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Intellectual Property
University of Pennsylvania School of Law
Abrams, David S.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Introduction to IP
 Spring 2010
 
Trade Secrets                                                                                                                                                                                         2
Patents                                                                                                                                                                                                          3
Copyright                                                                                                                                                                                                 22
Trademarks                                                                                                                                                                                           42
Philosophy of IP                                                                                                                                                                                  55
IP & Economics                                                                                                                                                                                       56
 
 
Trade Secrets
 
A. Introduction, proper subject matter, and reasonable efforts to maintain secrecy
Text 33-57
 
Mettalurgical – Reveal for economic gain and not lose protection so long as you don’t make it general knowledge
Raum & Hauss – Has to be known not just knowable (matters how you get the TS)
                            – Restatement View
Rockwell v. DEV Industries – Factors to Consider on how to determine reasonable    efforts to protect TS
 
B. Disclosure and misappropriation
Text 58-79
 
Misappropriation Defined
Dupont v. Christopher  – What improper means are (plane over factory)
Smith v. Dravo – Confidential Relationships (Shipping Box)
Proper Means  – Reverse Engineering etc.
Patents
 
I.    INTRODUCTION
 
A.   Historical Bkgd
1.   Const art I, §8, cl. 8: “to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries”
2.   Patent Statute = 35 USC et seq, first passed in 1790
3.   most recently revised in 1952
4.   1982 passed Federal Courts Improvement Act, creating the new Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) – °function to hear all appeals involving patents
 
B.   Theories of Patent Law
 
1.   Purely Utilitarian / Incentives: Inventions are public goods that are costly to make and difficult to control once they’re released à w/o patent protection not enuf incentive to invest in creating, developing, and marketing new products
2.   Incentives for what?
a.    Invention and investment
b.    Documentation – promotes disclosure
c.    Commercialization – the way to make money off of a patent is to commercialize it, doing something w/the invention, helps distribute the benefits of the idea to all
d.   Investment in R&D
e.    Design around – ppl get blocked from inventing their mouse trap, so they are forced to build a different maybe better mouse trap
3.   What are the costs of granting patents
a.    Impedes follow up research, restrain innovation. Can’t take someone’s innovation and build upon it b/you may infringe upon their work
4.   Why not simply subsidize invention/innovation directly?
a.    Gov’t sponsorship of research
b.    Cash reward for inventive activity
 
C.   Requirements for Patentability (4)
 
1.   Not subject to a statutory bar §101
2.   Novelty: has not been preceded in indentical form §102
3.   Nonobviousness: §103
4.   Fully disclosed: §112 so that one “skilled in the art” of the invention can read and understand the inventor’s contribution
5.   W/in the appripriate subject matter
6.   Useful (utility req)
7.   Note: 
a.    validity analysis
i.     during prosecution by USPTO “examiners”
ii.    during enforcement phase, defense of I by courts.. but, “presumption of validity”
 
D.   Rights Conferred by a Patent
1.   “claims” are the heart of patent law – they define the legal boundaries of the P right that the patent confers
2.   patent confers the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the claimed invention for a specific # of yrs.
3.   20yrs from the date the application was filed
 
II.    PROCEDURE FOR GETTING A PATENT
 
A.   Basic Parts of a Patent
1.   specification
a.    front page
b.    abstract
c.    written description
i.     description of technical field
ii.    bkgd of the invention
iii.   summary of the invention
iv. detailed description of the invention
d.   drawings
e.    claims
i.     basis of patent – define the scope of the invention, and rights ensuing
ii.    usu put broadest claims first, then qualify in a series of dependent claims
2.   why not claim the drawings? Text is more specific; drawings may not capture what the patent is actually for
3.   he’s really stressing the patent – study it’s form
 
B.   Structure of the US Patent System
 
1.   2 Distinct Phases
 
a.    prosecution phase (aka examination)
i.     adminstrative agency (USPTO)
(1)rejection of most claims = most common PTO action upon intial review = (often on the grnds of lack of novelty or nonobviousness)
(a)Examiner has burden of showing why it was rejected
(b)Applicant can either contest the rejection or give into it
(c)General applications can be amended liberally during prosecution
(i) Often in response to rejections
(ii)Correct mistakes
(iii)                Add/change drawings
(2)Final rejection: applicant can respond via a Continuation or Amendment after Final Rejection
(a)Continuation application retains the benefit of the initial application’s filing date
 
ii.    end: an “issued patent” enables enforcement phase
(1)Around 90% of all applications eventually result in a patent
(2)Internal procedural incentives to issue patents
 
b.    enforcement phase
i.     private actions (civil suits, enforced by patentees)
ii.    litigation under federal law
(1)where? 28 USC §1338; 28 USC §1295
(a)where the infringement occurs
(b)any US district court, limited by personal jurisdiction – need PJ over both parties .. opens the door for a good bit of forum shopping
(c)law is unifo

patentable: laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas
vii.Note the discovery/invention distinction
 
b.    Parke-Davis v H.K. Mulford Co (SDCY 1911)
i.     Claim: isolated and purified version of adrenalin
ii.    Held: patent valid b/patentee was the first to isolate and purify it thereby making it a new thing commercially and therapeuticly
 
3.   Abstract Ideas?
 
a.    From idea that patents are intended to cover devices or physical things in the useful arts, not more esoteric matters. 
b.    Idea not patentable, but an useful device made from the idea or that puts the idea to work, is
c.    Focus on invention not innovation
 
d.   Gottschalk v Benson (US. 1972) software not patentable – just algorithms, abstract ideas
i.     Claim: a method for converting binary coded decimal numerals into pure binary numerals. The claims were not limited to: (1) any particular art or technology; (2) any particular apparatus or machinery; or (3) any particular end use. The claims simply purported to cover any use of the claimed formula in association with a general purpose digital computer
ii.    Held: not patentable b/patent would create a monopoly in a mathematical algorithm. In the court’s opinion, such a patent would be equivalent to patenting a law of nature
iii.   This is just an idea and ideas aren’t patentable
iv. A process is a mode of treatment of certain materials to produce a given result
(1)A certain level of definiteness is required to meet the definition of a process
(2)a process patent must:
(a)Be tied to a particular machine or apparatus, OR
(b)Change articles or materials to a “different state or thing”
v.    Really the court was afraid of the policy implications of allowing the patent
 
e.    State Street Bank & Trust v Signature (Fed Cir 1998) software patentable kinda
i.     Claim: hub and spoke data processing system for investment company
ii.    certain types of mathematical subject matter, standing alone, represent nothing more than abstract ideas until reduced to some type of practical application, i.e., test = useful, concrete and tangible result
iii.   Unpatentable mathematical algorithms are identifiable by showing they are merely abstract ideas constituting disembodied concepts or truths that are not “useful.”
iv. Held: held the business method software patentable because it constituted “a practical application of a mathematical algorithm, formula, or calculation, [that] produces a useful, concrete and tangible result . . .”
 
4.   Business Methods and “Printed Matter”?