on average takes about a third of this time frame, write William Fisher and Quentin Palfrey.

3D Printing And Public Policy

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John Hornick writes: Although legal principles apply to 3D printing the same as they apply to any other technology, 3D printing has the unique potential to upset the legal status quo. It is the potential scale of 3D printing that may have profound effects on the law. 3D printing cuts across many areas of law, most types of technology, and almost all types of products. Eventually, anyone may be able to make almost anything. No one else will know they made it or be able to control it, which I call 3D printing away from control.

Copyright And The Public Interest: Not Necessarily Competing Forces

Neil Turkewitz

Copyright protection advances the public interest, and good public policy must properly consider “the role of intellectual property as a tool for economic emancipation, a catalyst for cultural diversity, and a powerful protector of individual dignity and fundamental human rights,” argues RIAA’s Neil Turkewitz.