Category Archives: Patents

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Illinois Federal Judge Awards Treble Damages and Attorneys’ Fees in Kurt Vonnegut-Fueled Opinion

On February 10, 2017, an Illinois federal judge determined that R-Boc Representatives violated an injunction issued following a jury trial on their alleged patent infringement.  In a unique opinion replete with quotations from, and references to, literary works written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole addressed the current standards for determining willfulness … Continue Reading

You’re So Vague: Federal Circuit Sends IPR Decision Back to PTAB for More Thorough Analysis

In a precedential decision, the Federal Circuit reaffirmed that the Patent Trial and Appeal’s Board (PTAB) is required to explicitly state motivations to combine prior-art references in claim rejections for obviousness.  Rejections that rely on mere statements that a person of ordinary skill in the art reading the prior-art references would understand that the combination … Continue Reading

Suing The United States Government For Patent Infringement And Defending Against A Claim Of Obviousness

A patentee may bring patent infringement claims against the United States government pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1498, in which Congress waived the sovereign immunity of the United States against such claims.  Patent infringement actions against the government are similar to those brought against non-governmental entities, but they do have some idiosyncrasies. For example, patent … Continue Reading

Proposed “Patent Agent Privilege” Promises Protection For Patent Practitioners And Clients

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) recently proposed a patent-agent privilege that would bring needed consistency to the discovery phase of Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) proceedings. The proposed rule would recognize a privilege for certain communications between clients and non-attorney U.S. patent agents and foreign patent practitioners (“Patent Practitioners”). The proposed … Continue Reading

Software and Business Method Inventions After Alice

Patent attorneys are often asked the question: “Is my idea patentable?”  Often the idea is related to software or business methods.  Well-known business methods include Amazon’s “1-click shopping” and Priceline’s “reverse auction.”  In the new digital economy, innovative software and business method models have given rise to new very successful companies such as LinkedIn, Uber, … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit is In Sync with Patent’s Validity Under Section 101

The Federal Circuit overturned a District Court ruling that a patent directed to automated lip synchronization and manipulation of animated characters’ facial expressions was invalid under Section 101 as being an abstract idea. The patent disclosed that this automation is accomplished through rules that aim to produce more realistic speech by taking into consideration the … Continue Reading

Patent Office Adds Another After Final Option for Applicants – P3

This week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced1 the Post-Prosecution Pilot Program (“P3”) for applicants to respond to a final rejection in a utility patent application.  Under the P3, an applicant may participate in a conference with a panel of three examiners to review the applicant’s response to a final rejection.  To … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Finds Software-Related Claims Patent Eligible in Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp.

On May 12, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit addressed the patent eligibility of software in Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corp., No. 2015-1244 (Fed. Cir. May 12, 2016), concluding that the claimed database software was patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 because the claims were not directed to an abstract idea.  … Continue Reading

High Court Takes on Laches and Patents

As published by The Daily Journal on May 11, 2016. Businesses dread getting letters that make claims of patent infringement. Such letters often raise complex questions of patent law that require specialized advice and demand a license fee that eats into company profits. Sometimes, however, the patent owner fails to follow up on the letter, and … Continue Reading

Patent Trial & Appeal Board Institutes 17 Inter Partes Reviews for TCL Communication Technology Holdings, LTD.

In Fiscal Year 2015, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) instituted inter partes reviews (“IPR”) on approximately 68% of petitions filed.  Overcoming these odds, the PTAB recently instituted 17 out of 17 IPRs filed by Sheppard Mullin on behalf of TCL Communication Technology Holdings, LTD.  Not only was this a 100% institution rate, but … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Reaffirms Its Longstanding Patent Exhaustion Precedents in Lexmark. v. Impression Products (Fed. Cir. Feb. 12, 2016) (en banc)

Under the doctrine of patent exhaustion, otherwise referred to as the “first sale doctrine,” the initial authorized sale of a patented item exhausts a patent owner’s rights to further control the sale, offer for sale, or use of the item. Bowman v. Monsanto Co., 133 S. Ct. 1761 (2013).  In other words, once a patented … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Won’t Review USPTO’s Alice Guidelines

On March 10, 2016, the Federal Circuit ruled that it cannot review the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s patent-eligibility guidelines to examiners on how to apply the Supreme Court’s Alice ruling.  The appeals court held that could not consider the USPTO’s Interim Eligibility Guidance because it did not create any substantive or procedural right enforceable … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Case Law Summary of High Point SARL v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., No. 15-1235 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 16, 2016)

Please find below a case summary of a Federal Circuit decision from this month that has patent exhaustion and licensing context. In High Point SARL v. T-Mobile USA, Inc., No. 15-1235 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 16, 2016), the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s determination that High Point’s claims were exhausted under the doctrine of patent … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Sides With PTAB in Inter Partes Review Appeal

In a decision imparting more certainty to the Post Grant Review process, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the “CAFC”) held that it lacks jurisdiction to review the Patent and Trademark Office’s (the “PTO’s”) decision to institute inter partes review (“IPR”).  It also concluded that the PTO properly adopted the broadest reasonable interpretation … Continue Reading

Teva v. Sandoz (USSC) – Standard for Appellate Review of Claim Construction Rulings

On Jan. 20, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision setting forth a new standard for appellate review of a district court’s claim construction ruling.  Teva Pharmas. USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., No. 13-854, slip op., 574 U.S. __ (2015).  Prior to this decision, a district court’s claim construction ruling was reviewed de novo … Continue Reading

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Clarifies “Patent Eligible Subject” Matter in its Recent Guidance in Light of Alice

Summary On December 15, 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) released its updated 2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility (the “ Interim Eligibility Guidance”) in light of the recent Supreme Court decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank (“Alice”)[1], the Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics (“Myriad”)[2] and Mayo Collaborative … Continue Reading

Viability of certain Internet and software patents reconfirmed in DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com

DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com, L.P., Appeal No. 2013-1505 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 5, 2014) For those following the law of patent eligibility in the United States, a December 5, 2014 precedential decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that a patent on webpage-display technology is patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. § … Continue Reading

Versata Software, Inc. v. Callidus Software, Inc.: Guidance on Stays Pending Post-Issuance Proceedings

In a recent decision, Versata Software, Inc. v. Callidus Software, Inc., No. 2014-1468 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 20, 2014), the Federal Circuit ordered the District of Delaware to stay district court litigation pending a covered business method (CBM) review, reversing the district court’s decision to deny the accused infringer’s motion to stay.  In reversing the district court’s … Continue Reading

USPTO Issues Preliminary Examination Instructions in Light of Alice Corp.

In Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, el al., Case No. 13-298 (decided June 19, 2014)  (“Alice Corp.”), the Supreme Court unanimously held that the subject patent claims are not patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  The patents at issue are directed toward a process for mitigating “settlement risk,” i.e., for financial exchange … Continue Reading

$2.3 Million Trial Verdict Against Newegg

On November 25, 2013, the jury in TQP Development, LLC v. 1-800-Flowers.com, et al., U.S.D.C., E.D. Tex., No. 2:11-cv-00248-JRG-RSP, returned a $2.3 million verdict for plaintiff TQP Development, LLC (“TQP”) against Newegg, Inc. (“Newegg”) in TQP’s suit for infringement of United States Patent No. 5,412,730 (the “‘730 Patent”).  TQP had claimed $5.1 million in damages.… Continue Reading

United States Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Two Cases That Could Potentially Deter Non-Practicing Entities From Filing Frivolous Suits

On October 1, 2013, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the “exceptional” case  standard for awarding attorneys’ fees in two separate patent-infringement cases.  Both cases relate to patentees who are non-practicing entities.  The outcome of these cases could potentially deter patent cases brought by non-practicing entities, as prevailing defendants may have an easier … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Affirms Inequitable Conduct Determination Under Therasense “But For” Exception and Reaffirms Significance of Rohm & Haas

Today, the Federal Circuit upheld the District Court’s inequitable conduct verdict based on the submission of false affidavits to the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“PTO”).  Intellect Wireless, Inc. v. HTC Corp., 2012-1658.  In its precedential opinion, the Federal Circuit (Moore*, Prost, & O’Malley) handed down its first decision that affirmed a finding of … Continue Reading
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