Posts Tagged: "patent infringement"

Navigating SEP Determination Challenges with Quality Claim Charts

When licensing standard essential patents (SEPs), the SEP licensor and the standard implementer (also known as the SEP licensee), go through two phases of negotiation. The first phase is the technical phase, followed by the second phase, the commercial discussion. In the technical phase, the SEP licensor must provide evidence that at least one patent of its portfolio is valid and standard essential. This is done by providing rigorously conducted claim charts that map claims against the standard’s sections, providing evidence that all claim elements read on the technical standard specification. Typically, only a few claim charts are needed in this first technical phase, since only one patent must be valid and essential to make the case that the standard implementing party is infringing. The second phase, the commercial discussion, is much more complex. Here, the SEP owner must provide evidence of the value of its SEP portfolio for a given standard supporting why the proposed royalty rate is FRAND (fair reasonable and non- discriminatory).

Looking Back: IP at the ITC in 2023

The intellectual property regime of the International Trade Commission (ITC) made mainstream news this year with its ban on Apple Watch importation and sales in the dispute between Masimo Corporation and Apple. While that dispute is ongoing and the subject of much coverage already, here are five other key IP cases with a variety of important rulings for parties at the ITC—particularly some outside of the typically patent-centric docket.

G+ Communications v. Samsung: No Requirement to Atone for Past Transgressions of Prior Owners

In the book / movie “The Shining”, the Overlook hotel is haunted by ghosts involved in past wrongs committed on the property, presumably to make the current inhabitants atone for such sins. Notwithstanding this transcendental precedent, Judge Rodney Gilstrap recently declined to extend such a notion to patents subject to Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing related obligations.

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.

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.

The Top U.S. FRAND / RAND Licensing Developments of 2023 Part I: Everybody into the Pool!

With respect to patents subject to a commitment to license on a Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) or Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (RAND) basis, 2023 saw many interesting developments. This includes several new pool-based licensing programs being launched, and others gaining traction, various interlocutory decisions, the dismissal of some antitrust suits, and, as always, the specter of possible government intervention.

Some Apple Watches Off the Market Following ITC Ruling

Apple confirmed to media outlets on Monday that it will halt sales of certain Apple watches following the October International Trade Commission (ITC) ruling issuing a limited exclusion (LEO) order against the products. In its October ruling, the ITC found Apple violated section 337 by importing Apple Watches that infringed on two Masimo patents that covered technology related to reading blood-oxygen levels.

Key U.S. District Court Cases with Implications for IP in the New Year

Although the proceedings before federal district courts may not garner as much attention as those of the U.S. Court of appeals for the Federal Circuit or the Supreme Court, they can be an important proving ground for the decisions rendered by those courts. And 2023 was no exception to that rule. As discussed below, the Zogenix v. Apotex and Teva v. Eli Lilly decisions provide a glimpse into what litigants can expect in the aftermath of the GSK v. Teva and Amgen v. Sanofi decisions, respectively. These cases will have an especially significant impact on the life sciences industry, and watching how these decisions are applied by the district courts should be a priority for practitioners in this space.

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.

CAFC Partially Affirms for VLSI on Infringement But Vacates and Remands for New Trial on Damages

On December 4, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential ruling in the ongoing patent battle between computer chip patent owner VLSI and major chipmaker Intel Corp. While the court affirmed the infringement findings underpinning the bulk of VLSI’s $2.175 billion jury verdict awarded back in March 2021, the panel ordered a retrial of damages award for one of two asserted patents and dismissed the doctrine of equivalents infringement finding for the other patent. The Federal Circuit also found that the district court abused its discretion by denying Intel’s motion for leave to add a license defense to its case.

Justices Won’t Consider Whether CAFC’s Claim Construction Constitutes a Judicial Taking

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied a petition that asked it to consider whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s (CAFC’s) “construction of petitioner’s patent claim was unforeseeable and unjustifiable under the circuit’s prior decisions,” thereby constituting a judicial taking of property in violation of the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause. The petition was an appeal from the CAFC’s April decision affirming a district court’s judgment that AT&T Mobility LLC did not infringe an inventor’s wireless communications technology patent but also holding that AT&T had forfeited its chance to prove the patent invalid on appeal.

Build a Consumer Base with Innovation; Protect Sales with Design Patents

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued its one millionth design patent on September 26, 2023. U.S. Patent No. D1,000,000 claims the ornamental design for a dispensing comb. This milestone comes during a particularly prolific period for design patents. In 2022 alone, the USPTO received more than 50,000 design patent applications. The Office has seen a 20% growth in design patent applications over the last five years. It is not hard to understand why inventors are seeking design patent protection at previously unseen levels. In an age of complicated technologies, design patents can protect marketable appearances of products in the same manner generally as trademarks identify source. Understanding design patent benefits underlying the recent growth in application numbers is a good lesson for businesses seeking to distinguish a brand—but keep an eye out for further developments and be prepared to adjust business and IP strategies.

CAFC Says Lack of Concrete Plans to Market Eye Treatment Dooms Allgenesis Appeal

On November 7, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential decision in Allgenesis Biotherapeutics Inc. v. Cloudbreak Therapeutics, LLC, dismissing Allgenesis’ appeal after an unsuccessful challenge to Cloudbreak’s patent claims at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The Federal Circuit ruled that Allgenesis lacked Article III standing to bring the appeal for failing to establish an injury in fact stemming from potential infringement liability or the impact of the PTAB’s priority determinations on the scope of Allgenesis’ patent rights.

CAFC Orders Review of Extrinsic Evidence to Determine Proper Limit of Claimed pH Range

Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued a precedential decision in Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd. v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. vacating an infringement judgment against Mylan in the Northern District of West Virginia. The Federal Circuit remanded the case for further consideration of extrinsic evidence from chemistry textbooks to determine the proper meaning of the claim term “a pH of 13 or higher.”