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Patent Term Extensions: A Leap Frog of Sorts to Set Expiration Date

In a case before the Federal Circuit, the court affirmed the district court's decision that a patent term extension under the Hatch-Waxman Act, 35 U.S.C. § 156, may be applied to a patent subject to a terminal disclaimer under 35 U.S.C. § 253. The Federal Circuit found that the language of § 156 is unambiguous […]

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Another post-MedImmune declaratory judgment jurisdiction decision

The Federal Circuit addressed the requirements for declaratory judgment jurisdiction in a published decision for the second time this week. This time the parties are pharmaceutical companies, but the result is the same: the lower court, applying the old "reasonable apprehension of suit" standard, found no jurisdiction, the Federal Circuit, applying a post-MedImmune standard reverses, […]

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Be careful what you wish for: broad claims found invalid

In another case making a return trip to the Federal Circuit, the court held that under its broad claim construction decided in the first appeal, the asserted claims were invalid in two patents as not enabled and in two more as anticipated. In order to secure a finding of infringement, the patentee, Liebel-Flarsheim, argued for […]

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FTC charges various invention promotion companies with contempt

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed contempt charges against several companies and individuals who had been found to be swindling inventors under the guise of providing so-called “invention promotion services.” In 1998, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entered an order preventing these individuals and companies from fraudulenty promoting: the […]

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Equivalent not tangentially related to amendment, doctrine of equivalents unavailable

In a case coming before the Federal Circuit for the second time, the court reversed a finding of infringement under the doctrine of equivalents because of prosecution history estoppel. The court rejected the patentee's argument that the amendment was only tangentially related to the equivalent, thus the Festo presumption of surrender of equivalents was not […]

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First patent issues from USPTO’s accelerated examination program

On Tuesday, Brother, the company best known for printers and copiers, received the first patent issued based on an application filed under the USPTO’s accelerated examination program. The patent, number 7,188,939, relates to ink cartridges, and resulted from an application filed on September 29, 2006, just over a month after the accelerated examination procedure became […]

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USPTO rescinds partial waiver of restriction requirements for nucleotide inventions

In a news release yesterday, the USPTO has rescinded its partial waiver of the requirements of 37 C.F.R. §§ 1.141 and 1.475 et seq. Under the former policy, a “reasonable number” of nucleotide inventions, typically up to ten, would be considered in a single application without a restriction requirement or issues regarding unity of invention. […]

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Federal Circuit Addresses Claim Differentiation

The Federal Circuit further clarified the doctrine of claim differentiation in Anderson Corp. v. Fiber Composites, LLC. Andersen Corp. owns a number of patent relating to composite materials made from a mixture of polymer and wood fiber as well as patents that relate to structural parts made from those composite materials. Fiber Composites manufactures and […]

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USPTO to institute pilot project to allow public comments on pending applications

The Washington Post today provided more detail about a pilot program previously mentioned in this post. Under the program, the USPTO would post pending patent applications that have become accessible to the public (such as after they have been published). Members of the public would then be able to comment on the applications, and even […]

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USPTO Director Jon Dudas talks patent reform

Over at ZDnet there is very good coverage of a recent speech about patent reform by USPTO director Jon Dudas. Mr. Dudas spoke at the Tech Policy Summit on the issue of whether the patent system was hurting innovation. Mr. Dudas stated that the biggest problem leading to bad quality patents is the obviousness requirement, […]

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