Prior Art Patents

News & Analysis as of

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

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

Indirect And Willful Infringement Claims Are Dismissed

Burke, M. J. Defendants’ partial motion to dismiss claims for indirect and willful infringement is granted. The disputed technology relates to a method and apparatus for controlling and manipulating a virtual environment...more

The USPTO’s Latest Memo on Subject Matter Eligibility Provides Hope For Modern Innovators

On November 2, 2016 the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a memo to Examiners on its stance on subject matter eligibility in response to the McRO and BASCOM Federal Circuit decisions, previously...more

Federal Circuit Review | October 2016

Withdrawal of Claims During Prosecution Can Trigger Prosecution History Estoppel In UCB, Inc. v. Yeda Research and Development Co., Ltd., Appeal No. 2015-1957, the Federal Circuit held that prosecution estoppel can apply even...more

Claim Construction Disputes Should Be Affirmatively and Formally Raised

Addressing the preservation of claim construction disputes for appeal and issues of divided infringement, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court, explaining that O2 Micro only requires the...more

Obviousness Inquiry Allows Flexibility in Considering Teachings of Prior Art

Addressing issues of obviousness, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a finding of obviousness based on a flexible approach and further clarified the appropriate evaluation of secondary considerations...more

Massachusetts Institute of Technology v. Shire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2016)

The Federal Circuit recently affirmed a district court's claim construction and determination that claim terms were not indefinite in Massachusetts Institute of Technology v. Shire Pharmaceuticals, Inc....more

Analyzing Patent Claims Having Conditional Language – the PTAB Provides Clarity

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) recently designated Ex parte Schulhauser, Appeal 2013-007847 (PTAB April 28, 2016), as precedential. In this decision the Board clarified how to interpret method and system claims...more

BioPharma Patents Quick Tips & News – October 2016

October 2016 BioPharma Newsletter — Halloween Edition - U.S. patent eligibility can be scary! Tips to avoid the Grim Reaper (a.k.a. the Examiner or a Judge) killing your claims:  Bonus tip: This strategy works even...more

PTAB Upholds Lialda Patent Over Kyle Bass IPR Challenge

The USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has issued a final written decision upholding Shire’s Lialda® patent over the Inter Partes Review (IPR) challenge brought by Kyle Bass and his Coalition for Affordable Drugs. The...more

Another Friendly Reminder from the CAFC – Use of “the Present Invention” is Clear and Unequivocal Evidence of Disavowal

Disavowal can occur when a patent holder disavows the full scope of claim terms in the specification or during prosecution (e.g., through the doctrine of prosecution history estoppel). In either event, disavowal requires...more

Case shows ever-changing nature of patent law

The America Invents Act (AIA), passed almost five years ago, continues to substantially change patent law in the United States — and questions about the law’s effects are still being litigated. One important question...more

Smartphone Patent War: En Banc Federal Circuit Rebukes Earlier Panel Decision and Reinstates Jury Verdicts for Apple against...

In its October 7 en banc decision in Apple v. Samsung, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, without benefit of en banc briefing, issued an unusual opinion overturning a panel decision for the purpose of...more

Accused Infringer Puts the Screws on Patentee

We wrote recently about a summary judgment decision in which Judge Indira Talwani found certain asserted claims of two patents on a type of breakable screw to be obvious in light of the prior art. This ruling came even though...more

Bass IPR Petition Against Shire Fails

On October 5, the PTAB ruled against Petitioner Coalition for Affordable Drugs II LLC, an organization formed by hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, holding that the petitioner had not shown by a preponderance of the evidence that...more

Federal Circuit Relies on Robust Disclosure to Save Priority Date

On September 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion affirming the summary judgement that Abbott’s U.S. Patent No. 5,344,915 (“the ’915 Patent”) was sufficiently supported by the written...more

MAZ Encryption Technologies: The Proper Way to Decide a Rule 12(c) Motion for Ineligible Subject Matter

Given the volume of district court decisions regarding Section 101, I typically don't find ones that stand out enough to warrant discussion. But last week's decision by Judge Stark in MAZ Encryption Technologies LLC v....more

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