Frank Gasparo explained some of the changes the patent community saw in 2017 and predicts what patent litigation actions to expect in 2018 in an article published on December 19, 2017, in the Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property.
In remarks to reporters, Gasparo stated, "So far, the most significant change came by way of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Food Brands Group LLC last May. TC Heartland upended decades of Federal Circuit precedent on patent venue, holding that suits can be filed on where a defendant is incorporated, or where a defendant has regular and established place of business and has committed infringing acts." Gasparo continues to say in 2018, "TC Heartland will affect both businesses seeking to enforce their patents and those facing infringement claims. "Regarding the "patent troll business model," Gasparo adds, "TC Heartland certainly limited the ability of nonpracticing entities and other litigants to file patent infringement suits in their preferred forum."
Gasparo predicts for 2018 international intellectual property law, "Thirty-three countries have changed or abolished 'patent boxes,' which are popular in Europe and provide tax incentives for income connected with IP due to a new standard from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Peer review will continue in the Forum on Harmful Tax Practices, which, while nonbinding, can be used to justify counteracting measures, so more countries may follow suit next year. Also keep an eye on the South African Cabinet's decision to finalize an IP policy that will substantially expand access to medicines."
Gasparo closes his predictions by stating, "In November, we will likely see more motions to amend filed during inter partes review proceedings. The consensus in the business world seems to be that the patent market as a whole will hold steady or improve in 2018."