Posts Tagged: "claim construction"

NYIPLA Endorses Patent Office Change to Phillips Claim Construction Standard

The proposed rule would adopt the narrower standard articulated by the Federal Circuit in Phillips v. AWH Corp., where the “words of a claim are generally given their ordinary and customary meaning,” which is “the meaning that the term would have to a person of ordinary skill in the art in question at the time of the invention.” 415 F.3d 1303, 1312-13 (Fed. Cir. 2005). Additionally, under the proposed approach, the Patent Office would construe patent claims and proposed claims based on the record of AIA proceeding, and take into account the claim language, specification, and prosecution history. In response to the Patent Office’s notice of proposed rulemaking, the New York Intellectual Property Law Association (NYIPLA) recently submitted comments endorsing the Patent Office’s proposed changes.

Congresswoman Lofgren Sends Letter to USPTO Director Iancu Opposing Proposed Changes to Claim Construction Rule at PTAB

Congresswoman Lofgren is now opposing a rule change she previously endorsed as an original co-sponsor of a bill that would have changed the claim construction rule in exactly the same way proposed by Director Iancu… But how is adopting a rule that would have already been the law had Lofgren had her way possibly frustrate or disregard Congress? Of course, we aren’t supposed to ask that question. Once the “patent troll” boogeyman card is played everything else is supposed to fade away.

The Broadest Reasonable Claim Interpretation Cannot Exceed the Specification

TF3’s patent-in-suit is for a “hair styling device” that automated the curling of hair. TF3 appealed the decision of the Board in an IPR requested by Tre Milano. Based upon its broad construction of certain claim terms, the Board held that two prior art references made the challenged patent claims invalid for anticipation. TF3 appealed. The Federal Circuit reversed the Board’s decision because it imposed a claim construction that was broader than the description in the patent specification. This enlarged the claims beyond their correct scope, even under a “broadest reasonable interpretation” standard. The Federal Circuit noted that “[a]bove all, the broadest reasonable interpretation must be reasonable in light of the claims and specification.”

CAFC says District Court Erred in Claim Construction in Blackbird Patent Case

On Monday, July 16th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in Blackbird Tech v. ELB Electronics, which vacated an earlier judgment of non-infringement of a patent asserted by Blackbird in the District of Delaware. The Federal Circuit majority panel of Chief Judge Sharon Prost and Circuit Judge Kimberly Moore determined that the district court had erred at construing the claim term “attachment surface” in finding non-infringement of the asserted claims. Circuit Judge Jimmie Reyna dissented in this case.

Federal Circuit Reverses District Court’s Invalidation of Patents Asserted Against Apple

On appeal to the Federal Circuit, Zeroclick argued that the district court erred in construing those two terms as means-plus-function limitations, an argument with which the Federal Circuit panel agreed. “Neither of the limitations at issue uses the word ‘means,’” Circuit Judge Hughes writes in his majority opinion. “Presumptively, therefore, [Section 112(f)] does not apply to the limitations.” Although Apple argued in the district court that the claims must be construed under Section 112(f), it provided no evidentiary support for its position. Although the court compared Apple’s arguments to Zeroclick’s objections, Judge Tigar did not point to any record evidence supporting the ultimate conclusion on Section 112(f) grounds.

Lofgren Supported Eliminating BRI Before She Was Against It

Congresswoman Lofgren seems quick to forget that she was one of the original co-sponsors of the Innovation Act when it was introduced into the House back in February 2015. Had the Innovation Act passed, it would have required patents challenged in IPR proceedings to be construed in the exact same manner that a district court would have required in a civil action to invalidate the patent. So, it seems Lofgren was for the Phillips standard and eliminating BRI before she was against it.

Lofgren, Issa Denounce Proposed PTAB Claim Construction Changes in Oversight Hearing

found it disturbing that the Director Iancu would circumvent the prerogative of Congress with recently announced proposed PTAB claim construction changes, though she admitted the decision wasn’t unlawful. She expounded for several minutes on issues of res judicata, which could tie the hands of the PTAB in light of district court or U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decisions regarding patent validity. “[This] would completely blow up what we were trying to do as a Congress,” Lofgren said. “It looks to me that the people who disagreed with [the AIA] and lost in the Congress, they went to the Supreme Court, they lost in the Supreme Court, and now they’re going to you, and you are reversing what the Congress decided to do and what the Court said was permissible to do.”

Conclusory approach to obviousness by PTAB in IPR insufficient to render claims invalid

The Federal Circuit found that the Board failed to provide sufficient explanation for its obviousness finding, instead using a conclusory approach that asked whether the missing limitation resulted from “ordinary creativity” of a skilled artisan. According to the panel majority, the question of whether the claims resulted from ordinary creativity was akin to asking whether the claims were obvious as a result of common sense. Therefore, the Federal Circuit began by returning to it’s 2016 ruling in Arendi S.A.R.L. v. Apple Inc., 832 F.3d 1355 (Fed. Cir. 2016), which dealt with the proper use of common sense as part of an obviousness rejection.

USPTO Withdrawals Support for Telebrands at CAFC, Actively Considering PTAB Practice

Director Iancu is known to be engaging in something that might be called a listening tour, speaking with various interested parties and groups as he attempts to formulate his own strategies and anticipated rulemaking efforts. It is widely expected by insiders that Iancu will bring change to PTAB proceedings in an effort to realize a more balanced procedure; perhaps even sweeping change. That the USPTO is now openly announcing that they are actively reconsidering the PTAB’s approach to claim construction and indefiniteness should be welcome news to all inventors.

Disputed Claim Construction Not Suitable for Resolution on a Motion to Dismiss

Nalco asserted that the only difference between its patented method and the Chem-Mod Process was the location of the injection. The district court dismissed Nalco’s complaints for failure to state a claim, including its Fourth Amended Complaint (“4AC”) at issue in the present appeal… The Federal Circuit, in an opinion authored by Judge O’Malley, rejected Defendants’ argument that Nalco’s direct infringement claims were implausible and instead agreed with Nalco that the resolution of its claims depended on the construction of the terms “flue gas” and “injecting.” Resolution of this claim construction dispute was inappropriate at the Rule 12(b)(6) stage of the proceedings.

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.

Combinations do Not Anticipate if Artisan Would Not Immediately Envision Claimed Combination

The Federal Circuit heard the case of Microsoft Corp. v. Biscotti, Inc. After Biscotti, Inc. (“Biscotti”) sued Microsoft Corp. (“Microsoft”) for patent infringement, Microsoft filed three unsuccessful inter partes reviews (“IPR”) challenging certain claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,144,182 (“the ‘182 patent”) as anticipated or obvious. The ‘182 patent relates to tools and techniques for providing video calling solutions. The IPRs focused on independent claims 6 and 69, and their dependent claims. On appeal Microsoft challenged the Board’s standard of review… The Federal Circuit reiterated that anticipation is a question of fact subject to substantial evidence review, that ultimate claim construction and claim construction relying solely on intrinsic evidence is subject to de novo review, and subsidiary factual findings based on extrinsic evidence are reviewed for substantial evidence.

CAFC Says No Need for PTAB to Explicitly Construe Claim Terms

In HTC Corp. v. Cellular Communs. Equip., Appellants HTC Corporation and ZTE (USA) Inc. (“HTC”) appeal a final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) in an inter partes review. The Board instituted inter partes review of challenged claims in patents owned by Appellee Cellular Communications Equipment, LLC’s (“CEE”). The PTAB concluded that HTC failed to show that any of the challenged claims were unpatentable… There is no need for the PTAB to explicitly construe claim terms if the PTAB’s findings were sufficient to establish its understanding of the scope of the claimed subject matter.

Critiques Alone Are Insufficient to Outweigh Expert Experiments and Testimony

In Organik Kimya AS v. Rohm & Haas Co., Organik Kimya AS (“Organik”) appealed the decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) in two related inter partes review (“IPR”) proceedings for which Organik is the Petitioner. The Patent Owner is Rohm & Haas Co. The Board sustained the patentability of the challenged claims, Organik appeals… When confronted with expert experiments and testimony, practitioners must provide sufficient evidence and argument to negate and outweigh the testimony – unsupported critiques of the expert’s methodology and challenges of relevance are insufficient.