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The IP Beacon, March 2017

View the PDF version of the March 2017 IP Beacon. Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance from the Federal Circuit: Thales Visionix v. United States By Kelvin Varghese Both the courts and the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) have struggled to define the metes and bounds of the subject matter eligibility analysis under 35 U.S.C. ?º 101. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit?ÇÖs recent decision on March 8, 2017 in Thales Visionix Inc. v. United States further clarifies the first step of the eligibility analysis, while confirming the significance of that step. Read more. No Respite On The Horizon For CBM Patents By Andrew Cohn The Patent Trials and Appeals Board and the Federal Circuit have continued their hostility to payment and financial technology patents, recently invalidating three patents and reversing a large damage award in Smartflash LLC v. Apple Inc, see Smartflash LLC v. Apple Inc., Case No. 2016-1059… Continue Reading

Haynes and Boone Borrowing Base Redeterminations Survey – Spring 2017 Results

Haynes and Boone, LLP?ÇÖs spring 2017 survey of oil and gas borrowers and lenders demonstrates a modestly improved outlook for the oil and gas market. In its ?Ç£Borrowing Base Redeterminations Survey: Spring 2017,?Ç¥ the firm polled a broad cross-section of the industry, including executives at oil and gas producers, oilfield services companies, banks and private equity firms, to glean their forward-looking views about the financial state of the market. Specifically, the survey asked respondents to offer predictions about producers?ÇÖ future borrowing capacity or ?Ç£borrowing bases?Ç¥. Producers and lenders meet twice a year to assess borrowing bases ?Çö determinations that turn on banks?ÇÖ projections about the future prices of the producers?ÇÖ oil and gas reserves. Survey respondents expect that 76 percent of producers will see their borrowing bases increase slightly or remain unchanged compared to their fall 2016 borrowing bases. This is improved from Haynes and Boone?ÇÖs fall 2016 survey, when… Continue Reading

DOL Final Rule Implements 60-Day Delay of New Fiduciary Duty Rule

The DOL recently published final rules that implement a 60-day delay in the effective date of the new fiduciary duty rule and related exemptions that the DOL proposed last March. Both the DOL and IRS previously announced enforcement relief from the new fiduciary duty rule in the event the DOL did not publish these final rules prior to April 10, 2017 (the enforcement relief is now moot since the final rules were published prior to that date). The final rules confirm that the new fiduciary duty rule?ÇÖs effective date has been pushed back from April 10, 2017 to June 9, 2017. The 60-day delay is intended to give the DOL time to reconsider the fiduciary duty rule and to determine whether it may adversely affect the ability of individuals to gain access to retirement information and financial advice. View the final rules.

April 2017