Patent Term Adjustments (PTAs) alter the patent term and are meant to account for delays in patent prosecution, and usually increase the life of the patent beyond their normal 20 year term. They are usually calculated by accounting for prosecution delays by both the applicant and the USPTO. The PTO automatically grants adjustments, but patentees can petition to recalculate the adjustment if they disagree with the PTO's calculation.
The Federal Circuit decided Arendi S.A.R.L vs Apple Inc. in August of this year. The Court ruled that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board misapplied the law on permissible use of common sense in an analysis. While reversing the PTAB’s final decision, the Federal Circuit held that the PTAB’s application of common sense to supply a limitation missing from a prior art reference was conclusory and unsupported by substantial evidence. The Federal Circuit explained the proper use of common sense in an obviousness finding and helpful guidance for practitioners.
A patentability search and analysis are carried out to ensure that an invention would meet the novelty and non-obviousness requirements for obtaining a patent. However, such search and analysis would not be effective unless claimable subject matter is identified correctly. A patent agent or attorney needs to thereafter determine the breadth of the claimable matter by examining the disclosure along with the prior art identified in the search in order to complete the analysis.
If you are involved in any patent litigation, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant, you naturally want to know the potential outcome of your case. At this stage, it would be helpful to be able to forecast the outcome of the litigation.
Patent prosecution analytics can provide valuable insight into the performance of an organization’s IP operations just as other forms of analytics help in reducing cost, in making better decisions and in creating new products and services. Technology companies who are actively filing patents can achieve cost savings and faster times to grant through prosecution analytics. I will illustrate what I mean by looking at two leading technology companies with different prosecution performance - Cisco and Juniper Network.
In order to keep a US patent in force, the US Patent & Trademark Office requires that patent owners make maintenance fees at years 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 after grant. This is in addition to filing, search, examination and post-filing fees.
Intellectual Property Management can be exciting and rewarding but can also be very unforgiving if you don’t do it right. There are some mistakes that can be extremely costly, but are, unfortunately, easy for an IP Manager to make. These mistakes can cause your company to lose its IP rights and can result in competitors getting those rights.
Usually in large companies, IP is managed by a senior IP counsel who runs a dedicated IP operations department. In your company, there may not be a dedicated in-house IP counsel. But, in every innovative business there is always someone whose job includes managing the company’s IP. That person, the IP Manager, makes sure that the company’s patent strategy is implemented, deadlines are met, forms are completed, and documents are submitted, etc. The IP Manager makes sure that the IP train runs on time, so to speak. They may not have IP in their title or have a law degree, but they are the go-to-person for all IP matters.