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Plaintiff-Appellant Digital Ally, Inc. appealed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant-Appellee Utility Associates, Inc. The two companies sold in-car video and surveillance systems. Utility owned U.S. Patent No. 6,381,556 (the ’556 patent) by purchasing the patent and other assets in January 2013 from a supplier of in-car mobile surveillance systems. Utility and its CEO, Robert McKeeman, believed that the ’556 patent was potentially valuable and covered existing systems already in commerce. Thereafter, Utility sent letters to potential customers (who were at that time customers of competitors), including Digital Ally, regarding the consequences of purchasing unlicensed and infringing systems. It urged customers to instead purchase systems from Utility because it now owned the ’556 patent. In October 2013, Digital Ally sought a declaratory judgment of non- infringement in Kansas federal district court, but the suit was dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction over Utility. In May 2013, Digital Ally filed a petition for inter partes review with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to determine the validity of all claims on the ’556 patent. The PTAB instituted a review of Claims 1– 7 and 9–25 and determined that Claims 1–7, 9, 10, and 12–25 were unpatentable, and that Claim 11 was not shown to be unpatentable. Claim 8 was not reviewed. The Federal Circuit affirmed this decision. On June 4, 2014, Digital Ally filed this suit with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, containing nine counts against Utility, including monopolization, false advertising, tortious interference, bad faith assertion of patent infringement, defamation and product disparagement, and trade secret misappropriation. The district court granted Utility’s motion for summary judgment on all nine counts and denied Digital Ally’s motion for partial summary judgment. The Tenth Circuit, in affirming the district court's judgment, concluded Digital Ally failed to sufficiently argue the issues it sought to appeal, "[t]he failure to do so amounts to a concession as to the proof." View "Digital Ally v. Utility Associates" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff-Appellant Digital Ally, Inc. appealed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant-Appellee Utility Associates, Inc. The two companies sold in-car video and surveillance systems. Utility owned U.S. Patent No. 6,381,556 (the ’556 patent) by purchasing the patent and other assets in January 2013 from a supplier of in-car mobile surveillance systems. Utility and its CEO, Robert McKeeman, believed that the ’556 patent was potentially valuable and covered existing systems already in commerce. Thereafter, Utility sent letters to potential customers (who were at that time customers of competitors), including Digital Ally, regarding the consequences of purchasing unlicensed and infringing systems. It urged customers to instead purchase systems from Utility because it now owned the ’556 patent. In October 2013, Digital Ally sought a declaratory judgment of non- infringement in Kansas federal district court, but the suit was dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction over Utility. In May 2013, Digital Ally filed a petition for inter partes review with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to determine the validity of all claims on the ’556 patent. The PTAB instituted a review of Claims 1– 7 and 9–25 and determined that Claims 1–7, 9, 10, and 12–25 were unpatentable, and that Claim 11 was not shown to be unpatentable. Claim 8 was not reviewed. The Federal Circuit affirmed this decision. On June 4, 2014, Digital Ally filed this suit with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, containing nine counts against Utility, including monopolization, false advertising, tortious interference, bad faith assertion of patent infringement, defamation and product disparagement, and trade secret misappropriation. The district court granted Utility’s motion for summary judgment on all nine counts and denied Digital Ally’s motion for partial summary judgment. The Tenth Circuit, in affirming the district court's judgment, concluded Digital Ally failed to sufficiently argue the issues it sought to appeal, "[t]he failure to do so amounts to a concession as to the proof." View "Digital Ally v. Utility Associates" on Justia Law

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Aatrix's patents have essentially the same specification and are directed to systems and methods for designing, creating, and importing data into a viewable form on a computer so that a user can manipulate the data and create viewable forms and reports. The preferred embodiment describes a data processing system with a form file, a data file, and a viewer. The form file is created using in-house form development tools to model the physical characteristics of an existing form, including the calculations and rule conditions required to fill in the form. The data file allows data from third-party applications to be “seamlessly imported” to populate the form's fields. The viewer generates a report by merging the data, performing calculations, and allowing the user to review and change the values. In an infringement action, the district court found several claims invalid as directed to ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 101. The Federal Circuit vacated the dismissal. . The district court erred in determining that a claim was ineligible because it is not directed to a tangible embodiment and in denying leave to amend without claim construction. The court noted factual allegations in a proposed amended complaint, that, if accepted, establish that the claimed combination contains inventive components and improves the workings of the computer. View "Aatrix Software, Inc v. Green Shades Software, Inc" on Justia Law

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Aatrix's patents have essentially the same specification and are directed to systems and methods for designing, creating, and importing data into a viewable form on a computer so that a user can manipulate the data and create viewable forms and reports. The preferred embodiment describes a data processing system with a form file, a data file, and a viewer. The form file is created using in-house form development tools to model the physical characteristics of an existing form, including the calculations and rule conditions required to fill in the form. The data file allows data from third-party applications to be “seamlessly imported” to populate the form's fields. The viewer generates a report by merging the data, performing calculations, and allowing the user to review and change the values. In an infringement action, the district court found several claims invalid as directed to ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 101. The Federal Circuit vacated the dismissal. . The district court erred in determining that a claim was ineligible because it is not directed to a tangible embodiment and in denying leave to amend without claim construction. The court noted factual allegations in a proposed amended complaint, that, if accepted, establish that the claimed combination contains inventive components and improves the workings of the computer. View "Aatrix Software, Inc v. Green Shades Software, Inc" on Justia Law

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The 222 Application, entitled “System and Method for Operating a Drain Valve,” is directed to a valve assembly for draining contaminants, condensation, and other fluids that adversely affect the efficiency and function of a pressurized system. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirmed the examiner’s rejection of all claims as anticipated (35 U.S.C. 102(b)) and/or obvious (35 U.S.C. 103). The Federal Circuit reversed as to anticipation, finding the holdings not supported by substantial evidence, and vacated the obviousness determinations. The Board’s strained interpretation of “signal” was unreasonably broad and inconsistent with the 222 application. The Board did not provide an adequate evidentiary basis or explanation for its determination that the claims would have been obvious. View "In re: Hodges" on Justia Law

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Merck’s 353 patent claims mometasone furoate monohydrate, the active ingredient in Merck’s Nasonex® nasal product. Amneal submitted an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) seeking approval to market a generic mometasone furoate nasal spray. In Merck’s infringement suit, the district court found that Merck failed to prove that Amneal’s ANDA product will infringe. The Federal Circuit affirmed, upholding the district court’s refusal to require Amneal to produce additional samples of its ANDA product for testing before trial. The court rejected a claim that the noninfringement finding must be reversed because it was not based on Amneal’s final commercial product. The district court did not clearly err in finding that a Raman spectroscopy three-peak analysis was required to confirm the infringing form of mometasone furoate in Amneal’s product. Raman spectroscopy is a vibrational spectroscopy technique. A laser is used to generate a Raman spectrum, which indicates the vibrational modes of molecules and can be used to differentiate crystalline forms. View "Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC" on Justia Law

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Polaris’s 405 Patent, titled “Side-by-Side ATV,” issued in December 2013, “relates to [all-terrain vehicles] having at least a pair of laterally spaced apart seating surfaces.” The patent expresses a desire that the ATVs have a low center of gravity. Arctic Cat successfully sought inter partes review. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board found that the claims were unpatentable as obvious (35 U.S.C. 103) over one combination of references. The Federal Circuit vacated with respect to certain claims, The Board failed to consider Polaris’s uncontested evidence that skilled artisans would not have been motivated to place a fuel tank under prior art’s seats and applied a legal analysis that runs contrary to the concept of teaching away. On remand, the Board must analyze whether prior art “teaches away” from claims 17–19 under the framework articulated in precedent. The Board must determine whether prior art merely expresses a general preference for maintaining very low seats or whether its teachings “criticize, discredit, or otherwise discourage” significantly raising the occupancy area of prior art’s ATV to add a fuel tank under one of the seats. View "Polaris Industries, Inc. v. Arctic Cat, Inc." on Justia Law

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Xitronix filed, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, a “Walker Process” monopolization claim under section 2 of the Sherman Act and sections 4 and 6 of the Clayton Act based on the alleged fraudulent prosecution of a patent. The parties believed that the Federal Circuit had jurisdiction over an appeal under 28 U.S.C. 1295(a)(1). The Federal Circuit transferred the case to the Fifth Circuit, citing the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision, Gunn v. Minton. The Xitronix complaint alleges that KLA “engaged in exclusionary conduct by fraudulently prosecuting to issuance the [’]260 patent” and its conduct “was and is specifically intended to monopolize and destroy competition in the market” and alleges KLA intentionally made false representations to the Patent Office on which the examiner relied during prosecution. On the face of the complaint, no allegation establishes “that federal patent law creates the cause of action.” The only question is whether the monopolization allegation “necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of federal patent law, in that patent law is a necessary element of one of the well-pleaded claims.” There is nothing unique to patent law about allegations of false statements. View "Xitronix Corp. v. KLA-Tencor Corp." on Justia Law

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The 713 patent relates to digitally processing and archiving files in a digital asset management system that parses files into multiple objects and tags the objects to create relationships between them. These objects are analyzed and compared, manually or automatically, to archived objects to determine whether variations exist based on predetermined standards and rules. The system eliminates redundant storage of common text and graphical elements and improves system operating efficiency, reducing storage costs. Berkheimer sued HP, alleging infringement. Following a Markman hearing, the district court concluded that the term “archive exhibits minimal redundancy” in claim 10 is indefinite and renders claim 10 and its dependents invalid and granted HP summary judgment that claims 1–7 and 9 are patent ineligible under 35 U.S.C. 101. The Federal Circuit affirmed the determination that claims 10–19 are invalid as indefinite. Because claims 1–3 and 9 do not capture the purportedly inventive concepts, those claims are ineligible. The court did not decide whether claims 4–7 are patent eligible but held that summary judgment was improper, given the fact questions created by the specification’s disclosure. Claims 4–7 contain limitations directed to the arguably unconventional inventive concept described in the specification. View "Berkheimer v. HP Inc." on Justia Law

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The 713 patent relates to digitally processing and archiving files in a digital asset management system that parses files into multiple objects and tags the objects to create relationships between them. These objects are analyzed and compared, manually or automatically, to archived objects to determine whether variations exist based on predetermined standards and rules. The system eliminates redundant storage of common text and graphical elements and improves system operating efficiency, reducing storage costs. Berkheimer sued HP, alleging infringement. Following a Markman hearing, the district court concluded that the term “archive exhibits minimal redundancy” in claim 10 is indefinite and renders claim 10 and its dependents invalid and granted HP summary judgment that claims 1–7 and 9 are patent ineligible under 35 U.S.C. 101. The Federal Circuit affirmed the determination that claims 10–19 are invalid as indefinite. Because claims 1–3 and 9 do not capture the purportedly inventive concepts, those claims are ineligible. The court did not decide whether claims 4–7 are patent eligible but held that summary judgment was improper, given the fact questions created by the specification’s disclosure. Claims 4–7 contain limitations directed to the arguably unconventional inventive concept described in the specification. View "Berkheimer v. HP Inc." on Justia Law