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This morning, in Matal v. Tam, previously Lee v. Tam, the Supreme Court handed down its most impactful interpretation of the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to date by holding that at its intersection with the First Amendment, the disparagement clause violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause.  

Today, in Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Grp., LLC, Case No. 16-712, the Supreme Court accepted certiorari on the question of whether the IPR regime set out by Congress in the AIA is constitutional. At issue is whether, once patents are issued, the resulting patent rights are a “public right,” in which case their validity can be resolved by an agency, or a “private property right,” in which case the validity issues must be addressed by Article III courts and arguably subject to the Seventh Amendment’s right to trial by jury.
What seems evident from Halo, and the cases that have applied it, is that simply proving willful infringement (even when shown by clear and convincing evidence) is not always going to be sufficient to ensure an award of enhanced damages. To support an award of enhanced damages, patentees will now have to establish that the infringer was more than an aggressive competitor that may have played a little too close to another’s patent rights.
In part because of RCE and Appeal backlogs, the USPTO has introduced several post-examination programs to speed-up patent prosecution, increase collaboration between examiners and applicants, and reduce the number of RCE and Appeal filings. In this paper, we discuss several procedural options available to applicants after receiving a final rejection, advantages/disadvantages of each option, and conclude with suggestions on how to select the best option depending on the situation.
Counterfeiting is not a problem limited to items such as luxury handbags or designer sunglasses, but one that extends to many industries—from pharmaceuticals to automotive parts, consumer electronics to cosmetics, computers to personal care products. Thus, the problems imposed on society by counterfeiting are far-reaching, and, according to recent studies, only growing.
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