June 19, 2014
Down The Rabbit Hole
The Supreme Court affirmed the CAFC in invalidating financial patents in Alice v. CLS Bank under §101. "The claims at issue are drawn to the abstract idea of intermediated settlement, and that merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform that abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention." Reading between the plutocratic lines, any claim to computerized finances is going to prove unenforceable. The courts are simply not going to allow financial institutions to be pickpocketed by clever patentees.
June 13, 2014
The CAFC, like other courts, decides how to rule, then fits the law to suit the ruling. The same judges on a CAFC panel that were at diametric ends over the same issue in Allergen v. Apotex were happy to affirm an obviousness finding of the district court in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Teva. In doing so, it summarized case law in this area, if only in this case.
June 12, 2014
The CAFC continues its rampage against the rule of law. In Allergan v. Apotex (CAFC 2013-1245), a panel finds obviousness over the very reference the USPTO carefully considered (Johnstone), finding the reference "does not teach away," and that "there was nothing left for a chemist to do." In dissent, Judge Chen notes: "This is not a situation in which there are a finite number of identified, predictable solutions. Rather, the single sentence in Johnstone actually proposes hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of variations." Thus, the panel majority - new Chief Judge Prost and Judge Reyna - ignores the repeated precedence of KSR, Ruschig, Eli Lilly and others to achieve a new level of caprice.
June 4, 2014
Contravening the confused CAFC once again, SCOTUS ruled in Limelight v. Akamai that direct infringement requires a single party. Further, "liability for inducement must be predicated on direct infringement."
June 2, 2014
The CAFC's long-standing standard of indefiniteness - that a patent claim was definite unless "insolubly ambiguous" - has been a unreasonable evisiceration of statute. In Nautilus v. Biosig (13-369), the Supreme Court put reason back in.
To tolerate imprecision just short of that rendering a claim 'insolubly ambiguous' would diminish the definiteness requirement's public-notice function and foster the innovation-discouraging 'zone of uncertainty'. A patent is invalid for indefiniteness if its claims, read in light of the patent's specification and prosecution history, fail to inform, with reasonable certainty, those skilled in the art about the scope of the invention. [A] patent must be precise enough to afford clear notice of what is claimed. The standard adopted here mandates clarity, while recognizing that absolute precision is unattainable.