Most energy companies implement Intellectual Property (“IP”) strategies to protect and exploit company IP (offense) and navigate third-party rights (defense). Traditionally, these policies emphasize patents. But today’s IP-savvy energy companies strategically manage both patent and trade secret portfolios throughout a company’s particular energy sector focus. The ascendance of trade secrets reflects recent strengthening of U.S.
An en banc Federal Circuit issued an opinion on 16 June 2015 weakening a longstanding claim construction presumption related to what patent practitioners know as “means-plus-function” language under pre-America Invents Act (AIA) 35 U.S.C. § 112, para. 6 or AIA 35 U.S.C. § 112(f). This significant shift by the court will impact functional claiming, or