Posts Tagged: "Judge WIlliam Bryson"

Further Study Does Not Undermine Reasonable Expectation of Success; ‘Absolute Predictability’ is Not Required

A reasonable expectation of success in combining references to obtain the claimed invention does not require absolute certainty or predictability. As a result, an invention is not non-obvious simply because persons of ordinary skill in the art continues to study aspects of the claimed invention after an initial disclosure. Rather, conducting additional or follow-up studies can be strong evidence that success is expected or likely.

CAFC: Exclusive license must include provisions establishing minimum contacts for personal jurisdiction

In New World International v. Ford Global Techs, FGTL sued New World for patent infringement in Michigan. New World countersued in Texas, seeking a declaratory judgment that FGTL’s patents are invalid and were not infringed. FGTL moved to dismiss the Texas action for lack of personal jurisdiction. New World argued that Texas had specific personal jurisdiction over the declaratory judgment action, because LKQ, FGTL’s exclusive licensee, had sent multiple cease and desist letters to New World in Texas. These letters and the exclusive license between LKQ and FGTL was alleged to be sufficient minimum contacts by FGTL with Texas. The district court disagreed and dismissed the declaratory judgment action for lack of personal jurisdiction. New World appealed, and the Court affirmed.

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.

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.”

In non-precedential decision, CAFC vacates district court grant of summary judgment

In vacating the district court’s summary judgment order, the Federal Circuit noted first that statements made by Micron’s expert regarding what the anticipatory reference disclosed were not actually supported by the anticipatory reference itself… These kinds of procedural safeguards are commonly applied by other regional circuits, but have seemed to be missing from Federal Circuit case law of late, with the Federal Circuit seeming to be rather eager to address the substance of a given dispute. Perhaps with the overwhelming caseload now at the Federal Circuit, and its need to resort to both Rule 36 and non-precedential opinions, the court seems to finally be coming to terms with the fact that it is an appeals court and not a court of first instance that should always decide cases de novo.

Proper §112 Indefiniteness Analysis is Directed to the Claims Themselves, Not the Terms

The Federal Circuit Court found that the source of the purported indefiniteness (“processing system”) played no role in defining the claims. Since the asserted claims are method claims, patentability resides with the method steps and not with the machines performing those steps.

Federal Circuit Affirms the PTAB, Emphasizing KSR’s Flexible Approach to 103

The Court affirmed the Board’s finding that two previous patents render the ‘695 Patent obvious. The Court rejected ClassCo’s argument that “[a] basic characteristic of a KSR combination is that it only unites old elements with no change in their respective function.” Slip op. at 7 (internal quotation marks omitted). The Court instead emphasized KSR’s flexible approach to a § 103 analysis.

Affinity Labs of Texas loses two patent eligibility cases at the Federal Circuit

Affinity Labs of Texas, LLC, lost two cases at the Federal Circuit last week, both in decisions authored by Judge Bryson, which Chief Judge Prost and Judge Wallach joining the opinions. Although the patents at issue in the two cases were different, they shared a similar specification. In the DirecTV decision, the Federal Circuit followed the Alice/Mayo framework and found the claims patent ineligible. Perhaps of note, the Court rebuffed Affinity’s arguments regarding novelty, explaining patent eligibility does not turn on novelty of the claims. In the Amazon decision the Federal Circuit ruled that basic user customization is insufficient to qualify as inventive under Mayo and Alice.

The Federal Circuit Will Not Re-Weigh Evidence Considered By The Board in IPR Appeals

The Court noted that all of Warsaw’s arguments related to the Board’s findings of fact, and were therefore reviewed for “substantial evidence.” The Board’s reconciliation of the potentially conflicting descriptions in the reference amounted to a re-weighing of evidence, which is not permitted under the standard of review. The Court also affirmed the Board’s motivation to combine analysis. Finally the Court summarily rejected Warsaw’s arguments presented for the first time on appeal.

Federal Circuit rules claims defining information-based result are patent ineligible

The CAFC then approvingly noted that the district court invoked “an important common-sense distinction between ends sought and particular means of achieving them, between desired results (functions) and particular ways of achieving (performing) them.” As the district court reasoned, “‘there is a critical difference between patenting a particular concrete solution to a problem and attempting to patent the abstract idea of a solution to the problem in general.’” According to the CAFC, the claims at issue in this case do the latter, namely, “rather than claiming ‘some specific way of enabling a computer to monitor data from multiple sources across an electric power grid,’ some ‘particular implementation,’ they ‘purport to monopolize every potential solution to the problem’…Whereas patenting a particular solution ‘would incentivize further innovation in the form of alternative methods for achieving the same result’… allowing claims like [the ones at issue here] would ‘inhibit[] innovation by prohibiting other inventors from developing their own solutions to the problem without first licensing the abstract idea.’”

Biologics Applicant Must Give Post-Approval Notice to Reference Product Sponsor

The Federal Circuit held that there was no statutory language that made section (8)(A) non-mandatory. Further, Amgen v. Sandoz disposed of Apotex’s argument that (8)(A) would extend the 12-year exclusivity period given to a sponsor by 180 days (six additional months). Even when market entry is delayed under (8)(A) by 12 years plus 180 days, the result is the same, because the 12-year date is established as the earliest date, not the latest date, on which a biosimilar license can take effect. The Court affirmed that section (8)(A) covers applicants that filed (2)(A) notices as well as those that did not. This is to ensure that the necessary decision-making regarding further patent litigation starts from when the applicant’s product, uses, and processes are fixed by the FDA license. The 180-day period gives the sponsor essential time to assess its infringement position for the final FDA approved product and the as to yet-to-be-litigated patents. This is confirmed by the legislative history of the Biologics Act. Thus, an applicant must provide a reference product sponsor with the 180-day notice under 8(A), after approval and before commercial marketing begins, whether or not the applicant previously provided a (2)(A) notice of the FDA review.

Appending Conventional Steps to Abstract Idea an Insufficient Inventive Concept

The Court held that dealing “physical playing cards” did not constitute patent eligible territory. This constituted a “purely conventional” activity, like the conventional computer implementation that fell short in Alice. The Court found there was no inventive concept sufficient to transform the subject matter into a patent-eligible application of an abstract idea.

Federal Circuit denies mandamus, can decide later if patent was really a covered business method

On Friday, March 18, 2016, in a one paragraph Order that for some reason is not available on the Court’s website, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied that mandamus petition. The Court took the position that Trading Technologies simply has to go through the entire exercise of defending the ‘304 patent during a CBM review and then at the end they will circle back and determine whether the CBM should have been instituted in the first place. As if spending $1 million or more to defend a patent from a bogus challenge that never should have been instituted in a tribunal that clearly doesn’t have jurisdiction is no big deal. It just makes the Judges seem out of touch with the financial realities facing patent owners.

Federal Circuit says PTAB decision on redundancy of asserted IPR grounds not appealable

The Federal Circuit held, pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 314(d), that it does not have jurisdiction to review an institution decision, because a “determination by the Director whether to institute an inter partes review under this section shall be final and nonappealable.” The PTAB’s decision on the redundancy of Harmonic’s asserted grounds for review constituted a portion of the Institution Decision and was therefore unappealable, absent some other appealable question.