Our publications and briefings provide an in-depth analysis of commercial and legal developments, as they happen.


COVID-19 Workplace Safety Regulations for Businesses

Oct 13 2020
On July 15, Virginia became the first state to adopt workplace safety regulations to address COVID-19, both to help curtail the spread of the virus and to drive sustained economic recovery throughout the Commonwealth. Other states have adopted, or are considering, similar COVID-19 workplace safety regulations. So what do employers need to do if they operate in Virginia? What states have taken similar action? And what should companies do to get their organizations ready for what may come to their state?

Transacting in a Remote Work Environment: A Primer on Electronic Transactions and Electronic Signatures

Oct 05 2020
The pandemic has accelerated the shift away from ink-and-paper and toward electronic signatures and records. Such electronic options offer not only convenience, but also safety (in the form of social distancing) and security (via sophisticated encryption and audit trail features). But before using an electronic signature platform in a transaction, there are a number of issues attorneys must consider—both in terms of legal compliance and enforceability as well as best practices for a real-world transaction.

Proposed Alternative PTAB Discretionary Denial Factors In View of Co-Pending Parallel Litigation

Oct 02 2020
Patent attorney litigators Brent Babcock and Tyler Train propose replacing the PTAB’s current NHK-Fintiv factors with the alternative “Babcock-Train Factors” set forth. These alternative factors have been crafted in an effort to provide clearer institution guidance to the PTAB’s Administrative Patent Judges, and to afford a neutral perspective with respect to both the particular posture of the party in the PTAB proceeding (petitioner or patent owner) and the specific venue of the parallel district court litigation.

An Initial Statistical Analysis of the PTAB’s Recent “NHK-Fintiv Factor” Institution Decisions

Sep 22 2020
The “NHK-Fintiv rule” originates from two precedential PTAB decisions, in which the PTAB applied the rule and then exercised its discretion to deny institution of the IPR trials. The NHK-Fintiv rule has now been applied by the PTAB in two dozen cases, providing a small but potentially informative statistical sample size. In view of the impact that this now precedential rule has had on PTAB practice in the last few months, this discussion endeavors to provide a high-level statistical analysis of how the PTAB has sought to balance the six NHK-Fintiv factors in reaching its post-Fintiv institution decisions.

Artificial Intelligence and Patent Law: What Happens After DABUS?

Aug 12 2020
This article is based on a Womble Bond Dickinson/Berkeley Center for Law & Technology presentation, with Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys Chris Mammen, Brent Babcock and Bill Jacobs and IBM IP Policy Council Yeen Tham leading the discussion. Jim Dempsey of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology and Womble Bond Dickinson Senior Client Service Director Maggie Watkins provided introductory remarks.

Patenting Emerging Technologies – Determining How Far an Artisan’s Knowledge Goes

Aug 12 2020
Emerging technologies are developing at a blistering pace. One challenge for today’s patent practitioner is determining the extent to which a patent specification may rely on the knowledge of a person of ordinary skill in the art to provide support for certain claimed embodiments. That creates a tension between a company’s desire to protect valuable trade secrets versus the need to provide an enabling disclosure.

Brexit and Beyond: Trademark Protection Strategies in an Uncertain Global Marketplace

Aug 05 2020
The unprecedented challenges posted by the COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies and their in-house legal teams to temporarily shelve their Brexit preparations in order to deal with the immediate threats posed by the pandemic. While COVID-19 remains an ongoing and serious concern for US operations, companies that also do business in the UK also need to put Brexit planning for their trademark portfolio back on the agenda. Having declined to request a further extension, the UK is set to exit the European Union on Dec. 31. Businesses need to prepare now in order to protect their trademarks in an uncertain global market.

Offshore Wind Overview: Economic Growth Opportunity and Environmental, Permitting and Financing Challenges

Jul 23 2020
Few industries have the growth potential to match that of the offshore wind industry. A March 2020 report by the American Wind Energy Association found that by 2030, the US offshore wind industry is expected to account for 20,000-30,000 megawatts of clean energy capacity, between $28 billion and $57 billion of investments in the US economy, and as many as 83,000 American jobs.

An Invisible Shield: States Begin Enacting COVID-19 Liability Protections

Jul 20 2020
Although top officials in the U.S. Senate have insisted that liability protections are a top priority for future COVID-19 relief legislation from the federal government, the current onus remains on the states to limit liability and provide COVID-19-related protections to healthcare services and business entities. As a result, in the absence of federal protections, states across the country are beginning to pass legislation that provides liability protections for companies and healthcare providers against COVID-19-related lawsuits. These “liability shields” are intended to provide certain immunities from liability claims regarding COVID-19 and prevent lawsuits brought by people who contract the virus under a specific set of circumstances.