Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Will Copyright Law Put Us on a Path to International Patent Exhaustion?

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

This is a guest post from Theresa Stadheim of Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner.

This article was first published by the American Intellectual Property Law (AIPLA) Patent Law Committee in its January 2016 newsletter.  For membership in AIPLA, visit here

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Will Copyright Law Put Us on a Path to International Patent Exhaustion? Lexmark v. Impression Products

Under the doctrine of patent exhaustion, once a patented product is sold in a sale authorized by the patent holder, patent rights in that product are exhausted.  Domestic patent exhaustion (i.e., patent exhaustion upon a domestic sale) is a common law doctrine in the United States, as well as being generally accepted worldwide.  However, the current Lexmark v. Impression Products litigation has raised the issue of whether international sales should also lead to exhaustion of patent rights.

The Lexmark v. Impression Products litigation

Lexmark manufactures printers and toner cartridges used in those printers.  In Lexmark Int’l, Inc. v. Ink Techs. Printer Supplies, LLC, plaintiff Lexmark alleged that it first sold the patented inkjet cartridges at issue outside of the United States, and that these cartridges were later acquired and remanufactured by defendants, including Impression Products, thereby infringing Lexmark’s patent.[i]

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Labeling GMO’s — Too Late and Too Much

Friday, January 29th, 2016

iStock_000066549553_SmallCommentators arguing that genetically-modified plants (and animals) or “GMO’s” have been prepared by conventional plant breeding, fail to address the central issue driving the debate about the safety of genetically-engineered crops intended for human consumption.  The issue is not whether or not it is safe to continue to crossbreed different varieties of wheat or corn, or any other plant, to yield improved traits.  This is indeed botanical intervention that has been going on for centuries.

In recent years, companies like Pioneer and Monsanto developed the ability to introduce genes that were isolated from non-plant sources, such as bacteria, into corn, soybeans, cotton and other crops.  Such genes impart properties to the “transgenic” plants such as the ability to resist attack by the European corn borer or to be resistant to glyphosphate (“Roundup”), a relatively non-toxic herbicide, so that it can be used to control weeds while not harming the cash crop.  However, such genes are foreign to the host plant.  This has led “green” organizations to oppose their use to produce “Frankenfoods” that raise human health issues, or at least have demanded the such food or food products be labeled as produced from “GMOs,” so that consumers can choose whether or not to consume them. (more…)

Patent Law Developments 2015: A Quick Recapitulation

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

iStock_000075593843_SmallThis is a guest post from Chisum Patent Academy.

Patent Law Developments 2015: A Quick Recapitulation
Donald S. Chisum
Co-Founder, Chisum Patent Academy

In terms of case law, legislation and other developments in patent law, calendar year 2015 had no first order block buster comparable to the Supreme Court’s 2014 Alice decision on patentable subject matter pertaining to computer implemented inventions or Congress’ 2011 enactment of the America Invents Act. Nevertheless, there were important decisions by both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that commanded the attention of every patent professional.

In terms of volume of case precedents by the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit, 2015 equaled 2014 as the busiest years ever, each year having about 140 precedential decisions. Below [attached] is a quick review of the most significant of those precedents.

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Top Patent Law Stories In 2015

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

iStock_000077488719_SmallI will try to keep this post as brief as possible, since I posted at length on all of the stories. There was a lot of IP action in 2015 – much involving the Fed. Cir. and Supreme Court’s resolution of cases in progress in 2014. In no particular order, I pick:

1.  Ariosa v Sequenom. This Fed. Cir. decision that a method for isolating “cffDNA” from maternal blood is no more than a natural phenomenon was a big step backwards for the development of patent law in the area of “precision medicine” and clouds the future patent-eligibility of both natural products and methods of diagnosis and treatment. It is a pick to click with the Supreme Court. (There was also a PTO “July 2015 Update” of the December 2014 s. 101 Guidelines that really did not clarify anything.)

2.  Biosimilars Hit the Shelves. In April, the FDA finalized its biosimilars guidance and Sandoz soon launched the first biosimilar, a generic version of Neuprogen.

3.  Nautilus v Biosig. The Supreme Court redefined the “indefiniteness standard” of s. 112(2) so that a claim term must be reasonably certain to the POSA, not simply amenable to construction. In Dow v. Nova, this new standard compelled invalidation of the claims-in-suit. (more…)