Justia Patents Opinion Summaries

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The case involves Amarin Pharma, Inc., Amarin Pharmaceuticals Ireland Limited, and Mochida Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (collectively, “Amarin”) and Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. and Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (collectively, “Hikma”). Amarin markets and sells icosapent ethyl, an ethyl ester of an omega-3 fatty acid commonly found in fish oils, under the brand name Vascepa®. In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved Vascepa for the treatment of severe hypertriglyceridemia. In 2019, following additional research and clinical trials, the FDA approved Vascepa for a second use: as a treatment to reduce cardiovascular risk in patients having blood triglyceride levels of at least 150 mg/dL.In the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, Hikma moved to dismiss Amarin’s complaint for failure to state a claim. The court granted Hikma’s motion, concluding that Amarin’s allegations against Hikma did not plausibly state a claim for induced infringement.The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the decision of the district court. The court held that Amarin had plausibly pleaded that Hikma had induced infringement of the asserted patents. The court noted that the case was not a traditional Hatch-Waxman case or a section viii case, but rather a run-of-the-mill induced infringement case arising under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b). The court concluded that the totality of the allegations, taken as true, plausibly plead that Hikma “actively” induced healthcare providers’ direct infringement. View "AMARIN PHARMA, INC. v. HIKMA PHARMACEUTICALS USA INC. " on Justia Law

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The case involves Beteiro, LLC, which owns several patents related to facilitating gaming or gambling activities at a remote location. The patents disclose an invention that allows a user to participate in live gaming or gambling activity via a user communication device, even if the user is not in the same location as the gaming venue. Beteiro filed multiple patent infringement cases against various companies, alleging that they infringe certain claims of the patents by providing gambling and event wagering services.The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey dismissed Beteiro's cases for failure to state a claim based on the subject matter ineligibility of the patent claims. The court found that the claims were directed to an abstract idea and did not contain an inventive concept. Beteiro appealed the decision.The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court's decision. The court agreed that Beteiro's claims were directed to the abstract idea of exchanging information concerning a bet and allowing or disallowing the bet based on where the user is located. The court also found that the claims did not provide an inventive concept because they achieved the abstract steps using several generic computers. The court concluded that Beteiro's claims amounted to nothing more than the practice of an abstract idea using conventional computer equipment, including GPS on a mobile phone, which are not eligible for patent under current Section 101 jurisprudence. View "BETEIRO, LLC v. DRAFTKINGS INC. " on Justia Law

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EcoFactor, Inc. sued Google LLC in the Western District of Texas, alleging patent infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8,738,327, which relates to the operation of smart thermostats in computer-networked heating and cooling systems. After a jury trial, the jury found that Google infringed the asserted claim of the patent and awarded damages to EcoFactor. Google appealed three of the district court’s orders: the denial of Google’s motion for summary judgment that the patent was invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101; the denial of Google’s motion for judgment as a matter of law of non-infringement of the patent; and the denial of Google’s motion for a new trial on damages.The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court's decisions. The court held that Google's appeal of the district court's denial of summary judgment was not appealable after a trial on the merits. The court also found that the jury's infringement verdict was supported by substantial evidence. Finally, the court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Google's motion for a new trial on damages. The court concluded that the damages expert's opinion was sufficiently reliable for admissibility purposes and that the expert sufficiently showed that the license agreements were economically comparable to the hypothetically negotiated agreement. View "ECOFACTOR, INC. v. GOOGLE LLC " on Justia Law

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The case revolves around a dispute between Ulrich Speck and Bruno Scheller (collectively, “Speck”) and Brian L. Bates, Anthony O. Ragheb, Joseph M. Stewart IV, William J. Bourdeau, Brian D. Choules, James D. Purdy, and Neal E. Fearnot (collectively, “Bates”) over the priority of a patent related to a drug-coated balloon catheter. The Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) Patent Trial and Appeals Board (“Board”) had previously awarded priority to Bates. Speck had argued that the claims of Bates' patent application were time-barred under 35 U.S.C. § 135(b)(1) and invalid for lack of written description. The Board denied these motions.The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reviewed the case and concluded that the Board erred in finding that Bates' patent application was not time-barred under 35 U.S.C. § 135(b)(1). The court applied a two-way test to determine if pre-critical date claims and post-critical date claims were materially different. The court found that the post-critical date claims were materially different from the pre-critical date claims, making the patent application time-barred. The court reversed the Board's decision, vacated its order canceling the claims of Speck's patent and entering judgment on priority against Speck, and remanded for further proceedings consistent with its opinion. View "SPECK v. BATES " on Justia Law

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Between November 2019 and August 2020, Core Optical Technologies, LLC filed complaints against three groups of defendants led by Nokia Corp., ADVA Optical Networking SE, and Cisco Systems, Inc. Core Optical alleged that these companies infringed on U.S. Patent No. 6,782,211, which was assigned to Core Optical by the inventor, Dr. Mark Core, in 2011. The defendants argued that the patent was actually owned by Dr. Core's former employer, TRW Inc., due to an employment-associated agreement signed by Dr. Core in 1990.The district court in the Central District of California agreed with the defendants, ruling that the 1990 agreement between Dr. Core and TRW automatically assigned the patent rights to TRW. The court found that the patent did not fall under an exception in the agreement for inventions developed entirely on the employee's own time, as Dr. Core had developed the patent while participating in a fellowship program funded by TRW.The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated the district court's judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings. The appellate court found that the phrase "developed entirely on my own time" in the 1990 agreement was ambiguous and did not clearly indicate whether Dr. Core's time spent on his PhD research, which led to the invention, was considered his own time or partly TRW's time. The court concluded that further inquiry into the facts was needed to resolve this ambiguity. View "CORE OPTICAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC v. NOKIA CORPORATION " on Justia Law

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The case involves a patent infringement dispute between Copan Italia S.p.A. and Copan Diagnostics Inc. (collectively, “Copan”) and Puritan Medical Products Company LLC and its affiliated companies (collectively, “Puritan”). Copan, the holder of several patents on flocked swabs used for collecting biological specimens, filed a patent infringement complaint against Puritan in the District of Maine. Puritan, in response, filed a partial motion to dismiss, claiming immunity under the Pandemic Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (“PREP Act”) for a portion of its accused product.The District Court for the District of Maine denied Puritan's motion to dismiss. The court found that Puritan had not shown, as a factual matter, that its flocked swabs were “covered countermeasures” under the PREP Act. The court also granted Puritan’s motion to amend its answer, allowing it to assert PREP Act immunity as a defense, subject to further argument.Puritan appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. However, the appellate court found that it lacked jurisdiction to review the case. The court reasoned that the district court's denial of Puritan's motion to dismiss did not conclusively determine any issue, which is a requirement for the application of the collateral order doctrine. The court suggested that the district court may wish to structure the litigation in a manner that could allow it to make a conclusive determination on Puritan’s PREP Act immunity defense before the case proceeds any further. The appeal was dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction. View "COPAN ITALIA SPA v. PURITAN MEDICAL PRODUCTS COMPANY LLC " on Justia Law

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In 2020, Zircon Corp. filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission alleging that Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. and Black & Decker (U.S.), Inc. violated section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 by importing and selling electronic stud finders that infringed on Zircon's patents. The Commission instituted an investigation based on Zircon's complaint. A Commission Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found no violation of section 337. On review, the Commission affirmed the ALJ's finding of no violation.The Commission's decision was based on two independent reasons. First, it affirmed the ALJ's determination that Zircon had not satisfied the economic prong of the domestic industry requirement. Zircon had argued that it met this requirement based on its investment in plant and equipment, its employment of labor and capital, and its investment in the exploitation of the asserted patents. However, the Commission found that Zircon had not provided an adequate basis to evaluate the investments and the significance of those investments with respect to each asserted patent.Second, the Commission found each of the claims of the patents that were before the Commission were either invalid or not infringed. The Commission found that all the asserted claims of one patent would have been obvious in view of four prior art references; that several claims of two other patents were invalid as anticipated by or obvious in light of Zircon’s original stud finder; and that several of the claims of these two patents were not infringed.Zircon appealed the Commission's decision, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the Commission's decision. The court agreed with the Commission's interpretation of section 337 and found that substantial evidence supported the Commission's finding that Zircon failed to meet its burden to prove the existence of a domestic industry relating to articles protected by each of its patents. View "ZIRCON CORP. v. ITC " on Justia Law

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The case involves IOENGINE, LLC (IOENGINE) appealing a series of Final Written Decisions by the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Board) that found certain claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,539,047, 9,059,969, and 9,774,703 unpatentable during inter partes review (IPR). The patents in question share a written description and title—“Apparatus, Method and System for a Tunneling Client Access Point.” They claim a “portable device” configured to communicate with a terminal, with the device and terminal having various program codes stored in memory to facilitate communications.The Board had previously determined that certain claims of the patents were unpatentable. IOENGINE appealed, arguing that the Board incorrectly construed the claim term “interactive user interface,” incorrectly applied the printed matter doctrine, and otherwise erred in its anticipation and obviousness analysis.The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found that the Board erred in its application of the printed matter doctrine to certain claims, reversing the Board’s unpatentability determinations as to claims 4 and 7 of the ’969 patent and claims 61–62 and 110–11 of the ’703 patent. However, the court affirmed the Board’s unpatentability determinations as to all other claims. The court also found that IOENGINE forfeited its proposed claim construction by not presenting it to the Board during IPR. View "IOENGINE, LLC v. INGENICO INC. " on Justia Law

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This case involves Packet Intelligence LLC ("Packet") and NetScout Systems, Inc. and NetScout Systems Texas, LLC (collectively, "NetScout"). Packet had sued NetScout for patent infringement. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas found that NetScout had willfully infringed Packet's patents and awarded Packet damages, enhanced damages for willful infringement, and an ongoing royalty. NetScout appealed this decision.In a previous appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had reversed the district court's award of pre-suit damages and vacated the court's enhancement of that award. The court affirmed the district court's judgment in all other respects and remanded the case to the district court. On remand, the district court denied NetScout's motion to dismiss or stay the case and entered an amended final judgment. The amended judgment reduced the enhanced damages and reset the ongoing royalty rate.Meanwhile, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("Board") found all of the patent claims asserted by Packet in this case unpatentable as obvious. Packet appealed the Board's final written decisions. The Federal Circuit coordinated those appeals so they would be considered by the same panel deciding this appeal.The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated the district court’s amended final judgment and remanded the case with instructions to dismiss the case as moot. The court held that Packet’s infringement judgment was not final before the Board’s unpatentability determinations were affirmed. Therefore, the court was compelled to order that Packet’s patent infringement claims be dismissed as moot. View "PACKET INTELLIGENCE LLC v. NETSCOUT SYSTEMS, INC. " on Justia Law

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The case revolves around SnapRays, a Utah-based company that designs, markets, and sells electrical outlet covers with integrated guide lights, safety lights, motion sensor lights, and USB charging technology, and Lighting Defense Group (LDG), an Arizona-based company that owns a patent related to a cover for an electrical receptacle. LDG submitted an Amazon Patent Evaluation Express (APEX) Agreement alleging that certain SnapPower products sold on Amazon.com infringed its patent. SnapPower subsequently filed an action for declaratory judgment of noninfringement.The United States District Court for the District of Utah dismissed SnapPower's complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction over LDG. The court concluded that LDG lacked sufficient contacts with Utah for it to exercise specific personal jurisdiction. It found that LDG's allegations of infringement were directed toward Amazon in Washington, where the APEX Agreement was sent, and not at SnapPower in Utah. The court also noted that under Federal Circuit law, principles of fair play and substantial justice support a finding that LDG is not subject to specific personal jurisdiction in Utah.The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the lower court's decision. The appellate court concluded that LDG purposefully directed extra-judicial patent enforcement activities at SnapPower in Utah, thereby satisfying the requirements for specific personal jurisdiction. The court found that LDG's submission of the APEX Agreement to Amazon, which identified SnapPower's listings as allegedly infringing, was an intentional action aimed at affecting SnapPower's sales and activities in Utah. The court also rejected LDG's argument that the assertion of specific personal jurisdiction over it in Utah would be unfair and unreasonable. The case was remanded for further proceedings. View "SNAPRAYS v. LIGHTING DEFENSE GROUP " on Justia Law