Introducing Osha Liang's new managing partner, Jeffrey Bergman.

Software Specially Designed To Automate the Analysis of Geospatial Imagery Added to U.S. Export
Control List

On January 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced an interim final rule pertaining to "software specially designed to automate the analysis of geospatial imagery." Software falls under this regulation when it: 1) "provides a graphical user interface" where a user indicates "positive and negative samples of an object of interest, 2) uses "scale, color, and rotational normalization of the positive samples" to reduce pixel variation, 3) "trains a Deep Convolutional Neural Network to detect the object of interest from the positive and negative samples," and 4) "identifies objects in geospatial imagery using the trained Deep Convolutional Neural Network." Going forward, export of technology including such software will require an export license from the Department. This new license requirement may impact patenting procedures for certain software and computer-implemented inventions.
Petition Denied: The United States Supreme Court Refuses to Reconsider Patent Eligibility Jurisprudence

On January 13, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in three pending cases: Athena Diagnostics, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative  (19-430), HP Inc. v. Berkheimer (18-415), Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. v. Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (18-817). These three cases were likely the best opportunity for the Supreme Court to reconsider their holding in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int'l, 573 U.S. 208 (2014) for many years. Following these denials, the Supreme Court is unlikely to address substantive standards for patent-eligibility in the immediate future, and thus Congress is now left with the task of fixing the resulting confusion prevalent among the lower courts.    


One unanticipated thing I've learned is that careers often go in directions one would have never imagined. I'm glad to report, however, that the unexpected path has been filled with more enjoyment than I ever could have dreamed. And none of the steps have ultimately been wasted, each one making a subsequent one possible.

Briefly, my career path began with teaching physics and mathematics at the secondary school level. Along the way, I earned a doctorate degree in physics with the intention of teaching at the college level. A glut of like-minded physicists from both the U.S. and abroad convinced me to continue my magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research with medical imaging at a national research center. 

An unexpected departure of my research supervisor led to an opportunity to join a world-leading research facility in the oil and gas industry, where my career developed to include other measurement modalities beyond nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and petrophysical analysis of live-streamed oilfield data. More recently, I've moved from being an inventor seeking patents to a patent practitioner working to help clients protect their intellectual property. And so, I arrived at Osha Liang.
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The New Year Gift from CNIPA: Amendments to Patent Examination Guidelines

The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) on the very last day of 2019 sent out to the IP community its new year gift - an official announcement of the amendments to the Patent Examination Guidelines to be effective as of February 1, 2020. The amendments are focused on guidance regarding examination of computer-implemented inventions, in particular, inventions containing algorithm features or business rule and method features.

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