Prior Art

News & Analysis as of

ClassCo, Inc. v. Apple, Inc.: A Reminder Of Obviousness Analysis Under KSR

In ClassCo, Inc. v. Apple, Inc. the Federal Circuit upheld a decision from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”), which invalidated several claims of ClassCo’s US Patent No. 6,970,695 (“the ’695 patent”) that...more

PTAB Maintains Obviousness Position after Remand

Addressing obviousness issues, including commercial success, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) maintained its previous decision invalidating the claims of a patent related to coaxial cable connectors after the...more

Third Time’s Not the Charm for IPR Petitioner Adding Known References to Previously Rejected Prior Art Combination

Addressing whether to institute an inter partes review (IPR) based on a third petition by the same petitioner against the same patent claims, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) denied institution both as an...more

IPR Estoppel Narrowed Even Further in D. Delaware Ruling

Despite the astounding success for patent challengers to date in IPR proceedings, are you one who has been worried about the effects of the IPR estoppel in future litigation? Has this concern dissuaded you from considering...more

Challenges in Amending Claims in an IPR: The Evolving Burden on a Patent Owner

Amending claims during an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding is not like amending claims during ex parte prosecution or a reexamination procedure. Generally, the patent owner has only one chance to propose substitute...more

Unreasonable Claim Construction Causes PTAB Reversal

In a fairly case-specific claim construction analysis, the Federal Circuit reversed the PTAB recently in D’Agostino v. Mastercard, Int’l, 2016-1592, -1593 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 12, 2016), finding that the Board erred in determining...more

Invention Must Inevitably Result to be Anticipated by Inherency

In U.S. Water Services, Inc., v. Novozymes A/S, [2015-1950, 2015-1967] (December 15, 2016), the Federal Circuit vacated summary judgment of anticipation and affirmed the denial of summary judgment of no inequitable conduct....more

Specification as a Tool for Patent Eligibility Analysis

In a recent article, we discussed how courts have used patent specifications in finding that patents satisfy the Supreme Court’s Mayo/Alice test. However, the specification may be a double-edged sword. Language in the...more

PTAB Reversed on Issue of Diligent Reduction to Practice

Perfect Surgical Techniques (PST), Inc. owns US 6,030,384 (‘384). Olympus petitioned for Inter Partes review of ‘384 as anticipated or obvious over JP H10-33551 (JP ‘551). JP ‘551 published less than one year before the...more

TCPA Lawsuit Surges Ahead, Even Though Plaintiff Deleted Text Messages

Pizza Hut and several franchise owners are currently defending a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Southern District of Florida based on claims that their 2011 promotional text-message campaign violated the...more

PTAB Obviousness Decision Must Provide “Reasoned Explanation” For Motivation To Combine References

In a recent pair of decisions, the Federal Circuit has tightened the procedural and substantive requirements for Board decisions on obviousness. In Nuvasive, the Federal Circuit vacated a PTAB final decision that challenged...more

If the PTAB Doesn’t Say Why the Invention is Obvious, the Federal Circuit Has Nothing to Affirm

In re Nuvasive, Inc., [2015-1670] (December 7, 2016), the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the PTAB Decision finding claims of U.S. Patent No. 8,361,156 invalid for obviousness. The Federal Circuit found that Nuvasive...more

A Long Road Ahead: A Solo Entrepreneur's Perspective on the USPTO’s Roundtable I - Subject Matter Eligibility Guidelines

I am a solo entrepreneur. After twenty plus years in industry, I decided to take the risk and start my own business using my own capital. In the parlance of the law I am considered, almost affectionately, a micro-entity. ...more

In re Nuvasive (Fed. Cir. 2016)

In a precedential decision the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision invalidating claims from Nuvasive's U.S. Patent No. 8,361,156 in an inter partes review instituted on a petition by...more

Prosecution Disclaimer Has No Teeth

Statements made by patent practitioners to the patent office during patent prosecution can come back to bite you in related applications. Prosecution disclaimer allows a court to limit the literal scope of the claims in an...more

PTAB Reverses Obviousness Finding After Remand

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) reversed its previous decision invalidating claims of a patent covering a coaxial cable connector after the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that the PTAB...more

Federal Circuit Broadly Affirms PTAB’s Determinations on Analogous Art, Motivation to Combine References and Obviousness of Claims

The level of deference the Federal Circuit gives to the Board’s IPR decisions has been surprising to many practitioners, considering the Court’s reputation for reversing district court decisions. The trend of deference to...more

Diligence Required for Antedating Prior Art Is Reasonably Continuous Diligence—Not Continuous Exercise of Reasonable Diligence

In Perfect Surgical Techniques, Inc. v. Olympus America, Inc., No. 15-2043 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 15, 2016), the Federal Circuit found the diligence standard the PTAB applied in an IPR “too exacting,” vacating the Board’s decision...more

Hard to Reverse Adverse PTAB Rulings Under Substantial Evidence Standard

Over a vigorous dissent, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) decision affirming rejection of all pending claims of a patent as being obvious, as supported...more

Defendant Found To Infringe Valid Patent After Buprenorphine Trial.

Robinson, J. Findings of fact and conclusions of law following bench trial finding that the asserted claims of one patent are not obvious, the asserted claims of a second patent are obvious, and defendant infringes the valid...more

Failure to Let Patent Owner Address Unpatentability Arguments Relied on by the Board Violates Administrative Procedures

The Federal Circuit has ruled that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board cannot deny Patent Owner an opportunity to address portions of a prior art reference first discussed in Petitioner’s Reply, and then rely on those same...more

Federal Circuit Rejects Patentee’s Effort to Narrow Claim Scope

One wrinkle of IPR practice is that patentees are often in the position of advocating a narrower claim scope than the challenger — just the opposite of what is usually seen in district court litigation. The narrowing...more

In re NuVasive, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2016)

The Federal Circuit remanded a final written decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB" or "Board") because the Board invalidated certain claims in a patent without providing adequate notice or opportunity to the...more

Three Point Shot - November 2016

Who's First in Ownership of the "Sweet Spot" Remains Unclear - Baseball is often called a "game of inches," whether one is describing the strike zone, a close play at the plate, or a liner past third base that just kicks...more

In re Aqua Products: The Convergence of Administrative and Patent Law

Administrative law has permeated virtually every field of federal practice. Interestingly, patent practitioners have avoided this trend for some time. But this appears to be changing. See, e.g., Dickinson v. Zurko, 119 S. Ct....more

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