As posted in a recent United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) notice, the USPTO has recently launched a pilot program allowing maintenance fee reminder and expiration notices to be emailed. To participate in the program, a person must opt in and maintain at least one active email address with the USPTO. In general, for a utility patent, maintenance fees are due to the USPTO at 3.5, 7.5, and 11.5 years after the patent issue date. If the applicable maintenance fee is not paid by the corresponding date (or within six months thereafter along with a surcharge) the patent is… Read more »

On April 24, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge by a computer scientist, Stephen Thaler, to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) refusal to issue patents for inventions his artificial intelligence system created. Reuters writes that the Court turned away his appeal of a lower court’s ruling that patents can be issued only to human inventors and that his AI system could not be considered the legal creator of two inventions that he has said it generated. Previously, the USPTO and a federal judge in Virginia rejected his patent applications for the inventions on the… Read more »

Effective April 18, 2023, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is implementing electronic patent issuance. Per the USPTO announcement, the USPTO will issue electronic patent grants (eGrants) through Patent Center, the USPTO’s electronic patent application filing and management system, which includes patent document viewing. As a result, patent grants will no longer be issued on paper, and will no longer be mailed to the correspondence address of record. Instead, the patentee will be able to view and print the complete issued patent from Patent Center immediately upon issue. Furthermore, the USPTO states, that during a transition period, the USPTO… Read more »

In this case, the issue of “what standard for indefiniteness should the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) apply to pre-issuance claims” was raised.  The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) had held that the applied-for patent claims of Mr. Packard were indefinite, and therefore not in compliance with the statutory drafting requirements of 35 U.S.C. § 112(b), which provide that the specification conclude with “one or more claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming” the subject matter of the invention.”  The Federal Circuit affirmed the rejection of Mr. Packard’s claims. Representative claims 28, 29, and 34 are shown below:… Read more »

Note that occasionally, we will post a “Case Law Rewind” article.  These articles revisit decisions that may have issued some time ago, but we felt were important enough to revisit for discussion on our News page. In CyberSource, with regard to an Internet commerce patent, the Fed. Circuit invalidated both a method claim and the “Beauregard claim” that was directed to a computer readable medium (CRM) containing program instructions to carry out the method. The method was directed to detecting fraudulent credit card purchases made using the internet to, e.g., detect that multiple card numbers had been used to make purchases… Read more »