Federal Circuit reaffirms anticipatory reference must have all elements as arranged in the claim

In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of indefiniteness but reversed the district court's holding of anticipation of other claims. The district court held the means-plus-function limitations did not have corresponding structure disclosed in the specification, rendering them indefinite, and that the combination of two examples in a prior art […]

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High materiality without explanation for nondisclosure leads to inference of intent to deceive

In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of inequitable conduct for one patent but reversed on a second, affirmed a finding of no invalidity of the second patent, but vacated the finding of infringement after modifying the district court's claim construction of a claim term. The court also reversed the […]

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No evidence of intent to deceive, no inequitable conduct

In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court's grant of summary judgment of inequitable conduct against the patentee. At issue was whether the patentee's failure to disclose a letter describing an aspect of the prior art constituted inequitable conduct. The court reversed finding that the alleged infringer had failed to provide sufficient […]

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Two district courts, one correct claim construction; $103 million damage award vacated

In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit reversed a jury verdict of willful infringement and a total award of over $100 million based on a modified claim construction. The court also reversed the finding that one asserted claim was not anticipated, and remanded the case for a redetermination of infringement and whether the remaining claims […]

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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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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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Claims to “fragile gel” indefinite even though term defined in specification

In a second decision Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of 35 U.S.C. § 112, second paragraph indefiniteness. The term was defined in the specification, however the district court held that definition was too subjective and unclear, largely because it relied on relative terms. The proper scope was also not discernable from […]

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“Ordinary creativity” of one of ordinary skill in the art used to show claims not indefinite

In a decision today the Federal Circuit held that the district court had incorrectly determined that AllVoice Computing PLC's patent was invalid for indefiniteness and failure to meet the best mode requirement. In reaching its decision, the Federal Circuit determined that the lower court had used the prosecution history of the patent to interpret the […]

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“Attorney argument” and late disclosure not enough to support inequitable conduct finding

The Federal Circuit issued a ruling yesterday that provides some guidance on the issues of indefiniteness and inequitable conduct. The court held that the term "near" was sufficiently definite for identifying the location of an incision in veterinary surgery, because the meaning could be adduced from the intrinsic evidence. Further, the court held that as […]

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