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June 2016 Archives

USPTO Announces Fast-Track Review for Cancer Treatment Patents

In an effort to help accelerate the progress of cancer research, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced today an initiative entitled "Patents 4 Patients," which will provide "fast-track" examination of patent applications directed to cancer therapy. The initiative (also referred to as the "Cancer Immunotherapy Pilot Program") is free and available to any applicant, including early stage bio-tech companies, universities, and large pharmaceutical firms, as well as entities that may have products already in FDA approved clinical trials. These entities will be able to opt-in to the program, even if they have already filed their patent application. 

Hovey Williams Earns Patent Infringement Victory for Client in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Hovey Williams LLP, one of the region's leading intellectual property (IP) law firms, announced that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a jury verdict in favor of its client Great Plains Manufacturing, Salina, KS, in a patent infringement suit brought by Deere & Co.

First U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Inter Partes Review

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down an important decision regarding the standards for establishing invalidity in inter partes reviews. These reviews, carried out in the Patent Office, allow a challenger to seek to cancel a patent's claims. The Supreme Court in Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC v. Lee, affirmed the USPTO practice of construing the claims using the "broadest reasonable interpretation" for the claims---a standard that makes invalidity more likely. The Court also confirmed that the decision to institute inter partes review is not subject to judicial review. Hovey Williams LLP prepared and filed the petition against Cuozzo on behalf of Garmin, the very first petition ever filed for inter partes review. Garmin did not participate in the Supreme Court review having settled previously with Cuozzo. 

US Supreme Court Continues to Take an Interest in IP Cases

The Copyright Act permits the prevailing party of a copyright lawsuit to be awarded reasonable attorney fees, but is silent as to when such an award is appropriate. More than 20 years ago, the Supreme Court set forth "several non-exclusive factors" to consider when awarding attorney fees. Yesterday, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the Supreme Court expanded its guidance holding that lower courts should give "substantial" weight to the "objective (un)reasonableness" of the losing party's litigating position. The justices reasoned that this approach promotes the underlying purpose of the Copyright Act.

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