Hot Topics in Intellectual Property

Acquire a basic understanding of the hottest issues being debated by IP users, practitioners, and policy makers.
Forum Shopping in Patent Cases

Forum Shopping in Patent Cases

By David Kline Many defendants in patent infringement cases argue that case law (such as VE Holding in 1990) allowing patent lawsuits to be filed in any district in which the defendant has sales have only encouraged abusive patent litigation. They say this practice,...

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The Slants Case and the Trademark Protection Debate

The Slants Case and the Trademark Protection Debate

By David Kline A January 2017 release from Simon Tam's dance rock group The Slants is called "The Band Who Must Not Be Named" — and for good reason. Despite making music for more than a decade, the world’s first all Asian-American dance rock band had been unable to...

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Should Willful Infringers Pay Enhanced Damages?

Should Willful Infringers Pay Enhanced Damages?

Section 284 of the U.S. Patent Act provides that if a defendant has been found to have infringed a patent, “the court may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed” after a finding that the infringement was “willful.”

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Should Software Patents Be Outlawed?

Should Software Patents Be Outlawed?

By David KlineIn June of 2014, The U.S. Supreme Court issued its most consequential decision on the patentability of software since it upheld the first software patent 33 years previously. In Alice v. CLS Bank, the Court ruled that taking some activity that people...

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Is the Supreme Court Killing Life Science Innovation?

Is the Supreme Court Killing Life Science Innovation?

By David Kline In 2012, the United States Supreme Court in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Labs invalidated a patent for an innovative diagnostic test for a personalized medicine dosing regimen, and the fallout from this ruling continues to affect the whole...

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Is Patent Litigation Out of Control?

Is Patent Litigation Out of Control?

By David KlineCritics of the patent system claim we are witnessing an “explosion of patent litigation” unlike any in history that is harming business and diverting resources better spent on innovation. According to Lex Machina, a respected legal analytics firm, there...

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Has the Government Made It Too Easy To Invalidate Patents?

Has the Government Made It Too Easy To Invalidate Patents?

By David Kline In June of 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in one of the most consequential cases affecting the patent system. On the surface, Cuozzo Speed Technologies v. Lee was about whether the Patent Office (PTO) can use a different standard...

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How Can We Stop Chinese Theft of Intellectual Property?

How Can We Stop Chinese Theft of Intellectual Property?

By David KlineThe latest figures indicate that the total cost of patent infringement, pirated software, counterfeit goods, and theft of trade secrets costs the U.S. economy somewhere between $225 billion to $600 billion each and every year. And according to the...

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Do Patents Really Promote Innovation?

Do Patents Really Promote Innovation?

By David Kline Do patents really promote innovation? This is a matter of no small disagreement. So to answer it, let’s start with the basics: What causes innovation in the first place? Economists have repeatedly demonstrated that inventors are driven primarily by the...

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Do Non-Compete Clauses Unfairly Handcuff Employees?

Do Non-Compete Clauses Unfairly Handcuff Employees?

by James Pooley Employers today increasingly require their employees to sign a contract promising not to compete for a period of time after they leave a firm. Employers justify these “non-compete” agreements as necessary to protect trade secrets. The protection of...

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Can Patent Pools Overcome Patent Roadblocks?

Can Patent Pools Overcome Patent Roadblocks?

By David KlineAn arms race in patents. A surge in high-cost patent litigation. And the emergence of unscrupulous patent trolls who use the threat of lawsuits to extort nuisance settlements.These are the costly side effects — the dark side, if you will — of America’s...

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