February 27, 2010
Trading Technologies sued eSpeed and Ecco for infringing 6,772,132 & 6,766,304, which go to displaying "static price levels" on a computerized board for commodity trading. One service product infringed, but others literally did not, and applying the doctrine of equivalents was proscribed. Defenses to indefiniteness and inequitable conduct went nowhere, as did on-sale bar (§ 102(b)) based on a provisional priority date. Affirmation on appeal toted up dynamic case law quotes, not on sale, but ones that litigators must buy.
February 25, 2010
The International Trade Clowns (ITC) handed a crock to clog maker Crocs when it asserted 6,993,858 and D517,789: '858 was found obvious and '789 not infringed. Crocs squealed and appealed to the CAFC, which stepped in it and splattered the ITC with both feet: utility and design patent case law.
February 24, 2010
Andrew Chapman and David King had a patent idea "directed to divalent antibody fragments comprising two antibody heavy chains and at least one polymer molecule attached to the heavy chains in a site-specific manner on each chain... Chapman's invention involves joining together two fragments with an interchain bridge containing a polymer, thus achieving a circulating half-life that is intermediate between that of an individual fragment and a whole antibody."
February 19, 2010
"Pergo and Alloc are direct competitors in the field of laminate flooring. Pergo owns the 6,421,970 and 6,397,547 patents, which relate to mechanical joints that enable flooring panels to be joined without the use of glue or other fasteners, such as nails or metal clips. Alloc brought a declaratory judgment action against Pergo seeking a declaration that the '970 and '547 patents were invalid, unenforceable, and not infringed. Pergo counterclaimed for infringement of both patents." Both patents were found "invalid on multiple grounds and not infringed." Having achieved its goal, Alloc then overreached to inequitable conduct, which the district court denied.
February 18, 2010
Yousef Daneshvar filed a patent application claiming : "an apparatus for dressing a wound. The invention features a 'relatively stiff support' that is secured over the wound using one or more 'relatively stretchable straps.'" The BPAI rejected Daneshvar's claims as anticipated and obvious over 5,779,657. Daneshvar had to go to the CAFC to get PTO incompetence overturned.
February 9, 2010
Why the Hawk
A friend and client, India born, was telling me about the different prior art search firms he had used. "The Indians are cheap, and you get what you pay for. They find something and they quit. They know nothing about litigation, or U.S. patent laws. They have no concept of story art. They just throw a piece or two of art over the wall to you and declare victory. The European Patent Office searches like examiners. What else would you expect? They do okay for a superficial search, but for a litigation search, they are incomplete. Like the Indians, the EPO also just cites references."
February 8, 2010
ResQNet sued Lansa in 2001 for infringing five patents related to terminal emulation. Lansa found art, two unpublished user manuals for a software product called Flashpoint, that it argued anticipated one of the asserted patents, 6,295,075. But the district court wouldn't admit the art as public, and hence not legally prior art. Lansa tried to argue that NewLook 1.0 anticipated '075 by being sold more than a year prior to 075's filing date, but NewLook 1.0 "lacked an essential limitation," so was not found to be invalidating prior art. Alas for Lansa, a later version of NewLook was found to have the feature, and so infringed. Then there were the issues of damages, and sanctions....
February 7, 2010
SEB sued Montgomery Ward and others for infringing 4,995,312 by selling a cheap deep fryer manufactured by Pentalpha. Speedy justice meant that getting to trial took a mere seven years, whereupon a jury found willful infringement, awarding $4.65 million in damages, which the district court judge hence cut by $2 million. The district court had awarded enhanced damages and attorneys' fees to SEB, but then snatched them back in light of the 2007 CAFC Seagate ruling that willfully gutted willfulness. Herein, a tale of disingenuity, and an appeal decision greasing understanding of inducing infringement.
February 2, 2010
Abbott sued Beckton, Dickinson and Company and Nova Biomedical for infringing 5,628,890, which claims a glucose sensor. A jury found '890 anticipated. Abbott appealed the trial judge's jury instruction over the meaning of anticipation. The CAFC surveyed the boundary of inherency, and found the nugget: "all elements must be disclosed in an anticipatory reference in the same way as they are arranged or combined in the claim."