The Solicitor’s Holistic Approach to the Mayo/Alice Analysis in American Axle

This is not exactly breaking news, and other commentators have discussed it, but I think that the Solicitor General’s Amicus Brief urging the Supreme Court to grant cert. in American Axle v. Neapco Holdings, Appeal No. 20-891 (May 2022) contains language that would be helpful to any inventor faced with a ruling that an invention is not patent-eligible because it is an attempt to monopolize a natural law. If the facts of this case have become hazy, please re-read my posts of January 13th and 11th, 2021, on the proceedings below. American Axle petitioned for cert. after losing at the Fed. Cir. level and the Supreme Court asked the Solicitor General to provide her opinion on the question of “[w]hether claim 22 of petitioner’s patent, which claims a process for manufacturing an automobile driveshaft that simultaneously reduces two types of driveshaft variation, is patent eligible under Section 101.” The Solicitor General’s brief said that it should be patent eligible.

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Almirall v. Amneal Pharmaceuticals – Negative Limitations II

This post gets a “Part II” designation because the Fed. Cir. clarified the support necessary to find a negative limitation in the prior art (Almirall LLC v. Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC, Appeal No. 2020-2331 (Fed. Cir., March 14, 2022)). In my earlier post on Novartis v. Accord Heathcare, 21 F.4th 1362 (Fed. Cir. 2022), the Fed. Cir. panel addressed the question of how much support was required in the specification for an applicant to add a negative limitation to a claim, to distinguish the prior art.

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Intellectual Property in Russia

Guest Post from Thomas C. Carey | Chair, Business Practice Group, at Sunstein LLP

The Russian war on Ukraine has resulted in a series of US sanctions and Russian countermeasures that have disrupted the coordination of patent and trademark rights between the United States and Russia.

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Qualcomm v. Apple – Pyrrhic Victory for Qualcomm?

So far, it’s been a slow year for jurisprudence in the life sciences, so I thought I would take a look at the somewhat quirky decision in Qualcomm, Inc. v. Apple, Inc., Appeal nos. 2020-1558, -1559 (Fed. Cir., February 1, 2022). I won’t pretend to understand the technology in question which involves integrated circuit devices with power detection circuits for systems with multiple supply voltages. Some of the claims in Qualcomm’s patent (U.S. Pat. No. 8,063,674) had been found obvious by the Board in an IPR proceeding, based on a combination of “applicant admitted prior art” (AAPA) that was in the patent itself and a prior art patent application that was also discussed in the ‘674 patent, Majcherczak, (2002/063364). It was conceded that all the elements of the claims in question were disclosed in these two documents, and the Board treated them as “prior art consisting of patents and printed publications” and granted Apple’s petition for IPR, then found the claims obvious.

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