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In 2013, the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) adopted a new policy under which any party commencing a de novo proceeding challenging a PTO decision would be responsible to pay a pro rata share of the salaries of the government attorneys working on the matter, based on a new interpretation of language that has appeared in the Patent Act for 175 years — and more recently was included in the Lanham Act as well. That language requires the plaintiff seeking de novo review to pay “all expenses of the proceedings,” win or lose. However, the term expenses had always in practice been construed (until recently) to mean only lesser costs — not attorneys’ fees. On Dec. 11, 2019, the Supreme Court rejected the PTO’s new interpretation of the Patent Act in Peter v. NantKwest, Case No. 18-801, slip op., which held that the American Rule, a centuries-old principle under which each party bears its own attorneys’ fees, does apply to this statute. The Court further concluded that the actual language of the statute itself simply does not support shifting fees.
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By Jonathan Moskin and Rachel Pauley
The emerging cases by authors and copyright owners challenging various generative AI programs for using copyrighted materials are certain to create new troubles for the courts being asked to apply the fair use doctrine to this important new technology.
By Jim Soong
Each decision involves reversal of a prior art rejection and contrasts with the other decisions on subject matter eligibility, revealing different PTAB approaches and results that can inform prosecution and appeal strategies.
By Leanne Rakers and Caley McCarthy
The future of antibody claiming in the United States is uncertain following the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 2023 ruling in Amgen Inc. v. Sanofi, a highly anticipated decision concerning enablement and whether the traditional way to claim antibodies — claiming antibodies by their function — will survive as a valid claiming strategy.
By Mark Liang, Paige Hardy and Grace McFee
Part Two of a Two-Part article
While the last decade has seen a dramatic increase in the number of AI patents, such patents face difficulty in overcoming the patent-eligibility challenges under §101 and Alice. Section 101, however, is not the only hurdles AI patents must overcome. Section 112, with its written description, enablement, and definiteness requirements, presents additional obstacles.