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Posts Tagged: "Judge Timothy Dyk"

Dyk Splits from CAFC Panel on Application of Collateral Estoppel to Inter Partes Reexaminations

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Monday held that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) incorrectly found certain claims of SynQor, Inc.’s U.S. Patent No. 7,072,190 unpatentable as obvious in an inter partes reexamination proceeding. The CAFC said that the PTAB’s previous reexamination decisions on related patents gave rise to common law issue preclusion that collaterally estopped the Board from such a finding. Judge Hughes authored the majority opinion and Judge Dyk dissented, calling the ruling “without support and contrary to governing Supreme Court authority.”

CAFC Says Removal Improper, Trade Secret Case Didn’t Necessarily Raise Patent Law Issues

In a precedential opinion, Intellisoft v. Acer, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), in a decision authored by Judge Dyk, held that the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (the district court) erred in refusing to remand a case where removal was improper under 28 U.S.C. § 1441 and §1454… Despite Acer’s contentions, the CAFC found that Intellisoft’s trade secret misappropriation claim did not “necessarily” raise patent law issues that would result in district court original jurisdiction. The CAFC first noted that ownership of a trade secret under state law does not require proof of patent ownership.

Google Wins Mandamus at Federal Circuit in EDTX Venue Dispute

The Court believed the time was now appropriate to address this issue through a writ of mandamus noting that several similar cases had now been heard in various district courts with conflicting results. The Court identified two issues that should be addressed: (1) whether a server rack, a shelf, or analogous space can be a “place of business,” and (2) whether a “regular and established place of business” requires the regular presence of an employee or agent of the defendant conducting business. Finding that a defendant must have regular, physical presence of an employee or other agent of the defendant conducting the defendant’s business at the alleged “place of business,” the Court concluded that the Eastern District of Texas was not a proper venue for this case because Google does not have an employee or agent regularly conducting its business within the District.

CAFC Orders Settlement Agreement Enforced, Tosses Summary Judgment of Non-Infringement

The Federal Circuit recently issued an opinion vacating the district court’s grant of summary judgment motions of non-infringement and remanding with instructions to enforce a settlement agreement between Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC and Dreamwell, Ltd. (collectively, “Serta Simmons”) and Casper Sleep Inc. (“Casper”). See Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC v. Casper Sleep Inc., No. 19-1098, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 4467 (Fed Cir.…

CAFC Rejects Method for Manufacturing Propshafts Under 101; Judge Moore Calls Majority Analysis ‘Validity Goulash’

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential opinion on October 3 involving a patent infringement suit brought by American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. (AAM) against Neapco Drivelines LLC (Neapco) in 2015. The suit involved alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,774,911 (the ‘911 patent). The opinion, authored by Judge Dyk, affirmed the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware’s finding that the asserted claims are ineligible under Section 101. Judge Moore dissented, saying that “the majority’s decision expands § 101 well beyond its statutory gate-keeping function and the role of this appellate court well beyond its authority.” The ‘911 patent teaches a method for manufacturing driveline propeller shafts that are designed to attenuate vibrations transmitted through a shaft assembly.After a thorough analysis of the first prong of the Alice and Mayo two-step process, the CAFC turned to the second prong and found that no inventive concept existed that could transform the claims into patent eligible subject matter. Judge Kimberly Moore filed a scathing dissent in which she said the majority opinion “deeply trouble[s]” her and that the Court’s opinion conflates Section 101 with Section 112.

Federal Circuit Vacates and Remands District Court’s Infringement and Willfulness Findings in Omega Patents v. CalAmp

On April 8, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in Omega Patents, LLC v. CalAmp Corp. that reversed and vacated a district court’s ruling that CalAmp had directly infringed certain patent claims asserted by Omega. While the Federal Circuit did affirm that CalAmp directly infringed one of the asserted claims, it vacated and remanded on a number of the district court’s other findings. The decision was issued by a panel including Chief Judge Sharon Prost and Circuit Judges Timothy Dyk and Evan Wallach. Omega’s allegations of patent infringement centered on CalAmp’s sale of Location Messaging Unit (LMU) products that assist businesses and government entities by tracking fleets of vehicles and retrieving vehicle information such as battery health and speed for remote monitoring. A jury verdict in the Middle District of Florida held that all asserted claims were not invalid, were infringed, and that CalAmp had committed willful patent infringement. The jury awarded compensatory damages of $2.98 million and the judge trebled that damages award and added attorney’s fees, damages for sales subsequent to the jury verdict and pre-judgment interest, increasing the monetary award to about $15 million with an ongoing royalty rate of $12.76 per sale of infringing unit by CalAmp.

Mandamus Relief Denied: Federal Circuit Avoids Clarifying TC Heartland in In re Google LLC

The Federal Circuit recently elected not to decide en banc “whether servers are a regular and established place of business, such that venue is proper under 35 U.S.C. § 1400(b). In re: Google LLC, No. 2018-152 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 5, 2019) (Before Prost, Chief Judge, Newman, Lourie, Dyk, Moore, O’Malley, Reyna, Wallach, Taranto, Chen, Hughes, and Stoll, Circuit Judges) (Dissent by Reyna, Circuit Judge, joined by Newman and Lourie, Circuit Judges). SEVEN Networks, LLC’s (SEVEN) patent infringement suit against Google arose in the Eastern District of Texas. SEVEN alleged Google’s servers, stored in a third-party ISP’s facility, where the allegedly infringing activities occurred, were a regular and established place of business, such that venue is proper under 35 U.S.C. § 1400(b). The district court denied Google’s motion to dismiss for improper venue. As a result, Google petitioned the Federal Circuit for a writ of mandamus directing the district court to dismiss or transfer the case for improper venue. On appeal, the panel majority found mandamus relief inappropriate because “it is not known if the district court’s ruling involves the kind of broad and fundamental legal questions relevant to § 1400(b),” and “it would be appropriate to allow the issue to percolate in the district courts so as to more clearly define the importance, scope, and nature of the issue for us to review.”

Federal Circuit Addresses Whether Anticipating Prior Art Reference is ‘By Another’ as Described in 35 U.S.C. § 102(e)

The Federal Circuit recently overturned a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) inter partes review decision finding that an IPS Group (IPS) patent was not unpatentable as anticipated, holding that the Board erred when determining the inventive entities of the asserted IPS patent and the asserted prior art, which was a different IPS patent that shared an inventor with the other IPS patent. See Duncan Parking Techs. v. IPS Group, Inc., Nos. 2018-1205, 2018-1360, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3137 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 31, 2019) (Before Lourie, Dyk, and Taranto, J.) (Opinion for the Court, Lourie, J.). The claims at issue related to parking meter technology. IPS has two relevant patents for this technology, the ’310 patent and the ’054 patent. The ’054 patent issued in 2013 from a 2006 Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application. It named the Founder of IPS, Dave King, and the Chief Technical Officer of IPS, Alexander Schwarz, as inventors. The ’310 patent was issued in 2010 and based on an application filed in 2008. The ’310 patent named King, along with three other engineers, as inventors. The ’310 patent, however, did not disclose Schwarz as an inventor.

Federal Circuit Again Considers USPTO Calculation of PTA in Supernus Pharmaceuticals v. Iancu

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which had affirmed a patent term adjustment (PTA) calculation of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). See Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Iancu, No. 2017-1357 (January 23, 2019). The Federal Circuit held that the USPTO cannot count as applicant delay any period of time during which there was no possible action that the applicant could take to reasonably conclude prosecution. A sensible ruling, and one the panel explained was entirely consistent with both the PTA statute and Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. Lee, 778 F.3d 1341 (Fed. Cir. 2015). “A period of time including no identifiable efforts that could have been undertaken cannot be ‘equal to’ the period of failure to undertake reasonable efforts under the terms of the statute,” wrote Judge Reyna.

Motivation to Combine Unnecessary Under Section 103 if Secondary Reference Does Not Supply Element or Teaching

On January 10, the Federal Circuit issued an opinion affirming a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) invalidating several claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,597,812 (the ‘812 patent) as obvious. Realtime Data, LLC v. Iancu, No. 2018-1154 (Fed Cir. Jan. 10, 2019) (Before Dyk, Taranto, and Stoll, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the court, Stoll, Circuit Judge).

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., HP Enterprise Services, LLC, and Teradata Operations, Inc. (collectively, HP) sought inter partes review (IPR) of U.S. Patent No. 6,597,812, alleging that the claims were obvious under 35 U.S.C. §103(a) over U.S. Patent No. 4, 929, 946 (O’Brien) and further, in view of a data compression textbook by Mark Nelson (Nelson). After instituting review, the PTAB found the challenged claims obvious over the prior art. Realtime Data appealed on two grounds: (1) that the PTAB erred in determining that a person of ordinary skill would have been motivated to combine the teachings of O’Brien and Nelson, and (2) that the PTAB erred by failing to properly construe the term “maintaining the dictionary”.

On appeal, the Federal Circuit accepted HP’s primary argument that all of the challenged claims were disclosed in O’Brien, with Nelson used only to demonstrate that the term “dictionary encoder” used in the ‘812 patent was actually what was disclosed in O’Brien. HP thus relied on Nelson merely to explain that O’Brien’s algorithm was a dictionary algorithm, which Realtime conceded. Because the PTAB did not rely on Nelson for the disclosure of any particular element or teaching and instead relied on O’Brien alone to supply the elements and teachings, there was no obligation to make any finding regarding a motivation to combine O’Brien and Nelson. Therefore, the PTAB “did not err when it concluded that claim 1 was invalid under § 103 based on O’Brien alone,” Judge Stoll wrote.

Continuing to Pursue Claim Construction Arguments Does Not Make Case Exceptional

The Federal Circuit recently affirmed the decision of the Federal District Court for the District of Minnesota denying attorney fees to Wright Medical Technology, Inc. Spineology, Inc. had alleged Wright’s X-REAM® expandable reamer product infringed several claims of its patent. The alleged infringement hinged on the claim construction of the term “body.” Initially, the district court declined to adopt either party’s construction of the term. On cross-motions for summary judgment, however, the court construed “body” consistent with Wright’s non-infringement position and granted Wright’s motion… When a court chooses not to adopt either party’s claim construction order, continued pursuit of the proposed claim construction does not necessitate a finding of an exceptional case. Further, a district court need not decide issues mooted by summary judgment to determine whether a case is exceptional.

Personal Jurisdiction is Not Established by Prior Lawsuit or Sending Infringement Notice Letters

The Federal Circuit recently affirmed the District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee’s dismissal of a declaratory judgment action based on a finding of lack of personal jurisdiction over the defendant. The Federal Circuit held that a defendant’s request for an injunction in a different forum, which may extend into the present forum if granted, does not satisfy the “minimum contacts” prong of the test for personal jurisdiction. The Federal Circuit also made a distinction between (1) merely sending infringement notice letters into a forum and (2) sending a letter andtravelingto the forum state to discuss the alleged infringement. The Court held that letters alone do not satisfy the “minimum contacts” prong of the test.

CAFC: Patent Claim Directed to Concrete Assignment of Specified Functions is Patent Eligible

The Federal Circuit recently reversed the Western District of Washington’s dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure where the district court held that the claimed subject matter was ineligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Specifically, the Federal Circuit, reviewing the decision de novo, concluded that the claimed method of improving security was a non-abstract computer-functionality improvement because it was done by a specific technique that departs from earlier approaches resulting in a beneficial reduction of the risk of hacking.

Federal Circuit Vacates PTAB Decision That Video Messaging Patent Claims Were Nonobvious

The Federal Circuit panel of Circuit Judges Timothy Dyk, Evan Wallach and Richard Taranto determined that the PTAB’s decision to uphold patent claims challenged by WhatsApp as nonobvious wasn’t supported by substantial evidence and that the PTAB didn’t properly consider expert testimony provided by WhatsApp… Here the prior art references that supplied all of the claim limitations and the Federal Circuit found that testimony from expert witnesses on both sides supported the idea that video and multimedia content was better at conveying more powerful messages than text or still photos.

Federal Circuit Issues Another Rule 36 Patent Eligibility Loss to a Patent Owner

This particular Rule 36 patent eligibility loss for the patent owner came in Digital Media Technologies, Inc. v. Netflix, Inc., et al., affirmed the district court’s finding that patent claims asserted by Digital Media against Netflix, Amazon and Hulu were invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 because they were directed to an abstract idea… Using Rule 36 in an area of the law as unstable, chaotic and unpredictable as patent eligibility is irresponsible. Whether the decision would be the same or not, the parties and the public have a right to have the Federal Circuit make sense ‘this § 101 conundrum.’