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New EPC Provisions: Payment of Renewal and Search Fees for Supplementary European Search

Two provisions of the European Patent Convention (EPC) will come into effect on April 1st, 2018. The first provision affects payment of the 3rd year renewal fee, the second provision affects the fee for the supplementary European search with some PCT applications.
The First Court Decision on GUI Design Patent Infringement in China

In the modern world, electronic devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones, have become indispensable in our lives.  Graphical User Interface (GUI) plays a significant role in promoting ease of use and visual attraction to users of the products, particularly electronic and software products.  
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IPR Motions to Amend - Basic Rules & Guidelines

A few short years ago, the AIA created inter partes review (IPR) proceedings.  Since their creation, IPRs have become an ever-popular way in which almost anyone can challenge the validity of a patent on certain grounds on the basis of printed publications.  Unlike district court litigation, where judges and juries decide questions of patent invalidity, in IPRs technically trained administrative patent judges in the United States Patent Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board decide whether challenged patent claims are unpatentable.
Prosecution Disclaimer Extends to Inter Partes Reviews

In Aylus Networks, Inc. v. Apple Inc., (Fed. Cir. May 11, 2017), the Federal Circuit confirmed that a patent owner's statements made during an inter partes review ("IPR") can be used to argue prosecution disclaimer.  This means that patent owners enforcing their patents must be even more aware of how their statements during an IPR can affect the scope of their claims and their litigation position.

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Teaching Away and Motivation to Combine

Late last year, the Federal Circuit issued an opinion in  ARCTIC CAT INC., Plaintiff-Appellee v. BOMBARDIER RECREATIONAL ("BRP") , providing a noteworthy discussion of requirements to show motivation and teaching away in the 103 context.  U.S. Patent Nos. 6,568,969 ("'969 patent") and 6,793,545 ("'545 patent") owned by Arctic Cat Inc. relate to a thrust steering system for personal watercrafts propelled by jet stream. The jury determined that BRP failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the claims at issue would have been obvious to a skilled artisan. BRP moved for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on obviousness, which the district court denied. On appeal, BRP argues that the district court erred in refusing to grant JMOL that the asserted claims would have been obvious in light of two existing systems from 1997 and 1998.
Subject Matter Patent Eligibility Update to Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP)

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published an update to the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) this past January 2018.  In particular, the update includes changes to various MPEP sections focused on substantive and procedural implementation of the Supreme Court patent eligibility test put forth in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int'l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014) (hereinafter "Alice test"), i.e., MPEP Sections 2103, 2104, 2105, 2106, and 2106.03 through 2106.07(c).   The MPEP update consists of a very thorough overview of recent case law regarding subject matter eligibility, while it also aggregates previous USPTO guidance that was only found in USPTO memoranda.

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