Archive for December, 2021

Seminar Topic Suggestion

Friday, December 31st, 2021

by Bill Vobach

It appears that the USPTO currently designates about 101 opinions of the Board as precedential. There are also a good number of informative opinions. It occurs to me that an interesting seminar topic (e.g., for a Strafford program) might be summarizing the more interesting of these opinions, particularly the ones that apply to every day prosecution issues. There’s an amazing number of precedential opinions directed to interferences — so, one could drop those out of the mix. Similarly, there are so many directed to AIA proceedings that they could form their own seminar. But, it would be interesting to see a seminar that touches on the remaining important cases relating to prosecution.

One example might be Ex parte Smith, et al.

Hyperlinks to Patents in Federal Circuit Opinions

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

by Bill Vobach

Do you find it a little bit annoying that the Federal Circuit does not provide hyperlink(s) to the PTO website for the patent(s) at issue in a case? How often do you begin reading a Federal Circuit opinion (from the Federal Circuit website) with a limited reproduction of the claims and feel the need to review the patent for yourself? Pretty often, I would guess. Yet, the Federal Circuit does not take the simple step of hyperlinking the patent number in an opinion to the USPTO database. I’m not entirely sure why this is. If the hyperlink “rots” at some point down the road, it is not a big deal as the patent number is still in the opinion.

In the past, I have wondered if the reason for not doing so was that the Federal Circuit did not want to endorse the PTO website version as being an authentic version of the patent right. Preferring, instead, to rely on the “ribbon copy” version. With the USPTO announcing that it is contemplating electronic patent issuance [Link to Federal Register Notice], let’s hope that the Federal Circuit might begin adding hyperlinks for patents in its opinions. Maybe in a footnote they could even add a hyperlink to the patent file history in Public PAIR, as well!


Update 1/1/2022:

Consider using the Perma CC service from the Harvard Library system to establish a permanent link for your sources or articles: [Link].

Arthrex CLE

Tuesday, December 21st, 2021

by Bill Vobach

I was tickled to see that the SMU Dedman School of Law’s Tsai Center for Law, Science, and Innovation has posted to its YOUTUBE channel some of the panels from its Fall 2021 Symposium on patent law. Below is the panel discussion of the Supreme Court’s opinion in Arthrex:

I was interested to hear Professor Sheppard’s comments about the low morale of some of the PTAB judges and the shenanigans that take place if a PTAB judge does not “play ball.” You can find that discussion around the 35:20-37:36 mark of the video.

I believe the article mentioned near the end of the video about patent examiner cohorts is available at this [Link].

As an aside, have you ever noticed that if you get three IP professors together for a round table discussion, it seems to be a race to see which one can use the phrase “ex ante” the first or the most. And usually the more “ex ante’s” there are, the more boring the discussion. Well, good news. No “ex ante’s” in this one, as far as I could tell.