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MoFo Tech A blog dedicated to information, trend spotting & analysis for science- & tech-based companies

Tag Archives: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)

Seeds Worth More than Gold

Plant Breeders are Learning the Value of Protecting Their Inventions Agricultural espionage: it’s not exactly the stuff of John le Carré novels. But recently a Chinese woman was charged in a plot to steal U.S. corn technology. Among her alleged techniques: smuggling bioengineered corn seed in boxes of microwave popcorn packed in luggage to Beijing,… Continue Reading

Patent Quality: Shining Through

A New Review Process Shows the Importance of a Good Application The newly available procedure for challenging patent validity known as inter partes review, or IPR, is forcing patent players to raise their game—from application through litigation. More than 800 petitions for IPR— many more than the Patent Office itself had expected—have been filed since… Continue Reading

No Patent for You

Patent eligibility restrictions hit life sciences and tech After years of issuing rulings limiting what can be patented, the Supreme Court turned its attention squarely toward patent eligibility in the life sciences and technology fields. Overturning a 30-year practice by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office of awarding patents on isolated DNA sequences, the court… Continue Reading

One-Two Punch

Stop imitators by combining design patents and trade dress Design patents have gained popularity in recent years among inventors looking to protect their market share.  But they shouldn’t forget trade dress–the distinctive physical appearance or packaging of a product–as a way to ward off copycats as well, says Morrison & Foerster partner Jennifer Lee Taylor. … Continue Reading

Call the Patent Police!

Time to monitor competitors’ filings More companies will likely begin closely monitoring their competitors’ patent filings with the aim of opposing them under new procedures established by the America Invents Act, which went into full effect on March 16. The sweeping patent reform legislation—under which the U.S. switches to a first-to-file from a first-to-invent system—also… Continue Reading

Patent Reform: The Process Is New, But Is It Improved?

In 2011, the sweeping patent reform legislation sought to reduce litigation by creating a new process for challenging patent validity. But the new process will look more like litigation than the old process, says Matthew Kreeger, chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Patent Interferences Group. Under the old opposition proceedings, challenges were decided by U.S. Patent & Trademark Office patent examiners based on the parties’… Continue Reading

Patent Pending: Shifts in patent law, and their impact extend beyond the America Invents Act

Once upon a time, patents were supposed to reward—and protect—innovation. That was before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (or PTO) got snowed under with applications, slowing the patent process to a crawl.  Before the PTO started issuing streams of patents that many viewed as vague and overly broad.  And before so-called nonpracticing entities, or… Continue Reading

FAQs: The America Invents Act

Could the America Invents Act help reduce the backlog of patents pending before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office? The PTO has long suffered from budgetary shortfalls, resulting in a backlog of some 670,000 applications.  The AIA gives the PTO the right to boost its fees and keep at least some of its own funding. … Continue Reading

Could seaweed be the ideal biofuel source?

For decades, biofuel companies have turned to food crops, especially corn, to make the bioethanol that is added to gasoline to power trucks and cars. But the resulting price pressures on food, coupled with the large tracts of land needed to produce the fuel in a meaningful way, has led to a hunt for next-generation… Continue Reading