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Posts Tagged: "Judge Kimberly Moore"

Looking Back at Soon-to-Be Chief Judge Moore’s Major CAFC Opinions

On April 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit announced that Judge Kimberly Moore would take over the duties of Chief Judge when current Chief Judge Sharon Prost’s term ends later this month. The following is a retrospective of several of Judge Moore’s important opinions during her time on the Federal Circuit, followed by insider responses to the Federal Circuit’s announcement.

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.

Deposition of Inventor Insufficient to Corroborate Inventor Testimony of Prior Conception

The representative of the inventor attempted to point to metadata contained within the inventor’s affidavit as being corroborating evidence showing the critical dates. The problem with this evidence was never made a part of the record, and the only place it was mentioned was in the inventor’s deposition, and it was only mentioned by the inventor. Inventor testimony must be corroborated by some competent independent evidence or testimony. Indeed, an inventor cannot corroborate their own testimony relating to prior conception. Therefore, an inventor deposition is insufficient to corroborate an inventor affidavit relying on what the inventor said in the deposition. 

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.

Even If New Matter, Entire Application Relevant to Assessing Compliance with Written Description Requirement

Several weeks ago, in a non-precedential opinion, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision in In re: David Tropp, which vacated and remanded a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The PTAB decision had affirmed an examiner’s rejection of a patent application covering a luggage inspection technology. The Federal Circuit panel of Chief Judge Sharon Prost and Circuit Judges Raymond Clevenger and Kimberly Moore determined the PTAB erred in its written description analysis by failing to consider all of the language of the specification as filed when determining whether there was sufficient support for the claimed invention. “Even if it is new matter, the language in the ’233 application as filed is relevant to assessing compliance with the written description requirement,” Judge Moore wrote. “The Board’s failure to consider this language was erroneous.”

Federal Circuit Upholds Patent Term Extension for Novartis Drug

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently affirmed a district court decision finding the ‘229 patent valid, unexpired, enforceable, and infringed, and granting an injunction until February 2019. Specifically, the Federal Circuit held that the ‘229 patent’s five-year term extension pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 156 was valid, even though it effectively extended the term of a related patent. The Court also held that the ‘229 patent was not invalid based on obviousness-type double patenting because obviousness-type double patenting cannot invalidate a patent which has received a valid term extension. Novartis AG v. Ezra Ventures LLC, No. 2017-2284, (Fed. Cir. Dec. 7, 2018) (Before Moore, Chen, and Hughes, Circuit Judges) (Opinion for the court by Chen, Circuit Judge).

Alleged Due Process, APA Violations by PTAB Rule 36ed by Federal Circuit

Federal Circuit issued a Rule 36 summary judgment in Chart Trading Development, LLC v. Interactive Brokers LLC, affirming the invalidation of patent claims owned by Chart Trading in covered business method (CBM) proceedings instituted at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). In issuing the summary affirmance of the PTAB, the Federal Circuit panel of Circuit Judges Pauline Newman, S. Jay Plager and Kimberly Moore declined the opportunity to comment on Chart Trading’s arguments on the PTAB’s alleged due process violations by changing the construction of a key term in its final written decision… If the government can award a franchise and that franchise can be taken away in a manner that violates the APA, what is the point in seeking the government franchise in the first place? If the Court charged with making sure the agency that strips government franchises is following the rules is going to decide cases of such importance with only one word — Affirmed — one has to question whether a government franchise is at all a worthwhile pursuit.

Federal Circuit affirms PTAB Mixed Decision in Acceleration Bay v. Activision Blizzard

Acceleration Bay appealed the final written decisions of the Board holding claims 1-9 of U.S. Patent No. 6,829,634, claims 1-11 and 16-19 of U.S. Patent No. 6,701,344, and claims 1-11 and 16-17 of U.S. Patent No. 6,714,966 all unpatentable. Petitioners Activision Blizzard, Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., 2k Sports, Inc., and Rockstar Games, Inc. (collectively, “Blizzard”) also cross-appealed portions of the Board’s decisions holding patentable claims 10-18 of the `634 patent, as well as substitute claims 19 of the `966 patent, 21 of the `344 patent, and 25 of the `634 patent. Blizzard also cross appealed the Board’s decisions holding that one particular reference — the Lin article — was not a printed publication under 35 U.S.C. § 102(a). In an opinion authored by Judge Moore and joined by Chief Judge Prost and Judge Reyna, the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB decision, finding that both Acceleration Bay’s and Blizzard’s arguments were without merit.

CAFC Vacates PTAB Obviousness Decision, Nonobviousness Nexus Established by Patent Owner

The Federal Circuit recently issued a non-precedential decision in LiquidPower Specialty Products v. Baker Hughes, vacating and remanding a final written decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which had invalidated claims of a LiquidPower patent in an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding. In a nutshell, the Federal Circuit found there to be substantial evidence supporting PTAB determinations relating to specifically what the prior art taught, and what the prior art motivated those of skill in the art to do vis-a-vis motivation to combine. However, the panel, made up of Chief Judge Sharon Prost and Circuit Judges Todd Hughes and Kimberly Moore, determined that substantial evidence did not support the PTAB’s finding that the patent owner failed to establish a nexus between the claimed invention and objective evidence of nonobviousness, or secondary considerations as they are sometimes called.  The case is now remanded to the PTAB for proper consideration of the objective evidence of nonobviousness presented by the patent owner. 

Rule 36 Affirmances at the Federal Circuit – Week of October 8, 2018

During the week of October 8, 2018,  there were five cases involving patents that were decided without an opinion as a result of Rule 36 affirmances at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Three of those cases were issued by panels including Chief Judge Sharon Prost. In two cases, the Federal Circuit upheld district court invalidations of asserted patents whereas another two affirmed rejections of applicants claims by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The last case was a summary affirmance of a victory by German drugmaker Erfindergemeinschaft UroPep over Eli Lilly in the Eastern District of Texas.

Federal Circuit Affirms Board: No Interference-in-Fact for CRISPR-Cas9 Technology

The Federal Circuit recently weighed in on an interference proceeding between the University of California (“UC”) and the Broad Institute over the use of CRISPR-Cas9 technology. The Court affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“Board”) decision finding there was no interference-in-fact between UC’s patent application and the claims of twelve patents and one application owned by Institute… Considering the evidence of simultaneous invention, along with evidence regarding the state of the art, inventor statements, and application of similar technologies, the Court concluded the Board’s finding was supported by substantial evidence.

Intellectual Ventures v. T-Mobile: Summary Judgment of Non-Infringement Vacated Due to Incorrect Claim Construction

In claim construction analyses, the plain and ordinary meaning of a claim term will not be narrowed by statements in the prosecution history, unless those statements clearly and explicitly evidence the patentee’s intent to depart from the full scope of the claim. If a dependent claim includes the purportedly disclaimed subject matter and was added at the time of the purportedly disavowing statements, a finding of disavowal is unlikely. Furthermore, a means-plus-function term should clearly and objectively define the function of the limitation; if the function is a subjective term of degree, a finding that the term is indefinite is likely.

CAFC vacates Summary Judgment entered against Intellectual Ventures

On Tuesday, September 4th, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a precedential decision in Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., et. al., vacating and remanding a grant of summary judgment entered by the district court finding the defendants in the case didn’t infringe a patent asserted by Intellectual Ventures. The Federal Circuit panel of Chief Judge Sharon Prost and Circuit Judges Kimberly Moore and Jimmie Reyna found that the district court had erred in its claim construction leading up to the grant of summary judgment in the case.

IPR Time-Bar Applies Even If Patent Infringement Suit Voluntarily Dismissed

In Click-To-Call Technologies v. Ingenio, Inc., Yellowpages.com, LLC, the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, held §315(b) precludes IPR institution when the IPR petitioner was served with a complaint for patent infringement more than one year before filing its petition, even if the district court action in which the petitioner was so served was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice.  

LED Patent Invalid for Lack of Enabling Disclosure for All Claimed Permutations

Trustees of Boston University (“BU”) sued Everlight Electronics Co., Ltd., and others (collectively, “Everlight”) for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,686,738 (the “738 Patent”). The Federal Circuit reversed the district court ruling that Everlight infringed the ‘738 Patent and failed to prove the patent was invalid, finding that the ‘738 Patent was invalid for lack of enablement… BU argued that the ‘738 Patent did not have to enable growing a monocrystalline layer directly on an amorphous layer so long as the patent enabled the five other permutations in the specification. The Court disagreed, noting that “the specification must enable the full scope of the claimed invention.” While the specification does not have to “expressly spell out every possible iteration of every claim,” it must provide at least a “basic enabling disclosure” for the claimed invention.