USPTO Issues Latest Guidance on Software Patents

by AEON Law on November 7, 2016


tells patent examiners

latest on software

By Eugenio Hansen, OFS – Own work, CC0,

The US Patent Office is working hard to keep up with developments in the federal courts concerning software-related patents.

On November 2, Robert Bahr, the Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Policy, sent out a memo entitled "Recent Subject Matter Eligibility Decisions."

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Patent Office Announce Post-Prosecution Pilot

by AEON Law on July 20, 2016


Announces pilot program:



By U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Boitz –, Domini públic,

The US Patent and Trademark Office has announced the Post-Prosecution Pilot Program (to be known as "P3") starting July 11 and running through January 12, 2017.

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US Supreme Court

rules that patent office should

broadly interpret


The US Supreme Court recently issued its first decision on the post-grant review process created in 2011 by the America Invents Act (“AIA”).

The Court ruled against the patent owner and approved a rule under which the US Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) interprets claims as broadly as possible.

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Updates subject matter guide,

Helps examiners

By Tim Evanson from Washington, D.C., USA, United States of America - USPTO-Alexandria-2011-03-12_a, CC BY-SA 2.0, By Tim Evanson from Washington, D.C., USA, United States of America – USPTO-Alexandria-2011-03-12_a, CC BY-SA 2.0,


The United States Patent Office (USPTO) recently issued its latest update to its guidelines on patent subject matter eligibility.

These guidelines help patent examiners decide whether or not the claims of a patent applicable describe an invention that’s actually eligible for a patent.

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European Umbrellas Look Toward the West

by AEON Law on October 30, 2015





Senz Technologies BV, a company based in the Netherlands, filed two applications for registration of a Community Design with the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs), which dumbrellaeals with design rights in the European Union.

The designs were for asymmetrical umbrellas which supposedly are more resistant to being turned inside out by the wind.

Another Dutch company, Impliva BV, lodged an application for a declaration that the designs were invalid.

The dispute eventually reached the EU General Court.

According to the court’s opinion,

The intervener contended in particular that the umbrellas covered by the contested designs did not have individual character, because they make the same overall impression on the informed user as a certain number of umbrellas with an identical or similar shape which have been the subject of patents or designs registered and made available to the public prior to the registration of the contested designs.

Specifically, a US patent registered in 1996 was for a similar design.

Under EU Community Design Regulations,

a registered Community design is to be considered to have individual character if the overall impression it produces on the informed user differs from the overall impression produced on such a user by any design which has been made available to the public before the date of filing of the application for registration or, if a priority is claimed, the date of priority.

(Emphasis added.)

Thus, one issue was whether the US patent was “made available to the public” in Europe.

The court noted the following findings of the Board of Appeal:

First, the site of the USPTO register is accessible free of charge. Secondly, designs are known in the United States as ‘design patents’. Thirdly, it would be unwise on the part of those circles not to check whether prior art already exists in the American register, which is one of the most important registers of intellectual property rights in the world. Finally, the fact that the United States is the most important trading partner of the European Union makes it unlikely that the circles specialised in the sector concerned do not consult the USPTO register.

The court agreed that looking to the US for prior art was appropriate, but concluded that the umbrella design at issue was sufficiently different from the one covered by the US patent.

The takeaway is that a US patent can be used to challenge the registration of a design in the EU.

The case is Joined Cases T-22/13 and T-23/13 – Senz Technologies BV v OHIM.

Patent System Improvable, But Not Broken

David Kappos says Patent system not broken But can be improved In a blog piece in October we came to the defense of software patents. Software patents have been much maligned in the media in recent months, blamed for everything from being a tax on consumer products to a brake on innovation. Our conclusion was:

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Micro Inventors Will Save On Patents

USPTO Invites public comments on MICRO STATUS RULES The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has released proposed rules for micro entity status under the America Invents Act (AIA). 

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