July 30, 2012
The CAFC has added proving a negative to the burdens a patentee must bear. Any reference cited is "presumptively enabling." An applicant has to "rebut the presumption of the operability of [the prior art patent] by a preponderance of the evidence." In other words, an applicant must prove by evidence that presumed evidence lacks evidence.
July 26, 2012
Like banks, insurance companies are a cornerstone of the capitalist empire that the U.S. government feels beholden to. The courts are part of the cabal of plutocratic protection. So it was a nonstarter when Bancorp sued Sun Life for infringement of its insurance policy management patents; patents too valuable to be monetized. The district court invalidated the patents without bothering to consider the claims. The CAFC blithely affirmed (CAFC 2011-1467). "There is no requirement that claims construction be completed before examining patentability." Just knowing the subject matter and affected industry was enough to bury the assertion. The practical process claims were "no more than abstract ideas."
July 9, 2012
Alice in Wonderland
Alice Corporation got patents on a computerized trading platform that ameliorates settlement risk. CLS Bank, spooked over its own infringement, filed a DJ. A DC district court judge ameliorated her docket by ruling the four Alice patents invalid under §101, as being drawn to mere "abstract ideas." The appeals court thought the claims something more concrete, albeit with dissent. To the courts, patents read like pornography: they know what they like when they see it. Patent holders best get used to bending over.
July 2, 2012
In pursuit of a "crossbar arithmetic processor" patent, Blaise Laurent Mouttet provided another lesson in the way of Obzilla: any possible combination of known features is not patentable, even when the prior art technologies are not compatible. Mouttet envisioned an arithmetic processor using a crossbar structure. He cited a prior art publication, Das, that disclosed a "nanoscale crossbar array with molecular switches." The examiner found Falk (5,249,144), which taught a "programmable optical arithmetic/logic device," and Terepin (4,633,386), an analog-to-digital (A/D) converter. The examiner put them together to fabricate Mouttet's claimed invention, a rejection affirmed by the PTO appeals board and CAFC.