Posts Tagged: "Judge Alan Lourie"

Federal Circuit affirms district court’s summary judgment of non-infringement

Akzo appealed from the decision of the district court (Chief Judge Leonard Stark) to grant summary judgment to Dow, which found that Dow did not infringe the claims of U.S. Patent 6,767,956, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. Dow also cross-appealed from the district court’s conclusion that the claims of the ’956 patent were not indefinite. Ultimately, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court on both appeals.

Federal Circuit: Disparagement of Prior Art in the Specification Can Limit Claim Language

UltimatePointer argued that the district court improperly construed “handheld device” to require direct pointing, because there was no disavowal or lexicography in the specification to exclude indirect pointing. Nintendo argued that the specification extols direct pointing and repeatedly criticizes indirect pointing. The Court agreed, holding that repeated characterization of the invention as a “direct pointing system,” repeated descriptions of the advantages of direct pointing, and repeated disparagement of indirect pointing all indicate that the term “handheld device” should be limited to direct pointing devices.

Restricted Sales Do Not Exhaust Patent Rights Under Supreme Court Rulings

The Federal Circuit took the case en banc to review the applicability of the patent exhaustion doctrine under Mallinckrodt and Jazz Photo, in view of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Quanta and Kirtsaeng. The Federal Circuit affirmed the holdings in Mallinckrodt and Jazz Photo, and distinguished them from the Supreme Court’s decisions. In Quanta, the Supreme Court was reviewing whether a patentee’s rights in a product were exhausted by a licensee’s sale of a product.

CAFC: Defendant had no notice of intent to pursue patent rights in US after foreign proceedings

Each week, we succinctly summarize the preceding week of Federal Circuit precedential patent opinions. We provide the pertinent facts, issues, and holdings. Our Review allows you to keep abreast of the Federal Circuit’s activities – important for everyone concerned with intellectual property. We welcome any feedback you may provide. – Joe Robinson, Bob Schaffer, Parker Hancock, and Puja Dave 83-2.…

CAFC reaffirms patent exhaustion doctrine cases en banc in Lexmark Int’l v. Impression Products

In a painfully long decision that at one point analyzed a 1628 statement of Lord Coke as relating to British common-law principles and what light that might shed on modern day patent exhaustion, the Federal Circuit held that when a patentee sells a patented article under otherwise-proper restrictions on resale and reuse communicated to the buyer at the time of sale, the patentee does not confer authority on the buyer to engage in the prohibited resale or reuse. The patentee does not exhaust its rights to charge the buyer who engages in those acts—or downstream buyers having knowledge of the restrictions—with patent infringement. The Federal Circuit also held that a foreign sale of a U.S. patented article, when made by or with the approval of the U.S. patentee, does not exhaust the patentee’s U.S. patent rights in the article sold, even when no reservation of rights accompanies the sale. Loss of U.S. patent rights based on a foreign sale remains a matter of express or implied license.

A District Court May Enhance Lodestar Attorneys Fee Award Only For Relevant Reasons

The Federal Circuit held that the district court failed to provide a proper justification for enhancing the amount by a multiplier of two. The basis for this multiplier was the court’s expeditious resolution on the merits which resulted in an “extremely low” lodestar, and had the court adopted Lumen View’s proposed schedule, FTB would have incurred more attorney fees. The Court disagreed with this as a rationale for enhancing the lodestar amount. The Court held an award can be enhanced only when it fails to account for a relevant consideration. Here, factors such as the expedited schedule were unrelated to the compensation of FTB’s attorneys and therefore, irrelevant to the enhancement of the lodestar.

Timely filed supplemental information does not need to be considered by PTAB in IPR

The PTAB refused entry of the supplemental information because Redline did nothing to justify submitting it after filing the initial IPR petition and even after the institution decision was made, other than to say that submitting it then was cost effective. The PTAB pointed out that the authorization to submit supplemental information under 42.123 does not require the PTAB to accept such information even if it is timely, noting that the moving party bears the burden in all cases to demonstrate entitlement to the relief, a rule that patent owners seeking to amend are all too familiar with (i.e., despite there being a right to file an amendment the PTAB says there is no associated right to amend).

CAFC denies Sequenom en banc petition, Next stop SCOTUS

The law of patent eligibility is created by the nine least qualified people to make such a determination; the Justices of Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court arbitrarily chooses which of its own prior decisions to follow and ignore, refuses to read and enforce the laws passed by Congress even when the statue is but a single sentence (as is 101), and they openly legislates from the bench by creating judicial exceptions to patent eligibility where no such statutory prerogative exists. If the Federal Circuit will not step up and do the right thing and limit the lawless Mayo decision, which instructs lower courts to ignore the patent statute and drive 100% of the analysis into 101, the U.S. will forfeit our lead in the biotechnology and medical device industries. That will be bad for the economy, but far worse for public health.

Judge Lourie withholds criticism of Supreme Court, explains no judge likes to be reversed

“As this group knows, I had further opportunity to see Supreme Court reversals in patent cases,” Lourie explained. “That has led to a lot of uncertainty in the law when they decided cases related to patent eligibility… the myriad case involving breast cancer patents. I wrote the majority opinion in that case which the Supreme Court unanimously reversed.” Judge Lourie would go on to say that the week following the reversal he received the outstanding public service award from the New York Intellectual Property Law Association. With the audience laughing loudly he wondered whether the Association regretted the decision. Being unanimously reversed by the Supreme Court in Myriad is and will remain a badge of honor in my opinion. Judge Lourie gets patent eligibility, and he gets the science.

CAFC Finds Substantially Pure Isomer Obvious From Prior Art 50/50 Mixture

The issue on appeal was whether a mixture comprising at least 92% of the (6S) isomer of leucovorin would have been obvious when both the 50/50 mixture of isomers and the pure (6S) isomer were known in the art. Affirming the district court, the Federal Circuit agreed that “one of skill would have been motivated to modify the prior art 50/50 mixture to make the claimed mixture,” especially when it was known that the desired activity lies with the (6S) isomer. The Court found no evidence indicating that the claimed mixture “possess[ed] unexpected advantages over the prior art pure material” so as to overcome obviousness.

Federal Circuit en banc rules Laches Remains Defense in a Patent Infringement Suit

Despite the Supreme Court ruling that laches is no defense to a copyright infringement action brought during the statute of limitations, the Federal Circuit ruled laches can bar recovery of legal remedies in patent infringement. The Federal Circuit explained that the 1952 Patent Act codified the common law rule, meaning that laches was codified as a defense under 35 U.S.C. 282.
The Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, followed the common law principle that, ”[w]hen a statute covers an issue previously governed by the common law, [the Court] must presume that Congress intended to retain the substance of the common law.” The Federal Circuit also ruled that laches does not preclude an ongoing royalty.

Third-Party Use of Similar Marks Relevant to Strength of Opposer’s Trademark

The Federal Circuit explained that evidence of third-party use bears on the strength or weakness of an opposer’s mark. In this case, which arose as an appeal from the TTAB, the evidence demonstrated“ubiquitous use of paw prints on clothing as source identifiers. According to the Federal Circuit, given the widespread use of paw prints, consumers would know to look for additional indicia of origin rather than just the paw designs. The evidence, therefore, demonstrated that consumers are not as likely confused by different, albeit similar looking, paw prints.

Akamai v. Limelight: Defendant may directly infringe where steps performed by a third party

The en banc Court reversed the previous panel, and expanded the circumstances under which an alleged infringer may be liable under §271(a). In addition to circumstances identified by the panel, liability may arise if “an alleged infringer conditions participation in an activity or the receipt of a benefit upon performance of a step or steps of the patented method, and establishes the manner or timing of that performance.” When that standard is satisfied, the actions of a third party may be attributed to the alleged infringer, who thereby directly infringes under §271(a), even though there was no “mastermind” acting though a formal agent.

Federal Circuit Affirms ‘Teaching Away’ and ‘Unexpected Results’ that Support Non-obviousness

The Federal Circuit affirmed. The asserted claims were not obvious because, although the claimed amounts (0.01% bimatoprost and 200 ppm BAK) fell within the range disclosed in the prior art (0.001-1% bimatoprost and 0-1000 ppm BAK), Allergan “had produced ample evidence of teaching away and unexpected results, and that such evidence fully support[ed] a conclusion of non-obviousness.” For example: (1) BAK is a toxin and “should be minimized in ophthalmic formulations to avoid safety problems,” (2) BAK decreases permeability of bimatoprost, and (3) BAK causes hyperemia at high concentrations. Thus, the prior art “’criticize[d], discredit[ed], or otherwise discourage[d]’ the use of 200 ppm BAK in a bimatoprost formulation.”

A Simple Concept Within an Inventor’s Knowledge Does Not Make It Analogous Art

The issue was whether the disputed prior art is sufficiently “analogous” to the art of marking interface plates for it to be applied in a proper obviousness analysis. The Court held that even though an inventor may be aware of rock carving, engraved signage, or Prussian Blue methods, this does not mean that he would look to these methods when trying to improve markings for circuit board testers. The Court also found that the jury’s determination of validity, which tacitly concluded the disputed prior art was non-analogous, was supported by substantial evidence in the record.