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Fieldfisher Seminar Review: Alice v CLS Bank

photo-3rAs noted earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending Fieldfisher’s recent Patent Experts Seminar on 10th July. The seminar comprised contributions from guest speakers including Frank L. Bernstein from Kenyon & Kenyon LLP in the US who spoke to the issue of Alice v CLS Bank (Alice v. CLS Bank: Through the Looking Glass, or Through a Glass Darkly?). (more…)

Top 10 Points from Patent Developments and Case Law in the US in 2013

cipalogoFollowing on from last year’s guest posts from Suleman Ali of Holly IP and K2 about top 10 points from UK Court Decisions and top 10 points from EPO case law in 2013 we now have Suleman’s post regarding developments in the US in 2013. This post was originally posted on the Holly IP blog and is reproduced with the permission of the author.

These points are from a talk held at CIPA on 27 November 2013 given to UK Patent Attorneys. (more…)

When is a backlog not a backlog? Joint UK IPO/USPTO research paper published

This is not a pile of paperwork according to the IPO, it's an "inventory"

This is not a pile of paperwork according to the IPO, it’s an “inventory”

The UK IPO and USPTO last week published a working draft report on their joint research effort into the thorny issue of patent backlogs.  The UK IPO’s research group ERE has a post about it on their IPO Facto blog.

Before you stifle your yawn, it’s worth noting that the report contains a few unexpected additions to the debate.   The first is re-naming “backlogs” as inventories or stocks of applications – they sound better already!


Is standardisation always a good thing in patents?

The EPO and USPTO have announced  triumphantly that they have completed the Herculean task of creating a consolidated patent classification scheme that provides up to 250,000 individual definitions for areas of science and technology. This project has been the result of several years’ work to harmonise the previously divergent technical classification systems used in the US and Europe to assist patent examiners in prior art searching and examination of patent applications. In essence, every patent application filed is assessed by an examiner and allocated one or often several classifications that cover the technologies used in the invention. Until now different classification strategies were used by the US and Europe often resulting in divergence in the outcomes of patent prior art searching. The intention of the project, called the cooperative patent classification scheme (CPC), according to EPO President Benoit Battistelli, is to “…align our patent procedures more closely and deliver major efficiency gains”. The Director of the USPTO, David Kappos, is perhaps a little more pragmatic about the benefits stating the new scheme is needed to “…eliminate duplication of work between the two Offices”. In fact it represents another step towards global harmonisation of the patent system which would allow applicants to avoid the current process of prosecuting patent applications according to divergent standards in different countries. Surely from a cost perspective this has to be a good thing, right?