Federal Circuit Easily Affirms Patent-Ineligibility of Claims Drawn to Managing Shipping Containers

Like drilling a small hole in the hull of the Titanic (post-iceberg), the Federal Circuit has affirmed a district court’s judgment on the pleadings of patent-ineligibility of claims directed to a “container monitoring system for accumulating and storing information on shipping containers including container location and container load status.” Wireless Media Innovations LLC v. Maher […]

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Claims Directed to Conducting Transactions Via Interactive TV Held Patent-Ineligible

Patent claims directed to securing various aspects of digital content on a user’s television were held patent-ineligible in OpenTV, Inc. v. Apple, Inc., No. 5:15-cv-02008-EJD (N.D. Cal., Jan. 28, 2016). Ruling on Apple’s motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), the court used the familiar Alice / Mayo two-step framework to invalidate claims […]

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PTAB Denies Petition for CBM Review of Patent Directed to ATM Banking Transactions: a Portent for Patent-Eligibility of Business Methods? (Maybe Not)

The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has denied a petition for Covered Business Method (CBM) Review of U.S. Patent No. 6,081,792, whose claims recite methods of “providing money or an item of value to an account-holder” and “paying on behalf of a person for money or an item of value, from an account […]

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Exciting Technology (and new Intellectual Property?) at the 2016 North American International Auto Show

We saw a lot of interesting technology – and, who knows, maybe some new intellectual property – at this year’s North American International Auto Show, the annual gathering of the automotive industry at Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit, a short distance from our office. As intellectual property attorneys we are always interested in new technology, so […]

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Federal Circuit Vacates PTAB Written Decision in IPR For Inadequate Explanation of Invalidity Holding

In a non-precedential opinion, Cutsforth, Inc. v. MotivePower, Inc., No. 15-1316 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 22, 2015), the Federal Circuit criticized the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) for failing to explain its obviousness rejection of U.S. Patent No. 7,990,018, which is directed to a removable brush holder. The Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the decision back […]

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Federal Circuit Provides a Lesson on How Not to Rebut an Obviousness Rejection

Has the Federal Circuit made it more difficult to rebut obviousness rejections by demonstrating that the cited references teach away from the claimed invention? One way to show that references teach away from a claimed invention is to show that a combination of references alleged by the patent examiner would render the prior art inoperable […]

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Section 101 Analysis Under Alice Reaches Different Results in Different Texas Districts

Courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas have recently reached decisions that demonstrate the different results that different courts can reach when analyzing patent-eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. Summary judgement of invalidity under 35 U.S.C. 101 was denied on claims of U.S. 6,772,210 […]

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Some Guidance on Means-Plus-Function Language

Two recent district court opinions provide some guidance for predicting whether claim language will invoke a means-plus-function construction. Invoking means-plus-function isn’t as straight forward as it used to be. It’s well known that claiming “means for” is all but certain to invoke a means-plus-function construction. Things get trickier when that phrase is omitted, however. And […]

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PTAB Grants Request for Re-hearing from Denial of Petition to Institute Inter Partes Review

Requests to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board for rehearing of decisions on Petitions for Inter Partes Review are commonplace.  PTAB decisions summarily denying them are as well.  In AVX Corporation v. Greatbatch, Ltd., IPR2015-00710, Paper 13 (Jan. 13 2016), however, a Petitioner succeeded in convincing a PTAB panel to reverse itself (in part) on […]

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