Paralegal's Commentary on Court's Patent Ruling

Yeah, this news is about an important ruling by the Supremes, but it's also very nice to see an experienced paralegal being quoted:

"When the Supreme Court of the United States ruled for KSR in the case of KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex Inc. [link added], it also served notice to the software industry that major changes may be afoot in both the granting and protecting of existing software patents.

"For several years now, software patents have frequently been seen by many as stifling innovation, granting intellectual property claims for ideas that had been around for decades and awarding the companies that hold them hundreds of millions of dollars—such as in RIM vs. NTP—even when the patents themselves have been rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

"Now, as Pamela Jones, editor of the intellectual property law news site Groklaw, noted, 'The standout paragraph' in the decision written by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy read:

    'We build and create by bringing to the tangible and palpable reality around us new works based on instinct, simple logic, ordinary inferences, extraordinary ideas, and sometimes even genius. These advances, once part of our shared knowledge, define a new threshold from which innovation starts once more. And as progress beginning from higher levels of achievement is expected in the normal course, the results of ordinary innovation are not the subject of exclusive rights under the patent laws. Were it otherwise patents might stifle, rather than promote, the progress of useful arts.'

"Jones, a paralegal, observed, 'The court has raised the obviousness bar, or as they probably view it put it back where the founding fathers meant it to be.'"


"Patently Obvious?"

Another excellent post to Legal Blog Watch by lawyer & blogger Robert J. Ambrogi [links listed below from original post]:

"Tons of reaction among bloggers to yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in KSR v. Teleflex. Rather than attempt to summarize it all, I offer these samples.

You can find more links to articles about this bombshell opinion in the complete post. Happy reading, all you patent paralegals!


"High Court Ruling Could Spark Surge in Patent Challenges"

Looks like paralegals specializing in patent law can expect much more work:

"Patent litigation could explode in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling Tuesday in a closely watched dispute over patent validity between two biotechnology firms.

"The Court, by an 8-1 vote, reinstated a lawsuit by MedImmune challenging a Genentech patent related to Synagis, a popular drug for treatment of respiratory disease in children. The opinion in MedImmune v. Genentech, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, says patent licensees no longer have to breach the license in order to have standing to challenge the patent that they dispute. Patent lawyers say the ruling could lead to a flurry of challenges to existing patents.

"'It's a rare patent where you can't find something to challenge. There will be an explosion in litigation by these licensees,' says Jim Badke, a partner at Ropes & Gray. 'Companies can have their cake and eat it too.'"


"Google launches search engine for US patents"

This news from Google sure sounds smart to me. But will patent paralegals be impressed?

"Google was live [12/14/2006] with a service enabling Internet users to search through the more than seven million patents granted in the United States.

"The beta, or test, version of Google Patent Search lets people sift through patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office as long ago as 1790 by using inventors' names, filing dates, patent numbers or key words.

"Searches return information about the inventor and provide patent details online page-by-page."

I've never worked in this field, but was completely fascinated by the cool stuff I found!