Patent Copyright Trademark
Source IP Clause, IP Clause, Commerce Clause,
Patent Act Copyright Act Lanham Act, state law
What protect ideas, expression of ideas words, symbols, sounds
Goal encourage invention incentivize new works avoid confusion
Duration 20 yrs. from filing, life of the author, potentially forever, as
~17 yrs plus 70 years long as mark’s in use
1) Intellectual property v. real property
a) for intellectual property, the size/parameter of the property is up for debate.
Inventionàapplicationàprosecution w/ PTO examineràdecision of yes/noàThe Appeals Boardà decision of yes/noàFederal Circuitàyes/noàSupreme Courtà yes/no
3) Anatomy of a Patent
c) “open” claims use the word “comprising”
· normally covers all listed elements plus any additional elements
d) “closed” claims use the words “consisting of”
· doesn’t cover devices that include additional elements
· a patented invention may itself be covered by an existing patent
e) “in between” format uses “consisting essentially of”
f) the body
g) means-plus-function elements- builds breadth into the claims. Element isn’t described in detain, because it’s a means for describing another goal.
1) An overview of the patent laws
a) Requirements for patentability
35 U.S.C. 100 Definitions.
When used in this title unless the context otherwise indicates –
(a) The term “invention” means invention or discovery.
(b) The term “process” means process, art, or method, and includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material.
b) Rights conferred by a patent
2) Theories of Patent Law
3) The Elements of Patentability
a) Patentable Subject Matter
§101 whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefore, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.
§101 “Invention” is a term of art in the Patent Act that means both “invention” and “discovery”
i. Diamond v. Chakrabarty: Facts-inventor creates a new bacteria that can eat oil, but the patent is rejected because the PTO thought that living things weren’t patentable. Issue: are living things patentable? Holding: yes, they are. It’s good for industry, and Congress made the statute vague. Dissent: this is an issue for Congress, not for us. Further, the Plant Variety Protection Act is outside of the Patent Act and must be acted upon separately.
· Rules for patenting living things:
o you can patent claims covering a process for extracting a natural product, as opposed to claims to the product itself
o Creation of an entirely new living thing qualifies, but discovering a previously unknown anima/plant/mineral
o Note: owners of patents on medical and surgical procedures can’t enforce them.
o Patenting abstract ideas: an idea itself isn’t patentable, but a new device by which it may be made practically useful is
ii. Parke-Davis v. H.K. Mulford à (This was probably wrongly decided) Scientists find out how to extract a purer form of adrenaline from animals for therapeutic purposes. Claims infringement of product patents. Issue: Is this patentable subject matter? Holding: Yes, as a process patent. If the Court had allowed a product patent rather than a process patent, it would have stifled further research. Hand reached a conclusion that purified adrenaline doesn’t occur in nature. This is the purification exception to the product of nature doctrine.
· Substantial transformation test: alternative to the natural product test
· Ex Parte LatimeràPlaintiff claimed a method for extracting and weaving fibers from a particular tree. Commissioner of patents analogized it to finding a new kind of gem in the ground and patenting it.
· Formulas aren’t patentable because they have no value and would be detrimental to research.
iii. Note on patenting abstract ideas
· This is one of the most important doctrines that limits the subject matter of patents
· For example, Morse (of Morse code fame) tried to patent electro-magnetism- didn’t work because it didn’t fit with the goals of giving patents- encouraging science and the useful arts.
· Flaw in patent system? the first commercial version of an invention is usually termed an innovation, but the innovations are only rewarded after a commercial versionàoriginal function of patents was to reward innovation directly.
iv. Note on business methods and “printed matter”
· Printed matter rule and business methods ruleàformer defunct
· printed matter may be part of patented invention IF the invention as a whole claims a new and useful physical structure, or if the relationship between printed matter and physical structure is a new and nonobvious one.
· State Streetàbolstered the idea that a “process” can be statutory subject matter, despite the fact that it doesn’t act on anything tangible, even though courts uniformly rejected both the idea that a printed piece of paper could be a patentable invention and that the new system of conducting business embodied in the paper was patentable
§101: Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of t
atent is invalid and that even if the patent is valid, then the products being made or sold by the accused don’t infringe
· Other kinds of litigation: priority dispute (occurs w/ two or more inventors, all of whom claim to have been the first to invent a particular thing,), called an interference proceeding
· Patent thickets- when industries are covered in patents that inventors waste time trying to figure out what’s patented and what’s not
· Patent troll- somebody who waits for an invention to get successful, researches the area, finds a way a successful invention infringes on a patent, gets a license, and hounds the owner of the invention to get $
ii. Disclosure Doctrines: Enablement and Written Descriptions
1. Overall goal: make them as broad as the Patent Office will allow, with two major limitations that make up disclosure doctrines:
· prior art
· the actual work done by the inventorà can’t claim anything beyond what the inventor actually discovered
2. Enablement: 35 U.S.C. 112 Specification.The specification shall contain a written description of the invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains, or with which it is most nearly connected, to make and use the same, and shall set forth the best mode contemplated by the inventor of carrying out his invention.
· Read as having three requirements:
o written description environment
· Possession test: as of the application filing date, the applicant must show he or she was “in possession” of the invention later claimed.
· much more restrictive than enablementàunder the current state of law, it’s possible to enable but not possess
o best mode requirement
o enablement requirement
· Test for enablement: whether the person having ordinary skill in the art would be able to make and use all the species covered by the patent w/out “undue experimentation”
The specification shall conclude with one or more claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which the applicant regards as his invention.
o adds requirement of definiteness