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MBHB snippets Alert - March 27, 2015

On Friday, March 27, Director Lee issued a statement on the PTO Blog, indicating several current and proposed “quick-fix” rule changes. Immediate changes include nearly doubling the number of pages for a motion to amend to up to 25 pages, along with the addition of a claims appendix. Opposition briefing and reply briefing will get a commensurate amount of additional pages. Judges will begin implementing these changes through scheduling orders effective immediately.
Foreign patent filing decisions should take into account all of the potential additional costs associated with filing, prosecution, and annuity fees, as well as translation and legal service costs for hiring patent practitioners in each jurisdiction. In this article, five tips are discussed for developing a cost-effective strategy for obtaining foreign patent protection.
It has been about 9 months since Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International was decided by the Supreme Court. In that time, many district court and Federal Circuit cases have resulted in grants of summary judgment or dismissal based on findings of patent invalidity. Specifically, courts have found the patents at issue to be directed to patent-ineligible subject matter based on the two part framework laid out in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., as reiterated and refined in Alice.
Anticipation is easy enough to establish if the prior art expressly sets forth each of the elements of the claims. However, more interesting issues of proof arise when one or more elements of the claims are not expressly stated in the prior art, but following the prior art necessarily yields the missing elements of the claim.
In a 9-0 decision authored by Justice Sotomayor, the Supreme Court held on January 21, 2015 that trademark tacking is a question of fact, which should be decided by a jury. The case, Hana Financial, Inc. v. Hana Bank, sought to resolve the circuit split regarding this issue of whether a judge or a jury should decide the issue of trademark tacking.
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