In the Spotlight

Registration Now Open for WIPO-CPIP Summer School on Intellectual Property on June 11-22 at Scalia Law School

The Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, has partnered with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to host the WIPO-CPIP Summer School on Intellectual Property.

This exclusive, two-week summer course will be held in Arlington, Virginia—just minutes from Washington, D.C., one of the world’s key centers of IP law and policymaking. The course provides a unique opportunity for students, professionals, and government officials to work with leading experts and gain a deeper knowledge of IP to advance their careers.

The course consists of lectures, case studies, simulation exercises, and group discussions on selected IP topics, with an orientation towards the interface between IP and other disciplines. A certificate of participation is awarded to participants who successfully complete the course requirements.


CPIP Scholars Ask Federal Circuit to Fix Patent Eligibility Doctrine in Cleveland Clinic Appeal

On February 28, 2018, a group of CPIP scholars filed an amicus brief in Cleveland Clinic Foundation v. True Health Diagnostics, a case currently on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The patents at issue cover diagnostic tests used to assess a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office initially found the claims to be unpatentable subject matter under Section 101; however, the claims were eventually allowed as new and unconventional applications of known laboratory techniques. Nevertheless, the district court held the claims unpatentable under Section 101, reasoning that they were ineligible under the Alice-Mayo test.

The amicus brief filed last week, written by CPIP’s David Lund and Adam Mossoff, points out that the diagnostic methods at issue are the very sort of innovations the patent system is meant to encourage. Moreover, given the factual conclusions that must be made in order to determine whether the claims are directed to a natural law or whether the laboratory techniques are routine and conventional, they argue that the procedural posture of the case—a motion to dismiss—precludes proper application of the Alice-Mayo test. They note that misapplication of the patent eligibility test continues to lead courts to reject patent protection for many meritorious inventions—as demonstrated in this very case. The amici urge the Federal Circuit to bring clarity and predictability to Section 101 doctrine by rejecting the district court’s conclusory assertions that were made without proper factual support.

To read the amicus brief, please click here.

CPIP Scholars Join Letter to Antitrust Chief Applauding DOJ’s New Evidence-Based Approach to IP Enforcement

On February 13, 2018, scholars from the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP), along with a group of judges, former judges and government officials, law professors and economists with expertise in antitrust law and patent law, sent a letter to Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim applauding his recent announcements that the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) would now take a balanced, evidence-based approach in applying antitrust law to patent licensing, especially to patented innovations that have been contributed to technological standards.

Signatories to the letter include Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg of the D.C. Circuit, former Chief Judge Paul Michel of the Federal Circuit, former FTC Commissioner Joshua D. Wright, and former Director of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office David Kappos, among others.

“This letter to AAG Makan Delrahim from judges, former judges and government officials, legal scholars and economists is very important,” said Adam Mossoff, Professor of Law at Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University, and one of the signers of the letter. “It makes clear the necessity of evidence-based, balanced policy-making by government officials whose regulatory actions directly impact the hundreds of millions in R&D investments and the resulting technological products and services that drive our innovation economy. We would not buy computers or smartphones built entirely on the basis of unproven theories, and the government policies that control the development and sale of these products in the marketplace should equally be based on solid evidence of the role of patented innovation in benefiting consumers.”

To read the letter, please click here.

CPIP Co-Hosts Best Practices in Rights Clearance Symposium at Scalia Law

The Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic, the Journal of International Commercial Law, and the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property at Scalia Law co-hosted an academic symposium on the best practices in rights clearance at Scalia Law on January 18, 2018.

This symposium brought together scholars, industry representatives, and visual artists for a lively discussion about when and whether rights need to be cleared when using the work of others.

During the networking reception that followed the event, student attorneys from the Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic at Scalia Law were available to consult one-on-one with attendees about copyright questions they may have and to help them assess whether it might be fruitful to refer their matter for further advice to the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (or a Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts organization in their area).

To visit our Symposium website, please click here.

CPIP Scholars File Amicus Brief in RecogniCorp. v. Nintendo Urging Supreme Court to Fix Section 101

On December 4, 2017, CPIP Founder Adam Mossoff and CPIP John F. Witherspoon Legal Fellow David Lund filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in RecogniCorp. v. Nintendo. The amicus brief was joined by several law professors, including Richard Epstein and Michael Risch, as well as CPIP Senior Scholars Chris Holman, Kristen Osenga, Mark Schultz, and Ted Sichelman. Bob Sachs of Robert R. Sachs P.C. served as counsel of record.

The technology at issue involves a method of encoding and decoding composite facial images on a computer. The invention solved the problem of decreased image quality when such images are transmitted digitally. RecogniCorp sued Nintendo for patent infringement, and Nintendo challenged the eligibility of the patent under Section 101. Applying the Mayo-Alice framework, the district court held that invention was ineligible subject matter because it was directed to an abstract idea and lacked an inventive concept. Agreeing with that analysis, the Federal Circuit affirmed.

The amici argue that the Supreme Court should grant certiorari in this case in order to correct the continued misapplication of the Mayo-Alice test by the Federal Circuit, the district courts, and the Patent & Trademark Office. By breaking down claims into individual elements and then generalizing them in broad terms, the lower courts and the PTO are failing to properly consider the claimed invention as a whole.

To read the amicus brief, please click here.