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Splenda leaves a bitter taste in competitors’ mouths

The business may be all about sweetness, but the competition can be bitter. That's the story right now in the artificial sweetener business, with much of the action centered around sucralose, the sweetener in Splenda®. The sweetener is the subject of several currently pending cases. In the first, rival sweetener maker Merisant, maker of Equal® […]

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Outdoor outfitters at odds over outerwear, order overturned

Competing sporting goods retailers Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's faced off in the Federal Circuit. The parties were involved in an earlier patent infringement suit where Bass Pro Shops sued Cabela's for infringing its patent relating to a vest with a "pivotable seat member." The parties settled that suit, and the court entered an order […]

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Reebok files patent infringement against Nike over collapsible shoes

Earlier this week, #2 shoe manufacturer Reebok sued #1 shoe manufacturer Nike for patent infringement. The patent at issue, number 7,168,190, just issued in the end of January, and relates to collapsable shoe technology. The idea is that the shoe design allows it to be rolled or folded for easier packing into, for example a […]

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Certificate of correction invalid, infringement case continues with original claims

The Federal Circuit yesterday voided a certificate of correction which had been issued changing the scope of a patent's claims. Because the error corrected broadened the claims and was not the type of error that was "immediately apparent and leave no doubt as to what the mistake is," the certificate of correction was inappropriate. As […]

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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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