With the New Year fast approaching, it’s time once again to look at the top national stage filing destinations for our clients from the past year.
In 2013, we retained our status as the largest US filer of PCT applications at the national stage (according to Managing Intellectual Property magazine) and expanded our global network of agents to cover 130 countries. In October, we also announced the acquisition of inovia by RWS Group, the world’s top ranking patent translation company. These changes ensure that our foreign filing platform, inovia.com, will be well placed to complement the foreign filing strategies of our vast array of clients.
Speaking of our clients, let’s take a look at their top national stage destinations in 2013:
1. China – 11.0%
2. Canada – 9.0%
3. Japan – 8.2%
4. Brazil – 7.0%
5. United States – 7.0%
6. India – 6.9%
7. Australia – 6.8%
8. Europe – 5.1%
9. South Korea – 4.4%
10. Russia – 4.0%
On December 5, 2013, the House of Representatives took a further step towards patent reform by passing the Innovation Act by a 325-91 vote. Designed to improve the US patent landscape, the Innovation Act contains several measures designed to discourage abusive tactics favored by non-practicing entities (aka patent trolls). A few of the notable provisions are:
- Fee shifting: The loser of a patent infringement suit is now responsible for the legal fees of the prevailing party unless the loser can show that the grounds for suit were reasonable. This would discourage patent trolls from initiating suits premised on shaky grounds.
- Increased transparency: The Innovation Act now requires the party bringing a patent suit to identify the patent holder and provide greater details as to how the patent is allegedly infringed.
- Greater protection for end-users against suit: A common tactic for patent trolls is to go after the consumer. For example, the owner of a patent with broad claims for wi-fi services can go after a coffee shop who provides free internet for their clientele via a wireless router. Often times, the alleged infringer will pay a settlement rather than risk lengthy and expensive litigation. The Innovation Act contains a customer-suit exception to counteract this. Under this provision, the maker of that router, most likely a large corporation better suited and funded to combat the troll, can step in via a separate action. During that time, the first suit against the little guy will be stayed.
Chief-sponsor of the Innovation Act, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said of the bill:
In recent years, we have seen an exponential increase in the use of weak or poorly-granted patents by so-called patent trolls to file numerous patent infringement lawsuits against American businesses with the hopes of securing a quick payday. Everyone from independent inventors, to start-ups, to mid and large sized businesses face this constant threat.
The enactment of the Innovation Act is something I consider central to U.S. competiveness, job creation, and our nation’s future economic security. The bipartisan legislation takes meaningful steps to address the abusive practices that have damaged our patent system and resulted in significant economic harm to our nation. I am encouraged by the overwhelming support the Innovation Act received in the House and I look forward to working with the Senate to see that patent litigation reform legislation is signed into law.
So will the Innovation Act help curb patent abuse in the US? That remains to be seen.
Good morning. Below, we have included the latest updates in foreign patent filing news for the week of December 2nd:
- Google is quickly amassing a large numbers of tech patents, as this year they are on pace to receive 1,800.
- The US Department of Commerce's United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Dallas Entrepreneur Center (DEC) announced the signing of a memorandum that will support innovation throughout Dallas.
- This Op-Ed article from former director of the USPTO advocates for ending the diversion of USPTO fees to improve the overall patent system.
- The 7th meeting of the heads of the European Patent Office and the State Intellectual Property Office occurred in Beijing last week.
Thanks for checking out the roundup this week! Please be sure to follow us on Twitter @inoviaIP for more information relating to patent filing. Have a fantastic weekend!
In previous articles, we've reported on developments regarding Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) programs. In a nutshell, PPH
programs are bilateral agreements between countries wherein an allowed or granted patent in one country would allow the applicant to fast-track examination of the corresponding application in another country, assuming that certain requirements are met. There are numerous benefits to PPH programs and their proliferation and use have grown significantly in recent years. For the applicant, electing the PPH shortens pendency time and increases the likelihood of grant. For patent offices, workload is reduced since the earlier patent office presumably has performed much of the "heavy lifting" associated with examination.
Recently, it was announced that a Global Patent Prosecution Highway will come into effect on January 6, 2014. The Global PPH will involve 13 patent offices and will follow a single set of requirements, thus simplifying the numerous bilateral PPH programs currently in place around the world. The 13 member offices are IP Australia, Canadian IP Office, Danish Patent & Trademark Office, National Board of Patents & Registration of Finland, Japan Patent Office, Korean IP Office, Nordic Patent Institute, Norwegian Industrial Property Office, Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property, Russian Federal Service for IP, Spanish Patent & Trademark Office, United Kingdom IP Office, and the US Patent & Trademark Office.
More details on the Global PPH Program can be found here.
Hello everyone! Our friends at AFD China recently released their November 2013 newsletter. Please see below for the highlights from their latest edition:
- Recently, SIPO and IPOS entered an agreement to exchange patent data. Their plan aims to strengthen the ties between the two countries and create new opportunities for businesses.
- China received upwards of 256,000 invention applications from home and granted 73,000 invention applications in 2013. This shows an upward trend, with Beijing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Shanghai and Zhejiang rounding out the top five provinces.
- China has implemented 8 revisions to provide greater protection for well-known marks and impose penalties on infringers.
- The longest running instant food lawsuit in China ended with an agreement under which both parties must give up the rights to the disputed trademark.
- The Harbin Science and Technology Bureau recently held a patent trade fair, where contracts for 60 projects were signed, valued at $1.63 million.
Thanks again to our colleagues at AFD China for issuing this very informative newsletter. For more updates relating to foreign patent filing, please follow us on Twitter @inoviaIP!
We were delighted to have two members of our team make the trip to Asia last week, marking our second consecutive year at the IP Business Congress (IPBC) conference. The IPBC is an event hosted by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) and each year brings together IP experts from all over the world to discuss intellectual property issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region. For us, the three-day event was filled with great discussion and networking, as well as a very impressive lineup of speakers and panels.
Attendee statistics haven't been released just yet, but last year's delegate pool was about 55% corporations, 26% law firms/patent agents, and 19% investors, academics and government officials. Senior IP representatives testify to the value of the IPBC's event roster year after year, as it has become a hub for thought leadership on patents and other IP-related developments.
The conference breakout sessions were well put-together and included regional topics such as: Asia's IP Future, Building effective IP portfolios, Asia's elite IP companies, Effective strategic patent acquisition, and more. For a full listing of the programs offered at the conference, check out the IPBC website.
Shown from left: Hua Wang, RWS Beijing & Kiki Tanousis, inovia
inovia was proud to sponsor the IPBC for the second year and it was truly a pleasure meeting with the many delegates that stopped by our booth. We again found the event to be extremely beneficial and, from our perspective, it seemed that all of the attendees shared in our positive experience. A special congrats to IAM and the many other vendors who helped to coordinate such a successful conference and we look forward to next year!
Hi everyone! Each month, we comb through WIPO's PCT Newsletter to share the latest news affecting the international patent system. As always, there are several country-specific rules, fee changes and patent office notifications to report. You can check out some of these updates below:
As of October 2013, any patent attorney registered to practice before the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland may act as an agent.
International Bureau (IB)
As from January 1st, 2014, there will be the following fee changes payable to the IB as a receiving office:
Good afternoon. The temperatures are dropping in New York City, we hope you are faring better in your neck of the woods. Please read below for the latest updates in foreign patent filing for the week of November 18th:
- The Innovation Act is expected to pass the House Judiciary Committee, a legislative measure that aims to combat abusive patent lawsuits.
- The US Patent and Trademark Office selected San Jose City Hall as the permanent space for their Silicon Valley satellite office.
- The IP5 (the European Patent Office, Japan Patent Office, Korean Intellectual Property Office, State Intellectual Property Office, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office), reported an 11% growth in filings for 2012.
- This start-up prevailed in a suit against a patent bully - only after 14 months, thousands of documents, hours of depositions, and mountains of legal fees.
That's a wrap for this week. As always, please be sure to follow us on Twitter @inoviaIP for updates.
2014 will usher in a new fee schedule for the US Patent and Trademark Office. Luckily, that pounding headache and nausea you might experience on January 1, 2014 won’t be a result of higher patent and trademark fees. In fact, some of the fees have actually been lowered. Generally speaking, most of the fees will remain the same, but here are some of the more notable changes.
Hi friends! We've gathered some of the latest stories in foreign filing/patenting news from the week of November 11th for your consideration:
- Senator Orrin Hatch (R - Utah) introduced the Patent Litigation Integrity Act, a bill that would curb patent trolls' dangerous litigation practices.
- WIPO is launching the first phase of a major restructuring and redesign of their website.
- Apple and Samsung began a retrial of patent damages, primarily to determine how much should be awarded in their patent litigation.
- According to WikiLeak, the United States is pushing for greater powers over patent and property rights.
- WIPO also released statistics that trademark applications have tripled over the past three decades for emerging economies.
Be sure to check back next weekend for the Roundup! Also, follow us out on Twitter @inoviaIP.