Obviousness United States Patent and Trademark Office

News & Analysis as of

Generalized Common Sense Allegations Cannot Be Used to Supply Important Missing Claim Limitation

Addressing the use of common sense for an obviousness analysis, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that conclusory statements about common sense cannot be used to supply missing claim limitations that play a...more

Federal Circuit: Go whole-hog on validity below if you want to contest an independent determination of invalidity on appeal

Think you’ve won on validity at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and your claims are safe on appeal? “Not so fast,” says the Federal Circuit in Software Rights Archive, LLC v....more

Federal Circuit Rebukes PTAB for Shifting Burden of Proof to Patentee in IPR

Reaffirming the petitioner’s burden of proof codified in 35 USC § 316(e), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) finding the patent owner’s...more

In re Magnum Oil Tools Int'l, Ltd. (Fed. Cir. 2016)

McClinton Energy Group filed an inter partes review (IPR) petition against all claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,079,413, owned by Magnum Oil Tools International, Ltd. The USPTO's Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted...more

Federal Circuit Provides Ammunition to Patentees In Magnum Decision

Patent Owners gained a bit of a reprieve in the Federal Circuit’s recent decision in In Re Magnum Oil Tool Int’l, Ltd., decided on July 25, 2016. In several key respects, Patent Owners regained some footing in the otherwise...more

Magnum Offers New Path for Challenging AIA Decisions: Burden of Production

On July 25, 2016, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) held in In re Magnum Oil Tools International (Newman, O’Malley & Chen) that the burden of production to show unobviousness does not shift to a patent owner...more

Federal Circuit Explains Burden Shifting in IPRs

In re Magnum Oil Tools International, Ltd., __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. July 25, 2016) (Newman, O’MALLEY, Chen) (PTAB) (4 of 5 stars) The highly truncated nature of inter partes review (IPR) proceedings has led to concerns...more

PTAB Institution Decision Does Not Shift Burden from the Patent Challenger to the Patentee

The Federal Circuit previously clarified that a petitioner’s burden to prove unpatentability never shifts to the patent owner. See Dynamic Drinkware, LLC v. Nat’l Graphics, Inc. On July 25, 2016, the Federal Circuit’s In re...more

PTO Cannot Raise & Decide Unpatentability Theories Never Presented by the Petitioner

In In re Magnum Tools International, Ltd., [2015-1300] (July 25, 2016) the Federal Circuit reversed the PTAB’s determination that the challenged claims U.S. Patent No. 8,079,413 were invalid for obviousness. The Federal...more

Federal Circuit Patent Updates - July 2016 #2

WBIP, LLC v. Kohler Co. (No. 2015-1038, -1044, 7/19/16) (Moore, O'Malley, Chen) - Moore, J. Affirming denial of JMOL that patent was invalid as obvious and lacked an adequate written description, affirming finding of...more

Federal Circuit Offers Path Through Section 101 Thicket for Biotech Method Patents

In its July 5, 2016 decision in Rapid Litigation Management Ltd and In Vitro, Inc. v. CellzDirect, Inc. and Invitrogen Corp., the Federal Circuit held that patent claims directed to an improved method of cryopreserving...more

Re-Exam Claiming Opposite Enantiomer Not Enough to Invalidate Patent (Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Hospira, Inc., (Fed. Cir....

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court regarding the five asserted patents. Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Hospira, Inc., 805 F.3d 1112, 1115 (Fed. Cir. 2015)....more

Federal Circuit Review | February 2016

Federal Circuit Dismisses an Appeal of an Inter Partes Reexamination for Lack of Standing Where the Appellant Failed to Establish that it was the Successor-in-Interest to the Original Petitioner - In Agilent...more

Fighting Patent Application Rejections with Market Information: More Than Just “Nobody Else Sells This”

An inventor lament that every patent attorney eventually hears is, “I’m the only one selling this, so how can the Examiner think my idea is obvious?” The argument makes sense from an inventor standpoint. ...more

Federal Circuit Weighs in on 3 Aspects of IPR Proceedings in Synopsis v. Mentor Graphics

On February 10, 2016, in Synopsys Inc. v. Mentor Graphics, the Federal Circuit answered several new questions about the PTAB’s duties and the Federal Circuit’s powers of review during and after an inter partes...more

Federal Circuit Review | January 2016

The Federal Circuit Will Review Appeals from Inter Partes Review Proceedings Under the “Substantial Evidence” Standard - In Merck & Cie v. Gnosis S.p.A., Appeal No. 2014-1779, the Federal Circuit affirmed a PTAB IPR...more

Preponderance Standard Applies to Ex Parte Re-examinations - Dome Patent L.P. v. Lee

Addressing the presumption of validity in ex parte re-examinations, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reiterated that the presumption of validity does not apply to patents under reexamination in the U.S....more

Dueling Records: Are Statements in Your 510(k) Putting Your Patents at Risk?

Laboratory developed test (LDT) providers, previously exempt from U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight, under a new FDA proposal, must now consider if their LDTs constitute moderate-risk (Class II) or high-risk...more

Morsa II: Admissions Enable Prior Art

In its 2013 decision in In re Morsa, the Federal Circuit vacated an anticipation rejection where “both the Board and the examiner failed to engage in a proper enablement analysis” to establish the enabling quality of the...more

PTAB Institutes Kyle Bass Lialda Patent IPR

After filing over thirty petitions for Inter Partes Review of Orange Book-listed patents for various drugs, Kyle Bass and his Coalition for Affordable Drugs finally have made it over the first hurdle. The USPTO Patent Trial...more

Federal Circuit Affirms Invalidity and Non-Infringement of Patent for Compound Used to Ameliorate Effects of Cancer Treatment

On October 2, 2015, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court’s holding (1) that a substantially pure compound would have been obvious when a lesser pure compound (“the 50/50 mixture”) and the pure compound were known in...more

In re Steed (Fed. Cir. 2015) - Swearing Behind Reference Still Requires Proof of (Timely Filed) Evidence

Thomas Steed, Sourav Bhattacharya, and Sandeep Seshadrijois (collectively "Steed") filed a patent application entitled "Web-Integrated On-Line Financial Database System and Method for Debt Recovery," on April 6, 2004, with...more

Big Pharma Seeks Exemption From Patent Law

Implementation of the America Invents Act (“AIA”) has brought substantial changes to the patent law of the United States over the last several years. One of the most significant provisions of the AIA was the creation of inter...more

Board Boots Bass Tecfidera IPR on the Merits

On September 2, 2015, the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied institution of another Inter Partes Review brought by Kyle Bass, the Coalition for Affordable Drugs, and other related entities. In denying the...more

Summary of PTO’s Proposed Rules Changes for AIA Proceedings

The America Invents Act (AIA) was enacted into law on Sept. 16, 2011, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office implemented rules for governing the inter partes review, post-grant review, transitional program for covered...more

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