News & Publications
Find our latest news and analysis here. From the daily Newsstand to the Quarterly Journal, we cover the full breadth of intellectual property law.
AIPLA Comments on Discretion to Institute Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board
December 3, 2020AIPLA filed a response to the USPTO’s October 20, 2020 request for comments on discretion to institute trials in inter partes review (IPR) and post grant review (PGR) proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The USPTO’s request solicits input on whether rulemaking is necessary and the type of rules it should adopt, but does not propose any rules.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Petitioner, v. ARTHREX, INC. ET AL., Respondents. Case No. 19-1434, 19-1452, amicus brief filed 12/2/2020.
December 2, 2020AIPLA’s brief supports reversal of the Federal Circuit’s decision and argues that Supreme Court precedent does not support such a rigid, factor-specific approach, instead favoring a flexible analysis to assess whether an officer is “principal” or “inferior.” The brief explains that, while the question is a close one, the totality of the circumstances under this flexible approach supports finding that APJs are inferior officers who are constitutionally appointed.
USPTO Appoints David Berdan as General Counsel
November 10, 2020As General Counsel, Mr. Berdan will serve as the principal legal advisor to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. Mr. Berdan will also supervise the Office of General Counsel and its three component offices: the Office of the Solicitor, the Office of General Law, and the Office of Enrollment and Discipline. Over the past 25 years, Mr. Berdan has served in a variety of important legal positions, most recently, as General Counsel and Compliance Officer of Gaming Arts. Mr. Berdan will begin his new role at the USPTO on Monday, November 16.
USPTO Released Proposed Continuing Legal Education Guidelines
October 14, 2020On October 9, The USPTO published a notice seeking public input on proposed guidelines regarding continuing legal education (CLE). As we noted in an earlier notice, the final rule published on August 3, 2020, will require beginning March 1, 2022, that registered patent practitioners and individuals granted limited recognition to practice before the USPTO in patent matters, biennially submit a mandatory registration statement.
Supreme Court Will Decide If PTAB Violates Appointments Clause
October 13, 2020On October 13, 2020, the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, as created by the AIA, violates the Appointments Clause in Article II of the Constitution. The Court granted certiorari in three consolidated cases (United States v. Arthrex, Inc., et al. 19-1434; Smith & Nephew, Inc., et al. v. Arthrex, Inc., et al., 19-1452; and Arthrex, Inc., v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., et al., 19-1458), but limited its review to two specific questions
USPTO fee changes effective October 2, 2020
September 22, 2020The USPTO published a Final Rule on August 3, 2020 in a Federal Register Notice, announcing fee changes that take effect October 2, 2020. The Final Rule includes an approximate 5-10% increase to most fees impacted by the rule, with some larger increases, notably in issue and maintenance fees, maintenance late fees, and PTAB fees. Four fees were discontinued.
Shira Perlmutter Is Named Register of Copyrights
September 22, 2020AIPLA congratulates Shira Perlmutter on her appointment as the 14th Register of Copyrights. Her extensive experience in intellectual property law will be a tremendous benefit to the Office.
Employees’ Access to Files Thwarts Claim Under Anti-Hacking Law
September 11, 2020The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on September 9, 2020, held that two former Royal Truck & Trailer Sales & Service Inc. employees didn’t violate the anti-hacking Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by forwarding and misusing confidential company information because they had permission to access it.
‘Jersey Boys’ Makers Defeat Copyright Claims at Ninth Circuit
September 9, 2020The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on September 8, 2020, held that the musical “Jersey Boys” doesn’t infringe the copyright in a Four Seasons band member’s autobiography because any similarities between the works are based on historical facts.
Beauty Sales Rep Misled CVS Vendor Over Trademark, Court Affirms
September 8, 2020The US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on August 31, 2020, held that a beauty and personal care sales rep deceived a CVS Pharmacy distributor about her rights to use Carol’s Express as a trademark. Beauty Enters. v. Gregory, 2020 BL 328390, 7th Cir., No. 19-3491, 8/28/20.
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