Posts Tagged: "written description"

How to Write a Patent Application

Writing a patent application is not as easy as many think. Indeed, the concept of usefully describing the invention, which on its face seems easy enough to understand, is not as straight forward as it might seem, and why you cannot simply file an abbreviate description of an invention and think that suffices to protect anything really. This article looks at the most common parts of a patent application, and provides discussion about what each section needs to include.

Which Invalidity Avenue to Take: Inter Partes Review Verses Post-Grant Review

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides invalidity tools via inter partes review (IPR) and post-grant review (PGR), but which route is better? …  PGRs are estimated to cost more because of their broader discovery rules.  If cost is a major factor, IPRs are a less-expensive option due to restricted allowance of discovery, the most expensive aspect of patent litigation… If the invalidating arguments or art are not strong, an IPR may be a better option due to its lower threshold for institution.  The same prior art arguments that failed in a petition for a PGR may have succeeded in an IPR petition due to the lower standard.

Patents Invalidated for Lack of Written Description

Disclosure of one way to attach or position a roof assembly (a species) did not provide an adequate written description of other ways to attach or position the assembly (a genus or different species). Boilerplate language that a patent covers all modifications, permutations, additions, and sub-combinations of the disclosed invention that a POSA would recognize as within the language of the claims is not sufficient to show possession of a specifically claimed combination.

Patenting Antibodies: Written Description Considerations in Antibody Patents

The Amgen v. Sanofi decision put most functional antibody claims into question, including epitope and competitive binding claims, as well as antibody claims based on a newly characterized antigen. After Amgen v. Sanofi, non-sequence based antibody claims may become more difficult to obtain before the USPTO from a written description standpoint.  Yet, to fully protect the essence of the invention and avoid design-arounds, such claims are extremely valuable to patent owners. To obtain antibody genus claims beyond those defined by sequences, the patent applicant will need to make and test a sufficient number of representative antibodies across the claimed genus, or establish a clear structure/function relationship among the members of the genus.  Patent applicants should carefully assess the amount of data they have acquired, in comparison to the scope of claims that they wish to obtain, before rushing to the Patent Office.

Written Description Support for Claimed Range Requires More than Broad Disclosure

Appellant General Hospital Corp. (“GHC”) appealed the Board’s dismissal of an interference because the claims of its involved patent application lacked sufficient written description. The disclosure of a wide range with exemplary values does not provide written description support for a narrower claimed range, absent something to indicate the claimed range was considered critical or that inventor was in possession of the specific claimed embodiments. The Board cannot reject a motion to add a new claim to a patent application involved in an interference without explaining its findings.

PCT Species Claim Sufficient to Support Priority Claim of Later-filed Genus Claim

The issue was whether the PCT, which disclosed a “connection to fibre optics bundle which provides for lighting” was a sufficient written description to support the “light guide” “permanently affixed” in the “first channel” of the patented claims. The Board reversed the Examiner and concluded that the earlier application had sufficient written description to qualify as a priority document… The Federal Circuit affirmed. The disclosure of a species, here a “fibre optics bundle,” was sufficient support for a priority claim by a later-filed patent application utilizing genus claims, here a “light guide,” because the patent-in-suit was in a predictable art field and the genus claims covered well-known limitations.

USPTO to Clarify Guidance on Written Description of Antibodies

The memorandum points to Amgen for stating that the “newly characterized antigen” test could not stand because it contradicted the quid pro quo of the patent system whereby in order to obtain a patent one must describe an invention (the antibody, not the antigen recognized by the antibody). The memorandum states that in view of Amgen, “adequate written description of a newly characterized antigen alone should not be considered adequate written description of a claimed antibody to that newly characterized antigen, even when preparation of such an antibody is routine and conventional.”

Idenix Loses Patent on HCV Treatment that Supported $2.54 Billion Infringement Verdict

In invalidating the Idenix patent, the Delaware district court effectively overturns what had been the largest award for royalty damages in a U.S. patent infringement case ever handed out. After a two-week trial in December 2016, the jury had awarded Index $2.64 billion in damages, which was based on finding Gilead infringed the Idenix patent – U.S. Patent No. 7,608,597 — by selling the hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatments Harvoni and Sovaldi.

Amgen v. Sanofi: A well characterized antigen insufficient for written description of an antibody

In what appears to be a clear departure from the past, in Amgen, the Federal Circuit has rejected the test, basing its rejection on the ground that it effectively eliminates the written description requirement.  Amgen at 15, 16.  According to the Court, where a functional genus claim to antibodies to a newly characterized antigen is concerned, the underlying science is not so advanced as to establish that “make and use” is equivalent to the required description of the claimed antibodies.  Id. at 16.  Drawing such equivalence, the Court said would amount to declaring a contested scientific proposition to be so settled as to be entitled to judicial notice, which the Court was not prepared to do.  Id.

Patent Drafting: Proving You’re in Possession of the Invention

The purpose of the written description requirement is broader than to merely explain how to make and use the invention, which is the subject of the enablement requirement. Rather, to satisfy the written description requirement the applicant must also convey with reasonable clarity to those skilled in the art that, as of the filing date sought, he or she was in possession of the invention… While the written description is just that – written – having multiple drawings that show the invention and various aspects of the invention from a variety of viewpoints can be extremely helpful. This is because every figure should be described with at lease one paragraph of text, frequently more.

Patent Drafting Webinar: Trends and Realities of 112 Disclosure Requirements

Join Gene Quinn on Thursday, November 9 at 2:00 PM ET for a free webinar conversation on the trends and reality of 112 disclosure requirements. Gene will be joined by Todd Van Thomme, a shareholder with Nyemaster Goode PC, and Cynthia Gilbert, co-founder of Blueshift IP. Van Thomme specializes in mechanical and food science related innovations, while Gilbert specializes in computer implemented inventions. We will, therefore, focus our 112 discussions on these specific areas.

Patent Drafting 101: Going a Mile Wide and Deep with Variations in a Patent Application

You absolutely want to file a patent application with a description that is a mile wide — that part is good — but you also need to also drill down far more than one inch deep in order to teach the various nuances of at least the key aspects of the invention. And there are always nuances that can go a mile deep for any and every invention, no matter how simple it may seem to you as the inventor… How do you know how far you need to go? You really should strive to remove doubt and questions from the reader’s mind. While a certain amount of experimentation is allowable, and patents do not need to contain blueprint level detail, ask yourself whether a knowledgeable reader would know from what you’ve written enough to understand your invention without asking additional questions. If answers to additional questions would be necessary to fully comprehend the invention then answer those questions.

Federal Circuit Vacates Board’s Lack of Written Description Holdings in Interferences

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.”

Patentability: The Adequate Description Requirement of 35 U.S.C. 112

The crux of this so-called adequate description requirement is that once the first four patentability requirements are satisfied the applicant still must describe the invention with enough particularity such that those skilled in the art will be able to make, use and understand the invention that was made by the inventor. For the most part this requirement can be explained as consisting of three major parts. First is the enablement requirement, next is the best mode requirement and finally is the written description requirement.

Patent Application Drafting: Using the Specification for more than the ordinary plain meaning

As a general rule the ordinary plain meaning of the term as would be understood by someone of skill in the relevant technology area or science will be used. That may or may not be bad, and it may or may not be what you intended… When I teach this topic the example I tend to use relates to “standard room temperature.” If you have invented a process that needs to be carried out at 68 degrees F you might say that the process can or should be carried out at standard room temperature, for example. In the U.S. standard room temperature is generally referred to as 20 degrees C, which is 68 degrees F. But in some parts of the world what qualifies as standard room temperature is a bit warmer, sometimes up to 25 degrees C. So this illustration is particularly useful for several reasons. When you say standard room temperature did you even know that it has an accepted meaning in the scientific community? Were you aware that the meaning could vary depending upon whether the person reading the disclosure is in the United States or some other part of the world? This is where defining what you mean could be particularly important.