March 31, 2010
Pressure Products Medical Supplies invented a valve remover for an introducer, netting 5,125,904 & 5,312,355. Under a rolling claim construction, the patents were found valid and infringed by the jury, with Pressure Products awarded $1.1 million in damages. Appeal rolled back the score.
March 30, 2010
Power-One sued Artesyn for infringing power supply regulator patents, particularly monitoring point-of-load (POL) regulators. A permanent injunction resulted, followed by Artesyn's appeal over claim construction, namely, the term "POL regulator", with a side of obviousness. The CAFC turned both aside.
March 29, 2010
Definitely Woolly Bully
Enzo sued Applera (and Tropix) for infringing six patents "directed to various techniques for labeling and detecting nucleic acids, such as DNA and RNA." Enzo conceded non-infringement of 5,082,830 based upon claim construction. Applera nailed three (5,328,824; 5,449,767; 5,476,928) for indefiniteness and anticipation. The other two washed away as these four went to appeal. On appeal, "substantially" is found definite as §112 ¶2 metes and bounds meets ground round.
March 25, 2010
"In July of 1990, Jeffrey and Claudia Griffin conceived of the idea of using a scratch-off label to mark beverage containers and cups so that attendees of a gathering or party could keep track of their beverage cups." And so they got 5,154,448. Michael Marrin formed Upardi to make labels, and containers with labels, under license of '448. "The relationship between Michael Marrin and the Griffins broke down swiftly, due primarily to differences in opinion about the appropriate payment obligations under the license." The Griffins terminated the license. Marrin filed a DJ, and the Griffins countered with complaint of willful infringement. Summary judgment found the patent invalid as anticipated, based upon the claim preamble not carrying any weight. The Griffins appealed.
March 24, 2010
Enabling Written Description
Ariad sued Eli Lilly over 6,410,516. Trial found a valid patent infringed. A first appeal "held the asserted claims invalid for lack of written description." "Ariad petitioned for rehearing en banc, challenging this court's [CAFC's] interpretation of 35 U.S.C. § 112, first paragraph, as containing a separate written description requirement." Reaffirmation.
March 20, 2010
Debunking In Re Keller
Thanks in large part to KSR, it has become harder to obtain a patent grant in recent years. It is one thing when an Examiner makes a ruling based on sound logic and reasoning to reject an applicant's claims; that is their burden and their duty. But it is quite another when a rejection is based on nothing more than a poor misapplication of the law, under the pretense of the MPEP. Of increasing related consequence is the misapplication of In re Keller 642 F.2d 413 USPQ 871 (CCPA 1981). - A guest post by John M. DeBoer.
March 10, 2010
i4i Review Redux
Microsoft has prevailed upon the CAFC to rehear, en banc, only the willfulness portion of its affirmation of the district court ruling in i4i v. Microsoft. In other words, the CAFC cut Microsoft a break, probably because the CAFC wants another bite at cleaning up the willfulness standard. A revised CAFC ruling was issued today that takes out the sentence: "Microsoft does not challenge the jury instructions on willfulness or the sufficiency of the evidence supporting the jury's willfulness finding," and adds a section on willfulness to its revised ruling.
March 9, 2010
Less Than Best Mode
The American arm of Japan's Ajinomoto complained to the ITC to stop foreign imports of dietary supplement lysine, under the aegis of 5,827,698 and 6,040,160. The snag was that their patent applications didn't actually disclose their production techniques. That cost them the patents for failing to meet best mode, and inequitable conduct for knowingly doing so.
March 7, 2010
Taking a break from the frigid east Washington winter, CAFC Judge Rader has been marshalling in Marshall. Rader's adjudicating an East Texas patent brawl between IP Innovation and Linux vendors Red Hat and Novell. Judge Rader takes no wooden nickels as the Linux twins sought to toss IPI's damages expert as a Daubert deuce. Herein the good Judge smokes one.
March 5, 2010
5,955,955 claims a computer drive bay fan, meant to cool the hard drives right in their own living room. '955 owner Comaper sued Antec for infringement. Trial found Antec willfully infringing some claims. Some claims were obvious to the jury, others validly novel. Appeal found that "irreconcilably inconsistent." The CAFC resolution was to define analogous art as either "from the same field of endeavor," or "reasonably pertinent to the particular problem with which the inventor is involved." Upon that the CAFC created its own reconcilable inconsistency.
March 3, 2010
Media Technologies sued Upper Deck for infringing two memorabilia patents: 5,803,501 & 6,142,532. After a trip to the CAFC on district court summary judgment over res judicata (reversed), trial court proceedings were stayed pending reexamination. Both patents made it through reexam unscathed. Then, based on claim construction, Upper Deck got the upper hand by summary judgment over obviousness.