The August 2009 edition of Patent Happenings, written by the author of the Annotated Patent Digest, presents concise summaries of important developments in U.S. patent law occurring during the month of July, 2009. Developments include:
1. Means-plus-function limitation with software as corresponding structure indefinite where specification only disclosed the functions done by the software but not how the software did the functions;
2. Functional limitation defining a structural attribute of a product only had to be met during manufacturing phase to show infringement even though product was made abroad;
3. Knowledge to a scientific certainty that invention works not required for conception;
4. Section 288’s limitation of costs for failing to disclaim an invalid claim questionably held to only apply to claims previously adjudicated invalid and not for claims proven invalid during the given suit;
5. Post-filing publication used to understand a prior art reference for purposes of showing anticipation or obviousness;
6. Reexamination could not be used to add material from a priority application to cure a break in continuity of disclosure;
7. Trial stipulation that licensees had standing did not preclude accused infringer from later showing alleged co-exclusive licensees lacked constitutional standing; and
8. Trial counsel given suspended jail sentence and client subjected to procedural sanctions for counsel’s willful violation of an in limine order.
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Intellectual Property Updates
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