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PTAB Grants Discovery to Underlying Test Data

Discovery in inter partes review (IPR) proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is typically quite limited, and the PTAB normally is reluctant to grant motions for additional discovery. It is instructive, therefore, when the PTAB does so. In a recent order in Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Allegan, Inc., IPR2016-01127, Paper 28 (PTAB … Continue Reading

Equivalence in Chemical Cases

In Mylan Institutional LLC et al. v. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. et al., 2017-1645 (May 19, 2017), the Federal Circuit attempted to clarify the application of the doctrine of equivalents in chemical cases. Although affirming a district court grant of a preliminary injunction on a patent directed to isosulfan blue (ISB), a dye used for lymph … Continue Reading

Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc. – Setting the Common Law’s Limits on the Rights of Patent and Copyright Owners

  Last week, in Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc., Case No. 15-1189 (May 30, 2017), the Supreme Court ruled that under the “exhaustion doctrine,” patent owners cannot use patent law to impose restrictions on the downstream sales or transfers of lawfully purchased patented goods. The decision took many patent practitioners by surprise. Not … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Announces ‘Uniform and Automatic’ Rule for Patent Exhaustion

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, May 30, issued an opinion in Impression Prods., Inc. v. Lexmark Int’l, Inc., No. 15–1189 (S. Ct. May 30, 2017), [hereafter “Lexmark”], reversing the Federal Circuit on two aspects of the patent exhaustion doctrine and redefining the boundaries of the rights afforded a patentee under the Patent Act. Chief Justice … Continue Reading

The Federal Circuit Invalidates a Patent for Failure to Describe the Accused Product

In Rivera v. International Trade Commission, Appeal No. 2016-1841 (Fed. Cir. May 23, 2017), the Federal Circuit affirmed the ITC’s decision invalidating Rivera’s patent under the written description requirement of 35 U.S.C. § 112. The opinion provides important lessons for those who draft and prosecute patent applications and also those who attempt to enforce them. Indeed, … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court, Reversing the Federal Circuit, Holds that “Residence” in the Patent Venue Statute Refers to Only a Domestic Corporation’s State of Incorporation

In a brief, well-reasoned opinion, a unanimous eight-member Supreme Court held that 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) is a stand-alone provision governing venue in patent infringement suits, unaffected by the broad definition of “residence” in the general venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1391.Rather, a domestic corporation “resides” in only its state of incorporation. TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft … Continue Reading

In Case of First Impression, Federal Circuit Rules that a Patent Owner’s Statements in an IPR Proceeding Can Create Prosecution Disclaimer

  In Aylus Networks, Inc. v. Apple Inc., Appeal No. 2016-1599 (Fed. Cir. May 11, 2017), the Federal Circuit ruled that a patent owner’s statements during an inter partes review (IPR), even if before an institution decision, can create prosecution disclaimer. After the patent owner filed suit, the defendant filed two petitions for IPR. In … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Remands Novel Issue on Patent Marking Requirement

On April 17, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated an award of more than $15 million in damages because a plaintiff’s licensee failed to mark patented articles. Rembrandt Wireless Technologies, LP v. Samsung Electronics Co., No. 2016-1729 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 17, 2017). The decision underscores the importance of not … Continue Reading

Availability of Reissue After an Invalidity Determination

A recent law review article discusses reissue as a potential cure for patentees who have had their claims invalidated by a court or the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB).[1] Under 35 U.S.C. § 251, reissue is available when “any patent is, through error, deemed wholly or partly inoperative or invalid, by reason of a defective … Continue Reading

The Federal Circuit Considers a New Issue on Appeal, Lectures the PTO on its Burden to Establish Obviousness, and Reveals an Internal Split on What to do When the PTO Fails to Carry That Burden

The Federal Circuit in Icon Health & Fitness, Inc. v. Strava, Inc., Appeal No. 2016-1475 (Feb. 27, 2017), made several interesting points and revealed a disagreement among four of its judges about the proper disposition when the PTO fails to carry its burden in “examination appeals.” More specifically, the court explained when an appellant might … Continue Reading

Requirements of § 121’s Safe Harbor: Ensuring That Divisional Applications Will Be Protected Against OTDP Rejections

In a recent decision, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) narrowly construed the so-called safe harbor provision of 35 U.S.C. § 121, affirming the examiner’s rejection of a patent application under the doctrine of “obviousness-type double patenting” (OTDP). Ex parte Sauerberg, Appeal 2015-007064 2017 WL 150016 *1 (PTAB Jan. 10, 2017). The safe harbor protects … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit looks to provisional patent application in determining claim scope

Differences between a provisional patent application and a nonprovisional application claiming priority to the provisional application may inform claim construction, following the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in MPHJ Tech v. Ricoh.[1] In MPHJ Tech, the Federal Circuit affirmed an inter partes review decision in which the Patent and Trademark Appeal Board (PTAB) found claims of … Continue Reading

When Obvious Isn’t Obvious: Personal Web Technologies

On Valentine’s Day 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s conclusions of obviousness in Personal Web Technologies, LLC due to insufficient analysis in the board’s decision. Judge Taranto, joined by Judge Chen and Judge Stoll, explicitly asserted the court’s role in enforcing the principles of administrative … Continue Reading

Licensees Stymied by Sovereign Immunity Both in Federal Court and at PTAB

  Licensees Covidien LP, Medtronic PLC, and Medtronic, Inc., failed to obtain any relief, at least so far, in federal court or at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) because of parallel holdings that patent owner University of Florida Research Foundation, Inc. (UFRF), is entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity. University of Florida Research Foundation, … Continue Reading

The Continuing “Evolution” of Alice: a GUI Example

On January 18, 2017, the Federal Circuit, in Trading Technologies International, Inc. v. CQG, Inc., No. 2016-1616 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 18, 2017) (NEWMAN, J.), issued a non-precedential decision affirming the district court’s holding that claims directed to “[a] method for displaying market information relating to and facilitating trading of a commodity being traded in an … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Provides Guidance on Divided Infringement, Inducement of Infringement, and Indefiniteness

Patent owners will applaud the Federal Circuit’s latest pronouncement on divided infringement, inducement of infringement, and claim definiteness under 35 U.S.C. § 112. Eli Lilly & Co. v. Teva Parenteral Medicines, Inc., Appeal No. 2015-2067 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 12, 2017). On all three issues, the opinion, authored by Chief Judge Prost and joined by Circuit Judges … Continue Reading

Patent Invalidity Offense: When Is District Court Action the Better Option Over IPR, PGR or CBM?

It’s Monday morning after the Thanksgiving holiday. Easing back into the workweek with the lingering effects of turkey, stuffing and a miraculous Ohio State victory still sapping my brain, I open the court docket report. Ordinarily, there is not much in these reports to catch my eye under these conditions, but today I saw a … Continue Reading

Post Grant Review: § 112 and Eligibility Issues in Chemical and Life Sciences

Post Grant Review (PGR) petitions are on the rise, and nearly half of all petitions to date have challenged patents in Biotechnology and Organic Chemistry, or Chemical and Materials Engineering technology centers.[1] We have reviewed PGR petitions filed against patents in these technology categories.[2] One final written decision issued on Nov. 14, 2016,[3] and more … Continue Reading
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