At the same time that it announced an almost 50% reduction in its backlog of request for continued examinations over the past year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced a new initiative to improve patent quality. During the quarterly Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) meeting in August, USPTO Commissioner for Patents, Peggy Focarino, said the new focus on quality was a result of the PTO approaching optimal steady state application pendency and the AIA creating a sustainable fee reserve to fund such initiatives. Read More
During its next term, which begins in October 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court will continue to decide important intellectual property cases.
In B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., the Court will tackle an issue that has long vexed trademark owners and their lawyers: ‘how much deference to give determinations by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) on the issue of likelihood of confusion, when a subsequent infringement action is brought in federal court?’. In other words, must a court accept the TTAB’s decision on likelihood of confusion, even though the TTAB’s jurisdiction is limited to a trademark’s registrability? Read More
New Zealand patent law has been completely overhauled and modernised. Details of the changes can be found here. The new law commences on 13 September 2014, which is only two weeks away!
The new provisions raise the requirements for patentability and the requirements for patent specifications and bring New Zealand patent law into substantial conformity with the patent laws of other developed countries, such as Australia. Among the new provisions is a provision which denies patentability to alleged inventions where the contribution to the art lies solely in it being a computer program. Read More
The Full Federal Court of Australia has upheld the first instance judgment of the Federal Court of Australia that the three patents protecting AstraZenica’s rosuvastatin products (marketed as Crestor) are invalid.
In judgment handed down on 12 August 2014, the court unanimously dismissed the appeals by AstraZeneca against generic pharmaceutical companies Apotex Pty Ltd, Watson Pharma Pty Ltd and Ascent Pharma Pty Ltd. Read More
Additional Damages for Past Trade Mark Infringements
In June 2014 the Federal Court made its first award of additional damages for trade mark infringement under the ‘Raising the Bar’ amendments to the Trade Marks Act 1995 (TM Act). We reported on the original judgment in our 23 June 2014 alert, which you can find here.
Today, the Federal Court of Australia handed down another judgment in that case. This second judgement suggests that additional damages may also be available for trade mark infringements that occurred before 15 April 2013.
On 24 July 2014, over four years after the enactment of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act, the FDA accepted its first biosimilar application from Sandoz Inc. (Sandoz). Sandoz’s application is for a biosimilar version of Amgen Inc.’s (Amgen) Neupogen® (filgrastim). Neupogen® is a pharmaceutical analog of human granulocyte colony stimulating factor that is used to treat neutropenia, a condition where the body does not make enough neutrophils, a type of white blood cell. Amgen’s Neuprogen® is indicated for use by patients receiving strong chemotherapy to reduce their risk of infection. Read More
The Federal Circuit recently released its first interpretation of the Supreme Court’s late June decision in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, et al. (Alice) In Digitech Image Tech., LLC v. Electronics for Imaging, Inc., et al. (Digitech) the Federal Circuit added a few more wrinkles to the emerging law of software patent eligibility.
In Digitech, the Federal Circuit held that all of the asserted claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,128,415 were ineligible for patenting. The patent was directed to device profiles, which are data structures used to correct for hardware-specific distortions in digital image processing systems. Read More
Google AdWords Policy Change for Australia
As reported in April 2013, Google amended its AdWords policy in Australia allowing a company to purchase a competitor’s trade mark as a keyword in order to trigger sponsored ads during Google searches.
Google has now gone one step further and allowed resellers and informational sites from 27 July 2014 to use trade marks in ad text in Australia and New Zealand under certain circumstances. Read More
A recent United States statute establishes an expedited pathway for FDA approval of biosimilars (also known as follow-on biologics) – the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA), part of the Affordable Care Act. A biologic is a drug derived from a living organism or living cells and is best exemplified by Humira®, the branded antibody for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Simply put, a biosimilar is a molecule that copies a branded biologic and is for all practical purposes highly identical to the branded biologic in structure and function. Read More
Your IP Law Report in 17 Syllables
“Judgments are just getting longer and more complicated, I can’t keep up with all of them!”
A familiar refrain uttered by many a lawyer and law student alike, especially in the modern, digital age (although we expect the Courts might refer to the increasing volume of electronic evidence filed by parties in proceedings as a contributing factor!)
So, in that context, could the essence of a judgment be distilled into haiku (short form Japanese poetry consisting of three phrases of five, seven and five syllables)? Well, we are sure going to try! Read More