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Posts Tagged: "35 U.S.C. § 103"

Alleged Due Process, APA Violations by PTAB Rule 36ed by Federal Circuit

Federal Circuit issued a Rule 36 summary judgment in Chart Trading Development, LLC v. Interactive Brokers LLC, affirming the invalidation of patent claims owned by Chart Trading in covered business method (CBM) proceedings instituted at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). In issuing the summary affirmance of the PTAB, the Federal Circuit panel of Circuit Judges Pauline Newman, S. Jay Plager and Kimberly Moore declined the opportunity to comment on Chart Trading’s arguments on the PTAB’s alleged due process violations by changing the construction of a key term in its final written decision… If the government can award a franchise and that franchise can be taken away in a manner that violates the APA, what is the point in seeking the government franchise in the first place? If the Court charged with making sure the agency that strips government franchises is following the rules is going to decide cases of such importance with only one word — Affirmed — one has to question whether a government franchise is at all a worthwhile pursuit.

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.

Federal Circuit Vacates PTAB’s Decision to Uphold Enthone Patent

The Federal Circuit recently issued a nonprecedential decision in BASF Corporation v. Enthone, Inc. which vacated an earlier decision stemming from an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) which had upheld a patent owned by Enthone as valid over an obviousness challenge asserted by BASF. The Federal Circuit panel of Circuit Judges Timothy Dyk, Evan Wallach and Richard Taranto remanded the case to the PTAB after holding that certain findings made by the PTAB were inadequately supported or explained.

SharkNinja Denied by PTAB, IPR Petition to Vacuum Cleaner Hose Patent Not Instituted

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued a decision denying the institution of an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding petitioned by home appliance developer SharkNinja. The decision leaves in place all claims of a patent asserted against SharkNinja in U.S. district court through a patent infringement case filed by appliance hose manufacturer Flexible Technologies. In denying SharkNinja’s petition for IPR, the PTAB panel of Administrative Patent Judges (APJs) found that implementing the hose found in Rohn to be a stretch hose as taught by Martin would render Rohn’s hose inoperable for its intended purpose… As for the Nagayoshi prior art reference, the PTAB sided with Flexible Technologies in finding that SharkNinja’s asserted combination is difficult to distinguish from a hindsight analysis…

CAFC Vacates PTAB Obviousness Decision, Nonobviousness Nexus Established by Patent Owner

The Federal Circuit recently issued a non-precedential decision in LiquidPower Specialty Products v. Baker Hughes, vacating and remanding a final written decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which had invalidated claims of a LiquidPower patent in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding. In a nutshell, the Federal Circuit found there to be substantial evidence supporting PTAB determinations relating to specifically what the prior art taught, and what the prior art motivated those of skill in the art to do vis-a-vis motivation to combine. However, the panel, made up of Chief Judge Sharon Prost and Circuit Judges Todd Hughes and Kimberly Moore, determined that substantial evidence did not support the PTAB’s finding that the patent owner failed to establish a nexus between the claimed invention and objective evidence of nonobviousness, or secondary considerations as they are sometimes called.  The case is now remanded to the PTAB for proper consideration of the objective evidence of nonobviousness presented by the patent owner. 

Comcast Invalidates Rovi Patents at PTAB that Previously Secured Limited Exclusion Order at ITC

Perhaps Rovi will take the opportunity to test the waters with the newly created Precedential Opinion Panel (POP), which is intended to bring uniformity between examination procedures and the PTAB at the USPTO. USPTO Director Andrei Iancu has promulgated new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and new claim interpretations rules will soon be in effect at the PTAB. A patent litigator by training, Director Iancu seems very interested in the PTAB giving other tribunals that have previously considered validity matters due consideration, something the PTAB has rarely, if ever, done. With the creation of the POP, and new SOPs that give the Director the authority to make decisions of the PTAB precedential at his discretion, this string of Rovi cases could present a very interesting test case on whether the PTAB actually will provide deference to tribunals that have previously considered validity issues, or whether the PTAB with its lower threshold for invalidity will continue to be the court of last resort for infringers who have lost elsewhere. 

Waymo Patent Asserted Against Uber Suffers Setback in Reexamination

he U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a final office action in an ex parte reexamination of a patent owned by Google self-driving car development subsidiary Waymo. As a result of the reexamination, Waymo stands to lose 53 of 56 claims, including all 20 of the patent claims originally issued. The patent in question had been asserted as part of the company’s well-known infringement suit filed against Uber.

PTAB Upholds Kamatani Cloud Patent Challenged by Unified Patents

Last week the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) entered a final written decision terminating an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding that had challenged a patent owned by technology licensing company Kamatani Cloud. According to the PTAB, petitioner Unified Patents failed to show by a preponderance of evidence that any of the challenged claims of the patent were invalid on obviousness ground under 35 U.S.C. § 103. “We are delighted with the PTAB’s decision in this matter,” Shanahan said. “The Kamatani Cloud patent survived the validity challenge presented by Unified Patents and its beneficiary members with all 41 claims emerging intact.”

Apple Brings Patent Battle Against Qualcomm to PTAB With Six IPR Petitions on Four Patents

If Qualcomm’s allegations are true, Apple will apparently stop at nothing to avoid paying licensing fees for Qualcomm’s patented technologies. Qualcomm’s tortious interference suit against Apple alleges that the consumer tech titan misrepresented both Qualcomm’s business model and the performance of Qualcomm’s mobile chipsets in order to encourage foreign trade regulators to levy fines against Qualcomm totalling hundreds of millions of dollars. Most recently, Apple has decided to avail itself of an old friend, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), in the hopes of rendering Qualcomm patents invalid to continue practicing technologies for which it has no interest in paying licensing fees.Apple has shown that it will stop at nothing to avoid paying licensing fees for Qualcomm’s patented technologies. Qualcomm’s tortious interference suit against Apple alleges that the consumer tech titan misrepresented both Qualcomm’s business model and the performance of Qualcomm’s mobile chipsets in order to encourage foreign trade regulators to levy fines against Qualcomm totalling hundreds of millions of dollars. Most recently, Apple has decided to avail itself of an old friend, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), in the hopes of rendering Qualcomm patents invalid to continue practicing technologies for which it has no interest in paying licensing fees.

Federal Circuit Vacates, Remands After PTAB Fails to Consider Arguments in Reply Brief

On Friday, June 1st, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in In re: Durance striking down a decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that affirmed a patent examiner’s obviousness rejection of a microwave vacuum-drying apparatus and associated method. The Federal Circuit panel consisting of Judges Alan Lourie, Jimmie Reyna and Raymond Chen…

In Tinnus v. Telebrands, Federal Circuit Reverses PTAB’s Finding of Indefiniteness After PTAB Erred in Packard Analysis

On Wednesday, May 30th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit entered a decision in Tinnus Enterprises v. Telebrands Corporation which reversed and remanded an earlier decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to invalidate a patent covering the award-winning Bunch O Balloons toy developed by inventor Josh Malone. The Federal Circuit panel of Circuit Judges Kathleen…

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against U.S. Government Alleging PTAB Violates Takings Clause and Due Process

On Wednesday, May 9th, Oklahoma-based patent owner Christy Inc. filed a class action complaint in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims against the United States seeking just compensation for the taking of the rights of inventors’ and patent owners’ patent property rights effectuated by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Members of the proposed class would include all owners of patents which were deemed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to include patentable subject matter which were later invalidated by the PTAB.

Federal Circuit Reverses PTAB Invalidation of Wireless Network Patent in Apple Cases Involving APJ Clements

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently issued a decision in DSS Technology Management v. Apple, which reversed an earlier decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to invalidate patent claims covering a wireless communication networking technology… While this may seem like an ordinary, garden variety misapplication of the law of obviousness by the PTAB, there is more beneath the surface. In this case one of the Administrative Patent Judges hearing the case at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was APJ Matt Clemens, who previously represented Apple as a defense attorney in patent infringement matters prior to joining the board… It is astonishing that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board STILL does not have Rules of Conduct or any kind of Code of Judicial Ethics that applies to Administrative Patent Judges. This is inexcusable, period.

Federal Circuit Issues Rule 36 Affirmance of PTAB After Acknowledging Lack of Technical Knowledge in Oral Arguments

On March 13th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in Cascades Projection v. Epson America, which upheld a ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to invalidate the asserted claims in a patent covering a system of projecting images using a liquid crystal display (LCD). During oral arguments, one judge of the Federal Circuit opined that it may not have enough testimony in order to decide the case correctly. To save themselves any discussion, the Federal Circuit panel of Circuit Judges Jimmie Reyna, Evan Wallach and Todd Hughes issued a Rule 36 affirmance of the PTAB’s decision, upholding the PTAB without discussing any reason as to why.

STRONGER Patents Act Introduced in House, Seeks to Strengthen a Crippled Patent System

In a telephone interview, Rep. Stivers noted that, while the AIA was intended as legislation that would make the patent system more efficient, the resulting differences in standards between the PTAB and the district courts have led to a large number of appeals from the PTAB. “Instead of living up to its billing as being more efficient and quicker, the PTAB has become just another stop which is more complicated, more expensive and exactly the opposite of what it was intended to do,” Stivers said. Although he noted that he was not an advocate of getting rid of the IPR process entirely, Stivers felt that the PTAB had to use the same standards of evidence used by district courts. “If that happens, then the PTAB can live up to the potential that it was sold on and you can get the same ruling no matter where you go,” Stivers said.