On August 25, 2017, the Trump administration announced Andrei Iancu to be the next Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”).
On August 25, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released a precedential opinion in Ex Parte McAward, holding that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the PTAB”) will continue to use the standard from In Re Packard, 751 F.3d 1307 (Fed. Cir. 2014), rather than Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2120 (2014), when evaluating the definiteness of patent claims during pre-issuance examination.
On February 21, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) issued its opinion in Secure Axcess, LLC v. PNC Bank (“PNC”), holding that, to be eligible for covered business method (“CBM”) review under the America Invents Act (“AIA”), a patent’s claims must contain some financial activity element.
On March 21, 2017, the United States Supreme Court (“Supreme Court”) issued its opinion in SCA Hygiene Prods. V. First Quality Baby Prods., holding that laches, an equitable defense to infringement damages based upon unreasonable delay in commencing suit, cannot be a defense against infringement damages where the infringement occurred within the six year period established in 35 U.S.C. §286.