Category Archives: Federal Circuit

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Why patent defendants hate East Texas (Part 1)

Texas Law Legal System ConceptWhy do patent defendants say such bad things about the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas? I asked this question of Michael C. Smith, the noted lawyer and blogger from Marshall, Texas. To prime the pump, I noted Texas Monthly calls his hometown “the intellectual property equivalent of a speed trap, a … Continue Reading

How long should a patent claim be?

Hand Holding Wooden Folding  RulerHouse counsel for a large software company has written an open letter to me titled Pursuit of Extremely Short Patent Claims. He has thrown down the gauntlet in a public forum. Here’s what he said to me, followed by my response. … Continue Reading

What everyone should know about Apple slide-to-unlock patent vs. Samsung

Slide To UnlockIn the last inning of the Apple-Samsung game of smartphone hardball, Samsung slid into home. Apple failed to make the tag. “Samsung is safe!” cried the umpires. The inning was umpired by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which held Apple’s slide-to-unlock U.S. Patent 8,046,721 invalid. See Apple v. Samsung (Fed. Cir. Feb. 26, 2016). … Continue Reading

How to Profit from Patents While Apple, Samsung Weigh In At Supreme Court

Money making idea. Light bulb with Dollar symbol.The Supreme Court has granted Samsung’s appeal of a $500 million dollar judgment rendered on the latter’s infringement of Apple’s smartphone (iPhone) design patent. If your company owns patents, you may wonder: What effect will Apple-Samsung have on your patent program? More practically, how can you and your company make money on your patents starting now, in the “incubation period” of … Continue Reading

Federal Court Upholds Offensive Trademark as Free Speech

Freedom Of SpeechWhat do the Redskins, The Slants, and the ACLU have in common? Citing the First Amendment, they say free speech trumps the Government’s efforts to ban offensive trademarks. They advocate for the rights of intellectual property owners, specifically trademark rights, for everyone who uses a mark in commerce. Even obnoxious marks. On the opposite side, the Government … Continue Reading

Patent — Picture or 1,000 Words?

Rich Beem, Johnny Kilpatrick & Patco ReelIn a patent, which is better: A picture or 1,000 words? For patent purposes, it’s important to provide considerable detail in drawings and descriptions. Some foresight is required, because support is required as of the filing date for the originally filed claims and for amendments that may become desirable during prosecution. In this article, we will consider … Continue Reading

More Words, Less Patent Clarity

Absolute ClarityThe Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has announced that in her zeal to prevent substandard patents from issuing, she will insist on clarity of the record. Every word of every patent will have to be defined. And every word stated in the patent process—in the give and take (or “prosecution”) between applicant… Continue Reading

Some Kind of Patent Trial

Beem Goes to CourtPatent jury trials reached their zenith in the mid-1990s. The stakes remain high, though the drama has faded. Now, even if it’s called a trial, what you get is “some kind of hearing,” as Judge Henry Friendly once called it in his seminal lecture and law review article. Some kind of hearing: That’s all you can expect in … Continue Reading

Patent World Convenes at IPO in Chicago

This week the world of corporate intellectual property (IP) converged in Chicago for the Annual Meeting of the Intellectual Property Owners (IPO) Association. A record 1150 IP lawyers and patent and trademark attorneys attended from the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, Latin America,  Australia and Africa. See attached photo (from left to right): Ray Ricordati, Renata Righetti, Richard Beem, … Continue Reading

Samsung loses bid for rehearing in $500 MM patent award to Apple

In my recent blog post, I reported that Samsung, backed by Google and other tech giants, was seeking rehearing of the Federal Circuit’s decision affirming some $500 million in damages to be paid by Samsung to Apple for design patent infringement. Hundreds of breathless reporters wondered whether Samsung would succeed in… Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Judicial Clerkship Experience

It is a wonderful experience to serve as law clerk to a judge. It’s fun to meet other law clerks, judges, and members of the bar. Clerks get to know each other in a variety of ways, forming friendships that can last a lifetime. Here is a photo from Archives Courtesy of Federal Circuit Historical Society showing the law … Continue Reading

Why Samsung will pay half billion to Apple for design patent infringement

In a saga of epic proportions, sprawling across the globe, Apple and Samsung have been duking it out over smartphone design and features. That’s billion, with a “B” District Judge Lucy Koh of California entered judgment in favor of Apple to the tune of… Continue Reading

Patent System under Attack: Interview with USPTO Director Michelle Lee

This morning, my fellow leaders of the Chicago Intellectual Property Law Association (IPLAC) and I met with Michelle K. Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and several of her fellow USPTO executives, including the impressive Dr. Christal Sheppard, Director of the Detroit Office. Director Lee has excellent qualifications. Unfortunately, as discussed below, … Continue Reading

Build Your Patent Portfolio: Preparation, Prosecution, Appeals

USPTO Alexandria HeadquartersAre you General Counsel, Patent/IP Counsel, or an executive of a company that owns valuable proprietary technology? If your company or your client files patent applications, you’re probably encountering rejections. You may be wondering how to deal with the cases at hand and how to improve your strategy, procedures and execution for preparation and prosecution of patent applications. … Continue Reading

Luck, Resources, Skill: In Basketball & Patent Cases

I write these words just hours before the Final Four—Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, and Wisconsin—contend for the NCAA basketball title. Luck, resources, or skill: Which factor is most important in basketball? In patent cases? In basketball, one counts on a bit of luck as the ball rolls around the rim. Talented players are the key resources. For skill, just look at the … Continue Reading

Inter Partes Review (IPR) of Patents

If you are asserting or defending against a patent, here are key points on “Inter Partes Review (IPR) of Patents” as presented to Chicago Bar Association. The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA) created new post-grant patent invalidation procedures including Inter Partes Review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in the U.S. Patent and Trademark … Continue Reading

Obtain Allowance of Software Patent under Alice and Guidelines

Last summer’s Supreme Court decision in Alice v. CLS Bank has had a dramatic effect on the patentability of business method and computer software inventions. In Alice, the Court declared that claims directed to abstract ideas must be analyzed under the framework for determining the patent subject matter it established in the Mayo  and Myriad cases. … Continue Reading

History and Future of U.S. Patent System

As I write these words, I am inspired and surrounded by original autographs of seven of America’s eight early presidents. Their signatures appear on 200-year old original patents displayed on the walls of my offices. See Beem Presidential Patent Collection. “If a country can be said to possess a soul, then America’s is the patent … Continue Reading
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