Posts Tagged: "Guest Contributor"

Printed Matter Doctrine Implicates Matter That Is Claimed for What it Communicates

The Court held that printed matter must be claimed for what it communicates, and it is only afforded patentable weight if the claimed informational content has a functional or structural relation to the substrate. In this case, the Court held that the Board erred in finding that the origins of the web assets made them printed subject matter, because nothing in the claim called for the origin to be part of the web asset.

Fitbit alleges patent infringement in growing market for fitness tracking devices

On November 2, 2015, San Francisco-based Fitbit Inc. filed a Section 337 complaint with the International Trade Commission (ITC) against AliphCom (d/b/a Jawbone) and BodyMedia, Inc. (Investigation No. ITC-337-3096). In a parallel proceeding in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, Case No. 1:15-CV-00990, Fitbit alleged infringement of three patents assigned to Fitbit—namely, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,920,332 (titled Wearable Heart Rate Monitor); 8,868,377 (titled Portable Monitoring Devices and Methods of Operating Same); and 9,089,760 (titled System and Method for Activating a Device Based on a Record of Physical Activity). According to the district court complaint, Jawbone’s products associated with components of its UP series of trackers indirectly infringe the patents-at-issue. Fitbit hopes that it will be successful in preventing the import and sale in America of wearable activity tracking devices sold by Jawbone by requesting the ITC to issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order.

Innovation A, B, C’s: Amazon, Boehringer and Chevron Disrupt World’s Top Innovator List

According to Thomson Reuters 2015 list of Top 100 Global Innovators, Amazon and several other established players in mature markets are proving that it’s not just start-ups that have the potential to upend traditional business models and reinvent our world. In fact, several of the companies new to this year’s ranking of top innovators have been around a lot longer than Amazon, among them: Boehringer Ingelheim, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Johnson Controls, Thales, and Yamaha.

Napa Valley Vintners first wine group in US to receive certification mark registration

Earlier this month, Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), the nonprofit trade association that works to “promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley appellation,” became the first wine group in the U.S. to be granted a certification mark registration. So-called certification marks are a unique species within the trademark law, functioning to “certify” the nature or origin of goods or services, rather than merely convey the producer of those goods or services.

A Systematic Approach to a Successful Patent Licensing Program

Patent licensing is becoming increasingly challenging and it requires thorough preparation on the licensor’s part to convince a potential licensee that a license is both required and inevitable and to persuade them into serious negotiations. The steps involved will vary based on whether your patents are already being infringed upon or if they protect a new technology that can extend market value or penetration. In this article, the focus is on the research and preparation for the licensing of patents that may already be in use.

Cuozzo and Broadest Reasonable Interpretation – Should the Ability to Amend Be Relevant?

On July 8, in In re Cuozzo, the CAFC denied en banc review of a prior panel decision that confirms the PTAB can use a different standard for interpreting claims than a district court. The patent owner in In re Cuozzo filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court on October 6, 2015. The response was due on November 9, 2015. If the Supreme Court takes up the issue, it could decide contrary to the current Federal Circuit precedent. It is also possible that Congress could change the standard for claim construction that applies to post-grant proceedings through legislation.

The Internet of Things Patent Landscape for Wearables

Technology is in a constant state of evolution, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is no exception. The top five emerging markets for the IoT – medical, fitness wearables, industrial, automotive, and smart homes – are driven by patented IP, much of which is being applied in IoT inventions. The patents for the five technology areas of the IoT – Things, networking, computing and storage, services and analytics – differ in content and maturity. The bottom line is that the technologies at the beginning of this system, Things, and at the end of this system, analytics, are the newest. The technologies in between, networking, computing and storage, and services, are established, but will evolve and scale for IoT. It is in these “in between” areas that we see the most dominance of mature companies.

Does the Internet of Things Recycle Old Technology?

There is a lot of hype around the Internet of Things (IoT) yet many, if not most, are confused by what IoT really is and what it means for their IP and their business. If you are a new player in the IoT market, you most likely will be filing patent applications for new innovations; however, since IoT is being built on established technology, you need to be aware that there are hundreds of technology companies that may already own the seminal foundation patents. Many companies new to the IoT market may have strong and expansive portfolio positions for assertion. This makes it difficult at best to discern whether or not IoT inventions are really new or just recycled technology.

Certificate of Correction Changing a Chemical Structure Does Not Affect Validity of Patent

The sole modification in the figure amended was to change one of the 13 amino acids in the structure of daptomycin from an L-stereoisomer to a D-stereoisomer of asparagine. At the time of the invention, it was universally believed that daptomycin included the L-stereoisomer. Not until years later did Eli Lilly discover the error. In any case, the certificate of correction did not affect the validity of the patent, because daptomycin had been described in numerous ways in the application, including by referencing another application that described how to make daptomycin, which would have inherently included the D-stereoisomer.

CAFC Cautions Against Limiting Invention to One Embodiment in the Specification

Imaginal appealed, arguing that the district court improperly construed the disputed claim language, because: because it: (1) ignored the written description and claim language; (2) relied too heavily on general purpose dictionary definitions; and (3) improperly excluded a preferred embodiment. The Federal Circuit disagreed. It held that nothing in the patent claims or specification restricted the vision guidance system to only one particular system that is excluded from the claims (“without”). Accordingly, the Federal Circuit affirmed.

Infringement Under Doctrine of Equivalents Not Established by General Similarities

Advanced Steel sued X-Body Equipment for infringement of a method of loading shipping containers with bulk material. The “proximate end” of the claimed transfer base, for moving loaded material, was disputed by the parties. X-Body successfully argued on summary judgment that the piston-and-cylinder for its container packer was not connected to the proximate end of its transfer base, but instead was connected at a point on the bottom of the container packer. Under the district court’s construction of “proximate end” (which means “the extreme or last part lengthwise”), there was no literal infringement or infringement under the doctrine of equivalents.

NY v. Aleynikov: NY Penal Code, Federal Criminal Law Unprepared to Deal with Source Code Theft

Employers often assume that they have the same weapons in their arsenal to prevent theft of virtual trade secrets as they have against other types of loss. As the prosecution of Sergey Aleynikov in Federal and New York courts showed, however, that simply isn’t true. Even though juries in both courts found him guilty of downloading confidential computer code from his employer, judges ultimately found that the laws under which he was prosecuted did not cover the acts he committed. A careful employer should therefore make sure it puts precautions in place that prevent theft of computer code, rather than relying on the threat of criminal prosecution.

Aleynikov was a computer programmer employed by Goldman Sachs to write high-frequency trading code. In 2009, he accepted a job offer to join a potential competitor, where he would create a new high-frequency trading platform from the ground up. Before he left Goldman, however, he sent portions of Goldman’s high frequency trading code to a German server for his own future use. After Goldman found out, it went to the FBI; Aleynikov was then arrested on a flight home from a visit to Chicago. With that arrest began his circuitous journey through the U.S. legal system, governed by two different sovereigns and under two different legal regimes.

If patent reform goes wrong

A truism in politics is that issues are driven by stories. One of the most successful is the saga of the patent troll. That’s driving the current debate creating a sense of a malfunctioning patent system which is a danger to the public. If one side’s story frames the argument, those in opposition are at a real disadvantage and many times never recover. We have done a poor job as a community over the years presenting the importance of the patent system to the American public and our political leaders. That’s now come back to bite us.

USPTO makes changes to AIA post grant proceedings

The immediate modification to the page limits for motions to amend is more in line with reality given the high burdens placed on patent owners. Even when patent owners sought additional pages, the norm was a three to five page extension. So getting ten extra pages is a welcome change. Changing the page limits, alone, is unlikely to impact the calculus underlying the strategic choice to amend. But when the choice is made to amend, patent owners will be better able to meet their burden.

What makes a patent valuable; A patent broker’s perspective

In a recent article Toxic Asset, we explained in detail how much recent court decisions and new rules at the USPTO had negatively impacted the value of US patents. This is not to say that all patents are worthless, far from it. Actually, based on the fact that we have recently received strong offers on several of the portfolio we…