For some time, I have wanted to do a post on this recent Fed. Cir. decision (Appeal No. 2015-2073 (Fed. Cir. , August 10, 2016),) in which the Fed. Cir. panel of Judges Moore, Linn and O’Malley (writing) reversed a PTAB decision finding most of the claims of U.S. Patent No. 7,917,843 obvious over a single prior art reference, U.S. Patent .No. 5,859,636 (“Pandit”). Claim 1 is more than a page long, and I will not try to describe it in any detail, except to say that it can be exemplified by the use of a computer program to build an address book.
Archive for the ‘Federal Court’ Category
Today the Supreme Court declined to hear Limelight’s petition for cert. on the question of whether an accused infringer may be held liable for direct infringement of a claim to a method where multiple parties perform the steps of the method.
On August 13, 2016, the S. Ct. remanded the en banc decision of the Fed. Cir. that set forth the law of divided infringement under s. 271(a), and found that Limelight directly infringed U.S. Pat. No. 6,108,703. The court held that an entity will be found responsible for others’ performance of method steps “(1) where that entity directs or controls others’ performance, [or] (2) where the actors form a joint enterprise.” (more…)
As Chief Judge, Rader bought sheer intelligence and coherence to a number of difficult decisions. Although I have criticized his Bilski dissent – which bought the cult of the abstract idea to prominence, he also was among the last of the defenders of a limited role for the written description requirement – a legal battle eventually lost (See his concurrence in Novozyme v. DuPont Nutrition this year).
I guess I would have hoped for a Chief Justice with some scientific background – Judge Prost is an expert on Labor Relations, but I certainly wish her well as she prepares to lead the court into uncharted waters, with the Supreme Court poised to be the Neptune to her Ulysses.
Some IP Stories Do Not Have Much “It” Factor. Just like there used to be, and I guess still are, “It Girls” in showbiz and fashion, there are “It Issues” in IP law. I know these decisions/controversies are very important to the parties involved, but I just couldn’t get enthusiastic about these stories. However, since you may wish to investigate them further, I thought I would send out a short list.
1. The legality of Michelle Lee’s appointment as Acting Deputy Director of the PTO (or whatever her title will turn out to be). More interesting would be the story of why Terry Rea was not offered the position (if she even wanted it).
2. What “and/or” means in a patent claim. Although the PTO usually does not object to its use, it is probably better to write something like “at least one of A or B”, or “A or B or a combination thereof”.
3. In case you have not noticed, prosecution history estoppel can limit the scope of a design patent. ‘Nuff said.