Patents

The Evolution of Patent-Agent Privilege

By: Matthew Welch, Summer Blogger

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seal_of_the_United_States_Patent_and_Trademark_Office.svgAttorney-client privilege is the keystone of the legal system that has been in place since the inception of the United States.  This privilege protects confidential communications between an attorney and his or her client. The purpose, put forth by the courts, for allowing these communications to be protected is that it “encourage[s] full and frank communication between attorneys and their clients.”  Thus, without this protection, clients would be less than forthcoming since all communications with their attorneys could potentially be used against them in future litigation.  However, a problem has arisen over the years regarding a specific application of attorney-client privilege.  That problem is patent-agent privilege.     Continue reading »

Tesla’s Environmentally-Friendly Image may be Tarnished by Legally-Unfriendly Disputes

Tesla Motors

By: Nathaniel Reiff, Summer Blogger

As today’s consumer seeks new and innovative ways to save money and preserve the environment, it may be a while until they achieve this objective with the cars they drive. Tesla Inc., the American international corporation renowned for its electric vehicle production, has been hit with a score of lawsuits that could put the energy-giant in a nasty predicament.

Last October, shareholders filed a securities fraud lawsuit claiming Tesla gave false public statements about the progress of producing its Model 3 sedan. The complaint identifies that shareholders bought “artificially inflated” shares of Tesla because Elon Musk, Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer, and other executives misled them with such statements. Tesla counters that since the vehicle was “the first of its kind,” the company had experienced numerous “bottlenecks.” The company said it provided the shareholders in “frank and in plain language” that the challenges the company faced with the Model 3 derived from problems with the battery module process at its Nevada Gigafactory to general assembly at its Fremont plant. Continue reading »

Employee Tracking: How to Balance Business Efficiency and the Right to Privacy

By: Christopher Lewis *| Staff Writer

By Rama (Own work) [CeCILL (http://www.cecill.info/licences/Licence_CeCILL_V2-en.html) or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Rama (Own work) [CeCILL (http://www.cecill.info/licences/Licence_CeCILL_V2-en.html) or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

With the advent of new technology, privacy concerns are becoming an increasingly hot topic of debate in many different forms. People across the globe are becoming more cognizant of the personal right to privacy and are working to protect it; however, other factions believe that technological advances and the integration of life and technology are worth the loss in privacy rights. Some believe that it is only a matter of time before we fall into the dystopian worlds that George Orwell and Ray Bradbury, respectfully, espoused in 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. Continue reading »

Spring 2018 Symposium: Intellectual Property & Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization

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The Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law present its Spring Symposium:

Intellectual Property and Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization 

The Symposium is being held, today, Friday, February 2, 2018, from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm at the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter (Biotech Place). This year’s event will look at medical patents, bioethics and the intellectual property implications of medical technology.

MORNING SESSION

Overview of Regenerative Medicine, Role of Law, & Bioethics

Keynote Speakers: Julie Watson and Dr. John D. Jackson

Julie Watson, Chief Legal Counsel for the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the Wake Forest School of Medicine, opened the Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law Symposium by introducing the first speaker of the day, Dr. John D. Jackson. Dr. Jackson, an associate professor at the Institute since 2010, began the day’s events by explaining the technical components of the Institute.

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A General Overview of the Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law’s Symposium: “Intellectual Property and Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization”

By Justfixingawrongnumber (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Justfixingawrongnumber (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law will be hosting its spring symposium,  “Intellectual Property and Medical Technology: From Creation to Commercialization,” beginning at 8:30 a.m. this Friday, February 2, 2018, in the Wake Forest Biotech Place Atrium at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Medical patents, the intersection of bioethics and the law, and the venture capitalist-side of regenerative medicine are among some of the topics to be discussed at this year’s symposium. This blog post is meant to provide a brief overview of bioethics and venture capitalists of medical devices.

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Native American Tribe Makes Huge Gamble in Patents Litigation

By: Jamie Burchette *| Staff Writer

By Xasartha (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Xasartha (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Native American tribes were sovereign nations long before Europeans arrived in America. Eventually, European settlers pushed Native American tribes into smaller and smaller pieces of land and their sovereign power was weakened. While the Native American tribes’ existence as an independent nation was recognized in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, the U.S. Government’s treatment of the Native American tribes was less than respectful. Native Americans continued to lose their land and have their culture attacked. Things changed, somewhat, with the introduction of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The U.S. Government recognized the Native American’s tribal sovereignty and stopped taking Native American land.

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The New Battlefield: Regular and Established Place of Business

By: Gilbert Smolenski *| Guest Writer

https://pixabay.com/en/sacramento-california-old-1591355/

Under the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b), venue is proper: (1) where a defendant resides or (2) where a defendant has committed an act of infringement and has a regular and established place of business. From 1990 until May 22, 2017, “resides” was interpreted by the Federal Circuit to take on the same meaning as “resides” in § 1391(c). Therefore, so long as the court had personal jurisdiction over the defendant, venue was proper. On May 22, 2017, however, the United States Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit in TC Heartland v. Kraft Food Group Brands, holding that “resides” refers only to the state of incorporation for domestic corporations. This reasserted the Supreme Court’s earlier interpretation of “resides” from Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirre Products Corp., and consequently opened the door to a new battlefield for patent litigation, specifically the meaning of “regular and established place of business.”

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Rock Band Disrupts Intellectual Property Law

By: Andrew Homer *| Guest Writer

By This image or media was taken or created by Matt H. Wade. To see his entire portfolio, click here. @thatmattwade     This image is protected by copyright! If you would like to use it, please read this first. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By This image or media was taken or created by Matt H. Wade. To see his entire portfolio, click here. @thatmattwade This image is protected by copyright! If you would like to use it, please read this first. (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court recently ruled that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) cannot deny the registration of a trademark because some may find the mark disparaging or offensive. The case that led to the ruling, Matal v. Tam, upended a 70-year-old tradition of federal trademark law found in 15 U.S.C. §1052 (a) and commonly named the disparagement clause. The Court holding that the disparagement clause is unconstitutional will have broad reaching effects to other aspects of intellectual property law and the nature of the corporation.

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Lexmark: A Closer Look at the Patent Exhaustion Doctrine when Articles are Sold Outside the U.S.

By: Katherine Escalante*| Staff Writer

https://pixabay.com/en/printer-ink-toner-technology-print-933098/On March 21, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Lexmark International, Inc. v. Impression Products, Inc. relating to the doctrine of patent exhaustion. While the opinion is not yet available, the Supreme Court’s decision is expected to become a pivotal decision on the application of the patent exhaustion doctrine. The Supreme Court will review the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision finding: “(1) the first sale doctrine does not apply to patented articles sold subject to restrictions . . .; and (2) the first sale doctrine does not apply to patented articles sold outside of the United States.”

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The Potential End to Chevron Deference – An Avenue for Changing the USPTO’s Broadest Claim Interpretation Standard

By: Katherine Escalante*| Staff Writer

https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2016-5-31%20PTAB.pdf

*Data current as of: 5/31/2016

Many questions are looming with the recent passing of the bill in the United States House of Representatives (“House”) aimed at ending agencies’ judicial deference in promulgating rules.  The Regulatory Accountability Act was passed by the House on January 11, 2017.  If passed by the Senate, the bill would legislatively repeal the Chevron deference doctrine that gives deference to federal agencies interpretations when evaluating federal rules and regulations.  A principle that has been the foundation of judicial review of statutory interpretation by administrative proceedings since 1984.  The name comes from a Supreme Court case, Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., in which the Court held that deference would be given to agency interpretations, unless the interpretation was found unreasonable.  Continue reading »