In 2014, the Supreme Court upended U.S. patent law in the landmark ruling for Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International.  The Alice decision established new standards for determining whether inventions, especially those related to software and business methods, are eligible for patents.

Following the Alice decision, there was a significant increase in 101 rejections

The USPTO’s recent guidance on AI usage marks a critical moment for legal practitioners. This document emphasizes the necessity for both technical and human oversight in mitigating the risks associated with AI tools. The agency is committed to leveraging AI’s benefits across society while ensuring that these technologies do not compromise the integrity of legal

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has proposed significant changes to patent fee structures for the 2025 fiscal year. These proposed changes mark a pivotal shift in the Office’s financial approach toward patent filings. 

The proposed fee changes are available here.

These adjustments stand out not just for their size but for

In 2022, the Federal Circuit definitively ruled that artificial intelligence (AI) systems cannot be named inventors or co-inventors on patent applications, reinforcing the longstanding principle that only natural persons are eligible as inventors under the Patent Act.  This decision, however, left an important question unanswered: Are inventions created with AI assistance patentable?

Today, the United

In the film “Any Given Sunday,” Al Pacino, portraying Coach Tony D’Amato, poignantly compares football to life, describing it as a “game of inches … one half a step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us.” This razor-thin margin is what gives football its unique charm. Not every play is a Hail Mary; often, the game hinges on tense moments, such as the dreaded 4th and inches. Not all teams have mastered the tush push and some of these drives end with a pile of players on the ball. The poor referees are forced to sift through a pile of players to determine the ball’s location. Sometimes, referees resort to watching replays frame-by-frame to pinpoint the spot of the football. Even then, they’re not always correct. These decisions typically leave one group of fans jubilant and the other in dismay. In the midst of the debate over the ball’s placement, it might come as a surprise that the NFL tracks the location of each game ball in real time using an RFID tracking chip.

Since the 2017-18 season, the NFL has collaborated with Zebra Technologies and Wilson Sporting Goods to implant RFID chips within footballs to monitor the football’s position. Weighing only 3.3 grams, these inconspicuous chips are inserted between an inner air bladder and the outer leather shell of the football. Even the players wear RFID chips in their clothing, allowing teams to generate a postgame report with detailed analytics as to player movement. Behind the scenes, Zebra and Wilson are building a rich patent portfolio directed to positional-tracking technology. A look at Zebra’s patents provides a scouting report as to how the positional-tracking technology works.Continue Reading Tech Touchdowns: Revolutionizing Football with RFID Tracking

As attorneys, we’ve all taken Legal Research and Writing. This is where we first encountered Westlaw and Lexis, using these sites to delve into case law for various assignments while chasing Westlaw and Lexis points in the hopes of getting a free TV or iPod (back when that was a thing). Professors always emphasized the critical process of tracing the history of a case and determining if the case is still considered “good law.”

With the rise of generative AI over the past year, it’s unsurprising that lawyers are turning to this advanced technology for legal research. However, there’s a growing concern: the blind acceptance of AI-generated content. This issue was highlighted in U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Robert’s 2023 year-end report on the federal judiciary. A notable incident involved the Second Circuit reprimanding a New York attorney for submitting a brief with reference to a non-existent case, hallucinated by ChatGPT, without proper verification.Continue Reading USPTO Sets to Clarify Attorney Guidelines in the Age of Generative AI

Decking the halls with festive flair is a beloved tradition, from cozy and simple to dazzling displays that could rival Clark Griswold’s winter wonderland. In this yuletide landscape, lights play a starring role, sparking whole industries focused on holiday home illumination. A centerpiece of this seasonal spectacle is often the twinkling Christmas tree.

Traditional tree lighting mainly focuses on the tree’s exterior, with their daytime wiring detracting from the tree’s aesthetic, requiring the wiring to be tucked away under tinsel and ornaments. Enter U.S. Patent No. 7,784,961, with its “clip-attachable light strings for Christmas tree branches,” a merry makeover for tree lighting. This jolly invention lights up each branch individually, featuring a central bus wire nestled near the trunk, branching into 5 to 10 light circuits, each sporting 10 to 20 bulbs. Clipped at each branch’s end, these strands can be extended to fit any tree, from a small spruce to a grand fir, creating a more enchanted, branch-by-branch illumination compared to the old ring-around-the-rosy style.Continue Reading Legal Lessons from Holiday Lights: Clarity in Patent Drafting

On December 7, 2023, the Biden administration announced a blueprint for a framework that may be a tough pill to swallow for the pharmaceutical industry. This framework suggests that drug prices should be a crucial factor in determining whether the public can access taxpayer-funded meds without breaking the bank. More strikingly, it allows government agencies

As our colleagues reported in this Seyfarth Shaw Legal Update, President Biden signed a comprehensive Executive Order addressing AI regulation across a wide range of industries and issues. Intellectual property is a key focus. The Order calls on the U.S. Copyright Office and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to provide guidance on IP risks and related regulation to address emerging issues related to AI.Continue Reading White House Directs Copyright Office and USPTO to Provide Guidance on AI-Related Issues