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Posts Tagged: "Judge Moore"

Federal Circuit Grants Apple Petition for Writ of Mandamus to Transfer Uniloc Suit

On November 9, the Federal Circuit granted Apple’s petition for a writ of mandamus directing the Western District of Texas to transfer Uniloc’s patent infringement suit against Apple to the Northern District of California. Judge Moore dissented, asserting that the majority applied an incorrect standard of review.

Federal Circuit Upholds $70 Million Judgment for Amgen in Epogen Biosimilar Case

Yesterday, in an opinion authored by Judge Moore, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed the District of Delaware’s decision that: 1) U.S. Patent No. 5,856,298 (the ‘298 patent) belonging to Amgen was infringed by Hospira and not invalid; 2) 14 batches of drug substance for Hospira’s erythropoietin biosimilar drug product were not covered by the Safe Harbor provision of 35 USC § 271(e)(1); and 3) Amgen had proven that it was entitled to a jury verdict of $70 million in damages. Additionally, the CAFC affirmed the jury’s verdict of noninfringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,756,349 (the ‘349 patent).

Federal Circuit Affirms PTAB Ruling Finding Graphical User Interface Claims Patent Ineligible

In Trading Technologies International, Inc. v. IBG LLC, Interactive Brokers LLC (2018-1063), the Federal Circuit agreed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that the contested claims of Trading Technologies International, Inc’s patents for graphical user interfaces (GUI) for electronic trading, numbers 7,533,056, 7,212,999, and 7,904,374, were eligible for covered business method (CBM) review and also patent ineligible. The claims at issue were claims 1–15 of the ’056 patent, claims 1–35 of the ’999 patent, and claims 1–36 of the ’374 patent. To be eligible for CBM review, a patent must claim “a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service, except that the term does not include patents for technological inventions.” In previous Federal Circuit cases, Trading Technologies (TT) patents had been determined not eligible for CBM review as they were technological inventions or were found patent eligible. The court rejected the argument that this weighed in favor of finding similarly in the present case. “We are not bound by non-precedential decisions at all, much less ones to different patents, different specifications, or different claims,” wrote the Court.

Examining the USPTO’s First Precedential Opinion Panel Decision

The first decision issued by the new USPTO Precedential Opinion Panel (POP) tackled the difficult issues of statutory interpretation of sections 35 U.S.C. § 315(b) and 35 U.S.C. § 315(c). In sum, the Board determined that both same party and issue joinder is proper in inter partes reviews (IPRs). The Board also determined that otherwise time-barred petitions are proper when accompanied by a joinder request to a pending IPR. The Board interpreted the statute in a manner to maintain broad discretion for the Agency. The POP could have properly interpreted Section 315(c) by first focusing on the statutory language “join as a party” as being limited to any person not already a party. Instead, the decision dismissed this viewpoint and stated that “the statutory phrase ‘any person’ broadly applies to the phrase ‘join as a party’.” Although I disagree with the emphasis on “any person,” I anticipate that the Board’s reasoning on both same party and issue joinder would be upheld as proper statutory interpretations by the Federal Circuit, if appealed.

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 Affirms Eastern District of Texas Holding that Medtronic Induced Infringement of Doctor’s Patents

On January 24, the Federal Circuit affirmed a jury’s finding that the defendant-appellant, Medtronic, induced surgeons to infringe two patents of plaintiff-appellee, Dr. Mark Barry, which were directed to methods of correcting spinal column anomalies, such as those due to scoliosis, by applying force to multiple vertebrae at the same time. Medtronic appealed on several grounds, “principally concerning the public-use and on-sale statutory bars, but also concerning prior invention, inequitable conduct, and induced infringement.” The majority of the panel rejected the appellant’s arguments, while Chief Judge Prost dissented and would have found that one of the patents was invalid due to either the public use or on sale bars of Section 102(b). Barry v. Medtronic, Inc., No. 2017-2463, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 2305 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 24, 2019) (Before Prost, Chief Judge, Moore and Taranto, Circuit Judges) (Opinion by Taranto) (Dissent by Prost).

Factual Allegations on Inventive Concept Preclude Dismissal of Complaint Under § 101

In Atrix Software v. Green Shades Software, Aatrix sued Green Shades for infringement, and Green Shades moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion, holding: (1) claim 1 of the ‘615 patent was not directed to any tangible embodiment and was not patent-eligible subject matter under § 101; and (2) under the Alice/Mayo two-step analysis, the remaining claims were for abstract ideas without inventive concepts and were also ineligible. Aatrix appealed. The Federal Circuit vacated the district court’s decision, reversed its denial of Aatrix’s motion for leave to file a second amended complaint, and remanded for further proceedings… Allegations in a patent infringement complaint that create a factual dispute about whether the claimed invention contains an inventive concept will defeat a motion to dismiss under § 101. For software inventions, such allegations include improvements in how a computer functions. An amended complaint to make such allegations should generally be allowed.

Aatrix Software v. Green Shades Software: Pleading must be taken as true on 101 motion to dismiss

“The Aatrix ruling is significant because when deciding a motion to dismiss all factual allegations made by the plaintiff (i.e., the patent owner) in the complaint are supposed to be taken as true,” explained patent attorney Gene Quinn. “The Federal Circuit has not always seemed to apply basic, fundamental procedural rules when reviewing cases dismissed for lack of patent eligibility on a motion to dismiss. Returning patent litigation to the status quo required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will make it much more difficult for defendants to prevail on motions to dismiss if complaints are properly worded.”

CAFC: Reasonable Litigation Defenses No Defense to Willfulness; Permanent Injunction Denial Was Abuse of Discretion

Under the Federal Circuit’s reading of Halo, companies can no longer rely solely on reasonable litigation-inspired defenses to prevent a finding of willfulness… The Federal Circuit also found that the district court abused its discretion in failing to issue a permanent injunction. While there is a public interest in safer generators, there is also a public interest in the security of patent rights. The patent owner presented evidence that it had sufficient production abilities to satisfy market demand for the product. Finally, in similar contexts, Congress has expressly indicated that permanent injunctions may issue to prevent infringement of other life-saving goods like pharmaceuticals.

Using a European technical effect approach to software patent-eligibility

Unlike Judge Chen’s breadth-based approach, Judge Hughes appears to adopt the proposal of using the European technical effect ( or “technological arts”) analysis to determine whether a U.S. claim is patent-eligible… The CAFC decides that the above claim indeed is related to an improvement to computer functionality itself, not on economic or other tasks for which a computer is used in its ordinary capacity. This once again approaches the “technical problem” analysis of European law, which at least has the advantage of possessing something of a legal principle about it, as opposed to being a tautology.

Federal Circuit: Interference Party Can’t Support Copied Claims Described as Undesirable in Spec

Bamberg’s specification stated that plastics must not melt at ironing temperatures (up to above 220 degrees Celsius) because the effects would be undesired. Bamberg argued that while this was in the specification, the written description requirement was satisfied because one skilled in the art would understand that one could have a layer that melted above and below 220 degrees Celsius, but both may not be desired. The Court held there was insufficient evidence on the record to support the conclusion that Bamberg possessed a white layer that melted below 220 degrees Celsius because it specifically distinguished this as an undesired result.

Federal Circuit: Exclusive licensee with all substantial rights can sue without patent owner

Over the course of several amendments, Disney granted increasing rights to Candella, by which Disney specifically intended to give Candella standing to sue for patent infringement. The court held that the rights retained by Disney were not “substantial rights” sufficient to deprive Candella of standing, because Disney did not retain a right to exclude. Disney merely had a financial interest in any enforcement efforts by Candella. Thus, Candella did not have to join Disney to maintain the lawsuit.

BRI in IPR may be narrower than broadest ordinary meaning, broader than Phillips standard

The Court noted that the Board failed to account for how the claims and specification inform the ordinary skilled artisan as to what ordinary definition the patentee was using. The Court noted that just because “around” has several dictionary definitions does not mean all these meanings were reasonable in light of the specification. The Court argued that all of the components of the cable connectors encircled an inner electrical conductor, and thus it would seem odd to construe “reside around” without recognizing the context of its use in terms of the cable.

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.

CAFC Dismisses Inter Partes Reexamination Appeal By a Party Who was Not Initial Requester

Waters argued that Agilent could not appeal, because Aurora was the third-party requester of the reexamination, not Agilent. The Court held that the relevant question was whether Agilent was a member of a class of litigants that may enforce a legislatively created right under 35 U.S. C. § 141 (reexamination appeals). If so, that party has a ‘cause of action’ under the statute, and this cause of action was a necessary element of his ‘claim.’ See Davis v. Passman, 442 U.S. 228, 239 (1979). The Court held that both 35 U.S. C. § 141 and 35 U.S. C. § 315(b) confirm that the right to appeal an adverse reexamination decision is reserved only to patent owners and third-party requesters.