Posts Tagged: "patents"

Patent Filings Roundup: Fintiv Files Against Paypal; PPC Broadband Patents Challenged Based on Successful Reexams; Last CBM Decision Issues

It was a rather light week at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) with just 17 new petitions (the lowest in recent memory), with district court patent filings at 69—a few more than usual—and 60 more terminations. Samsung lost a series of five chip inter partes reviews (IPRs) at institution against an LED Wafer Solutions LLC (apparently associated with Oso IP) on the merits (they and Seoul Semiconductor were the only two plaintiffs yet sued); PPC Broadband got some IPRs from Amphenol based in large part on family members having been cancelled earlier in reexam on the same grounds; Raymond Anthony Joao entity Beteiro LLC filed a few further cases; Caselas, another of his entities, has now sued upwards of 40 banks on five patents of similar progeny; and there were lots of file-and-settle terminations in the district court, per usual. And what I believe is the final covered business method review (CBM) to be filed and pending has concluded with the claims being cancelled. The claims there were directed to currency trading systems.

The Hudson Institute Memo Draws the Wrong Conclusions from Discrepancies in I-MAK’s Data

The debate around whether patents are unnecessarily propping up drug prices has been simmering for years. A recent policy memo from the Hudson Institute has thoughtfully raised concerns about the data underlying this debate, and the memo made its way up to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property. While the memo may have successfully poked holes in some of the data, it draws questionable conclusions regarding what those holes might mean. Unpacking this debate is therefore necessary to guide the correct policy on the intersection of patents and drug prices.

CAFC Denies VoIP-Pal Petition for Mandamus Relief in Suit with Twitter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today denied VoIP-Pal.com, Inc.’s petition for a writ of mandamus asking it to direct a California district court to vacate its decision in favor of Twitter, Inc. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order on November 2, 2021, refusing to grant VoIP-Pal’s motion to dismiss Twitter’s request for a declaratory judgment that its products do not infringe VoIP-Pal’s U.S. Patent No. 9,935,872. VoIP-Pal’s patents relate generally to a system for routing communications over Internet Protocol networks, and the company has been engaged in litigation with Twitter, Apple, Amazon and others for several years now.

U.S. Patent Grants Fell 7% Last Year, but ‘Software-Related’ Grants Remained at 63%

As an update to my posts from 2017, 2019, 2020, March 2021, and August 2021, it has now been 93 months since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank decision. Yet the debate still rages over when a software (or computer-implemented) claim is patentable versus being simply an abstract idea “free to all men and reserved exclusively to none” (as eloquently phrased over 73 years ago by then-Supreme Court Justice Douglas in Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kalo Inoculant Co.). Further, it has been 11 years since famed venture capitalist Marc Andreessen wrote the influential and often-quoted op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal titled “Why Software Is Eating the World.” Today, the digital transformation where software is “eating the world” is undeniable. Let’s look at some facts and figures from the USA, Europe, and China.

Zaxcom Asks Full Federal Circuit to Clarify Court-Created Confusion on Presumption of Nexus

In February, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) agreed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) decision that the original claims of Zaxcom’s U.S. Patent No. 9,336,307 for Engineering Emmy® and technical OSCAR award-winning wireless microphone technology were unpatentable as obvious, but upheld the substitute claims Zaxcom had proposed. Now, Zaxcom has petitioned the court for rehearing en banc, arguing that the CAFC’s precedent in Fox Factory, Inc. v. SRAM LLC, 944 F.3d 1366 (Fed. Cir. 2019), “confused the law” regarding a rebuttable presumption of nexus.

It’s Time for NIH to Uphold the Law, Once Again

As discussed previously, the critics are in full howl now that their attempts to enact legislation controlling drug prices has failed once again. They are applying unprecedented political pressure on Secretary Xavier Becerra at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to misuse the march in provisions of the Bayh-Dole Act to accomplish their goal. Nearly 100 distinguished organizations and individuals endorsed the following letter from the Bayh-Dole Coalition, which I lead, warning HHS not to take this disastrous misstep. Here’s what we said.

Patent Filings Roundup: Heavy District Court Docket Sees Fortress Biotech ANDA Litigation; WePay Expands GUI Design Patent Assertion Against Major Online Payment Systems

It was another heavy week in the district court with over 100 new patent complaints filed, 64 terminated (mostly file-and-settle), and an average 26 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) cases (one post grant review and 25 inter partes reviews). It was also another week with about half of all parties briefing Fintiv, but no denials, begging the question, “Why are parties being forced to brief it in the first place?” Intel and Xilinx combined to cancel a number of litigation-funded chip patents from Arbor Global Strategies and FG SRC LLC [the latter funded by Freeman Capital Partners]; a number of Fortress-funded subsidiaries were challenged; another 29 IP Edge subsidiary suits; some interesting pharmaceutical action; and companies WebRoot and OpenText, inc. have launched a new assertion campaign against Trend Micro, Kapersky Labs, CrowdStrike, and Sophos on cybersecurity products.

The USPTO’s Increased Automation of Patent Assignments is Good for the Patent System

After a patent application is filed with the USPTO, it gets assigned to an art unit and a patent examiner in that art unit who is responsible for reviewing the application, doing a prior art search, and determining whether to grant a patent…. In the past, this process was manual. People would review patent applications to assign classification codes, and then other people would determine the art unit and examiner to be assigned using the classification codes. More recently, the USPTO is automating the assignment process. The assignment process is a great candidate for automation using machine learning, because large amounts of training data are available to train a machine learning model. Automating the assignment process has several advantages: lower costs, faster processing, and more consistent and likely better assignments of applications to art units and examiners.

Arbutus and Genevant Sue Moderna in First Significant Patent Infringement Lawsuit in the mRNA Space

In the first major patent infringement lawsuit in the mRNA space, on February 28, 2022, Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (“Arbutus”) and Genevant Sciences GmbH (“Genevant”) sued Moderna, Inc. and ModernaTX, Inc. (collectively “Moderna”) in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. The plaintiffs have alleged that Moderna infringed U.S. Patent Nos. 8,058,069, 8,492,359, 8,822,668, 9,364,435, 9,504,651, and 11,141,378 directed to lipid nanoparticle (“LNP”) delivery technology through, inter alia, sales of its COVID-19 vaccine and booster products.

CAFC Delivers Guidance on Presumption of Obviousness, Negative Claim Limitations in Win for Generic Drugmaker

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruled on Monday that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) correctly held certain claims of Almirall, LLC’s U.S. Patent 9,517,219 for an acne treatment invalid as obvious. Almirall appealed the PTAB’s final decision in IPR2018-00608, in which the Board had found that the ‘219 patent, which covers methods of treating acne or rosacea, would have been obvious over the prior art at the time of invention.

Federal Circuit Further Defines the Scope of Patent Venue

Recently, in In Re: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) further defined the level of control a defendant must exercise over an in-district agent to establish patent venue – i.e., where a case can be filed. The Federal Circuit held that the requisite control a principal must establish over its alleged agent in order to establish venue is “interim control”: day-to-day control over the manner of carrying out the specific actions for which the alleged agency relationship exists. Accordingly, in reversing the lower court, the Federal Circuit held that the dealerships in question were not agents of Hyundai or Volkswagen for the purposes of selling cars to consumers and providing warranty services. 

CAFC Corrects Albright on Transfer Again, Granting Mandamus to Volkswagen and Hyundai

Just as some sources had begun to speculate that Judge Alan Albright had received the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s (CAFC’s) message on transfer—in light of a slew of decisions reversing his refusals to move cases out of his court—the CAFC yesterday granted two more petitions for mandamus relief, holding the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas clearly abused its discretion in not granting a change of venue.

In December 2020, StratosAudio, Inc. (Stratos) filed patent infringement complaints in the Western District of Texas against Volkswagen and Hyundai (the Petitioners) which are incorporated in New Jersey and California, respectively. The two cases were consolidated on appeal. Since both Volkswagen and Hyundai reside outside of the Western District of Texas, the two companies moved to dismiss or transfer the cases under 28 U.S.C. §1406(a) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3).

I-MAK Defends Integrity of Its Patent Data in Response to Tillis Letter

The Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK) has responded to a letter it received from Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) in January asking the organization to address claims that its data on the effects of pharmaceutical patents on drug pricing is faulty. In the letter, I-MAK defended its underlying patent data and, in reference to the question of why the data differs significantly from public sources like the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Orange Book and court filings, explained that “relying on public sources and court filings is not an accurate methodology for identifying all patents on a drug.” I-MAK’s view is that the U.S. patent system creates patent monopolies that lead to the practice of “evergreening”, in which innovator pharmaceutical companies extend their rights beyond the original patent terms, preventing competition from generics, which in turn causes drug prices to remain high. As part of its mission, I-MAK has developed a database of patents covering key drugs. Its reports are often cited by academics, including in law journals, policymakers and in congressional hearings. As a result, I-MAK has become one of the most authoritative sources for information on patents in this space.

Patent Filings Roundup: Realtor Files IP Edge Declaratory Judgment in Hawaii After Demand Letter; Dog Collar IPR Instituted Over Lengthy Fintiv Arguments; IP Edge Files Another 25+

It was a banner district court week, with 104 patent filings and 64 cases terminated, mostly file-and-settle non-practicing entity (NPE) litigation, and 26 Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) cases, including Nokia challenging NPE TQ Delta, LLC; Dexcom, Inc. filing against Abbot Diabetes Care Inc.; and Samsung filing against the Fortress IP-funded Netlist, Inc. In a week where IP Edge filed almost 30 new district court cases, one letter recipient filed a declaratory judgment (DJ) action…. This isn’t the first time this year a party has DJ’d IP Edge (a relative rarity given how small the sums involved are), suggesting either that smaller companies are getting fed up or that their campaigns have been broadly applied.

Solid Form Patents: Part I – Introduction and Laying the Genus/Species Foundation

Pharmaceutical products are typically dosed as solids, liquids (e.g., solutions) or gases. In gases and liquids, the molecules are tumbling; in solids, however, the molecules are essentially frozen in place, forming three-dimensional networks. When those networks are ordered, they are called crystalline…. Where the same chemical compound can exist in multiple crystalline forms is called polymorphism, with each crystalline form called a polymorph. When the compound is an element, as with carbon, it is referred to as allotropism. Predicting whether a chemical compound will be polymorphic, what that polymorph might be, and the properties thereof are notoriously challenging feats. Because polymorphs or other crystalline forms can have significantly different drug solubility and dissolution properties, it is not surprising that they are often the subject of patent applications in the pharmaceutical arts. 

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