08/21/2018

Rossman Award 2018


Rossman Award 2018

Joshua Schwartz

The Rossman Committee was privileged to present the annual Joseph Rossman Memorial Award during the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Patent and Trademark Office Society. The award was established in 1972 by the Society and the family of Dr. Joseph Rossman. Joseph Rossman started his career as a patent examiner and was Editor-in-Chief of The Journal back in the 1930s. He had degrees in chemical engineering and law, as well as a doctorate in psychology. In addition, Dr. Joseph Rossman was an author with a life-long interest in creativity, engineering and law. Dr. Joseph Rossman was the author of many articles in the Journal from the 1930s through the 1960s. Because the Journal was such a big part of Dr. Rossman’s life, his family approached the Society with the idea of establishing the Rossman Award in 1972. The Society enthusiastically embraced the idea and the rest is history. The Rossman Award is given to the author of the article in the Journal that, in the opinion of the judges, makes the greatest contribution to the fields of Patents, Trademarks or Copyrights. Factors that are taken into consideration include originality, timeliness of the subject, depth of research, accuracy, readability, and the potential for impact on the existing system.

The Rossman Committee was privileged to present the 2018 Joseph Rossman Memorial Award to Dr. Peter Hecker during the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Patent and Trademark Office Society.

This year’s winning article was by Dr. Peter Hecker, titled “How an Old Non-Statutory Doctrine Got Worked into the § 101 Test for Patent Eligibility,” which appeared in Volume 99, Issue 1 of The Journal.1 The article examines the concept of overlap between Alice’s inventiveness requirement and the 35 U.S.C. § 103 obviousness test likely stemming from the common root of inventiveness shared by the old skillful mechanic and aggregation doctrines. The article examines the similarity between the two doctrines, their legal contexts, their purposes, and complaints about them.

Dr. Hecker practices intellectual property law with an emphasis on patent prosecution in the biotechnology industry. He received his J.D. from Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School where he served as an executive editor for the BYU Law Review and participated in the ABA’s national moot court competition. Prior to his legal education, Peter received a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Brigham Young University, and then a Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from University of Maryland, Baltimore.

100 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc’y 1(2018)

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