On January 7, 2019, the USPTO issued new patent examination guidelines for USPTO Examiners to consider subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101. The USPTO has now provided to U.S. patent attorneys a very helpful PowerPoint presentation that includes the 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance on 35 U.S.C. 101. This is a 200 slide presentation by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office which provides excellent information for patent attorneys and their clients on the new USPTO procedures for examining patent applications under 35 U.S.C. 101. This presentation discusses the revised Step 2A in the 35 USC 101 analysis which now includes a two prong approach as shown below:
Michael Neustel enjoyed participating in an IP Roundtable with USPTO Director Andrei Iancu, U.S. Senator Hoeven and ND Governor Burgum on November 30, 2018 which was attended by various business and university leaders. Director Iancu did an excellent job of discussing the various intellectual property issues at the USPTO and how the USPTO is moving forward to improve the services it provides to the intellectual property community. Director Iancu even provided additional time after the IP Round Table to meet with Michael and a local business leader to discuss various issues important to small businesses. We appreciate Director Iancu coming to North Dakota not only to visit our great state but also to share his vision of the future at the USPTO!
Neustel is pleased to announce that it has successfully prosecuted another patent for PRx Performance (www.PRxPerformance.com). U.S. Patent No. 10,124,201 issued on October 13, 2018 for PRx Performance’s successful Wall Mounted Exercise Rack. PRx Performance was on Shark Tank and selected by Kevin O’Leary (a.ka. Mr. Wonderful). PRx Performance was also selected as a 2018 Inc. 5000 company (#674). Neustel is proud to work with PRx Performance to protect its various innovations and trademarks.
Just one day after oral argument on February 7, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a Judgment in favor of Neustel’s client Inline Packaging involving Graphic Packaging’s appeal of the PTAB’s IPR Decision (IPR2015‐01609) finding all 53 claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,872,078 unpatentable.
U.S. Patent No. 8,872,078 is owned by Graphic Packaging International, Inc. and relates to technology used for microwave susceptor sleeves. Graphic Packaging had sued Inline Packaging for infringement of the ‘078 patent in U.S. Federal District Court over its alleged sale of microwave susceptor materials to Nestlé for use with certain HOT POCKETS® and/or LEAN CUISINE® branded food products. Neustel Law Offices represented the IPR Petitioner, Inline Packaging, LLC, a small microwave susceptor packaging business with approximately 50 employees in Princeton, Minnesota in the successful IPR campaign and defending the IPR decision on appeal to the Federal Circuit.
UPDATE: There is a good Law360 Article on the appeal decision on February 9, 2018.
On October 5, 2017, Neustel client Barco, Inc. was granted a stay in the Northern District of Illinois, on the basis of three petitions for Inter Partes review challenging all the asserted patents in the case. The case is T-Rex AB v. Barco, Inc., No. 1:16-cv-6938 (N.D. IL.). The IPR’s have not yet been instituted, but the stay follows the practice in the Northern District of Illinois liberally granting such stays when discovery and other matters in litigation have not progressed significantly toward trial. The challenged U.S. patents are RE39,470, 7,382,334, and 6,430,603, and relate to systems and methods for remotely displaying digital information, particularly for digital signage and advertising. Barco, Inc. is represented by Edward Runyan of Neustel Law Offices, LTD.
On August 3 & 4, 2017, on behalf of Barco, Inc., Neustel filed petitions for inter partes review on three patents owned and asserted in district court by T-Rex Property AB. The challenged patents are U.S. Patents RE39,470; 7,382,334; & 6,430,603. The patents all relate to systems for remotely controlling displays, with particular application to digital signage and advertising.
Law360 did an article on our recent lawsuit on behalf of Lagree to enforce its patents, trademarks and copyrights. Below is the initial portion of the article and a link to the full Law360 article:
Fitness Celeb Claims Gym Infringed Exercise Machine, IP
Law360, Los Angeles (February 17, 2017, 7:57 PM EST) — Fitness guru and celebrity trainer Sebastien Lagree and his Lagree Fitness sued the BodyRok franchise in California federal court on Friday alleging infringement of his patents, copyright and trademarks with a fitness machine nearly identical to his “Megaformer.” Lagree’s Pilates-style fitness program is practiced in more than 300 licensed studios around the world, the complaint said. He also has patents for exercise machines in the program, including the “Megaformer,” which is designed to work core muscles in various ways and only sold to Lagree-licensed studios. In a detailed 52-page complaint, Lagree accused BodyRok and its founders, who once had licensed Lagree programs, of debuting a fitness machine that infringes his patents for the Megaformer, as well as copying other aspects of Lagree’s program. Read Entire Article
Law360, New York (February 10, 2017, 7:04 PM EST) — The Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidated as obvious a food packager’s patent covering cardboard sleeves that encase Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets freezer items, according to a recently unsealed decision. … Read Entire Article.
On January 10, 2017, the PTAB issued a Final Written Decision in an Inter Partes Review (IPR2015‐01609) finding all 53 claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,872,078 unpatentable. The ‘078 patent is owned by Graphic Packaging International, Inc. and relates to technology used for microwave susceptor sleeves. Graphic Packaging had sued Inline Packaging for infringement of the ‘078 patent in U.S. Federal District Court over its alleged sale of microwave susceptor materials to Nestlé for use with certain HOT POCKETS® and/or LEAN CUISINE® branded food products. Neustel Law Offices represented the IPR Petitioner, Inline Packaging, LLC, a small microwave susceptor packaging business with approximately 50 employees in Princeton, Minnesota in the successful IPR campaign.