Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weekend Shorts - CAFC Statistics, China, Patent Reform, and New IAM Publications

State of the Federal Circuit: On May 15, 2008,Chief Judge Michel addressed the Federal Circuit Judicial Conference and gave a "State of the Court" speech on the CAFC. The transcript, along with some statistical charts, may be downloaded here (link). Some of the interesting factoids include:

• Despite over 100 Petitions for Rehearing En Banc each year (slide), the CAFC grants approximately zero to one each year.

• According to Chief Judge Michel, "[d]espite news reports of a surge in the last three years in the Supreme Court review of our patent cases, the data shows little change (slide). I believe these data illustrate how well our panels do in nearly all appeals."

• Cases continue to move faster in the CAFC. The court now approaches the ideal of achieving a disposal rate such that if no new appeals were filed, the CAFC would conclude all pending appeals in just six months (which is the standard recommended by the ABA).

Patent Filings in China: Domestic patent filings continue to skyrocket; this year, China becomes the first country to break the 700,000 patent filings per year barrier. Protection of design patents continues to be an untapped resource for foreign filers - the U.S. and other foreign entities make up about 5% of the 270,000 Chinese design patent applications. View the latest statistics from SIPO here (hat tip to professor Hal Wegner).

Bush Administration Looks to Re-Ignite Patent Reform: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez reportedly met with technology leaders in San Jose to discuss ways in which Patent Reform can be salvaged for this year. According to Gutierrez, "arguably the first serious effort in 50 years to systematically improve our innovation pipeline has stalled in the Senate, in large part because of an inability to agree on how patent holders should be compensated in cases of infringement." View last week's op-ed piece in the Mercury News here.

Two New IAM Publications Available (Free) Online:
(From the IAM Blog) IAM has just published two guides, both of which are available online and completely free of charge:

Brands in the Boardroom, released to coincide with next week’s INTA meeting in Berlin, examines how Playboy and E&J Gallo manage their respective brands portfolios, and also takes an in-depth look at Google’s controversial AdWords program. In addition, there are a series of other articles detailing key trademark issues in some of the world’s major jurisdictions.

Patents in Europe, first made publicly available the other week at the European Patent Forum in Ljubljana, has been produced in association with the European Patent Office. The publication is divided into two parts: in the first, chapters – including an introduction from EPO President Alison Brimelow – look at recent developments inside the EPO and in Europe generally; in the second, there are detailed guides on how patent litigation is conducted in 21 European jurisdictions, including all the big players.

For more info, see here.

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