Posts Tagged: "patent"

Newman Says CAFC Majority Departed from Claim Construction Law in Blow to Ford Over Fuel System Patents

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Monday vacated and remanded a decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, which had granted judgment of non-infringement for Ford Motor Company on three patents owned by Ethanol Boosting Systems, LLC and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (EBS). The CAFC, with Chief Judge Moore writing, said the district court’s ruling was based on an erroneous claim construction. Judge Pauline Newman dissented, accusing the majority of departing “from the rule that patent claims are construed in accordance with the invention described in the specification.”

Teva Tells SCOTUS CAFC Decision Could Upend Hatch-Waxman

On July 11, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to review a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in which the CAFC found that Teva could be held liable for inducement based on sections of a “skinny label” that provided information about unpatented uses. Teva claims that the decision by the CAFC would upend the legal rules governing the modern prescription-drug marketplace. The petition notes that the decision would wreak doctrinal havoc in two equally disturbing ways. First, the court’s decision eliminates the key element of inducement liability requiring plaintiffs to prove that a defendant took active steps to encourage the direct infringement. Secondly, it effectively nullifies a Congressional act that was enacted to bring low-cost generic drugs to market, which is precisely what Teva was doing.

Canadian Federal Court Sets a New Subject-Matter Eligibility Test for Computer-Implemented Inventions

Clearing the air on labyrinthine subject-matter eligibility standards for computer-implemented inventions (CIIs), a Canadian Federal Court last month revisited the issue in Benjamin Moore & Co. v. Attorney General of Canada, 2022 FC 923. In its decision, the court, while setting a new test, rejected, for the second time, a problem-solution approach to claim construction followed by the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) in examining patent applications. The appeal was filed against decisions by the Canadian Commissioner of Patents finding two Canadian Patent Applicants numbered 2,695,130 and 2,695,146 as patent ineligible under sections 2 and 27(8) of the Canadian Patent Act. Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (“IPIC”), an IP policy advocacy organization, intervened in the appeal proceedings, affirming that the appeal raised a fundamental question of Canadian Patent Law.

Inventor Diversity Advocacy Group Launches ‘Patent Academy’ in Latest Effort to Reach Underrepresented Inventors

Earlier this month, IP diversity advocacy group Invent Together announced that it had launched an online learning platform known as The Inventor’s Patent Academy (TIPA), an e-learning course designed in collaboration with Qualcomm to educate inventors from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds about the benefits of engaging with the U.S. patent system. This online academy is the latest of several efforts by Congress and patent system stakeholders in recent years to unlock the innovative potential of women, people of color, LGBTQIA, and low-income inventors to benefit the U.S. economy.

Petitioner Distances Eligibility Case from American Axle, Imploring SCOTUS to Weigh in on ‘Quasi-Enablement’ Analysis

Interactive Wearables, the petitioner in yet another patent eligibility case that the U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to review, filed a reply brief on July 11 distancing its petition from that of American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.’s, which was denied certiorari on June 30, 2022. The brief characterizes U.S. patent eligibility doctrine as being “perilously fractured” and narrows its arguments to focus on the third question presented in its petition, since the first two were addressed, and have now been rejected by the Court, in the American Axle case.

Federal Circuit Denies Thales’ Request to Bar Philips from Heading to the ITC

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today held in a precedential decision that Thales DIS AIS Deutschland GMBH cannot stop Philips from seeking an exclusion order at the International Trade Commission (ITC) to enjoin Thales from importing its products relating to wireless network technology into the United States.

‘A Study in Scarlet’—Powers of Attorney and USPTO Rulemaking, Part I: A Hidden Guidance Document

This two-part article explains the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) practices with respect to powers of attorney. The pattern of neglect of administrative law identified here with regard to powers of attorney alone imposes a $30 to $40 million per year excess burden on the public. For the USPTO’s rules as whole, the costs are about $2 billion per year. Over the last 18 months, about 100 patent attorneys signed on to letters to ask the USPTO to do the simple right thing: conform its practices to the rule of law.

The PTAB Reform Act Will Make the PTAB’s Problems Worse

Recently, we submitted comments for the record to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s IP Subcommittee in response to its June 22 hearing on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), titled: “The Patent Trial and Appeal Board: Examining Proposals to Address Predictability, Certainty and Fairness.” The hearing focused on Senator Leahy’s PTAB Reform Act, which among other changes, would eliminate the discretion of the Director to deny institution of an inter partes review (IPR) petition based on an earlier filed district court litigation involving the same patents, parties and issues. Here is the net of what we told them:

USPTO Mandates Official Form for PTA Information Disclosure Statements to Automate Assessments of Patent Term Adjustments

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register announcing that the agency would be revising its rules of practice to require that information disclosure statements related to patent term adjustments (PTAs) be submitted on Form PTO/SB/133. The use of this document is expected to streamline communications between the USPTO and patent applicants regarding delays in patent prosecution and also save agency resources by reducing manual review of PTA statements and leveraging information technology (IT) resources at the agency for automatically detecting and reviewing such statements.

Inventor Asks SCOTUS to Consider Patent Eligibility Again, Distinguishing Case from American Axle

Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the petition in American Axle v. Neapco just a few days earlier, inventor David Tropp on July 5 again asked the Court to unravel U.S. patent eligibility law. Tropp, who owns two patents relating to luggage lock technology that enables airport screening of luggage while still allowing the bags to remain locked, is asking the Court to answer the question: “Whether the claims at issue in Tropp’s patents reciting physical rather than computer-processing steps are patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101, as interpreted in Alice Corporation Pty v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. 208 (2014).”

A License to Steal IP: What Partnering with China Really Means for Businesses

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help,” said President Ronald Reagan during a press conference on August 12, 1986. This is one of President Reagan’s most often quoted quips, and for a reason. The Government can certainly help people in times of need, but it can also be a scary bureaucracy, particularly when it shows up unannounced and uninvited. Fast forward 31 years and the 12 most terrifying words in the English language for any business should be: “I’m from China, and my company would like to partner with yours.”

Federal Circuit Holds Transcription Error Cannot Be Used to Prove Obviousness

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) earlier today held in a precedential decision that a typographical error in a prior art document would have been dismissed by a person of ordinary skill in the art (POSITA) and thus could not be used to prove obviousness. The appeal was brought by LG Electronics, Inc, against ImmerVision, Inc. and related to claims of U.S. Patent No. 6,844,990 for “capturing and displaying digital panoramic images.”

Fifth Circuit Panel Questions Appellate Jurisdiction of US Inventor’s APA Claims Over Fintiv’s Lack of Notice and Comment Rulemaking

On July 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit heard oral arguments in US Inventor v. Hirshfeld, an appeal from a lawsuit first filed in February 2021 to challenge the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO’s) development of the Fintiv framework for discretionary denials of petitions for Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings. Although the appeal comes to the Fifth Circuit following the district court’s dismissal due to the plaintiffs’ lack of Article III standing, much of the oral arguments focused on whether the Fifth Circuit or the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had proper jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

Patent Filings Roundup: Suits Explode at End of Q2; Fortress 4G LTE Multi-District Litigation Against Auto Industry Goes to Michigan; Rare Derivation Denial

Recession woes, war in Ukraine, and rising inflation have to date had little effect on the patent litigation marketplace—emphasizing the “non-correlated” in “non-correlated asset”—and it was borne out in the courts last week, where litigation exploded, with 135 new patent filings, more than double the average—though this keeps with a trend of seeing filings spike at the ends of annual quarters. That spike is normally, as it is here, driven by dozens of IP Edge filings across various subsidiaries (here, some of them going after local and regional newspapers struggling to stave off bankruptcy). This week also saw 82 denials of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) petitions, with the roughly average number of petitions (2 post grant reviews and 34 inter partes reviews [IPRs]).

Vidal Orders Amicus Briefs in PTAB OpenSky and Patent Quality Assurance Cases

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) yesterday afternoon announced that USPTO Director Kathi Vidal will be accepting amicus briefs in the Director Review of both OpenSky Industries, LLC v. VLSI Technology LLC, IPR2021-01064 and Patent Quality Assurance, LLC v. VLSI Technology LLC, IPR2021-01229, both of which have been the subject of scrutiny by members of Congress and patent practitioners. Vidal also set the schedule for review, with the initial briefing and amicus briefs in both cases due by August 4, 2022, and responsive briefs due by August 18. The patents in question are the basis of a $2 billion judgment against Intel.