IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts Tagged: "§ 103"

The Hunt for the Inventive Concept is the Flash of Creative Genius Test by Another Name

Today the flash of creative genius test has reared its ugly head once more, this time as a consideration under a patent eligibility inquiry and 35 U.S.C. 101 instead of under an obviousness inquiry and 35 U.S.C. 103. Today, thanks to the Supreme Court’s unintelligible Alice/Mayo framework, one must ask whether significantly more has been added to a patent claim such that the claim does not merely claim an abstract idea, law of nature or natural phenomenon. This final step in the Alice/Mayotest is referred to by the Courts as the hunt for the inventive concept. It is difficult not to notice the similarity between this hunt for the inventive concept that takes place when reviewing a claim under 101 and the supposedly defunct flash of creative genius test Congress attempted to write out of patent law in 1952.

Categorical Rules and Why the Investpic Holding Should Worry Everyone

This assertion is a mischaracterization of Alice Corp., which never held that the intermediated settlement claims at issue in Alice Corp. were abstract because of the risk hedging claims in Bilski were abstract.  Instead, the Supreme Court stated “that there is no meaningful distinc­tion between the concept of risk hedging in Bilski and the concept of intermediated settlement at issue here” because “[b]oth are squarely within the realm of ‘abstract ideas’ as we have used that term.”  That is: the claims in Bilski and Alice Corp. were comparable only because the underlying business methods were undoubtedly long-prevalent in the business community.  To hold otherwise is to ignore the vast bulk of both the Bilski and Alice Corp. decisions.

Which Invalidity Avenue to Take: Inter Partes Review Verses Post-Grant Review

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides invalidity tools via inter partes review (IPR) and post-grant review (PGR), but which route is better? …  PGRs are estimated to cost more because of their broader discovery rules.  If cost is a major factor, IPRs are a less-expensive option due to restricted allowance of discovery, the most expensive aspect of patent litigation… If the invalidating arguments or art are not strong, an IPR may be a better option due to its lower threshold for institution.  The same prior art arguments that failed in a petition for a PGR may have succeeded in an IPR petition due to the lower standard.

Federal Circuit Upholds Thales Motion Tracking Patent Asserted against U.S. Government for Second Time

The recent Federal Circuit decision in Elbit Systems of America, LLC v. Thales Visionix, Inc. affirmed a final written decision issued by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which upheld some claims in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding challenging the validity of Thales’ U.S. Patent No. 6474159, titled Motion-Tracking and issued in November 2002. The patent claims a system for tracking the motion of an object relative to a moving reference frame using a first inertial sensor mounted on the tracked object, a second inertial sensor mounted on the moving reference frame and an element that receives signals from both inertial sensors to determine an orientation of the object relative to the moving reference frame. The resulting invention enables the use of inertial head-tracking systems for platforms including flight simulators and other vehicular applications.

SSH Communications Enters Cross-License Agreement with Sony After Losing Patents at PTAB

On Monday, February 5th, Finnish enterprise cybersecurity solutions firm SSH Communications Security announced that it had entered into a patent cross-license and settlement agreement with Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE). The agreement reportedly resolves all patent disputes between the two companies after Sony successfully challenged the validity of two U.S. patents owned by SSH Communications at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB).

Google Suffers IPR Defeat on Patent Asserted Against YouTube by Network-1

On Tuesday, January 23rd, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a ruling in Google LLC v. Network-1 Technologies, Inc. which affirmed a finding by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that a patent covering a method of identifying media linked over the Internet was valid. The Federal Circuit disagreed with Google that the PTAB erred in its claim construction during the validity trial, leaving in place a patent that has been asserted by Network-1 against Google’s major online media platform YouTube.

CAFC says PTO Reexamination Should Not Preclude Validity Challenges at District Court

Along with the willfulness finding, the Federal Circuit also overturned findings of no invalidity on a patent that had already survived multiple reexaminations at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a decision giving patent owners further reason to question whether the Federal Circuit may be more aligned with anti-patent viewpoints… “We hold that a reexamination confirming patentability of a patent claim alone is not determinative of whether a genuine issue of fact precludes summary judgment of no invalidity,” the Federal Circuit’s opinion reads.

58 Patents Upheld in District Court Invalidated by PTAB on Same Grounds

When going through the list of patents that have been deemed valid in district court and then invalidated through PTAB proceedings, there are 58 cases where the patent is invalidated at the PTAB on the same statutory grounds asserted at district court and which did not lead to invalidity. So, contrary to any notion that any data we’ve published fails to pass muster, there is plenty of evidence that the activities of the PTAB present an unfair playing ground for patent owners who are dragged before it, often after those patent owners have already been victorious in district court in proceedings where Article III federal judges have confirmed the validity of those patents.

PTAB Errors Fatal to Hundreds of Legitimate Patents

There have been 220 patents upheld as valid in real courts and also subject to a final written decision in the PTAB. The PTAB only agreed with the real courts on 52 patents, while disagreeing with them on 168 patents. If the U.S. legal system is the gold-standard, that means the PTAB is erroneously invalidating patents 76% of the time… In the PTAB, generally only two grounds of attack are available – 35 U.S.C. §102 for novelty and 35 U.S.C. §103 for non-obviousness. But in the real court four grounds are available as a defense – along with §102, §103, accused infringers are also afforded validity challenges under 35 U.S.C. §101 for basic patentability and 35 U.S.C. §112 for specification. So how is it that the PTAB invalidates three times as many patents with only half as many grounds available? The only answer is because it is specifically designed to help infringers by bypassing due process protections afforded to inventors in real courts. Apologists will go on to argue that the PTAB had better evidence, better prior art, better experts, better judges – nonsense! The real courts have rules and procedures which are tremendously more thorough, developed, proven, and fair. The PTAB has not and cannot measure up.

Inherency Rejections: Combating Inherent Obviousness

An inherency rejection, whether it be inherent anticipation or inherent obviousness, can be extremely difficult to overcome. Indeed, at many times it seems there is a great deal of subjectivity weaved into an inherency rejection… Inherency was initially a doctrine rooted in anticipation, but has long since been applied to become applicable to obviousness rejections as well. What this means is this: Inherency may supply a missing claim limitation in either an obviousness rejection. See Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. v. TWi Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 773 F.3d 1186 (2014). However, the Federal Circuit has always been mindful that inherency in the context of an obviousness rejection must be carefully limited. There is “a high standard in order to rely on inherency to establish the existence of a claim limitation in the prior art in an obviousness analysis…” Id.

Eli Lilly patent covering Alimta lung cancer treatment upheld in final written decision from PTAB

On Thursday, October 5th, a final written decision issued by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) upheld a series of 22 claims from a patent owned by Indianapolis, IN-based drugmaker Eli Lilly & Company (NYSE:LLY). This decision ends an inter partes review (IPR), which was initially petitioned by Chicago, IL-based generic pharmaceutical firm Neptune Generics to challenge a patent covering Alimta, a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for patients with advanced nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although sales of Alimta have dropped in recent months, the cancer treatment remains an important part of Eli Lilly’s portfolio.

Lessons from Five Years of PTAB Trials

As we mark the fifth anniversary of the effective date of Patent Trial and Appeal Board trials on September 16, we find that the early years of the practice have been a learning experience both for the PTAB and for PTAB practitioners.  Reflecting on the past five years, three key lessons emerge for practitioners, from practice and directly from the APJs presiding over these cases when they have spoken on topic: Follow the rules, including those that are explicit and those that are unspoken, know your audience, and focus on the facts.  

Crocs loses inter partes reexam, will appeal rejection of design patent for ornamental footwear

Boulder, CO-based shoe manufacturer Crocs, Inc. (NASDAQ:CROX) had a design patent rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent struck by the USPTO is U.S. Patent No. D517789. Issued in March 2006 and assigned to Crocs, it protected the ornamental design of footwear. The design patent illustrations attached to the ‘789 design patent showcase the well-known Crocs design featuring holes in the footwear material around the front of the foot and a strap behind to hold the footwear in place against a person’s heel… The Examiner refused to recognize a priority claims of earlier filed applications dating back to June 23, 2003. According to the Examiner, the shoe that is the subject of the ‘789 design patent was not adequately disclosed prior to May 28, 2004, making an earlier priority date claim impossible to recognize.

Revising Section 101 of the Patent Act: What’s at Stake?

These revisions favor patent owners, according to Palmer, but not everyone is supportive. For instance, Bilski, Mayo, Myriad, and Alice have given several accused infringers an additional tool for fighting non-practicing entities. So. the level of support for these revisions will depend where you fall on this spectrum. That being said, Palmer does not think the Court will change its eligibility analysis in the foreseeable future, and Congress is not likely to take up these anytime soon.

Alice Who? Over Half the U.S. Utility Patents Issued Annually are Software Related!

I have always argued that software patent eligibility is a must in a country where patent rights are guaranteed by the Constitution. That is, all fields of innovation should be treated equally under the law such that one field of endeavor (e.g., pharmaceuticals or electronics) is not deemed more “patent worthy” than other fields (i.e., computer science and information technology). This is especially true when one considers how important software is to the U.S. economy… A substantial amount of U.S. commerce is software-dependent and the associated innovation in the field – when novel and non-obvious – deserves stable and predictable patent law protection!