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One Night - Two Judges

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Chapter had a lively and informative meeting with two world IP policy makers, former Chief Federal Circuit Judges Randall Rader and Paul Michel. 

(Judge Michel and Judge Rader)

Judge Michel spoke first on the current state of the patent system, and the serious problems facing the patent community in obtaining patent rights, leveraging patent rights and enforcing patent rights.  He also spoke on current legislation and said that at present there were no anti-patent bills pending in Congress, and several Senators, including Coons, were favorable to improving the patent system.  One such bill is the STONGER act currently pending.  One big point was his indication of the downturn for patents being the eBay decision, where the Supreme Court removed the automatic injunction for patent infringement, leaving patentees without the major settlement tool.

Judge Rader then spoke seriously about the failure of the U.S. institutions to act according to the statutes, and instead undermine the patent system at every turn.  By contrast, China and other Asian countries are funding efforts to improve their patent systems, have far better prospects for the review and approval of critical technologies, and are thus providing a better platform for international companies desirous of obtaining strong patent rights, now being denied in the U.S. due to the failure of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit, district courts, the USPTO, the press and others.  In particular, the Chinese government and the courts there are providing a viable alternative for innovators, an alarming yet ever-growing concern for the U.S.

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Evening with the Father of the Internet

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Washington, D.C. Chapter held an engaging event on July 16, 2018 with Vint Cert, Father of the Internet.

Vint Cerf is the Father of the Internet.  He and Robert Kahn developed the framework for the Internet, i.e., the hardware networking on networks such as the ARPANET, and a packet switch protocol, TCP for Transmission Control Protocol, to enable packets of data to be transmitted between nodes of the networks.  With this paradigm in place, the Internet grew and exploded in the early 1990s.  Dr. Cerf went on to win the prestigious Turning Prize, the Nobel Price for Computer Science, and is now the Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. 

At the meeting, Dr. Cerf spoke about the various challenges he faced in the design and implementation of the Internet.  The audience was rapt listening to his tech tales.  He later answered many questions, including one about Google’s AI work, which he said was going to be job disruptive but not Terminator time.   Chapter Chair, Ray Van Dyke, a former computer scientist who was on the ARPANET, brought this opportunity to the Chapter.

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Updates from the Commissioner for Patents

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Washington, D.C. Chapter held an engaging event on March 15, 2018 with Andrew Hirshfeld, Commissioner of Patents.

After introductory comments from the LES DC Chapter Chair, Raymond Van Dyke, Commissioner Hirshfeld spoke on a number of initiatives of the United States Patent & Trademark Office, and mentioned that he leads about 10,000 employees, i.e., 8,165 examiners, 183 design examiners, and staff.

The first initiative discussed was pendency, where the first action pendency for 2017 was 16.3 months (with the target being 15.5 months).  The target for 2018 is 15.4 months, and a total pendency of 25 months.  Commissioner Hirshfeld expressed a goal to bring first action pendency down to 14 months to better align with the statutory limit of 14 months under the Patent Term Adjustment timeframe.

Commissioner Hirshfeld then discussed the Office’s tacking of the over 600,000 applications filed last year, where 450,000 were new applications, i.e., not continuations or divisionals.  He then spoke about the decrease in the growth rate of the application filings from 3-4% several years ago to 1% or so more recently.  Last year, however, the filings increased 3.1% and in 2018 the filing rate has increased to roughly 4.2% as of this date.  The only art unit down was business methods.  Examiner attrition is roughly 4%, and 350 new examiners have been hired.

He then spoke of the Office’s installation of new technologies to better capture the variety of information inherent in the operations of the Examiner corps, and the Office’s ongoing efforts to better mine this data to increase efficiency and productivity.  For example, the various examiner reviews are being combined into a Master Review format for better analysis, and over 12,000 new reviews are planned for 2018.  All of these individual and group reviews will allow better granularity for assessments on quality and possibilities for improvement.   Further efforts include Examiner Training, as well as free training for new practitioners and the inventor community.

Regarding patent practice, Commissioner Hirshfeld encouraged more use of the Interview Request procedures, which would also help the Office better measure the interview process and the success of the new procedures to facilitate interviews and allowances.  Last year there were 22,000 such requests, representing roughly 8% of all pending applications.  He said about 90% of these interviews were over the phone, but encouraged the use of video to better facilitate communication.

 Also, he discussed the Office’s efforts to better provide relevant art to examiners.  Through ongoing IT endeavors, the references in related cases are being promulgated to the examiners, with future efforts to widen the production of relevant materials to the examiners for their review.  Although the Global Dossier is useful for many, the Office is having issues integrating this into the examiner review process.  

Finally, through various partnership meetings, 12 or so over the past year, the Office is continuing to work with the public on current issues.

Commissioner Hirshfeld then addressed a variety of questions from the attendees, including the Office’s excitement over the appointment and confirmation of the new Director, Andrei Iancu.

Raymond Van Dyke, Andrew Hirshfeld, Lori Morrison, Thomas Wiseman


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Patent Damages Symposium

Posted By Dana Whitley, Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Washington, D.C. Chapter held an engaging event on February 23, 2017, on advanced topics and current issues in patent damages.  

The panel of experts included Dr. Jennifer Vanderhart of Analytics Research Group; Dr. Robert Vigil of Analysis Group, Inc.; Stephen Holzen of Stout Risius Ross, Inc.; Krista Holt of GreatBridge Consulting, Inc.; and moderator Raymond Van Dyke, LES Washington, D.C. Chapter Chair and Founder of Van Dyke Law.  

The event was attended by LES President, Brian O'Shaughnessy, and supported by members of the LES Washington, D.C. Chapter Advisory Council: Jennifer Vanderhart, Dan Bucca, and Thomas Wiseman.

Raymond Van Dyke, Hon. Paul Michel, Jennifer Vanderhart, Dan Bucca, Thomas Wiseman, Brian O'Shaughnessy

The panel spoke on various damages topics and engaged in a dynamic roundtable discussion that encouraged and included considerable attendee participation.  In addition to recent developments in design patent damages and extraterritoriality, the panel addressed continuing developments in apportionment, the entire market value rule, and other issues. 

The session also discussed the application of the "Book of Wisdom," as well as the use of econometrics, citation data and survey evidence in damages calculations.  Dr. Vanderhart introduced the audience to econometrics terms such as multicollinearity and heteroskedasticity.

Jennifer Vanderhart

Judge Michel spoke about the ongoing assault on the patent system and the influences of lobbyists on our legislators, who are overwhelmed and somewhat confused by patent reform and unfamiliar with the unintended consequences of the America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA).  

Another serious side effect from the AIA is the devaluation of patents and the undermining of startup companies relying on their intellectual property.  Judge Michel encouraged the audience members to become advocates and do what they can to keep the patent system from further deteriorating.

Podium: Krista Holt
Panel: Ryan Morris, Robert Vigil, Jennifer Vanderhart, Steven Holzen

The D.C. Chapter thanks the speakers, the attendees, and the event host, Sidley & Austin, for their involvement and support of this event and the LES Washington, D.C. Chapter.

Tags:  chapter_event  damages  patent  washington 

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