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The Alice Effect: Recent Patent-Eligibility Cases in the District Courts

As this blog and others have noted, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reacted quickly to change examination procedures in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l.  Moreover, as two recent district court cases suggest, Alice’s impact is being felt in ongoing patent litigation.  In […]

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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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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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A Rare Case? Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings Granted Based on Unpatentable Subject Matter

Patent claims directed to “the offer and sale of items to players in the course of gaming” recited an “unpatentable abstract idea,” held the court in Gametek LLC v. Zynga, Inc., No. CV 13-2546 RS (N.D. Cal. April 25, 2014).  This holding came in response to defendants’ motions under FRCP 12 for judgment on the […]

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Supreme Court Rejects Federal Circuit’s Exceptional Patent Case Standard

A unanimous Supreme Court announced that the Federal Circuit’s “objectively baseless” test for awarding attorney fees to the prevailing party in patent cases is “unduly rigid, and it impermissibly encumbers the statutory grant of discretion to district courts.”  Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, No. 12-1188, at 7 (U.S. Sup. Ct. Apr. 29, 2014). […]

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PTAB Finding of Invalidity Does Not Trump Federal Court’s Final Judgment

The Covered Business Method Patent review procedure created by the America Invents Act may be a powerful tool for attacking business method patents, but CBM cannot overcome all court proceedings, at least if Versata Software, Inc. v. SAP America, Inc., No. 2:07cv153-RSP (April 21, 2014), is any guide.  In this case, Magistrate Judge Payne held […]

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Customer Suits Alone Do Not Confer Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction

DataTern, Inc. sued Microsoft’s and SAP’s customers alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 5,937,402 and 6,101,502.  Microsoft and SAP then brought actions against DataTern seeking declaratory judgments of non-infringement.  The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding that it had jurisdiction over all claims except Microsoft’s claims against the ’402 patent, because DataTern’s claim charts […]

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Writ of Mandamus in Patent Infringement Venue Transfer Motion

AVS sued Toyota and Gulf States—a Texas-based Toyota dealer—for patent infringement in the Eastern District of Texas.  Toyota and Gulf States filed a motion (1) to sever the claims against Gulf States; (2) to transfer the claims against Toyota to a more convenient forum under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a); and (3) to stay the claims […]

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Fee Award Under 35 U.S.C. § 285 Supported by Evidence of Subjective Bad Faith and Objective Baselessness

Awards of attorneys fees under 35 U.S.C § 285 may seem difficult to obtain, given the dual requirement of proving a party’s subjective bad faith, as well as the objective baselessness of its position.  However, as demonstrated in Gabriel Technologies Corp. v.  Qualcomm Inc., No. 2013-1205 (Mar. 18, 2014), some conduct is so egregious that […]

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