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In November of last year, the Federal Circuit narrowed the types of patents eligible for covered business method (CBM) review. In Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., Case No. 15-1812, (Fed. Cir. Nov. 21, 2016), the court found that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) exceeded its authority in permitting CBM review for patents with claims that are “incidental to a financial activity” or “complementary to a financial activity.” The court’s decision narrowed what patents are eligible for CBM review, and provided some guidance for future cases seeking to determine whether a patent falls within the statutory definition of a CBM patent. This decision apparently raises the bar for CBM eligibility but does not resolve the existing split among PTAB panels in deciding the same.
By Peter Kidd
Iancu v. Brunetti
The Supreme Court held the bar against registration of immoral or scandalous marks “collided” with well-established free speech doctrine, namely, that laws disadvantaging speech based on the views expressed thereby violate the First Amendment.
By Charles A. Cartagena-Ortiz
The U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology , ruling that a trademark licensee can retain its rights under a trademark license agreement that is rejected by the licensor as an executory contract in bankruptcy.
By Dorothy Leray and Jeff Ginsberg
Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB Decision Finding Lack of Written Description for Methods of Detection
Federal Circuit Dismisses Appeal of IPR Decision for Lack of Standing
By Karen Hoffman Lent and Kenneth Schwartz
The DOJ’s intervention, and the judge’s ultimate decision, has exposed tensions between the DOJ and FTC, and within the FTC itself, and public scrutiny is far from over as the case heads to the Ninth Circuit on appeal.