A new Jersey publishing company and the American Institute of Physics have launched claims against two law firms whose lawyers who have filed copies of journal articles as “prior art” as part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s stipulated patent application procedure. The claims allege that copies were made for the commercial benefit of the defendants in connection with their patent applications.
These cases are likely test cases, and so far the claim advancing in Minnesota has hit a stumbling block at its initial stages as the USPTO has intervened in support of the lawyers being sued. As a result the complaint there has been narrowed and the claim to remove the allegation that the mere act of transmitting articles to the USPTO constitutes copyright infringement. The claim now focuses on “other copies and transmission” the particulars of which are as yet unclear.
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