We are excited to publish this 49th issue of IPT News. On a personal note, I am thrilled to begin my tenure as editor.
While the world continues to deal with the implications of the global pandemic, there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel with the large-scale introduction of vaccines. As businesses begin to adjust to a post-pandemic future, the legal landscape continues to evolve. In this issue, we cover some recent developments in the world of intellectual property and technology law.
We are diving headfirst into the world of blockchain and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) with a discussion by Chris Bennett of the relevant legal issues raised by these collectable digital assets. The NFT marketplace is booming and creators, buyers, sellers, and the platforms themselves should all pay attention to developments in this nascent industry.
Continuing this theme of emerging technology, we also include an overview of recent USPTO guidance on the patentability of artificial intelligence innovations.
This issue also presents a summary of an evolving issue in the franchising world: the classification of independent contractors and employees.
We continue the publication of two longstanding columns: Pharmaceutical Corner and Supreme Court Corner. On the pharmaceutical front, we present an overview of an important decision by the Federal Circuit, Amgen v. Sanofi, that addresses the validity of functional antibody patent claims. Supreme Court Corner examines the petition for certiorari filed in American Axle & Manufacturing v. Neapco Holdings, a key case that could decide the appropriate standard for determining patent eligibility. Our Supreme Court team also reports on the impact of USPTO v. Booking.com on recently issued USPTO guidance regarding the ability to register “generic.com” type trademarks.
I hope this issue provides some insight on key legal issues. Perhaps it will provoke some new questions? We are always available to discuss. I hope you all continue to remain safe and healthy.
Susan Krumplitsch, Partner, Intellectual Property and Technology