Means-Plus-Function

News & Analysis as of

Packing Your Patent Application for Europe: Avoiding Problems Under European Patent Law

Planning an extended European vacation for your patent application? A lengthy stay in Munich with possible outings to The Hague, Berlin, Vienna, or Brussels? While your patent application won’t be strolling through the...more

Forecast Unfavorable for Inventory Software Patent

Ever since the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank shifted the contours of patent-eligible subject matter, district courts have wielded the two-part test set forth in that decision to dispatch scores of...more

Judge Rakoff Holds a 3-D “Magic Trick” Implemented With Software Is Not Equivalent to One Implemented With Hardware

On April 24, 2016, District Judge Jed S. Rakoff (S.D.N.Y.) ruled that defendants Nintendo Co., Ltd. and Nintendo of America, Inc.’s (collectively, “Nintendo”)’s 3DS pocket gaming console does not infringe Tomita Technologies...more

Functional Claim Language Does Not Render Apparatus Claim Indefinite For Including Both Method And Apparatus

Patent applications involving electrical and/or computer related inventions often involve functional claim language. For example, software may be claimed in terms of its function. One or more components of an electrical...more

Means-Plus-Function Claim Interpretation in Patent Claims – Remember the Alamo!

The Battle of the Alamo occurred between February 23 and March 6, 1836. Here, 180 years later, during the anniversary of the Alamo, I found myself in the Eastern District of Texas at a Markman hearing – and it reminded me of...more

Driessen v. Sony Music Entertainment (Fed. Cir. 2016)

On February 10, 2016, the Federal Circuit issued a nonprecedential opinion in a case captioned Driessen v. Sony Music Entertainment, Best Buy Stores, Fye, & Target Corp. addressing issues related to means-plus-function claims...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - January 2016

Highlights of 2015 and What to Watch in 2016 in The United States - Commil USA, llC v. CiSCo SyStemS, inC. (Supreme Court, may 26, 2015). In May, the Supreme Court held that a good faith belief that an asserted patent...more

Algorithm Optional? A Guide to Computers as Structure in Means-Plus-Function Claiming

Summary Judgment Order, Fortinet, Inc. v. Sophos, Inc., et al., Case No. 13-cv-05831-EMC (Judge Edward Chen) - Means-plus-function claim elements are less common than in the past, due to stricter rules about their scope...more

Form Vs. Substance In Means-Plus-Function Analysis

Section 112(f) of the patent statute allows a patentee to define a structural claim element in terms of its function alone, i.e., “as a means ... for performing a specified function without the recital of structure ... in...more

“Mechanism” Claim Term Found to Be an Indefinite Means-Plus-Function Element - Media Rights Techs. v. Capital One Financial Corp.

Addressing whether a claim term was a means-plus-function term under the pre-America Invents Act (AIA) 35 U.S.C. § 112 ¶ 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit construed the disputed term as a...more

Functional Language Made Claims Indefinite

In Media Rights Technologies, Inc. v. Capital One Financial Corporation, [2014-1218] (September 4, 2015), the Federal Circuit affirmed judgment on the pleadings that all of the claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,316,033 were invalid...more

Media Rights Technologies, Inc. v. Capital One Financial Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2015) - Broad Claim Terms and Inadequate Support in...

In Media Rights Technologies, Inc. v. Capital One Financial Corp. (September 4, 2015), the Federal Circuit first transformed a broadly described element in a claim into a means-plus-function claim term, and then found the...more

PTAB Addresses Means-Plus-Function Claim in a Post-Williamson World

Like every en banc Federal Circuit decision, the Court’s decision in Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC, No. 2013-1130 (Fed. Cir. June 16, 2015) (en banc) made big headlines. It is, therefore, worth reviewing one of the first...more

No En Banc Review of Panel Decision Vacating a Civil Contempt Remedye - Plus, Inc. v. Lawson Software, Inc.

Addressing the issue of contempt for violation of a non-final injunction, a divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit declined to rehear en banc a panel decision that vacated a civil contempt holding for violation...more

Teva Review Standard Controls Lighting Ballast on Remand - Lighting Ballast Control LLC v. Philips Electronics North America Corp.

In yet another post-Teva claim construction case (see discussion of Teva v. Sandoz, Shire Development v. Watson Pharmaceuticals, Kaneka Corp. v. Xiamen Kingdomway Grp. and TomTom, Inc. v. Adolph cases (this edition) the U.S....more

Federal Circuit Review | July 2015

Nunc Pro Tunc Assignments Insufficient To Confer Retroactive Standing - In ALPS SOUTH, LLC v. OHIO WILLOW WOOD CO., Appeal Nos. 2013-1452, 2013-1488, 2014-1147, and 2014-1426, the Federal Circuit reversed the denial of a...more

Court Construes Various Means Plus Function Terms

Lifeport Sciences LLC v. Endologix, Inc., C.A. No. 12-1791 - GMS, July 9, 2015. Sleet, J. The court considers 10 terms for construction from four patents....more

Federal Circuit Expands Scope of Functional Claiming

A recent Federal Circuit panel decision in Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC altered the evidentiary standard for determining whether a patent claim employs means-plus-function language. Specifically, the court expressly...more

IP Newsletter - July 2015

In This Issue: - En Banc Federal Circuit Abandons “Strong” Presumption That a Limitation Is Not Subject to 35 U.S.C. § 112, Paragraph 6 - Supreme Court Rejects Belief of Invalidity Defense for Inducement in Commil...more

Eon Corp. IP Holdings LLC v. AT&T Mobility LLC (Fed. Cir. 2015)

On September 23, 2010, Eon filed suit against seventeen defendants in the District Court of the District of Delaware, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,663,757. During the case, the '757 patent went through two...more

Only Basic Functions of a Processor Avoid Need for Disclosed Algorithm - EON Corp. IP Holdings LLC v. AT&T Mobility LLC

Addressing the question of what corresponding structure must be disclosed to support a means-plus-function claim element, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a district court finding that eight...more

The Federal Circuit Alters the Means-Plus-Function Analysis

The Federal Circuit’s recent en banc opinion in Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10082, *2 (Fed. Cir. June 16, 2015) (Williamson II) may result in courts finding that more claims include...more

Practical Claim and Specification Drafting, Following Williamson v. Citrix

Patent claims that use so-called “nonce words” in lieu of means plus function language can be correctly construed as applying the equivalent of means plus function language under 35 USC §112, sixth paragraph, and can be...more

Lessons From the Rare Grant of an IPR Motion to Amend

Although many Patent Owners have complained about the high hurdles for amending claims in an IPR, the Board’s decision in Riverbed Technology, Inc. v. Silver Peak Systems, Inc. IPR2013-00403 shows that the requirements are...more

Corporate E-Note - June 2015

In this Issue: - IRS Issues Guidance on Portability: The IRS recently issued final regulations that provide guidance on the federal estate and gift tax applicable exclusion amount, in general, as well as the...more

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