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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 The court did, however, affirm the district court's retention of jurisdiction over the several withdrawn claims and the decision that Honeywell's pre-critical […]

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“Aspirina” descriptive of analgesic goods; denial of registration affirmed

In a decision today, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the TTAB that the term "ASPIRINA" is descriptive of analgesics, and therefore not subject to trademark protection in the United States absent a showing of secondary meaning. While the evidence of record was conflicting as to whether ASPIRINA was descriptive, given the deferential standard […]

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Federal Circuit affirms damage award to Monsanto against farmer who saved seed

In the latest in a series of appeals to the Federal Circuit, the court affirmed a jury's award of damages to Monsanto for infringement of patents relating to glyphosate resistant plants. The defendant, a farmer, had saved seeds from his crops from one growing season to the next in violation of the terms of the […]

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Federal Circuit affirms inequitable conduct finding, Judge Newman not happy about it

In a second opinion today, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of inequitable conduct based on the nondisclosure of three pieces of information to the USPTO. The patentee had two similar pending applications at the USPTO, and in fact had cited the same prior art in both applications via information disclosure statements. In […]

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Federal Circuit reverses lost profits award and finding of personal liability

In a decision today, the Federal Circuit reversed a jury's award of damages based on lost profits as well as personal liability against the defendant corporation's principal. The district court let the issue of lost profits damages go to the jury, but the Federal Circuit determined that, as a matter of law, the court should […]

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Proper successor shielded from patent infringement claim

In General Mills, Inc. v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court holding that General Mills's claim for patent infringement against Kraft Foods was barred by a covenant not to sue that General Mills granted to Farley Candy Company, Kraft's predecessor in interest. In affirming the district court's […]

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Federal Circuit: Board can’t use its own expertise as evidentiary substitute in interferences

The Federal Circuit today held that during inter partes proceedings, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (the Board) cannot, under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), rely on its own expertise when making factual findings if there is no evidence of record supporting its conclusion. The court did not opine whether this limitation extended to […]

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Inventors’ appreciation of invention intones interference’s inversion

On appeal from the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI), the Federal Circuit today reversed a priority determination, finding that the junior party had shown conception and reduction to practice before the senior party's filing date. As a result, the case was remanded to determine whether the senior party could prove earlier priority. More […]

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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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