On April 16, 2019, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recognized 27 law firms for their contributions to the USPTO’s Patent Pro Bono Program that makes legal assistance available to financially under-resourced inventors and small businesses. The Patent Pro Bono Program is a nationwide network of independently operated regional programs that match volunteer patent professionals with inventors and small businesses for the purpose of securing patent protection. Notio Law Group, LLC was recognized for their contribution to the Georgia Patents program administered by the Georgia Lawyers for the Arts. Additional information regarding this USPTO program can be found at https://www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/using-legal-services/pro-bono/patent-pro-bono-program.
The Southeastern Regional Competition of the prestigious Giles Sutherland Rich Memorial Moot Court Competition will be held at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on March 23-24, 2019. Southeastern teams will compete for the honor of representing the region in the national championships and arguing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Notio Law Group will be sponsoring the opening breakfast and assisting with the brief grading process. If you are interested in additional information regarding this event, please see www.AIPLA.com.
Notio Law Group is assisting inventors from GEORGIA PATENTS, a pro-bono program sponsored and run by the Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, Inc. GEORGIA PATENTS assists solo inventors and small concerns in locating available pro-bono resources that match their particular needs. For more information go to www.gapatents.org.
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In an article published on Jan. 8, 2018 in the Daily Report, Lori Johnson discusses two recently argued Supreme court cases that may frustrate the entire patent review system. Oil States Energy Services v. Greene’s Energy Group, and Statistical Analysis System (SAS) Institute v. Lee question the means and the constitutionality of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA) of 2012.
Johnson explains that under the current administrative review process, a person dissatisfied with the grant of a patent files a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Then the USPTO determines if it will institute the proceeding and conduct a mini-trial. SAS challenges how the agency carries out these proceedings, Johnson writes. The case “… contends that, while the USPTO has the right to decide which issues to try, it is required by statute to address all challenged claims in the written decision.” Oil States addresses the constitutionality of these proceedings. Johnson continues, “Oil States argues that Congress went beyond their authority when they allowed patent challenges to occur outside an Article III forum, without a jury.”
Johnson explains that the Supreme Court’s decision in these cases will have serious commercial impact, as companies use these proceedings to reduce the cost and uncertainty associated with patent litigation. According to Johnson this highlights an important issue: “Just because many do not like the cost and lack of certainty associated with patent litigation, that doesn’t necessarily give Congress the ability to address the problem by removing the decision of patent validity from the federal courts.”
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