November 23, 2014
"Antares is a developer of automatic injection devices used to self-administer pharmaceuticals." It got a patent (7,776,015) that it wanted broadened under reissue (35 U.S.C. § 251), as it had not bothered to file a continuation. Owing to prosecutorial and patent office incompetence, the reissue claims went to a different invention. Asserted in litigation, the CAFC caught the reissue error (district court Judge Sue L. Robinson did not) and pitched the patent (CAFC 2014-1648).
Verstata asserted software patents against rival Callidus, which counterclaimed with its own patents. Callidus filed limited reexamination proceedings against the Verstata patents, and asked the court for a stay pending reexam. The district court denied the stay. The CAFC reversed that.
November 17, 2014
Not So Wild Tangent
Ultramercial sued Hulu and WildTangent for infringing 7,346,545, which claims receiving payment for a consumer viewing Internet advertising. The district found the patent invalid under § 101. The CAFC balked at that, but reversed itself after the Supreme Court Alice ruling (CAFC 2010-1544). "We do not purport to state that all claims in all software-based patents will necessarily be directed to an abstract idea," the court stated. But since Alice, not one has yet to pass muster.
November 10, 2014
Texas gets a lot of patent cases, but the judges there are as incompetent as in the rest of the country. In Azure Networks v. CSR, East Texas Judge Michael H. Schneider got bamboozled into an ersatz claim construction for "MAC address" during an assertion of 7,756,129, claiming a personal network device. Based upon two brief descriptive passages, the district court decided that the patentee had acted as its own lexicographer. On appeal (CAFC 2013-1459), a CAFC panel pointed out how stupid Judge Schneider was: "The statements in the specification relied upon by the district court neither define 'MAC address' nor exclude universal addresses. Nothing in the specification or the prosecution history shows an attempt to distinguish over prior art."