Posts Tagged: "Judge Ray Chen"

Board Cannot Adopt New Claim Construction Without Giving Notice to the Parties

The Federal Circuit held that the Board’s changed claim construction of “data flow,” violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), even if it was correct. In particular, it deprived the petitioner of the procedural protections of the APA, which prohibits an agency from changing legal theories during a proceeding without giving respondents notice of the change and the opportunity respond to the new theory. Because the Board changed its construction of the term “data flow” absent any suggestion from the parties, and without any notice, there was no meaningful opportunity to respond to the unanticipated change. Therefore, the Court vacated the decision of the Board to afford the parties an opportunity to present arguments on the Board’s newly-adopted construction of “data flow.”

CAFC Vacates Judgment on Pleadings in Light of Revised Standard for Divided Infringement

The Court vacated the judgment against Mankes and remanded the case for further consideration. Because the law was in a state of flux, the Plaintiff pled facts that arguably would have supported an infringement theory under the law applicable when it was filed. The plaintiff could not have known the facts necessary to support a complaint under the law as it exists now. Because of this, the Court declined to affirm or reverse, and instead remanded the case to the district court for reconsideration under the new standards. Presumably, this would also give the Plaintiff an opportunity to amend the complaint.

Federal Circuit reverses PTAB claim construction in IPR appeal

Pride Mobility appealed, and noted that the Board construed claim 7 as requiring a “substantially planar” mounting plate “oriented perpendicular” to the axis of the wheelchair’s drive wheel, which the Board found in Goertzen. The Court found that the Board had misconstrued Claim 7, because the claim language made clear that the surface which rendered the mounting plate “substantially planar” must be perpendicular to the drive axis, not some other geometric feature of the mounting plate.

Appending Conventional Steps to Abstract Idea an Insufficient Inventive Concept

The Court held that dealing “physical playing cards” did not constitute patent eligible territory. This constituted a “purely conventional” activity, like the conventional computer implementation that fell short in Alice. The Court found there was no inventive concept sufficient to transform the subject matter into a patent-eligible application of an abstract idea.

Federal Circuit affirms district court’s summary judgment of non-infringement

Akzo appealed from the decision of the district court (Chief Judge Leonard Stark) to grant summary judgment to Dow, which found that Dow did not infringe the claims of U.S. Patent 6,767,956, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. Dow also cross-appealed from the district court’s conclusion that the claims of the ’956 patent were not indefinite. Ultimately, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court on both appeals.

Jimmie Reyna: A Man for All Seasons for the Supreme Court

While it is certainly possible that the President has narrowed his consideration to these three candidates, history teaches us that strange twists and turns can and do occur in the Supreme Court nominating process. With four years of experience on the Federal Circuit, confirmed to that court unanimously with a 86-0 vote and vocal bipartisan support, Judge Reyna would be the first Mexican-American to become a Supreme Court Justice, he would be the first international trade lawyer to become a Supreme Court Justice, and he would bring 30 years of broad legal experience and IP training to the High Court. The American Bar Association has ranked him as unanimously well-qualified, its highest ranking.

CAFC: Reference May Anticipate if it Inherently Teaches Claimed Combination of Elements

The Court affirmed the Board’s finding that one Figure and certain passages in the description of the reference disclosed a limited number of elements and suggested combining them in a manner that anticipated the system claimed by Blue Calypso. Thus, “a reference may still anticipate if that reference teaches that the disclosed components or functionalities may be combined and one of skill in the art would be able to implement the combination.” This was an anticipation, without resort to obviousness, because the reference sufficiently disclosed making the combination, though not expressed a single embodiment or example.

Voluntary Narrowing of Patents Claims Waives Right to Later Jury Trial on Untried Claims

Nuance originally asserted over 140 claims from eight different patents against defendant ABBYY. The case was quickly referred to a special master for scheduling following Markman. The master followed Nuance’s proposal to limit the patents asserted at trial to four, and the total claims to fifteen. The district court agreed, and Nuance thereafter narrowed its case further: to seven claims from three patents. The jury found non-infringement on all claims. Eight months later, in a motion by ABBYY to compel costs, Nuance responded that the costs award should be stayed until its remaining patents had been tried. Nuance argued that the completed trial was only the “initial” trial and it had reserved its right to try the other patents in a subsequent trial.

Restricted Sales Do Not Exhaust Patent Rights Under Supreme Court Rulings

The Federal Circuit took the case en banc to review the applicability of the patent exhaustion doctrine under Mallinckrodt and Jazz Photo, in view of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Quanta and Kirtsaeng. The Federal Circuit affirmed the holdings in Mallinckrodt and Jazz Photo, and distinguished them from the Supreme Court’s decisions. In Quanta, the Supreme Court was reviewing whether a patentee’s rights in a product were exhausted by a licensee’s sale of a product.

CAFC: Defendant had no notice of intent to pursue patent rights in US after foreign proceedings

Each week, we succinctly summarize the preceding week of Federal Circuit precedential patent opinions. We provide the pertinent facts, issues, and holdings. Our Review allows you to keep abreast of the Federal Circuit’s activities – important for everyone concerned with intellectual property. We welcome any feedback you may provide. – Joe Robinson, Bob Schaffer, Parker Hancock, and Puja Dave 83-2.…

Federal Circuit Vacates Board’s IPR Decision on Patentability of Substitute Claims

Finally, the Court held that the Board’s denial of Nike’s motion to amend for failure to show patentable distinction over “prior art not of record but known to the patent owner” was improper. The Court held that the Board’s finding that Nike’s “conclusory statement” was “factually inadequate” under its interpretation of the Idle Free decision was too rigid and was an improper ground to deny Nike’s motion. Accordingly the Court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded the decision to the district court.

CAFC reaffirms patent exhaustion doctrine cases en banc in Lexmark Int’l v. Impression Products

In a painfully long decision that at one point analyzed a 1628 statement of Lord Coke as relating to British common-law principles and what light that might shed on modern day patent exhaustion, the Federal Circuit held that when a patentee sells a patented article under otherwise-proper restrictions on resale and reuse communicated to the buyer at the time of sale, the patentee does not confer authority on the buyer to engage in the prohibited resale or reuse. The patentee does not exhaust its rights to charge the buyer who engages in those acts—or downstream buyers having knowledge of the restrictions—with patent infringement. The Federal Circuit also held that a foreign sale of a U.S. patented article, when made by or with the approval of the U.S. patentee, does not exhaust the patentee’s U.S. patent rights in the article sold, even when no reservation of rights accompanies the sale. Loss of U.S. patent rights based on a foreign sale remains a matter of express or implied license.

Nike v. Adidas: Federal Circuit refines PTAB motion to amend practice in inter partes review

The USPTO argued that at the heart of the requirement that substitute claims be patentable over prior art not of record but known to the patentee is nothing more than a requirement that the patent owner submit information necessary to satisfy the duty of candor owed to the Office. The Federal Circuit agreed, but noticed that there was no allegation that Nike had violated the duty of candor. Absent an allegation that there has been a violation of the duty of candor, the Federal Circuit ruled that it is improper to deny a motion to amend for failure to raise prior art not found in the granted petition.

President Obama should nominate Judge Raymond Chen to the Supreme Court

Chen, an Obama appointee, was confirmed only several years ago by a vote of 97-0. Born in 1968 he is 47 years old, meaning he could easily serve on the Court throughout the next generation, in modern times an important consideration for a Presidential nomination to the High Court. Chen also comes from the Federal Circuit, which is anything but politically controversial, primarily responsible for handling patent appeals. Chen would also become the first Asian American to serve on the Supreme Court, another potentially important consideration for President Obama, who has shown throughout his term in Office that he likes breaking glass ceilings with appointments and nominations. Thus, Chen would have virtually all the same upside as would Srinavasan without any of the baggage that would make confirmation difficult, if not impossible.

Negative Claim Limitations Do Not Have a Higher Written Description Standard

The Federal Circuit held that the written description requirement is met for negative claim limitations where the specification simply describes alternatives. In other words, the “reason to exclude” required by Santarus can be met without discussion of advantages of exclusion or disadvantages of inclusion. Further, alternative elements need not be explicitly described as alternatives, so long as the specification conveys to a person of skill in the art that those elements are, in fact, alternative or optional. Negative limitations are only unsupported where the specification provides no examples or suggestions that such limitations are alternative or optional.