The IP Beacon, January 2010


The IP Beacon is a Haynes and Boone Newsletter highlighting current issues in Intellectual Property Law. Articles featured in the January 2010 issue include:

Maintaining Attorney-Client Privilege When Disclosing Opinion Letters in M&A Transactions

Favorable corporate tax treatment under some laws passed earlier this decade is scheduled to end in 2010. As a result, increased merger and acquisition activity is expected in 2010 as companies seek to close merger and acquisition deals before these favorable tax provisions expire. This article discusses best practices in maintaining attorney-client privilege when sharing opinion letters in conducting intellectual property diligence during the confidential phase of such mergers and acquisitions.

The Importance of Patents in China

This article reports on a 7-city tour of China with the North America Chinese Semiconductor Association, and includes first-hand details on how China is addressing intellectual property rights issues both domestically and internationally.

Federal Circuit Affirms Longer Patent Term Adjustments

On January 7, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed in Wyeth v. Kappos, No. 2009-1120 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 7, 2010) that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been improperly calculating patent term adjustment under 35 U.S.C. § 154(b). The Federal Circuit’s decision will result in additional patent term for many U.S. patents, however, there are strict deadlines and immediate review of recently granted patents may be important to pursue this opportunity.

Zipping Your GreenTech Patent Application Down The Line

Accelerated examination of patent applications has typically required an applicant to either: (1) satisfy a handful of very specific requirements, or (2) submit to a potentially risky and time-consuming procedure. But after the USPTO’s recent announcement of the “Green Technology Pilot Program,” a select group of applicants who previously filed applications in specific technology areas may have just won the equivalent of the lottery.

Answering The New Test For Invalidating Design Patents

In 2008, the Federal Circuit held that the ordinary observer test is the sole test for determining whether a design patent has been infringed. The question as to how this ruling affected the invalidity of design patents – if at all – remained open until recently, when a Federal Circuit panel ruled that the ordinary observer test is the sole test for invalidity, as well. The panel’s application of the invalidity test, however, raised some new questions discussed herein.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Deposits a Trade Secret Win over SMIC

Haynes and Boone, along with two co-counsel firms, helped secure a significant victory for our client Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in a long-running trade secrets case against chief rival Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation in the Alameda County, California superior court.

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