Teleworking under the
A US House of Representatives hearing probed the
USPTO’s teleworking programme on Tuesday.
Washington Post reported that Margaret Focarino,
commissioner for patents at the USPTO, told lawmakers that the
USPTO "takes [time and attendance
abuse] very seriously" and has made changes to "strengthen the
oversight and management" of the telework programme.
These changes include new training for supervisors and more
comuincation between managers and examiners.
In addition, supervisors can
now request the computer records of USPTO employees suspected
of misrepresenting time worked.
Representative Bob Goodlatte,
chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said it was
"disturbing" that USPTO management "would not allow a thorough
allegations of abuse of telework programme.
Todd Zinser, inspector
general of the Commerce Department, revealed his office is
investigating a dozen new reports of patent examination fraud.
He said, however, "based on the evidence we have seen so far, I
do not think abuse has reached a systemic level."
Paging Apple: pay $24m
Apple this week was ordered to
pay $23.6 million in damages after being
found to infringe six patents covering technology used in the
SkyTel two-way pager network run by Mobile
MTel argued that
Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch infringed the
six patents, which were filed between 1992 and 1997. MTel was
seeking $1 for every infringing device sold, equivalent to $237
million, according to The Guardian.
Last month Apple won in a
different court case in California against GPNE, which had
accused it of infringing its pager technology.
Aereo files for
Streaming company Aereo this
week filed for bankruptcy, after
the Supreme Court’s June ruling in ABC v Aereo
effectively killed its business model. The Supreme Court ruled
Aereo was infringing broadcasters’ copyright by
selling subscribers a service to allow them to watch television
programmes over the internet.
Supreme Court decision effectively changed the laws that had
governed Aereo's technology, creating regulatory and legal
uncertainty," Chet Kanojia, Aereo’s CEO,
said in a statement
. "And while our team has focused its energies on exploring
every path forward available to us, without that clarity, the
challenges have proven too difficult to overcome."
Critics of proposed changes to
Canada’s trade mark law are worried "trade mark
trolls" could apply for registration of
businesses’ trade marks and then force them to pay
fees to license or take over the trade mark.
The amendments to the
Trademarks Act were
introduced in March. Comments on the regulations are being
accepted and, as The Globe and Mail
reported this week, some are hoping the concerns will be
concerned from a business owner’s perspective
about the potential costs that are being unloaded on to
businesses," Scott Smith, director for intellectual property
and innovation policy at The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, told
Cynthia Rowden, a partner at Bereskin & Parr in Toronto,
also told the newspaper:
"To change the system is very substantial. And the government
largely did it without consultation [before the bill was
tabled]. There is a concern that if you don’t have
to use a trademark, you take the brakes off the system."
Reform on the
This week Republican Senator John Cornyn, the Senate
Minority Whip, vowed that lawmakers "absolutely" are going to
pass a patent reform bill next year after the Republicans take
control of the Senate.
Wall Street Journal reported that the bill will likely
include new additions such as a provision requiring plaintiffs
who lose patent infringement lawsuits to pay
defendants’ legal costs.
going to get it done," said Senator Cornyn.
reform bill failed to be passed in the Senate this year after
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urged Senator Patrick Leahy
to pull his bill off the table.
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said in a statement: "This
bill is vital to start up tech companies that are playing a
bigger and bigger role in our economy, so both parties need to
come together and get it over the finish line this
The Wall Street Journal said the starting point would be a
draft worked out by Senators Cornyn and Schumer in the last
Also on the blog this week:
The reasons for the
drop in US patent litigation
in IP in Mexico
Happy 20th birthday
And in our news and analysis:
reverses another denial of a stay pending CBM
defendants winning from patent litigation
South African firm
expands to Namibia
Rockstar and Google
settle patent dispute
Digging deeper into
NPE patent litigation trends
CJEU AG opinion
sets high bar for SEP owners
India court sets
Quarles & Brady
hires partner in DC
sends strong signal in Ultramercial
knowledge may receive indefinite protection in the
Unitary Patent and
UPC clear another hurdle