As the world collectively struggles to adapt to the “new normal,” it is clear that one of many challenges facing businesses and individuals is how to best adapt to supply chain disruptions. A key example of where these shortages are being reported is in the health care sector, which is experiencing a limited (or non-existent) supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers and ventilators for patients. Not only have these shortages placed a strain on those treating patients who have fallen ill from COVID-19, but it has also frustrated efforts to fully identify who may or may not be infected. As one example, in a recent interview conducted by The Indicator podcast, it was reported that limited supplies of PPE to protect workers during patient sample collections were in turn limiting the ability of the University of Washington’s health center to test patients for coronavirus.
With great power comes great responsibility. 5G is the next generation of 3GPP technology. Along with having the potential to facilitate the next leap in connectivity, 5G technology supremacy also has the power to define the geopolitics of the next century. As the global battle for 5G dominance plays out, companies are driving hard to secure coveted Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) encompassing 5G technology. The victor will secure substantial revenue and money flow in the form of patent royalties.
Be you a founder, would-be investor or acquirer, correctly valuing the intellectual property of a company is rarely a simple task, but it can be even more challenging when that IP involves artificial intelligence or machine learning. See what our colleague Josh Tucker has to say about the challenges and importance of protecting underlying IP on 7 Mile Advisors’ Deal Talk podcast, “How Patents, AI and Machine Learning Affect Value.”
CBD, CBG, CBA, CBN, THC—the race to find the holy grail of cannabinoid production is in full swing. Money flows abound, unicorn-hungry investors looking to capture market share are swirling around promising frontrunners with lucrative IP. One interesting segment of cannabis IP gaining traction focuses on cannabinoids synthesis from microorganisms such as yeast.
Given the growth of investments in and shift of regulatory views regarding cannabis-related products, many companies in industries like medicine, lifestyle and foods/beverages are looking to carve out niches and be leaders in the relatively new space. As with any new technology space, it is essential to have a robust intellectual property protection strategy to both establish and preserve one’s position as a dominant player in an emerging market. One important step that a company may take when creating such a strategy is applying for patents.
On January 7, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office released new guidance for how patent examiners should evaluate patent-eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In “Evaluating the Evaluation: Breaking Down New USPTO Guidance for Patent-Eligible Subject Matter,” colleagues Jack S. Barufka, Ngai Zhang, Matthew W. Hindman and Tiffany C. Kuo examine the new guidance—and what it means for patent eligibility going forward.
With bitcoin prices rising from the dead over the last few weeks (up nearly 25% from a December 14 low), there’s a degree of renewed excitement regarding blockchain and cryptocurrency. But as general public interest rises and falls, the steady process of creating useful applications and systems for distributed ledger technology continues. The issuing of new patents is one observable part of this process, and as such, it’s worth noting that trading platform tZERO, a portfolio company of the e-commerce giant Overstock, was recently awarded a patent outlining how it may merge legacy trading systems with cryptocurrencies and digital asset technology.
Too often, a company with a new, promising product is caught by surprise when a competitor asserts an infringement claim against it on the technology underlying the product. Sometimes, the surprise isn’t that such a claim has been made, but rather that the company’s CGL insurance doesn’t have—or expressly excludes—patent coverage. Over at Policyholder Pulse, our colleague Sean Williams examines this all-too-common quandary and looks at some options for “Plugging the Patent Coverage Gap.”
As the blockchain avalanche continues, and ever-increasing numbers of blockchain-based patent applications seek issuance, savvy inventors and practitioners continue probing for patent-eligible space. Blockchain apps ultimately will face the same barriers as other software applications—key among them being new rules on subject matter eligibility. For those hoping to make it past such obstacles, performance-related refinements to blockchain technology may provide a safe harbor.
What is it worth to be able to block employees from using social media while on the job? And how should one determine that value, exactly? While it might be easy to determine the value of a stand-alone invention, it is much more difficult to determine the value an invention that is embedded within a complex product that itself has many parts and does many different things. Patent damages case law is in flux, and every court opinion regarding how to apportion and value inventions merits careful studying. A recent case demonstrates the perils of using faulty methodology to determine the value of patented software-based inventions.