The full Federal Circuit will revisit the vexing question of what is patent-eligible subject matter on February 8. Several cases confront whether broadcasters’ copyrights give them control over how the shows are distributed. Plus, the IP challenges of 3D printers, a new act expands design-patent rights globally, David Kappos’ departure from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the Twitter stars of the IP world.


A new stab at defining patentability
One of the most common complaints about the U.S. patent system is that inventors are claiming ownership of basic, widely understood ideas. No doubt aware of these criticisms, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has agreed to revisit its definition of patent-eligible subject matter in an upcoming case.

Broadcasters battle purveyors of new technologies
Appeals are pending in two federal appeals courts over Internet television technology, and at least one of the cases could well reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Is intellectual property law ready for 3D printers?
The distributed nature of additive manufacturing is likely to present a host of practical challenges for IP owners.

Kappos leaves big shoes to fill at patent office
Among his achievements: reducing the backlog of applications and implementing the patent reform law.

New act expands design-patent rights
Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act offers a unified procedure for obtaining design patents around the world.

Quick takes from IP practitioners
We asked a group of intellectual property lawyers what advice they would offer clients to prepare for the first-to-file patent system that goes into effect March 16, as well as their thoughts on the top intellectual property developments of the past year and what to expect in the year ahead.

The IP Twitterati
Who to follow on Twitter as part of your intellectual property practice.