August 27, 2014
Planet Bingo got patents for a computer managing a game of bingo, starting with parent 6,398,646. It assertion against VKGS lasted only until summary judgment, where all claims were found patent ineligible under § 101. Like Alice and Bilski, there is no bingo no more for patents claiming to "organize human activity." The courts consider that too abstract. Speaking of abstraction, try this on for gibberish: "Abstract ideas may still be patent-eligible if they contain an "'inventive concept' sufficient to 'transform' the claimed abstract idea into a patent-eligible application."" Sounds like organizing case law into coherency ought to be patentable, as it would be novel. (CAFC 2013-1663).
August 16, 2014
The district court and CAFC found Dr. Bernard Charles Sherman, founder and chairman of Apotex, guilty of inequitable conduct in his patenting of an antihypertensive claimed in 6,767,556. "Dr. Sherman breached his duty of candor, good faith, and honesty before the PTO." Typical CEO behavior, especially in the big leagues. But then, Dr. Sherman was just another crooked player in a very crooked game. Abusing the law is bread-and-butter business for Federal judges, particularly when patents are asserted by small fry against corporate giants.
I/P engine sued Google, Target, and Gannett (a media conglomerate) over 6,314,420 & continuation 6,775,664. Judge and jury at district court found the patents infringed, and neither anticipated nor obvious. As these were major U.S. corporations, there was no way that those decisions would be upheld on appeal. Sure enough. The CAFC panel majority agreed with Google that "as a matter of law [the claimed invention] simply combines content-based and collaborative filtering, two information filtering methods that were well-known in the art." To rub it in the noses of unreasonable citizens who waste their time on jury duty: "no reasonable jury could conclude otherwise." In concurrence, Judge Mayer thought the claims "fall outside the ambit of 35 U.S.C. § 101."
August 11, 2014
In ScriptPro v Innovation Associations, the district court rightly granted summary judgment of invalidity for 6,910,601 under 35 U.S.C. § 112(a) because the claims left out sensors that were disclosed as essential, and otherwise the claimed invention simply could not work. Ignoring the facts particular to the technology, the CAFC reversed (2013-1561), blithely stating that "it is common, and often permissible, for particular claims to pick out a subset of the full range of described features, omitting others."