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Visual’s 740 patent purports to overcome deficiencies in computer systems using a three-tiered memory hierarchy to enhance performance by creating a memory system with programmable operational characteristics that can be tailored for use with multiple different processors without an accompanying reduction in performance. The Federal Circuit reversed the dismissal of Visual’s patent infringement complaint against NVIDIA. The patent claims an improvement to computer memory systems and is not directed to an abstract idea, so it is patentable under 35 U.S.C. 101. The patent includes a microfiche appendix having a combined total of 263 frames of computer code. View "Visual Memory LLC v. NVIDIA Corp." on Justia Law

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AIA sued Avid for infringement of patents directed to research technologies stemming from the discovery of a genetic mutation that is associated with early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease. Mullan is named as the sole inventor of both patents. Avid responded that AIA lacked standing to assert the patents and that Sexton, AIA’s founder, and Mullan orchestrated a scheme to appropriate for themselves inventions from Imperial College in London and the University of South Florida. AIA claimed that Dr. Mullan was properly named as sole inventor and that his employer, USF, waived any ownership rights. The district court held a jury trial on standing, in which 12 witnesses testified and over 200 exhibits were introduced. The jury determined that USF did not knowingly and intentionally waive its ownership rights and that Dr. Hardy was a co-inventor; the court found AIA lacked standing and entered judgment for Avid. The Federal Circuit summarily affirmed. Avid sought attorney’s fees. The district court allowed the parties to submit briefing, evidence, and declarations and held a hearing, then awarded Avid $3,943,317.70 in fees. The Federal Circuit affirmed, rejecting AIA’s argument that the Seventh Amendment requires a jury trial to decide the facts forming the basis to award attorney’s fees under Patent Act section 285. The district court did not err by making factual findings not foreclosed by the jury’s verdict on standing; AIA’s due process rights were not violated. View "AIA America, Inc. v. Avid Radiopharmaceuticals" on Justia Law

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AIA sued Avid for infringement of patents directed to research technologies stemming from the discovery of a genetic mutation that is associated with early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease. Mullan is named as the sole inventor of both patents. Avid responded that AIA lacked standing to assert the patents and that Sexton, AIA’s founder, and Mullan orchestrated a scheme to appropriate for themselves inventions from Imperial College in London and the University of South Florida. AIA claimed that Dr. Mullan was properly named as sole inventor and that his employer, USF, waived any ownership rights. The district court held a jury trial on standing, in which 12 witnesses testified and over 200 exhibits were introduced. The jury determined that USF did not knowingly and intentionally waive its ownership rights and that Dr. Hardy was a co-inventor; the court found AIA lacked standing and entered judgment for Avid. The Federal Circuit summarily affirmed. Avid sought attorney’s fees. The district court allowed the parties to submit briefing, evidence, and declarations and held a hearing, then awarded Avid $3,943,317.70 in fees. The Federal Circuit affirmed, rejecting AIA’s argument that the Seventh Amendment requires a jury trial to decide the facts forming the basis to award attorney’s fees under Patent Act section 285. The district court did not err by making factual findings not foreclosed by the jury’s verdict on standing; AIA’s due process rights were not violated. View "AIA America, Inc. v. Avid Radiopharmaceuticals" on Justia Law

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The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act, 42 U.S.C. 262, establishes a scheme for adjudicating claims of patent infringement in the FDA's approval of “biological products.” To obtain FDA approval, the sponsor of a new biological product must demonstrate that it is “safe, pure, and potent.” For a “biosimilar” product based on an approved “reference” product, a party may submit an abbreviated “subsection (k)” application that “piggybacks” on the showing made for an approved reference product but must provide the reference product's sponsor with its subsection (k) application and information that describes the manufacturing process. The parties then collaborate to identify patents for immediate litigation. The second phase is triggered by the applicant’s notice of commercial marketing and involves any patents that were included on the lists but not previously litigated. Hospira's subsection (k) application sought approval of a biosimilar of EPOGEN®, Amgen’s FDA-approved product, Although Amgen asserted that Hospira failed to disclose the composition of the cell-culture medium used during manufacturing, the parties began identifying patents. Amgen claimed that it could not assess the reasonableness of asserting infringement claims concerning other patents for culturing cells and moved to compel discovery on the composition of Hospira’s cell-culture medium in its suit on listed patents. The court denied Amgen’s motion, stating that the information had no relevance to the asserted patents. Amgen appealed that interlocutory order. The Federal Circuit dismissed, holding that it lacked jurisdiction under the collateral order doctrine and that Amgen failed to satisfy the prerequisites for mandamus. View "Amgen, Inc.. v. Hospira, Inc.." on Justia Law

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The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act, 42 U.S.C. 262, establishes a scheme for adjudicating claims of patent infringement in the FDA's approval of “biological products.” To obtain FDA approval, the sponsor of a new biological product must demonstrate that it is “safe, pure, and potent.” For a “biosimilar” product based on an approved “reference” product, a party may submit an abbreviated “subsection (k)” application that “piggybacks” on the showing made for an approved reference product but must provide the reference product's sponsor with its subsection (k) application and information that describes the manufacturing process. The parties then collaborate to identify patents for immediate litigation. The second phase is triggered by the applicant’s notice of commercial marketing and involves any patents that were included on the lists but not previously litigated. Hospira's subsection (k) application sought approval of a biosimilar of EPOGEN®, Amgen’s FDA-approved product, Although Amgen asserted that Hospira failed to disclose the composition of the cell-culture medium used during manufacturing, the parties began identifying patents. Amgen claimed that it could not assess the reasonableness of asserting infringement claims concerning other patents for culturing cells and moved to compel discovery on the composition of Hospira’s cell-culture medium in its suit on listed patents. The court denied Amgen’s motion, stating that the information had no relevance to the asserted patents. Amgen appealed that interlocutory order. The Federal Circuit dismissed, holding that it lacked jurisdiction under the collateral order doctrine and that Amgen failed to satisfy the prerequisites for mandamus. View "Amgen, Inc.. v. Hospira, Inc.." on Justia Law

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Romag’s patent and trademark are directed to magnetic snap fasteners and are licensed to a Chinese manufacturer, which supplied ROMAG magnetic snaps for use in handbags manufactured and distributed by Fossil. In 2010, a batch of Fossil handbags appeared to contain counterfeit ROMAG magnetic snaps. Romag sued Fossil for patent and trademark infringement and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA). The Federal Circuit affirmed a verdict finding Fossil liable for patent and trademark infringement and for violation of CUTPA. Romag sought attorney’s fees under the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 285, Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1117(a), and CUTPA. The district court granted fees under the Patent Act and CUTPA, but not under the Lanham Act. The Federal Circuit vacated, first holding that the Lanham Act should have the same standard for recovering attorney’s fees as the Patent Act. In determining whether the case was exceptional under 35 U.S.C. 285, the court made several errors with respect to the “totality of the circumstances”: Fossil’s patent invalidity defenses were withdrawn before trial; the court made no finding that Fossil’s defenses of anticipation and obviousness were objectively unreasonable; in the infringement proceedings, the judge did not conclude that Fossil’s indefiniteness defense bordered on frivolous; and the court failed to consider Romag’s earlier litigation misconduct. View "Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc." on Justia Law

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EFF, a nonprofit organization that advocates in the public interest of consumers of digital technology, requested inter partes review of Personal Audio’s 504 Patent, entitled “System for Disseminating Media Content Representing Episodes in a Serialized Sequence.” The patent is directed to a system and apparatus for storing and distributing episodic media files (podcast technology). A podcast is a digital media file made available through web syndication, in which new installments or “episodes” are automatically received by subscribers. The 504 Patent claims an apparatus whose components receive and control playback of the episodes. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board found four claims unpatentable as anticipated under 35 U.S.C. 102 and/or obvious under 35 U.S.C. 103. The Federal Circuit affirmed, first holding that EFF is not constitutionally excluded from appearing in court to defend the PTAB decision in its favor. The court upheld the Board’s construction of “episode” as “a program segment, represented by one or more media files, which is part of a series of related segments, e.g., a radio show or a newscast,” its construction of “compilation file” as “a file that contains episode information,” and its holding that “updated version” did not require construction. View "Personal Audio, LLC v. Electronic Frontier Foundation." on Justia Law

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Whirlpool’s 688 patent claims a household blender with a pre-programmed, automated blending cycle designed to blend items “quickly and reliably—by repeatedly dropping to a speed slow enough to allow the blender contents to settle around the cutter assembly, and then returning to a [higher] speed suitable for processing the contents.” It was well-known that a user could manually pulse between a high speed and a low speed to “achieve[] . . . a pattern of movement that introduces the entire contents of the reservoir into contact with the rotating blades” for efficient mixing,” so the claimed automatic blending routine was, in the prior art, done manually. There were also blenders on the market which allowed “preprogram[ing] ‘on-off’ sequence[s] [to] enable[] hands-free operation of the blender.” On inter partes review, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board did not construe the key term “settling speed” found in the claims and determined that the claims were not invalid as anticipated by prior art reference. The Federal Circuit reversed, employing the “broadest reasonable construction” of predetermined settling speed: a speed that is slower than the operating speed and permits settling of the blender contents, and concluding that the claims were anticipated. View "Homeland Housewares, LLC v. Whirlpool Corp." on Justia Law

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Honeywell’s 366 patent is directed to the use of 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoropropene, an unsaturated hydrofluorocarbon compound, and a polyalkylene glycol lubricant in heat transfer systems, such as air conditioning equipment. In merged inter partes examinations, an examiner rejected several claims under 35 U.S.C. 103. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board affirmed. The Federal Circuit vacated. The Board erred: by improperly relying on inherency to find obviousness and in its analysis of motivation to combine the references; in dismissing Honeywell’s evidence of unpredictability in the art when it stated that one of ordinary skill would no more have expected failure than success in combining the references; and in relying on a new grounds for rejection. View "Honeywell International, Inc. v. Mexichem Amanco Holding S.A." on Justia Law

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Regeneron accused Merus of infringing the 018 patent. The district court issued an opinion construing various terms and declared one term indefinite. Merus asserted a counterclaim of unenforceability due to inequitable conduct. It argued that during prosecution of the patent, Regeneron’s patent prosecutors withheld four references that were cited in a third-party submission in related U.S. patent prosecution and in European opposition briefs, were but-for material, and were withheld by Regeneron with the specific intent to deceive. There was no dispute that Regeneron knew of the Withheld References during prosecution. Regeneron argued that the references were not but-for material, that they were cumulative of references actually relied-on during prosecution, and that Regeneron did not have any specific intent to deceive. The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court, which had “exhaustively detailed Regeneron’s discovery misconduct" throughout the litigation and sanctioned Regeneron by drawing an adverse inference of specific intent to deceive the PTO. The court noted Regeneron’s repeated violations of discovery orders and improper secreting of relevant and non-privileged documents. Regeneron committed inequitable conduct, rendering the patent unenforceable. View "Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Merus N.V." on Justia Law