Tag Archives: Patents

Implications of Aristocrat v. IGT for Software Patents

The law governing U.S. software patents sometimes shifts like the ground here in California – a point illustrated by the recent decision of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in Aristocrat Technologies Australia PTY Ltd. v. International Game Technology, 521  F.3d  1328,  1333 (Fed. Cir. 2008).   Click here to read more.… Continue Reading

Federal Circuit’s Egyptian Goddess Decision Polishes Analysis Used to Determine Design Patent Infringement

Design patent owners have reason to celebrate the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Egyptian Goddess, Inc. v. Swisa et al.  543 F.3d 665 (September 22, 2008).  The Federal Circuit streamlined design patent infringement analysis by disposing of the long-standing "point of novelty" test, which required the patentee to point out exactly how … Continue Reading

Summary of U.S. Chamber of Commerce Recommendations to the Incoming Obama Administration Regarding the USPTO

How can the Obama administration fix a patent system in crisis?  The United States Chamber of Commerce has some ideas.  In its December 11, 2008, report entitled "Recommendations for Consideration by the Incoming Administration Regarding the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office" ("Report"), a bipartisan panel of the United States Chamber of Commerce makes the case … Continue Reading

Patent Prosecution Highway Program: European Expansion

As the volume of global patent filings rises, patent offices around the world continue to face increasing patent administration demands.  Currently, applicants for U.S. biotechnology and organic chemistry patents can expect an average of close to two years before a first action by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and a total average … Continue Reading

In re Nuijten: Are Tangibility and Permanence Required For Patentability?

Recently the inventor of an electromagnetic data signal filed a petition for certiorari, asking the Supreme Court to overturn the Federal Circuit’s affirmation that his invention does not represent patentable subject matter.  See In re Nuijten, 500 F.3d 1346 (Fed. Cir. 2007) ("Nuijten" pronounced approximately "noy-ten").   While the Federal Circuit found the signals to be … Continue Reading

Patent Suit Brings Question of Immunity Before Supreme Court

The Supreme Court may soon consider an issue of sovereign immunity that, depending on the outcome, could open the door to private patent holder lawsuits against state governments.  Attorneys for Biomedical Patent Management Corp. (BPM), a small California biotech, are seeking certiorari in a Federal Circuit case against California that was dismissed on grounds of … Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Overturns FTC Rambus Decision

There has been an important decision in the antitrust litigation against Rambus for failing to disclose patents to JEDEC, a standard setting body (SSO).  In Rambus v. FTC, No. 07-1086 (D.C. Cir. 2008), the D.C. Circuit Court unanimously set aside the Federal Trade Commission’s decision holding that Rambus’ conduct constituted monopolization under Section 2 of the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Strengthens Patent Exhaustion Doctrine

On June 9, 2008, the United States Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision in Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Electronics, Inc. and held that the patent law cannot be used to control the subsequent use or disposition of a product "that substantially embodies a patent" once the product has been sold with authority of the … Continue Reading

Briefs Filed for the In re Bilski Appeal

Last month, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided (sua sponte) to reconsider its landmark State Street decision on patentable subject mater , and ordered an en banc hearing for an appeal in the case of In re Bilski.  In its order, the Court presented the following five questions:… Continue Reading

Patent reform is again before Washington legislators, as Congress continued to fail to reach a consensus on the legislation in 2007.

The push to reform the U.S. patent system tracks back to February 2003 with the publication of the USPTO’s 21st Century Strategic Plan.  Other studies followed, identifying key areas for reform: improving the quality of patents, litigation reform, and harmonization of U.S. patent law with the laws of the U.S.’s major trading partners.… Continue Reading

Leadership liability: Protecting directors, officers from exposure to patent infringement damages

Corporate officers and directors take note — you may be held personally liable for inducing patent infringement, even when you are acting solely through a corporation. Although most patent infringement lawsuits do not name an individual officer or director as a defendant, the ability to pressure an officer or director with the threat of personal … Continue Reading

Bluetooth Blues for Nintendo and Sony

Nintendo and Sony face a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Copper Innovations Group in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania based company filed a patent in 1996 for a "Hand Held Computer Input Apparatus and Method." The method described therein provides for hardware identification numbers to be assigned … Continue Reading

2007 – An Exciting Year For Patent Law

The patent law and business communities spent much of 2007 waiting anxiously to learn whether the Patent Reform Act of 2007 would become law.  We now know the answer – it will not.  Though once again Congress has failed to adopt meaningful patent reform, patent law continued to evolve in 2007 through several significant decisions … Continue Reading

Inducement of Patent Infringement

When attempting to prove inducement of infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b), must the patentee prove that the alleged inducer knew or should have known that his or her actions would induce an actual infringement?  Or does it suffice to show that the alleged inducer intended to cause the acts that constituted direct infringement, regardless of … Continue Reading

Update: Patent Reform 2007

As discussed in connection with a previous post (please click here), the Senate and the House of Representatives ("House") were each considering their own versions of bills to reform the patent system (S. 1145 and H.R. 1908, respectively), each bill sparking substantial debate among politicians, judges, special interest groups and businesses large and small, given … Continue Reading

In re Seagate (Fed. Cir. August 20, 2007) (en banc)

In Seagate, the en banc Federal Circuit resolved several issues relating to willful infringement of a patent.  The case came to the court on defendant Seagate Technology’s petition for a writ of mandamus.  At the district court, Seagate had asserted the advice of counsel defense to willful infringement based upon three written opinions prepared by … Continue Reading

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