Posts Tagged: "patent infringement"

Rader’s Ruminations: The Most Striking (and Embarrassing) Legal Mistake in Modern Patent Law

The most striking (and embarrassing) mistake of law in modern patent law history occurred in the case of eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, 347 U.S. 388 (2006). This mistake led to an alarmingly incorrect outcome and a monumental disruption of U.S. innovation policy…. The traditional and longstanding remedy for trespass on a patent property right is a permanent injunction. By making removal of an established infringer/trespasser optional in eBay, the Supreme Court vastly undercut and devalued every patent’s exclusive right. This erroneous outcome is a cataclysmic policy error, but that policy miscarriage is not itself the embarrassing error of law.

CAFC Puts Patent Community on Notice of Sanctions for Incorporation by Reference Violations

On February 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a pair of precedential rulings in Promptu Systems Corp. v. Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, vacating a final judgment of infringement after reversing part of the district court’s claim construction rulings. The entire U.S. patent community, however, should take notice of the Federal Circuit’s sua sponte order informing future litigants that evading briefing limits by incorporating much larger documents by reference will likely result in sanctions.

CAFC Judges Split on Indefiniteness Analysis for Identity Theft Patent

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today held that certain claims of a patent for a system to protect against identity theft and fraud were invalid for indefiniteness. Judge Schall dissented-in-part, explaining that he would not have found the claims indefinite based on the intrinsic evidence. U.S. Patent No. 9,361,658 is owned by Mantissa Corporation and is titled “System and Method for Enhanced Protection and Control Over the Use of Identity.” Mantissa sued First Financial Corporation and First Financial Bank, N.A. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging infringement of certain claims. The parties mainly disputed two terms during claim construction: (1) “transaction partner” and (2) “OFF.” The district court relied on First Financial’s expert testimony to conclude that “transaction partner” was indefinite, after finding that the expert used was a person of ordinary skill in the art (POSA).

G+ Communications v. Samsung: Splitting the FRAND Baby

A recent decision out of the Eastern District of Texas sheds further light on Judge Rodney Gilstrap’s interpretation of a patent owner’s commitment to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) pursuant to ETSI’s Intellectual Property Rights Information Statement and Licensing Declaration (“the ETSI Licensing Declaration”). The decision, however, also raises some questions for SEP owners. A little over a year ago, we considered how French and California law would interpret a patent owner ‘s commitment to ETSI pursuant to the ETSI Licensing Declaration. The in depth analysis can be found here, while a summary version published on IPWatchdog can be found here. At a high level, we considered the issue both from the perspective of performance being possible without implementer engagement, and from the perspective of performance requiring implementer cooperation.

The Federal Circuit Could Make the ITC a More Appealing Forum

In a pending case, the Federal Circuit is primed to provide much-needed clarity on the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement at the United States International Trade Commission (ITC). In ruling, the court will likely resolve a long-running dispute between individual commissioners regarding how to apply the so-called “mere importer” test when determining whether the domestic industry requirement is met. If the complainant, Lashify, prevails, it could make the ITC a more appealing forum for patent infringement suits involving entities that have under-utilized the ITC, including inventors, universities, and start-ups. The case at issue is Lashify, Inc. v. ITC, No. 23-1245.

Liquidia Urges SCOTUS to Restore Preclusive Effect to PTAB Final Written Decisions

Last week, biopharmaceutical company Liquidia Technologies filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal a Federal Circuit ruling that affirmed induced infringement findings against Liquidia following the patent at issue being invalidated at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). In the petition, Liquidia argues that two previous Supreme Court rulings lead to a result contrary to the Federal Circuit’s determination that the invalidation of patent claims at the PTAB do not have preclusive effect on infringement litigation pending an appeal of the PTAB’s decision.

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.

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