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Intellectual Property Report

Client Updates

A Look at New Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Experience with Intellectual Property Cases
Jeffrey Han
Since Amy Coney Barrett first assumed the bench at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit three years ago, she has had occasion to decide only a handful of IP cases. These cases alone do not reveal how the Supreme Court’s newest justice might decide future IP cases. But given that her academic work did not involve intellectual property, these several cases shed light on issues she may not have commented on during her academic career, including trademarks and trade dress, copyrights, trade secrets, and even patents.
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Manufacturing Patent Claims Directed to “Nothing More” Than Natural Laws To Reach A Desired Result Are Not Patentable Subject Matter
Aashish Kapadia
The Federal Circuit recently modified and reissued its opinion on rehearing in American Axle Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC holding that manufacturing methods that invoke natural laws, and nothing more, are not patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. The broad grant of § 101 covering “any new and useful process, machine, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof” has long excluded natural laws, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas from patent protection. In the original opinion, the court had held that all asserted claims of U.S. Patent Number 7,774,911 (“the ’911 patent”) were not patentable subject matter, but on rehearing, the panel majority distinguished claim 1 as eligible while claim 22 was not because claim 1 is broader than the natural law to which claim 22 is directed.
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Intellectual Property (IP) During COVID-19: What You Need to Know to Avoid Loss of Rights and Unnecessary Headaches
Paul Ragusa, Nick Palmieri
In response to the extraordinary social and economic impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), administrative agencies and courts which handle intellectual property (IP) matters have enacted measures to provide parties relief against the potential of lost IP rights. The response has evolved since March 2020, depending on jurisdiction and other factors, and promises to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
This article provides an overview of certain common changes which businesses and counsel should investigate to protect IP rights during this uncertain era. While a comprehensive guide for all situations cannot be made, agencies and courts have made changes with a common theme in many instances that can serve as a guide for businesses to use while navigating the post-COVID-19 IP environment.
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*This article was previously published in Financier Worldwide Magazine in October 2020.

DOJ Continues to Zero in on Public Procurement Crimes
Alex Bourelly, Heather Souder Choi, Caroline Jones, Joe Ostoyich, Natalia Sorgente
Clients that do business with the federal government should take note: despite the pandemic and the upcoming election, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) continues to prioritize its focus on punishing fraudulent and anticompetitive conduct by government contractors, carrying out dozens of active investigations and making use of dedicated resources across multiple divisions. Last month, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim confirmed the DOJ Antitrust Division’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force (“Strike Force”) has opened almost two dozen active grand jury investigations into potential criminal antitrust law violations. The Strike Force was formed in the fall of last year in an effort to detect big rigging and other antitrust crimes in the public procurement space.
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