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Federal Circuit Confirms the Value of Design Patents Covering Replacement Parts

On July 23, 2019, the Federal Circuit departed from its utility patent-focused docket to deliver a precedential opinion relating to design patents in Auto. Body Parts Ass’n v. Ford Global Techns., LLC. At issue were the validity and enforceability of design patents on automotive repair and replacement parts. The case arose from a filing by … Continue Reading

To Cajole to Threaten: How Best to Curb Online Counterfeiting

I. Introduction The Trump administration, addressing efforts to curb online counterfeiting, has called for heightened collaboration, at times suggesting providing private parties with technological resources to help combat online counterfeiting. At the same time, the administration has bemoaned the lack of accountability among online third-party intermediaries and called for “clean[ing] up this Wild West of … Continue Reading

Exmark’s the Spot for Royalty Rate Apportionment

The language of the patent damages statute, 35 U.S.C. § 284, appears straightforward – “[u]pon finding for the claimant the court shall award the claimant damages adequate to compensate for the infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for the use made of the invention by the infringer” (emphasis added). The common … Continue Reading

CAFC: Patents Enjoy a Presumption of Subject Matter Eligibility

Co-authored by: Phillip Wolfe In Cellspin Soft, Inc. v. Fitbit, Inc.,[1] the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) rendered an important decision declaring that the presumption of validity under § 282 includes the presumption that claims are patent eligible under § 101. Claimed Invention and Procedural Posture Cellspin sued several companies for infringing … Continue Reading

Return Mail May Make COFC More Attractive To Patent Holders

This article was first published by Law360 on June 19, 2019. Authored by: William Bergmann and Michael Anderson In 2011 the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act created three new types of post-issuance proceedings to challenge patent validity: inter partes review,[1] post-grant review[2] and covered-business-method review.[3] These proceedings have proven to be popular avenues to challenge patent … Continue Reading

The Federal Circuit Deals Another Blow to Diagnostic Method Patents

In another setback for diagnostic method patents, the Federal Circuit rejected efforts by patent owner/appellant Cleveland Clinic[1] to avoid 35 U.S.C. § 101 by restyling diagnostic method claims as “techniques” for detecting a correlation between protein levels and a disease state. Cleveland Clinic Found. v. True Health Diagnostics LLC, No. 2018-1218, 2019 WL 1452697, at … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Holds That Claims Directed to Methods of Treating Pain in a Renally Impaired Patient Are Patent-Eligible Under Section 101

For the second time in as many weeks, the Federal Circuit has reversed a district court’s finding of patent ineligibility under Section 101 in the life science space, this time concluding that claims directed to methods of treating pain in renally impaired patients are patent-eligible. In Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., the … Continue Reading

The Federal Circuit Opens the Door Wider for the Subject Matter Eligibility of Methods of Treatment, Compositions and Methods of Manufacturing

“We live in a natural world, and all inventions are constrained by the laws of nature . . . we must be careful not to overly abstract claims when performing the Alice analysis.”[1] These are the promising words from the Federal Circuit in its recent decision in Natural Alternatives v. Creative Compounds, in which the … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit holds that claims directed to diagnosing neurotransmission or developmental disorders are invalid for failing to recite patent eligible subject matter

In Athena Diagnostics, Inc. v. Mayo Collaborative Servs., LLC,[1] the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling that claims covering methods for diagnosing neurological disorders by detecting autoantibodies are directed to a natural law together with conventional steps, and are therefore invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Although the claims at issue were said to … Continue Reading

PTAB Denies Institution Despite Petitioner Demonstrating Reasonable Likelihood of Prevailing With Respect to at Least One Claim

In SAS Institute v. Iancu, 138 S. Ct. 1348, 1351 (2018), the Supreme Court held that when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the Board) institutes an inter partes review, it must decide the patentability of all the claims the petitioner challenged.  The Court found that 35 U.S.C. §314(a)’s requirement that the Board find “a … Continue Reading

Additional Discovery of Clinical Trial Data in Inter Partes Review

In Apotex, Inc. et al. v. Novartis AG (IPR 2017-00854, paper 47 dated Feb. 5, 2018), petitioner Apotex sought, and was granted, discovery of a Phase III clinical trial protocol from patent owner Novartis. The patent at issue in the IPR, U.S. 9,187,405, claims a method for treating relapses in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis by orally … 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

Strategic Use of a Reissue Application in the Context of an Inter Partes Review (IPR) Proceeding

In Legend3D, Inc. (Petitioner) v. Prime Focus Creative Services Canada Inc. (Patent Owner), Case IPR2016-00806, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) lifted a stay of a pending reissue application following a Final Written Decision, thereby allowing the Patent Owner another opportunity to pursue amended claims. Although the Federal Circuit recently determined that the PTAB … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Provides Guidance on Joint Infringement Standard

In Travel Sentry, Inc. v. Tropp, Appeal No. 16-2386 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 19, 2017),[1] the Federal Circuit clarified the scope of joint infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a).[2] Specifically, the court provided guidance on performing analysis under Akamai’s two-pronged joint infringement test, which states that joint infringement may arise when an alleged infringer (1) conditions … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Splits on Approach to Analyzing Graham Factors

In Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Hospira, Inc.,[1] the Federal Circuit affirmed the lower court’s ruling that the asserted claims of Merck’s U.S. Patent No. 6,486,150 (the ’150 patent) were obvious despite evidence of commercial success and copying by others. Concerned that the majority’s opinion constituted a shortcut around a proper Graham analysis, Judge … Continue Reading

The Federal Circuit Provides a Tutorial on Patent Venue

The Federal Circuit in In re Cray, Inc., Appeal No. 2017-129 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 21, 2017), has provided extensive guidance to district courts on the meaning of an alleged infringer’s “regular and established place of business” under the second prong of the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b). It granted a petition for a writ … Continue Reading

Intellectual Ventures v. Motorola: Use = Benefit for the Purposes of System Claims Infringement

On Sept. 13, 2017, the United States District Court for the Federal Circuit clarified the meaning of the term “use” as it applies to system claims in patent infringement actions. In doing so, the court held that an infringer must benefit from all elements of a system claim in order to infringe, reversing and remanding … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit’s Concern Regarding PTAB ‘Panel-Stacking’ – Back To The Future?

In Nidec Motor Corp. v. Zhongshan Broad Ocean Motor Co., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15923, Circuit Judge Dyk, in a concurring opinion joined by Circuit Judge Wallace, questioned “whether the practice of expanding panels where the PTO is dissatisfied with a panel’s earlier decision is the appropriate mechanism of achieving the PTO’s desire for uniformity.” … Continue Reading

Visual Memory v. NVIDIA: The Importance of a Robust Written Description

Introduction In Visual Memory v. NVIDIA (Fed. Cir. 2017), the Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s holding that Visual Memory’s U.S. Patent No. 5,953,740 is drawn to patent-ineligible subject matter. Instead, the court ruled that the ’740 patent claims an improvement to computer memory systems and is not directed to an abstract idea. The ’740 Patent … Continue Reading
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