AmiCOUR IP Group News and Opinions

Justice Sotomayor:
"We hold that it does."

More Arbitrouble:
Competitive Technologies v. American Arbitration


New DOL Stats:
Suspicious Tarmac
Delays Have Vanished

Stanford v. Roche:
The Justices Side
with Roche

Rocky Mountain IP:
Luminaries Gather


Welcome to the AmiCOUR IP Blog.  We invite your comments.  Past Issues.

June 9, 2011 - The Supreme Court today released its ruling and opinion in the high profile Microsoft v. i4i case, holding that the "clear and convincing" standard of proof is required for a defendant to prevail using a defense of patent invalidity. Concurring opinions were delivered by Justices Breyer and Thomas, supporting the Court's overall 8-0 decision (The Chief Justice took no part in the decision). AmiCOUR IP Group filed an amicus curiae in the case in support of i4i demonstrating that patents would be devalued by the proposed lower standard, and, in certain circumstances, trigger a reportable event to shareholders of public companies. Read the opinion. 

June 8, 2011 - Controversy continues to surround the American Arbitration Association, previously covered on this blog. This new case pulls the wraps off normally confidential ADR proceedings. The Memorandum speaks for itself, asking a Federal judge to intervene. Read the filing.

June 7, 2011 - The most recent statistics released by the Department of Transportation revealed a 97 percent reduction in tarmac delays exceeding 3 hours. The change came about as the result of legislation successfully brought about by a California passenger turned lobbyist after American Airlines carelessly trapped her aboard a plane with other victims for approximately 9 hours. Kate Hanni started an aviation consumer protection organization to do what the official US Government's FAA Aviation Consumer Protection Division had failed to do. She successfully convinced legislators to force recalcitrant carriers to put an immediate end the ever increasing airline stranding events.  More.

June 6, 2011 - The Supreme Court has sided with Roche in the high profile Stanford v. Roche patent case. Originally, the University required its employees to sign agreements promising to assign IP rights in the future; however, during a segment of the HIV detection technology research, one professor signed another agreement (with Cetus, whose assets in the subject matter were later acquired by Roche) presently assigning the same IP rights ('does hereby assign'). Stanford later filed suit when Roche balked at taking a license for the patent after it issued. Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion; notably reclused from the Microsoft v. i4i case presumably as a Microsoft shareholder. Stanford v. Roche has already been the subject of workshops, plenary sessions, and webinars bringing the important drafting language lesson to IP practitioners. The point centers on the simple distinction between a promise to assign and a present act of assignment, reminding everyone of the most important of all lessons of contract law: Write precisely what you mean and mean precisely what you write. The Obama Administration was among those who weighed in supporting Stanford. The opinion is expected have ramifications for all university, corporate, and institutional research; notwithstanding the  widespread re-drafting of employment agreements. The ruling also holds that Bayh-Dole does not automatically vest rights. Read the opinion.

June 1, 2011 - IP attorneys and experts gathered in Denver for the 9th Annual Rocky Mountain Intellectual Property and Technology Institute conference. The traditionally low profile event is known by IP professionals as one of the highest profile and widely respected conferences in the intellectual property industry. The multi-track content structure covered patents, trademarks, copyrights, and licensing practices, including special plenary sessions on alternative dispute resolution and ethics.  The wrap-up session addressed the age old ethical question, "Who really owns the patent and am I representing the company or the inventor?" Other sessions covered the lesson learned from the high profile Stanford v. Roche case, along with a touch of speculation and some unavoidable opinions on Microsoft v. i4i. Useful insights into application prosecution and PTO appeal practices were offered by some of Colorado's most experienced practitioners. A luncheon plenary presented by two retired Federal Judges discussed barriers to settlement, potential abuses of the mediation process, and positive steps available to resolve IP cases ahead of trial.  Several representatives of the the highly respected JAMS organization presented material. The careful selection of neutrals has allowed JAMS to move ahead of the American Arbitration Association and other controversial ADR organizations.  Attendance for the two day event was estimated at 350, with nearly all planning to return again in a year for more CE credits.