Asserting patent rights is a surreal endeavor these days. Two weeks ago, our team at Tabet DiVito & Rothstein was celebrating a key win for client Thales Visionix at the Federal Circuit. That same week, Andrei Iancu was confirmed as our new Director of the USPTO. (Welcome to the party, Andrei.)
Shout out to Gene Quinn for publishing my short piece in IPWatchdog this week on what we both feel is an important development at the Federal Circuit: two rulings within a week of each other vacating lower court determinations of patent ineligibility.
I’m optimistic about the court’s future approach to reviewing such decisions!
I love talking to inventors about protecting ideas.
But while I used to receive calls asking about the procedure for getting a patent, I no longer do. I fear it’s because inventors no longer believe patents are worthwhile.
I get it: if I were to get a call today, I couldn’t paint a rosy picture for would-be patentees. What do we say, today, to someone who calls to ask about patenting their invention? Who wants to file an infringement litigation? What if they ask how much it’s going to cost?
Once in a while, it’s fun to get creative about something you feel passionate about, and that’s how this “fairy tale” came to be. Over the course of the first three installments, the big and powerful B-Techs became frustrated when the New Innovators threatened their dominance, so they hatched a pernicious plan to bring down the pesky patentees.
You may already be following this “fairy tale”—an allegory that came to me during a Sunday morning at home. The first two installments introduced the big and powerful B-Techs, and their frustration when the New Innovators came on the scene to threaten their dominance. Now the fable continues, as the B-Techs strike back …
So, yes: I wrote “a fairy tale.” Well, sort of. As I noted in the “first installment” on Monday, a bunch of things came together all at once—including a Sunday morning when I had a little extra time. So I cued up this story of how the Behemoth Tech companies became big and powerful because of their imaginative use of chips. But as time passes, innovation can be hard to replicate.
“A fairy tale?” you ask. Well, yes. Because every once in a while, even though the work has piled up, you feel energized and spirited about something enough during breakfast on a Sunday morning that ideas just well up and the words spring onto the page. And if you have a couple of spritely, cheerful teenage daughters who occasionally read stories, narratives intersect and you just have a little fun with things. And that’s what happened here. So, a fairy tale … of a sort. And here goes.
In posts here on my blog on March 27 and April 3, I described how in Evolutionary Intelligence v. Sprint et al. the district court for the Northern District of California invalidated a valuable pair of what had been durable software patents—a decision that in February the Federal Circuit upheld.
Both courts erred in overlooking valid claims, although in the wake of the wacky Alice ruling, such a decision might not have been unexpected.
I have a hard time listening to Washington politicians these days. All I hear is obfuscation and finger-pointing. Nothing seems to get done. And while the finger-pointing seems worse than ever, the inability to get anything done is par for the course.
If neither Congress nor the President can provide results, how can we get this country back on track?
Please consider the below amicus request for support overturning an important section 101 decision at the Federal Circuit and thereby providing consistent guidance on what types of inventions are “abstract.”
Evolutionary Intelligence will be filing a combined petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc at the Federal Circuit on April 19, 2017. Amicus support would be due by May 3, 2017.