With less than 24 hours to go, we're counting down to 2018 with a look back on all that happened this year. In our last entry, we mentioned catching up with the CRISPR-Cas9 case and PTAB's ruling that both parties involved would retain the right to license their own patents. However, in July, the University of California filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. stating that PTAB overlooked key aspects of the case and was incorrect in its ruling that the two discoveries did not overlap.
Also in appeals this August was a case involving the Electronic Frontier Foundation and "podcasting patent troll" Personal Audio LLC. Shortly following a dispute between comedian Adam Carolla and PA early last year concerning a patent covering a "“system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence," the EFF filed an inter partes review, requesting that the patent be invalidated for good. In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the PTAB 2015 decision, ruling "on the merits of the appeal... the judgment of unpatentability."
In September, California lawmakers met to debate one of the most highly-anticipated clean energy mandates the state has ever seen. The proposed bill (SB 100) outlined plans for California to commit to using 100% renewable or carbon neutral energy by 2045.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in partnership with the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), signed off on a new initiative in October to help make medicine patent information more available. The program, named the Patent Information Initiative for Medicines (Pat-INFORMED), aims to create a common online platform or database of key medicine patents & information, accessible to health professionals worldwide. So far, twenty “leading global research-based biopharmaceutical companies” have agreed to take part, including: Pfizer, Novartis and GSK, among others.
In November, we learned that billionaire Bill Gates is funding the development of a new "smart city" in Arizona, intended to serve as a hub for innovation and progressive technology in the greater-Phoenix area. Named Belmont, this unique 24,800 acre site will allegedly feature the latest and greatest in technology, including: autonomous vehicles, advanced digital networks, data centers and much more.
Finishing out the year, we followed up on a new partnership between Uber and NASA to bring a new fleet of flying taxis to clear skies everywhere. With NASA behind it to help manage and develop air traffic systems, Uber hopes to demo the first set of its autonomous flight vehicles in Los Angeles by 2020 as a first step in its Uber Elevate initiative.
What was your favorite moment from this year? Share with us in the comments. Happy New Year!