Archive | January, 2017

Secondary Considerations Succeed at the PTAB

In a rare instance of relying on secondary considerations to overcome an allegation of obviousness, the Patent Trial and Appeals Board refused to institute an Inter Partes Review of U.S. Patent No. 8,550,271, directed to a crimp-on style metal crown cap for a glass bottle. World Bottling Cap, LLC v. Crown Packaging Tech., Inc., Case […]

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Recitations of Hardware Can Save Patent-Eligibility

A court denied a motion to dismiss that alleged patent-ineligible subject matter where the patent claims recited physical structure that, the court said, showed that the claims were not directed to a patent-ineligible abstract idea under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  SPEX Technologies, Inc. v. Apricorn, No. 2-16-cv-07349 (C.D. Cal. January 9, 2017).  U.S. Patent Nos. 6,088,802 […]

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Business Method Patents Survive Alice at Federal Circuit

A recent Federal Circuit case demonstrates that reports of the death of business method patents may be exaggerated, even if not greatly. In Trading Technologies Int’l., Inc. v. CQG, Inc., 2016-1616 (Fed. Cir. Jan 18, 2017) Judge Newman, joined by Judges O’Malley and Wallach, affirmed a district court holding that patent claims directed to “a […]

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PTAB Broadest Reasonable Interpretation: “in response to” Means “subsequent to”

In an ex parte appeal, the PTAB upheld the Examiner’s broadest reasonable interpretation of the patent claim language “in response to” as merely meaning “subsequent to.”  The decision is Ex parte Youngri Kim et al. (PTAB Jan 19, 2017). The subject patent application is drawn toward an ebook reader, and the claim language at issue […]

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Some Business Methods Are Routinely Found Patent-Ineligible

A Federal Circuit panel needed one line to agree that a claims in a business method patent were patent-ineligible under Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Corp. and 35 U.S.C. § 101.  In America’s Collectible Network, Inc. v. The Jewelry Channel, Inc., No. 2016-1521 (Fed. Cir. Jan 11, 2017), a three judge panel (Dyk, Taranto, and […]

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PTAB Construes Patent Claim Terms as Subject to §112 ¶6 in IPR

The USPTO’s PTAB held that the term “drive module” was a means-plus-function limitation subject to 35 U.S.C. § 112, sixth paragraph (now 112(f))  in its decision to institute an Inter Partes Review (IPR) in Apple Inc., v. Immersion Corporation, IPR2016-01372 (January 11, 2017). The PTAB (Patent Trial and Appeal Board) raised the §112(6) issue sua […]

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PTAB Upholds Indefiniteness Rejection of Inferentially Claimed Element

One of the first rules often taught to a young patent attorney, especially for mechanical apparatus claims, is to avoid inferential claiming, i.e., avoid introducing a new element in the middle of a recitation of another element.  This type of drafting can lead to ambiguity about whether this new term is positively recited, and thus […]

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