Friday, June 28, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

How NOT to Babysit

The American Red Cross has released this helpful video on how NOT to babysit.  With lines such as, "Wait, you mean you have a THIRD kid?"

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What Happens When a British Cricket Commentator Calls a Yankee-Red Sox Game

A British Cricket commentator calls a Yankee-Red Sox game.  This might be why we seceded from Britain.  Featuring  "Joseph Gordon-Levitt" playing baseball.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Hitler "Downfall" Meme Explains Patent Trolls

Patently-O has uncovered this clever use of the Hitler "Downfall" meme video to explain patent trolls.  The native YouTube link is here.  Turns out someone got a patent for "a method and system for world domination."  Anyone who thinks business methods should be patentable must leave the room.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Supreme Court Decides "Reverse Payments" Case

Today the Supreme Court decided FTC v. Actavis, the "reverse payments" case. This case arises in generic drug litigation, where the patent owner pays the accused infringer to stay out of the market until the patent expires.  Because the settlement requires the patent owner to pay the alleged infringer, rather than the other way around, this kind of settlement agreement is often called a “reverse payment” settlement agreement. The lower courts have struggled with whether this violates the antitrust laws.

In today's opinion, the Supreme Court reverses the 11th Circuit, which had dismissed the FTC's antitrust complaint.  However, the Court declines to hold that reverse payment settlements are presumptively unlawful. Rather, they are to be reviewed under the rule of reason analysis. The FTC will be given a chance to prove its case. The vote was 5-3, with the majority opinion by Justice Breyer (Justice Alito is recused). 

SCOTUSblog reports that this potential antitrust exposure "is likely to essentially put an end to such payments in the future."  In the long run, this will hopefully make generic drugs more widely available.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Supreme Court Decides AMP v. Myriad (Breast Cancer Gene Patenting Case)

The Supreme Court just decided Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.   The case involved the patentability of genes used to detect breast cancer.

As was expected after April's oral argument, the court held that isolated DNA is not patentable, but synthetic DNA is patentable.  The holding is summarized as follows:
For the reasons that follow, we hold that a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated, but that cDNA is patent eligible because it is not naturally occurring.
This reverses the Federal Circuit in part, in a unanimous decision by Justice Thomas (Justice Scalia joined the majority opinion only in part, and wrote a brief concurring opinion disclaiming any knowledge about the "fine details of molecular biology").  I had previously written about the Federal Circuit's two decisions here and here.  The Supreme Court agreed with the Patent Office that isolated genes are not patentable.

At one point, the Court repeated an interesting statement from its 2012 opinion in Mayo v. Prometheus:

As we have recognized before, patent protection strikes a delicate balance between creating “incentives that lead to creation, invention, and discovery” and “imped[ing] the flow of information that might permit, indeed spur, invention.” 

The Myriad decision will likely reduce the costs of breast cancer testing such as the type Angelina Jolie recently publicized.

UPDATE:  Here are posts about this case by EFF, SCOTUSblog (also in plain English), Patently-O, and Techdirt.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Millennials in the Workplace Training Video

Does your business employ "Millennials"?  Having difficulty understanding them?  Watch this helpful training video.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

White House Releases Serious Patent Reform Proposals

Today the White House released "Fact Sheet: White House Task Force on High-Tech Patent Issues."  This includes some serious patent reform proposals, some by executive order and some by proposed legislation.  The Fact Sheet was accompanied by a report about the current problems with the patent system.

EFF's blog post about this important development is here.

UPDATE: Here's a cute animated GIF of a patent troll by the White House.   Techdirt has two stories about this development.  Here is Patently-O's post.