The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) recently published Draft Amendments to the Guidelines for Patent Examination. One of the important amendments eliminates the ability of an owner of a Chinese patent to suspend invalidation proceedings by creating a fake dispute over ownership of the patent.
In the summer of 2020, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) initiated a new Fast-Track Appeals Pilot Program. A goal of this program is to reach a decision on an ex parte appeal before the PTAB within 6 months of the entry date into the Pilot Program. The first year of this new Pilot Program is concluded and the results are in! The average time to a decision on appeal under the Pilot Program was 2.2 months, compared to the average time to a decision on appeal of 13 to 14 months without the Pilot Program. Because the results exceeded expectations, the Pilot Program is extended and will run until at least July 2, 2022.
Many patent owners require participation of litigation funding companies in order to pursue licensing and litigation enforcement programs. Litigation funders need to study the merits, strengths, and weaknesses of the key aspects of any patent infringement case – infringement, validity, and damages – before they decide to provide funding. Discussions between the patent owner and the funding company, and their respective lawyers as well, must be very carefully planned and controlled if the documents -- including correspondence and even legal opinions -- are to remain shielded from compelled disclosure to opposing parties in any subsequent patent enforcement litigation.
While the use of "embedded" content online is ubiquitous, the legality of this practice is being seriously challenged.
Introduction of Customs Border IP Protection in China Part I--- the System and Current Implementation
On April 26, 2021, the World Intellectual Property Day, the General Administration of Customs of P. R. China held a press briefing to introduce the Chinese customs' intellectual property (IP) protection and mentioned that since the beginning of 2021, China's customs nationwide has further strengthened the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and effectively cracked down on IPR infringements involving import and export.
This past March, several commenters discussed two recent Federal Circuit decisions affirming rejections in patent applications owned by Stanford University for lacking patent-eligible subject matter. Despite the Federal Circuit finding the claims being directed to abstract ideas and thus patent ineligible, both decisions are very important to developing a bright-line standard for Section 101. Using similar logic as found in the USPTO's revised guidance, Justice Reyna has now opened a door for patent owners to use similar reasoning in defense of already-issued patents. Following Stanford I and Stanford II, patent applicants and patent owners may be facing an improved situation for their patent rights.
In the order of its decision in case G1/21, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) has held that even if a party to appeal proceedings refuses to give its consent to the conduct of appeal oral proceedings by videoconference, the EPO has the right, during a general emergency, to hold the oral proceedings in this form.
In decision G4/19 issued on June 22, 2021, the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the European Patent Office (EPO), which is the highest degree of jurisdiction of the EPO, clarified on what basis a European patent application can be rejected for reasons of "double patenting", i.e., the prohibition of having two patents granted to the same applicant and on the same invention.
WIPO GREEN, implemented by the World Intellectual Property Organization, is a free online platform for technology exchange that supports global efforts to address climate change by connecting providers and seekers of green technologies. Through its database, network, and events, WIPO GREEN brings together key players to catalyze green technology innovation and diffusion. WIPO GREEN assembles in one place various technologies at all stages of development, from prototypes to marketable products. These technologies are available for license, collaboration, joint ventures, and sale. By including eco-friendly technologies as well as technology "needs" in its database, WIPO GREEN has become the go-to platform for green technology innovation.
On 9 July 2021, the German Federal Constitutional Court rejected the two pending applications for preliminary injunction directed against the Act of Approval adopted by the German Upper House on 18 December 2020 for the purposes of ratifying the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement. While this rejection clears the way for Germany, the last mandatory participating state, to complete the ratification of the UPC Agreement, it is still unclear when the remaining hurdles for the UPC to operate and the associated European patent having unitary effect to be established may be overcome.