Posts Tagged: "patent infringement"

“Main Street” Patent Coalition Wants Patent Litigation Reform

The Main Street Patent Coalition may be the entity with the single most misleading name in the history of misleading organization names…. According to the LA Time, White Castle has 9,600 employees. How exactly is that a small business? … The corporate members of the National Restaurant Association, and the members of the National Retail Federation are some of the largest corporations in the United States. The American Gaming Association membership likewise includes some of the largest corporations in America, including several of the largest banks in the world, including Goldman, Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Supreme Court Hears Argument on Burden of Proof for DJ Plaintiff

The Supreme Court on November 5, 2013, heard oral argument on whether the burden of proof in an action for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement falls on the plaintiff licensee or on the defendant patentee. The debate centered around whether a patentee/defendant sued for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement is required to prove a case of infringement that was neither alleged nor arguably possible where the DJ plaintiff is a licensee. The Petitioner argued that the burden that would be on the patentee as infringement plaintiff does not change when it is a DJ defendant. The Respondent argued that, because the patentee cannot assert an infringement counterclaim against its licensee in good standing, the normal default rule places the burden on the party that initiates the action.

A Proposed Amendment to 35 U.S.C. 271

This paper proposes amending 35 U.S.C. 271 Infringement of Patent with elements drawn from § 2-403 of UCC Article 2, Sale of Goods, and with elements of the Patent Exhaustion Doctrine. This amendment, if enacted, would prevent patent trolls from proceeding against Bona Fide Purchasers for Value with respect to certain specific infringements, in order to strengthen consumer confidence in the marketplace, by ensuring that vendors can deliver the products that they sell, free of threats of patent infringement litigation against such innocent buyers.

A Summary of the Goodlatte Patent Bill Discussion Draft

EDITOR’S NOTE: What follows is a summary of the Goodlatte patent bill created by American Continental Group, which is a government affairs and strategic consulting firm in Washington, DC. Manus Cooney, a former Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee is one of the partners at ACG, and is also frequent guest contributor on IPWatchdog.com. Cooney and his partners and associates worked to prepare this summary, which was described as a team effort. It is republished here with permission.

Patent Business: Litigation, Deals & Licenses – September 2013

Universal Electronics sues Peel Technologies over remote control patents —– GigOptix and MACOM settle patent infringement and trade secret/employment disputes —– Nintendo prevails at ITC on Wii patent infringement complaint —– E-commerce video technology at center of patent infringement lawsuit —– MGT Capital asserts newly granted patent in infringement lawsuit —– Blonder Tongue prevails over K Tech on Summary Judgment —– OurPet’s files patent infringement lawsuit against Go Fetch —– Freescale settles with Tessera

SCOTUS Seeks US Views on Joint Infringement of Process Claims

The Supreme Court on June 24, 2013, called for the views of the Solicitor General on petitions to review the Federal Circuit’s en banc decision on joint infringement of process patents. That decision held that induced infringement of a process patent claim may be found even though no single entity performed all of the claimed steps as long as claim steps are performed collectively by multiple parties

Trace Contamination by Patented Seeds Insufficient to Establish Standing to Challenge Patents

Flying under the AMP v. Myriad radar recently was Federal Circuit’s Organic Seed Growers v. Monsanto. In Organic Seed Growers, the Federal Circuit denied declaratory relief to a band of more than 60 farmers, seed vendors, and agricultural organizations from California to Florida (and even Canada) seeking to invalidate 23 of Monsanto’s patents relating to various technologies for genetically modified seeds. The band of agriculturists grows, uses, or sells conventional seeds that do not incorporate Monsanto’s technologies. Many have organic certifications, and generally eschew transgenic seeds and glyphosate-based herbicides such as Monsanto’s Roundup® herbicide.

Patent Litigation: How to Practice Post-TiVo

In TiVo v. Echostar, Echostar lost on infringement of TiVo’s patented DVR functionality. Judge Folsom issued an injunction and ordered that Echostar stop offering the service and disable all storage to and playback from the hard disk. Unfortunately for Echostar, they did not appeal the wording of the injunction and took no action against the disablement provision. Instead they designed around it by downloading new code to get the set-top box to operate in a different way, in what appeared to be a pretty clean design-around. TiVo filed a contempt motion. Echostar was sanctioned on the grounds that there were not “colorable differences” and their design-around infringed. The dissent argued that not only were there colorable differences but moreover the differences established non-infringement. After two years of back-and-forth and one too many trips to Judge Folsom, the original 70 million that Echostar had to pay for the initial infringement rose to 300 million because of Echostar doing what they thought would get them out of infringing.

Supremes Say Reverse Payments May Be Antitrust Violation

On Monday, June 17, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision on so-called “reverse payments.” This decision will impact how brand name drug companies and generics enter into patent settlements to resolve pending patent litigation. In a nutshell, speaking for the majority, Justice Breyer wrote that there is no valid reason for the FTC to be denied the opportunity to pursue reverse payments as an antitrust violation. Breyer, who was joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsberg, Kagan, and Sotomayor, determined that reviewing courts should apply the rule of reason when determining whether reverse payments violate antitrust law.

Judge Mayer Just Doesn’t Like Business Method Patents

Alexsam, Inc. v. IDT Corporation is a non-remarkable patent infringement decision with a remarkable dissent. What is noteworthy about the case is not the majority opinion, but the dissent by Judge Haldane Robert Mayer. Mayer’s dissent discusses why the patent is invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101, which is curious because the 101 issue was not raised by the defendants during the appeal nor even mentioned during oral arguments. While Mayer’s dissent is not a binding opinion, if another judge on the panel signed on to Mayer’s reasoning then the patent would have been held invalid based on an issue not raised during the appeal.

Keurig Loses Coffee Pod Patent Infringement Case

Keurig makes and licenses brewers and beverage cartridges (pods) that are known as “K-Cups.” JBR makes beverage cartridges that are known as “OneCups,” which are made to be used with the Keurig brewers. Back in January 2013, the Court held a Markman hearing, which is a pretrial evidentiary hearing that’s typically held whenever someone alleges patent infringement, and a memorandum and order interpreting certain pertinent terms used in two of the patents at issue was issued in March 2013. The current case deals with JBR’s motions for summary judgment with respect to the issue of infringement of the entire design patent (referred to as the ‘362 patent) and certain specific claims associated with two of the brewer patents (the ‘138 and the ‘488 patents).

False Distinctions Between Hardware and Software Patents are Not the Answer

From an end-user’s perspective, it shouldn’t matter whether the normalization is done in hardware, in software or in a combination of hardware and software. And from the perspective of an interface designer, one would expect to be able to protect an invention that takes raw data from human input and causes a computer to scroll “intuitively” irrespective of whether implemented in hardware, software or a combination thereof. But therein lies our current §101 case law predicament.

No Quanta of Solace for Farmer Bowman: Unlicensed Planting of Patented Seed Infringing Use, Not Patent Exhaustion*

n the case of Bowman v. Monsanto Co., Farmer Bowman may have believed that the “third time” would be “charm.” In two prior cases, Monsanto Co. v. Scruggs[1] and Monsanto Co. v. McFarling,[2] the Federal Circuit had ruled in favor of Monsanto, the owner of the patented Roundup Ready® soybeans, and against Farmer Scruggs and Farmer McFarling. Even so, Farmer Bowman, as probably did his legal counsel, may have believed that the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc.[3] would undermine the Federal Circuit’s view that patent exhaustion didn’t apply to Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready® soybeans. But in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit’s 2011 ruling[4] that Farmer Bowman’s unlicensed planting of these patented Roundup Ready® soybeans (sold for commodity use only) was an infringing use that was not subject to the doctrine of patent exhaustion. Alas, Farmer Bowman found no solace in Quanta.

Design Patents in China: Applications, Infringement and Enforcement

Nothing has fundamentally changed about the nature of design patents. The first US design patent was granted in 1842. The Statue of Liberty, Coke bottle, Volkswagen Beatle, Stealth Bomber and Star Wars’ Yoda are all protected by design patents. Design patents have long played an important role in consumer electronics, automotive, apparel, jewelry, packaging and other industries. But industrial design is becoming increasingly important, Mr. Kappos explains, because the increasing functionality of man-made devices brings with it increasing complexity, so innovative companies are constantly seeking superior designs, a convergence of form and function that helps make the complex simple and sets their companies apart; and protecting such designs is critical.

Reverse Payments: Into the Belly Of The Hatch-Waxman Beast Part 3

“Reverse payment” cases are an outgrowth of a key feature I noted in my first article on the basics of Paragraph IV Certifications: the filing of an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) by the generic drug maker with a Paragraph IV Certification is treated as a technical act of patent infringement.[2] After receiving notice of the Paragraph IV Certification, the patent owner/NDA holder has 45 days to bring suit, otherwise the FDA can move forward on approving the ANDA.[3] Conversely, if the patent owner/NDA holder does bring an infringement suit within the prescribed 45 day period, the FDA cannot approve that ANDA for 30 months, unless the patent(s) that are the subject of the Paragraph IV Certification are earlier deemed invalid or not infringed in that suit.[4]