Posts in Federal Circuit

Federal Circuit Affirms Mixed Rulings for Patent Owner Based on ‘Ordinary Meaning’ of Claim Phrase

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in a precedential decision today affirmed two decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that invalidated some claims and upheld others of a patent owned by Personal Genomics Taiwan, Inc. Based on the PTAB’s claim construction, which the CAFC agreed with, the decision held that Pacific Biosciences had failed to prove the prior art taught the limitation of the preamble phrase of claim 1 in one inter partes review, (IPR) but did prove a different prior art reference taught the limitation in the other proceeding.

Another 101 Bites the Dust as High Court Denies Realtime Data Petition

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied a petition asking the High Court to clarify patent eligibility jurisprudence under Section 101 since its 2014 ruling in Alice Corp. Pty Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l. Realtime Data, LLC asked the Court specifically to address the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s (CAFC’s) August 2023 decision holding 211 of its patent claims ineligible as abstract.

SCOTUS Passes on Intel’s Bid to Overturn Fintiv

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied certiorari in Intel v. Vidal, a case that asked the Court to overturn a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruling concerning the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB’s) so-called Fintiv framework. The CAFC’s March 2023 decision said appellate review of whether the PTAB’s discretionary denial rules for inter partes review (IPR) are “arbitrary and capricious” was precluded by Section 314(d) of the patent statute.

CAFC Distinguishes Forum Selection Clause Language from Precedential Cases in Win for Abbott

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today issued a precedential ruling that affirmed a district court’s denial of preliminary injunction to DexCom, Inc., holding that the language of the governing contract’s forum selection clause expressly allowed for the filing of inter partes review (IPR) proceedings in certain circumstances. DexCom and Abbott Diabetes Care, Inc. entered into a settlement and license agreement in 2014, following years of patent litigation over their competing glucose monitoring system patents. The governing agreement included a Covenant Period and a forum selection clause that DexCom argued was breached by Abbott’s filing of eight IPR petitions following the expiration of the Covenant Period and 10 months after DexCom filed an infringement suit against Abbott in the Western District of Texas.

Amicus Tells CAFC to Deny Cellect Petition and Prevent Patent ‘Double Dipping’

On December 28, agricultural tech developer Inari filed an amicus brief  with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) urging the appellate court to deny a petition for rehearing en banc of the court’s August ruling in In re Cellect. Inari’s brief highlights that the Federal Circuit’s application of the obviousness-type double patenting (ODP) doctrine to legislatively-prescribed patent term adjustments (PTA) is critical to the success of companies like Inari who build upon technologies once patent protections expire.

What Lies Ahead: Here’s What IP Practitioners Will Be Watching in 2024

We are less than 24 hours out from 2024 and, after reflecting on what mattered in 2023 and other year-in-review recaps, it is now time once again to ponder what lies ahead. From exciting patent legislation to Supreme Court trademark and copyright cases that could have big implications, here is what the IPWatchdog community will be keeping on its radar in the new year. 

CAFC Says District Court Erred in Claim Construction of ‘Barcode’

On December 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential decision in K-fee System GmbH v. Nespresso USA, Inc., reversing a claim construction ruling and summary judgment of noninfringement issued by the Central District of California. In construing the claim term “barcode” de novo, the Federal Circuit found that the district court erred in finding that its definition expressly excluded “bit codes” in light of the patent owner’s representations during European patent opposition proceedings.

Apple Watches Back on Sale After CAFC Grants Interim Stay of ITC Order

Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) stayed the International Trade Commission’s (ITC’s) October 26 Limited Exclusion Order (LEO) against certain Apple Watches that the ITC found infringed on two Masimo patents that covered technology related to reading blood-oxygen levels. The CAFC does not appear to have published the order on its public website but it is widely available online.

How U.S. Courts Ruled on Trademarks in 2023

This year has seen a bonanza of significant trademark decisions, including several high- profile decisions from the Supreme Court. Courts ruled on issues ranging from First Amendment and parody considerations to the extraterritorial reach of U.S. trademark law, yet in most cases returned to basic principles of trademark law to resolve the open issues. Below is a selection of a few of those significant cases from the previous year.

Great Concepts; Not So Great Reasoning

In October of 2023, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in Great Concepts, LLC v. Chutter, Inc., 84 F. 4th 1014 (Fed. Cir. 2023) that a fraudulent filing for incontestability under Section 15 of the Lanham Act is not a proper ground for the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to cancel a registration under Section 14 of the Act. In so holding, it endorsed prior rulings to the effect that fraud in filing a Section 8 affidavit of continuing use, or a renewal application under Section 9—acts of “maintaining” a registration—constitutes “obtaining” a registration within the meaning of Section 14, while rejecting earlier TTAB decisions that had treated Section 15 affidavits the same way.

Federal Circuit Upholds PTAB Claim Construction Conflicting with Parallel District Court Proceedings

On December 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential decision in ParkerVision, Inc. v. Vidal affirming the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (PTAB) invalidation of ParkerVision’s patent claim to down-converting electromagnetic (EM) signals in wireless communication networks. In so holding, the Federal Circuit upheld the PTAB’s use of claim construction conflicting with parallel proceedings in the Western District of Texas on the grounds that the patentee defined the term “storage element” as a lexicographer.

Five Golden CAFC Patent Cases of 2023

As 2023 draws to a close, here’s a gift of five golden Federal Circuit patent cases! These decisions issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) significantly impact patent practitioners in several areas, including patent prosecution, litigation, and inter partes reviews (IPRs).

Justices Skip Bid to Review Case Questioning CAFC Reversal Practices

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday denied a petition for writ of certiorari asking the Court to reconsider the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s (CAFC’s) June ruling that the petitioner said signals an expanding practice of reversing agency decisions in lieu of remand. In the CAFC’s decision, the court reversed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) judgment that affirmed patent claims in part due to the commercial success of MacNeil IP’s WeatherTech vehicle floor tray. The CAFC also affirmed a PTAB ruling that invalidated three claims of one of MacNeil’s patents in its battle with Yita LLC, a Seattle-based auto parts company.

Cisco Wins on Remand from CAFC in High-Profile Case with Centripetal

Centripetal Networks was dealt a blow by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia yesterday when the court ruled that it had failed to prove that Cisco infringed three of its patents. It’s a years-long case that the court referred to as having an “unusual history.” The district court first entered one of the highest damages awards ever issued in a patent case, following a 22-day bench trial. In an opinion authored by the late Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr., the court found that Cisco willfully infringed four out of five of Centripetal’s asserted patents and awarded enhanced damages in an amount of $755,808,545 (enhanced by a factor of 2.5X), and prejudgment interest in an amount of $13,717,925, which resulted in a total past damages award amount of $1,903,239,288.

APPLE JAZZ Trademark Fight Continues at CAFC

Office (USPTO) and Apple, Inc. file responses to his petition for writ of mandamus, the owner of the trademark APPLE JAZZ has filed a reply of his own charging that “the USPTO is not sincere and has never been sincere about deciding this case.” The latest briefs relate to a petition for writ of mandamus filed by Charles Bertini, owner of APPLE JAZZ, who has been embroiled in a fight with Apple over rights to the mark since 2016.