Supreme Court Rejects Federal Circuit’s Indefiniteness Standard in Nautilus v. Biosig

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On June 2, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosig Instruments, Inc., No. 13-369 (June 2, 2014) (“Nautilus”), that a patent is invalid for indefiniteness “if its claims, read in light of the specification delineating the patent, and the prosecution history, fail to inform, with reasonable certainty, those skilled in the art about the scope of the invention.” The Supreme Court has thus rejected the Federal Circuit’s “insolubly ambiguous” standard, and has lowered the bar for invalidating patents for indefiniteness.

THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT’S OLD STANDARD -

Section 112(b) of the Patent Act, as amended, requires that a patent “conclude with one or more claims that particularly point[] out and distinctly claim[] the subject matter which the inventor or joint inventor regards as the invention.” A claim that is not definite may be held invalid as indefinite.

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