323-660-9916 info@tsircoulaw.com

Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies, Corp. (SpaceX) is challenging a patent on which Jeffrey Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, is a named inventor. SpaceX has initiated an inter partes review stating that the patent belonging to Blue Origins is invalid for obviousness. The documents SpaceX cites in its petition address similar systems and technologies that relate very closely to the technology covered by the invention.
We also reflect on the past Supreme Court term, during which the Supreme Court decided an unprecedented amount of intellectual property cases. This not only demonstrates the increasing importance of intellectual property to the nation’s economy, but also the importance of evolving the law to meet our changing technological landscape.
Additionally, we discuss the USPTO’s release of a new examination guide, “Service Mark Specimens.” In the article, we explain what specimens are, the different types of specimens, and what kind of trademark applications require them. In addition, we explain how the new USPTO guide should help to clear up confusion regarding service mark specimens and help applicants avoid delays and overcome specimen refusal in use-based trademark applications.
Finally, we discuss how USPTO Post-Grant Proceedings work and their potential to change how patents are challenged. These administrative proceedings, created by the America Invents Act in 2011, are cheaper and more expeditious alternatives to litigation which theoretically make it easier for patentees to strengthen their patents and competitors to challenge them.
Elon Musk v. Jeff Bezos: SpaceX Challenges Reusable Rocket Patent
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is challenging a patent on which Jeffrey Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, is a named inventor. SpaceX has initiated an inter partes review stating that U.S. Patent 8,678,321 is invalid for obviousness. This patent deals with re-usable rocket elements, a technological area in which SpaceX is also doing a lot of research. This patent specifically deals with sea landings of space launch vehicles.
The documents SpaceX cites in its petition address similar systems and technologies that relate very closely to the technology covered by the invention. SpaceX makes the argument that the ‘321 patent does not differ enough from this older, known technology to have deserved a patent.
For more information, please click below:

Elon Musk v. Jeff Bezos: SpaceX Challenges Reusable Rocket Patent

Significant Supreme Court Interest in IP Law: This Term’s Trends
During the 2013-2014 Supreme Court term, the Court heard and decided an unprecedented amount of intellectual property cases. This unique interest in intellectual property law suggests that the Supreme Court feels the need to optimize intellectual property rights and clarify current precedent. In the realm of patent law, the Court tended to rule against IP rights holders and limited the Federal Circuit to Congress’ specific statutory language. Conversely, the Court was more willing to take a policy-based approach for copyright and trademark cases, tending to rule in favor of the IP rights owner.
This significant Supreme Court interest reflects not only the increasing importance of intellectual property to the nation’s economy, but also the importance of evolving the law to meet our changing technological landscape.
For more information, please click below:

Significant Supreme Court Interest in IP Law: This Term’s Trend

Guidance from the USPTO on Service Mark Specimens
Last month, the USPTO released a new examination guide, “Service Mark Specimens.” A specimen is a representation of how someone would actually use the trademark with the goods or services identified in the application. The USPTO requires applicants to submit a specimen when registering a trademark that is already being used in commerce. The USPTO considers different specimens depending on whether the trademark is for goods or for services. Specimens for service marks are governed by a lot of complex regulations regarding what kinds of specimens are acceptable. Not understanding these rules could lead to delays, office actions and even refusals.
This guide should help to clear up confusion regarding service mark specimens and help applicants avoid delays and overcome specimen refusal in use-based trademark applications.
For more information, please click below:

Guidance from the USPTO on Service Mark Specimens

AIA Post-Grant Proceedings: Changing How Patents Are Challenged
Historically, a U.S. issued patent carried a presumption of validity that could really only be challenged in a court of law. But in 2011, the America Invents Act (AIA) introduced many significant additions and changes to post-grant proceedings. These administrative proceedings are alternatives to litigation which theoretically make it easier for patentees to strengthen their patents and competitors to challenge them. The AIA changes, most of which were instituted in September 2012, have become very popular and are anticipated to have a profound effect on patent litigation.
In order to strengthen a patent that has already been granted, a patent holder can file for supplemental examination and patent reissue. Patent challengers may initiate post-grant review (PGR), inter partes review (IPR), ex parte reexamination, or derivation proceedings. Most of these proceedings are heard in the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).
For more information, please click below:

AIA Post-Grant Proceedings: Changing How Patents Are Challenged

Tsircou Newsletter – October 2014

Please feel free to contact us if you would like additional information. We look forward to assisting you with your intellectual-property matters.
Sincerely,

Kyriacos Tsircou
Tsircou Law, P.C.