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Statements in specification and prosecution history limit claims notwithstanding claim language

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 […]

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Equitable inventorship correction claim must be resolved after factually-overlapping fraud claim

The Federal Circuit issued a ruling Friday addressing the right to a jury trial in a case involving combined equitable (in the form of a correction of inventorship claim under 35 U.S.C. § 256 ) and legal (in the form of various tort claims) issues. The court held that the jury trial on the legal […]

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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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Priority claim to foreign filing awarded in interference; disclosure in compliance with section 112

The Federal Circuit yesterday addressed the requirements for the use of a foreign filing date as a priority date in a U.S. interference proceeding. The court awarded the interference party the priority benefit of the foreign filing date based on the "constructive reduction to practice of an invention whose disclosure is in compliance with the […]

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En banc Federal Circuit scraps affirmative duty of care to avoid infringement

In a unanimous en banc decision issued late yesterday afternoon, the Federal Circuit granted a petition for mandamus requested by a party who was ordered by a district court to produce attorney-client privileged and work product protected material of its trial counsel, and to permit deposition of its trial counsel. The order was entered after […]

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Attorney cannot directly appeal finding of inequitable conduct absent formal sanctions

The Federal Circuit today addressed whether a prosecuting attorney who was found to have committed inequitable conduct during an infringement suit of the patent prosecuted may intervene to contest the finding. The court held that when an attorney is merely criticized by the court, not formally reprimanded, they have no standing to appeal. As a […]

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Priority claim under section 119 denied; foreign application not filed “on behalf of” U.S. applicant

Today the Federal Circuit addressed whether priority to an earlier-filed foreign application may be claimed under § 119(a) if there was no legal relationship between the foreign applicant and the U.S. applicant at the time the foreign application was filed. The court held that the right of priority under § 119(a) is personal and determined […]

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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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Federal Circuit reverses dismissal of DJ action; sufficient case or controversy exists

The Federal Circuit recently vacated the District Court for the Southern District of California's judgment granting a motion to dismiss five plaintiffs' (four joined on the appeal) declaratory judgment complaints for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and remanded the case back to the district court to determine in its discretion whether to entertain the declaratory […]

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Federal Circuit: Analogous art test survives KSR, but obviousness affirmed

In a case decided yesterday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the BPAI finally rejecting all but one claim of a patent under reexamination as obvious. The patentee admitted that all elements of the claims save one were present in two relevant prior art references and that another reference disclosed the final element, but […]

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