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Precedential Opinion Panel Decides Issue Joinder in IPR is Permissible
March 14, 2019
Post by Patricia A. Sweeney - Of Counsel
A panel of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a precedential decision March 13, 2019 stating that a party that challenges a patent in an inter-partes review (IPR) proceeding can join their own petition challenging another’s patent, in order to add new issues, but only in limited circumstances. Here, Proppant Express Investments LLC started an IPR proceeding to challenge a patent of Oren Te.......
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How Many Patents Are Enough for a Product?
March 12, 2019
Post by Xiaohong Liu, Ph.D.
The answer to the question of course, depends on the commercial value of the product. However, it is also obvious that the commercial value of a product is closely correlated to the number of patents for its protection. The relationship between commercial value and number of patents is best illustrated by the relevant facts for the most expensive pharmaceutical products. It is well known that drugs are e.......
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Resolving Circuit Splits: Supreme Court Addresses Issues Regarding Legal Fees
March 07, 2019
Post by Tina G. Yin Sowatzke, Pharm.D.
Tina G Yin-Sowatzke On March 4, 2019, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in Iancu v. NantKwest, Inc. to settle the debate over what “all the expenses” means under the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) win-or-lose attorney fee policy. This controversial policy involves seeking attorneys’ fees from applicants, regardless of the outcome of a case. During patent prosecution, if met wi.......
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Burger King Ribs McDonald’s After Loss of ‘Big Mac’ Trademark in the E.U.
March 01, 2019
Post by Sarah M. Dickhut
In mid-January of 2019, McDonald’s lost its rights to the trademark ‘Big Mac’ in a European case which ruled in favor of an Irish fast food chain, Supermac’s. Supermac’s, founded in 1978 by Gaelic football player Pat McDonagh, offers a burger called the ‘Mighty Mac’. McDonald’s asserted that the ‘Mighty Mac’, along with other Supermac’s offerings, created confusion among consumers. In turn, Supermac’s ar.......
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Congress Considers a Patent Eligibility Overhaul
February 27, 2019
Post by Kirk M. Hartung
Some members of Congress have met at least twice to discuss the current difficulties and frustrations with patent eligibility under Section 101 of the patent statutes. While these meetings have been closed-door, attorneys and others representing businesses and industries, have attended. These meetings, in December of 2018 and February of 2019, have been initialed by Senators Chris Coons, D-Del., and Th.......
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Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative Services Part 2, or: For the Benefit of Us All
February 15, 2019
Post by Oliver P. Couture, Ph.D.
Part 1 of the review of Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative reviewed how the Majority Opinion is at odds with precedent and the most recent United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) Subject Matter Guidelines published last month. Part II below examines the dissent from Judge Newman and how it aligns with both precedent and the Guidelines. As stated in Part 1, at issue in Athena was an admi.......
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Big Mac Blunder: McDonald’s Loses European Trademark Rights for Famous Burger
February 14, 2019
Post by Nicholas J. Krob
Last month, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) issued a surprise decision revoking fast food giant, McDonald’s, “BIG MAC” EU trademark registration in its entirety. The decision was the latest development in an ongoing battle between McDonald’s and Irish fast food restaurant Supermac’s. McDonald’s trouble started in 2014 after they opposed Supermac’s trademark application for “S.......
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Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative Services Part 1, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Inconsistencies
February 12, 2019
Post by Oliver P. Couture, Ph.D.
Part 1 of the review of Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative will look at how the Majority Opinion is at odds with precedent and the most recent United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) Subject Matter Guidelines published last month. Part 2 will look at the dissent from Judge Newman and how it fits better with both precedent and the Guidelines. At issue in Athena, were methods for detectin.......
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Protecting Creativity by Artificial Intelligence: Part 3
February 06, 2019
Post by Kirk M. Hartung
Artificial intelligence (AI) inventions and discoveries discussed in part 2 of this blog series, which may be protectable with patents, are only one form of creativity by computers. AI can also generate written documents, music, and other creative works of authorship. See for example, CLOEM and AllTheClaims.com. Even software now exists that allows computers to use artificial intelligence to write patent.......
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Protecting Creativity by Artificial Intelligence: Part 2
January 30, 2019
Post by Kirk M. Hartung
U.S. Patent laws usually have two objectives: 1) To disclose inventions for the benefit of mankind; and 2) To incentivize inventors and investors. Thus, patent protection serves a social benefit and a personal benefit. Currently, thousands of patent applications are being filed in the U.S. Patent Office for inventions directed to AI, and despite the patent eligibility issues, patents are being issued on .......
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The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.

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