Patent Happenings, March 2008


Summary of patent law developments in March 2008 including 1. Corresponding structure of a microprocessor having “appropriate programming” was indefinite for not disclosing the algorithm performed by the microprocessor;

2. Safe-harbor provision of § 271(e)(1) applies to ITC proceedings; 3. Protection from obviousness-type double patenting challenges afforded by § 121 does not apply to patents issuing from CIP applications; 4. Statements disavowed claim scope even though examiner may not have relied upon them; 5. Festo tangential-related exception not shown by fact that equivalent and claim limitation both perform a function not done by the prior art; 6. Federal Circuit reverses denial of JMOL for obviousness; 7. Obvious-to-try argument rejected by Federal Circuit as being an improper hindsight analysis; 8. Certificate of Correction correcting named inventorship has retroactive effect; 9. Holder of a security interest in a patent is not a necessary party to an infringement suit; 10. Statement in invalidity opposition brief that patentee would not assert challenged claim in any future litigation mooted controversy as to that claim; 11. Patent ownership may pass by operation of law such as intestate succession without a formal written assignment; 12. Court refuses to stay discovery on opinions of counsel until patentee makes a showing of an objectively high risk of infringement; and 13. Court limits fee award in view of accused infringers’ false statements to the industry regarding ownership rights in the patents. Also a brief summary of the April 1, 2008 decision from the EDVa granting summary judgment against the PTO and voiding the PTO’s proposed new rules in Tafas v. Dudas.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Robert Matthews, Jr., Matthews Patent-Law Consulting | Attorney Advertising

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