Yesterday, the US Supreme Court upheld but limited the doctrine of assignor estoppel for patents in Minerva Surgical Inc. v. Hologic Inc.: “When an assignor warrants that a patent claim is valid, his later denial of validity breaches norms of equitable dealing. … [But an] example of non-contradiction is when an assignment occurs before an inventor can possibly make a warranty of validity as to specific patent claims.”
Just a reminder that patent and trademark agent renewals are due by March 31st. The coming-into-force date for the College of Patent Agents and Trademark Agents is expected to be “spring of 2021” and any fees after that date will need to go to the new College. Continue reading Agent Renewals
A couple of non-Canadian developments that may be of interest:
- a majority of the US Supreme Court allowed the registration for the trademark “Booking.com” in the face of arguments that it was generic: “According to the PTO, adding “.com” to a generic term—like adding “Company”—can convey no source-identifying meaning. That premise is faulty, for only one entity can occupy a particular Internet domain name at a time, so a “generic.com” term could convey to consumers an association with a particular website.”
- the UK Supreme Court in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc v Kymab Ltd considered patent sufficiency: “The disclosure required of the patentee is such as will, coupled with the common general knowledge existing as at the priority date, be sufficient to enable the skilled person to make substantially all the types or embodiments of products within the scope of the claim.”
The report, “Intellectual Property in Ontario’s Innovation Ecosystem”, was published today by Ontario’s Expert Panel on IP chaired by Jim Balsillie: “… it was clear that the most significant recurring themes revolved around questions of capacity-building in IP education and access to specialized IP legal services as well as the structure and governance of the various ‘public sector’ entities within the ecosystem.” Continue reading Innovation Report
My recent article on patent pendency was published this week on Slaw. For patents granted by the Canadian Patent Office in the first half of 2018, the duration a patent application was pending ranged from less than 6 months to over 18 years.
Here are several news items that may be of interest:
- An Order in Council has indefinitely suspended implementation of the private right of action under CASL, Canada’s anti-spam legislation. The private right of action was scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2017.
- CIPO has advised that it will beginning a series of consultations over the summer on proposed regulatory amendments for Industrial Design Regulations, Trade-marks Regulations, Patent Rules relating to implementation of the Hague Agreement, Madrid Protocol, Singapore Treaty, the Nice Agreement and the Patent Law Treaty.
- Global Affairs Canada has announced consultation on the renegotiation and modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The government invites submissions on a variety of topics including intellectual property.
The United States Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC stating that corporate ‘residence’ refers only to the state of incorporation. The patent venue statute, 28 U. S. C. §1400(b), provides that “[a]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.” This decision will likely have a significant effect on the number of cases filed in Texas, which saw 37% of all patent cases in 2016.
Bill C-30, the CETA implementation legislation received royal assent today. The Bill includes amendments to the Patent Act, regarding supplementary protection for pharmaceutical products and altering patent linkage system, and to the Trade-mark Act regarding geographic indicators with grounds of opposition and certain exceptions for prior use, acquired rights and generic terms. Amendments are also proposed to a number of other acts. Implementation regulations are expected any day.
Combining technology with financial services in the age of mobile, cloud and blockchain gives rise to many potential disruptors and established players trying to increase, protect, license and monetize their intellectual property. I explore some of these ideas in my recent article in Slaw on Protecting FinTech Innovation.
Continue reading Fintech