Posts Tagged: "claim construction"

Federal Circuit affirms patent owner victory of lost profits, enhanced damages

The standards for overturning a jury verdict and Court’s award of enhanced damages are high. The legal standard regarding lost profits is not limited to one third party sale and courts have discretion to determine if substantial evidence supports a finding of lost profits.

Federal Circuit upholds PTAB invalidation of podcasting patent despite district court infringement finding

On Monday, August 7th, a judicial panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit entered a decision in Personal Audio, LLC v. Electronic Frontier Foundation which is being widely hailed by the anti-patent crowd. The three judges on the panel issued a majority opinion, authored by Circuit Judge Pauline Newman, upheld a final written decision issued by…

UK Supreme Court says regardless of Article 2, doctrine of equivalents exists under UK patent law

The UK Supreme Court recently addressed the extent to which under the European Patent Convention 2000 (“EPC 2000”), a patentee may obtain protection against products or processes that are not covered by the literal meaning of the claims. In doing so, the UKSC modified what had been previously seen as the established approach of the UK courts towards ‘equivalents’. In particular, while not disapproving the test, the Court has chosen to reformulate the three “Improver” questions that, since 1990, have been in common usage for aiding determinations as to what might constitute patent infringement… The UKSC has concluded that subsequent to the Improver decision, which was then reinforced by the judgment in Kirin-Amgen, there has been a tendency by the UK courts to place “..too much weight on the words of the claim…” and what the patentee might have anticipated or intended. Instead, the UK courts should have focused on whether, on a basis of fact and expert evidence, the variant is a true equivalent of the invention as described in the patent.

Federal Circuit invalidates another patent upheld at PTAB after IPR

The Federal Circuit issued a decision in Homeland Housewares, LLC v. Whirlpool Corporation, which ought to be completely unnerving to every owner of a U.S. patent grant. Hearing an appeal from a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the panel voted 2-1 in favor of Homeland Housewares and overturned a final written decision that had confirmed that challenged claims from a Whirlpool patent were valid. So even when a patent owner manages to escape the clutches of the PTAB and prevails no patent is ever truly safe any longer. A dissent was filed by Judge Newman, who chastised the majority for rewriting the claims of the patent in a way that more broadly stated the invention than did the patentee.

Statements Made by Patent Owner During IPR Can Support Finding of Prosecution Disclaimer

In the case of Aylus Networks, Inc. v. Apple Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding of summary judgment for Apple Inc. (“Apple”). The Court held that statements made by a patent owner during an inter partes review (“IPR”) proceeding, whether before or after an institution decision, can be relied upon to support a finding of prosecution disclaimer… To invoke prosecution disclaimer, the statements must constitute a clear and unmistakable surrender of claim scope. If a prosecution argument is subject to more than one reasonable interpretation, it cannot rise to the level of a clear and unmistakable disclaimer.

Federal Circuit holds that due process is not violated when PTAB employs ‘surprise’ claim construction

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a non-precedential decision in Intellectual Ventures II, LLC v. Ericsson, Inc. (2016-1739, 2016-1740, 2016-1741) directed to three related IPRs, denying that the patentee was denied due process when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) employed a “surprise” claim construction in its opinion that had not been explicitly argued by either side to find the claims obvious. Because the Federal Circuit decided that the patentee had both notice and an opportunity to respond, it held that no due process violation occurred.

Is ‘Plain and Ordinary Meaning’ a Viable Proposed Claim Construction After the Federal Circuit’s Decision in Eon?

In last year’s decision in Eon Corp. IP Holdings LLC v. Silver Spring Network, Inc. 815 F.3d 1314, 1320 (Fed. Cir. 2016), the Federal Circuit reversed the District Court’s jury instruction that the terms “portable” and “mobile” should be given their “plain and ordinary meaning.” During claim construction at the District Court, Eon argued that “portable” and “mobile” did not need construction and that the terms could simply be given their plain and ordinary meaning. Id. at 1317. Silver Springs argued that the terms ought to be construed, but the District Court agreed with Eon and found that the meanings of those terms are clear and would be readily understandable to a jury. Id. However, the Federal Circuit held that a determination that a particular term needs no construction may be inadequate when a term has more than one meaning.

Samsung Succeeds in Reducing Damages for Infringement of Two Rembrandt Patents

Rembrandt sued Samsung for patent infringement in the Eastern District of Texas and convinced a jury that Samsung infringed its two asserted patents, awarding $15.7 million in damages. Samsung appealed claim construction, denial of JMOL of obviousness, a Daubert motion on a damages expert, and the refusal to limit damages. The Federal Circuit agreed with the district court’s claim construction and its denial of Samsung’s JMOL motions, affirming those decisions… The Federal Circuit vacated because allowing Rembrandt to “avoid the consequence of its failure to mark undermines the marking statute’s public notice function.” The Federal Circuit remanded to the district court to properly limit damages, and also remanded the question of whether the marking statute applies on a patent-by-patent or claim-by-claim basis because the parties had not squarely addressed the issue during the present appeal.

Federal Circuit says Rule 36 Judgments can have Preclusive Effect

A Federal Circuit Rule 36 judgment can be a valid and final judgment for purposes of preclusive effects. Additionally, district court findings affirmed by a Rule 36 judgment can have preclusive effect as long as each is “necessary” to the final appellate judgment. The Federal Circuit did not address the Circuit split regarding the preclusive effect of independent, alternative holdings.

Federal Circuit affirms ruling that Apple does not infringe Core Wireless’ Patent

Core Wireless sued Apple for infringing its patent directed to a cellular network system including a mobile station providing for improved transmission of data packets. The jury found that Apple did not infringe Core Wireless’ patent. At issue on appeal is whether the district court misapplied the magistrate judge’s pretrial claim construction and whether the claim construction adopted by the district court when ruling on Core Wireless’ JMOL was erroneous… Ultimately, the Court concluded that the district court correctly denied Core Wireless’s motion for judgment as a matter of law and properly upheld the jury’s verdict of noninfringement.

Mylan’s proposed ANDA drug does not infringe MedCo patents

A claim term can be limited to an embodiment described in the specification, if the claim would otherwise be found invalid and the embodiment was not disclaimed. Thus, a claim term with no ordinary meaning can be defined according to a single example in the specification, if the example provides “a clear objective standard” for that term.

Federal Circuit Affirms Patent Invalidity and District Court’s Denial of Post-Judgment Motions

The Federal Circuit heard the case on TVIIM, LLC v. McAfee, Inc. A unanimous panel of the Federal Circuit affirmed jury determinations of non-infringement and patent invalidity and affirmed the district court’s denial of motions for judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”) and for a new trial… Litigators risk jury confusion by relying on “ordinary meaning” for a key claim term, without articulating what that meaning is. An alternative “ordinary meaning” will not be considered for the first time on appeal. Furthermore, alternative meanings may be considered harmless, if substantial evidence nevertheless supports a finding of invalidity under any construction.

The Federal Circuit should never use Rule 36 if a patent claim is invalidated

What happens if a patent owner who suffered that Rule 36 summary loss to Google at the Federal Circuit were to decide to sue another party – perhaps Apple – on the same claims that were invalidated in the above mentioned hypothetical Google proceeding? No doubt Apple’s attorneys would be rightfully indignant, and if the proceeding were in federal district court you could guarantee there would be sanctions, likely against both the patent owner and the attorneys representing the patent owner. Why? Because those claims have been lost (i.e., invalidated) in a prior proceeding, and it does not matter that Apple was not privy to that prior proceeding. The underlying property right has been lost, and whether the Federal Circuit wants to admit it or not that is binding precedent.

CAFC sides with L.A. Biomedical Research over Eli Lilly in two IPRs challenging penile fibrosis patent

LAB sued Eli Lilly & Company, alleging marketing of the drug Cialis induced infringement of LAB’s patent. Eli Lilly subsequently requested that the Board conduct inter partes review of the patent. The Board agreed to do so and ultimately found the patent to be obvious in light of three prior art references… The Court then found the Board’s construction of certain claim terms to be overly broad, stating the Board’s construction “would make the patent claims applicable to individuals with erectile dysfunction not caused by penile fibrosis.”

Federal Circuit Affirms Grant of Preliminary Injunction to Patent Owner

A preliminary injunction was appropriate when non-infringement depended on an erroneous claim construction; the evidence did not show the proposed combination of references for non-obviousness was enabled; irreparable harm was likely despite other competition, and the injunction tipped in favor of the public interest… The Court held that the fact that other infringers may be in the marketplace does not negate irreparable harm. It also held that the loss by Scag of customers may have far-reaching, long-term impact on its future revenues, and the sales lost by Scag are difficult to quantify due to “ecosystem effects,” where one company’s customers will continue to buy that company’s products and recommend them to others.