Justia Patents Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Patents
Polaris Innovations Ltd. v. Brent
Polaris’s 993 patent, titled “Control Component for Controlling a Semiconductor Memory Component in a Semiconductor Memory Module,” explains that the control component can send both address signals and control signals through the same leads, allowing the control component to perform its functions with fewer leads. Its 505 patent involves a shared-resource system in which logical controls are used to manage resource requests.In inter partes review (IPR) proceedings, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board determined that all challenged claims are unpatentable. The Federal Circuit affirmed. Because the Board decided the merits before Polaris filed its motion to terminate the IPR Polaris’s motion was untimely. The Board properly exercised its discretion. The court rejected Polaris’s argument that the Board misconstrued the claim terms “memory chips” and “semiconductor memory component” within the claim phrase “wherein the semiconductor memory component comprises a plurality of memory chips.” Prior art discloses all claim limitations under the Board’s claim constructions. The Board correctly adopted Polaris’s expert’s definition of “single buffer” as the broadest reasonable interpretation consistent with the specification, which discloses that resource tags "may be located in disparate locations." Substantial evidence supports a finding that the prior art discloses a “resource tag buffer.” View "Polaris Innovations Ltd. v. Brent" on Justia Law
SawStop Holding LLC v. Vida;
Sawstop requested patent term adjustments (PTA) under 35 U.S.C. 154(b)(C), which grants day-for-day extensions for delays attributable to appellate review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board or by a Federal court in a case in which the patent was issued under a decision in the review reversing an adverse determination of patentability.With respect to the application that led to the issuance of the 476 patent, the Board had affirmed the rejection of claim 11 on new grounds. On remand, SawStop filed amendments and a request for continued examination. The examiner eventually allowed claim 11. The PTO made no adjustment to the patent's term because “the patent only issue[d] after further prosecution” and amendment. The district court and Federal Circuit agreed. Because claim 11 was subject to a new ground of rejection on appeal, the application was not “issued under a decision in the review reversing an adverse determination of patentability.” With respect to the 796 patent, PTA had been granted for the delay incurred in the successful reversal of the rejection of claim 2 but was not granted for Sawstop’s appeal to the district court because the appeal did not “revers[e] an adverse determination of patentability.” Claim 1 remained subject to an outstanding provisional double patenting rejection and was unpatentable both before and after the appeal. Claim 1 was canceled and did not issue in the patent. View "SawStop Holding LLC v. Vida;" on Justia Law
Hyatt v. United States Patent and Trademark Office
During the GATT Bubble–a 1995 application “rush” by applicants who wanted their patent claims to be governed by the pre-35 U.S.C. 154(a)(2) patent term, Hyatt filed the 938 application, which claims priority to applications filed as early as 1983. The PTO completed an initial examination in 2003, but from 2003-2012, stayed the examination of many of Hyatt’s applications pending litigation. In 2013, an examiner instructed Hyatt to select claims for examination as part of efforts to manage Hyatt’s approximately 400 pending applications. Hyatt selected eight of approximately 200 claims in that application. Hyatt responded to a non-final rejection in 2015 with significant claim amendments. The Examiner determined that the amendments shifted seven claims to different species of computer systems and processes and issued a restriction requirement between the originally-selected claims and the amended claims, requiring Hyatt to prosecute his amended claims in a new application.The Federal Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the PTO. Hyatt failed to disclose claims to a separate invention and attempted to file them years after 1995. Withholding these claims falls within the 37 C.F.R. 1.129 exception to the general rule prohibiting restriction: In an application that has been pending for at least three years as of June 8, 1995, no requirement for restriction shall be made or maintained in the application after June 8, 1995, except where the examiner has not made a requirement for restriction in the present or parent application before April 8, 1995, due to actions by the applicant. Hyatt’s amended claims are subject to the new patent term. View "Hyatt v. United States Patent and Trademark Office" on Justia Law
Arendi S.A.R.L. v. LG Electronics Inc.
Arendi sued LG for infringement. The District of Delaware’s rules required Arendi to “specifically identify the accused products and the asserted patent(s)” and to produce "an initial claim chart relating each accused product to the asserted claims each product allegedly infringes.” Arendi filed its Disclosure, listing hundreds of LG products as infringing four claims of the 843 patent but provided claim charts for only one product—LG’s Rebel 4 phone, labeling the Rebel 4 as “exemplary.” LG objected, stating that, “[s]hould Arendi intend to accuse [non-Rebel 4] products, then Arendi must promptly provide claim charts demonstrating how these products infringe or explain why Arendi contends the current claim charts are representative of specific non-charted products.” Arendi did not respond. The parties later agreed on eight representative products to represent all accused products, including seven non-Rebel 4 products. Arendi did not supplement its Disclosure. In response to an interrogatory relating to those eight products, LG reiterated that Arendi only provided infringement contentions for the Rebel 4. Arendi provided its expert report months after the close of fact discovery.The district court granted LG's motion to strike portions of that report because it “disclosed—for the first time—infringement contentions for five of” the non-Rebel 4 representative products. Arendi still did not supplement its Disclosure but filed a second complaint, asserting that LG’s non-Rebel 4 products infringed the 843 patent. The Federal Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the complaint, citing the duplicative-litigation doctrine. View "Arendi S.A.R.L. v. LG Electronics Inc." on Justia Law
INVT SPE LLC v. International Trade Commission
INVT alleged that the importation and sale of personal devices, such as smartphones, smartwatches, and tablets, infringed INVT's patents. An ALJ determined that the accused devices did not infringe claims 3 and 4 of the 590 patent and claims 1 and 2 of the 439 patent and that INVT had failed to meet the technical prong of the domestic industry requirement as to those claims.The International Trade Commission affirmed the finding of no 19 U.S.C. 1337 (section 337) violation. The Federal Circuit affirmed the determination with respect to the 439 patent because INVT failed to show infringement and the existence of a domestic industry. The 439 patent relates to wireless communication systems, specifically an improvement to adaptive modulation and coding, which is a technique used to transmit signals in an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing system. The asserted 439 claims are drawn to “capability” but for infringement purposes, a computer-implemented claim drawn to a functional capability requires some showing that the accused computer-implemented device is programmed or otherwise configured, without modification, to perform the claimed function when in operation. INVT failed to establish that the accused devices, when put into operation, will ever perform the particular functions recited in the asserted claims. The determination with respect to the 590 patent is moot based on the patent’s March 2022 expiration. View "INVT SPE LLC v. International Trade Commission" on Justia Law
Best Medical International, Inc. v. Elekta Inc.,
BMI’s 096 patent is generally directed to a method and apparatus for conformal radiation therapy of tumors using a pre-determined radiation dose. To account for the three-dimensionality of tumors, the gantry of a radiation machine—which houses the radiation beam—rotates around a patient to irradiate the tumor from different angles. The gantry uses a multileaf collimator to narrow the radiation beam and conform it to the shape of the tumor. The 096 patent purports to improve upon prior art by computing an optimal radiation beam arrangement that maximizes radiation of a tumor while minimizing radiation of healthy tissue.The Patent Trial and Appeal Board, in two inter partes reviews, found that a person having ordinary skill in the art would have had formal computer programming experience. Elekta’s expert had that experience; BMI’s did not. The Board accordingly discounted BMI’s expert testimony and determined Elekta had proven that challenged claims 1, 43, 44, and 46 were unpatentable as obvious. Before filing an appeal, BMI finally canceled claim 1 during an ex parte reexamination. The Federal Circuit affirmed unpatentability determinations with respect to the other claims as supported by substantial evidence regarding the level of skill in the art and each of the remaining Graham factors. View "Best Medical International, Inc. v. Elekta Inc.," on Justia Law
ZACHARY SILBERSHER V. ALLERGAN, INC.
Relator alleged that Defendants prevented generic drug competitors from entering the market. Relator alleged that this permitted defendants to charge Medicare inflated prices for the two drugs, in violation of the False Claims Act. The district court denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss based on the False Claims Act’s public disclosure bar, which prevents a relator from merely repackaging publicly disclosed information for personal profit by asserting a claim under the Act.The Ninth Circuit held that an ex parte patent prosecution is an “other 4 UNITED STATES EX REL. SILBERSHER V. ALLERGAN Federal . . . hearing” under 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3730(e)(4)(A)(ii). Thus, the public disclosure bar was triggered. The Ninth Circuit expressed no opinion on whether Relator still could bring his qui tam action because he was an “original source” of the information in his complaint. The court remanded to the district court for further proceedings. View "ZACHARY SILBERSHER V. ALLERGAN, INC." on Justia Law
In Re Killian
Killian’s application relates to a system “for determining eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance [SSDI] benefits through a computer network.” This process entails looking up information from a Federal Social Security database and a state database containing records for patients receiving treatment for developmental disabilities or mental illness. For those patients identified in the state database as meeting certain criteria but not currently receiving SSDI benefits, the method determines whether the patient is entitled to SSDI benefits.The examiner rejected all pending claims of the application under 35 U.S.C. 101, as directed to the abstract idea of “determining eligibility for social security disability insurance” benefits and lacking additional elements amounting to significantly more than the abstract idea because the additional elements were simply generic recitations of generic computer functionalities. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board and Federal Circuit affirmed. The essential steps recited by claim 1—the “selecting” and “determining” limitations—can be performed in the human mind and are “an abstract mental process.” The remaining steps were merely directed to data gathering or data output and were appropriately categorized as “insignificant extra-solution activity” or “primitive computer operations found in any computer system” “which do not integrate the processes into a ‘practical application,’ and which do not recite an ‘inventive concept.’” View "In Re Killian" on Justia Law
Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. v. Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Since 2014 Par has manufactured and sold Vasostrict®, an FDA-approved vasopressin injection product used to treat patients with critically low blood pressure. The Orange Book identifies Par’s 785 and 209 patents as encompassing Vasostrict®. Both patents require the vasopressin composition to have a rounded pH between 3.7–3.9. In 2018, Eagle filed an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) to manufacture and sell a generic version of Vasostrict® before those patents expired. Eagle represented in its release specification that the pH range would be between 3.4–3.6. Eagle’s ANDA also contained 35 U.S.C. 355(j)(2)(A)(vii)(IV) certification that Par’s patents are invalid or will not be infringed by Eagle’s proposed product.Par sued for infringement under 35 U.S.C. 271(e)(2). Eagle stipulated that its proposed product would meet all asserted claim limitations except the claimed pH range. Par argued that “real-world” evidence shows the pH of Eagle’s product drifts up over time and that Eagle sought authority to release products into the marketplace with a pH of 3.64, just 0.01 beneath the infringing range. The Federal Circuit affirmed the rejection of those arguments. Minor fluctuations in pH value identified by Par did not reveal any discernible trend and the stability specification imposed an additional constraint that Eagle’s proposed product maintain a pH between 3.4–3.6 from the time of its distribution through its entire shelf life. View "Par Pharmaceutical, Inc. v. Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Inc." on Justia Law
Click-to-Call Technologies, LP- v. Ingenio, Inc.
In 2012, Click-to-Call sued several entities (including Ingenio) for infringement of its patent. Ingenio filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) challenging the 16 asserted claims and one additional claim. While the petition was pending, the district court issued a Markman order construing certain claim terms and required plaintiffs to narrow their asserted claims to eight claims. Click-to-Call selected claims 1, 2, 8, 12, 13, 16, 26, and 27. The Board partially instituted IPR, found persuasive unpatentability grounds based on one reference, Dezonno, but refused to consider grounds based on another reference, Freeman. The Freeman grounds challenged asserted claim 27, whereas the Dezonno grounds did not. While appeal of the IPR was pending, the Supreme Court overruled the practice of partial institutions in “SAS” (2018). Ingenio never sought remand under SAS for the Board to consider Ingenio’s challenge to claim 27.In post-IPR district court proceedings, Ingenio moved for summary judgment, arguing that the only asserted claim not finally held unpatentable in the IPR, claim 27, was invalid based on the same reference that Ingenio had used against the other asserted claims in its IPR petition—Dezonno. Click-to-Call unsuccessfully argued that Ingenio was estopped from pressing this invalidity ground against claim 27, citing IPR estoppel, 35 U.S.C. 315(e)(2). The Federal Circuit reversed and remanded. The district court erred in not applying IPR estoppel to claim 27 based on Dezonno. View "Click-to-Call Technologies, LP- v. Ingenio, Inc." on Justia Law