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Category Archives: Patent Law

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Federal Circuit Holds Administrative Patent Judges Appointments Unconstitutional

Posted in IP, Patent Law

In Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc. et al., case number 18-2140, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently considered whether the appointment of the Board’s Administrative Patent Judges (“APJs”) by the Secretary of Commerce, as currently set forth in Title 35, violates the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  The… Continue Reading

What Happens When the Intellectual Property Laws Clash with the Antitrust Laws?

Posted in Copyright Law, IP, Patent Law, Trademark Law

Should a company be required to license its patents to a competitor?  That’s one question that arises when intellectual property law and antitrust law intersect. The Sherman Act, section 1, prohibits concerted action (agreements, combinations, or conspiracies) that restrain trade.  Four types of conduct are per se unlawful; i.e., illegal regardless of the reason.  They… Continue Reading

PTAB Invalidates Data Privacy Risk Assessment Patent

Posted in IP, Patent Law, Privacy

Many resources are being devoted to preventing data breaches and protecting privacy.  In fact, patents have issued on various approaches.  But are those approaches really patentable?   In a recent challenge to OneTrust’s patent, which is related to data privacy risk, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) found the subject matter patent ineligible. OneTrust’s patent,… Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Holds That Claim Language Can Limit the Scope of a Design Patent

Posted in IP, Patent Law

In Curver Luxembourg SARL v. Home Expressions Inc., case number 18-2214, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently held that the claim language of a design patent can limit its scope where the claim language supplies the only instance of an article of manufacture that appears nowhere in the figures. Plaintiff Curver… Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Holds IPR Proceedings on Pre-AIA Patents is Not an Unconstitutional Taking Under the Fifth Amendment

Posted in IP, Patent Law

In CELGENE CORPORATION v. PETER, the Federal Circuit recently affirmed the PTAB’s decisions finding appealed claims obvious. However, more importantly, the Federal Circuit also held that the retroactive application of IPR proceedings to pre-AIA patents is not an unconstitutional taking under the Fifth Amendment. Regarding the constitutional issue of whether the retroactive application of IPRs… Continue Reading

When is an Invention Obvious?

Posted in IP, Patent Law

To be patentable, an invention must satisfy two key requirements, as determined by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).  First, the invention must be novel.  This means that the same invention cannot have been disclosed in a single prior art reference.  The prior art is all of the publicly available information that existed before… Continue Reading

Supreme Court: Federal Government Cannot Challenge Patents in PTAB

Posted in Intellectual Property Litigation, IP, Patent Law

The validity of a patent can be challenged in four different types of proceedings: ex parte reexamination, inter partes review, post grant review, and covered business method review. An ex parte reexamination is initiated by any person or by the PTO’s director to request that the PTO internally reexamine the claims of the patent based… Continue Reading

If You Can’t Describe It, You Can’t Patent It!

Posted in IP, Patent Law

One of the requirements for obtaining a patent is the written description requirement – the specification must include a written description of the invention. 35 U.S.C §112(a).  This requirement means that the specification must fully disclose what the invention is.  The purpose of the written description requirement is to demonstrate to persons skilled in the… Continue Reading

Are Rules for Playing a Game Patentable?

Posted in Intellectual Property Litigation, IP, Patent Law

A lot of things are patentable. Under 35 U.S.C. §101, machines, articles of manufacture, processes, and compositions of matter (including new chemical compounds) are patentable. But some things are not: the exceptions are laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has many times had to decide what these… Continue Reading

Attorney Fees for Successful Defense of IPR May Not Be Recovered as Damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284

Posted in Intellectual Property Litigation, IP, Patent Law

On March 25, 2018, the District Court in Nichia Corporation v. VIZIO, Inc., Case No. 8-16-cv-00545 (CACD 2019-03-25, Order), granted defendant’s motion to preclude plaintiff’s damages expert from testifying that plaintiff should recover, as compensatory damages, its costs incurred in a related Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceedings.  The Court found such testimony would constitute an… Continue Reading

Are Patent Applicants Required to Pay USTPO Attorneys’ Salaries, Win or Lose?

Posted in Patent Law

The United States Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in Iancu v. NantKwest to determine whether a patent applicant, win or lose, must pay the salaries of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (“USPTO”) in-house attorneys in district court actions challenging the rejection of patent claims by USPTO patent examiners. When a patent… Continue Reading

The Federal Circuit Clarifies Rules For Importation of Limitations From the Specification During Claim Construction

Posted in Intellectual Property Litigation, Patent Law

In Continental Circuits LLC v. Intel Corp. et al., case number 18-1076, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in a precedential opinion, recently clarified the rules for the incorporation of a limitation from a patent’s specifications into the claims during claim construction.  In the case, Continental sued Intel Corp.; its supplier, Ibiden… Continue Reading

Can Secret Sales Prohibit Patenting Your Invention?

Posted in Patent Law

Prior to the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”), the patent statute (35 U.S.C. § 102(b)) prohibited patenting an invention that was “on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States.”  This limitation on patentability is often referred to as the “on-sale” bar… Continue Reading

Whose “Baby” Is It?

Posted in Patent Law

When a new invention is created (if it is worth anything), everyone wants to take credit. Figuring out whose “baby” it is, is a difficult question. What is an inventor? Who is the inventor? One would think these questions have straightforward answers. They do not. Inventorship is one of the most difficult and gray areas… Continue Reading

Patent License Royalty Rates are Strong Evidence of Damages

Posted in Intellectual Property Litigation, IP, Patent Law

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a jury verdict of $140 million in a patent infringement case.  The damages were based on a reasonable royalty.  The case is Sprint Communications Co., L.P. v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33594 (Fed. Cir.  2018). Sprint sued Time Warner in the District of… Continue Reading

District Court Rules Certain Prior Art References Are Precluded Under IPR Estoppel

Posted in Patent Law

On December 28, 2018, the Court in The California Institute of Technology v. Broadcom Limited et al., Case No. 2:16-cv-03714-GW-(AGRx), issued a Final Ruling on Plaintiff’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment of Validity under 35 U.S.C. § 103 based on IPR Estoppel under 35 U.S.C. § 315(e)(2).  In the case, Plaintiff The California Institute of… Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Narrows Reach of Obviousness-Type Double Patenting

Posted in IP, Patent Law

Non-statutory, or obviousness-type, double patenting (“ODP”) is a judicially created doctrine that prohibits an inventor from effectively extending the monopoly on a patented invention by applying for a later patent with claims that are not “patentably distinct” from the claims in the earlier patent.  The core principle behind the doctrine is that “an inventor must… Continue Reading

Court Finds No Personal Jurisdiction Over Foreign Defendant Based On U.S. Subsidiary Under Stream of Commerce and Agency Theories

Posted in IP, IP Law Blog Lawyers In The News, Patent Law

In University of Massachusetts Medical School et al v. L’Oreal SA et al, 1-17-cv-00868 (DED 2018-11-13, Order) (Sherry R. Fallon), the magistrate judge recommended granting a foreign parent company defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ patent infringement action for lack of personal jurisdiction where its American subsidiary introduced the alleged accused products into the stream of… Continue Reading

Ordering Pizza is Not Patentable!

Posted in IP, IP Law Blog Lawyers In The News, Patent Law

Some things are not patentable: laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas.  The Supreme Court has long held that inventions falling within these categories are not patentable; they are patent-ineligible subject matter.  In 2014, the Supreme Court relied on this principle in deciding Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, 134 S. Ct…. Continue Reading

District Court Grants Motion For More Definitive Statement Because Patent Infringement Claim Involved Complicated Technology

Posted in IP, IP Law Blog Lawyers In The News, Patent Law

In Lexington Luminance LLC v. Service Lighting and Electrical Supplies, Inc. d/b/a 1000bulbs.com, 3-18-cv-01074, the District Court for the Northern District of Texas denied defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, but granted its motion for a more definite statement because of the complexity of the patents-in-suit. In the case, the Defendant… Continue Reading