Federal Circuit Holds Inter Partes Reviews Are Constitutional

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held today in MCM Portfolio LLC v. Hewlett-Packard Co. that inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board are constitutional, rejecting MCM Portfolio’s bid to escape the PTAB’s earlier ruling that invalidated the company’s patent claims.  The Federal Circuit rejected MCM Portfolio’s arguments that IPRs violate Article III and the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution. With respect to Article III, which articulates the powers of the Judicial Branch, the Federal Circuit held that actions to revoke patent rights need not be tried before federal courts.  Instead, relying   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation, Post Grant Proceedings | Tagged , , ,

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Laches Remains a Defense to Legal Relief in Patent Infringement Cases After Petrella

Laches remains applicable in the patent context to bar pre-suit damages after an en banc Federal Circuit ruling late last week in SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products. Last year in the “Raging Bull” decision (Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), the Supreme Court held that laches could not bar copyright infringement damages within the three year statute of limitations period, because Congress had expressly legislated on the timeliness of copyright claims when it created a statute of limitations. Under Federal Circuit precedent in A.C. Aukerman v. R.L. Chaides Construction, laches bars pre-suit damages in a patent case where there   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation | Tagged , , ,

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Federal Circuit Remands Because PTAB’s Claim Construction Was “Unreasonably Broad”

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) administers post-grant patent proceedings under the America Invents Act. The PTAB has invalidated many patent claims, and has been referred to as a patent “death squad.” But a recent Federal Circuit decision reversed the PTAB’s holding that claims owned by Proxyconn, Inc., were invalid, delivering encouraging news to patent owners. The Federal Circuit held that the PTAB’s claim construction was “unreasonably broad,” which lead to the PTAB invalidating certain claims of Proxyconn’s patent in an inter partes review (IPR). The Federal Circuit reaffirmed the PTAB’s “broadest reasonable interpretation” standard for construing claims in IPRs, but   Read More »

Posted in Patent Litigation, Post Grant Proceedings | Tagged , ,

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Federal Circuit Holds Biosig’s Patent Not Indefinite Under New Standard

Applying the Supreme Court’s new “reasonable certainty” standard for patent definiteness in Biosig Instruments, Inc. v. Nautilus, Inc. (2015) (Nautilus III), the Federal Circuit again held that Biosig’s patent for a heart rate monitor is not indefinite.  In Nautilus II (2014), the Supreme Court rejected the Federal Circuit’s “insolubly ambiguous” standard for indefiniteness, but did not determine whether Biosig’s patent was indefinite. Biosig argued that “reasonable certainty” “is not a new standard; it is the degree of clarity in patent claiming that has governed for nearly one hundred years.”  And the Federal Circuit appears to have agreed, calling “reasonable certainty” a “familiar standard”; “the   Read More »

Posted in IP and Technology Litigation, Patent Litigation | Tagged ,

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Supreme Court Gives District Courts More Power in Patent Claim Construction

On January 20, 2015, in Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. v. Sandoz, Inc., the Supreme Court reallocated power between federal district courts and the Federal Circuit in the patent claim construction process.  For many years, the Federal Circuit has reviewed all district court claim constructions de novo, without deference to the district court. Today, the Court held that the Federal Circuit must find clear error before overturning a district court’s resolution of an underlying factual dispute during claim construction. After the Court’s decision in Markman v. Westview Instruments (1996), the Federal Circuit’s Cybor Corp. v. FAS Technologies, Inc. (1998) decision announced the   Read More »

Posted in Patent Litigation | Tagged , ,

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