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Regardless of whether a patent practitioner’s clients favor a stricter or more lenient eligibility regime, patent eligibility decisions continue to evolve. Patent practitioners have been seeking updated guidance since 2014’s Alice Corp. Pty. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 573, U.S. 208 (2014) decision, and we may see some from American Axle & Mfg. v. Neapco Holdings, LLC, 967 F.3d 1285 (Fed. Cir. 2020). We are still waiting for a response to last year’s invitation from the Supreme Court to the Solicitor General seeking guidance on granting certiorari in American Axle. Some practitioners have wondered why American Axle should be the subject of such long-awaited guidance. Indeed, practitioners filing an amicus brief in Interactive Wearables, LLC v. Polar Electro Oy, stated their preference for an application surrounding an “intuitive technology” over American Axle’s “highly technical subject matter.” Interactive Wearables, LLC v. Polar Electro Oy, et al., No. 21-1281, Brief of the Chicago Patent Attorneys as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioner at 4 (U.S. April 21, 2022). However, it can be argued that the level of technicality is indeed what makes it the right case: We need a line drawn for what practitioners expect to be clearer. Hardware inventions are facing patent eligibility challenges that would have seemed more likely in software inventions. Recent court decisions have shown that what once made a hardware invention eligible may no longer fly.
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By Jennifer Bush
Perhaps the largest impact that Director Vidal has had upon the PTAB is has been via Director Reviews. The U.S. Supreme Court mandated Director Reviews to correct procedural defects in the way that administrative patent judges are appointed to the PTAB.
By Nicole D. Galli
In modern times, trade secrets have long been considered mainly the province of employment lawyers dealing with more mundane issues such as customer relationships. Today, it seems trade secrets lawyers are multiplying like mushrooms after a rainstorm — coming not only from the employment bar, but also from IP, particularly the patent bar.
By By Zachary D. Cleary, Jose J. Jimenez and Taryn A. Elliott
The future is only redesigned every so often, so it is worth asking, what will this new technology look like, and how can pioneers protect their user-facing innovations that will define this emerging space? Design patents are the answer.
By Howard Shire and Justin Tilghman
Ninth Circuit Upholds Copyright Infringement Dismissal In ‘Jangle Vision Twins’ Case