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Innovation e-Review

The Innovation Review is the New York State Science & Technology Law Center's monthly newsletter, bringing information on a variety of economic, business, and technology related legal news as well as highlighting and profiling resources and events across the state.

IP/Regulatory Law Watch


Supreme Court to Hear Arguments about Patent Trial and Appeal Board

On April 25, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a patent case that has implications for the integrity of the patent system. At issue is the continued viability of the most comprehensive reform of the patent system since 1952, the America Invents Act. With five votes, the Court can overturn this landmark legislation by diminishing the power of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Cuozzo, an independent inventor, obtained a patent in 2004 on a speedometer that informs a driver when the car is travelling above the legal speed limit. In 2015, Garmin successfully brought an inter partes review to challenge Cuozzo’s patent. The Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) found that some of Cuozzo’s patent was invalid. Consequently, Cuozzo appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which agreed with the PTAB. Cuozzo is now asking the Supreme Court to overturn the USPTO’s broadest reasonable interpretation standard. For more information on this case read Prof. Shubha Ghosh's entire article.


CDIP and WIPO Meet in April

The World Intellectual Property Organization Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) met April 11-15 to discuss how universities and research institutions can maximize the value of their discoveries and ensure protection of the property rights that they have on said discoveries. Click here to access: A Practical Guide for Valuing Intangible Assets in Research and Development Institutions, prepared by Thomas Ewin, Esq.


USPTO to Implement Significant Rule Changes

On April 1, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released new rules surrounding inter partes review, post grant review, and other AIA trial proceedings. First, The Patent Trial and Appeal Board will now grant a patentee the chance to present rebuttal evidence including expert testimony. Other changes, promoted to support to patent owners, will go into effect on May 2. Click here to learn more about these changes.

Angel Investors

A new Kaufmann Foundation policy suggests that social insurance policies might encourage more people to start companies by alleviating some concerns about entrepreneurial risks and economic hazards. Kauffman also profiles the significance of angel investors for successful commercialization noting that angels knowledgeable about a particular market are able to provide expertise and feedback about customers and competitors, management plans, sales channels, and potential partnerships To read more, click here.


Artificial Intelligence Patent Law

Currently, there is an ongoing debate surrounding the patentability of work produced by artificial intelligence. Southwestern Law School Professor Ryan Abbott suggests that computers can generate patentable material, and that this material will inevitably cause disputes over ownership. Various scholars argue that humans are still the sole owners of the information as long as they are the bodies who create and train the computers. Recent cases have opened the floor for discussion on this matter and it seems that the conversation is only building with technological advancements. To read more about patent laws involving AIs, click here.

Senate Passes Federal Trade Secrets Act

Through a nearly unanimous vote, the Senate passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 on April 4. This Act creates a civil cause of action in federal court for misappropriation of trade secret. Twenty years ago, Congress made trade secret misappropriation a federal crime. With the Senate vote, Congress has moved closer to federalizing what has been a matter of state law since at least 1790. This movement is a positive one as trade secrets are an important body of law for promoting innovation and commercialization of technology. Prof. Shubha Ghosh discusses potential pitfalls in the law's implementation in a recent article.


Around New York State



Trade Adjustment Assistant for Firms (TAA) is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce put in place to help American manufacturers who have been hurt by foreign competition. There are a total of 11 non-profit TAA centers throughout the U.S., including one in New York State. The New York State Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (NYS TAAC) provides assistance to New York State based companies in areas including management, marketing, finance, information, technology, manufacturing and engineering, and ISO/QS/TS/UL/CE certification. There is no cost to determine qualification for the program, however TAA program assistance is provided on a cost share basis. Applications for TAA program assistance can be made at any time of the year. To learn more about the NYS TAAC, visit their website.


NewYorkBIO 2016 Annual Conference

NewYorkBIO is calling for all life science entrepreneurs to participate in PitchFest 2016 at the NewYorkBIO Annual Conference, one of the largest life science business conferences in the United States. It will be held May 11, 2016 at 10 on the Park at the Time Warner Center, 6 Columbus Circle, NYC. All PitchFest participants will receive free admission to the NewYorkBIO 2016 Annual Conference and free one-on-one pitch training mentorship and feedback from professionals in the industry. Winners will receive a 1-year free membership to the NewYorkBIO and free IP consultations, with more prizes being added on in the weeks leading up to the event. Click here to apply to PitchFest 2016. To learn more NewYorkBIO, please visit their website.

Biotech Symposium

8th Annual New York State Biotechnology Symposium

SUNY-ESF will be hosting the 8th Annual NYS Biotechnology Symposium on May 19 and 20 in Syracuse. The goal of the symposium is to bring together representatives from industry, scientists, academics and students, as well as other professionals interested in biotechnology in order to develop collaborations and relationships to further advance the field. Plenary speakers for this year include Lois Beaver, former Director at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, who will speak specifically about issues surrounding biosimilar production and marketing. There will be a poster show by students as well as exhibits from sponsors and industry for attendees to check out. Presentations cover a variety of topics and concurrent sessions in specific topics are scheduled. An early registration discount is available if registered by Saturday, April 23.

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