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Posts Tagged: "prior art"

In Partial Reversal of Two IPRs, CAFC Says PTAB Erred in Prior Art Determination

On August 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated in part, and remanded two final written decisions from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) involving inter partes review (IPR) proceedings that affirmed the patentability of two of Ironburg Inventions Ltd.’s patents.

CAFC Affirms Decision Vacating Judgment and Injunction Due to Executive’s Misrepresentations

On May 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed the decision of the District Court for the Central District of California to vacate a judgment and injunction for Zinus, Inc., holding the district court did not abuse its discretion. The court concluded: “Here, Lawrie, Zinus’s president and expert witness, misrepresented his knowledge of highly material prior art. The district court properly declined to condone such conduct.”

How to Maximize the Validity of Your Issued Patent Portfolio

Companies that have a strong, diversified patent portfolio can establish themselves as key innovators within a particular field and secure a freedom to operate in that field. In some situations, companies may also choose to enforce patent rights granted to them by these patents in a litigation, either offensively against an alleged infringer or as a defense to patent infringement claims against them.

The Inventive Step in Chinese Patent Law Compared With the U.S. Non-Obviousness Standard

While China is becoming an increasingly attractive patent filing destination for foreign companies, foreign counsels are often confused by the country’s inventive step requirement. Indeed, Chinese patent examiners often use abstract legal terms, such as “prominent substantive features” and “notable progress,” in their inventive step analysis. This article provides an overview of the inventive step requirement in China, in comparison with the non-obviousness standard in the United States.

Federal Circuit Affirms Admissibility of Evidence Supporting Availability of Prior Art Submitted in IPR Reply Brief

On November 25, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in VidStream LLC v. Twitter, Inc., in which the PTAB held VidStream’s patent claims unpatentable as obvious over the applied prior art. In particular, the CAFC affirmed the PTAB’s holding that Twitter properly established an earlier filing date of a reference based on evidence submitted in a reply brief.

Thought Experiment: Is Our Patent System Ready for a Potential Future of Brain Interfacing?

Currently, brain recording and/or brain stimulation is used almost entirely for medical or research purposes. Invasive surgery is generally required to read neural signals with high temporal and spatial resolution. High resolution of neural signals enables researchers to decode a brain’s underlying intentions, sensations, reactions, etc. rather reliably, if only in constrained environments. With regard to stimulation, researchers have demonstrated the ability to trigger different types of effects. For example, stimulating the reticular formation can cause a subject to become awake; stimulating the amygdala can evoke fear; stimulating the motor cortex can trigger movement; stimulating the visual cortex can cause a subject to see light flashes. However, the state of the art is neither able to decode complex and unrestrained thoughts nor cause a subject to have a particular “target” complex thought. At least not yet.

District Court Blocks Attempt to Bar New Prior Art References Based on IPR Estoppel

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on May 4 denied a motion for partial summary judgment by Palomar Technologies, Inc., holding that the estoppel bar relating to inter partes review (IPR) proceedings did not apply to two prior art references that had not been raised in a prior IPR hearing at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). Palomar brought suit against MRSI Systems, LLC in the Southern District of California on July 6, 2015 for infringement of Palomar’s U.S. Patent No. 6,776,327. In October of 2015, MRSI petitioned the PTAB for IPR of all 48 claims of the ‘327 Patent on the grounds of anticipation or obviousness based on five prior art references. The PTAB instituted and ultimately upheld 47 of the 48 claims.

Background Pitfalls When Drafting a Patent Application

Generally speaking, the first section of a patent specification will be the Background. The Manual of Patent Examination and Procedure (MPEP) recommends that the Background be broken up into two sections: (1) Field of Use Statement; and (2) Background of the Prior Art. These sections are recommended, not mandatory. Indeed, the Background itself is recommended and not mandatory. If you are going to have a Background it needs to be short, sweet, completely self-serving, must never actually describe the invention and it cannot ever use the term “prior art.” One big mistake inexperienced patent practitioners and researchers tasked with creating a first draft will make is they will go on page after page in patent applications about the history of the invention and the prior art. Indeed, there are some popular books on the market that recommend that this material be filed in patent applications. Including that type of information in an application that is filed is simply inappropriate. You do not see the best lawyers at the best law firms who represent the largest patent acquiring companies write patents like that, so why should you?

Artificial Intelligence Will Help to Solve the USPTO’s Patent Quality Problem

About a month ago, Steve Brachmann authored an article concerned with a brief given to Capitol Hill staff by Professors Frakes and Wasserman. The article highlighted fundamental, as well as practical, problems with Professors Frakes’ and Wasserman’s proposal (i.e. doubling the number of patent examiners as a means to reduce the number of invalid patents and thereby prevent societal harms) and how it could be detrimental to the U.S. patent system. The IPWatchdog article points to several issues with Frakes’ and Wasserman’s proposal, but does not discuss other approaches or options, such as using artificial intelligence tools to improve the patent application review process—an option that USPTO Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld said in a recent Senate IP Subcommittee hearing that the Office is actively pursuing. According to PWC, 72% of executives testify that AI improves internal operations while freeing up workers to perform more creative and meaningful tasks. In fact, while some might fear that “robots” will take human jobs, technological innovation has been proven to generate more jobs than it takes, while automating tasks, like patent search.

Curing the Drug Label as Prior Art Malady at the PTAB

Petitioners challenging patents covering pharmaceuticals and biologics often use drug product labels as prior art in the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). To effectively use a label as prior art, a petitioner must show that it is a “printed publication” under 35 U.S.C. §§ 102 and 311(b). Past PTAB cases demonstrate, however, that proving drug product labels as prior art can be fraught with danger. But practitioners can employ best practices to guard against this. In Celltrion, Inc. v. Biogen, Inc., IPR2016-01614, Paper 65 (Feb. 21, 2018), the Petitioners relied on a copyrighted label for Rituxan that was published on the internet and available on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) and on Biogen’s website all before the critical date. The Board held that the Petitioners did not provide sufficient evidence establishing that the drug label was indeed the one disseminated with Rituxan at the time it was proposed to be publicly available or that “persons interested and ordinarily skilled in the subject matter or art exercising reasonable diligence, can locate it.” Similarly, the Board held in Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Boehringer Ingelheim International GMBH, IPR2016-01563, Paper 16 (Feb. 3, 2017), that a relied-upon Glucophage label had no source identifying information or indicia of when it became publicly available and the declaration attesting to its publication was not based on personal knowledge, but was merely conclusory.

Google Fails to Overturn PTAB Decision Upholding Koninklijke Philips Patent Claims at Federal Circuit

On October 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that Google failed to meet its burden of establishing that Koninklijke Philips’ patent claims at issue were unpatentable on either of two grounds: 1) anticipation by Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) International Application Publication No. 98/52187 (the Tucker invention), or 2) obviousness over Tucker in view of the prior art. n 2016, Google petitioned the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for inter partes review (IPR) of Claims 10-16 and 20-21 of U.S. Patent No. 6,772,114 (the ’114 patent) owned by Philips, entitled “High Frequency and Low Frequency Audio Signal Encoding and Decoding System.” In 2018, the PTAB issued a final written decision holding that Google had not shown by a preponderance of the evidence that claims 10-16, 20, and 21 of the ‘114 patent were unpatentable.

CAFC Holding in Campbell Soup Design Patent Case Addresses Standard for Establishing Proper Primary References

The Federal Circuit recently held in Campbell Soup Company v. Gamon Plus, Inc. (September 26, 2019) that a prior art reference lacking one of only two features shown in solid line was similar enough to the claimed design to constitute a proper primary reference. Campbell Soup et al. appealed the final written decisions of the PTAB holding that they had not demonstrated that the claimed designs of U.S. Patent Nos USD612646 Gamon and USD621645 Gamon were obvious over the asserted prior art of U.S. Patent No. D405622 (USD405622 Linz) and GB Patent Application No. 2,303,624 (Samways GB2303624A). In their holding, the Board found that neither Linz nor Samways constituted proper primary prior art references. The Federal Circuit affirmed-in-part, vacated-in-part and remanded.

How China Will Fundamentally Change the Global IP System

Currently, the massive volume of filings at the Chinese Patent Office (CNIPA) exceeds the filings of the next four most active patent offices combined. It portends a rapid shift to Chinese language prior art being the repository of technical teachings around leading edge technologies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This will happen for several reasons and much more rapidly than…

Other Barks & Bites for Friday, July 12: Final Rule on Drug Prices in TV Ads Blocked, Huawei Pronounced Top Chinese Patent Earner, and Brazil Joins Madrid Agreement

This week in Other Barks & Bites: The Trump Administration’s Final Rule that would have required list prices of drugs to be displayed in television ads is blocked by the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C.; the STRONGER Patents Act is reintroduced into both houses of Congress; the leadership of the Senate IP Subcommittee releases a statement on the splintered Federal Circuit en banc denial in Athena; the U.S. Copyright Office designates the mechanical licensing collective; Huawei is the top earner of Chinese patents thus far in 2019; Intel enters a period of exclusive talks in its wireless patent auction; T-Mobile and Sprint extend their merger deadline; Amazon launches initiative to retrain 100,000 employees for high-tech positions; and major drugmakers ask the Supreme Court to take up a patent case involving functional claiming issues.

U.S. Cannabis Inventions on the Rise As Legal Marijuana Market Grows

The shifting status of marijuana from an illegal controlled substance to regulated medicinal product to, in some jurisdictions, legalized recreational activity has created a market that promises to be incredibly valuable in the years to come. An April 2018 report from Grand View Research predicted the global market for legal marijuana products to exceed $146 billion by the year 2025. A 2018 cannabis report by Deloitte forecast Canada’s cannabis market to reach $7.17 billion in total sales during 2019, including $4.34 billion in sales of legal marijuana products. In the U.S., 2017 sales of legal recreational and medicinal marijuana products resulted in revenues of up to $6.6 billion, a fraction of the estimated $50 billion to $55 billion of total U.S. demand for recreational cannabis products. Last year, Reuters reported that the USPTO issued 39 patents containing the word cannabis during 2018 through late November. The USPTO only issued 29 such patents during 2017 and 14 during 2016.