Posts Tagged ‘Patent Law’

Chisum Patent Academy – Seattle 2015 Seminar Takeaways

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

This is a guest post from Donald Chisum and Janice Mueller.

iStock_000017522821_SmallOn August 12-14, 2015, the Chisum Patent Academy held a three-day seminar at the historic Mayflower Park Hotel in downtown Seattle, Washington to discuss and debate current developments in U.S. patent law. The roundtable seminar group was limited to ten persons; sessions were led by treatise authors and educators Donald Chisum and Janice Mueller.

The recap of takeaways from the seminar can be found here:

Takeaways from Our Seattle 2015 Seminar

Sequenom’s En Banc Petition

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Sequenom’s Petition for Rehearing En Banc – Panel Ignored “Inventive Concept” in Combined Steps of the Claimed Method

mandmsFor any of us practitioners encountering increasing numbers of s. 101 rejection rejections of diagnostic claims based on Mayo and the March 2014 PTO Guidance – and that is pretty much any life sciences patent attorney – this brief is a “must read.” (A copy of this brief is available at the end of this post.) This brief puts it all out there, both criticizing the panel, proposing a new rule for method claims incorporating natural phenomenon and illustrating how the panel’s application of the Mayo Rule threatens method of medical treatment claims as well as diagnostic method claims.

If I start trying to summarize the Brief, I will not be able to stop. Instead of arguing that the Mayo Supreme Court decision was wrong, the Brief distinguishes the regimen claims in Mayo from the Sequenom claims – that were based on the discovery of cffDNA in maternal serum which, in turn permitted the non-invasive determination of the condition of the fetus. The opinion of the Brief’s authors is that the Sequenom claims adhere to the rationale of Diehr, a decision ignored by the panel. I will quote two paragraphs below, but picking just one to quote is like having to stop after eating a single M&M or one potato chip – nearly impossible:

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Fed. Cir. Rules Requirements for Direct Infringement by Multiple Parties

Friday, August 14th, 2015

CAFC Decides Akamai v Limelight–Holds For Infringement By Limelight–Defines Criteria For Directing And Controlling Customers’ Performance

iStock_000005967663_SmallIn Akami Technologies v. Limelight Networks, App. No. 2009-1372, -1380, -1416, -1417 (Fed. Cir., August 13, 2015), the court, sitting en banc after a remand from the S. Ct., set out the requirements for direct infringement involving acts by two or more parties under s. 271(a). The unanimous ruling held that an entity is responsible for others’ performance of method steps (1) where that entity directs or controls the acts of another, or (2) where the actors form a joint enterprise. (A copy of this decision is found at the end of this post.)

The court explained:

“… we have held that an actor is liable for infringement under s. 271(a) if it acts through an agent … or contracts with another to perform one or more steps of a claimed method. See BMC, 498 F.3d at 1380-81. We conclude, on the facts of this case, that liability….can also be found when an alleged infringer conditions participation in an activity or receipt of a benefit upon performance of a step or steps of a patented method and establishes the manner or timing of that performance…. In those instances, the third party’s actions are attributed to the alleged infringer such that the alleged infringer becomes the single actor chargeable with direct infringement.”

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Patent Office Publishes Subject Matter “Update”

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

updateToday (July 30th), the Patent Office released an 11 page “July 2015 Update” on patent-eligible subject matter (or not). (A copy of the update and appendices can be found at the end of this post.) Most of the “Update” focused on clarifying the December 2014 revised guidance. Also released were new examples 21-26–including ones modeled on Flook and Diehr. None of the new examples related to the life-sciences. Also released were an Appendix 2 that indexed all of the examples released since December 2014, and an Appendix 3, summarizing all of the case law discussed.

So if you are a life sciences person, you need only peruse the “Update.” It spends considerable space discussing how to apply the December 2014 Guidance, but the takeaway is that you need to rebut the natural product exception with a showing of markedly difference characteristics (2A) or else you fall into the dreaded “significantly more” circle of Hell called 2B. There is also some attempt to clarify the role of the “Streamlined Analysis” and preemption, that I don’t think clarified anything and that Examiners ignore anyway.

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