Software Patents

News & Analysis as of

Courts Everywhere are Finding Software Patents Invalid, So What Next?

For the last few decades, corporations ranging from startups to large multinationals first turned to utility patents to protect their innovative software. These patents protected everything from the minute details of...more

Federal Circuit Upholds ITC Interpretation of § 337 to Cover Induced Infringement - Suprema, Inc. and Mentalix Inc. v. Int’l Trade...

In a 6-4 ruling, a sharply divided en banc Federal Circuit overturned the original panel decision and deferred to the International Trade Commission’s (ITC or Commission) interpretation of the phrase “articles that …...more

Standard Essential Patents Unenforceable on Theory of Indirect Infringement

A recent decision by the Federal Circuit in JVC Kenwood Corp. v. Nero, Inc., decided August 17, 2015, involves nuanced details of standard-essential patents, but arrived at a common sense result: either the patents at issue...more

Federal Circuit Strengthens ITC's Authority to Police Importation

On August 10, 2015, the Federal Circuit, acting en banc, ruled that the International Trade Commission (ITC) has the authority to prevent importation of products based on claims for induced infringement where the predicate...more

Federal Circuit Upholds ITC Interpretation of § 337 to Cover Induced Infringement

Suprema, Inc. and Mentalix Inc. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, Case No. 12-1170 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 10, 2015) (Reyna, J.) (O’Malley, Proust, Lourie, and Dyk JJ., dissenting). By way of background, appellee Suprema manufactures...more

Intellectual Property Alert: Suprema, Inc. v. ITC: ITC Can Exclude, Under Inducement Theory, Imported Products That Only Infringe...

On August 10, 2015, an en banc Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that the International Trade Commission’s interpretation of Section 337 was reasonable and therefore that the ITC has the authority to exclude,...more

En Banc Federal Circuit Upholds ITC’s Broad Definition of Induced Infringement

Earlier this week, an en banc Federal Circuit interpreted the scope of Section 337 of the Tariff Act (19 U.S.C. § 1337), which proscribes importation of "articles that … infringe" a U.S. patent. (Suprema, Inc. v....more

Federal Circuit Continues to Nix Financial Patents

Patents covering software for use in the financial industry are increasingly being invalidated by the courts. Because of the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), district...more

Writ of Certiorari Denied in Oracle v. Google: Software Declaring Code, Including Structure, Sequence, and Organization Remains...

On June 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Google, Inc.’s petition for writ of certiorari, leaving intact the Federal Circuit’s holding that Oracle’s Java API software, and particularly the API declaring source code, is...more

Further Guidance from the PTO

And yet diagnostic methods are still wandering in the wilderness… The PTO has issued yet another revision of its Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance for Examiners. The ?rst of these Guidance documents arrived in March...more

USPTO Issues July 2015 Updated Guidance on Subject Matter Eligibility Analysis

On July 30, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued updated guidance regarding subject matter eligibility analysis to address six major themes from comments received in response to the 2014 Interim...more

Trade Secrets, Security, and Cloud Computing: Best Practices Now

As businesses increasingly store and access confidential information in the cloud, questions arise as to how to safeguard a company’s private data once it becomes part of an external computing network. Standards for...more

The “Oracle” Predicts It: Supreme Court Declines to Hear Landmark Software Copyright Case

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari in the case of Google, Inc. v. Oracle America, Inc., a closely watched case regarding the eligibility of software for copyright protection. The Supreme Court’s decision...more

9 Key Factors That Impact Patent Valuations

Figuring out what a patent is worth can often feel like black magic. But, doing so can be critical during an IP due diligence or when trying to assess the value of a company built around the intellectual property. In...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

Federal Circuit Reaffirms Kessler Doctrine As A Patent Infringement Defense For Customers

Applying a doctrine dating to Kessler v. Eldred, 206 U.S. 285 (1907), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled that when a patentee’s infringement action against the manufacturer of an accused product...more

In Rush to Invalidate Patents at Pleadings Stage, Are Courts Coloring Outside the Lines?

OIP Technologies v. Amazon.com and IPC v. Active Network are the most recent of a growing number of decisions dismissing software and business method patent lawsuits on the pleadings. In these decisions, the courts are...more

The Status of Business Method Patents

Business method patents have a checkered history. They were once very much in vogue—numerous such patents issued, and many of them were litigated. Then, about two years ago, Congress enacted a special procedure that made it...more

Computer-Implemented Business Methods: Patentable?

In this Presentation: - Patentability of Computer-implemented Business Methods – A Recap - Research Affiliates v Commissioner of Patents - RPL Central v Commissioner of Patents - The Global Context:...more

Internet Patents Corp. v. Active Network, Inc. (Fed Cir. 2015)

Since late last year, the main theme of many 35 U.S.C. § 101 disputes has been whether claims under review are more like those in Ultramercial Inc. v. Hulu LLC or DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com. In the former case, the...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Spring 2015

California’s Eraser Law: What IP Attorneys and Owners Need to Know - Hector recently graduated from UC Berkeley and is anxious about his upcoming job interview. He is about to enter the adult world. But he has also got...more

The One Year Anniversary: The Aftermath of #AliceStorm

It's been one year since the Supreme Court's decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. On its face the opinion was relatively conservative, cautioning courts to "tread carefully" before invalidating patents, and emphasizing that...more

Fed Circuit Reverses PTAB Decision in IPR Proceeding

On June 16, the Federal Circuit issued its first-ever reversal of a Patent Trial and Appeal Board decision in an America Invents Act post-grant proceeding. The opinion, drafted by Chief Judge Prost and joined by CAFC Judge...more

What Was Old Is New Again for Means + Function Claim Elements

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc for the limited purpose of revisiting when claims invoke the means-plus-function language of 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 6 (§ 112(6)) (now § 112(f)) replaced a part of...more

Federal Circuit Decreases Strength of Presumption Against Treatment of Patent Claims as Means-Plus-Function

Accused infringers challenging patent claims now have a new arrow in their quiver as a result of yesterday's holding in Williamson v. Citrix Online, et al. In an en banc decision, the Federal Circuit replaced an earlier...more

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