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Posts Tagged: "burden of proof"

Presumption of Guilt: How Microsoft Won a Protracted Battle on Unlicensed Software in Ukraine

In June 2019, five-years of legal proceedings between Microsoft and Zhytomyrgas PJSC in the Ukrainian courts came to an end. The parties began their battle in the context of criminal proceedings and ended the dispute in the economic court. Microsoft ultimately was successful. Ukraine has been among the countries on the U.S. Special 301 Report, prepared by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, for years due to its high rate of copyright violations. Ukrainian citizens, government agencies and enterprises are no exceptions. At the same time, Ukraine ranks second in Eastern Europe in the number of software developers and number one in the world in the number of developers per 1,000 inhabitants.

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.

To Shift or Not to Shift: Burden Shifting Framework and the PTAB

Earlier this year, in E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Synvina C.V. (Fed. Cir. 2018) (“Dupont v. Synvina”), the Federal Circuit found that the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (“the Board”) had erred in holding that in an inter partes review (IPR), the burden to produce evidence of patentability did not shift to the patentee.  Interestingly, in each of the previous two years the court also had occasion to address burden shifting in IPRs.  In In re Magnum Oil Tools International, Ltd., 829 F.3d 1364, 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (“Magnum Oil”), the Board was found to have been wrong in deeming that when it institutes an IPR – which requires concluding that the petitioner has met the “reasonable likelihood of success” standard – that conclusion operated to shift the burden of producing evidence of patentability to the patentee.  Also, in Aqua Products, Inc. v. Matal, 872 F.3d 1290 (Fed. Cir. 2017) (“Aqua Products”), the court considered whether a patentee could amend claims during an IPR only if it accepted the burden of proving that the substitute claims were patentable… The trio of cases, Dupont v. Synvina, Magnum Oil, and Dynamic Drinkware, considered together, are helpful for one’s understanding of the burden shifting framework in both IPR and district court litigation.

Aqua Products: Is It Helping Patent Owners Swim Better Nine Months Later?

At the time, many thought this change in law would significantly assist patentees in avoiding full-blown cancellation of their claims. However, our review suggests a case-by-case analysis without overwhelming success on a motion to amend… Although the industry expected Aqua Products to cause a sea change for motions to amend, there has been little, if any, substantive effect. Since Aqua Products, the Board has considered the opinion’s impact in 92 cases, referring to the memorandum guidance in 38. Of those 92 cases, the Board has rendered decisions in 43 cases, denying 32 motions to amend, granting in whole or in part 7 motions, and denying as moot 4 motions.

Federal Circuit Continues to Develop Patent Venue Law with Recent Trio of Decisions

The Federal Circuit’s recent venue decisions represent important developments in the interpretation of the patent venue statute. The application of these decisions will have immediate effects on defendants in patent infringement cases, and particularly those who are often subject to suit in popular districts like the Eastern District of Texas and the District of Delaware. While many open questions remain—perhaps most notably the treatment of domestic unincorporated associations—the Federal Circuit continues to delineate the scope of the patent venue statute.

No blanket prohibition against the introduction of new evidence during an inter partes review

There is no blanket prohibition against the introduction of new evidence during an inter partes review proceeding, indeed new evidence should be expected. A petitioner can introduce new evidence following the petition, if it is a legitimate reply to evidence introduced by the patent owner, or if the new evidence is used to show the level of knowledge skilled artisans possess when reading the prior art references identified as grounds for obviousness.

Petitioner Must Prove Unpatentability of Patentee’s Substitute Claims in an IPR

Due to the recent decision in Aqua Products v. Matal, 872 F.3d 1290 (Fed. Cir. 2017), the Court disagreed with the Board’s decision to deny Bosch’s motion to amend. The Board noted in its final decision that it was “unpersuaded that Bosch had demonstrated that the proposed substitute claims are patentable.” However, under Aqua Products, the patent owner does not bear the burden of proof for the patentability of its proposed amended claims in an IPR proceeding. Rather, the petitioner must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the proposed amended claims are unpatentable. The Board therefore impermissibly assigned the burden of proof to Bosch.

The Year in Patents: The Top 10 Patent Stories from 2017

It is that time once again when we look back on the previous year in preparation to close the final chapter of 2017 in order move fresh into the year ahead. 2017 was a busy year in the patent world, although change was not as cataclysmic as it had been in past years, such as 2012 when the PTAB and post grant challenges began, in 2013 when AIA first to file rules went into effect, or in 2014 when the Supreme Court decided Alice v. CLS Bank. It was, nevertheless, still an interesting year… To come up with the list below I’ve reviewed all of our patent articles, and have come up with these top 10 patent stories for 2017. They appear in chronological order as they happened throughout the year.

Burden of Persuasion for Patentability of Amended Claims in IPR Stays with Petitioner

After a panel of the Federal Circuit affirmed the Board’s decision, in Aqua Products v. Matal, Aqua requested an en banc rehearing. The USPTO Director Joseph Matal joined the appeal on behalf of the USPTO. At issue was whether the Board could place the burden of proof for patentability of amended claims on the patent owner in an IPR, and the Board’s underlying interpretation of the relevant statutes, specifically § 316(d) governing claim amendments and 35 U.S.C. § 316(e) allocating the burden of proof in an IPR… With respect to the burden of proof, the burden of persuasion for patentability of amended claims in an IPR proceeding is placed on the petitioner, not the patent owner. However, considering Judge Reyna’s concurrence, patent owners might still have the burden of production; depending on future cases.

The Trump Administration is Investigating the “Theft of IP” by China: What You Need to Know About Trademarks in China

A Couple of weeks ago, the Trump administration formally launched a “Section 301” investigation into the “theft of intellectual property” by China.  According to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the investigation will “look into Chinese laws, policies, and practices which may be harming American intellectual property rights…”  China is a large market for many American companies, not only for production, but also sales.  Chinese laws and policies with regard to trademarks may be confusing to many, but there are some key concepts to know and consider regarding trademarks in China.

A review of enhanced damages since Halo: Minimizing potential exposure to enhanced damages

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Halo, there have been approximately 100 cases analyzing whether the adjudged infringer acted egregiously/willfully en route to a determination of whether to enhance a damages award (and, if so, to what degree damages should be enhanced). The issue of egregiousness/willfulness and/or enhanced damages has been the subject of Federal Circuit opinions on seven occasions since Halo. With two exceptions noted herein regarding the availability of enhanced damages for infringement occurring after suit has been filed, these cases do not provide much in the way of additional guidance other than re-tracing the evolution of the law governing egregiousness/willfulness and enhanced damages through Seagate and Halo and re-iterating the standards discussed in Halo. In five of the seven relevant post-Halo cases the Federal Circuit remanded for further consideration in light of the new standards set forth in Halo.

Board cannot shift burden of proving patentability to applicant, must articulate reasoning

The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the Board’s decision, finding that it “failed to adequately articulate its reasoning, erroneously rejected relevant evidence of nonobviousness, and improperly shifted to Stepan the burden of proving patentability.” … The Board cannot shift the burden of proving patentability to the applicant, and must provide sufficient reasoning or explanation for why a skilled artisan would have found the claimed invention obvious, particularly when given evidence of unexpected results or “no reasonable expectation of success.” It is not enough for the Board to merely state that a combination of prior art would have been “routine.”

The Most Famous Song in the World Set Free: Impacts of the Happy Birthday to You Settlement

On June 30th, Judge George King of the Central District of California entered the Final Order and Judgment in the matter of Good Morning to You Productions Corp. et al. v. Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. – the “Happy Birthday” class action. Only the amount of attorneys’ fees to be awarded to the plaintiffs’ attorneys remains, and must be decided for many of the settlement terms to become effective. Nonetheless, it is not too early to consider what, if any, effects this case will have on the field of intellectual property.

Supreme Court Hears Argument on Burden of Proof for DJ Plaintiff

The Supreme Court on November 5, 2013, heard oral argument on whether the burden of proof in an action for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement falls on the plaintiff licensee or on the defendant patentee. The debate centered around whether a patentee/defendant sued for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement is required to prove a case of infringement that was neither alleged nor arguably possible where the DJ plaintiff is a licensee. The Petitioner argued that the burden that would be on the patentee as infringement plaintiff does not change when it is a DJ defendant. The Respondent argued that, because the patentee cannot assert an infringement counterclaim against its licensee in good standing, the normal default rule places the burden on the party that initiates the action.

Supreme Court Will Examine Patent Licensee’s Burden of Proof for Declaratory Judgment of Noninfringement

The Supreme Court on May 20, 2013, agreed to review a Federal Circuit decision that a patent licensee bears the burden of proof in its action for a declaratory judgment of noninfringement where the license remains in effect to preclude the defendant patentee’s infringement counterclaim. The question presented is whether, in such a declaratory judgment action brought by a licensee under MedImmune, the licensee has the burden to prove that its products do not infringe the patent, or whether (as is the case in all other patent litigation, including other declaratory judgment actions), the patentee must prove infringement.