Patent Office Trials Blog
    • 1/29/2015
      Sughrue partner John Scherling was once again selected to be named among the elite group of Super Lawyers. ‎Super Lawyers is a selection based process representing more than 70 practice areas of ‎outstanding attorneys. The list includes a diverse group who have all attained high recognition ‎and professional achievement. The selection includes research, peer evaluations, and peer ‎nominations. Mr. Scherling has been included among the best patent litigators in the Super Lawyers directory since 2012.  For more information, please click here.
    • 1/20/2015

      Following the decades-long debate about the proper standard of review for claim construction determinations, the Supreme Court this morning in Teva v. Sandoz upended long-standing rule of de novo review of claim construction by the Federal Circuit.

      In a 7-2 decision (Alito, Thomas dissenting), the Supreme Court held that when reviewing a district court's resolution of subsidiary factual matters made in the course of its construction of a patent claim, the Federal Circuit must apply a clear error standard of review, not a de novo standard of review.

      Recall that the present version of the de novo standard originated with the Cybor decision in 1997. In 2004, the Federal Circuit reheard en banc the Phillips case, and certified the question of whether or not Cybor should be reconsidered. After extensive briefing in Phillips, the Federal Circuit declined to revisit Cybor.

      Over the years, the Federal Circuit has repeatedly left Cybor alone :

      • 2006 – Amgen v. Hoechst (en banc review of Cybor denied)
      • 2011– Retractable Techs. v. Becton Dickinson (en banc review of Cybor denied)
      • 2014 - Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Philips Electronics N.A. Corp. (en banc -Federal Circuit reconfirmed the longstanding rule that claim construction is an issue of law reviewed de novo on appeal.

      Legislative attempts to undo the de novo standard of review have also been unsuccessful

      • 2007 – S.1145 (Sen. Leahy (D.Vt.))
      • 2009 -- S.515, §8(b) 

      Today's decision represents a substantive change in our law.  To view a copy of the decision, please click here.


    • 1/1/2015
      Sughrue Mion, PLLC is pleased to announce the elevation to partnership of Ellen Resnick Smith, Azy S. Kokabi, Travis Ribar and Christopher J. Bezak. We congratulate each of them for their high level of client service, teamwork and commitment to the practice of intellectual property law.

      Ellen Resnick Smith is a 1997 graduate of the George Mason University School of Law. Ms. Smith provides extensive patent counseling for clients ranging from large multi-national corporations to small business ventures. Her counseling includes freedom-to-operate, infringement, and validity opinions. She has substantial experience providing her clients with
      strategic advice for developing and protecting their intellectual property portfolios, including developing strategies for establishing, protecting, preserving and enforcing those patent rights in the U.S. and abroad.

      Mrs. Smith’s practice encompasses the entire period of prosecution of a patent, from the initial drafting of the application to conducting oral hearings to the Board of Appeals. Her technical experience in the broad spectrum of mechanical arts ranges from fiber-optic connectors to athletic shoe designs to off-shore oil rigs. Examples of Ms. Smith's diverse technological prosecution experience includes medical devices, semiconductors, aircraft structure and operation, underground mining technologies, vehicle system management and devices, farm and construction equipment, cosmetic packaging, waste recycling management and oil/petroleum technologies.

      Azy Kokabi is a 2005 graduate of the George Mason University School of Law. Ms. Kokabi focuses her practice on patent infringement litigation in Federal Courts, with particular experience in Hatch-Waxman patent infringement litigations. She has also drafted and negotiated numerous licenses and settlement agreements involving universities, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Ms. Kokabi, a registered patent attorney, has served as counsel in multiple interferences and inter partes review proceedings.

      Ms. Kokabi also prosecutes patent applications covering biotechnology and medical devices, and has been involved in a number of reexamination proceedings and reissue applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Prior to joining Sughrue Mion, Ms. Kokabi worked at a boutique law firm, where she focused on interference practice. She also served at the USPTO as an Examiner, where she was responsible for examining patent applications related to medical devices and surgical bandages and interned for the Honorable Judge Rader at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

      Travis Ribar is a 2006 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Ribar practices in all areas of intellectual property law with a focus on rendering opinions on patentability, infringement, and validity, including due diligence and product clearance analysis, as well as on the litigation of intellectual property matters, including reexamination practice.

      A former Patent Examiner at the USPTO, he also counsels and assists clients in the procurement of both U.S. and foreign patents, which includes the preparation and prosecution of patent applications.
      Mr. Ribar specializes in the areas of photoresist formulations and applications, rubber compositions, plastics and adhesives, membranes, medical and drug delivery devices, display devices, semiconductor materials, food compositions, polymeric materials, and the chemical arts.

      Christopher Bezak is a 2007 graduate of Michigan State University College of Law. Mr. Bezak practices in the firm's Electrical and Internet E-Commerce & Software Practice Groups. He is involved in drafting and prosecuting patent applications involving software, computer hardware, telecommunications, Internet technologies, business methods, and electrical technologies.

      Mr. Bezak has significant IT industry experience for a software/IT/telecommunication company during which time he administered the design and maintenance of customer networks including data storage solutions, data backup solutions and data security.

    • 12/30/2014
      On December 16, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued the much-anticipated “2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility,” superseding the previous USPTO Guidance of March 4, 2014.
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    • 3/9/2015
      TBD
      An event where the following CEO's will be interviewed: Peter Farrell, Chairman, ResMed; Rick Baldridge, President and COO, ViaSat; and Alex Lukianov, Chairman of the Board and CEO, NuVasive, Inc.
    • 3/24/2015
      JW Marriott
      Los Angeles, CA
      The Intellectual Property Institute has forged a reputation for gathering national speakers to analyze sophisticated topics and provide practical takeaways to attendees.
    • 3/24/2015
      JW Marriott
      Los Angeles, CA
      The Intellectual Property Institute has forged a reputation for gathering national speakers to analyze sophisticated topics and provide practical takeaways to attendees. Focusing on copyright, patent and trademark law, the Institute features morning plenary sessions, a luncheon keynote address, afternoon tracked breakout sessions, and six networking opportunities, including a special networking breakfast for women in IP and a hosted cocktail reception at the end of the day.
    • 3/25-27/2015
      North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
      Bethesda, MD
      Come and experience the 30th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference in Bethesda, MD, offering three days of premiere CLE programming and networking events. Partner, Leigh Ann Lindquist speaking on "Non-Traditional Trademarks: The Shape (and more) of Trademarks to Come." For more information on this event, please click here.
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