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In recent years, one of the most important and controversial developments in U.S. patent law relates to the standard for whether an invention is “patent eligible,” or in other words, whether an invention falls within the scope of subject matter that is capable of being patented. Through the late 1990s and into the 2000s, for most kinds of patents, patent eligibility was not really a concern for patent holders. Certainly, as exemplified first by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in State Street Bank & Trust v. Signature Financial Group, 149 F.3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 1998), and later the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bilski v. Kappos, 561 U.S. 593 (2010), the patent eligibility of business method patents and software was an issue both in the prosecution and enforcement of patents. However, widespread uncertainty about and ultimate decimation of issued patents was nothing compared to what we have seen in the last five years since the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. 208 (2014), which was the culmination of a series of decisions after Bilski, including Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, 566 U.S. 66 (2012), and Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, 569 U.S. 576 (2013).
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.