Posts Tagged: "infringement"

CAFC Dismisses Inter Partes Reexamination Appeal By a Party Who was Not Initial Requester

Waters argued that Agilent could not appeal, because Aurora was the third-party requester of the reexamination, not Agilent. The Court held that the relevant question was whether Agilent was a member of a class of litigants that may enforce a legislatively created right under 35 U.S. C. § 141 (reexamination appeals). If so, that party has a ‘cause of action’ under the statute, and this cause of action was a necessary element of his ‘claim.’ See Davis v. Passman, 442 U.S. 228, 239 (1979). The Court held that both 35 U.S. C. § 141 and 35 U.S. C. § 315(b) confirm that the right to appeal an adverse reexamination decision is reserved only to patent owners and third-party requesters.

Federal Circuit Reverses District Court on Direct and Induced Infringement

The Court agreed, noting testimony from Cisco’s engineer who stated that the system needed only one copy of the protocol to support all devices. Commil’s expert opined that the protocol was a state machine, and since Cisco’s devices tracked separate information regarding their communication states, each communication state represented a copy of the protocol that was unique. The Court disagreed, finding that tracking separate states for each device was not substantial evidence that each device ran a separate copy of the protocol.

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.

The Patent Scrooges: The rise and potential fall of the efficient infringers

So it now looks like this: if you are a patent owner and feel that your rights have been encroached upon, you now have to assume there will be a challenge to their validity by a potential licensee through an Inter Partes Review (IPR). If you are one of the lucky few (~25%) who survive such a challenge with at least one valid patent claim, you then have to expect an appeal. Assuming you win that appeal, then the real court battle starts in earnest and you’ll have to face what has now become a $3-5M ordeal in legal fees to get through a full trial on the merits and the routinely filed appeal should you beat all odds and win. Treble damages for willful infringement have been rarer than a dodo bird sighting and even winning does not mean you will collect your money any time soon, as the Apple-Samsung saga has recently shown.

A patent owner defending property rights is NOT a bully

Would you consider a business owner who prevented someone from breaking into their store and stealing a tangible product to be a bully? Of course not! They would be taking reasonable steps to protect themselves, and their property, from the thug who was stealing. But if that is the case, why then would you consider a patent owner who protects and defends their rights to be a bully? The truth is you could only consider a patent owner to be a bully if you do not believe patents are a property right. While everyone is entitled to hope and dream, we do have a definitively correct answer. The Patent Act unambiguously says: “patents shall have the attributes of personal property.” See 35 U.S.C. 261. Thus, if a shop owner defending a tangible item against a thief is not bullying then neither is a patent owner defending rights against an infringer.

The Evolution of IP Litigation Funding and Insurance Markets

If patent owners do not have the financial resources to pursue infringers the patent becomes nothing more than a wall decoration – a very expensive wall decoration. And getting funding is more difficult than ever. According to Ashley Keller, Managing Director of Gerchen Keller Capital, speaking on the last panel of the day on Monday at the IP Dealmakers Forum in New York City, they are funding 1 out of ever 100 cases they review these days.

The story of the bullied patent owner, more widespread than bad acting patent trolls

We have all heard it. We all know it happens. Large company takes a look at what small company is working on, refuses to do a deal and then miraculously thereafter starts to infringe. In this, as in many cases, there was a confidentiality agreement, but what good is such an agreement without the means to enforce it? Even worse, it appears as if in this case the larger company had the audacity to file a patent application of their own after being granted access to what was supposed to be confidential information. Unfortunately, Congress and the Courts seem singularly focused on protecting helpless large multinational corporations who, as the story goes, are getting bullied by patent owners. That just isn’t the reality I see.

Quality Control Testing of Drug is Not Patent Infringement

In a November 10 ruling, the Federal Circuit held that routine quality control testing of each batch of a generic drug as part of the commercial production process, after FDA approval, is not protected by the Hatch-Waxman safe harbor provision of 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(1). However, infringement only occurs under 35 U.S.C. § 271(g), as a result of “making” a product, which does not include quality control testing.

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.

The importance of a quality patent search for strategic monetization of innovation

Properly used, a qualified search can be one of the most cost-effective and valuable tools a company can have to not only capture and create innovation, but also to avoid being sued for infringement. This dual purpose for a search is important to understand. A novelty search is intended to determine whether a patent can likely be obtained, but sometimes it will be quite useful to undertake a more comprehensive analysis of the search results to determine whether moving forward might result in a charge of patent infringement. In order to maximize the value of a company’s portfolio it is critical for business managers to understand the of importance of a search— including what kinds of searches are available, why to consider search before filing patent application, when to get searches, who should conduct and review search, and how to strategically use search result.

Tackling the Intellectual Property Battle

The ownership of ideas and creations are among the most valuable assets to any company. Businesses invest in these ideas and rights and use the value they create to help promote and grow business for years to come. Printer manufacturers, for example, invest heavily in new ink and toner technologies and realize a return over the life of the device through the sale of supplies and consumables. When third-party supplies manufacturers, particularly manufacturers of new build ‘cloned products’, violate IP rights and take products to market, they are effectively stealing from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) – reducing the ability of the OEM to realize the full potential of their investment and, through their sale, securing financial benefit from the OEM who receives no compensation for this lost revenue. These organizations effectively take a ‘free ride’.

CAFC: Reasonable royalty in design infringement only if greater than infringer’s total profits

Damages for infringement of a design patent can be recovered for the greater of: (1) total profits from the infringer’s sales under 35 U.S.C. § 289, (2) damages in the form of the patentee’s lost profits or a reasonable royalty under § 284, or (3) $250 in statutory damages under § 289. Here, the Court held that the district court incorrectly instructed the jury to choose between awarding damages under § 284 or § 289. According to the Court, “[o]nly where § 289 damages are not sought, or are less than would be recoverable under § 284, is an award of § 284 damages appropriate.”

Eli Lilly prevails in divided infringement Alimta® patent case

The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled in favor of Eli Lilly (NASDAQ: LLY), issuing a final judgment in the Hatch-Waxman infringement litigation relating to U.S. Patent No. 7,772,209. This matter arose as the result of the defendants’ filing of Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The ‘209 patent, covering a method of use, protects the co-administration of pemetrexed disodium with two nutrients – folic acid and vitamin B12, which protects against the side effects of the drug Alimta®. The district court found direct infringement by administering physicians under § 271(a), and thus inducement of infringement by Defendants under § 271(b).