Archive | Section 112

Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC, and Lessons for Patent Drafting

Williamson v. Citrix Online, LLC, No. 11-CV-2409 (Fed. Cir. June 16, 2015), raises the specter that software patent claims, already oft-challenged in the wake of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, could face the additional challenge of being unexpectedly construed as “means-plus-function” claims under 35 U.S.C. § 112(f). (Or, prior to the America Invents Act, “Section 112, […]

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Functionally-Described Structural Recitations in Method Patent Claims Can Be Indefinite

A patent claim’s recitation of a structural feature was held indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112 because the court found that that the claim term in question – “processing system” – was indefinite functional language. Thus, the court in Cox Communications v. Sprint Communications, No. 12-487-SLR (D. Del. May 15, 2015) granted partial summary judgment […]

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Means-Plus-Function Claims Are Dangerous in Software Patents

The latest example of the danger of drafting software patent claims to include means-plus-function limitations comes from Eon Corp. IP Holdings LLC v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 2014-1392 (Fed. Cir. May 6, 2015).  U.S. Patent No. 5,663,757 included eight “means” limitations that the district court had held indefinite under 35 U.S.C. 112.  These limitations required […]

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PTAB Holds Software Claims Indefinite

With all the attention paid recently to patent-eligibility questions under 35 U.S.C. § 101, patent drafters should take note of a recent decision by the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) holding claims indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112, second paragraph.  In In re Dawson, Appeal 2012-004396 (Sept. 18, 2014), the PTAB entered a […]

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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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Financial Business Method Claims Held Not Patent-Eligible (and Invalid for Indefiniteness)

The clear trend of district courts invalidating business method patent claims has continued in Intellectual Ventures I, LLC v. Capital One Financial Corp., No. 1:13-cv-00740 (E.D. Va. April 16, 2014).  Further, the court provided some lessons for claim drafters in holding claims of one patent invalid for indefiniteness under 35 U.S.C § 112. Intellectual Ventures […]

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Patent Invalidity for Indefiniteness When a Claim Recites Two Statutory Classes

A patent claim directed to a “computer readable medium encoded with computer program for performing contextual searches on an Internet Phone (IP) phone” was held invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 112, ¶ 2, as indefinite because the claim recited user actions in the context of steps that otherwise functionally limited the claimed apparatus. H-W Tech., […]

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