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USPTO not bound by district court claim construction on reexamination; obviousness affirmed

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 […]

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Statements in specification lead to narrower claim construction and noninfringement

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 […]

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Examples in specification, file history implicitly redefine claim term; infringement affirmed

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 […]

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Federal Circuit reverses claim construction and noninfringement finding

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 […]

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Federal Circuit finds disclosure not public use because invention not actually “used”

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 […]

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Federal Circuit addresses claim construction, on-sale and public use bars, and DJ jurisdiction

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 […]

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Federal Circuit post-KSR: Combination of familiar elements obvious when yielding predictable results

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 […]

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Federal Circuit cites KSR, but not for the new obviousness standard

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 […]

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Federal Circuit issues short opinion on claim construction, even shorter mention of claim vitiation

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 […]

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Same terms, same meanings, unless specification indicates otherwise

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 […]

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