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Category: Claim construction


USPTO Director Andrei Lancu Takes a Look at Early Prosecution
May 24, 2018
Post by Oliver P. Couture, Ph.D.
This week, the USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu, testified before the House Judiciary Committee. In his written statement Director Iancu wrote on topics related to early prosecution that would result in lower costs to clients and would speed up the process of obtaining a patent. A new pilot program that will allow for a pre-search Examiner interview is being planned. The goal of the interview is to allow claim i.......
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Broadest Reasonable Interpretation is NOT Broadest Possible Interpretation
September 30, 2017
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals last week, In re Smith International, Inc., the Federal Circuit reversed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“the Board”) decision affirming the Examiner’s rejections of some claims in an ex parte reexamination. The invention is directed to a downhole drilling tool for oil and gas operation. The involved claims recite the word “body”  without furt.......
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Court-Mandated Claim Limitation: The Complexity of Simplification
June 02, 2016
Post by Blog Staff
Patent cases often present many complex issues because a given case can feature a patent portfolio where each patent within the portfolio has a high number of litigable claims. Parties filing a patent suit on the basis of a patent portfolio and/or a large number of claims should be aware and prepared to respond to the court's potential use of a simplification technique called mandate.......
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The Continuing Saga of the First IPR at the Federal Circuit
July 09, 2015
Post by Blog Staff
    The Federal Circuit has simultaneously issued an order and an opinion in In re Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC, previously discussed on Filewrapper® as being the first appeal arising from an inter partes review ("IPR‚¬) . The order issued by the .......
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Teva v. Sandoz Revisited
June 25, 2015
Post by Blog Staff
Teva v. Sandoz Revisited On June 18, 2015, a Federal Circuit panel reaffirmed that the key claim of the patent at issue inTeva v. Sandoz, was invalid as indefinite. The procedural posture and technical background leading up to this decision is discussed in aprior blog post.  The Federal Circuit ultimately concluded that they are still allowed to address if the question of .......
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Alternative Patent Reform Legislation Proposed in Senate
March 06, 2015
Post by Blog Staff
Even though the America Invents Act is just over 3 years old, patent reform legislation has arisen on several occasions over the past years. The most visible legislative efforts have involved the "Innovation Act" proposed by Senator Goodlatte in 2013, and again in 2015. The version of the Innovation Act introduced in 2013 stalled out in the Senate, but has been re-introduced in the H.......
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Claim Preambles as Limitations- the Saga Continues
February 25, 2015
Post by Blog Staff
The preamble of a patent claim normally recites some purpose or objective, but is generally not considered to limit the scope of the claim unless it "breaths life and meaning into the claim." There are a number of ways that the preamble can take on patentable weight, including by serving as the antecedent basis for a limitation in the body of the claim. In Pacing Tech v. Garmin, the Fe.......
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Is the Supreme Court Re-Aiming Markman?
October 17, 2014
Post by Blog Staff
The 1996 United States Supreme Court decision in Markman v. Westview Instruments established a landmark change for claim construction in patent infringement cases. That case established that the meaning of the claim language of a patent is a matter of law for a judge to decide, and not a matter of fact that should be determined by the jury. Since the decision, what is now known as a "Claim Construction Heari.......
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Federal Circuit Schedules Oral Hearing in First Appeal of Inter Partes Review
October 14, 2014
Post by Jonathan L. Kennedy
The Federal Circuit has scheduled oral arguments for the first appeal of an inter partes review ("IPR") decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB"). Oral arguments have beenscheduled for November 3, 2014. The appeal involves a number of interesting issues. First, it arises from the first IPR filed with the PTAB—Garmin USA, Inc. v. Cuozzo Speed Technologies, LLC (IPR2012-0000.......
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Internet Discussion Systems as Prior Art
June 10, 2014
Post by Blog Staff
The Federal Circuit's recent decision inSuffolk Technologies, LLC, v. AOL Inc., and Google Inc., adds another item to the list of "printed publications" that may preclude patenting of a claimed invention: posts on internet newsgroups. In June 2012 Suffolk Technologies, LLC sued Google Inc. for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,081,835 ("the '835 patent"), related to "methods a.......
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Competing Without Practicing - Preliminary Injunctions for Patent Infringement
April 24, 2014
Post by Blog Staff
InTrebo Manufacturing, Inc., v. Firefly Equipment, LLC, the Federal Circuit held that a plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction for patent infringement does not need to practice the patent at issue in order to receive an injunction, so long as it sells a competing product. Trebro brought suit alleging that FireFly's sod harvester product infringed its U.S. Patent No. 8,336,638, and seeking a preliminary i.......
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New and Useful - August 26, 2013
August 26, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
· InUniversity of Utah v. Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, the Federal Circuit held that a patent lawsuit between a state university and the officers of another state university is not a controversy between two states. The case began when the University of Utah (“UUtah”) sued the Max Planck Institute and the University of Massachusetts (“UMass”) to correct inventorship of two paten.......
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New and Useful - July 10, 2013
July 10, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
· InConvolve v. Compaq Computer the Federal Circuit affirmed in part the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruling that Compaq Computer Corp., Seagate Technology, LLC., and Seagate Technology, Inc. did not misappropriate 11 of 15 alleged trade secrets from Convolve, Inc. In addition, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment that 8 claims of U.......
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New and Useful - July 8, 2013
July 08, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
· The Federal Circuit inUltramercial, Inc. v. Hulu, LLC held that the district court erred in holding that the subject matter of U.S. Patent No. 7,346,545 ('545) is not a "process" within the language and meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 101. The Federal Circuit reversed and remanded this case stating the claims were not abstract and were patent eligible. The '545 patent claims a meth.......
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Intrinsic Evidence Can Provide Adequate Support to Overcome Indefiniteness
May 01, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
In Biosig Instruments, Inc. v. Nautilus, Inc., the Federal Circuit reversed a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York finding a patent invalid for indefiniteness, relying on intrinsic evidence. Biosig Instruments, Inc. (“Biosig”) is the assignee of U.S. Patent No. 5,337,753 (“the ’753 patent”). The ’753 patent is directed to a heart rate monit.......
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New and Useful - April 23, 2013
April 23, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
· InK-Tech Telecoms v. Time Warner Cable, the Federal Circuit confirmed that the standard for evaluating the adequacy of complaints alleging direct patent infringement remains Form 18 of the Appendix of Forms to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("Form 18"). K-Tech filed separate complaints against Direct TV and Time Warner Cable (“TWC”) on the same day, alleging infringeme.......
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New and Useful - April 10, 2013
April 10, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
· InIn re Hubbell the Federal Circuit confirmed the rejection of all of the pending claims in an application, filed with Jeffrey Hubbell, Jason Schense, Andreas Zisch, and Heike Hall as named inventors. The invention disclosed in the application was based on research performed while all of the named inventors were at California Institute of Technology (CalTech). As a result, the application is assig.......
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Federal Circuit affirms importance of secondary indicia of non-obviousness
April 05, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
The Federal Circuit has recently decided the case ofPower Integrations, Inc. v. Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. Power Integrations, Inc. (Power) sued Fairchild Semiconductor International, Inc. (Fairchild) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, alleging infringement of Power’s four patents covering chargers for mobile phones. In a bifurcated trial, the claims of the patents .......
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New and Useful - February 21, 2013
February 21, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
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New and Useful - February 6, 2013
February 06, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
· In Allergan, Inc. v. Barr Labs the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the District of Delaware finding that Barr Laboratories, Inc. and Sandoz Inc. had infringed a patent owned by Allergen, Inc., and finding the patent-in-suit valid. Barr and Sandoz each filed abbreviated new drug applications (ANDA) for a generic version of the drug covered by the Allergen patent, and both ANDAs asserted tha.......
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Inventor's prior art patents and prosecution history lead to reversal of claim construction
October 26, 2010
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court's grant of summary judgment of noninfringement and invalidity based on inadequate written description. The issue of infringement was reversed based on the district court's incorrect construction of a critical claim limitation. While the court held it was a "close case," it held the patentee had not acted as his own lexicograph.......
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Preamble held not limiting because body of claim sets forth complete invention
September 20, 2010
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit reversed a decision of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The district court had granted summary judgment of noninfringement to the defendant finding that the defendant's accused device did not perform a function found only in the preambles of the asserted claims.The Federal Circuit held that the disputed preamble term did not limit th.......
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Patented method of traffic detection not infringed
March 02, 2010
Post by Blog Staff
In an opinion released in July last year, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Wavetronix v. EIS Electronic Integrated Systems. This case involved a traffic monitoring system that had been patented by Wavetronix, and EIS had received summary judgment for noninfringement of the Wavetronix patent at the district court. Wavetronix appealed the noninfringement summary .......
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Dependent claim can't be obvious when indepdendent claim is not; verdict vacated as inconsistent
October 19, 2009
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed-in-part a district court's decision regarding obviousness, holding the defendant was not entitled to summary judgment that the asserted claims were invalid for obviousness. The court vacated the district court's entry of judgment of an inconsistent jury verdict of obviousness: the jury held a dependent claim obvious but the independent claim from which .......
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Three disputed claim terms, three revised constructions, one remand
June 23, 2009
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a district court's judgment of noninfringement based on the parties' stipulation after claim construction. The district court construed three claim terms in a way that the parties agreed rendered all accused products noninfringing, and the plaintiff appealed.On appeal, the Federal Circuit reversed the district court's claim construction o.......
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When analyzing written description in interference, claims construed according to patent copied from
June 16, 2009
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court's grant of summary judgment in a § 146action brought after an interference proceeding at the USPTO. The district court agreed with the Board's decision to award priority to the senior party in the interference, granting the senior party's motion for summary judgment that its specification satisfied the written description requirement.......
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Close but no cigar: ITC gets 4 of 5 claim constructions correct, but must reconsider 2 issues
June 15, 2009
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit addressed a variety of claim construction, infringement, and validity issues in an appeal from the International Trade Commission. After construing five disputed claim terms, the ITC held one of four representative products infringed, the remaining three did not infringe, and one claim invalid as anticipated. Both parties appealed.The Federal Circuit affirmed in part, r.......
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Estoppel applies to all added limitations in claims, including when present in unamended claims
April 15, 2009
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary of no literal infringement and that prosecution history estoppel barred application of the doctrine of equivalents. During prosecution of the patent, a total of three limitations from two different dependent claims were added to the asserted claim in separate amendments, although only two of the limitations were addressed .......
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Combining two embodiments in same prior art patent "does not require a leap of inventiveness"
March 30, 2009
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court's denial of judgment as a matter of law of obviousness. A jury held the claim at issue was not obvious, and the district court denied the defendant's post-verdict motion for judgment as a matter of law on the issue.While the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court's construction of two disputed claim terms, according to the Feder.......
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Use of "mechanism" in claim without more may result in means-plus-function interpretation
December 18, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Monday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's claim construction and related judgment of noninfringement. The decision focused on the issue of claim construction in means plus function claims. The critical limitation used the term "mechanism" without any additional structural elements, and as a result the district court construed it to be a means-plus-function claim. T.......
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Today's prosecution practice tip: don't use the phrase "the present invention" in the specification
December 18, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's claim construction and its related summary judgment of noninfringement. The district court held the applicable claim term was narrower than the "lay understanding" of the term, based on the specification. Because the specification was clear, the district court refused to consider the prosecution history in the claim construct.......
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District court's order dismissing the action with prejudice held to be nonfinal due to counterclaims
December 17, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Thursday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's denial of a preliminary injunction, and held it did not have jurisdiction over the remainder of the appeal because there was no final judgment. It was undisputed there was no infringement under the district court's claim construction of the single element at issue. After denying the requested preliminary injunction and granting the .......
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Substantial question regarding validity insufficient to defeat likelihood of success?
December 09, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of a preliminary injunction concerning the manufacture of an extended release formulation of an antibiotic. In a lengthy opinion, the Federal Circuit applied the Supreme Court's obvious-to-try logic from KSR to pharmaceutical patents. Notably, the court used the unpredictability of the pharmaceutical arts to find that, despite a.......
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High materiality without explanation for nondisclosure leads to inference of intent to deceive
October 17, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of inequitable conduct for one patent but reversed on a second, affirmed a finding of no invalidity of the second patent, but vacated the finding of infringement after modifying the district court's claim construction of a claim term. The court also reversed the finding of indefiniteness of a third patent.The court continued it.......
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Anticipation no longer the epitome of obviousness? Claims can be anticipated but nonobvious
October 16, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
The Federal Circuit recently affirmed a district court's finding of non-willful infringement for one product, reversed its claim construction and related finding of noninfringement of a second product, and vacated its judgment as a matter of law on the issue of anticipation. The district court, at the charge conference near the end of the jury trial in this case, decided not to instruct the jury on anticipati.......
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Inducement not shown when accused product can work in an infringing way but doesn't have to
October 07, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed the International Trade Commission's finding of noninfringement with respect to one patent but reversed and remanded on another. At issue was whether the defendant had imported chipsets that infringed five of the plaintiff's patents in violation of 19 U.S.C. § 1337. The action was dismissed with regard to two of the patents, as any action related .......
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Advice of counsel evidence still relevant to intent to induce infringement
October 06, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed a jury's finding of infringement of two patents and the related injunction, but reversed the district court's claim construction and the concomitant finding of infringement regarding a third patent. The court affirmed the district court's injunction despite the fact that the patentee licensed, rather than manufactured, the claimed inventions. The in.......
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Inventor testimony regarding intent during patent prosecution irrelevant to claim construction
September 29, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit vacated a stipulated judgment of noninfringement on claim construction grounds. The construction issue dealt with the significance of a limitation that applied to an "at least one" element. Specifically, the relevant claim required "at least one condylar element," where "the condylar element" had certain features. The district court held th.......
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Patent claims not at issue at trial can't be found invalid, even if mentioned in complaint
September 15, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit reversed much of a district court's finding of willful infringement of a plaintiff's patents, tortious interference with the plaintiff's business relationships, and invalidity of the defendant's patents. Regarding the willful infringement, the Federal Circuit determined that the district court had improperly interpreted the claims of the plaintiff's p.......
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Efforts to terminate infringement after notice of patent doesn't avoid damages
August 21, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Tuesday, the Federal Circuit vacated a district court's grant of summary judgment of non-infringement of a patent on the basis of claim construction. Specifically, the district court had improperly imported limitations from nonasserted claims into the asserted claims, resulting in an unduly narrow claim construction. The court also vacated the district court's grant of summary judgment of .......
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Irreparable harm to exclusive licensee cannot support injunction; willfulness vacated post-Seagate
August 20, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Monday, the Federal Circuit addressed a range of issues and ultimately affirmed a district court's denial of injunctive relief and, in light of the intervening Seagate decision, vacated and remanded the case for reconsideration regarding willfulness. The court also affirmed the district court's finding of no invalidity and the infringement of some claims under the doctrine of equivalents. .......
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Arguments made distinguishing prior art spell doom for broader claim construction
July 27, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's claim construction and related grant of summary judgment of non-infringement.The court affirmed the construction in part because the plaintiff's interpretation of the claim elements was at odds with the plaintiff's stance during the prosecution history. Specifically, the patentee added the element in question to overcome the pri.......
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Consent judgment with no explanation of how claim construction affected noninfringement vacated
July 17, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Tuesday, the Federal Circuit vacated a consent judgment entered by a district court and remanded the case for clarification. The district court entered a consent judgment, stipulated by the parties, stating the defendants' products did not infringe under the district court's claim construction of several terms, but that the plaintiff could still appeal the claim construction.The Federal Circ.......
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Claim construction and finding of noninfringement affirmed
June 20, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Wednesday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's claim construction and grant of summary judgment of non-infringement. The patent holder's proposed claim interpretation relied heavily on means-plus-function language and an embodiment in the specification not covered by the claim construction. The Federal Circuit found that the failure to use clear "means-plus-function languag.......
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Partially does not include totally, judgment of noninfringement affirmed
June 05, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision yesterday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's claim construction and its related judgment of noninfringement. The court declined to import a meaning which went against the plain meaning of the disputed term, and stated if the patentee had intended such a meaning, it should have done so explicitly. The term at issue was "partially hidden from view," and the court affirmed.......
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Claim construction from different case against different defendant applies in subsequent case
June 03, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision yesterday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's construction of a patent claim in an infringement case. However, the court vacated the district court's grant of summary judgment of noninfringement and remanded. The Federal Circuit held that a prior interpretation of the claim in a suit against a different alleged infringer required the claim construction adopted by the district co.......
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Intrinsic evidence supported pre-Phillips claim construction; finding of noninfringement affirmed
May 15, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision yesterday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of noninfringement. The only disputed issue was one of claim construction. Although the district court issued its claim construction ruling before the Federal Circuit's Phillips decision and relied exclusively on a definition from a technical dictionary for its construction of the relevant term, the Federal Circuit still u.......
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Claim construction and noninfringement affirmed on one patent, vacated on another
May 13, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit vacated a district court's grant of summary judgment of noninfringement of one patent and affirmed summary judgment of noninfringement of another. The determinations turned on the construction of one claim element in each patent.In the first patent, the court held that there was sufficient disclosure in the specification to permit the broader construction of the c.......
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Claim term construed by construing different term in specification deleted from claim
May 12, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit affirmed-in-part and vacated-in-part a district court's summary judgment of noninfringement based on a revised claim construction of two claim terms. The court, in somewhat of a departure from its typical practice, also construed one additional term that appeared likely to be relevant on remand, but which did not form the basis for the summary judgment ruling.Whil.......
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Hybrid vehicle patent not infringed; invalidity issues need not be reached on appeal from ITC
May 12, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In an appeal from the International Trade Commission, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Commission's determination of noninfringement of a patent. The court, however, did not consider the ITC's finding of nonenablement on appeal. While in the context of a district court case a counterclaim for invalidity is not mooted by a finding of noninfringement, the court held that because invalidity can only be rai.......
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District court's claim construction too narrow, but noninfringement finding affirmed anyway
May 07, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision yesterday, the Federal Circuit held that a district court construed a claim limitation too narrowly. However, even under the broader construction, summary judgment was still appropriate, because there was no genuine issue of fact that the accused method still did not practice that element, either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents. PSN Illinois (PSN) owns a patent relating to a method .......
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Two district courts, one correct claim construction; $103 million damage award vacated
April 25, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit reversed a jury verdict of willful infringement and a total award of over $100 million based on a modified claim construction. The court also reversed the finding that one asserted claim was not anticipated, and remanded the case for a redetermination of infringement and whether the remaining claims were valid.The court considered two competing constructions of the same .......
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Preamble not limiting when duplicative of claim limitations and not added to overcome rejection
April 16, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit held that a district court erred in its construction of several claim terms in a patent, and as a result, vacated the district court's summary judgment of noninfringement and no invalidity. The court affirmed the district court's decisions regarding several other issues, including laches, inequitable conduct, and inventorship.One of the claim terms at issue was i.......
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If ordinary meaning of claim term does not resolve disputed construction, court must construe term
April 10, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a jury's finding of willful infringement case back to a district court, based on errors in claim construction and application of the doctrine of equivalents. The district court's original Markman hearing determined that no construction was necessary for a particular claim term, "only if," whose scope was disputed by the parties. .......
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Same claim term can be interpreted differently in the same claim if specification warrants
April 09, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit decided a case addressing the limitations of what constitutes "insolubly ambiguous" claim terms in order to amount to indefiniteness. The district court held the asserted claims invalid because they impermissibly mixed two statutory classes of subject matter, as well as because they required construing the same term differently in the same claim for the clai.......
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Federal Circuit: And can mean or, if it makes the claim make sense
April 08, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's permanent injunction against a defendant to prevent infringement of a patent. The district court held the patent not invalid and infringed, based in part on a claim construction that construed the word "and" to mean "or." Specifically, based on the specification and other claims, the court determined such a construc.......
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Patentee cannot recapture claim scope disavowed during prosecution to prove infringement
March 24, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's claim construction and its concomitant grant of summary judgment of noninfringement, as well as its denial of attorney fees under § 285. The district court held the patentee had, during prosecution of the patent at issue, made a clear and unmistakable disavowal of claim scope, and as a result, under the doctrine of prosecution disclai.......
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Dependent claim can be construed to be broader than independent claim based on prosecution history
March 03, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit held a district court construed 1 of 2 claim terms correctly, and incorrectly concluded that prosecution history estoppel barred application of the doctrine of equivalents to a third claim term because the narrowing amendment was only tangentially related to the equivalent at issue. As a result, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.One of the cla.......
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Another preliminary injunction vacated on appeal, this time because of claim construction
February 22, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
For a second time this week, the Federal Circuit vacated a preliminary injunction entered by a district court. This time, the court found the district court's claim construction too broad, and under the courts revised, narrower construction, found that the plaintiffs were not likely to succeed on the merits of the case. As a result, the Federal Circuit vacated the injunction and remanded the case.More detai.......
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Claims requiring an "insert" do not cover products with similar structure not "inserted"
February 08, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Wednesday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court ruling granting summary judgment of non-infringement. At the outset, the court noted the patent at issue had been before the court multiple times, and the claim terms at issue in this appeal had already been construed by the court in earlier cases.As the district court applied the Federal Circuit's earlier construction, the court had litt.......
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Infringement of two claims and $74 million in damages affirmed, injunction reinstated
February 05, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit affirmed-in-part and reversed-in-part a jury verdict of infringement of a patent owned by Tivo relating to its DVR technology. The ruling was based on claim construction, with the court finding that, based on the correct construction of claims directed to the DVR hardware, there was no infringement of those claims. However, the claims directed to the software were c.......
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Claim construction excluding disclosed embodiment improper absent disclaimer of some kind
January 30, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision today, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court's claim construction and the associated summary judgment of noninfringement. The district court's construction of one of the claim limitations resulted in certain embodiments of the invention disclosed in the figures to be excluded from the scope of the claims. Based on this construction, the parties stipulated that there was no infringe.......
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Sufficient structure recited in claim limitation using "means" to prevent application of - 112 - 6
January 30, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision yesterday, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court's claim construction and the associated summary judgment of noninfringement. The district court held the relevant claim term was a means-plus-function limitation, as it used the word "means," as well as because in an interview summary in the prosecution history, it appeared the USPTO interpreted the term as a means-plus-functio.......
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When market entry fee part of damages for patent infringement, permanent injunction inappropriate
January 21, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed a finding of infringement of a patent relating to the detection and classification of Hepatitis C Virus, but remanded the case for a determination of anticipation. In arguably the most interesting aspect of the decision, the court vacated the permanent injunction entered against the defendant. The plaintiff asked for and was awarded damages to compensate for th.......
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Federal Circuit again tackles the meaning of "a"
January 18, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision this week, the Federal Circuit affirmed-in-part and reversed-in-part a district court's grant of summary judgment of non-infringement with respect to two patents relating to cleaning printing press cylinders. Both findings were based on issues of claim construction, with one centering around an issue that has reached the Federal Circuit multiple times: the definition of the word "a.".......
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Pre-KSR obviousness instruction does not result in plain error post-KSR
January 10, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision this week, the Federal Circuit affirmed findings of infringement of two patents by two defendants. The court also reversed an invalidity ruling of one of one claim that had been the subject of reexamination, but remanded the case to the district court for a determination of the obviousness of one claim based on a revised claim construction and for a determination of damages.While the case went to t.......
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Term defined in specification limited even though partially characterized as exemplary
December 28, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a limited exclusion order by the International Trade Commission. The ITC entered an exclusion order that prevented importation of products produced by a method that infringed two patents.The Federal Circuit vacated the finding of infringement, holding that under the correct claim construction, there was no literal infringement. The court held that .......
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Statement during prosecution not a clear and unmistakable disavowal, no prosecution disclaimer
November 29, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision yesterday, the Federal Circuit partially reversed a district court's summary judgment of noninfringement of a patent directed to closed circuit television systems. In granting summary judgment, the district court held that the doctrine of prosecution disclaimer limited the scope of the claims, finding the inventors characterized the invention narrowly in response to an office action.The Federal.......
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Triangular opening not equivalent to vertical slit; summary judgment of no infringement affirmed
November 28, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
Today the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's determination that the patent claim term "closeable vertical opening" required a slit-like shape that is perpendicular to the pan of the horizon instead of simply an opening with a shape that is taller than it is wide. Further, the court found that an accused product which creates a triangle-flap opening did not operate in a substantially simila.......
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Jury verdict finding Microsoft's product activation systems infringed two patents affirmed
November 19, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of infringement and no invalidity of patents relating to the reduction of software piracy. At issue was a finding of non-infringement based on the claim construction of claim limitations found in patents held by z4 Technologies. In affirming the district court decision, the court found that a reasonable juror could find that Micr.......
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ITC's claim construction reversed, revised construction leads to Section 337 violation
November 01, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision yesterday, the Federal Circuit reversed a decision of the U.S. International Trade Commission that a violation of § 337 of the 1930 Tarriff Act had not occurred. The court reversed the ITC's claim construction, and based on the revised claim construction, found the accused products infringed. This modified claim construction also resulted in the plaintiff's U.S. product falling wit.......
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"Comprised of" means the same as "comprising," judgment of noninfringement affirmed
September 27, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
Today, the Federal Circuit addressed how to interpret the phrase "comprised of" in a patent claim. In holding that the phrase should be construed in the same open-ended way the term "comprising" is traditionally construed, the court disagreed with the district court's finding that the phrase was closed-ended and excluded the presence of all elements beyond those presented. However, the d.......
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Finding of infringement of two patents affirmed, one reversed, damages award vacated
September 27, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a highly anticipated recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment of infringement against Vonage with respect to two Verizon patents, holding that the district court did not err in its construction of the disputed claim terms and that the claims were not obvious. With respect to a third patent, the Federal Circuit held the district court improperly construed a disputed claim term and therefore.......
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Summary judgment of noninfringement reversed: challenge to reliability of expert testimony waived
September 25, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Friday, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court's grant of summary judgment of noninfringement. The court held the district court improperly made a factual determination regarding the reliability of an expert's test used to establish infringement. Based on statements made during summary judgment briefing and argument, the defendants could not argue the tests were unreliable for summar.......
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"Outer surface" cannot encompass interior surface based on statements made in prosecution history
September 07, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
The Federal Circuit yesterday reversed a district court's claim construction and its corresponding determination of literal infringement. The court found that the prosecution history of the patents negated the district court's claim construction, and that, properly construed, there could be no literal infringement.The term at issue was the "outer surface" of a drive collar. The district court h.......
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Statements in specification and prosecution history limit claims notwithstanding claim language
August 27, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part a district court's decision granting summary judgment of noninfringement and invalidity. The Federal Circuit found that the district court had properly construed most of the asserted claims as being limited to "automatic computer determination of the finish positions of teeth" based on the specification and prosecution .......
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USPTO not bound by district court claim construction on reexamination; obviousness affirmed
August 22, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
The Federal Circuit today addressed claim construction and obviousness in the context of a reexamination appeal. The patentee argued that the USPTO was bound, in reexamination, to apply the claim construction given the patents by a district court when the patents were in litigation before reexamination. The court found that because the USPTO was not a party to that litigation, issue preclusion could not apply,.......
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Statements in specification lead to narrower claim construction and noninfringement
August 06, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision on Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court decision granting summary judgment of noninfringement. The only claim at issue required motors to apply a "pushing" force. The defendant's motors applied a "pulling" force that was, through intermediate apparatus, translated to a "pushing" force, but the court held that the patentee had disclaimed such devic.......
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Examples in specification, file history implicitly redefine claim term; infringement affirmed
July 05, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a second case before the Federal Circuit in just over a month, competing avionics manufacturers Honeywell and Universal Avionics Systems were parties to a decision, this time with Honeywell coming out on top. The court affirmed the district court's claim construction of several terms in Honeywell's patent, which resulted in the court affirming the verdict of infringement.Notably, the court held tha.......
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Federal Circuit reverses claim construction and noninfringement finding
June 27, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a claim construction appeal, the Federal Circuit found that the doctrine of claim differentiation, combined with statements made in a petition to make special, led to a broader claim construction than that offered by the district court. Also, there was no unequivocal disclaimer of the broader claim scope during prosecution of either the patent-in-suit or its parent application, as found by the district court........
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Federal Circuit finds disclosure not public use because invention not actually "used"
May 29, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision today, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court's finding of invalidity of two patents based on the public use bar of 35 U.S.C. § 102(b). A product capable of embodying the claimed inventions was disclosed to several individuals, including potential investors, before the critical date of the patents. The court nevertheless found no public use because the product, an ergonomic keyboar.......
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Federal Circuit addresses claim construction, on-sale and public use bars, and DJ jurisdiction
May 26, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Friday, the Federal Circuit vacated in part a district court's claim construction of a several terms as well as its decision to find no infringement of patents owned by Honeywell. The court did, however, affirm the district court's retention of jurisdiction over the several withdrawn claims and the decision that Honeywell's pre-critical date activities were not barring sales or public u.......
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Federal Circuit post-KSR: Combination of familiar elements obvious when yielding predictable results
May 10, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In this matter before the Federal Circuit, the Court affirmed the district court's grant of judgment that Fisher-Price's PowerTouch device did not infringe claim 25 of LeapFrog's U.S. Patent 5,813,861 ("the '861 patent") and that claim 25 of the '861 patent was invalid as obvious. Notably, the court cited the Supreme Court's KSR decision for the first time in a precedential.......
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Federal Circuit cites KSR, but not for the new obviousness standard
May 03, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a nonprecedential opinion released today, the Federal Circuit cited the Supreme Court's Monday decision in KSR for the first time. Unfortunately for inventors and practitioners looking for guidance under the new standard for obviousness laid out in KSR, the reference had nothing to do with the obviousness standard, just that obviousness is a question of law based on underlying factual information.More .......
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Federal Circuit issues short opinion on claim construction, even shorter mention of claim vitiation
May 02, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
The Federal Circuit today issued a brief, five-page opinion regarding claim construction and infringement issues relating to a patent on insulated shipping containers. The court affirmed the lower court's claim construction and, as a result, affirmed the summary judgment of noninfringement.The court also dispensed with the doctrine of equivalents in a single sentence, making indirect reference to claim vitia.......
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Same terms, same meanings, unless specification indicates otherwise
April 27, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In an appeal by Porta Stor, Inc. of a judgment in favor of PODS, Inc. for, among other things, patent and copyright infringement, the Federal Circuit reversed the judgment of patent infringement finding no literal infringement and finding that infringement under the doctrine of equivalents was barred by prosecution history estoppel. The court also reversed the grant of judgment as a matter of law on copyright .......
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Federal Circuit Puts the Brakes on District Court's Claim Construction
April 19, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
The Federal Circuit today issued a fairly routine claim construction decision, vacating part of the district court's claim construction and remanding. The Court also affirmed the district court's decision to deny Rule 11 sanctions (applying Ninth Circuit law).More details of the case after the jump. Intamin Ltd. sued Magnetar Technologies Corp. for infringement of its patent relating to braking syste.......
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Outdoor outfitters at odds over outerwear, order overturned
April 06, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
Competing sporting goods retailers Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's faced off in the Federal Circuit. The parties were involved in an earlier patent infringement suit where Bass Pro Shops sued Cabela's for infringing its patent relating to a vest with a "pivotable seat member." The parties settled that suit, and the court entered an order barring Cabela's from selling infringing garments durin.......
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Federal Circuit Addresses Claim Differentiation
March 13, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
The Federal Circuit further clarified the doctrine of claim differentiation in Anderson Corp. v. Fiber Composites, LLC. Andersen Corp. owns a number of patent relating to composite materials made from a mixture of polymer and wood fiber as well as patents that relate to structural parts made from those composite materials. Fiber Composites manufactures and sells deck railing and spindle products under the trade .......
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No Crying Over Spilled Milk - Held to Claim Construction During Prosecution
February 23, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
Nouri Hakim appealed the decisions of the District Court of Western Louisiana granting Cannon Avent Group's motion for summary judgment that Avent did not infringe one of Hakim's patents ("the '931 patent") and finding another of Hakim's patents invalid ("the '620 patent"). The patents-in-suit involved the art of non-spill drinking cups and the apparatus in the spout of the cup which prevents ac.......
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Don't change horses in midstream: Patentee held to claim construction position taken at lower court
February 20, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
The Federal Circuit ruled today that a patentee could not argue a different claim construction than that argued before the district court. Because of this, the court affirmed the lower court's grant of summary judgment of noninfringement against the patent holder. Also, the court held that the patent holder did have standing to bring the case. Issues relating to the chain of title of a patent are .......
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Federal Circuit accepts rare interlocutory claim construction appeal
February 14, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
Today the Federal Circuit accepted an interlocutory appeal from a district court relating to patent claim construction. Because of the rarity of such a decision by the Federal Circuit, the court felt compelled to explain, in a precedential order, why it was accepting the order, and so members of the bar wouldn't get their hopes up that the court will be accepting more interlocutory appeals on claim construction i.......
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"Critical" ratio in claim does not get the benefit of the doctrine of equivalents
January 19, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
Today's lesson from the Federal Circuit: be careful not to make a claim limitation "critical," or you may lose the benefit of the doctrine of equivalents for that element. The court found that the claimed weight ratio of two drugs was critical in part because other claims recited a range of ratios, but the claim at issue simply recited a specific ratio, "about 1:5." The court stated that permitting infringement.......
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Limitations of a Claim Come from the Claim Language Itself
January 12, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In E-Pass Technologies ("E-Pass") v. 3Com Corp., Palm Inc., palmOne, Inc. and Handspring, Inc. and Visa International Service Association and Visa U.S.A., Inc. and Palmsource, Inc. ("3Com"), the district court's holding of final summary judgment of non-infringement by 3Com was affirmed by the Federal Circuit. At issue was a patent ("the '311 patent") entitled "Method and Device for Simplifying th.......
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Another claim construction reversal: Claim not limited to preferred embodiment
December 29, 2006
Post by Blog Staff
In a split decision, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court's judgment of noninfringement based on error in claim construction. The patent at issue involves a machine and method that automate the staining of microscope slides used in biological assays. The district court construed the claims narrowly based on the preferred embodiment described in the patent's specification. Based on this construction, th.......
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Majority of Federal Circuit appears ready to reconsider claim construction standard of review
November 22, 2006
Post by Blog Staff
Today the Federal Circuit denied rehearing en banc in Amgen, Inc. v. Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc., a case dealing with synthetic human erythropoietin, a protein that stimulates red blood cell production. In order to rehear a case en banc, a majority of active judges on the court must vote to rehear the case. There are twelve judges on the Federal Circuit, five of whom voted to rehear this case, thus rehearing wa.......
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Federal Circuit reverses claim construction but affirms infringement
November 16, 2006
Post by Blog Staff
Abraxis Bioscience (formerly AstraZeneca) is the holder of three patents on an improved formulation of an anesthetic, DIPRIVAN?. Prior formulations had the problem of increasing postoperative infections. The inventors discovered that by adding disodium edetate as an antimicrobial agent. This addition allowed DIPRIVAN? to be administered for up to 24 hours without a significant increased risk of infection. .......
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The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.

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