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Patentability

Software Patents Continue to Take a Beating in 2014

This has not been a good year for software patents in the United States. Since the Supreme Court issued its decision in June in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014), the Patent Office has been aggressively rejecting software patent applications and the courts have been invalidating issued software patents for lack of…

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Patenting Improved Articles That Use Proprietary 3rd Party Materials

Under U.S. law, improved articles of manufacture may be patentable if they are novel and non-obvious. Sometimes, an inventor comes up with a new article that is faster, stronger, more flexible, more rigid, lighter, etc. by using new materials to make the article. If the article has never been made with those materials, and if…

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Have Your Cake and Eat It Too – Obtaining Broad Claims That Define a Device or Apparatus Based on How it Works

Pros and Cons of Apparatus and Method of Use Claims Devices or apparatuses can often be protected by using two kinds of patent claims: apparatus and method of use claims. Each approach has its benefits and drawbacks. In general, apparatus claims expand the class of direct infringers relative to method of use claims but are…

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Isolated Genes Are Not Eligible for Patent Protection

In a long-awaited decision in Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. Myriad Genetics, Inc., et al., the U.S. Supreme Court held on June 13, 2013 that naturally-occurring, isolated genes are not patentable because they do not constitute patentable subject matter under the Patent Statute.  With this decision, another chapter has been written in the…

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Are Business Methods Really Patentable in the United States?

Well, we thought so, but now we are not so sure.  It seems that the much more is required than the business method itself in order to obtain a patent.  The cases suggest that, at a minimum, novel computing features are required.  The Federal Circuit’s most recent pronouncement on the issue seems to change little…

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Pitfalls of Dealing with AIA Transition Applications

In one of our earlier posts we discussed how to determine whether a given patent application or patent is subject to the First Inventor to File Provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA).  In particular, we discussed the complexities involved in determining whether an application filed after March 16, 2013 was subject to the First…

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Which Patent Law Will Apply to My Application After March 16, 2013?

As we discussed last month, the “first inventor to file” provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) go into effect next month on March 16.  The USPTO issued its final rules for implementing the AIA last week, and a copy of the rules can be found here. Figuring out whether the AIA or pre-AIA law governs…

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