Tag Archives: Patent

Patent System after Oil States and SAS – What’s the future?

On April 24th, the Supreme Court decided two important cases related to the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s inter partes review (IPR) proceedings for reconsidering the prior grant of a patent – Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, No. 16-712 (Oil States) and SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu, 16-969 (SAS).… Continue reading this entry

STRONGER Patents Act of 2017 Disadvantages Domestic Manufacturers

In late June, Senators Coons, Cotton, Durbin, and Hirono introduced the STRONGER Patents Act of 2017.  The Act includes provisions that seek to heavily change the inter partes review and post-grant review processes.  However, Sec. 108, which focuses on patent infringement, is the portion that may have the largest effect on hurting domestic automotive companies … Continue reading this entry

What the Supreme Court’s Latest Patent Decision Means for Automotive Suppliers

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Although U.S. patent law has long-established limits on enforcement after a patented product has been sold, the technological innovations may put a bulls-eye on the automotive industry for patent litigation.  However, when suppliers patent components sold to other downstream suppliers or to OEMs, the list of potential patent infringers may have just gotten a lot … Continue reading this entry

Design Patents and Copyrights for Designs on Useful Articles

Two recent cases illustrate the potential benefits of protecting intellectual property rights with both design patents and copyrights, particularly for an article that has both utility and a design, including because a design patent infringement analysis may sometimes be more straightforward to apply. In a design patent case, Columbia Sportswear North America, Inc. v. Seirus … Continue reading this entry

Who Owns the Patent?: The Validity of Automatic Assignment Provisions

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is currently considering a petition for en banc rehearing of the “automatic patent assignment” rule announced in the Court’s 1991 decision in FilmTec Corp. v. Allied-Signal, Inc. See Alexander Shukh v. Seagate Tech. (Fed. Cir. 2015) (en banc petition). In FilmTec, the Federal Circuit determined that a … Continue reading this entry

Shift To Modular Platforms Raises New Issues for Manufacturers And Suppliers

One way in which next-generation manufacturing is impacting the automotive industry is the movement toward modular architecture. These designs use common underpinnings for various models across a variety of vehicle segments, minimizing the variation between parts needed for these models. Volkswagen says their MQB architecture will eventually underpin roughly 40 models, ranging from subcompact hatchbacks like the … Continue reading this entry

The Supreme Court: Cases to Watch in the October 2013 Term

This week marks the first Monday in October, which for Supreme Court watchers is a holiday: the start of a new term.  While not everyone gets that excited about the new term, there are several cases that the Court intends to hear this term that merit attention from businesses in the automotive sector.  Below is … Continue reading this entry

Auto Makers Flatten Patent Troll

On August 9, 2013 the Federal Circuit decided Taurus IP, LLC v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 16507 (Court of Appeals, August 9, 2013). Taurus IP (a non-practicing entity) accused the auto manufacturers (DaimlerChrysler Company, Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler Group) for infringing claim 16 of U.S. Patent No. 6,141,658 (‘658 patent). The Federal Circuit affirmed the … Continue reading this entry

When Outsourcing Manufacturing Can be a Patent Killer

In recent decades, companies seeking to reduce manufacturing costs and improve profit margins have increasingly employed contract manufacturing – that is, the outsourcing of partial or complete manufacturing of products to third party producers, particularly those in countries with lower labor costs such as China, India, and the like. More recently, next generation manufacturers have … Continue reading this entry

PARTS Act Could Limit Automotive Design Patent Enforceability to 2.5 Years

On April 23, 2013, H.R. 1663[1] “Promoting Automotive Repair, Trade, and Sales Act of 2013’’ or the ‘‘PARTS Act’’, was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. Similar bill H.R. 3889[2] died in committee last year. The proposed bill is intended to reduce the cost of replacement parts to collision shops by limiting the period of time … Continue reading this entry