DC Dispatch

DC Dispatch - October 21, 2016

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Supreme Court 2017 Update

Patently–O has provided: its latest update on the Supreme Court cases having something to do with IP or related issues (petitions granted, awaiting other views, denied, etc.). From the update, “[I]n its first conference of the term, the Supreme Court denied all of the pending petitions regarding patent eligibility.” (Note: this update changes fairly quickly this time of year – as the Supreme Court decides what cases to accept – so things may have changed) (Original Sources: Patently-O blog)

…. Meanwhile …

The USPTO has issued: a request for input from the public on patent subject matter eligibility. From the Federal Register Notice (10/17/16) “[USPTO] seeks public input on patent subject matter eligibility in view of recent decisions by the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The USPTO remains interested in feedback from members of the public to improve the USPTO's existing subject matter eligibility guidance and training examples. The USPTO is also interested in facilitating a discussion among members of the public regarding the legal contours of eligible subject matter in the U.S. patent system. The USPTO will be facilitating these discussions by hosting two roundtable events. The first roundtable will be directed to receiving feedback from members of the public to improve the USPTO's existing subject matter eligibility guidance and training examples. The second roundtable will be focused on receiving feedback regarding larger questions concerning the legal contours of eligible subject matter in the U.S. patent system.” The roundtables are Nov 14 and Dec 5, and written comments are due Jan 18. (Original Sources: Patently-O blog, USPTO web site)

DOE Releases 2016-2018 T2 Execution Plan 

The Department of Energy has released: its Technology Transfer Execution Plan, 2016-2018 (and report to Congress). From the press release, the plan “is designed to guide and strengthen the Department’s technology transfer efforts and reinforce the importance of supporting these activities occurring across DOE’s laboratories, facilities and programs. Specifically, the TTEP presents a strategic framework that supports two overarching goals: 1) Increasing the commercial impact of DOE investments through the transition of National Laboratory-developed technologies to the private sector, and 2) Increase the commercial impact of DOE investments through private sector utilization of the facilities and expertise of DOE’s National Laboratories. This plan … is intended to guide the DOE, and in particular, it’s Office of Technology Transitions (OTT), in promoting scientific and technical innovation that advances the economic, energy and national security interests of the country.” See the plan here. (Original Sources: DOE web site)

News from NSF

Five States Account for Half of U.S. Business R&D in 2013; New Data for Metropolitan Areas Available notes “[C]alifornia alone accounted for 30% ($77 billion) of all self-funded business R&D performance in the United States in 2013. In 2008, California accounted for 25% of such R&D performance. Between 2008 and 2013, the growth of California’s self-funded business R&D performance outpaced that of the rest of the United States, increasing by 42%, compared to a 7% increase for all other states combined.” Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas and Washington rounded out the top five. Also, “[A] single industry dominates the business R&D in 4 of the top 10 states. Automobile manufacturers accounted for 74% of Michigan’s total, software publishers for 62% of Washington’s total, and the pharmaceutical industry for 53% and 48% of New Jersey’s and Pennsylvania’s totals, respectively. The semiconductor and other electronic components industry (the largest industry in terms of R&D in California) accounted for only 20% of California’s business R&D, but all information and communication technology (ICT) industries combined accounted for 67% of the state’s business R&D. Mining, extraction, and support activities was the single largest industry in terms of R&D in Texas, but the ICT industries as a group accounted for 53% of the state’s R&D” (Original Sources: NSF web site).

Fun Facts – Utility Patents Issued in 2016

(All-time high)

Patently-O has developed a chart: noting the number of utility patents issued by the USPTO through FY 2016. As noted in the post “[I]n the end, the Patent Office was able to ramp-up production enough to end FY2016 with the most utility patents issued in any fiscal year in history – 304,500 utility patents! About 53% of the patents have a foreign origin.” (Original Sources: Patently-O blog)


Note: The DC Dispatch is a periodic update of selected items of interest to the FLC and technology transfer community -- i.e., current legislation, trends, reports, policy and other developments potentially affecting technology transfer or related activities -- designed to keep the community informed of relevant issues on a timely basis. Information is gleaned directly from a variety of sources (newsletters, email alerts, web sites, direct participation at events from the FLC DC Representative’s office, etc.) -- with original sources, contacts and links provided.

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