Much Ado About Injunctions

It’s become an article of faith among those complaining that patent reform has gone too far that the 2006 eBay case must be overturned—but that assertion doesn't appear to be backed up by the facts.

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Granted In 19 Hours

Patent examiners have an extremely hard job.  They’re given a patent application—which could be anywhere from a page long up to hundreds of pages, with patent claims ranging from a…

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The Law of the Patent Instrument

Patents are a useful tool in innovation policy—but they aren’t the only tool available.  If all you ever see are patents (and patent lawyers), your natural reaction is to use patents to solve policy problems.  It’s a normal human bias—the law of the instrument states that humans will reach for a familiar tool (i.e., patents) if they don’t have exposure to alternative options.  (Other areas of intellectual property, and IP in general, also suffer from this problem.)

In the innovation context, an over-emphasis on patents risks ignoring other, more appropriate tools for achieving particular goals in innovation policy.

Recent posts

Curver v. Home Expressions Advances Design Patent Law

In today’s Curver v. Home Expressions decision, the Federal Circuit resolved several outstanding questions regarding design patents.  In particular, the Federal Circuit rejected the notion that a design can be claimed, untethered from a specific article of manufacture to which it is applied.  It also rejected the notion that the verbal portion of a design…

Nartron IPRs a Touchstone For Understanding PTAB Discretion

The PTAB’s recent institution decisions in petitions filed against US5,796,183, a touchscreen patent owned by Nartron, are useful in understanding how the PTAB can be expected to address other situations with multiple simultaneous petitions, especially when a later petitioner may be able to benefit from a decision on an earlier petition.

Protecting Inventors—Independent Invention As A Defense

Alice has an idea.  Independently, Bob has the same idea.  Neither one has ever talked to the other.  Alice develops her idea and on January 1, files for a patent on it.  Bob develops his idea and files for a patent one day later, on January 2.  While their patents are being examined, both develop…

Global Innovation Index Highlights The Difference Between Patents And Innovation

The 2019 Global Innovation Index (GII) was recently released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  Conceived of as a broad measure of the innovative environment in various countries, the GII incorporates a wide variety of indicators in an attempt to measure innovation, ranging from scientific articles normalized by economic output, to the number of…