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Category: Written description


USPTO Updates 112 Guidance: Presumption Shift of Functional Limitations
January 10, 2019
Post by Oliver P. Couture, Ph.D.
Recently, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has announced plans to update their guidance on functional claim language under 112 and will after a period of public input. This update will likely require a more detailed specification for functional claims or result in narrower claims. Under the proposed 112 guidelines, which are aimed more specifically toward computer cla.......
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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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The Most Difficult Definition: Considerations for Defining “Genetically Modified Organism"
August 17, 2017
Post by Blog Staff
A patent applicant is free to act as their own lexicographer in drafting an application and may define terms as they see fit. Should a word not be defined explicitly in the application, the Patent Office will then give the term “the broadest reasonable interpretation according to a person having ordinary skill in the art” -- they will broadly define the word as someone of equal training in the field would........
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Patenting Ideas Previously Disclosed in an Earlier-Filed Provisional Application but Later-Filed Non-Provisional Application
September 10, 2015
Post by Blog Staff
Paul S. Mazzola Can an idea that has already been conceived (and published) still be patented? The scenario appears possible based on a recent holding from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Many know that nearly all publicly available information with a publication date prior to the filing date of a patent application can constitute a prior .......
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Critical Versus Optional, but Desireable Claim Elements
August 18, 2014
Post by Blog Staff
On August 6, 2014, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in ScriptPro, LLC v. Innovation Associates, Inc. In 2006, the Petitioner ScriptPro, LLC sued Innovation Associates, Inc. for infringement of claims 1, 2, 4, and 8 of U.S. Patent No. 6,910,601 ("the '601 patent"). The '601 patent describes a "collating unit" that uses sensors to automatically dispense and organiz.......
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Means-Plus-Function Claims and Written Description for Priority
February 10, 2014
Post by Blog Staff
InEnOcean GMBH v. Face International Corp., the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded a final order of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) and the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (“Board”) with respect to EnOcean’s U.S. Patent Application No. 10/304,121. The Federal Circuit held (1) the term “receiver” was recited with sufficient structure as to not inv.......
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Bring on the New Year - What is in Store for IP in 2014?
December 31, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
Happy New Year to all of our FilewrapperÒ followers! We hope 2013 was a productive year and wish you the best in 2014. As the New Year quickly approaches we would like to share with you a few predictions for 2014 for you to look forward to and for which to prepare! · Increased opportunities for quasi-litigation under AIA. Various new mechanisms are available to challenge patents under the Am.......
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Federal Circuit Confirms Invalidity for Overbroad Written Description
July 23, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
Novozymes v. DuPont Nutrition Biosciences involved patent 7,713,723 directed toward recombinant Bacillus alpha-amylase enzymes engineered to have enhanced acid tolerance and heat tolerance. The patent owner, Plaintiffs-Appellants Novozymes, sued DuPont for infringement. DuPont defended on grounds of non-infringement and invalidity and countersued for a declaratory judgment that the '723 patent was invalid fo.......
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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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En banc Federal Circuit reaffirms written description requirement is separate from enablement
March 24, 2010
Post by Blog Staff
Monday the Federal Circuit released its en banc opinion in Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Eli Lily & Co., where the court addressed whether 35 U.S.C. § 112 has a written description requirement separate and apart from the enablement requirement. A substantial majority of the court (10 judges) joined in the majority opinion, with two judges dissenting. As summarized by the court:We . . . read the statu.......
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Specticles and Specifications
February 19, 2010
Post by Blog Staff
In April of last year, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit added another layer to the ongoing case between Revolution Eyewear, Inc. ("Revolution") and Aspex Eyewear, Inc. ("Aspex"). The decision primarily concerned the circumstances surrounding the reissue of Aspex's initial patent: whether the reissue was supported by 35 U.S.C. § 112; whether the same invention was claimed .......
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Federal Circuit to consider whether a separate written description requirement exists in section 112
August 23, 2009
Post by Blog Staff
In an en banc order Friday, the Federal Circuit announced it will rehear Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Eli Lilly & Co. en banc to consider whether there is a written description requirement in § 112 separate and apart from the enablement requirement. Specifically, the questions presented are: Whether 35 U.S.C. § 112, paragraph 1, contains a written description requirement separate from an enable.......
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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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Disclosure of compounds without link to claimed method fails to meet written description requirement
April 14, 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 after a jury determined the asserted claims of an invention were not invalid under the written description requirement. The court, however, affirmed the district court's determination of no inequitable conduct.The Federal Circuit held the jury lacked substantial evidence for its verdict. Specifica.......
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Federal Circuit hears arguments in In re Kubin; what will be obvious in biotechnology?
January 11, 2009
Post by Blog Staff
Thursday, the Federal Circuit held oral arguments in In re Kubin, a biotechnology case involving a patent over a gene sequence in humans, and specifically whether the claims were obvious. This was the first precedential decision by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences on the issue of obviousness in this field after KSR, so how the Federal Circuit comes out on the issue has the potential to greatly affe.......
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On appeal, BPAI cannot group claims that do not share a common reason for rejection
January 02, 2009
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed a distirct court's vacatur of a decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. In an appeal of rejections in twelve different applications involving approximately 2,400 claims, the Board only addressed the rejection of 21 "represntative" claims pursuant to 37 C.F.R. § 1.192(c)(7) [now 37 C.F.R. § 41.37(c)(vii)]. The Board too.......
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Disclosure of single antibody insufficient to describe genus of related antibodies
November 06, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences sustaining in part the examiner's final rejection of the broadest claim in an application, directed to methods of treating neurofibrosarcoma using monoclonal antibodies. The Board reversed the examiner's rejection of the claim for lack of enablement, but sustained the rejection for lack of ad.......
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When factual inquiries underlying obviousness determination disputed, summary judgment improper
September 25, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's summary judgment of no anticipation, no invalidity for failure to comply with the written description requirement, and infringement, but reversed the district court's summary judgment of no invalidity based on obviousness. In an unusual procedural move, the parties stipulated that for the issues on which both parties moved for summary j.......
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Disclosure of gene from one bacterial source cannot support claims to gene from any bacterial source
September 22, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment of non-infringement and invalidity of various claims of three patents. The district court held no genuine issue of fact existed regarding noninfringement or invalidity under the written description requirement. The patents related to DNA polymerases, and the claims at issue covered plasmids containing the gene co.......
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When exclusion order based on multiple patents, failure to appeal under each may render appeal moot
August 06, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit affirmed the United States International Trade Commission's finding of infringement and validity. The claims were brought under three patents that all claimed priority to a common parent application, and thus would ordinarily all expire on the same day. However, one of the three patents was subject to a 108 day term extension under 35 U.S.C. § 154(b). The f.......
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Finding of inequitable conduct without considering materiality vacated
August 06, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision on Friday, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court's summary judgment of invalidity and noninfringement and subsequent finding of inequitable conduct. The court also vacated the district court's exceptional case finding and the associated award of attorney's fees.The plaintiff was initially awarded partial summary judgment of infringement of six patents. The district judge then a.......
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When priority not decided at PTO patentee bears burden of showing entitlement to earlier application
April 14, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment of invalidity with respect to all asserted claims of two patents. More particularly, the court held that the claims of the patents were not entitled to the priority date of an earlier-filed application, and were therefore anticipated by intervening prior art. The original application was filed in 1997, however th.......
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Ex parte Kubin: Obviousness at the USPTO in biotechnology
July 18, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
As mentioned previously, the BPAI designated an opinion as precedential today addressing the issues of obviousness, enablement, and the written description requirement in the context of biotechnology inventions. These issues were addressed in the context of patenting a gene involved in regulating the immune system. Addressing the obviousness issue, the board determined that the previous knowledge of the protei.......
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Federal Circuit approves MPEP guidelines for written description rejections
June 28, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
The Federal Circuit addressed the standard applied by the USPTO for establishing a prima facie case of failure to meet the written description requirement in Hyatt v. Dudas today. The court found that compliance with MPEP § 2163.04(I)(B), by pointing out the nonexistence of support in the specification and identifying the claim limitation(s) at issue, is sufficient for an examiner to make out a prima facie.......
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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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