Category: Patents

1
Australia Re-Aligned With Major Jurisdictions for AI-Based Inventorship
2
The Kremlin’s Intellectual Property Cold War: Legalizing Patent Theft with Decree 299
3
F45 Cops a Punch in Further Australian Decision on Patents for Computer Implemented Inventions
4
Name and Shame On Instagram – The ASA’s New Tactic For Non-Compliant Influencers
5
Federal Circuit Rules AAPA in Challenged Patent Does Not Qualify as Prior Art Under 35 U.S.C § 311(b) but Signals AAPA Can Play Role in §103 Analysis
6
French Reform of Automatic Intellectual Property Assignment for Non-Employee Personnel
7
Substance Over Form: The Importance of Substantive Grounds in Parallel District-Court Litigation and Prior Petition IPR Denials in OpenSky Indus., LLC v. VLSI Tech. LLC
8
The Dust Settles Further In Relation to Patents for Computer Implemented Inventions in Australia
9
Australian Appeal Case Revisits Patentability of Computer Implemented Inventions
10
Federal Circuit Further Clarifies Venue in Hatch-Waxman Cases

Australia Re-Aligned With Major Jurisdictions for AI-Based Inventorship

In July 2021, Australia was thrust into the spotlight as a favourable country to patent AI-created inventions as a result of the Australian Federal Court’s decision in Thaler v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCA 879 – see our previous coverage here.

At first instance, the Court construed “inventor” as including “a person or thing that invents”.1 The decision was an appeal from a Patent Office hearing where the Office rejected a patent application in the name of Stephen L. Thaler as the creator of the “inventor”, AI system (Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience (DABUS)). As DABUS had autonomously generated the invention, for the purposes of the patent application Dr Thaler derived title to the invention from DABUS.

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The Kremlin’s Intellectual Property Cold War: Legalizing Patent Theft with Decree 299

Russia’s bold response to Western economic sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine now includes what amounts to legalizing patent theft against “unfriendly countries.” On March 5, 2022, the Kremlin issued Decree 299, which states that Russian companies and individuals can use inventions, utility models and industrial designs without owner permission or compensation, if the patent hails from a list of “unfriendly countries.”1 Specifically, the decree sets compensation for patent infringement at “0%” if the patent holder is a citizen of, is registered in, or has a primary place of business or profit in any of the 48 countries Russia previously designated as “unfriendly.”2 Unsurprisingly, the list includes the United States, Great Britain, European Union members, Australia, and other critics of Russia’s actions against Ukraine.

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F45 Cops a Punch in Further Australian Decision on Patents for Computer Implemented Inventions

The scorecard against computer implemented inventions being patentable in Australia took another hit this week when the Federal Court revoked two innovation patents from global fitness giant, F45 in F45 Training Pty Ltd v Body Fit Training Company Pty Ltd (No 2) [2022] FCA 96. Justice Nicholas of the Federal Court held that F45’s innovation patents, which involved a computer implemented system for configuring and operating one or more fitness studios, were invalid and even if they were valid, rival fitness franchise Body Fit Training did not infringe them.

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Name and Shame On Instagram – The ASA’s New Tactic For Non-Compliant Influencers

In June 2021, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) began naming and shaming certain influencers for “consistently failing to disclose ads on their Instagram accounts, despite repeated warnings and help and guidance on sticking to the rules” on their website (see here).

The name and shame list was created as a result of the ASA Influencer Monitoring report, which found inconsistent ad disclosure by influencers on Instagram through Stories, posts and Reels, with the disclosure rules being followed only 35% of the time (see here). The influencers listed on the webpage are subject to enhanced monitoring and remain on there for a minimum of three months.

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Federal Circuit Rules AAPA in Challenged Patent Does Not Qualify as Prior Art Under 35 U.S.C § 311(b) but Signals AAPA Can Play Role in §103 Analysis

On 1 February 2022, the Federal Circuit released its decision in Qualcomm v. Apple1 providing guidance on the treatment of Applicant Admitted Prior Art (AAPA) under 35 U.S.C § 311(b) in Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings. In doing so, the Federal Circuit vacated two IPR decisions2 of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) where the PTAB had found several claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,063,674 (“the ’674 patent”) unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. § 103. In doing so, the Federal Circuit remanded the case to allow the PTAB to address the specific issue of whether the AAPA cited by Apple improperly formed the “basis” of Apple’s § 103 challenge or was simply ancillary.

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French Reform of Automatic Intellectual Property Assignment for Non-Employee Personnel

France is widely known for its author-centric intellectual property right (IPR) framework: except for a limited number of very specific situations, all IPR must be expressly assigned and there is no “work for hire” doctrine.

This situation is changing, further to Decree n°2021-1658 dated 15 December 2021, replicating the regime applicable to inventions and software created by employees or public servants to those made by natural persons accommodated by private or public law entities carrying out research.

This decree amended the French Intellectual Property Code (FIPC), by creating two new articles: L.113-9-1 (with regard to software IPR) and L.611-7-1 (with regard to patent IPR) FIPC.

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Substance Over Form: The Importance of Substantive Grounds in Parallel District-Court Litigation and Prior Petition IPR Denials in OpenSky Indus., LLC v. VLSI Tech. LLC

On 23 December 2021, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) instituted inter partes review (IPR) of U.S. Patent No. 7,725,759 B2 (“the ’759 patent”). See OpenSky Indus., LLC v. VLSI Tech. LLC IPR2021-01064, Paper 17 (Dec. 23, 2021). Petitioner OpenSky Industries, LLC (“OpenSky”) relied on expert declarations of Dr. Sylvia D. Hall-Ellis and Dr. Bruce Jacob originally filed by Intel Corporation in two other IPR proceedings (“Intel IPRs”).1 Indeed, the declaration included the same coversheet that accompanied the declaration in the Intel IPR. The Board analyzed OpenSky’s Petition under §314(d) and §325(d), declining to deny institution, finding, in part, that since Fintiv and General Plastic did not warrant discretionary denial, the arguments, which were almost identical to those made in the Intel IPRs, deserved to see their day in court at the PTAB.

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The Dust Settles Further In Relation to Patents for Computer Implemented Inventions in Australia

Last month we wrote about the Full Federal Court’s decision in Commissioner of Patents v Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd [2021] FCAFC 202 (Aristocrat), which concerned the patentability of computer implemented inventions (CIIs).

This month, the Full Court determined another appeal regarding CIIs: Repipe v Commissioner of Patents [2021] FCAFC 223. The decision concerned two patent applications by Repipe Pty Ltd that disclosed systems and methods for providing information to field workers by way of a central computer server connected to a GPS-enabled mobile device (i.e. a smartphone). The applications were treated as the same for all relevant purposes at trial and during the appeal.

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Australian Appeal Case Revisits Patentability of Computer Implemented Inventions

The vexed issue of ‘patent eligibility’ for computer implemented inventions has raised its head again in Australia, this time in the Full Court of the Australian Federal Court decision of Commissioner of Patents v Aristocrat Technologies Australia Pty Ltd [2021] FCAFC 202. The decision expands upon principles for assessing the eligibility of computer-implemented technology, but the line between assessing eligibility and other aspects of patentability remains blurred.

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Federal Circuit Further Clarifies Venue in Hatch-Waxman Cases

Last year, in Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Federal Circuit confirmed that 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) is the sole venue provision for domestic defendants in Hatch-Waxman actions.1 On Friday 5 November 2021, the Federal Circuit provided even greater clarity on venue rules in such cases, concluding that, for venue purposes, only submission of the ANDA qualifies as an act of infringement, not any action related to the submission.2

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