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In a Rare Move, ITC Applies Public Interest Factors to Exempt Research-Related Microfluidic Devices from Exclusion Order

The U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) has become a popular venue for patent infringement actions, as it provides for fast and powerful exclusionary remedies against infringers in the form of exclusion and cease-and-desist orders, through which the ITC can bar importation of infringing products into the United States. Importantly, the ITC does not apply the equitable “eBay factors” before issuing such relief—instead, it must consider the so-called “public interest factors”: the effect of the orders upon (1) the public health and welfare, (2) competitive conditions in the United States economy, (3) the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, and (4) United States consumers.

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Changes in EPO Divisional Deadlines


Time to Read: 1 minutes Practices: Intellectual Property

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Today the European Patent Office (EPO) announced that as of April 1, 2014, it will repeal the current 24-month time limit for filing divisional applications. Applicants will once again be able to file divisional applications at any time from a pending EP application. One caveat is that the fees for filing divisionals may increase for any second and subsequent generation divisional applications. These fees have yet to be made public.

Impact on Client Portfolios

Any EP application that is pending (not granted, refused or abandoned) on or after April 1, 2014 can be used as the basis for a divisional application, even if the current two-year limit has expired. We therefore suggest that companies review their EP patent portfolios to identify any pending EP applications on which it may be desirable to file a divisional application, but on which the current two-year time limit has expired, as there may be value in keeping these applications pending until after April 1, 2014.  

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