Patenting Internet and Online Dating Apps: The Current State of Affairs
Since the dawn of humankind, people have searched for other people for a variety of reasons including cooperative food gathering, safety by mutual or combined protection, companionship, friendship, romance, and marriage. In about the last quarter century, and particularly for those seeking friendships, romantic partners and spouses, "there are apps for that." While many patents directed to algorithmic "matchmaking" methods and systems have been granted, almost every relevant patent that has been challenged under Section 101 has been invalidated for claiming unpatentable subject matter.
Information on the Forthcoming Launch of the Sunrise Period and Start of the Unitary Patent and Unitary Patent Court
Germany, the last mandatory state for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement to enter into force, has deposited its ratification instrument of the agreement on February 17, 2023. This deposit triggers March 1, 2023, as starting date of the sunrise period for opting out European patents and applications from the jurisdiction of the UPC and June 1, 2023 as starting date for requesting unitary patents and for the UPC to become operational. The establishment of the new Court and the introduction of the new patent represent a major change in the field of patents in Europe.
USPTO Surcharge for Non-DOCX Format Filing to Start April 3, 2023
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has extended the effective date of the $400 surcharge for new non-provisional utility patent applications where the specification, claims, and abstract are not filed in DOCX format to April 3, 2023. The surcharge will apply to all Paris Convention and non-convention applications filed under 35 U.S.C. 111(a), including divisional, continuation, continuation-in-part, and PCT bypass continuation applications. Other documents and submission types, including drawings, may still be filed in PDF format without incurring a surcharge.
Disclosure of Patent Ownership and Litigation Funding – What Is Really Going On In Delaware?
If you've been reading the legal news relating to U.S. patent litigation since April 2022, you are familiar with the dispute in progress in Delaware courtroom of U.S. Chief District Judge Colm Connolly regarding patent ownership and litigation funding disclosure requirements in patent infringement cases. The District of Delaware is perennially at or near the top of the list of venues for new patent infringement cases filed, particularly those cases filed by Non-Practicing Entities (NPE).
But My Lawyer Said So: A Recent Court Case on Waiving Attorney-Client Privilege before the United States Patent and Trademark Office
Patent applicants may inadvertently waive the attorney-client privilege during prosecution of their applications in the USPTO, as was decided in a recent U.S. district court case. The facts of the case serve as a reminder to exercise caution when explaining certain information to the USPTO.
The Out-of-Europe Reach of European Patents
While all eyes are on the unitary patent which will initially make it possible to get patent protection in 17 of the EU Member States through a European patent, the geographical coverage of European patents, far from being limited to the EU, extends beyond the geographical limits of Europe, to both Asia and Africa. A single European patent application filed with the EPO thus offers the chance to obtain protection in no less than 44 countries.
United States Supreme Court Reviews The Enablement Requirement For The Second Time in History
Most patent litigation cases do not hinge on questions of whether the patents-in-suit meet the enablement requirement. As a result, these issues do not often reach the Supreme Court of the United States. That has now changed. For the second time in history, the Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to review a case to address the enablement question.
Two-month Postponement of the Start Date of the UPC and the Sunrise Period
In view of a new timeline issued on December 5, 2022, the Unified Patent Court (UPC) could start receiving cases on June 1, 2023, and not on April 1, 2023, as previously planned and announced.
Working on It: An Overview of Patent Working Requirements, Part 2
As clients and legal counsel begin to develop global patent portfolios, one topic comes up annually: working requirements. A working requirement is a provision of a national patent statute that states an owner of a patent must practice the patented invention within the country that granted the patent. To satisfy the requirement, a patent owner may need to build new manufacturing capacity in the country, utilize existing capacity in the country, or license the patented invention to a third-party for manufacturing the patented invention, or perform the patented process, locally. Consequences for not working a patented invention in contravention of local statutes may include monetary sanctions, as well as potential for loss of patent rights or compulsory licenses to third parties.
Patent Application Pendency in Various Countries: Part 4
As clients begin to develop global patent portfolios, an effective practitioner will be aware of basic information related to application filing and pendency in locales where protection is sought. This article provides a high-level look at application pendency, grant rates, and effects of lapse in select countries in Southeast Asia and Oceana.