Ana Friedman is a patent litigation attorney in Womble Bond Dickinson’s Winston-Salem, NC office. In addition to her experience representing a variety of clients in high-stakes patent litigation, Ana has a strong background in engineering and proven experience managing large-scale projects. This skill set has proven helpful to her work in all aspects of litigation, from fact and expert discovery through trial, and appeal.
For more information or to contact Ana, please visit her Firm Profile Page.
Your company (or your client) creates an innovative idea that is going to blow the market away. While still safeguarding your invention as a trade secret, you file a patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and get the product ready for launch. After product development, a key designer leaves the company for a competitor. Not long after you issue a press release on your innovative product, that competitor launches a copycat product. Do you have to wait for the patent to (hopefully) issue prior to filing suit against the competitor? Or can you take immediate action on trade secret misappropriation grounds? Ultimately, it depends on where you file suit.
In Berkheimer and Aatrix, the Federal Circuit indicated that although patent eligibility under Section 101 is ultimately a question of law, the determination may have factual underpinnings that, at least in some cases, render it inappropriate for motions to dismiss or for summary judgment… However, following Berkheimer and Aatrix, the Federal Circuit has itself affirmed numerous Section 101 rulings that were made at the dismissal or pleadings stage. This article provides a summary of recent district court decisions granting Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss under Section 101.