In Inventor Holdings, LLC v. Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed an award of attorneys’ fees in the lower court because “following the Alice decision, IH’s claims were objectively without merit.” Alice issued two months after the filing of suit.
Arguing against Micron’s motion to dismiss, Harvard contended that TC Heartland only affirmed a previous precedent set by SCOTUS and that the improper venue challenge was available to Micron back when it filed its first motion in August 2016… The Federal Circuit concluded that the TC Heartland decision “changed controlling law in the relevant sense” and thus the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the patent venue statute was not available to Micron at the time of its August 2016 motion to dismiss.concluded that the TC Heartland decision “changed controlling law in the relevant sense” and thus the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the patent venue statute was not available to Micron at the time of its August 2016 motion to dismiss.
In Promega Corporation v. Life Technologies Corporation, on remand from the Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit affirmed district court rulings that granted Life Technologies’ motion for judgment as a matter of law (“JMOL”) that Promega Corp. had failed to prove its infringement case under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a) and § 271(f)(1), and subsequently denied Promega’s motion for a new trial.
After a panel of the Federal Circuit affirmed the Board’s decision, in Aqua Products v. Matal, Aqua requested an en banc rehearing. The USPTO Director Joseph Matal joined the appeal on behalf of the USPTO. At issue was whether the Board could place the burden of proof for patentability of amended claims on the patent owner in an IPR, and the Board’s underlying interpretation of the relevant statutes, specifically § 316(d) governing claim amendments and 35 U.S.C. § 316(e) allocating the burden of proof in an IPR… With respect to the burden of proof, the burden of persuasion for patentability of amended claims in an IPR proceeding is placed on the petitioner, not the patent owner. However, considering Judge Reyna’s concurrence, patent owners might still have the burden of production; depending on future cases.
Crafting a proper hypothetical claim is a prerequisite to whether a theory of infringement under the doctrine of equivalents would also ensnare the prior art. The burden to present a proper hypothetical claim cannot be shifted, and a hypothetical claim cannot be broader for the alleged range of equivalents, and not otherwise narrower.
Idemitsu Kosan Co. v. SFC Co., the Federal Circuit affirmed the Board’s decision to invalidate as obvious certain patent claims directed to a device that emits light when electric current is passed through a particular organic medium… During inter partes review, it is possible for claims to be invalidated for reasons first articulated in rebuttal to a Patent Owner’s arguments. Patent owners should anticipate a petitioner’s counterarguments to its positions, including those made in Patent Owner’s Reply. Further, features of the invention that are alleged to distinguish over the prior art may not carry sufficient weight if they are not recited in the claims.
In re N.C. Lottery, Appellant North Carolina Lottery (“N.C. Lottery”) sought to register the mark “FIRST TUESDAY” in connection with lottery services and games to market the introduction of new scratch-off lottery games on the first Tuesday of every month. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board denied the registration and N.C. Lottery appealed… The Court affirmed the Board’s decision refusing to register FIRST TUESDAY.
In a patent infringement case governed by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 (“BPCIA”), the Federal Circuit found that it lacked jurisdiction to compel discovery in the district court. The Court also found that Amgen failed to meet the requirements for mandamus relief. Amgen Inc. v. Hospira, Inc., (Fed. Cir. Aug. 10, 2017) (Before Dyk, Bryson, and Chen, J.) (Opinion for the court, Dyk, J.)… When filing a BPCIA paragraph (l)(3) list of patents that could potentially be infringed by a biosimilar, all patents that could reasonably be infringed, based on available knowledge without discovery, should be included on that list. In an interlocutory appeal, the Federal Circuit lacks “collateral order” jurisdiction to compel a district court to order discovery concerning non-listed patents, nor is mandamus warranted, because relief is available on appeal from a final judgment.
The Federal Circuit heard the case of Earnhardt v. Kerry Earnhardt, Inc., where Teresa Earnhardt appealed from the dismissal of its opposition to the trademark registration of EARNHARDT COLLECTION by Kerry Earnhardt, Inc (“KEI”). Teresa Earnhardt is the widow of Dale Earnhardt and the owner of common law rights and trademark registrations for the mark DALE EARNHARDT in typed and stylized form, in connection with various goods and services. Kelly Earnhardt is the co-founder and CEO of KEI, the son of Dale Earnhardt, and the stepson of Teresa Earnhardt.
The district court denied a request for a permanent injunction against Metaswitch after a jury found infringement because Genband failed to establish irreparable harm. More specifically, the court found that Genband failed to establish a causal-nexus between infringement and irreparable harm, i.e. that “the patent features drive demand for the product.” The Federal Circuit remanded because this causal-nexus requirement was too stringent. The Federal Circuit explained that the court could not have confidence as to the answer to the causation question under the standard properly governing the inquiry or whether there is any independent ground for the district court finding no irreparable harm or otherwise denying an injunction.
The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the Board’s finding of obviousness of certain challenged claims based on a means-plus-function limitation, affirmed the Board’s finding of obviousness as to other challenged claims and affirmed the Board’s findings that the prior art discloses all other limitations of the challenged claims on appeal… In a patentability determination, the Board must identify the structure of a means-plus-function limitation disclosed in the specification; it is insufficient to merely disagree with patentee’s arguments. Additionally, if a practitioner reopens prosecution and amends claims during inter partes reexamination, additional prior art can be cited against the amended claims.
The Federal Circuit vacated three interference decisions, in which the Board found that Stanford’s claims were unpatentable for lack of written description, and remanded for further proceedings… The Court thus vacated the interference decisions and remanded for the Board to (1) “reconsider whether Quake’s relevant patents and applications satisfy the written description requirement” and (2) examine whether the artisan “would have known, as of the priority date, that the … specification references to Illumina products meant random MPS sequencing as recited in the claims” and whether he or she “would have understood that the … specification disclosed random MPS sequencing, as opposed to whether the specification did not preclude targeted MPS sequencing.”
The Court warned that by holding that EmeraChem did not have adequate notice or opportunity to respond, it was not holding that the Board is constricted in its final written decision to citing only the portions of a reference cited in its Institution Decision. “[W]ord-for-word parity between the institution and final written decisions” is not required; the question is whether the Board provided adequate notice and opportunity to respond… The Board must give a patent owner sufficient notice and opportunity to respond to its reliance on a particular use of prior art against particular claims. A general statement that lists all challenged claims and all asserted prior art is not sufficient notice of any and all specific combinations thereof which may arise.
Cisco challenged Cirrex’s patent via inter partes reexamination, asserting a lack of written description. The Board affirmed the Examiner’s findings, that the patent, as amended, contained both patentable and unpatentable claims. On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that all of the claims are unpatentable for lack of written description.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a non-precedential decision in Intellectual Ventures II, LLC v. Ericsson, Inc. (2016-1739, 2016-1740, 2016-1741) directed to three related IPRs, denying that the patentee was denied due process when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) employed a “surprise” claim construction in its opinion that had not been explicitly argued by either side to find the claims obvious. Because the Federal Circuit decided that the patentee had both notice and an opportunity to respond, it held that no due process violation occurred.