Archives: Federal Circuit

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USPTO Memo Addresses Eligibility of Method-of-Treatment Claims in View of Federal Circuit Decision

In a memorandum dated June 7, 2018 (Memo), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) set out new guidance concerning method-of-treatment claims, which should be welcome news for patentees. The memo addressed the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. West-Ward Pharmaceuticals, 887 F.3d 1117 (Fed. … Continue Reading

Finjan v. Blue Coat Systems: Attaching Security Profile to a Downloadable Is Patent Eligible

In Finjan v. Blue Coat Systems, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rendered a decision containing interesting rulings on patentable subject matter (affirming the District Court determination that certain claims were patent eligible) and reasonable royalty damages (vacating part of a jury verdict for failure to adequately apportion the royalty base). This article … Continue Reading

Patent Exhaustion Case Could Have Enormous Impact on Multinational Businesses

Earlier this year, the Federal Circuit ruled en banc in Lexmark v. Impression,[1] the most significant exhaustion ruling since the Supreme Court’s Quanta decision.[2] In response to Impression’s cert. petition, the Supreme Court called for the views of the Solicitor General. The U.S. has now filed its brief, recommending cert. be granted on both questions. … Continue Reading

A Split Panel of the Federal Circuit Debates the Standards for Definiteness

In Cox Communications, Inc. v. Sprint Communications Co. LP, Appeal No. 2016-1013 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 23, 2016), the panel, consisting of Chief Judge Prost (authoring the opinion) and Judges Newman and Bryson, unanimously reversed the district court’s summary judgment of invalidity for indefiniteness under 35 U.S.C. § 112, para. 2. But Judge Newman vigorously rejected the … Continue Reading

High Court Relaxes Standards for Enhanced Damages in District Court Patent Litigation

On June 13, 2016, in a much-anticipated joint holding in Halo/Stryker, [1] the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the Federal Circuit’s rigid test for willful infringement under Seagate and conferred discretion on district courts, “narrowed” by nearly 200 years of judicial practice, to award enhanced damages to patent owners under 35 U.S.C. § 284 for “egregious … Continue Reading

Apportioning for the Standard When Valuing Standards-Essential Patents

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), a national research organization of Australia, recently filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court. CSIRO presents the following question: Is the Federal Circuit’s promulgation of rigid legal rules to control the weight to be given by the trier of fact to evidence of patent infringement damages … Continue Reading

In re Tam: Still No Trademark Registration for The Slants

In the continuing saga of whether Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment, the rock band The Slants will have to wait a little longer before it knows whether it can register its trademark THE SLANTS. The Slants, a band composed of Asian-American musicians, has received a significant … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Upholds Inequitable Conduct Ruling in Ohio Willow Wood Company

In the latest iteration of Ohio Willow Wood Company[1] (OWW), the Federal Circuit upheld a district court ruling of inequitable conduct against OWW despite the presence of a litigation screen. The Federal Circuit had affirmed summary judgment on invalidity, reversed a summary judgment ruling of no inequitable conduct, and remanded the case to the Southern … Continue Reading

Upcoming Federal Circuit Decision Presents Opportunity for Clarification of Patentable Subject Matter

Since Alice,[1] consistently defining the bounds of statutory subject matter in computer arts confounds even the most experienced attorneys. E-commerce software combining visual elements of multiple parties’ websites is patent eligible,[2] but a motion-tracking system claiming inertial sensors is not.[3] While the results have cut sharply against patent holders asserting or prosecuting software properties, legal … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Tasked With Analyzing Evidence For Proof That Defendant Had the State of Mind Necessary For Induced Infringement

On January 19, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a grant-vacate-remand order in a dispute between rival medical device companies Medtronic and NuVasive. The order directs the Federal Circuit to revisit its decision in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1920 (2015). Commil clarified that … Continue Reading
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