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September 2012 Archives

ACLU Wants SCOTUS to Reconsider Myriad Gene Patents

The patentability of genes is back in the news. This time, the American Civil Liberties Union has stepped in and asked the highest court of the land to decide whether genes can or can’t be patented.

Their issue relates to human genes which provide some insight into breast and ovarian cancer risk in women. According to The Baltimore Sun, a process of analysis using the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can detect whether some women are at a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Inequitable Conduct: Negligence Isn't Enough

Patents can be invalidated for a number of reasons— inequitable conduct being one of those reasons.

Last week, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals broke down the concept of inequitable conduct in the case of Outside the Box v. Travel Caddy.

The District Court held the patents to be unenforceable due to inequitable conduct in the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

Vita-Mix Loses Federal Circuit Infringement Appeal

Between juice cleanses and smoothie bars, liquid diets seem to be all the rage. They're also really expensive, so some people prefer to make their own smoothies instead of paying the markup on a pre-packaged juice cleanse. That frugality had created an increased demand for fancy blenders.

The two big winners in the high-end blender wars have been Vita-Mix and Blendtec. That posed a problem for Blendtec, because it claimed that Vita-Mix had ripped off its design. A jury agreed with Blendtec in 2010, and ordered Vita-Mix to pay Blendtec almost $11 million. U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell awarded Blendtec an additional $11 million in enhanced damages, finding that Vita-Mix infringed Blendtec patents willfully and intentionally, and tried to conceal their infringing activity, Deseret News reports.

In September, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that award.

Fed Circuit Seals the Deal in Apple Samsung Doc Appeal

Apple and Samsung spent a lot of time and money arguing about patent infringement in this summer's intellectual property battle royale, so it's easy to think that the two tech giants disagree about everything. That's simply not true.

For example, Apple agrees to buy component parts for several of its products from Samsung, and Samsung agrees with Apple that certain records from the recent Apple-Samsung trial should remain sealed.

This week, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with both companies.

Panel to Ride Circuit, Discuss Splits at Denver Law October 4

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office isn't the only IP-loving panel to hit the road this fall: The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals will also be taking its act on the road in October.

The appellate court is scheduled to "ride circuit" and hear oral arguments at the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver on October 4.

There are Still 7 Stops on the AIA Roadshow Schedule

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has embarked on an eight-city cross-country trek to share information about new final rules implementing provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA).

The AIA becomes effective on September 16.

Monday, the USPTO kicked off its traveling roadshow series in Minneapolis. Will the excitement make its way to a city near you? Click through to find out.

Fed Circuit Adopts New Induced Infringement Standard

Quick. Simple. Direct. Just how we like our patent decisions.

Last week, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals adopted a new standard for induced infringement, holding that a patent owner no longer has to show that a single induced entity is liable for direct infringement, reports Patently-O.

In the 6-5 decision, the en banc court explicitly abandoned its 2007 BMC Resources, Inc. v. Paymentech, L.P. holding that, in order for a party to be liable for induced infringement, some other single entity must be liable for direct infringement.

USPTO to Host Free AIA Webinar Sept. 7

It's less than a month until the America Invents Act (AIA) changes shake up the world of intellectual property law. The big day — in case you don't have it marked on your calendar — is September 16, 2012.

If you're nervous or scared about the end of the (patent) world as we know it, the U.S. Patent and Trade Office wants to put your mind at ease with a free discussion about the changes this week.