Friday, July 24, 2009
11th Cir.: No Bad Faith Intent to Profit in ACPA claim (and still no word as to whether the purchase of a Google AdWord is a "use in commerce")
Thursday, July 23, 2009
The agency has not issued a notice to pay the annual practitionier maintenance fee for FY2009, nor has it required payment of the fee by September 30, 2009. No decision has been made to collect the fee in FY2009.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
USPTO Takes Another Step Closer to Full Electronic Patent Application Processing
e-Office Action provides faster, more efficient notification to patent applicants
WASHINGTON - The Commerce Department’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced today the implementation of the e-Office Action program following a successful pilot project. Under the program, patent applicants receive an e-mail notification of office communications instead of paper mailings. An e-mail is sent to program participants when new office communications are available for viewing and downloading in Private PAIR, the patent application information retrieval system that allows applicants electronic access to the entire file history of their applications.
“We received very positive feedback from applicants who participated in the pilot program,” said Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Acting Director of the USPTO John Doll. “Not only have we dramatically reduced paper processing and mailing costs but also expedited notification allowing applicants to take full advantage of their time period for reply to an office action.”
The e-Office Action program minimizes the possibility of lost or delayed postal mail and makes it faster and more efficient for participants to process and docket USPTO communications in electronic format, thus reducing processing costs. During the pilot, participants were able to retrieve office communications several days faster than postal mail. Participants in the pilot program have also suggested several enhancements to the system which will be under consideration for future implementation as the IT infrastructure is strengthened.
Participation in the e-Office Action program is optional and open to any registered attorney or agent of record, or pro se inventor who is a named inventor, in a patent application associated with a customer number. Program participants also will have the flexibility to opt-out of the e-Office Action program at any time and return to receiving office communications through the postal mail.
The program includes provisional applications and non-provisional applications including utility, plant, design, and reissue applications and national stage applications. International applications, reexamination proceedings, and interference proceedings are not included in the program.
Full details are here.
The press release is here.
Because the EULA does not incorporate the web glossary by reference, and there is no evidence that any of the Plaintiffs even read the glossary, the court finds that the web glossary is not helpful to construing the provision. Furthermore, the court finds that Microsoft’s interpretation of “personally identifiable information,” in the absence of any definition, is the only reasonable interpretation. In order for “personally identifiable information” to be personally identifiable, it must identify a person. But an IP address identifies a computer, and can do that only after matching the IP address to a list of a particular Internet service provider’s subscribers. Thus, because an IP address is not personally identifiable, Microsoft did not breach the EULA when it collected IP addresses. Plaintiffs’ contract claim on that ground must fail.
Friday, July 10, 2009
In 1994, Larry Proctor purchased in Mexico a package of dry beans, which contained beans of various colors and varieties, including yellow beans, which he brought back to the United States. Over the next three years, he planted and harvested the beans and their producing plants.
One of ordinary skill in the art seeking to reproduce (and hopefully improve) the yellow beans that Proctor brought back from Mexico would have done what he did: plant the beans, harvest the resulting plants for their seeds, planting the latter seeds, and repeat the process two more times.There is no indication that in taking these steps, Proctor sought to provide beans of the particular narrow range of yellow that the claims specified. To the contrary, it appears that all Proctor was attempting to do was to reproduce the yellow beans he had acquired in Mexico, and hopefully to improve them.To do so, he followed normal and well-established agricultural methods and techniques for doing that. See KSR Int'l v. Teleflex, 550 U.S. 398, 418 ("a court can take account of the inferences and creative steps that a person of ordinary skill in the art would employ.")* * *In KSR, 550 U.S. at 421, the Supreme Court pointed out that "rigid preventative rules that deny fact finders recourse to common sense, however, are neither necessary under our case law nor consistent with it." To reject the Board's obviousness ruling here, would be to deny the Board that very "recourse to common sense" that the Supreme Court there warned against.