AAM v. Neapco – Part III – The Dissent Faces a “Perfect Storm” of Conflated Doctrines

Since most of my last post discussing Judge Moore’s dissent focused on her criticism of the majority’s conclusion that the claimed invention—placing a tuned liner into a hollow “propshaft” to attenuate two modes of vibration—was directed to Hooke’s law and nothing more, I do not want to leave without commenting briefly on Judge Moore’s two other concerns. This despite the fact that a divided Fed. Cir. recently denied rehearing en banc.

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AAM v. Neapco Part II– Judge Moore’s Dissent – Nothing More = Nevermore?

My first post on this troubling decision is dated August 3rd. If you have not already, please read it before you read this one. It focuses on the two judge majority opinion, that found that a claim to a method for manufacturing a “propshaft” –that I think is the same thing as an automobile’s  driveshaft—modified so that bad vibrations are reduced, is patent ineligible as a natural phenomenon (or perhaps also as an abstract idea).

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AAM v. Neapco: Method of Manufacturing Claim Gets the 101 Hook(e)

In American Axle and Manufacturing v. Neapco Holdings LLC, Appeal No. 2018-1763 (Fed. Cir., July 31, 2020), a split panel of Judges Dyk, Moore and Taranto, on rehearing, slightly modified their earlier opinion that most of the claims of U.S. Pat. No. 7,774,911 are invalid as an attempt to claim a law of nature, namely Hooke’s Law. The majority seems confused at times as to whether the claims are directed to an abstract idea or to a law of nature. See slip op. at 18 and 25. Moore strongly dissented. The claim that warranted the most discussion is Claim 22:

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Dana-Farber v. Ono – Co-Inventorship Rules

The pun is intentional, since in Dana-Farber Cancer Inst. v. Ono Pharm. Co., Ltd, Appeal No. 2019-2050 (Fed. Cir., July 14, 2020), a Fed. Cir. Panel of Judges Lourie, Newman and Stoll, Lourie writing, affirmed a district court ruling that two collaborators should have been named as co-inventors with the four named inventors on U.S. patent no. 7,595,048 and five progeny patents. This mercifully compact opinion provides a very good summary of the law of co-inventorship, particularly in a complex area of biotechnology with a number of potential collaborators who interacted at different times to provide different contributions to the conception of claimed subject matter. Claim 3 of the ‘048 patent is deceptively simple:

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