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Recently, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, holding that the Board correctly determined that the claims 21–24 of U.S. Patent No. 6,754,640 (’640 patent) and claims 1-20 of U.S. Patent 8,768,840 (’840 patent), both owned by Bozeman Financial LLC (Bozeman), are directed to patent ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. To reach this decision, the Federal Circuit first determined the appellees, all 12 of the United States Federal Reserve Banks (Banks), to be “persons” under the America Invents Act (AIA) and, therefore, eligible to petition for post-issuance review under the AIA. See Bozeman Fin. LLC v. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, No. 2019-1018, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 11315 (Fed. Cir. April 10, 2020) (Before Lourie, Dyk, and Moore, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the Court, Moore, Circuit Judge).
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled on a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) Covered Business Method (CBM) Decision, affirming the Board’s holding that certain challenged claims of Customedia Technology’s patents are unpatentable as directed to the abstract idea of delivering targeted advertising using a computer. See Customedia Techs., LLC v. Dish Network Corp., 2018-2239, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 7005 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 6, 2020) (Before Prost, Chief Judge, Dyk and Moore, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the Court, Prost, Chief Judge). Customedia argued that providing a reserved and dedicated section of storage, as in the claims, improves the data delivery system’s ability to store advertising data, transfers data at improved speeds, and prevents system inoperability due to insufficient storage. However, the Federal Circuit did not find this sufficient for finding an improvement to the functionality of the computer itself.
The Federal Circuit recently denied a petition by BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc. (BioDelivery) for a rehearing en banc following a refusal by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to apply the Supreme Court’s decision in SAS Institute Inc. v. Iancu, 138 S. Ct. 1348 (2018). See BioDelivery Scis. Int’l, Inc. v. Aquestive Therapeutics, Inc., Nos. 2019-1643, 2019-1644, 2019-1645, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 1030 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 13, 2020) (Before Prost, Chief Judge, Newman, Lourie, Dyk, Moore, O’Malley, Reyna, Wallach, Taranto, Chen, and Hughes, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the Court, Lourie, Circuit Judge) (Dissenting opinion, Newman, Circuit Judge). The petition for rehearing arrived at the Federal Circuit following a decision by the PTAB to disregard a remand order by the Federal Circuit ordering the PTAB to apply the Supreme Court’s holding in SAS Institute and decide all of the claims and grounds challenged in an inter partes review. Rather, the PTAB, on remand, withdrew all of its past actions as to the proceedings at issue and denied the petition in its entirety. BioDelivery then petitioned the Federal Circuit for a rehearing en banc, but the Federal Circuit voted to deny the rehearing, with Circuit Judge Newman offering the only dissenting opinion.
Recently, the Federal Circuit reversed, vacated and remanded a decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado that granted Mushkin, Inc.’s (“Mushkin’s”) motion to dismiss Anza Tech.’s (“Anza”) complaint seeking damages for alleged patent infringement occurring between March 2011 and April 2012 because the claim for damages was time-barred by the six-year statute of limitations in the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § 286. See Anza Tech., Inc. v. Mushkin, Inc., No. 2019-1045, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 24432 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 16, 2019) (Before Prost, Chief Judge, Newman and Bryson, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the Court, Bryson, Circuit Judge). In its determination of whether newly alleged claims, based on separate patents, relate back to the date of the original complaint, the Federal Circuit considered: (1) the overlap of parties, (2) the overlap in the accused products, (3) the underlying science and technology, (4) time periods, and (5) any additional factors that might suggest a commonality or lack of commonality between the two sets of claims.