Posts Tagged: "Judge Ray Chen"

CAFC: Reasonable royalty in design infringement only if greater than infringer’s total profits

Damages for infringement of a design patent can be recovered for the greater of: (1) total profits from the infringer’s sales under 35 U.S.C. § 289, (2) damages in the form of the patentee’s lost profits or a reasonable royalty under § 284, or (3) $250 in statutory damages under § 289. Here, the Court held that the district court incorrectly instructed the jury to choose between awarding damages under § 284 or § 289. According to the Court, “[o]nly where § 289 damages are not sought, or are less than would be recoverable under § 284, is an award of § 284 damages appropriate.”

Federal Circuit en banc rules Laches Remains Defense in a Patent Infringement Suit

Despite the Supreme Court ruling that laches is no defense to a copyright infringement action brought during the statute of limitations, the Federal Circuit ruled laches can bar recovery of legal remedies in patent infringement. The Federal Circuit explained that the 1952 Patent Act codified the common law rule, meaning that laches was codified as a defense under 35 U.S.C. 282.
The Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, followed the common law principle that, ”[w]hen a statute covers an issue previously governed by the common law, [the Court] must presume that Congress intended to retain the substance of the common law.” The Federal Circuit also ruled that laches does not preclude an ongoing royalty.

Third-Party Use of Similar Marks Relevant to Strength of Opposer’s Trademark

The Federal Circuit explained that evidence of third-party use bears on the strength or weakness of an opposer’s mark. In this case, which arose as an appeal from the TTAB, the evidence demonstrated“ubiquitous use of paw prints on clothing as source identifiers. According to the Federal Circuit, given the widespread use of paw prints, consumers would know to look for additional indicia of origin rather than just the paw designs. The evidence, therefore, demonstrated that consumers are not as likely confused by different, albeit similar looking, paw prints.

Court Reverses Indefiniteness Under Nautilus; Design Patents for Surgical Shears are Valid

Ethicon sued Covidien in the Ohio district court for infringement of utility and design patents directed to ultrasonic surgical shear devices. The court granted Covidien’s motions for summary judgment, concluding that one patent was invalid as indefinite, that another patent was not infringed by Covidien’s products, and that several design patents were invalid as functional and were not infringed. Ethicon appealed the judgment to the Federal Circuit. The Federal Circuit reversed on indefiniteness, reversed the district court’s determination that Ethicon’s design patents were invalid as primarily functional, and vacated the summary judgment of non-infringement for a surgical shears patent.

Litigation Formulated Invalidity Challenge Can Prevent Enhanced Damages for Willful Infringement

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) sued Marvell Technology Group for infringing two patents related to a detector for reading data stored on hard-disk drives. A jury returned a verdict for CMU, and awarded $1.17 billion as a reasonable royalty for infringement, based on a royalty of 50 cents per chip. The district court increased the damages by 23% for willful infringement and entered a verdict of $1.54 billion in damages, plus a continuing royalty of 50 cents per chip. Marvel challenged the enhancement of damages for willfulness. While Marvell’s chips blatantly copied the CMU patents, Marvell’s invalidity defenses raised in litigation were not objectively unreasonable.

Federal Circuit Review – Issue 61 – July 31, 2015

Amgen filed a biologics license application (“BLA”) and obtained FDA approval for its filgrastim product, Neupogen. Sandoz subsequently filed an abbreviated BLA (“aBLA”) under 42 U.S.C. § 262(k), seeking approval for a biosimilar (generic) version of Neupogen. Amgen sued Sandoz, asserting claims of (1) unfair competition under state law based on violations of the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”); (2) wrongful use of Amgen’s approved BLA; and (3) infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,162,427, which claims a method of using filgrastim. Amgen alleged that Sandoz violated the BPCIA by failing to disclose its aBLA and manufacturing information as required by 42 U.S.C. § 262(l)(2)(A) and by prematurely giving a notice of commercial marketing under 42 U.S.C.§ 262(l)(8)(A), i.e. giving notice before the FDA approved its biosimilar product.

Biosimilars at the Federal Circuit – Will this be the Last Dance?

This statute tried to mirror the Hatch-Waxman statute for small molecules, including both an abbreviated drug approval process and a mechanism to address any patent claims during drug approval. However, because of the differences between these two types of drugs, stemming from the increased complexity in manufacturing and patent protection, unique provisions were included in the BPCIA. Unfortunately, as Judge Lourie of the Federal Circuit put it, the BPCIA could win a “Pulitzer prize for complexity or uncertainty.” And, it is these new provisions that could prove the downfall of the BPCIA, at least as it currently exists.

Federal Circuit Finds Software Patent Claim Patent Eligible

Of particular interest, the Federal Circuit found that the ‘399 patent constituted patent eligible subject matter, was not invalid and was infringed. This is big news because in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank software patents have been falling at alarming rate. Assuming this decision stands any further review we finally have some positive law to draw from that will provide clues into how to tailor patent claims to make them capable of overcoming what has become a significant hurdle to patentability— namely the abstract idea doctrine. Of course, Judge Mayer was in dissent.

Is there an Anti-Patent Bias at the Federal Circuit?

The label “anti-patent” is not meant as a criticism or insult. Instead I mean it is a purely descriptive way that recognizes a distinct and very real viewpoint; one that we have seen periodically throughout history but which is inconsistent with what the Framers believed. Therefore, I disagree with Judge Chen that it is not helpful to recognize that there are Judges on the Federal Circuit who, based on their written decisions, show a tendency to eschew a pro-patent viewpoint.

Federal Circuit Ignores Jury Finding of Non-Obviousness

This is just another example of the Federal Circuit substituting its own decision for that of the decision maker at the district court level. It is one thing when the Federal Circuit ignores the factual findings of a district court judge, but an entirely different matter when facts found by a jury are ignored… Sadly, the Federal Circuit, or at least some panels, no longer operate as an appellate court. The Federal Circuit operates as a super-trial court, particularly with respect to obviousness. This is extraordinarily problematic given that the Supreme Court has shown no interested in taking even egregious obviousness decisions for appellate review.

An Exclusive Interview with Bernard Knight

There was nothing off the table for discussion in this interview. We discuss how and why he choose McDermott, as well as what it was like working for David Kappos and working with Judge Ray Chen when he was Solicitor at the USPTO. We also discuss the future of the Patent Office, the appointment of Michelle Lee to be Deputy Director of the USPTO, substantively what the USPTO was trying to do with respect to post grant procedures, the new ethical rules applicable to Patent Attorneys and Agents, and a variety of other issues.

Senate Confirms Raymond Chen to Federal Circuit

While in the Solicitor’s Office at the USPTO Chen’s notable Federal Circuit arguments included In re Bilski, In re Nuijten, and In re Comiskey. While I disagreed with the Federal Circuit decision in each of those cases I still believe Chen to be an excellent choice for the Federal Circuit. While some may look at the cases where Chen defended the Board, that was his job and I would caution reading to much into the briefs filed looking for a window into the judicial philosophy of Chen. Indeed, I have every reason to expect that he will align himself with the pro-patent wing of the Court.

USPTO Solicitor Ray Chen Nominated for the Federal Circuit

Earlier today President Barack Obama made two nominations for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Nominated were Raymond T. Chen, who is currently the Solicitor for the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and Todd M. Hughes, who is currently Deputy Director of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Civil Division at the United States Department of Justice. The Federal Circuit is the Court of Appeals charged with handling all patent appeals from the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the various Federal District Courts regardless of where they are located geographically.

In Capable Hands: Profiling the New Leadership at the PTO

Before profiling the top officials who will continue the work of the patent system, allow me also to pause and recognize a truly extraordinary moment in Patent Office History. The top three officials at the USPTO will all be women. Acting Director Teresa Rea, Commissioner for Patents Peggy Focarino and Commissioner for Trademarks Deborah Cohn will lead the Office forward steering America’s engine of innovation and commerce. If that doesn’t create a buzz of excitement even in Washington, DC, I don’t know what will! It is excitement well deserved and perhaps could lead to a higher profile for the USPTO, which would be very good for the patent system as a whole.

Interview Finale: USPTO Attorneys Knight and Ray

In this segment, which is the interview finale, we discuss the heightened expectation of fairness placed on government attorneys, what it is like to work for USPTO Director David Kappos, how the USPTO determines when to give guidance to examiners to reconcile case law, specifically using the KSR Guidelines as an example. Before Knight and Chen had to go I also managed to ask a few of those familiar “get to know you” questions at the end. Wait until you hear Knight’s answer for favorite pastime or hobby. Talk about a Renaissance man! The interview does end rather abruptly, but that was because we literally kept talking through the last minute they were available and on to their next set of meetings.