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February 21, 2013

Function-Way-Result

Brilliant Instruments filed a declaratory judgment action against GuideTech over microprocessor timing error detection circuits (e.g., 6,181,649). Brilliant prevailed before the district court, which found non-infringement. GuideTech appealed, arguing that the district court got it wrong in considering the doctrine of equivalents.

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:52 AM | Infringement

February 17, 2013

Ignoring the Preamble

Eric Jasinski tried to get a patent for testing computer memory via "verifying the accuracy of logical-to-physical mapping software designed for testing memory devices." In finding anticipation, the USPTO Board ignored the preamble limitation, which was also called out in the body of the claim. In a rare reversal by the CAFC (2012-1482) of patent office rejection, a panel rightly observed: "it also provides the criteria by which the previously-recited comparing limitation is analyzed. We thus conclude that the 'to verify/verifying' language is limiting." If there's a practical lesson here (aside from the capricious irrascibility of the PTO), it's to not rely on the preamble as limiting.

Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:56 AM | Prosecution

February 11, 2013

Assignment

Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL) owns 6,900,463, which claims a certain semiconductor. Yujiro Nagata is the second-named of two inventors. "During prosecution in 1991, Nagata assigned his rights to applications and patents related to the '463 patent to SEL's founder Dr. Shunpei Yamazaki, and subsequently signed a substitute Declaration and Assignment of those applications and patents. From 2002 to 2003, Nagata assisted SEL in a patent infringement suit against another party and was paid for his cooperation and services relating to that litigation."

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Posted by Patent Hawk at 1:32 PM | Case Law

February 7, 2013

Chilled Out

Arkema wants to compete against Honeywell in the automotive cooling system market. Honeywell had already tried to freeze them out with a patent infringment suit. So Arkema filed a declaratory judgment action to invalidate other relevant Honeywell patents. Judge William H. Yohn, Jr. in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) saw no cause for complaint. Facing undisputed facts, citing the SCOTUS MedImmune ruling, the CAFC (2012-1308) found otherwise. This appears another biased ruling by a district court judge for the American company (Honeywell) against a foreign interloper (France-based Akrema).

Posted by Patent Hawk at 12:17 AM | Declaratory Judgment