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“Ordinary observer” can be commercial buyer when buyer uses designed item as part of retail product

In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court’s order granting summary judgment of non-infringement of two design patents. Specifically, the court acknowledged that the Supreme Court's decision in Gorham Co. v. White held that an "ordinary observer" for purposes of design patent infringement cannot be an expert. Nevertheless, in this case, the […]

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Federal Circuit makes previous nonprecedential obviousness opinion precedential

Today the Federal Circuit decided to change the status of Daiichi Sankyo Co. v. Apotex, Inc. (previously blogged about here), from nonprecedential to precedential. This is noteworthy because this was one of the first obviousness cases decided by the Federal Circuit after KSR, and dealt specifically with one of the Graham factors: the level of […]

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Finding of induced infringement reversed: insufficient evidence of direct infringement

Today, the Federal Circuit held that hypothetical instances of direct infringement are not enough to establish that a party induced direct infringement of a patent. Instead, there must be evidence of instances of actual infringement in order to establish infringement was induced if there are both infringing and non-infringing ways to operate a device. Because […]

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Claim construction and noninfringement finding affirmed; prosecution history estoppel bars DOE

In a decision today, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment of noninfringement of a patent relating to a "gutter guard" designed to keep debris out of gutters. The court found the district court's claim construction correct, as it properly considered dictionary definitions when the specification provided no additional guidance on […]

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Purified stereoisomer of compound in known mixture obvious in light of expected potency

In a decision today, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court's pre-KSR decision of nonobviousness. The claims were directed toward a particular isomer of a compound that was "substantially free" of other isomers. The prior art included a mixture that included the claimed isomer as well as a different isomer. The court found the claims […]

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“Outer surface” cannot encompass interior surface based on statements made in prosecution history

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 […]

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Full scope of claims must be enabled to meet enablement requirement

The Federal Circuit yesterday affirmed a district court's holding of invalidity based on lack of enablement. At issue was a claim that encompassed two different types of structures for side-impact sensing in motor vehicles, a mechanical sensor and an electronic sensor. The court noted that the full scope of a claim must be enabled in […]

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Federal Circuit affirms finding of no anticipation or obviousness, no mention of KSR to be found

The Federal Circuit yesterday affirmed a decision by the District Court for the District of Delaware upholding the validity of Reissue Patent 34,712 ("the '712 patent") and the injunction preventing infringement of the '712 patent. Specifically, the court affirmed the district court's decision that the prior art reference relied upon for the defendants' anticipation argument […]

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Infringement and royalty rate affirmed; dismissal of willful infringement claim reversed

In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed-in part a district court's grant of summary judgment of infringement of a patent, finding that the claims were properly held to include measuring devices that either directly or indirectly compare two signals to determine the proper measurement. The court reversed-in part the district court's damages award. The […]

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When point of novelty is a combination of existing elements, it must be a “non-trivial” advance

In a case decided yesterday, the Federal Circuit clarified the point-of-novelty test for design patents when the point of novelty is a combination of existing design elements. The court adopted the rule that "to constitute a point of novelty, the combinations must be a non-trivial advance over the prior art." The court likened this analysis […]

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