Federal Circuit Reveils New Model Order In Patent Cases.

The Federal Circuit Advisory Council, which advises the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on rules of court and operating procedures, recently unveiled a new model order regarding excess patent claims and prior art.

As highlighted by the council, “There is a consensus that the numbers of asserted claims, claim terms, and prior art references in patent cases are often problematically excessive. Cases with over a hundred asserted claims and over a hundred asserted prior art references during discovery are common. The identification of an unmanageable number of products can be a problem too.”

While many courts already issue orders limiting the number of patent claims and prior art references in patent cases, the model order is intended to provide a systematic approach that can be further tailored to individual cases. “Focusing patent cases to the issues at the core of the dispute will reduce the burden on courts and lower the expense for the parties. In addition, a greater focus on the true issues will improve the quality of the adjudicatory process for all,” the council argues.

The new limits occur at two phases: (1) after production of “core” technical documents but before claim construction, and (2) after claim construction but before expert reports. Below are the basis provisions of the model order:

  • Not later than 40 days after the accused infringer is required to produce documents sufficient to show the operation of the accused instrumentalities, the patent claimant shall serve a Preliminary Election of Asserted Claims, which shall assert no more than ten claims from each patent and not more than a total of 32 claims. Not later than 14 days after service of the Preliminary Election of Asserted Claims, the patent defendant shall serve a Preliminary Election of Asserted Prior Art, which shall assert no more than twelve prior art references against each patent and not more than a total of 40 references.
  • Not later than 28 days after the Court issues its Claim Construction Order, the patent claimant shall serve a Final Election of Asserted Claims, which shall identify no more than five asserted claims per patent from among the ten previously identified claims and no more than a total of 16 claims. Not later than 14 days after service of a Final Election of Asserted Claims, the patent defendant shall serve a Final Election of Asserted Prior Art, which shall identify no more than six asserted prior art references per patent from among the twelve prior art references previously identified for that particular patent and no more than a total of 20 references.
  • If the patent claimant asserts infringement of only one patent, all per-patent limits in this order are increased by 50%, rounding up.

However, within two days of being released, all content on the Federal Circuit Advisory Council webpage was removed and replace with the message “This site is being updated and will be posted soon.” Soon thereafter, the Council webpage was restored with the exception of the two model orders. Instead, the webpage contains the following statement:

Model orders concerning e-discovery and limitations on claims and prior art were posted on the court’s website. Those orders have now been removed since the court has not sponsored or endorsed the orders. In light of the court’s determination, the advisory council should not be viewed as having sponsored or endorsed these orders on behalf of the court.”

 

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

The FTC To Agressively Pursue Pay-to-Delay Violations.

 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has vowed to take aggressive action after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled favorably on agency’s right to challenge so-called pay-to-delay agreements. However, it is also calling on Congress to move forward with stronger laws prohibiting such settlements.

Pay-to-delay agreements are most common in the pharmaceutical industry where brand name drug makers agree to resolve patent infringement suits against generic drug makers by paying them large financial settlements to refrain from selling the competing drugs for a specified number of years. In Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, Inc., the Supreme Court ruled that pay-to-delay agreements could violate anti-trust laws.

According to the Court, although the anticompetitive effects of the reverse settlement agreement might fall within the scope of the exclusionary potential of the patent, this does not immunize the agreement from antitrust attack. The justices further held that courts reviewing pay-to-delay agreements should proceed by applying the “rule of reason,” rather than under a “quick look” approach, which shifts the burden to the defendant to show empirical evidence of procompetitive effects.

Going forward, the FTC plans to use the precedent to aggressively attack settlements that its sees as anticompetitive, Chairwoman Edith Ramirez told a Senate subcommittee earlier this month. However, she also voiced support for proposed legislation that would formalize the agency’s argument in Actavis. The bill, co-sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), would make pay-to-delay agreements presumptively illegal rather than subject to the rule of reason.

“While the rule of reason standard is an appropriate test and we intend to apply that going forward, I do believe declaring them presumptively invalid would also further help us put a stop to these types of settlements,” Ramirez said.

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Copyright Holders Call on Congress for Stronger Protections.

 In the first of several hearings regarding the future of the U.S. copyright system, content creators argued for stronger protections before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. The hearing featured testimony from representatives of the Copyright Alliance, Getty Images Inc., the American Society of Media Photographers, Yep Roc Records and Redeye Distribution Inc., and 3-D moviemaker Stereo D LLC

Congress has recently embarked on a broad review of U.S. copyright laws with the goal of updating the country’s copyright protection scheme. With the exception of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, most other portions of the Copyright Act date back to 1976.

In their testimony before the committee, copyright holders argued that strong protections are needed to combat infringement in the digital age, particularly online piracy.

“Our goal in reviewing licensure laws should be to protect creativity and still allow for an active and intelligent marketplace for searching and licensing creative works,” John Lapham, senior vice president and general counsel of Getty Images, testified. “When we do so we can all benefit from content that moves, inspires, provokes, educates, and encourages.”

Representatives from the music and film industries expressed concerns about file sharing and other forms of piracy. “If an environment exists that does not provide adequate copyright protection and blockbuster films become unaffordable and unprofitable due to the threat of piracy, this new and thriving 3-D industry will be significantly hampered and severely impacted,” said William Sherak, Stereo D’s president. “The reason being that 3-D conversions are normally undertaken on major blockbuster films—the very films that are often the greatest targets of piracy.”

The committee will next meet with representatives of the tech community.

Source: Corporate Counsel

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

A “Sharknado” Clears Woody Ellen Film of Copyright Infringement.

 Sharknado, the Syfy television movie that took Twitter by storm earlier this month, has even made its way into a federal court opinion. A federal judge referenced the disaster movie in a copyright infringement case involving Woody Allen’s film, Midnight in Paris.

“The court has viewed Woody Allen’s movie, ‘Midnight in Paris,’ read the book, ‘Requiem for a Nun,’ and is thankful that the parties did not ask the court to compare ‘The Sound and the Fury’ with ‘Sharknado,'” the opinion states.

The copyright infringement lawsuit against Sony Pictures involved a single line taken from a William Faulkner novel. Owen Wilson’s character says, “The past is not dead. Actually, it’s not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner, and he was right. I met him too. I ran into him at a dinner party.”

While the movie line closely resembles a line from Faulkner’s novel, Requiem for a Nun, Judge Michael P. Mills held that the doctrine of fair use applied. “At issue in this case is whether a single line from a full-length novel singly paraphrased and attributed to the original author in a full-length Hollywood film can be considered a copyright infringement,” Mills wrote. “In this case, it cannot.”

As the judge further explained, “The copyrighted work is a serious piece of literature lifted for use in a speaking part in a movie comedy, as opposed to a printed portion of a novel printed in a newspaper, or a song’s melody sampled in another song. This transmogrification in medium tips this factor in favor of transformative, and thus, fair use.”

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Can U.S. Customs Police Patent Infringement?

The U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection fails to appropriately police imports for patent infringement, according to a recent lawsuit by Microsoft Corp. The company alleges that the agency is allowing Motorola Mobility Inc. to import devices that infringe certain Microsoft patents violation of an order from the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Pursuant to a May 2012 ITC order, Motorola Mobility, now owned by Google, infringed a Microsoft patent for generating and synchronizing calendar items. The order also banned any infringing device from entering the United States.

However, according to Microsoft’s complaint, the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) continues to allow infringing devices into the country. “The CBP has allowed the important of infringing devices based on claims that Microsoft made on an ex parte basis, and that CBP has accepted without providing Microsoft with notice of those claims, much less an opportunity to address them,” the complaint alleges.

“Most egregiously, CBP has allowed Motorola to relitigate—in secret—issues that Motorola lost before the Commission, and has granted Motorola precisely the relief that the Commission expressly refused to grant after full, fair, and open litigation,” Microsoft further argues. Meanwhile, Google maintains that Microsoft is seeking to impermissibly expand the scope of the ITC order.

While Microsoft’s allegations against the CBP must be decided in court, the case raises the larger question of whether the agency is equipped to deal with the recent influx of patent infringement cases. As former ITC chairman, Deanna Tanner Okun, told Reuters, the customs bureau may lack the expertise to enforce the orders. “Problems have increased. The system is outdated,” she said. “They’re using practices and procedures that are 20 years old.”

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Update on Status of Silicon Valley Office.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a status update on the agency’s satellite offices in Silicon Valley, Dallas and Denver. The plans to expand the USPTO’s office locations have been slowed due to recent budgets cuts related to the sequestration.

Although delayed, the new satellite located at the San Jose City Hall building  at 200 East Santa Clara Street, has been selected as the permanent location for the USPTO’s Silicon Valley satellite office.  The USPTO is moving forward with occupying the space by the end of 2014.

According to the the USPTO, the permanent West Coast office will enable the USPTO to help more entrepreneurs protect their intellectual property so they can attract capital, put their business plans into action, and help create more jobs.  The San Jose City Hall location provides office space for patent examiners and Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) judges, a robust examiner training facility, and public hearing rooms for PTAB proceedings, including its trial proceedings, which clarify the quality and certainty of a patent right and serve as a low-cost and efficient alternative to litigation in the federal court system.

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman