Category Archives: Validity

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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

How Young Turks Can Help Build Your IP Portfolio

37th Vodafone Istanbul Marathon 2015Are you protecting your company’s patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property (IP) internationally? If not, you’re missing out! The Young Turks of IP, literally in Turkey and figuratively elsewhere, can help you to advance your company’s business interests through better, stronger IP protection. Here’s what’s at stake, with 7 tips on how and when to protect your … 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

Billion Dollar Lego Patent

Lego logo on boxFifty-eight years ago today, Kirk Godtfred of Lego filed his patent application on the basic building block, literally, of Lego’s billion dollar private fortune. Now, here’s the thing: A patent filed 58 years ago is long expired. The then-standard-17-year term ended in 1978. So how is it that Lego is still the only game in town?… Continue Reading

What should you patent?

WheelhouseIn this part 2 of a series on 4 W’s of patent, we will consider the what of patent, specifically, the reasons to focus on patenting inventions that are “in your wheelhouse.” In this article, we will address three “what” questions: What is a patent? What kinds of inventions should you patent? (Are they in your … 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

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

Beem Asks USPTO for Better Quality Patent Examination

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has proposed a new patent quality initiative. See Director’s Blog and Federal Register. In response, I have submitted a formal comment, Tracking Number 1jz-8ipa-7jnk, as set forth below. I contend that any discussion of quality patents should take into account the need for… Continue Reading

Fear of Patents Incited by Lobbyists

Patent law promotes the progress of technology by rewarding inventors who patent their inventions. From the beginning, the Constitution empowered Congress to pass a Patent Act, and President George Washington called for it in his first State of the Union address. Congress acted affirmatively in 1790, with periodic updates ever since. As Abraham Lincoln said, the patent system adds … 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

#HIMSS15 Health IT, IP & Software Patent

As I write these words, I stand among 41,000 health information technology (HIT) professionals gathered in Chicago for  HIMSS15. As an intellectual property (IP) lawyer, I am here because my clients are here. If you’re at HIMSS15, you are probably engaged in electronic health records (EHR) software, hardware and/or medical devices. Your organization is likely to be active … 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

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

Teva v. Sandoz: Lessons for Patent Owners & Counsel

In Teva v. Sandoz, 574 U.S. __, No. 13-854 (slip op. Jan. 20, 2015), the Supreme Court held that “evidentiary underpinnings” such as expert testimony considered by a trial court in construing patent claims can be reversed on appeal only upon a showing of “clear error,” even while the intrinsic record and the ultimate legal … Continue Reading
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