Archives: Patents

Subscribe to Patents RSS Feed

Continuation Patent Applications: 10 Reasons You Should Consider Filing

A single light bulb standing out among the group.If you’ve filed for patents in any industry – be it biotech, high tech, manufacturing, or another sector altogether – you’ve likely been faced with a decision on whether to file a “continuation” application at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In simple terms, a “continuation” application is a new patent application allowing one … Continue Reading

Planning to Request Discovery for a European Patent Office Proceeding? Not So Fast, Rules the District of Massachusetts

The Hon. F. Dennis Saylor, IV of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently denied a petitioner’s request under 28 USC § 1782 to take discovery related to patent inventorship in connection with an Opposition proceeding pending before the European Patent Office (EPO). The court, in exercising its discretion under the U.S. … Continue Reading

Court Lacks Subject Matter Jurisdiction over Unasserted Claims

A party can raise lack of subject-matter jurisdiction at any time during a litigation. Illustrating this point, recently in Joao Control & Monitoring Systems, LLC v. Telular Corporation a patentee saved its unasserted patent claims from the Court’s invalidity order by arguing that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the unasserted claims. In 2014, … Continue Reading

PTAB Procedural Reform Initiative: Will the PTAB Become More Patent-Friendly?

Changes may be coming to Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) proceedings. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced recently that it is launching an initiative to reform PTAB proceeding rules. The announcement stated that the USPTO will use nearly five years of historical data and user experiences to improve PTAB trials. In … Continue Reading

Oversimplifying Patent Claims Dooms Government’s Case in Federal Circuit Decision

motionDefendants in patent litigation frequently mount an invalidity defense under 35 U.S.C. § 101 by arguing that asserted claims are directed to abstract ideas, which are not eligible for patent protection under the first step of the Alice[1] test. Often, these defendants fail to account for significant aspects of the asserted claims, resulting in an … Continue Reading

TC Heartland v. Kraft: The Supreme Court Asks Tough Questions, Doesn’t Tip Its Hand After Oral Argument

Blue folder with the label Patent LawOn March 27, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in TC Heartland v. Kraft, a case that centers on where patent infringement lawsuits can be filed. Key Takeaways If the Supreme Court sides with TC Heartland, patent infringement hotbeds like the Eastern District of Texas would likely see a drastic reduction in filings … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Strikes Down Laches as a Defense to Patent Infringement

Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion, SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, in which it held that laches cannot be used as a defense to a claim of patent infringement. The opinion had been anticipated ever since the Court’s decision in Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., 572 U.S. ___ (2014) … Continue Reading

Will the Supreme Court Reform Patent Venue Law in TC Heartland v. Kraft?

United States Supreme Court in Washington D.C.Q: Why is the technology industry following TC Heartland v. Kraft so closely? Paul Cronin: The Supreme Court recently agreed to take up TC Heartland, a case that will address the issue of where patent infringement lawsuits can be filed. The tech industry wants the Supreme Court to end the practice of “forum shopping,” or … Continue Reading

5 Must-Ask IP Due Diligence Questions in Corporate Transactions

When would a company undergo intellectual property due diligence? Konstantin Linnik: Any corporate transaction involving IP assets necessitates diligence: merger, acquisition, IPO, investment (such as a venture capital financing), in-license, partnering, co-development, or distribution agreements. The buyer who is evaluating the Target could be a licensee, business partner, investor, banker, or underwriter. IP due diligence … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Chooses Quantity over Quality – Supplying a Single Component of a Multicomponent Invention Does Not Constitute an Infringing Act

On February 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether the supply of a single component of a multicomponent invention qualifies as an infringing act under 35 USC §271(f)(1) of the U.S. Patent Act. In its decision in Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp., the Court found that “a single component does … Continue Reading

Zircore v. Straumann: A Method of Manufacturing a Physical Object Is Not an Abstract Idea

In Zircore, LLC v. Straumann Manufacturing, Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2017), as in many patent litigations since Mayo, Myriad, and Alice, the defendant moved to dismiss the infringement allegations contending that the patents in suit are ineligible subject matter under 35 USC § 101. Here, despite Straumann’s assertion that Zircore’s U.S. Patent No. 7,967,606 was invalid … Continue Reading

Twombly and Iqbal Survive a Rampage

CMYKThe District of Massachusetts recently grappled with the proper analytical standard when faced with a Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss in a patent infringement case. Judge Burroughs held that the familiar Twombly/Iqbal framework applied. In Rampage LLC v. Glob. Graphics SEI, No. 16-cv-10691-ADB, 2017 WL 239328 (D. Mass. Jan. 19, 2017), plaintiff … Continue Reading

Phigenix v. ImmunoGen: IPR Challenger May Lack Standing to Appeal to Federal Circuit

The America Invents Act (AIA) established a number of procedures for challenging a granted patent at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). While virtually anyone can challenge a patent using these procedures, not everyone has standing to appeal if the challenge does not go their way. This issue was highlighted recently in a precedential … Continue Reading

A Report on The World’s Most Innovative Universities Affirms Strengths of Massachusetts Universities and Others Around the World

Bachelor hat drawing with green bokeh backgroundAs the recent U.S. Commerce Department survey affirmed (and discussed in our blog previously), intellectual property (IP) is a significant driver for our economy. Since universities are both key sources of IP and training grounds for many who work in the innovation economy, we note with interest a recent report on the world’s most innovative … Continue Reading

SCOTUS UPSETS THE APPLE CART?: The High Court Answers Key Question on Design Patent Damages, But Leaves Many Unanswered

The United States Supreme Court today overturned a $400 million verdict in a highly-publicized and long-waged patent battle between Apple and Samsung. Samsung Elcs. Co., Ltd. v. Apple Inc., 580 U.S. __ (Dec. 6, 2016). In doing so, it addressed design patents for the first time in 130 years and held that damages in design patent … Continue Reading

The District of Massachusetts Sheds Light on Halo’s New Standard for Willfulness and Enhanced Damages in Trustees of Boston University v. Everlight Electronics Co., Ltd.

Since the Supreme Court decision in Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics came down earlier this year (as previously discussed here), district courts across the country have been grappling with the high court’s new standard for determining willful infringement and awarding enhanced damages in patent cases. In the District of Massachusetts, only one case to date has … Continue Reading

Amdocs v. Openet: Federal Circuit Finds Network Patents Eligible Under § 101

The Federal Circuit this month issued another decision finding claims to a computer-implemented invention to be patent-eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In Amdocs (Israel) Ltd. v. Openet Telecom, Inc. (Fed. Cir. Nov. 1, 2016), the Federal Circuit held that claims directed to a distributed architecture for collecting and processing computer network data close to … Continue Reading

USPTO Provides Guidance to Examiners on Recent Federal Circuit Decisions Relating to Patent Eligibility of Software Claims

Binary code backgroundOver the past six years, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a series of decisions—Bilski, Mayo, Myriad, and Alice—that have significantly impacted patent eligibility law, particularly in the areas of software and biotechnology. On November 2, 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a memorandum to patent examiners, discussing two recently-issued Federal … Continue Reading

EPO Begins Enforcing Dual-Party Execution of Assignments

We have previously noted that assignments executed solely by the assignor (e.g., an inventor when assigning rights to their employer) are technically deficient in Europe due to a difference between U.S. and European law. In particular, Article 72 of the European Patent Convention (EPC) requires assignments to bear “the signature of the parties to the … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Clarifies Pleading Requirements for Joint Infringement

Earlier this year, we discussed the potential ramifications of the December 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on the pleading standard of infringement following the decision in Rembrandt Patent Innovations LLC v. Apple Inc. In Rembrandt, the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California applied the Twombly/Iqbal standard of pleading to … Continue Reading

U.S. Commerce Department Releases Updated Report Showing Intellectual Property-Intensive Industries Contribute $6.6 Trillion and 45.5 Million Jobs to U.S. Economy

Digital arrow and circuit boardThe U.S. Commerce Department recently released a comprehensive report, entitled “Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: 2016 Update” (the “Report”). The Report, which was co-authored by the Economics & Statistics Administration and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, builds upon an earlier 2012 report, finding that “IP-intensive industries continue to be a major, integral … Continue Reading
LexBlog