Oil States Versus The Administrative State

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The Supreme Court has now heard from the petitioner in Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC. At issue is not only the fate of inter partes review of patents by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, but possibly the ability of administrative agencies to review and retract their own erroneous decisions....

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Federal Circuit Clips The Wings of Covered Business Method Review

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In an opinion yesterday in Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., a three–judge panel of the Federal Circuit significantly limited the scope of Patent Office review of business method patents under the America Invents Act. The appellate court shrunk the universe of patents eligible for covered business method (CBM) review, a result which may please...

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Supreme Court To Review Statute Against Disparaging Trademarks

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Federal trademark law, specifically, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a),  provides that the Patent and Trademark Office can refuse to register a trademark that disparages persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols. Last December, the entire Federal Circuit Court of Appeals held this disparagement provision to be an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment, as we discussed at the...

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Patent Office Employees Found To Have Wasted Their Time, Taxpayer Money

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According to a report issued today by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Commerce, hundreds of thousands of the claimed work hours of patent examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cannot be reasonably accounted for. After a minute–by–minute review of data for 94% of all patent examiners’ claimed...

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Supreme Court Affirms Patent Office Procedures For Inter Partes Review

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Although the political winds in the Senate continue to blow against the confirmation of a ninth justice, the oddities of an eight–person Supreme Court have not prevented the court from deciding patent cases in the past week. Today brings the opinion of the Court in Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee, in which the high court...

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East Texas Court Orders Stay Pending Inter Partes Review

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Sometimes, the straightforward application of the law has the power to surprise. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has a process in place, called inter partes review, through which accused infringers can challenge the validity of patents asserted against them in litigation. Inter partes review is an adversary proceeding with a binding effect on...

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PTO Endorses Patent Reform; Inspector General Questions Patent Quality Control

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News of note from both ends of the patent litigation spectrum: The Patent and Trademark Office voiced general support for Congressional efforts to reform abusive patent litigation practices, while the Office of the Inspector General found the PTO lacking in its quality control measures for ensuring the issuance of high–quality patents. The juxtaposition is striking...

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Patent Reform Is Back…Alice Is Big…The PTO Is Unmasked

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…and, we’re back, with a post–hibernation blitz of patent news… Patent reform, it’s back too. Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte has reintroduced the patent reform bill that died in the Senate last year. The bill’s provisions are designed to pare back patent troll litigation. It would (1) require the plaintiff to identify the patent–owner before filing...

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Court Sanctions Niro Patent Law Firm Millions In Fees

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The new year has not gotten off to a good start for well–known patent law firm Niro, Haller & Niro of Chicago. As reported by Law.com, the Niro firm is on the hook for millions of dollars in attorneys’ fees in a lawsuit it filed on behalf of Intellect Wireless against HTC. U.S. District Judge...

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