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Thinking About Patents

Patent Law Blog

Reviewing the complex area of patent law.

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Jul 02, 2021

Challenging the Validity of a Patent: The Supreme Court Minerva Decision

The Supreme Court of the United States recently held in the case of Minerva Surgical, Incorporated v. Hologic, Incorporated that the doctrine of assignor estoppel (a rule that prevents people who assign their patents to a company from then challenging the validity of their patent) is alive and well, but subject to certain important exceptions. » Read More

Mar 12, 2021

Patenting Recipes – Recipe for Disaster or Sweet Reward

According to the U.S. patenting courts, “new recipes or formulas for cooking food which involve the addition or elimination of common ingredients, or for treating them in ways which differ from the former practice, do not amount to invention merely because … no one else ever did the particular thing upon which the applicant asserts his right to a patent.”  » Read More

Mar 04, 2019

Supernus: Delays Out of the Applicant’s Hands Are Not Applicant Delays

The term of a U.S. patent is typically twenty years.  However, the patent term can be altered as a result of certain Patent Office delays (patent term adjustment) and certain regulatory delays (patent term extensions).  For the former, the Patent Office will adjust the term on a day‑for‑day basis: one day of delay results in one day of adjustment.  » Read More

Feb 11, 2019

Developing IP Strategy for FDA-Regulated Drug Products Requires Special Considerations

Despite the widely diverging needs of the different industries that make use of the US patent system, US patent law applies essentially the same rules to innovations from all technology fields. This means that drug and biotechnology-based inventions are treated no differently by the U.S. » Read More

Nov 30, 2018

Patents and Cannabis

Patentability

The position of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on trademarks for cannabis-related goods and services is discussed in my colleague’s blog post, “Trademark Registration for Cannabis Trademark Owners a Legal Haze.”

Unlike in the case of trademarks, patentability of cannabis-related products and processes is much more clear-cut. » Read More

Oct 19, 2018

Calculating Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) – An Overview

As discussed in our previous post, Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) under 35 U.S.C. §154(b) and Patent Term Extension (PTE) under 35 U.S.C. §156 provide for extensions on the standard patent term, which can be very valuable for products that have long development and/or regulatory approval lifecycles, such as in the case of pharmaceuticals. » Read More

Jul 16, 2018

When Will My Patent Expire? – Calculating Your Patent Term – A Review

The term of a patent defines the time during which the patent is in force and infringing activities may be acted upon.

Factors to Consider for Patent Term Calculations

The standard term of U.S. patents (other than design patents) issued from applications filed on or after June 8, 1995, is defined by the “twenty-year term,” which is subject to adjustment due to various factors:

  • type of application (utility, design, plant);
  • filing date of the application;
  • issue (grant) date of the patent;
  • benefit claims under 35 U.S.C.
» Read More

Jul 03, 2018

“Commensurate in Scope with the Claims”: Misphrased?

If you’ve been prosecuting patents for any significant length of time, you’ve probably been hit with the objection that your data, while surprising and unexpected, are not “commensurate in scope with your claims.” Maybe you have some understanding of what this phrase means. » Read More