Patent Happenings, July 2008


Newsletter presents concise summaries of important developments in U.S. patent law occurring during the month of July, 2008. Developments include: 1) District court imposes requirement that parties prove a need for claim construction before it will construe claim term; 2) E.D. Texas jury asked to determine future royalty rate in addition to determining damages for past infringement; 3) Differences in second product did not avoid claim preclusion where those differences did not take second product outside the literal scope of a claim limitation; 4) Implementing prior art computer auction system on internet was an obvious adaptation of existing technology; 5) Method claim not infringed under a theory of joint infringement where the accused infringer did not control user’s inputting of data into the computer system; 6) Laches barred alleged omitted inventor’s correction of inventorship claim; 7)“Comprising,” as a transition term, may not trump a surrender of claim scope evident from the prosecution history; 8) Failure to provide sufficient context of accused product so Federal Circuit could see how claim construction rulings could impact infringement determination required remand for clarification; 9) Duty to investigate accused product before filing suit does not apply to ANDA litigation; 10) PTO commences pilot Triway Patent Prosecution Highway with EPO and JPO; 11) Peer Review Pilot Program extended; 12) PTO cautions applicants regarding export control laws and outsourcing of patent prosecution work to foreign countries.

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Robert Matthews, Jr.
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