Posts Tagged: "Judge Alan Lourie"

Federal Circuit Review – Issue 61 – July 31, 2015

Amgen filed a biologics license application (“BLA”) and obtained FDA approval for its filgrastim product, Neupogen. Sandoz subsequently filed an abbreviated BLA (“aBLA”) under 42 U.S.C. § 262(k), seeking approval for a biosimilar (generic) version of Neupogen. Amgen sued Sandoz, asserting claims of (1) unfair competition under state law based on violations of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”); (2) wrongful use of Amgen’s approved BLA; and (3) infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,162,427, which claims a method of using filgrastim. Amgen alleged that Sandoz violated the BPCIA by failing to disclose its aBLA and manufacturing information as required by 42 U.S.C. § 262(l)(2)(A) and by prematurely giving a notice of commercial marketing under 42 U.S.C.§ 262(l)(8)(A), i.e. giving notice before the FDA approved its biosimilar product.

Biosimilars at the Federal Circuit – Will this be the Last Dance?

This statute tried to mirror the Hatch-Waxman statute for small molecules, including both an abbreviated drug approval process and a mechanism to address any patent claims during drug approval. However, because of the differences between these two types of drugs, stemming from the increased complexity in manufacturing and patent protection, unique provisions were included in the BPCIA. Unfortunately, as Judge Lourie of the Federal Circuit put it, the BPCIA could win a “Pulitzer prize for complexity or uncertainty.” And, it is these new provisions that could prove the downfall of the BPCIA, at least as it currently exists.

Arbitrary and Capricious: Exploring Judge Lourie’s flip-flop in Ultramercial

It would be extremely unsettling if the Supreme Court has weakened Judge Lourie’s resolve to independently and properly interpret the Patent Act. If there is another explanation for his flip-flop on matters of patent eligibility I would love to hear it, but so far an explanation for diametrically different opinions has not been forthcoming. I don’t expect Judge Lourie to make a speech or hold a press conference like a politician, but if he is going to make diametrically opposite decisions in the same case, on the same facts, relating to the same claims, he owes litigants and the industry an explanation. Without an explanation it makes the entire process seem nothing more than arbitrary and capricious.

Ultramercial Patent Claims Invalid as Abstract Ideas

While there can be disingenuous arguments made about the abstractness of a media product or a sponsor message, who in their right mind could ever even suggest that “an Internet website” is abstract? Is “an Internet website” abstract? Is the “general public” abstract? Is a consumer abstract? Contemplate these questions as you, a member of the general public continues to read this article on this Internet website! We apparently have jumped the shark and turned the law of software patent claims into a useless, ridiculous philosophy assignment that asks whether something that clearly exists doesn’t exist. So are you, a consuming member of the general public who reads Internet websites real, or are you abstract?

Federal Circuit Puzzles Over Claim Construction Deference

The en banc Federal Circuit on September 13, 2013, heard oral argument on whether to overrule its en banc decision in Cybor Corp. v. FAS Technologies, Inc., 138 F.3d 1448 (Fed. Cir. 1998), and hold that claim construction can involve issues of fact reviewable for clear error, and that it is not entirely an issue of law subject only to de novo review. On appeal is the district court decision that a person of ordinary skill in the art would understand the claim term “voltage source means” to correspond to a rectifier or other voltage supply device. It thus rejected ULT’s argument that the term invokes Section 112 ¶6 and that the claim is invalid for indefiniteness for lack of specific structure in the specification. A Federal Circuit panel reversed in a nonprecedential decision, concluding from a de novo review that “voltage source means” does invoke Section 112 ¶6 and that the claim is invalid for indefiniteness. That panel decision was vacated when the appellate court decided to consider the claim construction issue en banc.

Are Robots Patent Eligible?

Why have claims if the claims don’t matter. Essentially Judge Lourie, and the Canadian Patent Office too, are saying ignore the claims and read the specification to determine what the innovation is and then without regard to the language of the claims make your determination. Under this viewpoint claims are simply irrelevant. Yet we know that claims are not irrelevant, and such a view is directly contrary to the Patent Act itself. Ignoring claims is utterly ridiculous given inventions are not patentable. Patent claims are supposed to be evaluating NOT the entirety of the invention. The sine quo non of patents are the claims. It is black letter law that the claims define the exclusive right granted. Ignoring the claims shows reckless disregard for the well established law and is nothing short of judicial activism.

What Happened to Judge Lourie in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp?

The first thing that any student of the Federal Circuit likely notices when reading CLS Bank is that Judge Lourie not only joined the dominant concurrence, but he also wrote the opinion. The same Judge Lourie who wrote the first opinion in Mayo, after which the Supreme Court asked the Federal Circuit to reconsider, and who then wrote the second opinion in Mayo. The same Judge Lourie who wrote the first opinion in Myriad, after which the Supreme Court asked the Federal Circuit to reconsider, and who then wrote the second opinion in Myriad[12]. All of those opinions interpret §101 broadly. What changed?

The Alice in Wonderland En Banc Decision by the Federal Circuit in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp

All the Judges rely on the same Supreme Court precedents in Gottschalk v Benson, Parker v. Flook, Diamond v. Diehr, Bilski v. Kappos, and Mayo v. Prometheus. All the Judges recognize the same judicial exception to statutory subject matter under §101 for laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas. All the Judges recognize that a claim must include “meaningful limitations” that go beyond an abstract idea. Hollow field-of-use limitations and insignificant pre or post-solution activity don’t count. However, this is where their similarities end.

5 CAFC Judges Say Computers Patentable, Not Software

Perpetuating the myth that the computer is where the magic lies does nothing other than ignore reality. Software is what makes everything happen. or crying out loud, software drives a multitude of machines! Maybe the auto mechanic for Judges Judges Lourie, Dyk, Prost, Reyna and Wallach should remove the software from their cars. Perhaps as they are stranded and forced to walk to work they might have time to contemplate the world they seem to want to force upon the rest of us; a world hat clings to mechanical machines completely non-reliant on software. That will be great for the economy!

Federal Circuit Nightmare in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp.

The only thing we know is this — the Federal Circuit issued an extraordinarily brief per curiam decision, which stated: “Upon consideration en banc, a majority of the court affirms the district court’s holding that the asserted method and computer-readable media claims are not directed to eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. An equally divided court affirms the district court’s holding that the asserted system claims are not directed to eligible subject matter under that statute.” Thus, the asserted claims are not patent eligible.

Harris Corp. v. Fed Ex: “Black Box” Claim Construction by Split Federal Circuit Panel Leaves us in the Dark

Over a dissent by Judge Wallach, Judges Clevenger and Lourie strictly interpreted the “antecedent basis” in the claims, resulting in a reversal of the trial judge’s claim interpretation, and a remand for him to reconsider his patent infringement judgment. It would probably have helped the patentee if the description had included broadening statements regarding the type of data that may be generated, stored and transmitted. Claim language is given the “broadest reasonable interpretation” during examination at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but a Federal Court’s “entirely reasonable” interpretation will often be significantly narrower, even when the claim has a “comprising” transition and generic terminology.

Hall v. Bed Bath & Beyond: Design Infringement Can Proceed

BB&B initially moved to dismiss Hall’s complaint in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) – failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted. The district court granted the dismissal of the complaint. In part, the district court stated that Hall’s complaint failed to contain “any allegations to show what aspects of the Tote Towel merit design patent protection, or how each Defendant has infringed the protected patent claim.” Order at 15-16. The CAFC cited Phonometrics, Inc. v. Hospitality Franchise Systems, Inc. as precedent for the requirements of patent infringement pleading. The five elements include (i) to allege ownership of the patent, (ii) name each defendant, (iii) cite the patent that is allegedly infringed, (iv) state the means by which the defendant allegedly infringes, and (v) point to the sections of the patent law invoked. The CAFC stated that Mr. Hall had presented a lengthy complaint outlining the merits of his case and, therefore, had satisfied the standards set forth in Phonometrics.

AMP v. Myriad: SCOTUS Must Remember What Case Is Not About*

As Myriad has correctly pointed out in its brief in opposition to the grant of certiorari, the question posed by the ACLU/PubPat (“Are Human Genes Patentable”) is absolutely the wrong one to answer: “The first question presented [by the ACLU/PubPat] bears no relation to the uncontroverted facts of this case.” (Myriad’s brief in opposition has also pointed out at least 4 other significant factual and legal “misstatements” made in the petition for certiorari by ACLU/PubPat.) As much as the ACLU/PubPat (and others) want to make the Myriad case into about “Who Owns You,” what Myriad has claimed does nothing of the sort. In fact, a “yes” answer to the question posed by the ACLU/PubPat does not automatically lead to Myriad’s claimed “isolated” DNA sequences being patent-ineligible. Those claimed “isolated” DNA sequences are not “genes” by any standard molecular biology definition of what that term actually means. Instead, and as accurately characterized by Judge Lourie, these claimed “isolated” DNA sequences are “novel biological molecules.”

AIPLA Honors Judge Newman with Excellence Award

Judge Richard Linn: “It is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to honor my colleague and my dear friend, Judge Pauline Newman. To say that Judge Newman is a woman of accomplishment is a serious understatement. There is no glass ceiling she hasn’t broken. When I asked her what she thought about Justice Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court, she said with a twinkle in her eye, “That’s a nice start.” She has accomplished more than most men could ever hope to accomplish, and she did so for the most part at a time when our country and the institutions that operate here were, shall we say, not quite as progressive as they are today.”

UK Perspective: Bancorp Services v. Sun Life Assurance

The EPO applies what might be referred to as a “subtraction” test for claims containing a mixture of patent-eligible and patent-ineligible features, those features that are patent-ineligible being disregarded and novelty and obviousness under aa. 54 and 56 EPC being evaluated on the basis of the remaining features. Judge Lourie suggested a somewhat similar “subtraction” test here.