About Charles Bieneman

Author Archive | Charles Bieneman

Claims Directed to a Data Structure Are Not Patent-Eligible, Says Federal Circuit

In its first patent-eligibility case since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l., the Federal Circuit has held that claims directed to a data structure are not patent-eligible, affirming the district court’s summary judgment of invalidity.  Digitech Image Techs., LLC v. Elecs. for Imaging, Inc. (Fed. Cir. July 11, 2014).  […]

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New Patent Prosecution Standard? USPTO Provides Preliminary Post-Alice Corp. Guidelines for Evaluating Patent-Eligibility

In the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l., the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued “preliminary instructions effective today to the Patent Examining Corps relating to subject matter eligibility of claims involving abstract ideas, particularly computer-implemented abstract ideas, under 35 U.S.c. § 101.”  At the same time, the USPTO is clearly struggling […]

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Patent Practice Lessons from Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank

No one expected the U.S. Supreme Court to hold that claims directed to “financial matters and risk management” were patent-eligible in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l., No. 13-298 (June 19, 2014).  Indeed, the Court did not so hold.  Now that we have the Court’s decision, if you scroll down you will see that I […]

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Avoid Indefiniteness: Define Claim Terms

The Federal Circuit has held that a patent claim term construed under 35 U.S.C. § 112 is indefinite where, although the claim term encompassed a concept that was well known in the art, that concept was embodied by a class of algorithms, and therefore it was unclear what specific algorithm was contemplated.  Triton Tech of […]

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Ninth Circuit Affirms Inapplicability of Copyright First Sale Doctrine to Restrictive Software License

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed a district court decision (reported in this blog) holding that a restrictive software license is not a “sale” for purposes of the federal copyright laws, and that the license could not be used to assert a defense to copyright infringement based on the first sale doctrine.  Adobe Systems Inc. v. […]

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Inter Partes Review Barred by Real Party in Interest Requirement

The USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has dismissed RPX Corporation’s multiple petitions for inter partes review (IPR) of four patents owned by Virnetx, Inc., holding that Apple, Inc., whose ability to bring the IPR petitions was time-barred, was the real party in  interest.  RPX Corp. v. Virnetx, Inc., Cases IPR2014-171 to 177 (PTAB […]

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Should Nautilius v. Biosign Instruments Change How Patent Applications Are Drafted?

A patent claim is invalid for indefiniteness if it cannot be construed by one of ordinary skill in the art with “reasonable certainty,” the U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously held in Nautilus, Inc. v. Biosign Instruments, Inc., No. 13–369 (June 2, 2014).  The Court thus replaced the Federal Circuit’s “insolubly ambiguous” standard, which risked creating […]

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Attorneys’ Fees Awarded in Light of Octane Fitness

A plaintiff had licensed a patent to defendants, including a right to sub-license, but excluded certain uses of the claimed method.  The plaintiff then sued the defendants based on those excluded uses.  The defendants were awarded attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 where, among other things, the plaintiff had attempted to enforce the patent […]

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Usenet Post Qualifies as “Printed Publication” Prior Art

A post to an Internet newsgroup nine months before the priority date of U.S. Patent No. 6,081,835 qualified as a “printed publication” that could be used as invalidating prior art.  Suffolk Technologies, LLC v. AOL, Inc., No. 2013-1392 (Fed. Cir. May 27, 2014).  This holding was one of the bases on which the Federal Circuit […]

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Failure to Meet Indirect Patent Infringement Pleading Standard (and Possible Rule 11 Question)

Judge Gilstrap in the Eastern District of Texas has granted defendants’ motion to dismiss a complaint of indirect patent infringement where the plaintiff failed to meet the applicable pleading standards.  Babbage Holdings, LLC v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., No. 2:13-CV-750 (E.D. Tex. May 15, 2014 (and seven related cases).  Further, because Babbage’s original, first amended, and […]

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