Denial of injunction against sending letters asserting infringement affirmed

In a decision Tuesday, the Federal Circuit affirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction seeking to prevent a patentee from representing to the defendant's customers that the defendant's product potentially infringed the plaintiff's patent. The patent at issue had a lengthy and complicated prosecution history that included an interference proceeding. In that proceeding, the BPAI […]

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If ordinary meaning of claim term does not resolve disputed construction, court must construe term

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," […]

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Same claim term can be interpreted differently in the same claim if specification warrants

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 […]

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Federal Circuit: And can mean or, if it makes the claim make sense

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 […]

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Computer-implemented means-plus-function claim invalid when no algorithm disclosed in specification

In a decision Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a final judgment of invalidity of all claims of a patent indefinite. The claims had several means-plus-function clauses that were computer-implemented, however no algorithms for implementing the claimed functions were disclosed in the specification. The district court held the claims invalid because there was no "structure" (i.e., […]

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Patent for better mousetrap obvious, secondary indicia could not rebut “strong prima facie case”

In a decision Friday, the Federal Circuit addressed the issue of post-KSR obviousness and fraudulent misrepresentation. Regarding obviousness, the court held that the secondary indicia of nonobviousness simply could not overcome a "textbook case" of claims involving "a combination of familiar elements according to known methods that does no more than yield predictable results." Interpreting […]

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Patent ownership may change by operation of law, including operation of foreign law

In a decision today, the Federal Circuit vacated a district court's dismissal of a case for lack of standing on the basis of insufficient evidence of patent ownership. The inventor of the patent died intestate as the only owner of the patent. While his two daughters executed transfers of ownership to the inventor's widow, the […]

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Patentee cannot recapture claim scope disavowed during prosecution to prove infringement

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 […]

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271(e) safe harbor applies to both product and method claims in ITC proceedings

In a ruling today, the Federal Circuit affirmed in part a decision by the International Trade Commission (ITC) concerning the application of 19 U.S.C. § 1337 and 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(1) to imported products and products imported produced via a patented process. The main issue before the court was whether the safe harbor against infringement […]

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Section 121 safe harbor applies only to divisional, not continuation-in-part; later patent invalid

In a decision last week, the Federal Circuit construed the scope of § 121's allowances for subsequent patent applications directed toward nonelected inventions in response to a restriction requirement. There were three patents at issue, one directed to pharmaceutical compounds, one to compositions containing those compounds, and a third covering methods of suing the compounds. […]

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